There are so many benefits of a keto diet!
Maybe a friend’s wedding around the corner or an upcoming trip to Mexico. For one reason or another, we all want to look our best.
And sometimes that includes shedding a few pounds. Making a switch to a keto diet is one way you can do this and benefit other parts of your body as well.
We started our keto diet journey in June 2018 – and 30 pounds lighter we are still going keto strong!
And the benefits of a keto diet go well beyond weight loss.
So in this article, I will be covering how exactly a keto diet works and the benefits of a keto diet.
What is a Keto Diet?
A keto diet is a food diet with a focus on foods that provide a lot of healthful fats, high amounts of protein, and limited carbohydrates and sugar. This diet objective is to have more calories from fat than from carbs.
In fact, when you first start a keto diet the goal is to keep under 20 grams of carbs per day.
Now consider the fact that a single piece of Wonder Bread has 13 grams of carbs…ONE slice! So obviously bread is pretty much off the table in a keto diet.
And the other potential deal breaker for many people is french fries. A small fries from McDonalds has 29 grams of carbs!
But look at all the yummy stuff you CAN eat on a keto diet!
You can even get keto friendly replacements for carb-heavy foods. One of our favorite keto snacks include keto nacho chips, keto bars and keto shakes from Genius Gourmet.
When the diet is done successfully the keto diet will deplete your body of its sugar reserves.
At that point your body will start to break down fat and turn it into energy instead.
When this happens the body burns fat to produce molecules called ketones that the body uses for fuel. This is why the keto diet is so successful at not just weight loss but reshaping your body. Fat reserves are depleted from where they tend to be stored: the stomach, hips and thighs.
This is why a keto diet not only produces weight loss, but sculpts the body.
Is a Keto Diet Healthy?
This is a question we get all the time. After all, what’s the point of being skinny if you are going to have a heart attack!?
What happens to the body when you replace sugar and carbohydrates with good fats? Does it clog your arteries? Raise you cholesterol?
In our experience: no.
The keto diet has LOWERED our overall as well as ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels. And in my case taken them from dangerous to normal levels.
Again, take a look at the article to see the numbers for yourself. But the keto diet made us far more healthy!
That said, my advice is still to make sure you are holistically healthy by getting regular physicals and watching your blood chemistry while on a keto diet as we do.
Benefits of a Keto Diet
With health concerns addressed, let’s jump into the specific benefits of the keto diet!
1. Keto Diet Promotes Weight Loss
As we’ve described, the main benefit of the keto diet is weight loss.
And in most cases you will achieve dramatic weight loss in less than a month on the keto diet.
We find that the keto diet promotes weight loss not only by forcing our bodies to burn fat instead of sugar but also because keto reduces your appetite. Which also helps keep the weight from coming back!
On the keto diet digestion is a long slow burn of fat rather than a blazing hot furnace burning sugar. And a slow burn needs far less fuel.
This is why you can eat 1000 calories of potato chips in a single sitting but would be hard pressed to eat 1000 calories of steak. The body will burn the potato chip calories much faster than the steak calories.
A good analogy is putting a heavy log on a fire rather than dry brush. The heavy log will burn longer. Meaning you won’t be hungry as much.
On our keto journey we get to eat whenever we are hungry. Because we don’t get hungry as quickly or as often as we did before keto.
And when we do get hungry we eat as much keto friendly food as we want – including keto friendly snacks – because we know that 1) we’ll be filling up quickly and 2) our bodies will be burning the calories we consume rather than converting them to fat.
And this leads to success.
We don’t have a love-hate relationship with food anymore. Nor do we feel guilty after we eat. We just eat and get on with life.
The keto diet is simple: eat keto friendly food when you are hungry until you are full. AND lose weight!
This is why keto is an absolute win-win for weight loss.
2. Improves Overall Skin Health
Dull skin and acne are caused by many things.
But they have found links to this by the food they eat and their blood sugar.
Research indicates that spikes and plummets in blood sugar can adversely affect skin health. And they can lead to acne – sometimes severe acne.
Since the keto diet eliminates blood sugar spikes and falls it can help you maintain healthier and clearer skin.
I have definitely noticed a difference in my skin since we started keto. It’s more smooth and radiant. Matt’s skin has improved as well – I firmly believe the keto diet is part of what makes him look so youthful.
For more on the causes of acne and promoting healthy skin, click here.
3. May Reduce the Risks of Cancers and Improve Heart Health
Various studies have found that keto dieting in addition to chemotherapy and radiation has helped with certain cancers. Due to there being more oxidative stress in the cancer cells of normal cells, it causes them to die.
Another benefit of a keto diet is it may benefit heart health. However, it is important to choose healthy foods.
So by eating healthful fats, such as avocados instead of less healthful fats, such as pork rinds, can help improve heart health.
As we learned from personal experience, it does this by reducing your cholesterol. When you have high cholesterol levels you are more likely to have cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, by lowing your cholesterol levels you are improving your heart’s health.
4. May Improve Brain Function
Everyone always says that a healthy diet is essential for protecting your brain. This could not be more true when it comes to a keto diet.
Research suggests that the ketones that are generated during the keto diet provide neuroprotective benefits. This means they can strengthen and protect the brain and nerve cells.
It is also suggested that a keto diet may help prevent or manage conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
There is still more research needed to prove this and is a developing case. But speaking from personal experience, we do feel sharper and more aware since we started the keto diet. On the other hand, that may just be a side effect from losing so much weight!
But whether it is the keto diet itself or the weight it helped us shed, we do feel better mental acuity on the keto diet!
5. Can improve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Symptoms.
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can lead to ovulatory dysfunction, excess male hormones, and polycystic ovaries. When you have a high-carbohydrate diet it can cause a PCOS, skin problems, and weight gain.
So limiting the carbs you eat improves hormonal values, insulin, and the causes of PCOS.
For more insight for the most recent on check out this case from 2019.
Bottom Line – The Benefits of a Keto Diet
There are quite a few benefits of a keto diet. Getting lighter and leaner is just one of them!
Keep in mind these are only a few known or suspected benefits. And with keto space still being relatively new, studies are continuing and we learn more every day.
But the bottom line for us is that losing 30 pounds and keeping it off for years has vastly improved our quality of life in a million ways!
For more information on my switch to keto and how I follow it while traveling check these posts: