The Keto Diet has become quite a popular topic in the fitness community. It has been found to aid in the loss of weight and lowering the inflammation in the gut. New research has shown positive effects for both men and women adhering to a keto style diet.
What is the Keto Diet?
First, a keto, or ketogenic diet, is designed to keep your body in more of a ketosis state. Ketosis is not abnormal. It is a state where your body is low on carbohydrate fuel. When this occurs, it starts to burn fat, rather than the carbs. The process produces ketones. The average person does not stay in a ketogenic state except during heavy exercise, such as CrossFit, or during pregnancy.
A ketogenic diet promotes very low carbohydrate and higher fat intake. The body will in turn, use fat to produce energy. This diet has also been shown to decrease autoimmune diseases, endocrine diseases, and also has cancer fighting properties.
Ketosis can be an issue with diabetics. This can occur if not using enough insulin.
How does Keto benefit CrossFit athletes?
As stated earlier, a ketogenic diet helps to burn fat, thus losing weight. This low carb diet is similar to the Paleo Diet. We are a strong proponent of Paleo because it promotes higher protein for fuel instead of carbs. As we stated earlier, the keto diet uses fat rather than protein for fuel. A keto and paleo diet both burn fat while maintaining muscle.
An athlete exercising at a high level, such as CrossFit, will see increased energy and fat loss, without decreasing muscle mass.
Why is the Keto Diet good for women?
The benefits of being a woman on this diet are surprisingly good. In addition to the weight loss and muscle gain, a keto diet has an amazing way of helping the endocrine system. We all realize the effect hormones have on the woman athlete.
Fluctuating hormones can cause pain, fatigue, and even depression. The link between hormones and cancer cannot be denied. A keto diet has shown to better regulate the endocrine system. By doing this, it decreases the incidence of some cancers, thyroid disease, and diabetes.
How does a women initiate a keto diet?
Slowly and carefully. A keotgenic diet should not be started at a full 100 percent. You should slowly decrease the amount of carbs you consume. Cutting the carbs too quickly can actually have a negative effect. It can stress the body and confuse it, thus causing a wild imbalance.
Also, if pregnant or nursing, you should not use a keto diet. During this period, eat a well-rounded diet of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and grains.
My best advice, get your body as stable as possible, and then slowly incorporate a ketogenic diet.
To Your Fitness,
The CrossFit Team