If you're a health nut, you've probably heard of every fad diet on earth -- from the South Beach Diet to the Atkins Diet to the Zone Diet. But have you heard of the ketogenic diet? According to Cosmopolitan, it's one of the most popular weight loss trends of the year. Here's why:

The ketogenic diet emphasizes eating high fat foods while severely restricting carbohydrates and even protein. On the ketogenic diet, you eat 80% fat, 15% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. This promotes ketosis. When the body is starved of glucose and protein, fat molecules begin to fuel the body in the form of ketones. Because ketones replace the glucose and protein your body would normally use as fuel, your body then runs on -- and burns -- fat. As a result, you effortlessly lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived.

Want to learn more about the ketogenic diet, and how it can kick start your weight loss and fitness goals? Here are 6 reasons you'll fall in love with the ketogenic diet:

1. The ketogenic diet promotes weight loss

Unlike more traditional diets that focus on calorie restriction, the ketogenic diet promotes significant weight loss without restricting calories. How? Because, rather than running on carbohydrates or protein, your body is forced to use fat as fuel. This means your body taps into its fat reserves for energy. The result? Your metabolism kicks into high gear, and you'll lose excess body fat.

2. The ketogenic diet curbs your appetite

Many diets leave you feeling hungry or moody. But because high fat foods are satiating, the ketogenic diet actually reduces your appetite, so you'll never feel deprived.

3. The ketogenic diet increases your energy

Ketones, which are produced through ketosis, give your brain more energy than other fuel sources, improving brain function. As a result, you'll have more energy, and you'll feel more alert. What's more, your memory will improve. You'll notice your energy levels are stable, too.

4. The ketogenic diet boosts your immune system

The ketogenic diet is naturally rich in antioxidants, since it consists of healthy fats and low carb vegetables. This means it boosts your immune system, slows down premature aging, and protects against certain diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.

5. The ketogenic diet enhances your endurance

Since the ketogenic diet promotes ketosis, it enhances athletic endurance. Why? Because ketosis reduces oxidative stress and lactate production. It also sustains higher intensity activities better than other energy sources like glucose or protein.

6. The ketogenic diet helps treat acne

Research has found that high glycemic index foods can contribute to acne outbreaks. Ketogenic foods, however, are low glycemic index. It has been shown that the ketogenic diet can help reduce acne flareups, including their severity and duration, leaving your skin more beautiful and clear.

Starting a ketogenic diet doesn't have to be time consuming or confusing. Here are some super easy breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes:

Vegetable Breakfast Hash

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1/2 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Cut up the bacon slices into small pieces
  • In a pan over medium heat, saute the onion, garlic, and bacon in coconut oil
  • Chop up the zucchini, and add the zucchini, spinach, and mushrooms to the pan, cooking for 15 minutes
  • Remove from heat, and season the vegetables with chives, salt and pepper
  • Fry the egg in a separate pan
  • Place the sauteed vegetables on a plate and top with the fried egg

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Sardine Lunch Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 can drained sardines
  • 1 ounce chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 chopped pickle
  • 3 tablespoons hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Smash the sardines in a medium bowl using a fork
  • Add the onions, pickles, olive oil, hemp hearts, and sun dried tomatoes, mixing everything together
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Serve on top of the romaine lettuce leaves

Coconut Cashew Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon green curry paste
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Soak the cashews in water overnight, and drain in the morning
  • Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper
  • Saute them in the coconut oil until browned on all sides
  • In a blender, mix the coconut milk, green curry paste, and raw soaked cashews together until a smooth cream is made
  • Add the cream to the chicken and cook over low heat until chicken is done
  • Make the cauliflower rice according to instructions on the bag
  • Serve the chicken curry with the cauliflower rice

Get Your Keto On!

There's a reason why the ketogenic diet is gaining so much traction -- it boasts tons of health benefits without all the negative side effects of more traditional diets. If you need help reaching your health and fitness goals, then you should give the ketogenic diet a try.

References

  1. "7 Scientifically Proven Reasons to Choose a Ketogenic Diet," Dieting Well, January 23, 2017.
  2. "Everything You Should Know about the Ketogenic Diet," Men's Health, August 16, 2017
  3. "I went on the Silicon Valley Diet Craze that Encouraged Butter and Bacon for Two Months -- and It Vastly Improved my Life," Business Insider, July 6, 2017.
  4. "Ketogenic Diet is Currently the Most Popular Weight Loss Trend -- Here's Why," Cosmopolitan, August 29, 2017.
  5. "What's Up with the High Fat Diet Trend -- and Does it Work?," Women's Health, July 22, 2015.

dieting | fitness | health | ketogenic diet | weight loss