KETO: buzzword of the year. It is plastered all over your favorite magazines and instagram feeds. But what does it really mean, and how do you actually follow a keto diet? We chatted with Kelly Boyer - chef and creator of PALETA - about what exactly a keto diet looks like, and why it's so important to her.
A KETO DIET refers more specifically to a KETOGENIC DIET, which is a high fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet. The GOAL is to get more calories from protein and fat than from carbohydrates. It works by depleting your body of its sugar storage so that it will start to breakdown fat and protein for energy, causing a state in the body known as KETOSIS.
It’s important to understand that KETOSIS is a normal metabolic process. When our bodies don’t have enough glucose for energy, they burn stored fat instead. This results in a build-up of an acid, called KETONES, within the body.
The presence of these ketones is an indication that your body is burning fat for energy. That is where the rubber meets the road! These ketones are essentially magic for your brain. They give you mental clarity and energy. The bonus of weight loss is receiving a lot of attention lately, but ketosis is also beneficial for people suffering from chronic conditions, particularly insulin, neurological and metabolic related. Recent studies even show us that ketones help fight cancer. (Kelly overcame ovarian cancer in her early twenties - making a diet like this near and dear to her heart.)
While most diets restrict certain foods and portions, the ketogenic diet is a little different in that you’re eating a certain way to get your body into a ketogenic state. It’s CHEMISTRY, not just a food plan.
The most critical success factor is to get your body into a state of ketosis. This is typically achieved over 2-7 days of complete carbohydrate elimination (no fruits, vegetables, grains, sugar, alcohol, etc.) to help turn your body into a fat burning machine. A menu during this critical stage might look something like this:
BREAKFAST | Organic Egg Cups with Cheddar & Free Range Ground Turkey
LUNCH | Seared Salmon with Lemon
DINNER | Grilled Spiced Free Range Chicken
SNACK | Organic Cheese Stick & Avocado w/ MCT OIL Drizzle
SNACK | Organic Bone Broth
WATER, WATER & MORE WATER | To Keep Hydrated
HERBAL TEAS & COFFEE
Once KETOSIS is achieved you can increase portions and reintroduce low glycemic carbohydrates (leafy green vegetables & low-starchy fruits) back into your diet, which is designed to maintain a state of ketosis in your body for optimum results.
There are a MYRIAD of possible BENEFITS from a KETO DIET. Active individuals can benefit as a well-formulated keto diet because while it may help them lose weight, they can simultaneously maintain muscle mass and strength. Physical activities don’t need to be restricted. The key is “well-formulated” and planful, which is where Kelly's company, PALETA, comes in.
Says Kelly: "We combine our experience in the kitchen and in the field of nutrition to ensure a safe, healthy experience for our clients. There is a built-in mechanism for calorie control (because you’re eliminating processed, unhealthy foods and your diet is restricted to lean proteins and health carbs) which helps those with little self-control. And because clients see such QUICK results, it’s very motivating to keep going and make this a part of your lifestyle...in moderation."
Interested in Keto but follow a plant based diet? Check out some tips and tricks on vegan keto HERE.