5 things you need to know about the Keto diet

New year, new you? For a lot of people, January symbolizes a fresh start and the ability to leave bad habits in the past. You may have made a list of resolutions that involve eating better, working out more, or just trying to live a healthier lifestyle, overall. The Ketogenic Diet has gained popularity in recent years and seems to be sticking around.

With celebrities like Halle Berry singing the praises of the keto lifestyle — we decided to look into the craze a bit more.

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Yay…it’s #FitnessFriday! Today we are doing the 10×10 Lunch Crunch! I know many of you may feel like you don’t have enough time to work out…well Peter and I have the answer for you. This is a 10 minute #workout that you can do anywhere, from your office to any small space you might find yourself in. Here’s how it works: You set a timer for 10 minutes and you do 10 exercises for 10 reps each. See how many sets of 10 you can do within 10 minutes. I like to do The Lunch Crunch when I’m working and all I have is a 30 minute lunch break so this allows me to still get the job done. You can find these 10 moves in my IG Stories and Fitness icon. Also people are always asking me what kind of snacks I eat, so today on my Stories I’m sharing two of my favorite #keto low-calorie snacks. Enjoy the workout and let me know how many Lunch Crunch sets you can do in 10 minutes. No excuses…we all have 10 minutes! Go get it! 💪🏽♥️ #FitnessFridayHB

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Brittany Holm with KeTotal Health and Wellness in West Palm Beach answered some of our most (fat) burning questions about the keto lifestyle.

1. What is ketosis?

Brittany: Ketosis, officially termed “nutritional ketosis”, is a metabolic state in which the body burns fat as its primary source of energy rather than carbohydrates.

Normally, when being fueled by a high-carb diet, the body runs on glucose, which it gets from breaking down the carbs in your diet. When you limit those carbs however, your body has to transition to an alternative metabolic state to keep itself running. Without carbs as an available source of energy, the body begins to breakdown fat to produce the alternative energy molecules, called ketones. These molecules work to power the body the same way as glucose does, but their even more efficient and have a myriad of associated health benefits.

2. Who can benefit from a Keto diet?

Brittany: Personally, I believe literally everyone can benefit from adopting a keto diet. There are more and more studies coming out everyday, not only on the benefits of a keto diet, but also the detrimental affects of both sugar and high insulin levels leading to insulin resistance. Think of it this way, if your car requires premium gasoline to run efficiently but you only every fill up with regular unleaded, it will never run as efficiently as it was designed to. Fueling your body with carbs works the same way. It will still run, but not as efficiently as it could be with a better fuel source. And what’s worse, fueling it inefficiently will inevitably have detrimental effects on your health in the long run. Everyone could benefit from an upgrade in their body’s fuel source.”

For a more specific answer though, I would say any one who wants to lose weight and keep it off. Also anyone tired of feeling tired all the time, who wants to be able to make it through the day without needing either a mid-day nap or 5 cups of coffee. Or anyone looking for a way to step up their game, whether that be mental or physical.

3. What are the health benefits?

Brittany: The most well known health benefit with the keto diet is probably it’s ability to produce incredible weight loss results that are actually sustainable. On a keto diet, yo-yo weight loss and re-gain isn’t a reality you’ll ever have to face again. Contributing to the weight loss results is the appetite control that you’ll experience with the keto diet. So no more unintentional overeating, or uncontrollable cravings.

There are so many additional benefits of this healthy lifestyle though. Without having to depend on fluctuating blood sugar levels, you’ll see significant, and sustained improvements in both your energy and your mood. Ketones are a a far better fuel for the brain specifically, so you’ll have far better mental clarity and focus. You’ll also see incredibly improvements in both your physical performance and muscle gain. Contrary to popular belief, the keto diet is actually proven to demonstrate a muscle sparing effect, so you can rest assured that your weight loss won’t come at the cost of your muscle mass.

The keto diet has also been scientifically proven to have incredible therapeutic benefits for many common health challenges, including seizure control, fighting cancer, management and even reversal of type II diabetes.

I personally saw incredibly improvements in my skin and digestion. Before I adopted a Ketogenic lifestyle, I suffered from both severe acne and nearly constant indigestion. As soon as I started my Keto journey, my skin cleared up almost immediately and I no longer had to keep a stash of Tums and Gas-X in my purse at all times. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever even had to buy them again!

4. What do you eat on Keto?

Brittany: A typical keto diet has a macro nutrient ratio of 20-25% protein, around 70% fat and only 5-10% carbohydrates. Your macro ratios are calculated based on your caloric needs and body composition, but they’re also dependent on your personal goals. The protein and fat ratios can vary a bit, but the most important factor is keeping your carbohydrate intake very low. Keeping your total (not net) carbohydrates under 50 grams per day is usually a good place to start.

Obviously high-carb foods are avoided, so things like bread, pasta, and starchy vegetables. One of the things that make this diet so doable though, is that by increasing the fat content, you’re also increasing the flavor. So everything you eat tastes all the better and you don’t end up feeling deprived at all. You get to enjoy things like bacon and fatty cuts of meat without any guilt, they’re actually encouraged! Avocados are usually a staple, as well as eggs, fish, nuts, cheese, and healthy oils.

Cauliflower and green leafy vegetables are also a common go-to. Vegetables can be a little deceptive because many of them have a higher carb count than you’d expect. The general rule of thumb is that if it’s green and grows above ground, it’s a safe bet. That doesn’t mean you have to eliminate every non-green vegetable out there, you’ll just want to check it’s macro count and make sure that it will fit within your daily macros.

If you’ve got a major sweet tooth, like me, don’t worry! There are too many options to even count! With natural sugar alternatives (like Stevia and monk fruit) or sugar alcohols (like erythritol), you can make keto-friendly versions of pretty much any sweet treat your heart desires. There are even nut and coconut based alternatives to flour, so even baked goods are still a doable option with a good keto recipe.

5. Can you have a cheat day on Keto?

Brittany: You absolutely can have cheat days and still maintain a keto lifestyle. It’s not recommended when you first start out because it can make the transition more difficult, but you don’t have to look at it like your giving something up forever. The most important thing is to find an approach to keto that works for you so it can be a sustainable lifestyle. I’ll be the first to admit that even two years into my keto journey, I still allow myself occasional cheats here and there. It’ll surprise you though, how much your desire to cheat will diminish over time.


Brittany: My number one tip I give to anyone starting out on the keto diet is to find a way that makes it work for you. Every person is different. There really isn’t any blanket rule that is effective for everyone, so what works great for one person might not work at all for someone else. Allow yourself the time it takes to find what works best for you personally. And don’t be afraid to ask for help! Whether it’s a personal nutrition coach or the countless keto communities out there online, help is available (and essential) to ensure your success.

You can learn more about the keto lifestyle by following Brittany on Facebook or Instagram. Check out her website here.

NOTE:  You should always consult your doctor before trying any particular diet that calls for significant change in your current diet. 

Don’t break the diet: Try these Keto recipes