We know about the Ketogenic diet since the 1920s. However, this low-carb diet didn't get popularity until the past few years. This diet is effective for the following purposes:
If you are thinking of starting this low-carb diet, make sure you follow the proper guidance and avoid some common mistakes. Let's discuss some important tips for a successful keto diet.
Calories: ideally at least 65% of your calories should come from foods rich in fat when you are on the keto diet. Here, it's important to note that fat is not bad and won't cause heart disease unless you consume fat with lots of carbohydrates.
Saturated fats: Saturated fats like those found in dairy, red meat and coconut products are important elements of a keto diet. Aside from this, monounsaturated fats are also good on this diet. Common sources include olives and avocados and their oils. Besides, nuts and seeds can also provide enough fats.
Fats to avoid: You must avoid bad fats known as inflammatory fats. Common sources of bad fats include vegetable and corn oils, such as grapeseed oil, soybean oil, canola oil. Besides, hydrogenated fats, such as margarine are also should be on your list of prohibited fats. What you need to do is opt for the right fats and avoid mixing them with carbohydrates. This way you will maintain your ketosis and enjoy the benefits of your diet.
Remember: unlike fat and carbohydrates, your body can't store protein. Therefore, taking more protein than you need will activate a process that will convert the protein into sugar. This process is known as gluconeogenesis.
This sugar replenishes the glycogen stores when needed. Common sources of protein include nuts, cheese, eggs, poultry, and meat. As a general rule, if you are a man, you can take around three portions of foods rich in protein. Their size should be equal to the size of your palm. If you are a woman, you can have half the portion size. In other words, the amount should be 90g and 50g for men and women respectively.
Your protein intake depends upon your activity level as well. if you are gym-goer and follow an active lifestyle, you can consume more protein than other people who have a sedentary lifestyle. An easy way of determining your protein threshold is to keep an eye on your ketone levels.
All of us are different. You may have different from your friend in terms of insulin resistance or sensitivity. If you test your ketone levels, it will be easier for you to know about your protein and carbs tolerance. In fact, it's an interesting experiment. An accurate way of testing your ketone levels is to use a blood ketone meter.
The value should be between 0.5 and 3.0 mg/dL of blood. If you strictly follow your keto diet for 14 days, you can get in this range as your body starts breaking down fat and converting into ketones. Therefore, testing once a week is enough to ensure your ketosis is maintained.
After the 4-week period, it will be okay to introduce more berries or protein and test again to find out if you are still in ketosis. This way you can make sure your body can handle more protein or carbs without getting out of ketosis.
Since your insulin levels drop on the keto diet, your kidneys fail to keep the needed electrolytes the way they do on a regular diet. Therefore, it's important that you opt for supplements that contain sodium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. As an alternative, you can eat foods rich in these elements so you can meet your electrolyte needs.
Pink Himalayan salt, if consumed with each meal, can help you make sure you get enough sodium and other trace minerals.
It's better to avoid all types of sweeteners so you can retrain your taste buds and control your cravings. However, not everyone can avoid sweeteners. Given below are some solutions for them.
Ideally, you can choose natural sweeteners that can't raise your blood sugar or insulin levels, such as Pyure, Swere, erythritol and Truvia.
Your body takes time to get its energy from fat instead of sugar, and this may not happen overnight. Generally, your body needs at least 4 weeks to rely on fat and enjoy the benefits of this low-carb diet.
During the first two weeks, you may find it hard to get used to the keto diet and you may even suffer from the "keto flu". In this condition, you feel really tired, may experience exhaustion and headaches. Similarly, if you workout, you won't be able to do your best. However, the good thing is that these symptoms go away as your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates for energy generation.
However, if you give up during this period, you will not be able to experience the many benefits of the keto diet like satiety, performance gains, fat loss, and mental energy and clarity.
Long story short, if you are going to start the keto diet, make sure you do it for a minimum of 8 weeks prior to deciding if it's the right type of diet for you.
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