How to Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, has gained significant popularity in recent years for its potential to promote weight loss, boost energy levels, and improve overall health. In this blog post i will try to help you understand what the keto diet is, how it works, the different types of keto diets, its various uses, how to start, and what foods you can eat to achieve success on this low-carb, high-fat diet. I have personal experience with this kind of diet, so I am comfortable writing about this topic. Lets dive in!
What is the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet, commonly known as the keto diet, is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat eating plan designed to shift the body's metabolism from relying on carbohydrates for energy to using fats and ketones as the primary fuel source. By drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with healthy fats, the body enters a state called ketosis. In ketosis, the liver converts fats into ketones, which serve as an efficient energy source for the brain and body.
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
The keto diet's fundamental principle is to restrict carbohydrates to a minimal level, typically around 20-50 grams per day. When you consume fewer carbs, the body depletes its glycogen stores, leading to lower blood sugar levels and reduced insulin production. As a result, the body turns to fats as an alternative energy source, breaking them down into ketones. These ketones then circulate in the bloodstream, providing energy to cells throughout the body, including the brain.
What Are the Types of Keto Diet?
Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): The most common and well-researched form of the keto diet, SKD typically consists of 70-75% fat, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates. It is suitable for most individuals seeking the benefits of the keto diet, such as weight loss and improved energy.
Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): TKD allows for slightly higher carbohydrate intake, primarily to support intense physical activities like workouts. Individuals on TKD consume a small amount of easily digestible carbohydrates around workouts to fuel exercise performance.
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): CKD involves alternating periods of strict keto dieting with higher-carb "refeed" days. It is commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders to replenish glycogen stores and optimize performance.
High-Protein Ketogenic Diet: This variation is similar to SKD but with a greater emphasis on protein intake, typically around 35% of calories. It may be suitable for individuals who have difficulty meeting their protein needs on a standard keto diet.
What Is the Keto Diet Used For?
The Keto Diet was originally developed in the 1920s to treat epilepsy in children, the diet has since been studied for its potential therapeutic effects in various health conditions, including:
Weight Loss: The keto diet's ability to switch the body into fat-burning mode can lead to significant weight loss, especially in those who are overweight or obese.
Metabolic Syndrome: Research suggests that the keto diet may improve markers of metabolic syndrome, such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol levels.
Type 2 Diabetes Management: By reducing carbohydrate intake and stabilizing blood sugar levels, the keto diet may help manage type 2 diabetes and improve insulin sensitivity.
Neurological Disorders: Some studies show promise in using the keto diet to treat neurological conditions like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and multiple sclerosis.
Epilepsy: The keto diet remains a therapeutic option for drug-resistant epilepsy, particularly in children.
How Do You Start a Keto Diet?
Starting a keto diet requires careful planning and preparation. Here are essential steps to begin:
Calculate Your Macronutrient Ratios: Determine your daily caloric needs and set your macronutrient ratios based on your goals and activity level.
Set a Carb Limit: Limit daily carbohydrate intake to 20-50 grams, depending on your individual needs and tolerance.
Create a Meal Plan: Plan your meals around healthy fats, moderate protein sources, and low-carb vegetables.
Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, which can be more common on a low-carb diet.
Monitor Your Progress: Track your food intake, energy levels, and any changes in your body composition to adjust your diet as needed.
PRO TIP: Create you OWN CUSTOM Keto Diet Plan here.
What Can You Eat on a Keto Diet?
While the keto diet restricts carbohydrates, it allows for a wide variety of delicious and nutritious foods, such as:
Fatty cuts of meat: Beef, pork, lamb, and poultry with the skin on.
Fish and Seafood: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are excellent sources of healthy fats.
Eggs: A versatile and nutrient-rich food that fits perfectly into the keto diet.
Healthy Fats: Avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, butter, and ghee.
Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are great choices.
Low-Carb Vegetables: Leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and peppers are low in carbs and high in fiber.
Dairy: Full-fat dairy products like cheese, heavy cream, and Greek yogurt (in moderation).
Berries: Limited amounts of berries such as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
My take on the Keto Diet: The keto diet is a powerful eating plan that can lead to significant health benefits when followed correctly. However, it's essential to approach the keto diet with careful consideration and attention to individual needs. Before starting the keto diet, consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to ensure it aligns with your health goals and is appropriate for your unique circumstances. With the right approach and dedication, the keto diet can become a valuable tool to achieve improved overall health and well-being.