Let me ask you, how would you say your health is doing right now compared to the last 5 years? If you’re one of the few people who transformed their body for the better, here’s a virtual “high five” because you deserve more than a recognition for making a bold move.
On the other hand, if you’re still one of the occasional “new year, new me” resolutioners, then you need to listen up…
Body positivity is just a brand designed to make you feel good, but the repercussions behind it are real as cancer and obesity. Health longevity plays a major role in our lives so we better start taking action and less hoping.
Let’s jumpstart the conversation by introducing the right method in doing Keto. There are countless articles and insights about the keto but what is it really and how is it beneficial for you?
A ketogenic lifestyle is well known for being a low carb high-fat method of consuming foods, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. When done correctly, it can be beneficial for both aesthetic and medical reasons.
When we eat a slice of pizza or a tub of ice cream, our body produces glucose and insulin.
- Glucose – It’s the most easiest molecule in our body to convert and used as the preferred energy over other energy sources.
- Insulin – Is produced to process the glucose in our bloodstream.
I’ve mentioned that glucose is the preferred energy source of our body and fat isn’t necessarily needed…yet. It is however stored and act as a reserve fuel for later use. When we eat a high-carb meal like pizza for instance, our body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By limiting the intake of carbs, our body is induced into ketosis.
Ketosis is a natural process that helps our body survive when food intake is low and our body produces ketones during that state.
What are ketones you asked? We produce them when we don’t have enough insulin in our body to turn sugar (or glucose) into energy. We need another source, so our body uses fat instead.
Our liver turns this fat into ketones, which is a type of acid, and sends them into our bloodstream which to be used as fuel.
Now that we’ve discussed the “what” part of a keto, let’s go over and see why it’s good for you and me.
Keto Fact #1 – Effective Natural Treatment Against Obesity.
Obesity isn’t only detrimental physically but mentally as well. If people are unhappy with the way they look and feel, it’ll certainly affect how they think and is one of the common causes of depression.
It also has become a serious chronic disease in both developing and developed countries. Furthermore, it is associated with a variety of chronic diseases.
In 2008, over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women aged 20 and over were obese, and 65% of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
In the present study, 83 obese patients (39 men and 44 women) with a body mass index greater than 35 kg/m2, and high glucose and cholesterol levels were selected.
The following attributes are determined before and after the administration of ketogenic practice:
- Body weight
- Body mass index
- Total cholesterol
- Low density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol)
- High density lipoprotein (good cholesterol)
- Triglycerides (a type of fat)
- Fasting blood sugar
Changes in these parameters were monitored after 8, 16 and 24 weeks of treatment.
The weight and body mass index of the patients decreased significantly. The level of total cholesterol decreased from week 1 to week 24. HDL cholesterol levels significantly increased, whereas LDL cholesterol levels significantly decreased after treatment.
The level of triglycerides decreased significantly following 24 weeks of treatment as well as the level of blood glucose significantly decreased.
Keto Fact #2 – Sustainable Alternative Against Diabetes Medication.
Based from a study published in December 2005, the low-carbohydrate, ketogenic regimen may be effective for improving glycemia and reducing medications in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Medical experts from an outpatient clinic recruited 28 overweight participants with type 2 diabetes for a 16-week single-arm pilot keto practice intervention trial. They provided ketogenic counseling with an initial goal of 20g carbohydrate a day while reducing diabetes dosages at keto initiation.
Twenty-one of the 28 participants who were enrolled completed the study.
- The average age was 56.0
- BMI was 42.2
- Hemoglobin A1c decreased by 16% from 7.5 to 6.3 from baseline to week 16
- Diabetes medications were discontinued in 7 participants, reduced in 10 participants, and unchanged in 4 participants
- Body weight decreased by 6.6% from 131.4 kg to 122.7 kg
- Fasting serum triglyceride decreased 42% from 2.69 mmol/L to 1.57 mmol/L
The low carb ketogenic method improved glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes such that diabetes medications were discontinued or reduced in most participants.
A quick word of advice: Because the method can be very effective at lowering blood glucose, patients on diabetes medication who use this method should be under close medical supervision or capable of adjusting their medication.
Keto Fact #3 – Natural Method Of Losing Fat Mass.
Recent studies from various laboratories have shown that a high fat food source rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (ketogenic) is quite effective in reducing body weight.
The present study shows the beneficial effects of a long-term ketogenic practice as it significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index of the patients.
Furthermore, it decreased the level of
- LDL (bad) cholesterol
- Blood glucose
And increased the level of HDL (good) cholesterol.
A period of low carbohydrate ketogenic regimen may help to control hunger and may improve fat oxidative metabolism and therefore reduce body weight.
The duration of keto practice may range from a minimum of 2–3 weeks to a maximum of many months (6–12 months).
Bonus Tip: Why do people think the keto is effective for decreasing fat mass?
- Insulin Hypothesis.
Since one of insulin’s action is lipogenesis (fat formation), keeping insulin levels low by restricting carbohydrate should result in more fat mobilization.
Carbs are not the only nutrient that spike insulin – protein is also insulinogenic. Insulin isn’t required for fat storage because of a hormone called acylation stimulating protein (ASP). Prolonged energy surplus is the main factor driving fat gain and not a single hormone like insulin.
- Keto adherents may simply consume fewer calories subconsciously due to food elimination.
The ketogenic regimen may have adherents eating fewer calories through
a.) Reduced appetite
b.) Food elimination
Keto Fact #4 – An Effective Solution Against Multiple Diseases.
While It’s a known fact that obesity is one of the root cause of diseases, it’s also reaching epidemic proportions and is a strong risk factor for a number of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.
Diseases and disorders such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain types of cancers.
Keto have undoubtedly been shown to be effective, at least in the short to medium term, as a tool to fight:
- Some cardiovascular risk factors
It could be argued that keto has beneficial effects other than simply fat and weight management.
Recently suggested that ketones may protect from cognitive impairment caused by weight gain and obesity. Moreover there is some evidence that keto may have positive effects on mood in overweight subjects.
Even if during the very early phase of practicing keto (the first 4 or 5 days) subjects may sometimes complain of lethargy, this effect passes rapidly and subjects subsequently report an improved mood.
Is Keto For You?
They say that prevention is better than costly medical bills and we couldn’t agree more.
Based from the 4 keto facts we’ve mentioned and several scientific studies, Keto is an effective method that outweighs common “Hollywood” health regimen both for physical and medical gain.
With all the benefits that keto has, it’s a no-brainer that hundreds, if not thousands of people are opting to switch to the said method.
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