Keto 101 – Ketogenic Diet Overview for Beginners
Everyone and I mean everyone I know, is talking about the Ketogenic diet plan or the Keto lifestyle. I would figure by now that very few people haven’t at least heard of it. But what exactly is it? How do you start a Keto diet plan, what you can eat? and what can’t you eat? So, let’s get started with our tour of Keto 101!
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
In simple terms, the ketogenic diet refers to a very high fat and low-carb diet. The keto diet was introduced by modern physicians as a replacement for fasting back in the 1920s to treat epilepsy in children.
It was successful for around 20 years. After the invention of newer medication, it was abandoned for years.In recent years, the keto diet has become the most popular diet in the USA and many other countries around the world.
Adopting a ketogenic diet can have various health benefits, such as weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and lower LDL cholesterol. There is also evidence that keto diet can help prevent certain cancers, other diseases, early option for epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease.
How the Ketogenic Diet Works?
In a ketogenic diet, you restrict the number of carbs you consume each day to force your body to reach ketosis – a metabolic process that uses fats as an energy source. This process allows your body to burn unwanted fat for energy instead of carbohydrates, leaving the fat behind (no pun intended).
To reach and stay into ketosis, you need to make carbs only 5% of your daily intake. The majority of your calories will come from fat at 75% while the remaining 20% should be from protein.
Unfortunately, that means that the ketogenic diet can be a bit restrictive. There are a number of foods you either can’t eat or have to measure out precisely so you don’t knock your body out of this metabolic state.
While it might sound easy you have to keep track of everything you’re eating to ensure your body stays in ketosis. These percentages will vary depending on which keto plan you are following.
What is Ketosis and Why it Matters?
The whole basis of the ketogenic diet is to get into a state of ketosis which is a metabolic state. Ketosis happens during periods of low food intake, carbohydrate limiting diets(like the keto diet), fasting, intense and prolonged exercise, alcoholism, and untreated type one diabetes.
In a normal state, our body relies on glucose which can be obtained by dietary carbs. However, when you start eating a low-carb keto diet, your insulin levels will go down while fatty acids are released. The discharge of the fatty acids oxidize in your liver, turn into ketones, water-soluble molecules, which then released into the bloodstream. So muscles and other tissues can use them for fuel.
What you can Eat on the Keto Diet
The best way to know that you are in ketosis is to strictly follow a Keto diet outline. Eating a ketogenic diet has become very popular in recent years, but it can seem like a daunting way of eating for beginners.
A Keto diet may seem challenging, many easy to make nutritious foods can help create wonderfully delicious meals. The following is some of the most popular keto-friendly foods:
- High-Quality Meat and Poultry
- Fatty Fish
- Coconut Oil & Olive Oil
- Nuts and Seeds
- Butter and Cream
- Plain Greek Yogurt and Cottage Cheese
- Unsweetened Coffee and Tea
- Low-carb Vegetables
What You Can’t Eat on a Keto Diet Plan
There are ways to figure out what foods to avoid and the things you should never eat on keto. High-carb foods can all kick you right out of ketosis. So read your labels and eat more fresh foods.
A Keto diet plan is all about eating low-carb. There are high-carb, high-sugar foods to avoid. Limiting foods you like or crave can be challenging even if you will lose weight or even improve your health. Avoiding the following foods will help you stay on target:
- Beans and Legumes
- Bread and grains
- Beer, Juices, Wines
- Some Fruits
- Starchy Vegetable
- Sugary Anything
Health Benefits of Ketogenic Diet
By switching your body’s fuel source, you can tame inflammation in the body and prevent the root cause of most diseases. You’ll also be better able to burn fat.
Once your body settles into ketosis, you’ll think more clearly and have more energy overall. The ketogenic diet may also help keep skin clearer and help you look and feel younger.
While the keto diet is great for short term and getting on top of your health and weight, it isn’t meant to be a long-term diet plan. But if you can stick with it for a while, you’ll reset your body and feel better inside and out!
Why is Keto Bad for You?
Maintaining a keto-friendly is an excellent way to lose weight, but almost any interruption in your daily routine can cause undesirable results if not done correctly. One of the most dreaded and well-publicized dilemmas to the Keto diet plans this something called “Keto flu.”
So what is Keto flu, and how serious is this terrible sounding illness? Although not a single search on PubMed identifies this condition. However, thousands of blogs, personal accounts, and websites have a lot to say about this ailment.
Symptoms seem are headache, foggy brain, fatigue, nausea, insomnia, constipation, and yeah, you guessed it, irritability. The flu-like symptoms start about a week after starting a keto diet plan.
These symptoms may be increased by any positive change in diet and not just keto diets. When you diet or change your eating to a more healthy dietary system, your entire system changes, especially your gut microbiomes.
Cleaning up your diet and lifestyle may take a bit for your system to adjust. Ill feeling signs don’t last long according to people finding themselves feeling bad. Perhaps the body’s elimination of toxins from the system causes these flu-like symptoms, but this is just a guess.
Along with making sure you eat only keto-friendly foods and balance your fats, proteins, and carbs for the day, make sure you drink lots of water which will help keep the dreaded ‘keto flu’ away.
When you have small amounts of ketones in your urine, it is a sign that your body is breaking down fat. When the body indicates high levels of ketones, it can poison the system. It is imperative to do your homework and see your doctor before starting any new diet plan.
How to Start a Keto Diet Plan?
Let’s face it there is enough evidence to suggest that if you stick with the keto diet, you’ll lose weight. You’ll also enjoy other benefits for your health. By switching your body’s fuel source, you can tame inflammation in the body and prevent most diseases’ root cause.
You’ll also be better able to burn fat. Once your body settles into ketosis, you’ll think more clearly and have more energy overall. The ketogenic diet may also help keep skin clearer and help you look and feel younger. But how to start a keto diet plan to reset your body and feel better inside and out?
Many beginners don’t realize that there are different types of Keto diets. That’s a good thing but adds to the complexity of the system when just starting off. You’ll probably be anxious to start once you’ve made your mind to begin. I suggest looking into the following types and see which suit you best. It will help you stick to your new health goals.
Types of Keto Diets for Beginners
- A Cyclical Keto Diet – Also calledCKC and this keto system involves periods of higher carbohydrates. During a five-day keto diet, you would end with two high-carb days.
- High-protein Keto Diet – This Keto system requires the highest protein ratios with many benefits. Often as high as 60% fat, 35% protein, and only 5% carbohydrates.
- Targeted Keto Diet – Also called TKD, this system allows you to add more carbohydrates around exercise sessions.
- Standard Keto Diets – Also called SKD, this is the typical low-carb, high protein, and fat diet referenced the most. Percentages are as follows: 75% fat, 30% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
You can see starting with the right program is the place to begin. Keep in mind that the Standard Keto Diet plan has been studied considerably more than other systems. So most general information you are going to find will be on the SKD Keto Diets. Remember to always seek a professional or your doctor when unsure or starting any new lifestyle change.
The best advice I could give to anyone starting a new venture of any type would be:
- Start Slow
- Know Your Facts
- Have a Solid Plan
- Try to Stick to It
- Be Kind to Yourself
- Pick Yourself Up if You Fail and Start Again
- Repeat as Many Times as Necessary
There are some incredible health benefits to the Keto diet plan, as we have seen. This low-carb, high-fat diet lowers blood sugar, insulin, helps stabilize diabetes, and weight, to name just a few. All these benefits often happen without hunger and, most times, with minimal side effects.
At the end of the day, just remember the Keto diet is great but might not be for you. With all the health information out there today, do some research, and you will find the right health program for you. So whether it is one of the Keto systems we looked at or something else, just do something. Anything that will help improve your health is worth looking into and possibly trying. Want to know why? Because you are worth it!
About the Author
Lori Bogedin is a health and wellness writer and editor of TwigsCafe.com. She is in the restaurant business since 1999. In 2016 she was named one of the "Top Women in Business" by Northeastern Pennsylvania Business Journal.