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January 06, 2022

The Keto diet has skyrocketed in popularity, especially around New Years, making big promises of losing unwanted weight. Before we talk about what Keto is, can we talk about what Keto is NOT?

The Keto diet is not a silver bullet. Like so many other diets out there, getting on a diet won’t fix your health. Being healthy is more than a number on a scale. It involves finding movement you enjoy, paying attention to hunger and fullness cues, emotional wellbeing, and managing stress. 

The Keto diet is not for everyone. There are some things about the diet that are difficult and it may not be the right for you or now may not be the right timing. That’s ok.

The Keto diet won’t reconcile a bad relationship with food. Many of us turn to food to comfort us when we are stressed or bored. It’s important to make space to reflect on why this is and how we can have a more healthy view of food. This is hard emotional work that is best done in therapy, but any step forward is courageous. 

What is the Keto diet?

The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb, low-moderate protein diet. It’s all about limiting or eliminating carbs  so that your body can enter ketosis. Ketosis on the other hand, is a metabolic state in which your body is consistently burning an alternative type of fuel called ketones. To produce these ketones, the liver must be triggered into a process called ketogenesis. 

What are the Keto benefits?

Ketogenic diets have been shown to:

  1. Benefit Neurological functions
  2. Improve heart health
  3. Improve insulin resistance
  4. Encourage weight loss

Why Keto works for weight loss?

The Keto diet works in two ways:

  • It naturally reduces calorie intake: Because the diet requires consumption of highly-satiating whole foods, those who do the keto diet often feel full and don’t eat as many calories as before. 
  • It increases ketone use: Ketones are an efficient source of energy but they are not produced when carbs or sugar are present in our body. When ketones are used by your body, brain health is optimized, energy levels increase, and appetite decreases.

  • How to Start the Keto Diet?

    1) Eat the right kinds of food.

    What you can eat:

    • Meats - fish, beef, poultry, eggs
    • Low carb vegetables - spinach, kale, broccoli, and other low carb vegetables
    • High fat dairy - hard cheeses, high-fat cream, butter, etc
    • Nuts and seeds - macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc
    • Avocado and berries - raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries
    • Sweeteners - stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, etc.
    • Other fats - coconut oil, high fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc (learn how coconut oil enhances the ketogenic process)

    What to avoid:

    • All carbohydrates - except those from select vegetables and nuts
    • Grains and flour products
    • Bread, cakes, pasta and rice
    • Root vegetables - potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots etc
    • Fruits except for avocado
    • Dairy - milk and low fat cheeses
    • Sugary candy
    • Soda, fruit juices and sugary drinks
    2) Eat the right amount.
    • Keep carb intake below 35grams
    • Eat enough fat to meet weight goals
    • Eat enough protein to maintain muscles
    • Eating less calories than you need encourages weight loss
    • Eating more calories than you need encourages weight gain

    3) Prepare for the Keto Flu
    As your body transitions to ketosis, a common side effect is fatigue, mental fogginess, or other flu like symptoms. Help your body make the transition with these 3 steps:

    Going on a Keto diet may be difficult at first. That’s probably why most New Year’s resolutions to lose weight fail and the truth is, that’s OK! At the end of the day, it’s not really about keeping a resolution nor is it about starting the new year with a diet for the sole purpose of looking better. It’s about getting healthy in both mind and body, accomplishing goals slowly but surely, and turning this into a way of life all 365 days of the year.  



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