The Struggle Of Losing Weight
Urban areas are indeed the best places to stay. Having been born and brought up in a big city, I have always rejoiced my life – it was happening and fun. Needless to say, like all teenage and young adults, my notion of fun revolved around eating out at the fast food chains, hanging out at the cafes, trying the creamiest of coffees and, of course, binging on the aromatic biryani. Life was pretty good, till I stumbled upon a gigantic weight that I couldn’t ignore anymore.
Thus began my tryst with impossible weight gain and all sorts of frustration associated with it. I tried every means on board to lose the extra pounds. As a lazy bee who hates to put on her gym wear, I tried experimenting with different diet regiments. I tried the GM diet – which was an utter failure – I tried eating all things healthy and even followed a simple Indian healthy diet at home. Everything failed for I was too much in love with my cheat days. Thereafter, I consulted a dietician, whose formula did work but sticking to it was next to impossible. I mean, I am not the kind of person who could diet on just roti-sabzi-chicken/fish all through the day without any curd or egg (my love!) or any type of grains to devour. That’s blasphemy of sorts. Oh yes! I also tried exercising but that thing did not really work out.
Keto Diet: The Beginning
It was after much deliberation and experimenting with various types of diet regimens that I stumbled across the Ketogenic diet or the Keto diet. It is a low-carb-high-fat diet, which limits the intake of carbohydrates to a great extent. To be honest, I was not really convinced with the diet. There were two reasons for the same: firstly, we are innately conditioned to treat fat as bad; secondly, at a single glance, it seemed to be a pretty darn expensive diet. It was only after a couple of friends of mine tried and got visible results in just a month that I was eager to do it. And that was the beginning of great results.
What Is Ketogenic Diet?
As said earlier, a ketogenic diet is a type of diet where the user has to limit his/her intake of carbohydrates to a maximum of 50g per day. There must be sufficient protein intake while the fat intake has to shoot up to a great extent. The general ratio should be around 5% of carbs, 25% of protein and 70% of fat. Also, there must absolutely be no intake of sugar.
Before beginning with Keto diet, one must remember a single thing – Keto is not merely a diet; it is a lifestyle. The diet takes the body to such a position that instead of using glucose and insulin for energy, the body tends to use the fat, as a result of which the excess fat doesn’t get stored anymore. It is then that the body enters into a state of Ketosis, whereby the body functions by deriving Ketones from the breakdown of fat in the liver. Also, fat is substantially easier to break than carbohydrates, which helps in losing more weight than any other type of diet. In fact, this is how the body survives during fasting.
Ketogenic Diet Is NO Magic!
Since fat is easier to break down than glucose and/or insulin, people tend to lose much more and quite easily in Keto diet than any other form of diets. However, this does not essentially make Keto a magical one! In order to be in Ketosis, you have to tick many boxes. First of all, you have to find out through a Keto Calculator how much calories you need to intake, including the specific variations of macronutrients that you have to cater to your body on a daily basis. Thereafter, you have to keep a tab (with the help of a kitchen scale and mobile applications such as My Fitness Pal) on how much food you are eating on a daily basis – you cannot really go extremely low or extremely high on any of the macronutrients, especially during the first few days of Keto. Following this for a brief period of time will enable you to get a grasp of the same and, at the same time, admit that Keto is NOT magic.
No Cheat Days Allowed
A few paragraphs ago, I had mentioned that Keto Diet is a lifestyle rather than a diet. Of course, you can be on Keto for a month or three months and thereafter shift to a proper low carb diet, but you cannot really shift to your “regular” lifestyle once you are on Keto.
However, in case you have just vouched for your support to Keto, you should know that Keto allows no cheat days – at least in a month! This is because “cheat days” would most often comprise of a spiked up intake of carbohydrates and sugar, which necessarily means kicking your body off ketosis. Once in a pretty long while, cheating may be a good option but cheating every now and then would perplex your body to the extent of getting tremendously ill.
Hence, if you’re on Keto, be at it for a month before you can even think of breaking it. And if you do happen to break it in the middle, take a week or a fortnight off rather than taking every other day as a cheat day.
The Not-So-Good Side Of It
As a Bengali, two of my favourite dishes are of course Biryani (with aalu) and sweets. Hell yeah, I never thought I could survive without my daily dose of sweets and bhaat (rice). But, Keto wanted me to keep all these off its radar, which resulted in a deep craving for the same every other day. At least, this was the case with me a few days into the diet. So, if you are entering the diet, be prepared to fight with your heart as far as craving is concerned.
Secondly, many people might experience Keto flu, which emerges as the body tries to shift to Ketosis from Glycolysis. Its symptoms are quite akin to normal flu and go away within a few days. If you’re on Keto for the first time, try to steer away clear from too much physical exertion, including giving your gym a break for quite some time. Let your body adjust to this switch before you can rejoin your daily physical activities.
Keto diet is not a wayward thought. It is a science that has proved its worth since ages. Many doctors have also been advising this diet for people who are obese or those who are suffering from diabetes. A proper Keto diet also helps in normalizing the cholesterol level and keeping the blood pressure within limits. Also, is there any diet which would allow you to devour on a boundless amount of cheese, butter, meats, eggs, and cream – you name it – to your heart’s content? We don’t think so.
So, if you’re trying to lose weight haplessly, Keto diet is worth a shot if you pledge yourself to follow it to perfection. Good luck!