A Guide to Keto Beginners
Searching for the right meal plan and diet can get exhausting. There are a lot of factors that you have to consider, like your current health conditions, budget, nutritional needs according to your age and sex, food options available in your area, and your ultimate goal (e.g., weight loss, controlling symptoms of a health issue, etc.).
It is also important to remember that diets can vary from person to person. The diet that worked for your friends, for example, might not work as well for you. The diet they abandoned, however, might do wonders for you.
Then there’s reading up calorie counts online or simply trying to avoid everything that people tell you not to eat. The big Do’s and Don'ts of the world of eating right can get confusing; one blog says this particular food option is bad, but another swears by it. Different cookbooks offer different ways of preparation, each claiming that theirs is the best, when calories are concerned.
Well, look no further and stop thinking so hard.
The keto diet can take away the frustration of meal planning and calorie counting, just by following a few simple rules. In fact, an understanding of the process of what Keto can do helps you live a healthy, happy life.
WHAT IS KETO?
The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is a diet that uses high-fat, low-carb diet. This means you drastically cut your carbohydrate intake, reducing it to as little as 5% of your food intake from a standard 45%-65% (the recommended intake for adults). The rest of your diet is 75% fat and 20% protein (as opposed to a standard 20% to35% and 10% to 35%, respectively).
This helps our body intake go into the state of ketosis. Ketosis is the state in which your body’s prominent source of energy is produced through fats rather than carbohydrates.
Now I’m sure you're wondering, how does it do that?
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Well the way keto works is when your body has no available glucose and glycogen in the body, the blood sugar levels decrease as the body searches for another way of finding energy, and that is done through fats.
Our body depletes and breaks down our fatty acid at an accelerated rate to convert acids into ketones. This puts us in the state of ketosis. The ketones build up in the bloodstream, and those that are not used for fuel exit the body via the urine.
There are signs that show that the body is in ketosis, like bad breath (some ketones exit the body through the breath), digestive issues (some people report constipation and diarrhea when they’re transitioning), and insomnia (which goes away after a couple of weeks).
THE BENEFITS OF KETOSIS
Remember how diets vary from person to person? Well with keto, it is almost safe to say that it is a universal diet being the fact that for most people the body accepts and goes into ketosis, by creating ketones as aforementioned.
The benefits of keto help decrease body fat, improve your mental health, and gives you more energy, making you more efficient in your daily life. The low-carb diet also helps reduce your appetite, making it easier to control consumption. You’ll end up eating fewer calories.
Moreover, the “good” cholesterol levels will increase, which may reduce the risk for heart disease. When you’re following a keto diet menu, you consume a lot of fat, including those from avocadoes, salmon, and tuna.
Like any diet, however, the keto diet drives better results when you follow an exercise routine.
By exercising while going into ketosis, your weight loss can be become faster as your body burns your fat as the prominent source of fuel. Therefore, exercise is also important for weight loss as well as for a healthy state of mind.
JUMP START WITH EXOGENOUS KETONES
Exogenous ketones are found in supplements that help give a kick start to your body going into ketosis. These supplements help the body recall the fats to break down into ketones that your body is not creating. Exogenous ketones are not internal ketones made in the body, but they do help the transition to ketosis quicker as well as give you energy. When these keto supplements are taken in the same period you start the diet, the exogenous ketones can reduce the time it takes to reach ketosis and lessens the uncomfortable effects that come with the diet shift. Some people also report that taking exogenous ketones can reduce appetite, compelling you to eat less.
These ketones can also help the body go back into ketosis after you consume carbs. The best time to take the exogenous ketones is in the morning or between meals, especially a meal with a lot of carbs, or before exercising to give you the right energy needed. It is important to remember that exogenous ketones do not help lose weight, but their use is to place the body into the state of ketosis.
THE KETO BREAKDOWN
To breakdown the keto diet, you must know 3 main sources of that are necessary for the process and those are: fats, protein and carbohydrates. More importantly it is collectively having high source of fat (70-80 percent), moderate amount of protein (20-25 percent), and low carbohydrates (5 to 10 percent).
Using this mindset and method can help with calculating your calories as well, in order to properly get to the foreseen goal of weightloss.
Take note that you’re not just consuming any type of fatty food; you have to choose those that contain the good kind of fat. Examples include cheese, avocadoes, grass-fed meat, coconut and olive oil (for cooking), shellfish, and fish (especially salmon and tuna). Keto snacks include nuts, seeds, and berries.
Take great care, too, in eating desserts, as traditional treats are very high in carbs. To compensate, keto desserts don’t use sugar; instead, they use natural sweeteners, like organic stevia. This makes the dessert sweet but healthy.
HOW TO KNOW YOU'RE IN KETOSIS
There are three ways to know if you’re body is in full ketosis, yet only two of those ways are more common. The first is through urine which can help measure the amount of ketones in your body. This is the most common way as you can easily do this at home. You hold the urine stick into the stream of urine, and it will show a color between light pink and maroon. The closer the color is to maroon, the higher the ketone level.
The other way is through blood testing which can be done by pricking your finger and place it one a blood test stick, which is typically used by people with diabetes. In a blood test, ketone levels range from carb burner (0-0.5 mmool/L), light ketosis (0.5-1 mmool/L), normal ketosis (1-3 mmool/L), and deep ketosis (3-5 mmool/L).
The last way, which is not very reliable, is through a breath meter as it reads the amount of acetone in your breath which is created usually when your body goes into ketosis. In a breath test, ketone levels range from negative (0-20 nmol/L), low (0-50 nmol/L), moderate (50-100 nmol/L), to high (100-150 nmol/L).