I’ve spent most of my life monitoring my weight for athletic events.
I was an obese child, sports and athletics are what kickstarted me into a healthier life. Watching what I put into my body is now a part of my lifestyle and who I am.
When I was 8 years old and I began playing football there was a weight limit I had to be under. I needed to weigh under 100 pounds to be able to play.
The first day when I was put on the scales, I weighed 138 pounds! I needed to lose a minimum of 38 pounds to be able to play.
As a comparison, my last athletic event was an MMA match at 31 years old. I weighed in at 155 pounds!
So yes, saying I was overweight as a child might be an understatement.
After losing around 40 pounds that summer I became more conscious of how I ate.
I continued playing football which had a weight class until I entered Middle School. When I began wrestling there were weight classes as well, so I would continue to try and keep my weight down for that sport.
In general, we knew much less about proper nutrition then. I, especially as a young kid was pretty much just eating what my parents were giving me.
Even when I became older my concept of healthy nutrition was eating like a rabbit. I ate salad after salad without dressing and thought this was the way to keeping my weight down.
Over the years I’ve put the time in to become much more knowledgeable on healthy eating. From the career I’ve chosen I’ve studied often along the way on nutrition.
I’ve also been fortunate become friends with experts in this field. I can always ask them questions to educate myself and get the answers I need.
In this article I’m going to share my research on a Keto Diet and weight loss.
Also, what effect it may have on performance and what supplements you may want to take if you decide to start this diet. If you wish to dive deeper into this diet, I will provide links within the article to other websites that focus on the keto diet and weight loss. You can learn recipes and follow their meal plans to help get you started and find support on your journey with a keto diet.
THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO
What Exactly Is A Keto Diet?
In short, Keto is short for Ketogenic.
A Ketogenic diet is a high fat and very low carb diet. The goal of a Keto diet is to induce nutritional ketosis.
Nutritional ketosis is when the body uses fats instead of sugars for fuel.
A major contributor to the keto diet and weight loss is increasing your body’s efficiency in burning fat for fuel instead of carbs.
Some of the claimed benefits of this diet are:
- A decrease in insulin and blood sugar
- A more efficient metabolism
- Amplified mental awareness
- Consistent levels of energy
- Reducing seizures of people with epilepsy
- Reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s and slow progression
- Acne reduction and control
- Increase the body’s ability to heal after a brain injury.
- There have also been studies done that indicate that the keto diet and weight loss can help in regards to cancer and heart disease.
Foods You Can Eat On The Keto Diet
Drums are The Bacon of Music T-Shirt
Besides the benefits and results people are getting from the keto diet, I believe one of the factors that make this diet so popular is the foods you are permitted to eat.
Keto is a meat lovers dream!
Steak and red meats, bacon, chicken, turkey, fatty fish, along with butter, cream, cheese, and eggs are a part of your diet. Alcohol, most fruits, and beans unfortunately are not part of this diet.
On the Keto and Carnivore Help website I found an easy to read article detailing what you can eat and drink on a keto diet.
The Impact Of Starting The Keto Diet
From what I’ve read the keto diet is considered safe for healthy bodied people. However, there is some negative effects for many when they begin on this diet. It has been termed the “keto flu” and usually only lasts for a brief time.
Some of the negative effects of the keto flu can be:
- Decreased energy levels
- Trouble sleeping
- Digestive discomfort
- Bad breath
- A decrease in physical performance
Most keto diet experts suggest that you can minimize these side effects by beginning yourself on a lower carb diet for two weeks before you switch over to the keto diet. In the beginning you can also add a little salt and minerals to your water to help.
There are also supplements like magnesium and MCT oil you can take to assist.
Stupid Simple Keto – Low Carb Diet Tracker & Macro Manager
How About Performance?
One of the advantages of a keto diet is your body providing a stable source of energy by burning fat instead of glucose for energy. This is extremely beneficial in endurance athletes who need a sustained source of energy over long periods of time.
However, the keto diet does seem to have a negative effect on athletes who need a sudden burst or explosion for them to perform. During these sudden high intensity bursts and movements, your body relies on glucose to perform such actions. With the rise of ketones from the keto diet your body is inhibited from using glucose as a fuel source.
3Natural Bionutrition has an excellent article called Fat Is a Better Fuel Source vs Carbs for Active People & Aerobic Athletes?
This article provides detail on how ketosis works and performance for athletes. There are several links to studies and reports as well if you wish to dive even deeper into this topic.
Keto Does Seem To Have A Positive Effect On Libido And Sex Drive.
For men and women alike, libido is driven by hormones. Estrogen and progesterone are the driving factors in women. For men, testosterone levels are the determining factor in their sex drive.
Healthy fats that you will be consuming on a keto diet will raise the estrogen level in women. An increase in libido is common in most women who are on a keto diet.
There have been some reported side effects for women as well.
Especially in the early stages, a woman’s menstrual cycle can come prematurely and can also be heavier. Luckily most women report that this tends to only happen in the early stages as their body adjusts.
For men, an increase in healthy fats also shows a rise in testosterone levels. Besides an increase in sex drive, higher levels of testosterone can help men in adding muscle mass and increasing their energy.
What Supplements Should You Take On A Keto Diet?
There are a few reasons you may want to take some additional supplements while on a keto diet.
First, you will be eliminating some foods from your diet to allow ketosis to take place. Specifically supplementing some nutrients you may be lacking in your diet would be a good idea.
There are also supplements that will help minimize the adverse effect of the “keto flu” when you first begin.
Also, there are some supplements that will help get your body in a ketogenic state and assist along the way.
Through my research some supplements were consistently mentioned in several articles I read.
Below I listed the most commonly recommended supplements for a keto diet.
The first two I listed were on every article I read that mentioned supplements and I would strongly suggest you purchase.
This supplement will help increase energy levels, brain function, and a multitude of health benefits for your body.
Provides your body with ketones to help kicks start ketosis and speed your body onto the process of burning fat instead of glucose.
An important mineral for bone structure, mental clarity, and can assist in the early stages of a keto diet. I read also that magnesium deficiency can be common with the keto diet if not observed. It is recommended to have a magnesium supplement while on a keto diet.
As mentioned earlier, creatine is recommended while on a keto diet. Creatine is the most tested supplement on the market, and you can find countless articles to learn more.
I am not positive if this is essential but was recommended on several articles. It will help with inflammation, but I believe the major factor for recommendation was its ability to increase testosterone. This can help men perform better physically and also helps to reduce blood sugar.
Also, I saw listed several times a few supplements I believe you should be taking each day, no matter what your diet is.
Fish oil, multi-probiotic, and a high quality multi-vitamin should be a part your regular daily consumption.
The Bottom Line
I found in my research that the ketogenic diet has been widely tested and will be safe for most people. As with any diet, exercise program, or lifestyle change it is always recommended to consult your doctor or a health professional before you begin.
Interesting article on the Keto Diet. It makes sense that if we burn fat for energy instead of carbs, we will lose weight. I didn’t realize that amplified mental awareness, and helping with Alzheimers was a benefit of the keto diet. I was aware of the claim of increased, and consistent energy could be expected. I appreciate the knowledge.
Thanks for reading Tom.
Some of the additional benefits of keto were a surprise to me as well when I started my research.
Thanks for such an informative read. I have dipped into the Keto diet and I did find it didn’t sit well with my body type, however I wish it did because I think it’s a great diet to follow, and is amazing for boosting your metabolism, sigh.
I have however compromised to where I feel my body is comfortable. I used to eat WAY too much carbohydrate and not enough protein. So now I make sure to try and do a third of each as much as possible. My body has adjusted to this nicely and I no longer feel hungry after eating protein as a snack rather than carbs. In fact the other day I happened to eat a meal with a lot of carbs and had to stop, because it felt too stodgy, so obviously my habits haste started to pay off.
I know it’s not ketosis but I definitely feel more energised and less carbs I’m hoping will help my metabolism too. Do you think this will still have an effect?
Thanks for including the vitamin suggestions too. Too often on these extreme diets we end up nutritionally deprived, so I really like that you’ve got all bases covered.
I really appreciate you taking the time for such a thorough reply to the article and sharing your experience trying the keto diet.
In general I think most of us can try and reduce our carbs, especially the sources for which we are getting them from.
I know personally even when I’m eating very healthy I still tend to struggle keeping my sugars down as they seem to be in everything.
The science for the keto diet and the effects of ketosis are well studied.
It will definitely promote weight loss.
I personally tend to not believe this is diet I could maintain for a long time.
I don’t like cutting out fruits and other healthy foods from my diet that I enjoy.
What it sounds like your doing with your diet sounds great.
If the keto diet does not sit well with your body your smart not to force it.
Most people don’t need to go to any extremes to lose weight and be healthy.
Consistent moderate exercise and cutting out junk food is enough for most people.