Keto Diet Fundamentals
If you had wanted to lose weight fast or you are out for an effective diet plan, then you probably heard of Keto or the Ketogenic diet plan and wondered, what does it mean? How does it work? How does eating so much fat help you to burn fat?
According to research, following this high-fat, low-carb diet promotes fat loss and may help some people with cognitive decline and type-2 diabetes.
It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
But a true ketogenic diet is different. Unlike other low-carb diets, which focus on protein, a keto plan centers on fat, which supplies as much as 90% of daily calories. And it’s not the type of diet to try as an experiment.
The keto diet aims to force your body into using a different type of fuel. Instead of relying on sugar (glucose) that comes from carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits), the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat.
Because the keto diet has such a high fat requirement, followers must eat fat at each meal. In a daily 2,000-calorie diet, that might look like 165 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, and 75 grams of protein. However, the exact ratio depends on your particular needs.
So, how do you get started?
Ketogenic Diet: The Basics
A Keto diet is one of high fat, moderate proteins, and low carbs, taking the body to a state of ketosis. When you reach ketosis, the body shifts its metabolism towards ketones and fats and away from carbs.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a state whereby the body produces increased ketone levels in the blood. Ketones are products of fat decomposition due to the insufficiency of glucose (Glucose levels drops due to low carb intake). Therefore, the body depends on these ketones for energy instead of glucose.
How to Reach Ketosis
The best way to achieve ketosis is by limiting the intake of carbohydrates. The body will have no choice but to turn to fats, which you should take in large quantities. Carbs should make a total of only 5-10% of your total calorie intake.
You should also take minimal proteins since excess proteins can stop ketosis in one’s body. Take only about 20-25% protein in your calories.
You might ask yourself why not any other plan? Why should I go Keto? Well, the issue lies in the average daily consumption of carbohydrates. Most people take in too many carbs, which produce too much immediate energy that doesn’t get exhausted. The result is a reduced immunity of the body against diseases.
Most people, who turn to ketogenic diets, don’t get used to it in the first stages. But, the body adapts to it over time as they take fewer carbs and more fats.
The ketogenic diet may help promote weight loss in several ways, including boosting metabolism and reducing appetite. Ketogenic diets consist of foods that fill a person up and may reduce hunger-stimulating hormones. For these reasons, following a keto diet may reduce appetite and promote weight loss.
Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
The following are short and long-term benefits of sticking to a Keto diet plan
- Lower blood pressure
- Weight loss
- Reduced hunger
- Increased immunity
- Balanced blood sugar levels
Side Effects of a Keto Diet
When you start a Keto diet, it might feel like withdrawing drugs from an addict. You were a regular carb eater, and so your body might feel changes. However, you will get used to it over time, and the symptoms will fade away.
Some of these side-effects are given below:
- Light-headedness and probably some flu symptoms as your body shifts to a ketogenic state.
- Tiredness and muscle cramps.
- Occasional low blood sugar levels due to sudden changes in glucose levels.
- Mental fogginess and constant urination because your liver and muscles are burning off excess glycogen.
- Slight constipation due to lower salt and magnesium. Avoid this with constant hydration and enough fiber intake.
- Sugar and carb cravings for the first few weeks.
Steps Beginners Should Take Before Trying the Keto Diet
To ensure your success, here are some additional tips for getting started on a keto diet:
- Know what foods you’ll eat and avoid on the Ketogenic diet
- Slowly start pushing out carbs and getting in fat. Slowly, yet safely, let your body get used to it.
- Talk to your family about your weight loss goals on the diet.
- Read more information about the side effects to expect on Keto.
- Make sure you’re getting the sodium and potassium your body needs to function well. Salt your foods, drink salted bone broth, and eat nonstarchy veggies, such as asparagus, kale, bell peppers, and arugula.
Will I Eat This Way Forever?
Approaching a diet as a temporary thing is bad. It might lead to a frustration, illness and other medical conditions. Not to mention the mental and emotional results of going on and off diets. The Keto Diet requires a commitment to lifestyle changes. It is unhealthy to eat high-fat and high-protein one day, then have a sugary and high-carb diet the next. These extremes will put your body into shock, and result in weight gain and adverse effects on your health.
Keto Diet Meal Planner
Do you want to give keto a try for yourself? Download our Printable Meal Planner Template to quickly and easily plan out your weekly meals.