From losing stubborn fat that hasn’t budged for years, to a noticeable difference in skin clarity, a ketogenic diet has been linked to these and dozens of other sought-after benefits.
“I am in the best health of my life. I have been on an augmented keto diet for the past two years which has included intermittent fasting and have lost 65 lbs,” writes Bob, a member of the 30-Day Keto Revolution Challenge.
He joined the group challenge because “it has a lot of interesting information as to the where’s and why’s of the keto diet.”
For millions of men and women around the world, a ketogenic diet is the “it” way to lose weight and fight age-related diseases as celebrity endorsements have caught up to scientific support for eating high fat and low carb.
But for Bob and millions of others who have tried or adopted this way of eating, keto is not a craze, it is a lifestyle — one rooted in decades-old, medically-based protocols used in the treatment of epilepsy and studied for its effect on neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and sleep disorders.[*][*] Weight-loss happened to be a happy side effect.
Bob and dozens of others have completed the 30-Day Keto Revolution Challenge, a program developed to guide individuals toward metabolical flexibility, where the body can effectively burn carbs or fat for energy without storing either macro as fat.
A diet of high fat, low carbs, and moderate protein has been shown to decrease insulin resistance and increase metabolic flexibility by causing your body to use fat as its primary fuel source. Most people can become fat-adapted, or “keto” adapted, within 30 days.
Adopting such a diet, even if only for 30 days, requires a mindset shift from believing fats are bad to accepting that this myth has been debunked by modern science and nutrition. Natural fats from whole food sources are healthy and good for your body:
- Monounsaturated fat
- Saturated fat
- Medium-chain triglycerides
- Polyunsaturated fat
Before you start the 30-Day Keto Revolution Challenge or any keto program, it’s a good idea for you to understand side benefits as well as side effects you may experience in the first few weeks of keto.
The First Seven Days Of K
“So after 1 week, I lost 2 lbs. Went on a machine at the gym…according to that I’d still lost 2 lbs but I’d actually lost 5 lbs of fat and gained 3 lbs of muscle…it’s not just the number on the scales.”
The first week can be both exciting and difficult. Filled with motivation, you’re willing to try something new and replace old habits—like grazing throughout the day or eating sugar bombs. You can expect your body to react.
Digestion allows the body to take in nutrients and expel waste. But chances are your system has a buildup of toxic sludge from pesticides, hormones, artificial flavorings, food dyes, binders, stabilizers, and preservatives. This is a breeding ground for inflammation, disease and premature aging.
By the end of week one, you eliminate much of the sludge that can compromise your digestion system and detoxifying organs. You start to improve absorption of nutrients, and your liver and gallbladder are better equipped to clean out your system properly.
Adrenals are the hormones that help you manage a stressful situation, whether it be good stress or bad stress. Exercise, for example, stresses your body in a positive way. Keto, which helps you become metabolically flexible, is also good stress.
In the first week or so of keto, your adrenals should be functioning better and have a stabilizing effect on your body’s need for energy. This allows you to feel strong and be better prepared for the demands of keto. Plus, this stabilizing effect can help you deal with bad stress that may cause you to want to give up.
If you’re used to starting your day with a sugary cup of coffee and ending it with a handful of cookies, then you may experience headaches in the beginning as your body wonders where its usual fuel source has gone.
When you replace carbs with fat, your body starts to burn through its stored sugar (glycogen) first. Each glycogen molecule is attached to water molecules, so you can lose a significant amount of “water weight.”
Because of this, some people experience headaches when starting keto. It’s important that you stay hydrated with water and replenish your electrolytes.
As your body burns through the last traces of dirty fuel, it starts to panic… sending you signals to replenish glycogen stores with more sugar. You may start to crave that sugary coffee and be tempted to indulge in carbs once again.
By knowing what to expect, you can plan accordingly to defeat cravings and snack attacks before they sabotage your hard work.
Weeks Two And Three…
“I’ve had trouble staying asleep through the night and waking way too early but on my 3rd week, I slept through 3 nights in a row. Woohoo! Another benefit of doing this keto challenge… I’m buzzing!”
With your body detoxed, you’ve laid the foundation for burning fat as fuel. This is when things start to change dramatically in a really exciting way.
Like the heart, the brain runs 25% more efficiently when your body is using primarily ketones for energy, according to studies. Within the first 30 days of a ketogenic diet, many people report feeling improved brain function and a reduction in what many people describe as “foggy brain.” Memory, energy and hormone balance start to improve too.
Keto is a very individualized experience, so it’s no surprise that some individuals report an increase in quality slumber, while others report the opposite.
If you have trouble falling asleep, it’s recommended that you shift your intake of a starchy carb to dinnertime, or within four hours of bedtime. A study suggests carbs can boost two hormones—tryptophan and serotonin—needed for sleep.
Your body burns carbs at a quicker rate than fat, particularly simple sugars, which explains why you can easily overeat carbs and not feel satiated.
Fat, on the other hand, metabolizes slower than carbs. You feel satisfied and full for a longer period and enjoy long-lasting energy. And with blood sugar and insulin levels stabilizing, there’s little room for hunger pangs and cravings.
One of the early side effects of a keto diet is slower digestion as you reduce consumption of fibrous fruit, starchy vegetables, and grains. Slowly boosting your intake of greens and non-starchy veggies, either as side dishes or incorporated within
30 Days Of Keto And Beyond…
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
One month may not seem like a long time. In the big scheme of things, it’s not. But every one of those 30 steps brings you closer to the good health you want and deserve, no matter how you define it.
At this point, your body has cleansed and has either adjusted or is close to adjusting from being a sugar-burner to a fat-burner. Hitting that final payload of becoming metabolically flexible doesn’t happen after 30 days, however.
What comes next is you finding your groove within the guidelines of keto. There’s no right way to do keto. In the next phase of your journey, it’s up to you to use that flexibility to your advantage by making small adjustments to your intake of macros, experimenting with new keto foods and expanding your keto practice by exploring intermittent fasting or autophagy-activating habits.
No matter where you are on your journey, here are a few resources to help you keep taking steps forward: