There are many ways to describe a keto diet. The most common description of it is that it is a high-carb, low-fat, and low-to-moderate protein diet. If you don’t understand what high-fat or low-carb is it may be difficult to understand what it means by going into the keto diet. The golden rule is that when you restrict your intake of carbs to the point that you achieve ketosis, then you are on a keto diet.
Ketosis is a metabolic state of the body wherein the body consistently uses and burns an alternative fuel known as ketones. To have ketones and get into ketosis, we must continue to trigger the process in the liver called ketogenesis.
How does the keto diet work?
The keto diet is quite simple but it may be hard to get used to. From consuming high-carb foods to filling up fat that will be used for fuel, this involves a massive change in your lifestyle and physiological makeup.
Reliable studies revealed that the keto diet consistently shows the same or slightly more weight loss percentage than other popular diets. Moreover, keto has shown that it can prevent the many conditions faced by people today such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The two primary reasons for this are the following functions of the diet. First, is that it naturally lessens your calorie intake. Second, it also increases the use of ketones. In fact, it’s this powerful combination of low calorie intake and high ketone production that other diets can’t emulate. But the hardest part of doing the keto diet is getting started.
How to get started with keto
There are various approaches to a keto diet. But most of the results come from doing the following steps: eating the right foods, eating the right amounts of the right foods, and preparing for keto flu.
With a keto diet, you must replace carb-loaded foods with keto-friendly ones. Naturally, you will eat fewer calories which will bring down your weight and improve many aspects of your health.
When on keto, you must avoid foods like tubers, grains, sugar, and even fruit. Instead, you have to consume meat, high-fat dairy, low-carb veggies, avocado and berries, nuts and seeds, sweeteners, and other fats.
Since you have to make sure that your carbs are kept low, you have to use some strategies like these. First, read the labels carefully and watch out for hidden carbs. Second, only use sweeteners and flour that are keto-friendly. When you have favorite carb-rich food, you can have their keto versions instead.
When you’re trying to lose or gain weight, the most significant variable is your calorie intake. That’s why you have to keep track of how many calories you are taking in daily. When on keto, make sure that your calories are less than 35g. You also have to consume more fats to reach your weight goals. You must also consume enough protein to maintain your muscles. To count your calorie intake, there are apps and keto calculators that you can use.
During the first couple of days into the keto diet, you may experience mental fog, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms. When this happens, you can try the following strategies: consume more water, increase your intake of potassium, sodium, and magnesium, and eat more fat, particularly MCTs.
Keto diet basics for beginners
When following a keto diet, you have to determine your macros. You may use the macros calculator to figure out the number of carbs, proteins, and fats to consume. As mentioned earlier, you have to choose the right types of foods. You must also use tools and apps to support the keto diet plan.
You must also focus on your progress, not on getting it perfect. It’s not bad to start small and make sure that you will not beat yourself up when you experience setbacks.
It’s also wise to put all the foods together in one cupboard or cabinet so it will be easy to avoid it. When it comes to keto-friendly foods, you must stock the fridge and pantry with all these for easy access.
To avoid weight gain which is still possible on a keto diet, you must keep your portions under control or eat only when you’re hungry. It’s also important to drink enough water, around 16 cups daily.
Keto diet benefits
Apart from weight loss, the keto diet may also stabilize your moods and energy levels. Reduction in dietary carbohydrates is often associated with the right cognitive functions as well as a reduction in anxiety and depression. Reducing carn intake is also helpful in improving insulin sensitivity. Keto also affects the hormones that signal hunger. They also signal appetite suppression to the brain, making you lose weight easily. Research also showed that the keto diet can improve skin conditions like acne. Moreover, it offers healthy gut bacteria support. A low-carb intake is also linked with improved longevity as well as preserving muscle mass.
Keto diet side effects
A low-carb diet lessens the amount of water stored in your body. This will also flush out the electrolytes that can make you feel what is known as keto flu. The symptoms are temporary but they can be unpleasant. These include insomnia, brain fog, dizziness, headache, fatigue, sugar cravings, stomach issues, and muscle soreness or weakness. You can try adding more salt to your food to offset this. You may also drink more broth and eat pickled vegetables. Some people prefer taking supplements to help them with electrolytes. However, you have to consult with a doctor first before you commence on any of these.
What to know before starting a keto diet
It’s wise for you to know the following before you start on the keto diet. First, it is more likely that you will feel terrible. This is because your body’s electrolyte levels go down. You have to come up with a plan because you need to keep track of your net carbs. You may have intense cravings and some weird side effects. It all boils down to the fact that the keto diet is not designed for everyone. The diet has a different effect on every person.