In this generation, a lot of people are becoming more conscious of their figure and most especially on what they eat. They have searched countless diet plans that will help them keep their body healthy and flawlessly beautiful at the same time. But there’s a somewhat new kind of diet that has taken fitness enthusiast by storm and this goes by the name of the ketogenic diet.
What is Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet or just plain keto diet is a form of a meal plan wherein it sets your body to produce ketones. These ketones act like an energy source for your body when the sugar levels in the blood are rather low. Ketones are generally produced by the liver through the use of fats by keeping a low intake of carbohydrates and around medium levels of a protein that are found in specific types of food in this diet plan.
The energy generated from these ketones is delivered all throughout the body most especially the brain where a lot of fuel is needed for it to function. The brain can’t process fats and it can’t use it directly to serve as an energy source since its major source of power comes from the sugar in the blood.
During a keto diet, your body readily changes its major source of energy from blood sugar to fat. This phase introduces the decrease in insulin levels in your body and shifts into a turbo fat burning mechanism. In this manner, your body gains easy access to the fat deposits helping you burn them which also dramatically reduces your weight.
Ketosis is the process that takes over when there is an abundant production of ketones in your body. Mostly, ketosis is experienced by people who are undergoing fasting but it is quite impossible to happen since your body needs food to survive even though there are available fats to burn. This is why a keto diet is very much recommended if you want your body to enter ketosis in a better way without starving yourself.
Although it seems that keto diet may be a good form of healthy eating routine but it doesn’t apply to all kinds of people. There are instances, and usually diseases, that will cause detrimental health issues if they plan to undergo this type of diet. People who have diabetes and high blood pressure and those who are breastfeeding need to consult their physicians if they can undergo a keto diet.
Things to do to Successfully Achieve Ketosis
There are several things that must be done to fully activate ketosis. It doesn’t only start with following the proper meal plan but there should be supplementary actions that must be observed.
You must embody these seven simple things to be able to reach maximum ketosis.
Control Carbohydrate Intake
Monitor the food you eat the whole day and make sure that it only contains around 20 grams or even less. This strict implementation of controlling your carbohydrate intake will make your body undergo the process of ketosis.
Control Protein Intake
Just like carbohydrates, you should also watch out for the amount of protein that you ingest. The maximum allowable protein intake for a keto diet is around 1.5 grams per kilogram of your body weight per day. A high amount of protein in your diet will not result in ketosis.
Eat the Right Amounts of Fat
This one is the primary reason that sets the keto diet apart from starving yourself. Yes, starving yourself can also lead to ketosis but it is a very unhealthy way to achieve it. In a keto diet, you get to eat good amounts of food that will satisfy your taste buds, usually those which contain high amounts of fat, while allowing your body to undergo ketosis.
Prevent Eating in Between Meals
You should completely avoid eating even if you are not hungry. There are times when we satisfy our cravings for different types of food just because of the taste but not because our tummy asks for it. This instance will definitely not make your body move into ketosis.
If it is applicable, you can follow an intermittent fasting routine wherein you schedule when you will be eating and put it within the range of just eight hours a day. This greatly contributes to the occurrence of ketosis and at the same time helps you lose more weight than expected.
Just like any other diets, working out or having any physical activity can help in the production of ketones in your body. In addition, it will also help in reducing your weight and toning the necessary muscle areas of your body. Although it is not required, it is a good option to add up to your daily routine.
Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep and high levels of stress contributes to the increase of blood sugar in your body which slows down the process of ketosis. So make sure you get enough hours of sleep per day, right about 7 hours at a minimum will do.
To help you get started with your keto diet, here are some of the possible and recommended foods for keto dieters that must be present in your meals to fully achieve ketosis.
You Can Eat the Following Generously:
- Chicken meat that is dark in
- Fatty fish like salmon
- Beef which comes from cattle that are purely grazed on the field
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Heavy cream
- Green leafy vegetables
- Flax seeds and chia seeds
You Must Take the Following Food Infrequently:
- Low-fat proteins like shrimps and breasts of chicken without the skin
- Corn oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Onion leeks
- Spaghetti squash
You Should Completely Avoid the Following Food:
- Fishes and chicken nuggets
- Cold cuts that are high in sugar
- Meat that is marinated in sauces that contains sugar
- Fat and oil
- Food containing artificial trans fat
- Fruits and vegetables
- Seeds and nuts
- Sweetened nuts
- Nuts that are covered with chocolate
- Trail mixes that contain dried fruits
To recap, the way to enter and stay in ketosis is to cut out all foods that contain carbs and sugar — this more difficult thing to do as it first may seem, because most foods contain hidden sugars. So you need to be extra cautious when choosing the right foods for your diet. The other half of this coin is that there are no cheat days during the keto diet. Which means you cannot incorporate most snacks to your daily menu. Fortunately, Bodyketosis.com has created a great list of low-carb snacks that will give you a great head start. But keep in mind that although there are many low or even zero cab snacks out there, you shouldn’t eat them daily as the main meal. Add them intermittently to your diet when you really need to, not because you are bored and want to snack something.
Benefits of Keto Diet
Listed below are the common benefits that keto diet can provide you:
- Keto diet can definitely help you lose weight since it uses the stored fat on your body.
- It can help you regulate your food intake to maintain adequate weight.
- It improves your mental capacity and performance level since it can provide you with enough energy throughout the day.
- Expect lesser formation of stomach gas, gastric pain, and cramps.
- You will notice a generous increase in your physical endurance.
- The ketogenic diet is known and is mostly used for people who are experiencing epilepsy.
Side Effects Associated with Keto Diet
Although it may be a great diet to try on, there are still some side effects that might surface once you have started on it on a regular basis. This includes slightly being nauseous, fatigue, lack of motivation, dizziness, headache, increased irritability, and difficulty to gain focus. Collectively, these symptoms are better known as the keto flu and will eventually go away once you have been accustomed to this kind of diet.
Remember that before trying any new diet, you should always consult your doctors regarding it to check if it can benefit you or it may cause unwanted problems in the future. There are still more studies that must be done with regards to keto diet but so far, it has been favored by a lot of people since it helped them lose a good amount of weight in a matter of days.