A keto or ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many proven benefits, you can use a ketogenic diet for weight loss, healthy lifestyle and good performance, as millions of people have experienced already.
As carbs are reduced and the amount of fat is increased, the body enters a state called ketosis. Then the body starts changing fats into ketones, which are molecules that can supply energy to the brain.
After a few days or weeks on such a diet, the body and brain become very efficient at burning fat and ketones for fuel instead of carbs. Start now, ketogenic diet for weight loss.
What is Keto?
The word keto in a ketogenic diet comes from the point that it makes the body produce small fuel molecules called ketones. This is an alternative fuel for the body, used when the level of blood sugar or glucose is decreasing in the body.
Ketones are produced if you eat a few carbs that are quickly broken down into blood sugar and only a few amounts of protein.
Ketones are produced from fat, in the liver. They are then used as fuel in the whole body, including the brain. The brain is a kind of organ that consumes lots of energy every time, and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose or ketones.
What to Eat and What to Avoid on a Ketogenic Diet?
Ketogenic foods are high in quality, processed as little as possible. If you don’t want processed food, you can easily make everything on your own. There are many Keto recipes out there to choose from.
The most common mistakes on a ketogenic diet are avoiding the composition and quality of your food and being unaware of your carb intake.
If you want to follow the ketogenic diet, you must remember the points below:
- Don’t forget to count your carbs, there are even hidden carbs found in packaged spices, vegetables, and drinks.
- Watch your sugar intake, including fruit and sugar in natural and processed food and drinks. If need to use a sweetener, look for keto-friendly sweeteners.
- Keep track of the calories, don’t exceed your calorie limit. In order to shed pounds, you need to eat less than what you burn.
- Be careful of your food and avoid processed food. No matter how low-carb or ketogenic it may be, if it is full of junk you are better off without it.
- Drink plenty of water or you can be a victim of dehydration. Carbs will make you need more water, keto’s very low-carb ratio can turn in to a faster dehydration and constipation. Maintain your water intake with regular water and keto-friendly drinks.
- Eat small portions within a few hours to avoid late night binges and speed up your weight loss.
On a ketogenic diet, your whole body changes its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Levels of insulin become very low, and fat burning increases rapidly.
This makes it easy to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is perfect if you are trying to lose weight, but there are also other benefits, such as reduced hunger and a steady supply of energy, keeping you focused and alert.
On a ketogenic diet, you will be in total control of your appetite. When your body burns fat all day long, it has constant access to the stored energy for weeks or months, slowly vanishing the feelings of hunger. It is a common experience, and studies prove it.
It becomes easy to eat a few amounts of food and lose excess weight, just don’t eat until you’re hungry. This makes the fasting easy, super-charging efforts to reverse type 2 diabetes and speeding up weight loss. Also, you’ll save lots of time and money by not having to snack all the time. Many people only feel the need to eat twice a day, and some just once a day.
When your body becomes a fat burning machine it will probably give benefits for weight loss. Fat burning is increased rapidly, while insulin which is the fat-storing hormone, drops greatly. This creates ideal circumstances in which fat loss can happen, without hunger.
More than 20 scientific studies show that, compared to other diets, low-carb and keto diets result in better and rapid weight loss.
Also Read: Causes of Obesity
Constant Energy and Mental Performance
Ketosis results in a steady flow of fuel (ketones) to the brain, and you avoid big blood sugar swings. This often results in the experience of improved focus and concentration. Any brain fog will be long gone!
A lot of people use keto diets specifically for increased mental performance. Also, many people experience an increase in energy when in ketosis. On keto, the brain doesn’t need carbs. It is fueled all day long by ketones, a perfect fuel for your brain to get energy and focus.
Control Blood Sugar
A keto diet controls the blood sugar level and is a life saver when it comes to type 2 diabetes. This has been proven in studies.
It makes perfect sense since keto lowers blood-sugar levels and reduces the negative impact of high insulin levels. As a keto diet may even reverse existing type 2 diabetes, it’s likely to be even more effective at preventing it or reversing pre-diabetes.
Increased Physical Endurance
Keto diets can rapidly increase your physical endurance by giving you an allowance to access all the energy that your fat stores.
The body’s supply of stored carbohydrates or glycogen only lasts for a few hours of working out, or less. But your fat can give enough energy that can easily last for a few weeks or months.
The keto diet is an effective and proven medical therapy for epilepsy that has been used since the beginning. Usually, it was used for children, but recently adults have experienced great benefits from it as well.
Using a ketogenic diet in epilepsy can make people take less or no anti-epileptic drugs while remaining seizure-free. This reduces the side effects of drugs and increases the performance of mental health.
How to Get into Ketosis
There are many ways to increase your level of ketosis. Here they are, have a look:
Eat Enough Fat
This is the big difference between a keto diet and suffering from starvation, that also results in ketosis. A keto diet is a healthy choice, whereas starvation is not.
You will feel tired and hungry when you are starving, but a keto diet is sustainable and can make you feel great. So eat enough to feel satisfied, and if you’re hungry all the time, you should probably add more fat to your meals.
Restrict protein to moderate levels. On a keto diet, you should eat just the necessary amount of protein, but not more than that. This is because increased protein is changed into glucose in the body, reducing ketosis.
If possible, stay below 1 gram of protein per day, per kg of body weight about 70 grams of protein per day if you weigh 70 kilos.
Eating more than your body needs, just eating to enjoy and because there is food around, reduces ketosis and slow down the weight loss process.
Though eating keto snacks will decrease the damage and are fine when you feel hungry.
Try Intermittent Fasting
You can skip breakfast and only eat during the mid-hours of the day, fasting for remaining 15 to 16 hours.
This is a proven and effective method for boosting ketone levels, as well as speeding up weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal. It is also easy to do on a ketogenic diet.
For most people, six to seven hours per night is a habit and it keeps the stress under control while relaxing the body. Stress hormones and sleep deprivation increase blood sugar levels, slowing ketosis and weight loss a bit.
Also, they make much it harder to stay loyal to your chosen diet and avoid temptations. While handling sleep and stress will not get you into ketosis on its own, it is still worth thinking about.
Effects of Ketogenic Diet
How to know if you are going on the right path through your ketogenic diet? When your ketosis level increases in your body, you will feel some of the effects explained below, that will assure you that you are getting into ketosis.
Dry Mouth and Increased Thirst
You need to drink enough water and get enough electrolytes, otherwise, you may feel a dry mouth. Try bouillon once or twice daily, and as much water as you need. You may also feel a different, weird and metallic taste in your mouth.
A ketogenic body may feel an increased urge in the urine. This makes it possible to test for ketosis using urine strips. It can result in having to go to the bathroom more often which is a good habit. This is the also the main cause of the increased thirst.
Many people feel a significant change in hunger, this may be caused by the new habit of the body to be fueled by its fat stores.
Many people feel satisfied when they have meals just once or twice a day, automatically ending up doing a form of intermittent fasting. This saves money and time, while also increasing the speed of weight loss.
After a few days of feeling tired or experiencing ketogenic flu, many people feel a rapid increase in energy levels. This can also be experienced as clear thinking, a lack of brain fog or even a sense of euphoria.
Keto can be a simple diet to follow but it is also a door to learn new skills. How do you make easy and mouthwatering ketogenic meals? Have you avoided fat for years and don’t know how to get more in your diet? How do you eat out and still stay ketogenic? You need to take care of some important things while you are on a ketogenic diet.
How should you start your ketogenic day? If you like to have eggs and bacon, don’t hesitate. If you don’t want eggs then some great keto breakfasts have no eggs at all. If you don’t have much time but you are hungry in the morning, many keto breakfasts are delicious and easy to make.
Have you been told that you should never skip a meal? Forget about that! If you are not feeling hungry in the morning or if you are not in a mood of any other meal of the day, you can surely skip it or just have a cup of coffee in breakfast if you want. Reduced hunger is a common ketogenic factor, so don’t worry about skipping any meal.
Avoiding Special Products
Another common mistake on a keto diet is being fooled by the manipulative marketing of special low-carb products. Always remember that an effective keto diet for weight loss should be based on real food. Low-carb products like candy, pasta, chocolate, and bread often use all kinds of creative marketing, while being just junk food with carbs.
Potential Side Effects of Ketosis
When you suddenly switch your body’s metabolism from burning carbs and glucose to fat and ketones you may have some side effects as your body gets used to its new routine.
Symptoms can include a headache, tiredness, muscle fatigue, cramping, and heart palpitations. These symptoms don’t last long for most people. Many get used to the diet and the symptoms go away quickly, but if they don’t go away then there are ways to get rid of those side effects.
Another option to reduce potential side effects is to gradually decrease the consumption of your carbs over a few weeks. But don’t expect to see rapid results and strong positive benefits with a lazy and slow start.
Therefore, the best recommendation is that you should stop using sugar and starches at the same time. With the use of a ketogenic diet for weight loss, you will probably shed pounds within a few days. While some of the initial rapid weight loss is water weight which will reduce the swelling, it is still a highly motivating and inspiring way to start your keto journey.