As of 2019, over half of the United States population claims to be trying to lose weight, but a whopping 70% of men and women are overweight or obese. Doctors and scientists have discovered numerous negative effects and disadvantages to being overweight that can affect quality of life in the long run, including high risks for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, joint problems, and even slower mental acuity.
To avoid these problems later in life, more and more people are turning to the keto diet to facilitate weight loss and reduce their chances of developing serious health conditions. Out of the numerous diets people try – low calorie, Atkins, vegetarian, vegan – the keto diet is actually one of the most effective for a variety of reasons.
It Burns Body Fat
One of the central components of the keto diet, ketosis, is responsible for burning the actual fat in the human body, helping individuals lose weight in a healthy way. When someone eats too many calories, they are stored as fat in the body. Ketosis, a condition where the liver produces chemicals called ketones, uses these ketones to directly burn fat for energy, leaving muscle intact. This makes it easier for people to lose weight but remain healthy.
Keto Is Filling
A positive trait about the keto diet is that it is filling. It takes the body a longer period of time to process fat and protein than carbs, which are easily digested and often leave the body hungry. Three hundred calories of pure baked chicken will leave you fuller for much longer than the equivalent in chocolate.
The keto diet and its ketones also suppress ghrelin, the hormone responsible for the feeling of hunger, while increasing cholecystokinin, the hormone that leaves you feeling full. You’re less tempted to snack because your brain is already telling you that you have eaten and have no more room. Less snacking means fewer calories consumed, and fewer calories makes it easier to lose weight.
The ketones produced by the liver burn fat, but also provide energy directly to your brain so you feel less tired throughout the day. Having more energy makes it easier to exercise on a regular basis, since you don’t hit the drowsy slumps common with a regular, carb-heavy diet. Exercise burns calories, encouraging keto dieters to hit the treadmill and get the aerobic exercise necessary not only to lose weight, but to keep their cardiovascular system healthy and strong.