What is it?
The goal of the keto diet is to put your body into a metabolic state called Ketosis. Normally your body is in a glycolosis state, which means it uses glucose for energy. Carbohydrates are converted into glucose inside your intestines and once you remove carbohydrates from your diet you are starving your brain of it’s favorite food. At this point your brain will begin to look for energy in other places. This is when your body switches from glycolosis into ketosis. Once in ketosis your body uses your stored fat as energy. This is why people like this diet so much. If you can maintain the diet, it is a very effective way to burn fat.
A typical keto diet consists of 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbohydrates. This means that 70% of your calories will come from fats, 25% from protein, and a maximum of 5% from carbs. Maintaining this diet for 72 hours will put you into ketosis. If you eat too many carbs it will break your state of ketosis and you will convert back into glycolysis which is how your body normally operates when you consume the average american diet.
Who should be on this diet?
This diet is not for the faint of heart, it is very difficult to maintain and not very convenient when eating away from home. The keto diet requires a lot of effort, you have to look at every label to make sure you are consuming the right nutrients in the right amounts in order to stay in ketosis. This is also a diet that you should not maintain for an extended period of time. It’s important that you discuss with you doctor if you are healthy enough for such a stringent diet.
Also worth mentioning: The long term effects this diet has on your brain are still unknown.
Is the Keto Diet for everyone?
Simply put, no. Everyone has their own set of genes and therefore react differently to various foods. Some people can eat all day and not gain an ounce while others can’t even look at sugar without putting on 10 pounds. These are obvious genetic differences, although, there are others that are not visible. The one that comes to mind right now is the APOA2 gene. This specific gene does not work well on the Keto diet. People who have an activated APOA2 gene have been linked with a higher BMI (body mass index). This is due to people with that gene not using saturated fat as energy but rather storing it.
If you have the APOA2 gene the keto diet will actually have the opposite effect on you!
Keto Friendly Foods
- Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, egg
- Leafy Greens – spinach, kale
- Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower
- High fat dairy – hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter
- Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds
- Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries
- Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners
- Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.
- Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal
- Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup
- Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges
- Tubers – potato, yams
What about vegetables?
Vegetables are tricky when it comes to the keto diet. We have been taught our entire lives that vegetables are healthy- which they are, although, vegetables have carbs- some more than others so it is important to do your research.
Tips to Successfully Reach Ketosis
- Plan your meals for the week and prep them ahead of time.
- Understand what you are eating before you stuff it in your mouth. Make sure it fits the keto specifications.
- Drink lots of water! And get enough sleep.
Common Side Effects
Increased Urination, Dry mouth, bad breath, reduced appetite and increased energy. Of course we cant forget to mention the keto flu
The keto flu begins as your body is transitioning to a high-fat, low-carb diet. Symptoms include Nausea, constipation, headaches, fatigue, and sugar cravings.
** We encourage you to consult with a doctor to see whether you are healthy enough to be on such a drastic diet. The Keto diet is not for everyone.**
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