Defining The Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet designed to raise blood ketone levels and transform your body into a fat-burning machine – also known as “fat-adapted” or in “ketosis”.
Keto dieters focus their food intake around healthy fats like coconut oil and MCT oil , avocado oil and high quality animal fats like lard, tallow and schmaltz. Acceptable dairy products on this diet include double cream, butter, ghee, full-fat cheeses and full-fat yoghurt . Ideally, the animal products will be sourced from grass-fed or pastured animals to avoid the consumption of agrichemicals and to increase beneficial fatty acids like omega-3s.
Some say it’s important on this diet to eat green leafy veg in order to maintain healthy digestion and keep net carbs low. Net carbs are your total carbs minus fibre . To enter ketosis, keep your carb count lower than 20 grams per day and invest in a blood ketone meter, keto breath meter, or ketone test strips to monitor your progress daily. We personally prefer a blood ketone monitor as it is believed to be the most efficacious.
How To Reincorporate Foods Back Into Your Diet
Because the keto diet requires users to avoid nearly all carbs, its unlike any other diet. If you decide to experiment with going off keto, your best bet is to do so gradually.
A slow transition off keto allows you to avoid pitfalls like binge eating or rapid weight regain while also gauging how your body responds.
Heres how to do it:
- Stick with healthy, organic whole foods whenever possible: Keto or not, you need to eat healthy foods to stay healthy. Choose wisely.
- Record your macros and increase carbs incrementally over a period of a few months. Try adding in around 50-75 grams of daily carbs each week at most. After strict keto, your body needs time to readjust.
- Weigh in regularly and track your results: During and after your transition, pay close
attention to the areas in which you noticed improvement during keto. Bodyweight, body fat percentage, blood sugar, and physical performance are measurable, so remember to monitor them about once a week.
- Listen to your body: Outside of quantifiable health markers, there are plenty of other important outcomes that affect your quality of life. Check in and notice your mood, energy levels, sleep quality, productivity, and stress levels.
- Make adjustments when necessary: Depending on your results, you may want to adjust your macros, calories, or food selectionor even return to a keto diet.
And avoid these mistakes:
And if you experience symptoms of IBS or other gut issues, take a closer look at individual foods.
Increasing Healthful Fat Intake
As carbohydrate intake decreases, most people replace the loss of carbohydrates with an increase in healthful fats. Some fats that a person can eat include:
- avocados and avocado oil
- flaxseed oil
However, for people looking to lose weight, it is important to keep the total calorie count in mind as well. Eating too many calories in a day can make it harder to lose weight.
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What Are The Potential Drawbacks Of Keto For Weight Loss
Ketogenic diets can be problematic because carbohydrates are the bodys main and preferred source of energy. If you restrict your intake of carbs for a long time, youll likely be left feeling tired, lethargic, and craving carbohydrate-rich foods. Carbohydrates also have essential micronutrients that you may not get from other foods, such as fiber and some vitamins and minerals.
The ketogenic diet is also high in fat, usually saturated fat. A high fat diet can lead to other health consequences down the line, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, etc. Because of the high fat and extremely low carb intake, the ketogenic diet can be difficult to adhere to for an extended period of time.
Since keto adherents consume a large amount of fat each day, its not recommended for those with liver problems. The liver plays an important role in the bodys process of converting fats to energy. Excess amounts of fat can place strain on the liver, exacerbating existing conditions.
A lack of carbohydrates can even have an impact on mental function. Many keto dieters report a brain fog that includes memory loss and trouble focusing. In clinical nutrition, these and other symptoms are collectively known as keto flu. The risk is particularly high for people who are in their first week of the keto diet.
Points To Consider Before You Cheat On Your Keto Diet
One of the easiest ways to get out of ketosis is by cheating on your diet. Unfortunately, getting back into ketosis is not as easy as getting out of ketosis.
So, before you consider cheating on your ketogenic diet, ensure you consider the following points below.
It Makes All your Previous Hard Work Useless
As mentioned earlier, once you begin consuming a keto diet, you are likely to experience a few side effects before getting into ketosis.
Cheating on your diet even with as little as one meal, can impede on your weight loss goal. Also, it can make you begin to feel those symptoms you felt when you initially started the ketogenic meal.
Even more, you will have to start working your way back to ketosis once again. Additionally, it is likely to increase the tendency of more cheating in some people and possibly lead to a total fall off from the diet.
Although it is possible to cheat on your keto diet now and then, you must always try to avoid cheating. It will not only make you achieve ketosis early it will also save you the stress of starting all over again.
You Will Gain More Weight
One of the goals of a keto diet is weight loss. Once you start a keto diet, you begin to lose weight due to both losses in water and the burning of fat for energy. If you cheat on your diet, you are likely to start adding weight again.
There are Keto Recipes Alternatives for Your Favorite Foods
Keto Treats Can Fill the Void.
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Intermittent Fasting Accelerates Ketosis
Intermittent fasting can make a significant difference in getting into ketosis fast due to the quick depletion of glycogen forcing the body to turn to fat for fuel-producing ketones.
Before embarking on such diet restrictions such as intermittent fasting you must consult your doctor, especially if you suffer any ailments.
Intermittent fasting helps your body turn to fat for fuel and get into ketosis at a rapid rate.
Read our article on intermittent fasting and ketosis here.
More Ketones For The Brain
Our brains can run well on ketones, and may even prefer them as a fuel source.
Keto adaptation allows more ketones to become available for the brain. This happens because as tissues adapt to low-carbohydrate availability, they get better at using fats for fuel. This is especially true for skeletal muscle, which can directly oxidize fatty acids to produce ATP.
As a result of more direct fatty acid oxidation by the skeletal muscles, more of the bodys ketones are made available for the brain.
This has several benefitsincreasing brain energy supply, reducing the brains reliance on glucose, and reducing the requirement for protein to help with gluconeogenesis. Volek2012
It could take anywhere from several weeks to months for muscle to become adept at using fatty acids for energy. Like all processes, optimization takes time.
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Eating Only 20 Grams Of Carbs A Day Is Hard
The keto diet plan is a high-fat and low-carb diet. I would actually describe it as extremely low-carb-you’re allowed to eat just 20 grams in a day. Some people on keto follow a net-carb plan and you’re allowed to eat more carbs in a day. For my 30-day diet and for the sake of simplicity, I stuck with total carbs.
As a rule, I aimed for 20 grams each day-2 at breakfast, 5 at lunch, 3 for snacks and 10 for dinner. I found that if I aimed for 20, I’d land under 30. That was successful enough for me.
The key to hitting my number was to plan, plan, plan. I worked out all three meals, down to the condiments, plus snacks on the weekends. If I knew what I was having and what I was “allowed” to have while staying under my carb goal, I found managing the infrequent cravings and hunger pangs easier. I can’t stress enough the importance of planning for a keto diet.
How To Know If Youre In Ketosis
The best way of measuring ketone bodies to tell whether you are in ketosis is by measuring blood levels via a blood glucose and ketone meter commonly used by people with diabetes.
You can tell whether or not you are in ketosis by monitoring your ketone levels with a ketone meter. There are various devices that work in different ways.
These ketone meters have the added benefit of storing and tracking your progress into ketosis from day to day as well.
The most common method of how to know if youre in ketosis is by way of Ketostix.
While they are affordable and easy to use Ketostix are most often inaccurate and may not indicate whether youre in ketosis when you actually are.
Ketostix are thin strips of paper that have an indicator in them. The indicator changes color when entered into a persons urine. Indicating ketone bodies that tell you when youre in ketosis.
One point I want to make about Ketostix is that a lot of people use them because they seem cheap . People get very disappointed with them when they dont indicate that theyre in ketosis .
A ketone meter is by far a better option and more recently the Keto Mojo Blood Ketone and Glucose Meter has been getting rave reviews.
For your sake. If youre doing everything right and Ketostix is only showing trace elements, just accept that you are in ketosis.
Ketostix only detects one type of acid and a lot of other factors can affect how light ketone bodies become in the urine.
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I Came Down With Keto Flu
The “keto flu” is a term you’ll see on keto blogs and forums. For me, it was a very real event, but not everyone will experience it.
As your body breaks through the carb cycle and enters ketosis , you may experience fatigue, mental fogginess, even irritability. My “keto flu” only lasted a day, and once I passed it, I never experienced the symptoms again. I even ate a cookie one day during the diet to celebrate my birthday. I certainly came out of ketosis when I ate that treat, but I didn’t experience any repercussions for it. .
More Mitochondria More Energy
Why are more mitochondria important? Theyre the cells workhorses.
On a cellular level, mitochondria are where fuel converts to energy, and more mitochondria mean more efficient energy production. The keto diet is known to activate AMPKan important nutrient sensor found in every cell that increases production of mitochondria.19,20
Ketones are also a cleaner-burning fuel than carbs. Theyre burned for energy in the mitochondria, and fewer free radicals are generated when compared to burning glucose.15 Whats more, ketone molecules themselves cause a decrease in production of free radicals,21,22 while also increasing glutathionea powerful antioxidant protecting against mitochondrial damage induced by free radicals.23
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Tips To Enter Ketosis Faster
Many people are drawn to a keto diet because they want to lose weight quickly and they want to know how to get into ketosis fast.
Keep in mind that getting into ketosis too quickly and not giving your body time to adjust can backfire and lead to adverse effects.
Giving your body time to adjust to ketosis, staying hydrated, and making sure you are getting enough electrolytes can help you avoid adverse effects like the keto flu.
As you give your body time to get into ketosis, here are some tips that can help you along the way.
Will One Cheat Day Ruin Ketosis?How Long Should I Be on a Keto Diet?
What Is A Keto Diet
Its a question that I get asked all the time, particularly in January when friends are trying to get back into shape. A keto diet is a low carbohydrate diet. This means eating less than 20g of carbs a day and increasing ones intake of fat. This makes the body enter a state called ketosis – where the body begins to burn fat instead of glucose as its primary energy source. Now this sounds very strange at first. I was raised in a world where fat was always seen as the enemy, after all, surely fat makes usfat!? However not so! It all comes down to the way our body chemistry works. When we eat sugars and carbs which are a form of sugar, our bodies use it as an energy source. The problem is that we can rarely use all this excess energy. This means the body produces insulin to convert the sugars into a stored energy source called glycogen and so we gain weight. If we want to reduce our levels of insulin then we need to reduce our blood sugar levels and the best way to do that is to eat fewer sugars. But what will our bodies use as energy if we stop burning sugar? I hear you ask! By eating more fat and less sugar our bodies change from burning sugar as an energy source, to burning fat. In effect we become fat adapted.
So ketosis is in fact a metabolic state in which the body converts fat into molecules called ketones. These become the energy preference of your body rather than when glucose which is limited while on a keto and or low carb diet.
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How To Get Into Ketosis In Under 24 Hours
At night, while you sleep, your liver secretes glucose to maintain blood sugar levels and supply your body with fuel. By morning, you could easily have depleted up to 80% of your liver glycogen just by sleeping.
Its not unusual for some individuals to produce ketones after an overnight fast which is just a fancy way of saying the time between dinner the night before and breakfast.
However, in your typical diet that includes carbohydrates, liver glycogen is replenished and stops ketone production.
But thats where a ketogenic diet comes into play, but how do we get into ketosis under 24 hours using a ketogenic diet?
Remember that to deplete liver glycogen we must severely restrict carbohydrates, whether that be by not eating at all or using a ketogenic diet . In addition, moderate to high intensity exercise can also help to deplete liver glycogen.
In one study, untrained individuals could deplete their liver glycogen stores in 118 minutes while performing moderate-high intensity exercise. Those who were moderate to well trained took 153 minutes to deplete liver glycogen stores. 6https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpendo.00232.2016?usestrictdates=yes& andorexacttitleabs=or& resourcetype=HWCIT& hits=1& andorexactfulltext=or& ct=& searchid=1& andorexacttitle=or& titleabstract=fructose& maxtoshow=& RESULTFORMAT=
Depending on your level of fitness, this could be anything from a brisk walk to a moderately paced jog.
Increased Blood Ketone Levels
The hallmark of achieving ketosis is a reduction of your blood sugar and an increase in ketones.
You can also check to see if you are in ketosis with blood testing, urine testing, or breath testing. These tests can monitor your blood ketone levels and track your progress so you can make any necessary dietary adjustments.
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How Long Should I Really Follow The Keto Diet For
For as long as you can sustain it.
The ketogenic diet has come a long way from its humble beginnings.
Unless youve been living under a rock, youve probably heard of the ketogenic diet. You might have even tried it. This low-carbohydrate diet is high in fat and protein, which sounds scary, but its been shown to be effective as long as its followed correctly.
Initially developed in 1921 by Russel Wilder to treat epilepsy, this diet is now experiencing a resurgence. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Lebron James, and Kim Kardashian have all gushed about the keto diet.
Like any plan that seriously reduces or completely cuts carbs, its not the easiest diet to stick to for a long period of time.
Fortunately, you may not have to commit forever to reap the results.
We talked to experts to find out exactly how long you should follow the keto diet.
How To Get Into Ketosis As Fast As Possible
Many people starting a ketogenic diet, or maybe after eating something less than ideal, they often wonder what the fastest way to get into ketosis is.
While Ill give you my best suggestions that will result in getting you in ketosis as fast as possible, even as short as 24 hours, know that it really doesnt matter how fast you get into ketosis.
But more about that later.
What is the fastest way to get into ketosis? The fastest way to get into ketosis is by depleting the glucose stored in your liver, also known as your liver glycogen. You can accomplish this through moderate- to high-intensity exercise besides a very low-carbohydrates diet or fasting.
In this article, Ill discuss the mechanisms on how one gets into ketosis, what ketosis is, how to get into ketosis in as little as 24 hours, and why you dont need to or shouldnt really care how fast it happens.
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