When it comes to rapid weight loss, there’s no shortage of fads and trends. Still, when body beautiful celebrities like Halle Berry and Gwyneth Paltrow admit to following the Keto (short for ketogenic) Diet, you have to wonder: What is it?
“The Keto Diet, or being in ketosis, is essentially where the body metabolizes fat as its primary fuel source,” says Brian Lafleur of Popeye’s Supplements, Canada’s largest sports nutrition retailer with over 140 locations coast to coast.
“The easiest way to get into a state of ketosis is through fasting or high intensity training, since you need to deplete blood and liver glucose, as well as muscle glycogen. But you can also achieve it by switching to a high fat/moderate protein/low carbohydrate diet in which you’re training your body to burn fat for energy,” explains Lafleur. “The name basically refers to the fact that the body turns to ketone bodies, the main fuel source from the breakdown of fat, and that’s what the body eventually runs off—burning fat day and night.”
Weighing the benefits
Not only does all that fat burning result in rapid trim-down for many, but it’s also said to make energy levels more stable than when the body burns carbs for energy, says Lafleur.
The Keto Diet is also said to help with diabetes and mental focus. “There are so many therapeutic benefits of the Keto Diet; from treating diabetes to helping manage epilepsy,” says Lafleur. “People experience better mental clarity and focus as well.”
Halle Berry reportedly uses the low-carb diet to help manage her type 2 diabetes, and credits it with helping her lose her baby belly, keeping youthful and improving her physical and mental performance.
Basketball star LeBron James, too, reportedly credited his rapid weight loss to a similar diet, which included eliminating sugar and dairy. But how does a non-celebrity without a team behind them make it happen?
Stepping up to the challenge
The results sound amazing, but the idea of cutting out carbs is daunting for many.
“As people switch to keto, they might feel unwell and light headed, as their bodies switch fuel sources. It’s a struggle for many people,” says Lafleur.
But give it some time and the right strategies and the Keto Diet can actually help improve your performance. “The brain is actually more efficient on the Keto Diet; it prefers this fuel source over carbs and sugars,” says Lafleur.
The key to success is to go about it healthfully, and that includes stocking up on the right tools. “More and more products are coming out now that support the Keto Diet,” says Lafleur. “Nutritional products that support this lifestyle can help you meet your goals, whatever they are.”
Keys to success
From meal replacement bars to Keto-friendly coffees and butters, there’s a whole range of nutritional products that can help you through your day.
“Meal replacement powders made from healthy fats and proteins can help give the body what it needs for ketosis,” says Lafleur, who also recommends MCT oil, which can be added to coffee and used in salad dressings. “MCT is metabolized easily by the body; it’s like eating a complex carb instead of sugar. The body digests and absorbs it easily and uses it as energy efficiently so you won’t get that sugar crash. It’s excellent for mental focus as well,” he says.
The gold standard, however, is exogenous ketones, says Lafleur. “When people get into ketosis, their bodies burn ketone bodies as energy. Nowadays you can buy exogenous ketones as a flavoured drink mix and sip on it, to ease into ketosis and alleviate some of those symptoms at the outset,” he says.
While you’re on the diet, it’s also important to make sure you’re getting your daily recommended dose of vitamins and minerals. “Most fruits are high in sugar content. Since you’re restricting fruit while doing the Keto Diet, we recommend a multivitamin that will supply those micro nutrients you might be missing,” says Lafleur, who notes that fibre supplements can also be beneficial.
Whether you’re after a Halle Berry-worthy bod or just trying to avoid spiking energy levels, it’s worth considering the Keto Diet. Just make sure you go in prepared.
“A lot of people might not understand the ketogenic diet or how to go about it healthfully,” says Lafleur. “Having the right knowledge and supplements will help you see it through so you can enjoy the results you’re after.”
At Popeye’s, we make it our job to get you the results you’re after by helping you find the right products, the best products, all at the lowest prices guaranteed. Visit a Popeye’s Supplements Canada location near you to start achieving your goals!
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