keto diet guide for beginners
To achieve a metabolic state that aids in fat loss, the keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that restricts carbohydrate and sugar intake. Various studies are backing the many health benefits of the Keto diet.
Improved blood sugar levels, weight loss, and enhanced exercise performance are just a few of the benefits. For weight loss, therefore, the Ketogenic Diet is so popular.
In recent years, the Keto Diet has received much attention for its many health and fitness benefits. There are still many people who aren’t sure whether Keto is the correct diet for them, despite its many advantages.
Adopting it involves a significant change in one’s life, and it is essential never to minimize the significance of such a transformation.
Because of the growing number of people who are giving the Keto Diet a try, we’re learning a lot more about it all the time. We now know more about what works and what doesn’t when implementing the diet healthily and safely.
In this article, you will learn about some of the health and science behind the Keto Diet, how and why it may be beneficial, what is involved, how to eat while on the Keto Diet, and many other tips and tricks to help you get the most from your experience with the low-carb life.
This article contains everything you need to start you on the road to a successful Keto Diet outcome.
What Is The Keto Diet?
- The Keto diet is a low-carb diet focusing on reduced carbohydrates, more fats, and moderate protein intake.
- The Keto Diet involves a lower consumption of carbohydrates while sustaining a reasonable level of protein, increasing the amount of fat intake.
- This is typically done by splitting your macronutrient percentages to roughly 70% fats, 25% proteins, and only 5% carbs.
- By reducing the number of carbohydrates, your body will transition to a ketosis metabolic state. Ketosis is the breaking down of fat in your body for energy.
- When this happens, your body suddenly becomes adept at burning excess fat and turning it into energy. Also, it converts fat into ketones in the liver. The brain uses these ketones for fuel.
- Ketogenic diets can lead to a significant reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels in the body. This, together with the production and systemic effects of ketones, has many fantastic health benefits.
What exactly is ketosis?
Ketosis is a natural metabolic process occurring when the body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn to create energy.
So, instead, it metabolizes fats and creates compounds called ketones as a byproduct, which are then used for producing energy.
In ideal situations, the body’s cells use glucose as a fundamental energy source. Glucose is usually got from dietary carbohydrates, such as:
- Sugar–e.g., fruits, milk, yogurt
- Starchy foods–e.g., bread and pasta
- The body then breaks these down into simple sugars. Aside from giving power to the body, glucose can also be stored safely in the liver and muscles as glycogen.
- However, when practicing the Ketogenic Diet, the body is deprived of its usual fuel source and is forced to look for other means of obtaining the energy it requires. The best way it does this is to use the fat naturally stored in the body.
- The fat is metabolized (into ketones) to provide the needed energy. Ketones, which include keto acids, are a byproduct of the ketogenic process. Excess keto acids build up in the blood and are excreted through the urine.
- In small amounts, keto acids are not a problem, as their presence shows the body is breaking down fat. However, high levels of keto acids in the blood can be toxic to the body, as it makes the blood acidic, resulting in ‘Ketoacidosis.
Ketosis Is NOT the Same as Ketoacidosis
- People must understand that ketosis is not the same as Ketoacidosis, as many misuse the terms interchangeably.
- Ketosis is a metabolic state when the body converts fat stores into energy, resulting in the production of ketone bodies (these include ketones and keto acids) as a byproduct.
- While Ketosis is a part of normal metabolism, Ketoacidosis is a severe metabolic disorder that can be extremely dangerous if not given adequate attention.
- In Ketoacidosis, the blood contains high levels of Ketoacidosis, which can be very harmful. When this occurs, it makes the blood acidic, leading to dangerous effects.
- Ketoacidosis is most commonly encountered with severe type 1 diabetes. It may also be people with type 2 diabetes, although it is relatively uncommon.
- Consuming too much alcohol can also lead to severe Ketoacidosis (and other unrelated problems).
Ketoacidosis Prevention and Cure
- Ketoacidosis rarely occurs in healthy people who regularly consume ‘balanced’ meals containing the three primary macronutrients: carbohydrate, fat, and protein.
- This is because balanced meals have adequate and optimal calories from all three macronutrients.
- Healthy people can effectively process these nutrients since they don’t have any health problems (such as diabetes, a disorder involving a failure to regulate blood sugar levels).
- Ketoacidosis occurs when the body breaks down fats at an excessive rate. In diabetes, this happens when there is a lack of insulin (i.e., Type 1 diabetes), which signals fats to be released (in excessive amounts) from the fat stores of the body and to be broken down, leading to the production and cumulation of keto acids in the blood.
- Diabetic patients have a higher chance of developing Ketoacidosis, mainly if the insulin used to treat the disease is not administered at adequate levels, meals are not taken consistently, or an insulin reaction occurs (during sleep).
- Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is considered a medical emergency because it can lead to a diabetic coma or even death. Emergency healthcare workers administer treatment, with subsequent transfer to an intensive care facility.
For people who have diabetes, the following measures should be adopted:
- Fluid replacement is necessary to ensure enough hydration in the body and reduce excess sugar in the blood. Electrolyte replacement is needed to keep the muscles, heart, and nerve cells working optimally.
- Electrolyte levels in the blood can sometimes drop when there is insufficient insulin. Electrolyte supplements can be bought online, but you should speak to a health professional before purchasing them.
- Insulin can oppose or negate processes leading to bouts of Ketoacidosis. People who don’t follow a healthy balanced diet should start doing so, besides exercising, to prevent Ketoacidosis.
- There are various measures exist for people who have diabetes to help prevent Ketoacidosis.
- Evaluate blood sugar levels carefully by monitoring levels consistently, at least three or four times a day.
- See a specialist, talk about your insulin levels, and follow a diabetes treatment schedule.
- Pay attention to your ketone levels with a test kit, especially when sick or under any stress.
How to know if the Keto Diet is right for you?
Many people wonder whether the Keto Diet is good for them. There have been many positive and glowing reviews about how the Keto Diet can help weight loss by cutting down body fat.
However, before proceeding with the Keto Diet, you must understand how and why it works. While the Keto Diet is primarily a low-carb, high-fat diet, you must be careful with your intake of these macronutrients.
Some Keto websites incorrectly preach to eat unlimited amounts of fat and avoid carbohydrates at all costs. This isn’t an advisable approach. You do not want to have an excess, nor a complete depletion, of any macronutrient.
The key is to REDUCE CARBS and INCREASE FATS, not cut carbs, and eat excess fats. This difference should be well understood to before proceeding with the Keto Diet.
Usually, the Keto Diet is suitable for almost all people looking to effectively burn calories in burning fat. It works wonderfully well for people who suffer from heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
You don’t need to be suffering from a health issue to be a great candidate for the Keto Diet.
Almost everyone can enjoy the benefits the Keto Diet offers; it can help improve body composition, improve the nature and ratios of macro-and micro-nutrient consumption, and improve your general health and energy levels.
Like any other diet, the Keto Diet may not be suitable for you if you do not follow it appropriately or do not know what it is and how it works.
How The Keto Diet Works?
- The Keto Diet is rich in fat. It contains lower amounts of carbohydrates while maintaining sufficient to moderate amounts of protein.
- The Keto Diet is not a recent phenomenon. It has existed treating epilepsy in children since the 1920s.
- One aim of going on the Keto Diet is to help your body reach the metabolic state of ketosis. It does this by promoting fat consumption while simultaneously reducing carbohydrate intake.
- When the body doesn’t get enough carbohydrates, it is used to; it will break down the fat consumed in the diet and the fat already stored in the body.
- The breakdown of fate leads to the generation of ketones compounds to use as an alternative fuel to glucose (got from the study of carbohydrates).
- Ketosis is a natural physiological process. There is nothing abnormal or wrong with it. Therefore, the Keto Diet is simply a way of eating to keep your body in a particular state (Ketosis) to promote metabolism or burn fat.
- The Keto Diet works in surprising ways, and if part of your goal is to shed some pounds, begin by doing some research, which might in- include a visit to a healthcare professional (i.e., a dietician or physician) who can recommend a version of the diet tailored to your needs.
- However, if you have an adverse history with fat (i.e., a fat disorder, hormone imbalance, etc.), the extra fat you will consume might be too much for your body to process.
- As well as the Keto Diet is, it might not work well for everyone, particularly if you have a fat disorder.
What To Eat And What To Avoid On The Keto Diet?
- The Keto Diet can be pretty impressive in terms of weight loss and other health benefits, but there are some things you need to consider if you want it to work.
- To help make the Keto Diet work most effectively, you need to be aware of some critical factors and measures to undertake before proceeding with the diet.
- This section will outline some tips and steps to help make sure you get the most from your Keto Diet experience.
- One of the best ways to help make the Keto Diet work for you is to know what you can eat and not eat while on a diet.
- Foods contain different combinations and ratios of the three main macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. You can make the ideal food choices for yourself based on your health, body, and diet plan.
- Foremost, it is essential to be aware of food composition, i.e., the nutrients foods contain.
- For example, it’s not only bread, pasta, chips, cookies, candy, and ice cream with carbohydrates. Foods like beans are popularly known to have high protein, but they also have a high concentration of sucrose, which is a carbohydrate.
- The only foods not having carbohydrates are meats and pure fats like butter and oils (e.g., olive oil and coconut oil).
Know your health history with fat
Since most Keto Diets are high in fat and low in carbohydrates, knowing whether your body will respond well to the added fats is highly advisable.
You want to avoid a state of Ketoacidosis (as opposed to Ketosis) and increased glucose levels in the blood because it can lead to unfavorable conditions like diabetes and obesity.
If you want to ensure the Keto Diet will work well for you, consult a healthcare professional such as a nutritionist or dietician to help you initially understand all your body’s unique nutritional needs and help create a specific meal plan to ensure you are meeting those needs with your new diet.
Change your perception of protein
One of the most popular misconceptions about the Keto Diet is having as much protein as you like, which is false. The Keto Diet is not an only low-carb diet that only reduces carb intake.
Along with carbs, you also need to carefully monitor your fat and protein intake. Protein can be broken down in the body to create glucose (in gluconeogenesis).
Therefore, if you eat excess amounts of protein, you may not achieve the desired metabolic state of ketosis, and instead, may cause your blood glucose levels to rise eventually.
Many people believe protein is fantastic, but for the Keto Diet to work effectively, you need to consume moderate (but not high) amounts of protein and augment them with fatty foods. When starting, a good general rule of thumb is somewhere between 5g-1.5g of protein per pound of lean body weight.
This can be computed by calculating your body fat percentage and subtracting the body fat weight from your lean weight.
How To Start On The Keto Diet
- Now that you are armed with some relevant knowledge and a general
- understanding of the Keto Diet, the question is, how do you get started?
- Below are some tips on beginning the Keto Diet healthily and consistently.
Improve on your cooking skills and make a Keto Diet timetable
To help get you started on the Keto Diet, I have included twenty great Keto-friendly recipes for you to try.
You can also draw inspiration from different Keto websites and cookbooks for Keto recipes and ideas you may find interesting. Over time, get into the practice of being a guru of sorts with your diet, so you do not grow tired of the food you are eating.
I recommend you learn up to five recipes with the food you love to avoid thinking about what to cook or eat at every meal. I also find it very helpful to pre-cook meals several days ahead of time.
This will allow you to keep a good accounting of your portions and keep you from feeling like you’re spending all your free time in the kitchen.
Make Bulletproof coffee your favorite drink.
Another way to make the Keto Diet work for you is to incorporate bulletproof coffee as part of your daily life.
Bulletproof coffee is usually caused by adding coconut oil and butter into your coffee.
By adding this fat to your coffee it will keep you feeling full and prevent you from getting hungry quickly, giving you extra time to think, plan, and prepare your next meal.
Know beforehand the side effects to expect
As impressive as the Keto Diet can be, it has one general side effect you need to be prepared to combat: the Keto flu.
It refers to the period during which your body starts adjusting to burning fat for energy. You should note the first 7-10 days of being on a Keto Diet can lead to fatigue with muscle weakness or soreness.
The Keto Diet can sometimes cause constipation or diarrhea because of the adjustments your body is making concerning fiber consumption. To adjust to the Keto Diet initially, it may be advisable for you to start during a week when you won’t be very busy so you can find opportunities to rest when you feel lethargic.
There are several ways to minimize the effects of the Keto flu, such as incorporating MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil and Exogenous Ketones into your daily regimen. Potassium and Magnesium supplements are also a great idea to help cut down on muscle cramps and promote good hydration levels.
Pros Of Ketosis
KETOSIS IS PREVALENT today worldwide because of the several excellent benefits it brings to the table.
To further explain its advantages, here are some of the notable pros of the Keto Diet.
Keto Diets help to cut down belly fat
Research has shown the Keto Diet can help cut down on body fat. When you deprive the body of the primary source of energy (carbohydrates), it is pushed to ad- just by using body fat for energy.
Eating food containing more fat can help reduce feelings of hunger, leading to a situation where you can follow your recommended daily calorie intake.
A lower calorie intake will prevent you from storing excess calories as fat in the body.
It helps improve a sedentary lifestyle
Most of us are used to a sedentary way of life in today’s modern world, mainly owing to our 9-5 daily work schedule.
Even if you exercise for half an hour every day to make up for this, it won’t do much, considering you don’t move around for most of the day.
This is even more reason you need to keep your carbohydrate intake low since you don’t need the excessive amounts of sugars to burn for your daily energy needs.
Keto Diet adjusts insulin sensitivity
Insulin sensitivity occurs when the body finds it challenging to metabolize sugar and use glucose from carbohydrates.
It lowers glucose storage within muscle cells, affecting training, exercise, and productivity; when you take in moderate amounts of carbs while on the Keto Diet, your insulin sensitivity will be drastically improved.
It helps fight epilepsy
Initially, the Ketogenic diet was used to help people who have epilepsy reduce their symptoms and dramatically improve their quality of life.
The diet works by influencing how neurotransmitters function in the brain, leading to about a 50% reduction of seizures.
It can fight type 2 diabetes
Carb reduction can significantly affect glucose in the body by substantially reducing blood glucose levels.
It is an easy and direct way to help control glucose levels for diabetes. However, it is highly advisable to consult a registered dietitian or physician before using the Keto Diet for this purpose.
It is an excellent way to prevent cancer
Research is still ongoing in this area as to the anti-cancer effects of the ketogenic diet.
However, the ‘Warburg effect’ suggests tumor cells break down glucose quicker when compared to normal cells.
Therefore, the idea is if tumor cells don’t have enough glucose, their growth will be stunted, which can subsequently prevent or inhibit cancer cell growth.
It may help increase female fertility levels
A significant proportion of American women under the age of 44 find it difficult to conceive or carry a baby till birth.
Some women have discovered following the Keto Diet may help them with some problems associated with infertility.
Cons Of Ketosis
Despite some of the excellent results seen with the Keto Diet, there is still no perfect diet. Given this, Ketogenic diets also have some limitations and issues. Some of these are highlighted below.
Potential for Ketoacidosis
If you follow ketogenic diets for a long time, you might be at risk of developing a high acid concentration in the blood, leading to ketoacidosis.
This condition can lead to uneasiness, mental confusion, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, you may have to be hospitalized for extensive treatment.
Keto Diet reduces your intake of fruits and starchy vegetables
Following a Keto Diet plan may require you to limit or stop eating certain fruits and vegetables.
This may lead to a significant reduction in the vitamins, minerals, and fiber you consume, many of which are needed to maintain good health. Many high-carb whole foods are very healthy and good for the body.
Therefore, vitamins and supplements are usually recommended for people on Keto Diets.
It might trigger Kidney Stones
3 to 10 percent of people who do the ketogenic diet for an extended period stand a chance of developing kidney stones, primarily because of the moderate amounts of fiber passing through the body.
You can reduce the chance of getting kidney stones by eating more ‘keto-approved’ foods containing high concentrations of fiber essentials.