Haven’t heard of the popular Keto diet that’s taking the internet by storm? You’re definitely losing out! Fret not, we are here to let you in on the Keto goodness and have you all motivated to shed those extra kilos!
Photo: Diet Doctor
1. What is a Keto Diet?
A short form for Ketogenic, a Keto diet is a low carb diet where dieters cut down on carbohydrates and consume foods that are high in fat and moderate in protein.
High in fat?! Yes, you’ve heard it right. You need to consume a high-fat diet because you’re cutting down on carbohydrates. Prior to a Keto diet, we usually consume foods that are high in carbs. These carbs are converted into glucose and insulin.
- Glucose: The first choice for energy source as your body converts glucose into quick energy.
- Insulin: Helps to transport glucose to the rest of your body.
When your body has glucose, it will not need to break down the fats in your body for energy. Therefore, to lose fats, it makes sense to reduce your carbs intake, so as to reduce the amount of glucose available in your body, which will then force your body to break down fats for energy instead.
Sound awesome right? You no longer have to control your calories intake but are still able to achieve weight loss results!! If combined with consistent exercising, you can achieve even greater weight loss results.
2. What’s so good about Keto Diet?
Obviously, the first intended benefit of a Keto diet is weight loss, since your body turns into a fat burning machine. In fact, Keto diet is known as being more effective for weight loss than other low-fat and high-carb diets. Other benefits include:
- Lower blood sugar and prevent diabetes
- Improve mental performances
- Increase energy and control appetite
- Treat epilepsy
- Control blood pressure and cholesterol
- Control insulin levels and reduce risks of type II diabetes
- Improve skin conditions
3. Does Keto Diet have any side effects?
Photo: Home Remedies Web
Although temporary, your body may experience symptoms of a “Keto flu” for the first few days of a Keto diet, before entering into the optimal state of ketosis. This is because your body will try to utilize the remaining glucose in the system up to the very last ‘drop’ before it makes the switch into ketosis. During the process, the glucose in your muscles will drop significantly, resulting in the lack of energy and fatigue.
In addition to that, Keto promotes the production of urine, so you’ll find yourself visiting the toilet more often than usual. The expel of fluids from your body leads to the loss of electrolytes and water. Electrolyte deficiency will cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and put you in a bad mood. Make sure to drink loads of water to rehydrate your body, and increase your salt intake to help replenish the electrolytes your body need.
Endure through this phase for a few days, while your body creates new enzymes to help cope with the low intake of carbs and higher intake of fats. Other common side effects you may experience when starting out on a Keto diet includes:
- Cramps: due to the lack of magnesium in your body, which can be resolved by increasing your intake of water and salt.
- Constipation: dehydration causes constipation, so it’s important to drink more water when you’re on a Keto diet.
- Your heart is beating faster and harder: This is common at the start, and if it’s bothering you, you can take a potassium supplement.
- Drop in physical performance: the lack of energy you experience is just a sign that your body is adapting to using fats instead of glucose as the source of energy. Give it a few days and you should no longer experience this.
4. How do I begin my Keto Diet?
Like all diets, it begins by monitoring your food intake. To achieve ketosis, you need to reduce your carbs intake below 35g/day and net carbs intake below 20g/day. These numbers are easy to calculate.
For example, if you’re considering to eat some wheat pasta (not recommended for those on a Keto diet):
Wheat pasta will immediately spike your carb intake to 35g, which is why it is not a good choice for those on a Keto diet.
To calculate net carb intake, you just have to minus the amount of fiber from the total carbohydrates. In the case of wheat pasta, you will consume (35g of total carbohydrates – 6g of dietary fiber) 29g of net carb. That is way above the recommended net carb intake for Keto dieters.
On the other hand, smoked salmon is great for those on a Keto diet as it contains little to no carbohydrates but is rich in nutrients.
In addition, to sustain your ketosis state, it is important to monitor your macros. This refers to the intake of the 3 nutrients which should be kept at an optimal percentage of:
- Fats (70%)
- Protein (25%)
- Carbohydrates (5%)
You can easily find out how much you should eat to achieve the optimal percentage of the above nutrients by using this Keto Macro calculator.
Before you begin on your Keto diet, you may want to consider which type of Keto diet you want to adopt:
- Standard Ketogenic Diet: This means to follow all advice on this article as strictly as possible for all days. This is probably the most effective for weight loss.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet: For those who engage in active workouts and need the additional energy, you can adopt a mixture of Standard Ketogenic Diet along with small amounts of fast-digesting carbs before hitting the gym.
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: Suggested for bodybuilders, this version allows you to consume carbs one day per week so as to refuel glycogen into your system.
5. What should I eat on a Keto Diet?
Follow the suggestions in the image below to keep up with your Keto diet!
Photo: KetoDiet App
Find food inspiration through these Asian recipes made for Keto Dieters!
6. What happens when I reach Ketosis?
Though there are a few methods to help accurate measurements of ketosis, they are not exactly necessary. Instead, your body is the most accurate ketosis measurement! When you’re in Ketosis, your body experiences the following.
- Frequent urination
- Dry Mouth: as fluids are flushed out of your body, you may experience dehydration which leads to dry mouth and thirst. Just make sure you stay hydrated and replenish the electrolytes!
- Bad Breath: when you’re in Ketosis, your body produces acetone which is released through our breath. This symptom is only temporary so it’s not a huge concern.
- Increased energy: once the symptoms of the “Keto flu” is over, you will find yourself in an energized state and no longer feeling hungry as often as before!
Many people have claimed that the Keto diet is effective and provide visible results within the first or second week with regards to weight loss.
For this diet to work, you have to stay determined and strict with your carbs intake. In addition, after slimming down to your desired weight, it is important for you to keep up with the Keto diet so you don’t find yourself ballooning again.
Cover Image: St03.kakprosto.ru