Starting Keto Diet: Everything You Need to Know

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Interested in learning more about the ketogenic diet? This article will provide you with all of the information you require regarding the ketogenic diet, allowing you to assess whether or not this diet is good for you.

Are you considering adopting a ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet is currently and has been for quite some time a term in the diet field, but is it really everything that it’s made out to be? The next essay will answer your questions about whether this is just another fad diet or something you should seriously consider trying.

This course will cover every aspect of starting a ketogenic diet from beginning to end.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet (keto) is a type of eating plan that involves consuming relatively little carbs, which are macronutrients that are found in many foods.

Low-carb diets are eating plans that restrict the intake of carbohydrates to less than 100 grams per day on average. The Ketogenic diet is the most restrictive of them and restricts carbohydrate intake to fewer than 50 grams per day, with the goal of starting with 20 grams of carbohydrate.

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It is most important to understand that keto is not a fad diet or a temporary solution to weight loss, it is actually designed to be a lifestyle plan that not only results in successful weight loss, but also promotes overall health, energy, and vitality.

It eliminates junk and processed food by definition, and most carbs are just that, allowing you to eat clean, whole food for better overall health and wellness.

While some may question how sustainable it really is to drastically lower carb intake, in reality, it is quite easy with the wide variety of whole foods available, and several studies show they offer better results for weight loss than low-fat diets, or even low-calorie diets.

One of the reasons for this, besides various metabolic processes in the body, is that reducing carb intake naturally regulates the appetite, so people find they eat less naturally because they are satisfied and not feeling starved.

In general, a keto diet may be ideal for the overweight and obese, diabetics, anyone who needs to improve their metabolic health and for various other health reasons.

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Types Of Ketogenic Diets

Keto is flexible and there are three distinct plans that target different goals.

Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD)
This one has a low carbohydrate count, a moderate protein content, and a high concentration of healthy fats.
Typically, the composition is 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 5 percent carbohydrates.

High-Protein Ketogenic Diet
Similar to the SKD diet, but with a higher proportion of protein.
Typically, the fat to protein to carbohydrate ratio is 60 percent fat, 35 percent protein, and 5 percent carbohydrate.

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet or CKD
Those that participate in high-intensity exercise (athletes, bodybuilders, weightlifters, and anyone else) will be familiar with this approach, which includes short periods of high carbohydrate intake:
5 days of ketosis followed by 2 days of heavy carbohydrate intake

Targeted Ketogenic Diet or TKD
This plan is also used by bodybuilders, athletes and those who workout regularly to fuel intense workouts.
It focuses on a high load carb intake based around workouts

Fuel Utilization In The Body: The Main Principle Of Keto

Before you get started on a keto diet, it is important to understand how and why it works. This will help you to be guided by the lifestyle closely and garner the best results. Here’s just a little bit of the science behind the ketogenic diet.

The body has three storage depots to use as fuel:

  • Carbohydrates from food
  • Protein that is converted to glucose in the liver and used for energy
  • Stored body fat and ketones

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body while following a high-carbohydrate diet.

Specifically, carbohydrate foods such as starches and sugars are easily broken down into glucose in the bloodstream, which serves as the body’s primary energy source.

Insulin is released to eliminate glucose from the bloodstream because an excess of sugar can result in a severe condition known as glycosylation if it remains in the bloodstream for too long.

Insulin is responsible for converting glucose into glycogen. In order to provide a fuel reserve for the brain, glycogen is stored in the liver, and the remainder is stored in the muscles to provide a fuel reserve for the body.

It remains in the muscles if the glycogen stored in the muscles is not utilised due to a lack of energy expenditure or physical activity.

Related: 25 Keto Meal Prep Recipes for Keto on the Go

The human body can only store so much glycogen, about 1800 calories worth.

When that reserve becomes full both the muscles and the liver send a signal to stop insulin production and excess glucose from dietary carbs begins to build up in the bloodstream, calling for more and more insulin to be released to remove it.

Insulin levels surge, and eventually, this leads to insulin resistance. At this point, the liver then sends any excess glucose to be stored as body fat. As high carb intake continues, glucose floods the bloodstream, insulin levels increase, and so do the body’s fat stores.

Eventually, this leads to metabolic syndrome, a set of conditions caused by insulin resistance, which includes obesity, fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other metabolic issues.

While this carb cycle may not occur in everyone, for many who are obese, have a sensitivity to carbs, or who do not expend the required amount of stored energy, this is often the case and the main culprit behind obesity.

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The Health Benefits Of The Keto Diet

Keto Diet Weight Loss

Low-carbohydrate diets have been examined extensively, and it has been demonstrated that they are effective in a variety of ways.

For obvious reasons, the numbers of people who have successfully lost a significant amount of weight and maintained their weight loss makes a low carb eating plan an appealing proposal, especially because it is not a normal fad diet but rather a true lifestyle change.

Harvard University recently finished a study that investigated just how spectacular the outcomes of a low-carb diet can be for weight loss when compared to the results of a low-fat diet, which is typically relied on by people for all of their weight loss needs.

While most individuals are already aware of how effective low-carb diets may be for achieving rapid weight loss, do they also provide any additional health benefits?

Yes, they do, and it is for this reason that a ketogenic diet is such an appealing option when choosing on a course to follow in life.

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Additional Health Benefits

The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition describes the additional impacts that a low-carbohydrate diet has on the human body. Patients suffering from epilepsy have been benefited from it since the 1920s, and in some cases, it has completely eliminated the need for medication.

As well as proving that a low carb diet can be used as a therapeutic tool for a variety of other conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as Parkinsonism and Alzheimer’s disease, a number of different cancers and even acne have been made strides in recent years.

The Mayo Clinic has also looked at the additional side effects that can occur when following a low-carbohydrate diet. While noting many of the same risks as the EJCN, the Mayo Clinic has added excessive cholesterol levels and high blood pressure to the list of concerns that patients should be aware of.

As the study’s lead author, Dr. Judith Wylie-Rosett made notice of the American Diabetes Association’s conviction that a low-carbohydrate, low-fat diet can be employed to achieve improvements in both weight and metabolism.

In addition to the previously mentioned advantages, a low-carbohydrate diet can also act as an appetite suppressant. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition investigated the reasons behind this and came to the conclusion that a high-protein diet could be a contributing factor.

According to a similar study, participants who consumed a diet high in protein and fat but low in carbs did not have the same food cravings as those who consumed a diet high in calories but low in fat.

This is due to the fact that drastically limiting carbohydrate intake and removing sugars really helps to manage blood sugar levels, resulting in a naturally suppressed appetite and the elimination of those horrible out of control food cravings.

What Is Ketosis?

Carbohydrates, which include foods such as rice, bread, pasta, and other grains, as well as fruits, sweets, and vegetables, provide the majority of the energy required by the body to function.

The body uses glucose as an energy source when carbohydrates, primarily starches and sugars, are ingested and broken down in the body. When this happens, the hormone insulin enters the picture to remove glucose from the bloodstream, and the body either consumes it for energy or stores any remaining glucose that isn’t utilised.

Glucose that is not utilized immediately as fuel is transported to the liver and muscles, where it is stored as glycogen as a fuel reserve. Any glycogen that remains in the muscles after being used as fuel, such as through exercise or energy expenditure, is transformed into body fat.Kept in mind while discussing ketosis, it is the metabolic state marked by elevated quantities of ketone bodies in the human tissues. It is often pathological in illnesses such as diabetes, but it can also be the result of a diet that is extremely low in carbohydrates.

Didn’t you hear me say that?

As a result of running out of glucose (carbohydrates) to use as an energy source, the body switches to using another source of energy, often fat for energy. As a result of the body’s use of fat for energy, ketones are created.

When the amount of ketones in your blood exceed a particular threshold, you enter a state of ketosis, in which your body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.

The goal of the keto diet is to maintain this state of ketosis, in which your body breaks down fatty acids as part of the ketogenesis process, transforming your body into a fat-burning machine of unparalleled efficiency.

Related: 5 Ways to Put Your Body Into Ketosis

How Will You Know When You’ve Entered Ketosis?

The initial stages of ketosis will look like the keto flu as your body adjusts to your new diet. This stage only lasts a few days then you will begin to feel the effects of improved energy, fat loss and improved mental clarity.

Of course, you can also test your blood or urine in order to be sure that you’re producing ketones at an ample rate. The two best ways to do this are by using urine strips or blood tests.

If you’re just starting the keto diet, a food journal specifically for keto like this one can help you to stay on track. Track your meals, macros, mood, fasting times and movement daily to spot helpful and harmful patterns that help you achieve your weight loss and health goals.

What is Ketosis Cont’d: Lipolysis And Ketosis

It is possible for the body to use its own fat as a fuel source. When carbohydrate intake is restricted and their sources controlled, the body enters a state known as lipolysis. Lipolysis is the most efficient biochemical pathway to weight loss and is a scientifically proven alternative to the body using or requiring glucose as a fuel source.

Lipolysis occurs when the body begins to burn its own fat stores for energy instead of dietary carbs. Because the by-products of this fat burning process are ketones, ketosis is considered to be a secondary step of lipolysis and is defined as follows:

When you eliminate carbohydrates from your diet, your body is forced to utilise its fat reserves instead, thus transforming your body into a fat-burning machine. Ketones are produced as a consequence of ketosis and serve as a source of energy for the body.

Ketones are the sole actual exception to the rule that the body does not require glucose for sustenance. Ketosis not only provides sufficient energy for the cells in the body, but it also fuels the brain and other organs in the same way that glucose from carbohydrates does. However, unlike what may occur during the use of glucose, ketosis does not cause the body to store fat, and instead allows the body to burn stored fat as energy.

This is one of the reasons why the ketogenic diet is so popular, as it has enabled thousands of people to lose weight and maintain their weight loss.

Low Carb Wins Over Low Fat

The ketogenic diet has been around for decades, and while the medical community has long believed that a diet high in fats would cause weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease, many studies and randomized trials have shown that a low-carb diet is actually more effective in terms of not only weight loss, but also in terms of reducing markers and risk factors for heart disease. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet that is low in carbohydrates.

Several specialists now suggest that the general population should be more attentive of their carbohydrate intake as opposed to their fat intake, because obesity rates among people in the United States have grown at the same time as fat intake has declined and carbohydrate intake has climbed.

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The Keto Flu

When starting a low-carb diet, some people may experience what is known as keto flu. While not everyone will be affected by it, it is important to be aware of the symptoms, which include tiredness and exhaustion, brain fog, nausea, headaches, and upset stomach, among others.

It doesn’t last long, and to be honest, most dietary modifications result in comparable side effects, so it’s to be expected when making a lifestyle shift. The most effective strategy to alleviate your symptoms is to increase your salt intake by drinking 2 cups of broth everyday or by sprinkling soy sauce on your food to rebalance electrolyte levels in the body, as described above.

Within a few days, the symptoms will most likely diminish, and you will be well on your way to achieving ketosis success.

Related: How to Get Over the Keto Flu (and other Keto Side Effects) Quickly

Starting Keto Diet – What You’ll Need

Net Carbs on the Keto Diet

The following instructions will assist you in putting together meals for your grocery shopping list to get you started on the ketogenic diet. This file is also available as a convenient cheat sheet, which you can download by clicking on the link below.

The majority of your carbohydrate intake should come from nonstarchy vegetables. Green, fibrous veggies are your best bet, though many other low-carb vegetables will suffice as substitutes. Always eat a carb with a fat or a protein to balance out the carbohydrate.

Healthy Fats

When the body is in ketosis, fat serves as the primary source of energy. Fats increase satiety, speed up metabolism, and enhance the pleasure derived from food. In addition, they meet important macronutrient requirements.

Natural fats are OK when carbohydrate intake is reduced. The best fats include monounsaturated and saturated fats, which include olive oil, grass-fed butter, and coconut oil, among other things.

Margarine should never be consumed because it is a forgery and interferes with ketosis.

Polyunsaturated fats, such as soybean oil, corn oil, and cottonseed oil, should be consumed in moderation.

Your fat intake will be changeable and will be determined by your weight loss objectives.

It is not recommended to consume so much fat that your caloric consumption soars through the roof.

Daily Fat Intake Guidelines

These will vary by body size
– 2 to 3 eggs
– 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter
– 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil when cooking or for salad dressings
– 2 ounces of cheese
– 4 to 6 ounces of meat, chicken, seafood, or fish at each meal
– ½ an avocado or 10 olives
– 1 to 2 ounces of nuts or seeds
– Use canola, peanut and grapeseed oils for pan cooking and stir-frys
– Use full-fat mayonnaise, canola oil mayo is a good choice
– 1 tablespoon of coconut oil contains ketosis boosting MCTs (medium chain triglycerides)
Avoid low-fat foods, including reduced fat dairy as they have carbohydrates, and chemical compounds

Your Protein Intake

Protein is both 46% ketogenic and 58% anti-ketogenic, as some protein will convert to glucose in the bloodstream and inhibit ketosis, so intake should be enough to prevent muscle loss, but not so much that will disrupt ketosis.

Related: 6 Energizing Keto Breakfast Ideas + Bulletproof Coffee Recipe

General Protein Intake Guidelines

– Sedentary lifestyle: 0.69 – 0.8 grams per pound of lean body mass
– Mildly active: 0.8 to 1 gram per pound of lean body mass
– Heavy strength training/bodybuilding and exercise: 1 to 1.2 grams per pound of lean body mass

Lean body mass is typically defined as – body weight minus body fat. You can use any of a number of online lean body mass calculators, such as this one to figure out yours.

Protein Choices
– Fatty red meats
– Chicken with skin
– Turkey
– Eggs
– Deli meats
– Seafood
– Fish
– Pork
– Veal
– Lamb
– Fowl (duck, goose, hen, quail)
– Organ meats (tongue brains, liver, heart, and kidneys)
– Game meats (ostrich, venison, caribou, bison, and elk)
– Eggs
– Nuts, seeds and full-fat dairy in moderation as they do contain some carbs

Eat when hungry until you feel satisfied, but not stuffed

Your Salt Intake

If you consume a little additional salt while adjusting to ketosis, you can reduce the likelihood of experiencing adverse symptoms such as headaches, muscular cramps, and weakness that can arise as a result of an electrolyte imbalance.

Because a low-carb diet is inherently diuretic, you don’t have to eliminate salt in order to keep water retention to a bare minimum.

Consume 1 to 2 cups of broth everyday, or drizzle soy sauce over your food, to get that salt.

Keep in mind that if you are being treated for a condition that needs a low sodium consumption, such as hypertension, then you should continue to follow your doctor’s recommendations about salt intake.

Don’t Forget Water

Water is a natural appetite suppressant that supports the body’s ability to metabolize fat. Several studies found that reducing intake of water might cause fat deposits to increase while drinking more reduces them.

Hydration greatly promotes weight loss, so drink lots of fresh water throughout the day. The more active you are the more hydration you will need.

Starting the keto diet can be quick and easy when you have a plan in place. Check out these quick keto diet tips for greater weight loss success.