What is Keto? | An Update on the Ketogenic Diet

/ Lifestyle

Do you know that the phrase, ‘what is keto?’ is one of the top searches of 2019? People lost weight fast, and that too without starving themselves. The word spread out, and before we knew it, Facebook groups, ketogenic diet plans, and keto influencers emerged. Even though it is somewhat a low-carb diet, what you can have and what you can’t, takes some time to understand.

It was hard to tell my folks that yes, I can have a cheese omelet but no, an apple is going make me gain weight,” says Rabia Mirwala who lost eight kg in two months with the ketogenic diet.

So what exactly is keto?

The word keto comes from ‘ketosis’, a process of burning fats to make ketones done by our body when there aren’t enough carbs to burn. The keto diet is a low-carb diet that lets you maintain your calorie count from proteins and fats rather than carbohydrates. What happens is that you eat less than fifty grams of carbs a day and within three to four days, your body runs out of blood sugar. Then, in order to get energy, your body starts to burn the fat and protein that you’re consuming. This puts you in the ketosis mode and you start your weight loss journey.

Sure, the keto diet works. But it is only short-term and it’s not suitable for all. The weight eventually comes back,” says Ali Gul who did the keto diet three times until the nutritionist made him a meal plan based on his bodily needs. “The results with keto were quick, but my body felt weak,” he added.

A woman telling a man to have apple instead of pizza.
As odd as it sounds, you can't have fruits in this diet and many restaurants in Dubai offer a keto menu with keto pizza! 

How do I know if I can do the keto diet?

The best way to shed off the extra pounds is to understand your body’s unique needs. Going to a dietitian will help you decipher your requirements. Howsoever, it is perfectly alright to try the keto diet unless you are pregnant, you’ve had your gallbladder removed, you have kidney disorders, thyroid disease, eating disorders or type I diabetes. You can try it for some days to see how well you can adapt to it but of course, you have to be patient with the results.

Hakeem Fact: Some people get keto flu and they suffer from fatigue, headaches and actual flu.

Is it true that some doctors actually recommend keto?

Yes, that is true. Other than quick weight loss, keto can help prevent or treat the following health problems:

·         Metabolic Syndrome

·         PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)

·         Obesity

·         Bipolar Disorder

·         Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

·          Parkinson’s disease

What are the Do's and Don’ts of the diet?

1.      Do eat leafy greens

2.      Do eat protein

3.      Do drink low-calorie beverages

4.      Do have nuts as a snack

5.      Do cook with oils rich in fat

6.      Do avoid fast food

7.      Don’t eat veggies high in carbs

8.      Don’t have fried food

9.      Don’t eat fruit high in sugar

10.  Don’t consume sugary food

11.  Don’t eat complex carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, bakery items etc.

12.  Don’t eat low-fat food

Hakeem Fact: The keto diet slows down the growth of cancer cells in the body!

Image showing a portion control graph in the ketogenic diet.
The keto math. 

What are some keto tips that I should know about?

·         Don’t starve yourself. Eat three meals a day.

·         Focus on the preparation of food and create a diverse meal plan.

·         Stock some keto-approved snacks.

·         Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.

·         Don’t cheat.

·         Don’t overeat.

What does Hakeem say?

If you’re committed to becoming your healthiest, and you believe that you can adapt to the keto lifestyle, you can go for it. However, it is a restrictive diet so one always has to make sure that the body is getting enough nutrients and vitamins to avoid complications. For a quick weight loss before the holiday season, sure, we’d opt for keto too, but in the long-term, we recommend a lifestyle change instead which can be found in the following in-depth weight loss articles:

How I Lost 12 kg in a Month – My Journey to Wellness

8 Tips to Lose Weight for Holiday Season

What is Keto? | An Update on the Ketogenic Diet
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