The ketogenic diet is something I focus on with dedication.
And it’s not because I’m a weight loss guru.
It’s because the ketogenic diet confers a number of tangible health benefits that many “weight loss diets” don’t.
Let me unpack this a bit and then I’ll help explain how to really make the ketogenic diet stick (if you’re having problems that is).
What the Ketogenic Diet Is and Isn’t And How to Stick With It
The ketogenic diet is not a weight loss diet, even if many of the people who adopt it end up losing weight.
However, because of the power of the Internet, as well as people’s deep-seated desire to look their best, the ketogenic diet has been touted as one of the best weight-loss diets on the planet.
Which is actually true, it is one of the best.
And, I’ll go on to say that because the ketogenic diet is so good for weight loss, I recommend it for that reason.
But, I don’t recommend it for that reason alone.
Research shows a ketogenic diet is effective for helping to protect the brain, balance insulin levels, improve multiple factors related to heart health, keep cells safe from potential DNA corruption and much more.
Biologically speaking, your body thrives on a diet based on high-levels of healthy fats.
And, it just so happens that many of the health issues Westerners deal with are related to elevated body fat levels that are the result of eating too many carbohydrates and too much protein while also indulging in copious amounts of fat.
Fat, is not the problem it’s portrayed to be by dieticians and most medical professionals.
However, in the presence of too many carbohydrates and excess protein, it can be a problem.
And that’s why so many observational studies seem to indicate excess fat consumption as being problematic. Researchers watch people eat too much fat but don’t control for the fact they’re also gobbling down pounds of sugar and protein at the same time.
But studies on a pure, ketogenic diet, illustrate when healthy fats, carbs and protein are consumed in the correct ratios, the benefits are ostensible and profound.
That’s why some of the first studies performed on the ketogenic diet were medical tests attempting to see if eating high fat could somehow alter the outcomes of someone’s health profile.
And while those early tests were meant to treat serious medical issues, the downstream effect is we learned a great deal about how the ketogenic diet works.
We now know the absence of excessive protein and carbohydrates in the diet are extremely beneficial to total health.
Now, let’s talk about what causes the ketogenic diet to go wrong, and we’ll talk about solutions for helping you stay on the “keto” path so you end up at a destination full of healing.
Here’s Where Most Keto Diets Go Wrong
There are two big failure points in the ketogenic diet.
The first failure point is the easiest one to overcome. And that’s making it past the carb flu that results when you cut carbs out and turn into a fat burning machine.
Here’s what Dr. Mark Hyman said about the danger of carbohydrates on a recent Facebook post:
“When you eliminate inflammatory, processed foods and stop feeding your body garbage, your body goes through withdrawal just like with drugs or alcohol. It is good because it means you are on your way to getting clean!
When you eliminate these addictive, toxic foods and drinks, you may initially have uncomfortable reactions like feeling achy, flu-like feelings, irritability, nausea, headaches, brain fog, constipation, hunger, itchy skin, fatigue and sleep difficulties.
While it might not feel like it at the time, these symptoms are short-lived and will pass. Many patients become frustrated, but please don’t think from that initial discomfort a healthy lifestyle isn’t for you.
This momentary discomfort becomes a necessary, perfectly normal process when you switch from toxic, inflammatory food-like substances to anti-inflammatory, life-giving foods.
These symptoms occur for several reasons. Unreleased toxins in your digestive system can make you feel ill.
So can food allergies. Your immune system goes through a reaction that actually intensifies inflammation for a few days which then passes. When you “un-junk” your diet, you might experience withdrawal similar to other addictive substances like caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Oftentimes foods we are allergic to become addictive. Coming off these allergens can cause a brief, flu-like achy situation that may last one to three days.
Be patient and allow your body the time it needs to adjust to new, healthy lifestyle choices.”
Not feeling well after embarking on the ketogenic journey is a big reason for derailment.
Another is people find it difficult to eat foods that are truly ketogenic.
When you’ve eaten a certain kind of way for years, where the majority of foods you enjoy are protein and carbohydrate rich it can be difficult to transition to foods that are high in fat and low in protein and carbs.
This is why I make a few suggestions focused on enjoying your shift from your old way of eating to eating a ketogenic diet.
Here they are:
There’s nothing more effective at keeping you on track to hit your goals than meal planning. When you plan out your meals for the week, it prevents you from backsliding and eating a meal you didn’t want to eat.
Plan breakfast, lunch and dinner, then, make as much of that food as you can in advance so all you have to do for a meal is take it out of the fridge and eat (or, heat it up in the oven).
This will help far more than you can imagine.
Know What You Enjoy and Adapt:
A good way to make the ketogenic diet harder than it has to be is consistently trying foods you’re unsure about.
That’s why I like to tell people to know what they like and adapt. Meaning, if you love lasagna, figure out a way to “ketofy” lasagna. Not all of your favorite foods can be turned into a ketogenic meal, but the core essence of what you like about foods can easily be replicated with a little ingenuity.
Best of all is companies are filling the marketplace with products that help you make great-tasting ketogenic meals.
Replace a Meal:
We have a thriving membership group here at our office in Winston-Salem filled with people who want to make the ketogenic diet work for them.
Without a doubt replacing a meal with a ketogenic shake, or a smaller meal, (or none at all) is a top strategy they use for ketogenic success.
Replacing meals with a small meal like the CRAVE Chocolate Shake, or a handful of macadamia nuts does a few things.
First, it lowers your caloric intake for the day, which is necessary for weight loss.
Second, it fills your body with healthy fats that prime you to become fat adapted and burn body fat.
Third, by replacing a meal with a small meal (or no food at all) it turns on several biological factors that aren’t just great for fat loss – they play a role in anti-aging too.
Arguably the biggest reason to replace a meal is because it makes adhering to a ketogenic diet easier. It’s one less meal you have to figure out, and will make the ketogenic diet that much better.
Why Ketogenic Dieters Love Chocolate CRAVE
My wife and I love the ketogenic diet and are involved in the creation of several supplements that make keto easier and more enjoyable.
One of the products we made is called Momsanity CRAVE.
It’s a delicious chocolate shake many of my patients use everyday to stay in ketosis.
I’m more than confident you’ll love CRAVE. It’s a decadent treat and whenever you drink it you’ll love how this delicately smooth, chocolatey elixir coats your mouth with the rich, but balanced flavors of cocoa.
It’s sweet, but not too sweet, so anyone with a sweet tooth is going to look forward to every time you tip your cup back and indulge in this beverage.
Not to mention the fact it’s high in healthy fats from dark cocoa and MCT Oil from coconuts.
I’ve written about how those two sources of fat are superior for the ketogenic diet before, and that’s why we included them in CRAVE.
And lastly, it’s extremely affordable.
One canister gives you 30 full servings, which brings the cost of a full replacement down to little over $1.00 a day.