The ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet, has recently gained much popularity.
Many boast of the benefits of it, stating they have noticed a significant amount of weight loss when incorporating it into their diets.
However, experts to state that this diet should not be followed forever, due to how restrictive it is, and the lack of research.
This article is going to be discussing what the ketogenic diet is, how long you should stay on it, and how you can start to incorporate a more balanced diet into your life, without losing the progress you made on keto.
What Is The Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a diet that is high in fat and protein, and low in carbohydrates.
When starting this diet plan, you can expect it to consist of 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
The goal of this diet is for the body to go into a mode called ‘ketosis’.
On a regular diet, the body uses the carbs you consume for energy by turning them into glycogen.
When your body is in ketosis, you aren’t consuming enough carbs for this, but you are consuming plenty of fats.
Therefore, your body will switch and begin to use fat as fuel.
Instead of producing glycogen, your body will begin to produce ketones, and this is what gives your body energy.
Therefore, on the keto diet, you are training your body to use the fats you consume for energy, rather than your carbs.
As a result, weight is lost relatively quickly on this diet, which is why many people like to go on it.
How Long Does It Take For The Body To Reach Ketosis?
Adapting to this diet is not easy, and if you are not following the proper guidelines, your body may not ever reach the ketotic state or could snap out of it pretty quickly.
You must ensure that you are eating a large number of fats, and very few carbohydrates in order for your body to make that switch.
In order for this to happen, you must allow for an adjustment period.
Experts state that your first few weeks are an adaptation phase, where your body is getting used to this switch in your diet.
This period can last from around two to six weeks.
They also state that in order to notice results, the diet should be followed for at least three months.
This is an adequate amount of time for the body to really get used to this way of life.
How Long Should You Follow This Diet For?
As mentioned earlier, the long-term research on the keto diet is limited.
It is also a heavily restrictive diet, and due to the long list of banned foods (not all of which are bad for you), staying on this diet for too long can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Therefore, some experts suggest that it is best to incorporate it for a few months to reach weight goals, and then slowly start to reintroduce carbs into your diet again.
Some people, who are able to adapt to the lifestyle of this diet, find that dipping in and out of it every so often is the best way to go.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to diets, so taking the patience to try different things out is key.
Many who have gone through the keto diet also have a fear of gaining all that weight back, when coming off it.
While this can happen if you were to completely ignore the healthy behaviors you incorporated into this diet, there are ways to keep the weight off, while transitioning back into a more balanced diet.
Tips For Easing Off The Keto Diet
The concern for many people is rapidly gaining their weight back after coming off the keto diet.
This is a very fair concern, but the good news is that it doesn’t need to be one for you, as long as you are thoughtful during your transition period.
Below are a few tips for easing out of the keto diet, to ensure you won’t gain all the weight back at once, and above all, to keep you healthy.
Make It Slow
It is important to take this change slowly. If you quickly switch from barely any carbs to all the carbs in the world, this will not only lead to rapid weight gain, but can also give you digestive problems.
You should ensure that you start by slowly reintroducing carbs into your diet.
During the keto phase, you were used to counting carbs, so you should be a pro!
Simply add an extra 10g of carbs a day for your first week, and slowly increase to an amount that you are comfortable with.
Stick To Unprocessed Food
You’ve done well on this diet to lose weight, and you will continue to feel good if you make good choices about your food.
This means sticking to real foods and avoiding unprocessed products.
Processed foods tend to have more sugar and are higher in calories, so make sure to choose organic options and healthy fats.
It is recommended to consume fat with your carbs, as this can help slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
Incorporating movement and exercise into your daily routine will not only help you keep the weight off, but will also benefit you physically and mentally.
Activities such as daily walks, simple jogs, and doing some yoga are great examples!
While the ketogenic diet is good for fast, weight-loss results, it is rarely recommended as a long-term diet plan due to its restrictive qualities and lack of research.
Therefore, experts suggest being on it for a few months, reaching your goals, and then slowly introducing healthy, organic carbs back into your diet.
This should be coupled with regular physical activity, which will help keep the weight off, as well as provide you with an array of mental and physical benefits!