To significant results, members of the Blake community are taking on the globally trending ketogenic diet (or more commonly referred to as keto).
A stark opposite to the conventional food pyramid Americans have been taught to abide by since elementary school, keto participants eat foods high in fat and protein, while eliminating all carbohydrates (including sugar) from their meals.
Once carbohydrates are deliberately taken out of the body’s system, a metabolic state of ketosis is induced, which is when the body forces itself to burn fat for energy instead of carbs. Effects of ketosis have been known to include increased focus, longer-lasting energy and weight loss.
After doing research on her own and discussing it with her doctor, Spanish teacher Laura Fisher began the keto diet as a means of achieving greater mental clarity throughout the day. “I work long days and I often need to work into the night as well, so the afternoon crashes I [had] before [were] awful and I hated feeling so exhausted every day,” she says. “Now, when I’m eating Keto, I don’t experience the sluggishness and lack of motivation I used to feel.”
As opposed to the popular fad diets advertising fast weight-loss that have come and gone in the past, keto serves as a lasting alternative approach to healthy eating for its followers. “Switching [to keto] is more about correcting your day-to-day life because it shouldn’t be something that you do just for a month or to lose weight,” says senior Lane Bennett. “For me, it’s a lifestyle because I’m going [to] eat like this for the rest of my life.”
For Bennett, who was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in 2013, moving to a carb-free diet means being given relief from many of the symptoms associated with her hormonal disorder. “My stomach feels a lot better now and I don’t feel sickness from carbs anymore,” she adds. “Part of PCOS is also having prediabetes, so if I maintain this diet, I won’t get diabetes either.”
From making pasta out of root vegetables to “dough” out of cheese and almond flour, many note that the switch to eating keto has allowed them to experiment with innovative substitutions for food rich in carbohydrates. “I don’t really feel like there’s any ‘normal’ food that I’m missing out on because I can make a version that works fine and doesn’t make me feel bad afterwards,” adds Ms. Fisher.
Although the ketogenic lifestyle may work for many, it is still recommended to consult with your doctor first before making any drastic change to your diet.