Everyone is always talking about the ketogenic diet, and by now, there are very few people who haven’t at least heard of it. But what exactly is it? And can it help you? Here is everything a beginner to keto needs to know to get started!
Ketosis – Why it Matters and What it is
The whole basis of the ketogenic diet is to get into a state of ketosis which is a metabolic state. When using the keto diet, you will be training your body to use fat as the fuel it burns. Since your body tends to prefer glucose that you get from carbs, you have to restrict the amount of carbs you consume each day to less than 50 grams.
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. However, when you start eating a low-carb diet, your insulin levels will go down while fatty acids are released. These oxidize in your liver, turn into ketones, and give your body lots of energy.
How the Ketogenic Diet Works
For the keto diet to work, 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. While it might sound easy you have to keep track of everything you’re eating to ensure your body stays in ketosis.
The best way to do so is knowing what to eat and what to avoid. Some of the foods that you can enjoy on the ketogenic diet are eggs, veggies (except for root veggies), high-fat dairy, fish, shellfish, unprocessed meats, certain nuts, and bone broth.
There’s plenty more where that came from but the biggest concern is avoiding the things you should never eat on keto. For one, you can’t eat sugar. While cakes and sweets are obviously not part of any healthy diet plan, hidden sugars lurk in seemingly healthy things so read your labels and eat more fresh foods. Breads, pastas, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cereals, milk, margarine, and a number of fruits can all kick you right out of ketosis.
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.
Ketogenic Diet Benefits
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 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!