Wednesday, 4 March 2020

The Beginner's Guide to the Ketogenic Diet

A high-fat diet has always been synonymous with weight gain and in some cases, people will do their very best to avoid all sources of fat.

Recent research has brought rise to a different style of dieting that claims it can help you lose weight, burn fat, and provide more energy throughout the day. This diet is called the ketogenic or “keto” diet.

What Is the Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet is a diet that urges the opposite of many other traditional diets. Rather than shunning fatty foods, a low-carb diet utilizes a high amount of unsaturated fats and moderate intakes of saturated fats as a staple.

 In addition to high intakes of fat, the keto diet also requires that you remove much of the carbohydrates in your diet and replace them with lean protein sources.

A low-carb, keto diet contains approximately 60% of calories from fat, 25% from protein, and 15% from carbohydrates (sometimes even lower).

Why Try the Ketogenic Diet? 

Many of us have been struggling for years to lose weight and effectively live a healthy life with the current foods we’re eating. A low-carb diet may just be the best change you can make to start losing weight and feeling great.

 A ketogenic diet works to induce a state of fat oxidation.

This state is called ketosis and will occur when the body has a higher supply of fat and the frequency of meals decreases. Your body will enter the mild starvation or fasting phase. At this time your body can start to utilize stored fat as fuel, effectively burning calories and fat you may have had stored for years.

What Do You Eat on a Ketogenic Diet? 

The keto diet works best when you’re in a moderate fasted state, with high amounts of fat as your primary source of calories.

So what foods are best?

 The main idea of a keto diet is to eat as few carbs as possible. Of course, you’ll need some carbohydrates in your diet, but avoiding high carbohydrate foods will help you to enter ketosis much more effectively.

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 Here are the best foods to eat on a keto diet:

 1.Natural fats. The staple nutrients on a low-carb diet are natural fats, including oils, butter, and some whole milk.

2.Meats and seafood. Both meat and seafood contain high amounts of fat and are great sources of protein. Beef, chicken, cod, fish, and other meats are also staples in a ketogenic diet.

3. Eggs and cheese. We start to run into small amounts of carbohydrates when we eat eggs and cheese, although it’s highly recommended that you consume 1-2 servings of eggs and cheese daily.

4. Dark, leafy vegetables. Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, avocado, asparagus, cabbage and peppers are the perfect vegetables to consume on a daily basis.

NOTE: Vegetables should be your main source of carbohydrates on the keto diet.

Foods to Avoid

You’ll want to avoid all foods that contain moderate to high concentrations of carbohydrates. This means everything from fruit to pasta - and even candy (yep, candy has very high carbohydrates).

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5 Benefits of The Ketogenic Diet

1. Better Body Composition 

Research has not only shown that a low-carb diet can be effective in promoting weight loss, but also very effective in burning more fat throughout the day.

2. Brain Health and Fuel

 Much of the internal systems utilize blood glucose as energy to run - but when carbohydrates are not ingested, how would they function? Our bodies are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. When carbohydrates are not present, the internal system will look to other sources of fuel – namely ketones(from stored fats).

Eating a diet high in fat will provide your body with a great source of dietary ketones to help fuel the brain. Many experts believe that ketosis’s main purpose is to ensure that we always have a reserved source of fuel, especially when carbohydrates aren’t immediately present. Some studies have even shown that a keto diet can promote concentration and alertness.

3. Help With Type 2 Diabetes

 For many people, diabetes is an everyday challenge of monitoring blood glucose levels. When glucose falls too low, you ingest rapid forms of carbs. When glucose is too high, you may need to take insulin. This everyday challenge may lead users to look for an alternative.

 A high-fat keto diet has not only been shown to assist with the management of type 2 diabetes but has also been shown to lower blood glucose levels. This can be very beneficial for the management of diabetes, but it’s important to pay close attention to your medication doses and talk to your doctor prior to major dietary changes.

4. Promote Skin Health and Reduce Acne

 A low-carb keto diet has been shown to be very beneficial in promoting healthy skin, nails, and even hair due to its higher intakes of B-Vitamins and lack of processed sugars.

5. Reduce Risk of  Disease 

Leading causes of mortality include heart disease and cancer, both of which are highly correlated to poor diets with high intakes of processed foods. This is why researchers are constantly looking for ways to promote a healthy diet.

Is Keto Right for You?

The ketogenic diet isn’t right for everyone. While many people may benefit, others could struggle with the specific dietary requirements needed to succeed.

Chances are, if you’ve been struggling to lose those pesky pounds, you could use a suitable change to your diet.

 Above all the specific dietary requirements on a ketogenic diet, the change to a keto diet will help you to become more conscious of what you’re eating. You can't eat any junk food on this diet - no candy, desserts, or baked goods. All the junk food is taken out of your diet and replaced with whole foods.

With the keto diet and the astounding benefits of achieving a state of ketosis, weight is sure to drop off faster than you can say “I miss bread.”

What is Ketosis?

 On a fundamental level, ketosis is a metabolic state. Your body can draw from various sources of energy when needed. Your body's primary source of fuel is glucose (from carbohydrates), but when it isn’t present the body will source other nutrients - namely, ketones.

 Ketosis is a metabolic state that utilizes ketones as fuel when glucose levels are very low.

Eating a low-carb diet may enable you to enter ketosis, effectively burning more fat through your metabolic state.

How Do I Achieve Ketosis?

Your body will enter ketosis any time you fast for a long duration. Many experts believe that runners actually enter a state of ketosis during a long run, especially if they’ve been carb-cycling.

 In addition to fasting and exercise, ketosis can also be entered when you’re eating very few carbohydrates - less than 15% of your daily calories, as your body will source its fuel from the fat you intake rather than the restricted form of carbohydrates.

 Does Ketosis Really Help With Fat Loss?

 With any diet, there is always speculation and instances where it may not work. With that said, the ketogenic diet, or a low-carb diet, has been shown to be very effective in promoting weight loss and fat loss.

 Recent research has even shown that, along with the ability to promote fat loss and weight loss, a keto diet also decreases the level of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and blood glucose. It increases the level of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). All of these effects are essential to your overall health.

Are There Any Downsides?

There’s always a downside to any diet that doesn’t favor balance. We know that a high-fat diet can be very effective in promoting weight loss and total fat loss, but it may actually be dangerous for those who have pre-existing heart conditions.

You may also lag behind when it comes to certain types of performance. Fat is not a quick source of fuel, so some people, like powerlifters and cross-fitters, will want to keep fast-metabolizing carbohydrates in their diet in order to perform at their best.

Has Your Body Made the Switch? 

Beginning Signs of Ketosis 

In order to find success in weight loss and fat loss during a ketogenic diet, you must maintain a state of ketosis. But how do you know when your body has made the switch?

If you’ve experienced some of these common symptoms of a keto diet, your body may be trying to make the switch from carbs to ketones – allowing you to enter into a ketogenic state.

 Bad Breath

Due to an increased level of ketones (namely acetone) in the body, your breath may take on an unpleasant, somewhat fruity smell.

Rapid Weight Loss

During the first 1-2 weeks, your body will utilize reserve carbohydrates and water, which can lead to rapid short-term weight loss.

Appetite Suppression 

After 2-3 weeks on a ketogenic diet, many users will report a loss of appetite. The reason is unknown, but it may be due to increased lean proteins and high intakes of fibrous vegetables.

Higher Mental Clarity

Ketones are a very potent source of fuel for the brain. Many ketogenic dieters claim higher attention and mental clarity during states of ketosis.

 Short-term Fatigue

Sometimes known as the keto-flu, during the first 2-3 weeks of a ketogenic diet you may feel sluggish, lethargic, and unmotivated.

 Short-term Decrease in Performance

Until your body can properly metabolize and utilize ketones as fuel, it can be slow and sluggish. Take note of this in the first 2-3 weeks of a low-carb diet.

Balance Your Keto Lifestyle

 Remember, however, that balance in your life is essential. It’s important to avoid thinking that just because you can eat high-fat foods that you should go around having greasy burgers all day.

 The purpose of the keto diet is to achieve a state of ketosis with whole foods, healthy oils, lean meats, nuts, and dark greens.

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