The Ketogenic diet, or Keto diet, falls under the umbrella of low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diets and aims to burn fat by sharply limiting carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrates become glucose in the body, which is more easily metabolized than fat. It is therefore preferentially metabolized, and a diet high in carbohydrates will not facilitate the burning of fat but rather the storage of fat as an unused energy source.
The Keto diet attempts to initiate a state of ketosis in the body, a metabolic state utilized for survival when food intake is low. To reduce net carbs and glucose production, the following foods should be eliminated: grains, sugars, sugary fruits, and starches.
Fill the gaps created in your caloric intake by eating meat fish and eggs, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, non-starchy vegetables, fatty dairy, and avocados and berries.
The keto diet requires discipline and determination. Follow these tips to stick with it and stay healthy and satisfied.
#1 : CHEAT DAYS NOT ALLOWED. The effectiveness of the keto diet is dependent on your body entering and remaining in ketosis. A cheat day or even meal can pull your body out of this metabolic state and you will have to begin again, losing days in the process.
#2 : Find satisfying replacements for your favorite foods. This may be done by finding grain and starch alternatives to stand in for some of your favorite high-carb foods. This will satisfy your cravings and make it easier to stick to your diet.
#3 : Start simple. Jumping into the full ketogenic diet too quickly can have adverse effects on your health and your ability to stay with it long enough to see the effects.
#4 : Plan your meals. As with any diet or healthy eating habit, planning out and shopping for your meals ahead of time will increase your chances of a successful diet, and decrease the chances of needing to veer off of your diet in a moment of desperation.
#5 : Know the signs of ketosis and how to differentiate them from serious symptoms. Cramps, constipation, heart palpitations, and reduced athleticism are all common side effects of ketosis, often called the keto flu. These symptoms will disappear after a few days.
#6 : Replenish liquids and electrolytes. The keto diet includes foods that act as diuretics and as such you will need to take care to stay hydrated with plenty of salts and other electrolytes. This will help stave off headaches that some less cautious dieters suffer.
#7: Select naturally high fat foods rather than processed fatty foods. Processed fatty greasy foods may be low carb-high fat, but they will have more adverse health effects.
#8: Know if the state of your health is compatible with a ketogenic diet. People with type I diabetes have a high risk of deadly ketoacidosis, and there may be risks associated with the keto diet for anyone with poor liver and kidney condition.
#9: Be patient with your body’s response to ketosis. You may initially be disappointed in your strength and endurance on the keto diet, and the first week may be accompanied by low energy and focus. This will improve in the weeks to come.
#10: Tailor your diet to your own body. There is no one-sized fits all diet of any kind, and the keto diet is no exception. Your diet should consist of about 70-80% fat and just 5% carbohydrates, so the actual amount consumed is relative to your own daily food intake.
The keto diet can be followed indefinitely and has many avid followers; however it is not for everyone. Consult your doctor before jumping into such a strict diet.
Becca is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer in Ohio. She loves helping others achieve their personal health goals. She thinks that helping others is one of the most fulfilling things in life. If you like what you have read, you can find out more here.