So what is it and how can you started? Health enthusiast Alex Reed from bodyketosis.com explains…
The keto diet might just be one of the most popular eating styles in health and fitness world right now. More than ever before, a wider audience is considering low-carb diets, and that for a reason – because it works.
The main idea is to cut out almost all the carbs from your menu. By almost all, I really mean almost all. Nature doesn’t stand an empty place, you need to replace carbs with fats. Once you do this, you will force your body to switch from using carbohydrates as a main source of energy to using fat as a main source of energy. Unlike most diets that focus on calorie restriction, the goal of the keto diet is to cut off your body’s supply of glucose from carbohydrates.
The world is full of fad diets and people who want to get six-pack abs during 24 hours. This, of course, is not realistic and definitely not healthy. We promote a sustainable way of eating, no matter what type of eating style as follows. It needs to be realistic, easy to understand and enjoyable. Just like the keto diet.
The keto diet is a low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat type of eating. Keto works by changing the way your body turns food into energy. The purpose of the ketogenic diet is to put your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
In other words, when your body is in ketosis, it will use fats for energy, instead of glucose. Ketosis is the very state you want to be if your dream is to get rid of those excess pounds that have been bugging you. This is achieved, when you cut out carbs from your daily menu, forcing to deplete all the glucose sources in your body.
To move your body into ketosis and remain there, you need to go very low carb. The amount of carbs depends whether you are just starting out or already fat-adapted. If you are just starting out, we would suggest to cut down your carbs as low as a maximum of 20 grams per day. Following this rule, you will be in ketosis usually during a week (this can depend on the individual).
To be able to take the full advantage of the keto diet, it would be beneficial if you start thinking and planning your diet. Look at your everyday life, what foods do you usually eat, in what time, with whom and so on. If you would start following a diet, would you still want to eat out? Would you take your lunch with you? This is a vital factor, as you will have the ability to assess your current situation and plan your weeks or months.
Be prepared mentally. No diet is easy when you start out. As with other diets, the keto diets have some so-called side-effects. I am talking about the keto flu, which affects most people during their first weeks. Symptoms often include fatigue, some headaches and feeling weak. To cope with that just drink plenty of water, bone broth and you will be in ketosis no time. An effective solution to help with ketosis side effects and get into ketosis faster are exogenous ketones, but I would suggest looking into that once you have experienced ketosis and have already lost some weight.
This is the most vital part of the keto diet. Start slowly removing carbs from your daily intake. It will be harder than you think if you haven’t done that before. The goal is to lower your daily carb intake down to a maximum of 20 grams of carbs per day. In this way, you will be in ketosis probably during seven days (this can vary between individuals and your eating habits).
Going low carb is just one part of the game. The second, an important part, is to get enough high-quality fats, so you can get your body into a magical state called ketosis. Pick fatty cuts of meats, add coconut or olive oil and spice them up with full-fat mayonnaise. Eating fats will help you feel satisfied, full and happy. If you are feeling down, hungry or don’t see any results, then recheck if you have eaten enough fats to start with.
It’s easy to focus only on protein and fats. One thing to remember is that leafy vegetables are nutrient-dense, low in carbs and perfect for your digestive system. So, make sure you combine your fats with vegetables. Keep in mind, that you need to eat the right types of vegetables (like leafy greens) and avoid starchy veggies, most legumes, etc. It’s important to know which keto foods are helping you to get into ketosis, and which foods are killing your keto game.
One of the blind spots people often have when they start out with keto is the protein intake. The majority of people just simply eat too much lean protein and will be kicked out of ketosis because of that. Protein can turn into “carbs” thanks to a metabolic process called gluconeogenesis. This spikes your insulin levels and reduced ketone levels. There is a really easy fix for that. You just should keep an eye on your protein intake. Make sure to keep it around 15% or less of total calories and you will be fine. Oh, and when choosing your protein sources, prefer fatty meats over lean meats.
Let’s start this out with an idea, that this is definitely not for everyone. If you have a history of failed diets and strong emotions against fasting, then you should probably skip this. If not, then let’s move on. Fasting can help you to achieve ketosis way faster. Intermittent fasting is already a very popular method in general. Essentially, the intermittent fasting can be understood a way of eating, where you skip the breakfast and eat your first meal around 1-3 o’clock during the day. We would suggest you follow the 16:8 eating window rule. Which means that you will fast 16 hours (don’t eat anything, but can drink water or black coffee, to suppress appetite) and eat during an eight-hour window. This has shown to be a very effective way to manage your appetite and to get into ketosis.
This is probably the easiest and the best thing you can do to get into ketosis quickly. Exercising will help to deplete your body’s glycogen reserves, which is stored glucose. Once your glycogen reserves are emptied, your body can enter into ketosis and us fat as the main source of energy. As a bonus, exercising will make you feel better and also help to cope with some potential ketogenic side-effects what you may experience during the first week of the diet.
Please note that you should always consult your doctor before making dramatic changes to your diet.