If you’re thinking about trying keto, chances are you’ve heard some positive buzz that’s piqued your interest. The reason you hear a lot of good things about the diet is that it works. Not only that, but it gives you energy, and many people feel great when they’re following it.
You see, almost everything we eat is made up of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Carbohydrates can be divided into fiber, starch, and sugars. In most diets these days, we consume excessive amounts of carbohydrates—many in the form of processed foods that are high in white flour and sugar and low in nutrients.
It's not that all carbohydrates are bad, per se. We use carbohydrates for fuel—they give us quick energy. But years of consuming too much sugar and not enough protein or fats trains our bodies to crave sugar whenever we need a boost. So we eat sugar, get the boost, burn through it fast and then feel famished. It's a vicious cycle and one that stalls our weight loss.
On keto, however, we shift our consumption of carbohydrates to focus on fats and proteins. This shift changes our metabolism to burn through our fat reserves rather than craving carbs. When our body is burning through our fat storage, we reach a state called ketosis.
The keto diet was discovered for children with seizure disorders(Opens an external site in a new window). Researchers found that when they weren't turning to sugars for energy, they experienced less seizure activity. In addition, a positive side benefit of the diet was that they often experienced weight loss and improved energy, stamina, and concentration.
People started following keto with the same results. Because blood sugar stays steady, we don't crave those carbohydrates as often when we're satiated with proteins and fats. Our metabolism becomes more efficient, and we're not burning through sugar just to crave more and more.
Not to say that keto cravings aren’t a thing—especially as your body adjusts to ketosis. It’s not uncommon for people to experience some psychological cravings too. After all, many of those foods we’ve been consuming for years taste really good. We might crave cake, cookies, bread, rice, and pasta.