It’s impossible to browse social media these days without coming across someone with a body that we’re at least slightly jealous of. There is no shortage of fitness inspiration out there on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest as they are flooded with pictures posted by fitness gurus and celebrities.
Aesthetic aside, there are several reasons why eliminating excess body fat is not only a good idea but also important. It can put you at a risk for various diseases, such as the following:
1. Heart disease: Having too much of body fat would make your heart work much harder to supply blood to your muscles. Moreover, it may clog your coronary artery, preventing your heart from getting the blood supply it needs.
2. Type 2 diabetes: One reason why being overweight puts you at a risk for diabetes is that your cells may become insulin-resistant. This would prevent them from using the glucose (sugar) in your blood, raising blood sugar levels.
3. Sleep apnea: Much of the excess fat in the body may be deposited around the neck. This makes breathing difficult, causing sleep apnea.
It’s not surprising that losing weight is a common New Year’s resolution. But how exactly can we get rid of all this excess body fat?
Although many factors affect a person’s weight, this article will mainly talk about the changes you can make to your diet. More specifically, I will talk about one particular type of diet to lose body fat: the keto diet.
The Stellar Keto Diet for Fat Burning
One of the most effective ways to burn fat is by following the keto (or ketogenic) diet. In this, carbs are only around 5-10% of your diet and fats are up to 75% of your diet. The remaining percentage is for proteins. So, if you’re consuming 2000 calories a day (the usual number of calories for women), you’ll have to get around 111-167 grams of fat under the keto diet. If you’re consuming 2500 calories per day (which is the usual number of calories for men), you’ll have around 139-208 grams of fat. You should also aim for 85-110 grams of protein and less than 50 grams of carbohydrates each day.
Clearly, the keto diet completely changes the way your body derives its energy. Under normal conditions, carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. But when you’re following the keto diet, fats and proteins become your primary energy source. This is one of the reasons why keto diet results in rapid weight loss.
How the keto diet works
Why exactly is the keto diet effective for weight loss? There are many reasons, as I’ll explain below.
Within the first 4 days of starting the diet, your body will use up all the carbohydrates in your body for energy. This may result in immediate fat loss, as the glucose stored in fat cells is used up.
After this, your body enters the ketosis phase. This is when it uses fats and proteins for energy. This also results in weight loss, as it takes more calories to convert fats and proteins into energy than it does to convert carbohydrates. Fats and proteins also keep you sated for a longer time, reducing the number of calories you eat.
You also lose a lot of water weight, as carbohydrates and sodium hold on to water. When you reduce both of them in your diet, there are very few nutrients that retain water, so it’s excreted out.
Foods to consume
The following are some foods you can consume while following the keto diet. You can also cook up delicious meals using each of these food items!
1. Non-starchy vegetables: Celery, spinach, kale, zucchini, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli are very low in carbs and filled with essential minerals and vitamins (e.g. vitamin C and vitamin K).
2. Avocados: These vegetables are full of healthy fats and minerals such as potassium.
3. Eggs: Eggs are known for being rich in protein. Egg yolk also contains a healthy amount of fat and lots of antioxidants.
4. Nuts: Almonds, cashews, pistachios, and pecans are just some examples of nuts that are high in fibre and fats.
5. Berries: Berries can be eaten during the keto diet as they are low-carb and high-fibre fruits.
Things to keep in mind
You may notice that at the beginning of the diet, you are frequently dehydrated. This is a well-observed side effect of the keto diet. As I’ve mentioned, you lose a lot of water as a result of reducing the amount of carbohydrates and sodium you consume. This is why it’s especially important for keto dieters to keep track of their hydration and drink water often.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that the keto diet is not for everyone. If you have or are at high risk for certain diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, the drastic change in diet may harm your body. It’s a good idea for anyone to consult a doctor before trying this diet.
Moreover, food is just one piece of the puzzle of weight loss. The other three are exercise, sleep and stress reduction. The last two are especially important. If your body doesn’t get enough sleep and you’re stressed all the time, your diet will most likely not be effective.
Lastly, your goal is not to eliminate all body fat! Fat is necessary for your cells to function and to maintain healthy hair and skin. The ideal amount of body fat is 21-33% for women and 8-19% for men. You should try to lose body fat only if it’s significantly higher than this range.
The keto diet is a highly effective option for those seeking to lose body fat. As long as you take the necessary precautions, you can experience the health benefits of this diet to the fullest extent. Even if you don’t want to fully follow this diet plan, increasing the amount of fats and proteins and reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat may be a good idea.
By creating an effective weight loss plan, you can protect yourself against various diseases. Besides, the confidence boost that you get by hitting your target weight is definitely worth it!