What is The Ketogenic Diet?

Your diet is perhaps the most important factor controlling your health and well-being. Sure, other factors do play a role, but diet is the linchpin of the incredibly complex human biology. So, if you are trying to get rid of those love handles or get back in shape, a good diet can take your efforts to the next level.

But the question is:

What is the best diet for weight loss?

Well, as it turns out, a ketogenic diet (or keto diet) is one of the most effective nutritional strategies to lose weight and improve overall health. Multiple scientific studies have backed up this notion time and again. Consequently, it is rapidly taking over the health and fitness world and millions of people swear by it.

If you are new to the whole 'keto' thing, you may have millions of questions swirling in your head. But finding definitive, unbiased and easy to understand answers to them can be difficult.

Well, that's where we come in. In this article, we are going to answer all the questions you may have about keto diet and then some. And while we are at it, we are also going to learn some cool and exciting facts about your body as well. So, let's get going!

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

It is an obvious question that needs to be answered before anything else. In a nutshell, a ketogenic diet is a diet that is very low in carbohydrates.

keto food, keto friendly, ketogenic food

You see, any food you eat contains three major nutrients that provide you the bulk of the energy (or calories) that you need. These three major nutrients (also called macronutrients) are:

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    Carbohydrates
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    Proteins, and
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    Fats

Anything that you eat will contain all of these three macronutrients in varying proportions. A typical diet usually contains a higher proportion of carbohydrates and lower proportions of proteins or fats. A ketogenic diet, on the other hand, limits the number of carbohydrates to a minimum.

Traditionally, a keto diet allows you to eat 20-30 grams of carbs each day. The exact proportion of carbs, fats, and proteins will vary depending on your current health status and what you want to achieve.

That said, a standard keto diet has 70-80% of the daily calories supplied by fats, 15-20% provided by proteins and the rest by carbs; which is around 5%.

Compared to other 'low-carb' diets, a keto diet does not overload your body with proteins, and there is a good reason for that. When you limit the intake of carbs in your diet, proteins can be converted to glucose in your body via the process known as gluconeogenesis. If this happens in considerable amounts, the whole point of a low-carb diet is moot! Hence, a keto diet relies on fats to give you most of the energy you need.

A brief history of ketogenic diet

The basis of beneficial effects of cutting down carbohydrates in the diet originated in a study conducted by researchers at the John Hopkins University in the 1920s. When researchers at the prestigious University were studying the effect of fasting on patients who had epilepsy, they found that it had a positive effect on their body fat as well.

However, fasting for extended periods of time is not feasible. Therefore, scientists developed the next best thing: a diet that mimics the effects of fasting. They found that when you cut down carbs in the diet, the body can be 'tricked' into believing that you are fasting and the keto diet was born! We will return to the topic of how exactly a ketogenic diet works in the following sections.

What are The Benefits of a Keto Diet?

The obvious advantage of a keto diet is that your body starts burning the stored fat and you can lose weight quickly. However, a keto diet has many other long-term benefits as well. Many studies conducted with low carbohydrate diets have indicated plenty of health benefits that go beyond just weight loss.

Here are some of the most significant health benefits of a keto diet.

1. Greater and more importantly, faster weight loss

One of the most noticeable benefits of a keto diet is faster weight loss, especially during the first few weeks of the diet.


Many studies have shown that people who limit the intake of carbs in their diets tend to lose more weightfaster compared to individuals who reduce fat intake.

The rapid weight loss on a keto diet can be understood if you take a look at what happens to your body on a keto diet. When you restrict the intake of carbs, your body gets rid of a lot of unwanted water. As the insulin levels drop following a keto diet, your kidney gets rid of more sodium and with it a lot of unnecessary water.

The combined effect is that you feel less bloated and lose weight rapidly for the first few weeks.

The best part of a keto diet is that you lose a ton of more weight, often 2-3 times more compared to a low-fat diet, without having to starve yourself. A great benefit of ketosis!

In my books, that's a win-win move right there!

2. You get rid of the fat from the 'worst' parts

Here is a question for you:

If you can choose, from where on your body, do you want the fat to disappear?

I bet most of you said the abdomen, hips or the belly, right?

Well, as it turns out, a ketogenic diet gets rid of the fat from the abdomen and belly area much more efficiently than any other non-surgical procedure.

Apart from the aesthetics, the abdominal fat is also very harmful to your health. You see, when the fat accumulates in the abdomen, it increases the risk for cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks,strokes and diabetes.

If you follow a ketogenic diet for a longer period, you will see a decline in the abdominal fat and the various health risks associated with it.

3. Improvement in your lipid profile

Fat is essential for the proper functioning of your body. It is an essential nutrient that is indispensable for various body process. However, fat is not a just one substance; it is a category of molecules.

Several molecules make up the 'fat' of your body. The proportion of these molecules is as important as the amounts.

For instance, cholesterol is a fat molecule that is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and healthy skin. However, it comes in several 'types, ' and not all of them are good. Actually, the proportion of the 'good' cholesterol (HDL) vs. the 'bad' cholesterol (LDL) is much more important than the total cholesterol you have.

A keto diet not only gets rid of the excess fat but also restores the healthy balance between various types of fats in the body.

For instance, a low-carb keto diet has been shown to increase the proportion of healthy HDL cholesterol and decrease the unhealthy LDL cholesterol in your body.

There have also been studies showing that a keto diet can lower the proportion of other fat molecules called triglycerides that are bad for you.

4. Reduction in blood glucose level

The carbs that we eat are eventually converted into glucose by the body. If your diet contains a lot of carbs, you tend to generate a lot of glucose in your blood, which is not a good thing.

The elevated levels of glucose in the blood are harmful, and the body releases a hormone called insulin to mitigate this situation. Under the influence of insulin, the cells of the body absorb this glucose from the blood.

The insulin system works for most people, but for people with diabetes, it fails miserably. People with diabetes produce fewer quantities of insulin, and any 'spike' in blood glucose levels can have a toxic effect on their bodies.

A keto diet attacks this problem at its roots. By consuming fewer carbs, the risk of generating that dreadful glucose spike in diabetic patients can be completely avoided.

Some studies have shown the positive effect of a keto diet on lowering blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.

5. Can help you reduce blood pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the biggest health risks around the world. As a matter of fact, one in every three people in the United States has high blood pressure. It is estimated that almost 1000 people die due to hypertension related issues every single day.

A ketogenic diet can be very effective in controlling hypertension according to multiple studies. Consuming fewer carbs in the diet decreases the blood pressure in hypertensive and pre-hypertensive individuals resulting in a reduction in risks of diseases such as stroke, kidney failure, and cardiac arrest.

6. Can suppress appetite

One of the biggest hurdles in staying on a diet has to be the hunger. I mean if you have tried to go on any diet program, you know what I am talking about. You are hungry all the time!

The great thing about a ketogenic diet is that it can gradually decrease your appetite over time. Multiple studies have shown that a diet that is high in fats and proteins compared to carbs can reduce your appetite. You won't feel the craving for junk food on a ketogenic diet.

The bottom line is:

A ketogenic diet can healthily reduce your appetite, and you can stick to the diet for a longer time. You won't feel bouts of hunger that you might feel with almost any other diet.

7. Good for certain neurological issues

A ketogenic diet can be quite an effective strategy to manage certain neurological issues including epilepsy. As a matter of fact, the roots of a ketogenic diet can be traced back to the epilepsy study that we discussed earlier.

There has been extensive work on the effects of a ketogenic diet on children with epilepsy, and most studies have found a positive correlation. Many children who are not responsive to drugs often show marked improvements with a ketogenic diet.

Devil's Advocate

So, there is a ton of evidence about the benefits of the ketogenic diet, but it has its fair share of controversies as well. Many people believe that the risks associated with a strict ketogenic diet should not be overlooked for the sake of dropping a few extra pounds.

Some of the most common criticisms regarding the ketogenic diet include the following.

Ketosis in a long term may cause muscle loss

While most experts agree that a ketogenic diet that forces the body to undergo ketosis is effective initially, some of them are skeptical regarding the long-term benefits.

Some dieticians believe that entering a prolonged ketosis can do more harm than good to your body. They think that a prolonged state of ketosis can cause muscle degeneration. The keto-skeptics have argued that this diet is not ideal for people who want to reduce fat but gain muscle.

However, many scientific studies have debunked this as a myth. According to some papers, a keto diet can actually preserve muscle loss rather than accelerate it.

It is not possible to carry on the good initial results

When your body enters ketosis, you see a rapid weight loss in the first few weeks. It is due to the metabolic shift that is happening in your body and mainly through the loss of a lot of unwanted water. However, as you progress in the diet, it can get harder to replicate the initial success.

Many people wrongly think that they will continue the same rate of weight loss as they observed during the initial phase of ketosis. The fact of the matter is the initial weight loss can be rapid, but it will taper off eventually. After losing a considerable amount of weight, you will experience a drop in the rate of weight loss, but if you carry on, you will see your weight dropping steadily.

Ketosis is a short-term solution

Many skeptics of the ketogenic approach believe that when you are on a ketogenic diet, you are essentially starving yourself. As a result, they believe that weight loss is natural. But as soon as you stop the diet, which according to them is inevitable, you will gain the weight right back.

Now, there might be some truth to this argument. As a ketogenic diet is stringent, there may be a problem for some people to stick with it for a longer term. However, a ketogenic diet is not a fad or a temporary thing that you try. It is a lifestyle choice that you make to get healthy. It can help you shed that extra weight and motivate you to carry on.

The truth is:

Despite numerous scientific studies, the ketogenic diet has repeatedly been found to be efficient and safe.

That said, if you become obsessed with your weight, it is never a good thing. The problem is not the diet per-se, but the misguided approach that some people take with the ketogenic diet.

What are Carbohydrates and Their Role in The Body?

Carbohydrates

As we saw earlier, a ketogenic diet limits the amount of carbohydrates that you can consume. But, what are these carbohydrates and what do they do in your body?

Chemically speaking, all carbohydrates are molecules that contain three elements- carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

These are often called energy molecules as the body can generate energy by metabolizing them in the cells.

Carbohydrates can range from simple carbohydrates such as glucose or fructose to highly complex carbohydrates such as starch and glycogen. Carbohydrates are sometimes also referred to as 'saccharides' as most of them have a varying intensity of sweet taste. Depending on their chemical structure, carbohydrates are classified into the following categories.

Monosaccharides

These are the simplest forms of carbs and contain a single molecule in their structure. Some of the most common examples include glucose, galactose, and fructose. Of all the monosaccharides, your body can use only glucose as a fuel.

So, when we are talking about blood sugar, we speak of glucose, which is a monosaccharide.

Disaccharides

As you can probably guess from the name, Disaccharides contain two monosaccharide molecules linked together by a chemical bond. Examples of disaccharides include sucrose or table sugar that contains one glucose and one fructose molecule. Lactose is another disaccharide that contains one glucose and one galactose molecule.

Polysaccharides

If you join multiple monosaccharide molecules together in chains, you end up with a large molecule called a polysaccharide. Sometimes, these chains are unbranched and linear such as in starch, or sometimes they are branched as in glycogen.

As you can imagine, almost everything that you eat contains carbohydrates. Anything that contains starch or sugar contains carbohydrates.

However, to be used by the body, a carbohydrate needs to be converted into glucose within the body. That said, some carbs are easily converted into glucose while others are not. For instance, table sugar, or sucrose, is easily and efficiently converted into glucose. As a matter of fact, the process is so fast that as soon as you eat a sugary dessert, your blood glucose level shoots up!

Starches are also easy to break down to glucose and result in high concentration of glucose in the blood after ingestion.

The capacity of a food item to cause an increase in the concentration of glucose in the blood is called the Glycemic Index (GI). The higher the GI of a food item, the bigger spike in glucose level it causes after you eat it.

Fruits, potatoes, milk products, all have a high GI. Hence, these foods can significantly increase your blood glucose levels.

But, from what we have seen about carbs till now, they seem to be quite good for you, right? So, why shun them?

Are carbs bad?

Well, carbs are not bad at all. In fact, they are the fuel that drives your body. However, if you overeat the wrong carbs, and you always do, you can trigger a rather unpleasant chain of events.

Let me explain:

You see, it all boils down to the insulin-glucagon hormonal system. When you are fasting, and your body needs glucose, the alpha cells of your pancreas secrete a hormone called Glucagon. It stimulates the liver to release some stored glycogen that in turn is converted into glucose and your blood glucose level rises.

In response to this elevated blood glucose level, the beta cells of the pancreas release a hormone called Insulin. It, in turn, stimulates the cells of your body to take up glucose and use it to generate energy.

Now, imagine if you are eating a lot of high GI carbs, day in and day out. Your blood glucose levels are always high. There is no need for the generation of glucagon from the alpha cells, and glycogen never gets used up.

There is a stress on the beta cells of the pancreas to clear up the excess glucose from your blood. So, they secrete more insulin. Now, over time, the higher levels of insulin in the blood cause the cells of your body to acquire a form of resistance to insulin, and they need more insulin to get stimulated to clear up the elevated glucose from the blood. Soon, there comes a time when even a high concentration of insulin is not enough to cause the cells of your body to take up glucose from the blood.

The overall result is that your blood glucose levels shoot up and right there lies the root of all health problems.

The elevated glucose levels can cause hypertension, obesity and a host of other health concerns. Not to mention, when under constant stress, your pancreas gives up, and the problem is amplified.

So, what is the solution?

Well, the solution is to limit your intake of high GI carbs in the first place. The ketogenic diet is based on this very principle. By restricting the amount of high GI carbs to a minimum, you can avoid the glucose spike in your blood and the whole cascade of events.

If you have a lot of fat stored in your body, the body will soon start using this fat to generate energy, and you will start losing weight.

Ketogenic Food List

So, you need to limit the intake of carbs in your diet. But as you just saw, almost anything and everything has carbs in it, right? Well, not really.

As it turns out, there are many healthy alternatives to carbs that will provide you with all the energy you need without spiking your insulin and blood glucose levels.

Remember, a ketogenic diet requires you to replace the calories coming from carbs with the calories coming from proteins and healthy fats. So, there are a ton of options for you, don't worry!

Here is a ketogenic food list that you can include in your keto diet. You can eat the following high fat, low carb foods freely

Ketogenic Food

Protein

You can consume good quality meats and other plant-based proteins to cover for carbs. Some of the best options include:

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    Grass-fed meats such as beef, lamb, goat or even venison
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    Poultry such as chicken, turkey, duck, and goose
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    Cage-free eggs
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    Fishes such as tuna, bass, sardines, salmon and mackerel
Meat Meal

As a word of caution, try to include lean meats in your diet as much as possible. Red meats such as beef and pork are also high in cholesterol. Make sure you change up your proteins with lean chicken breast or fish occasionally.

Healthy fats

Contrary to popular belief, fats are not bad for you at all. As a matter of fact, fats are essential for the proper functioning of your nervous system. However, avoid saturated fat as much as possible. Go for polyunsaturated fats, and you should be okay. Here are some of the fats that you can eat on a keto diet:

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    Avocado oil
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    Cold pressed coconut oil
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    Polyunsaturated fats
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    Olive oil
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    Linseed (flax) oil
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    Lard
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    Butter
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    Ghee

Ketogenic Vegetables

Veggies are rich in many micronutrients such vitamins and minerals. You can eat as many veggies you like on a keto diet. The only catch is that they should not be starchy. So, a potato is a strict no, but spinach is a yes!

Here are some ketogenic vegetables that you can eat on a keto diet:

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    Any leafy greens. These include spinach, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, lettuce.
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    Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and cauliflower
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    Fresh herbs such as cilantro, rosemary, thyme, mint and a lot more
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    Zucchini, leek, celery, chives, and cucumbers
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    Some slightly high carbs containing veggies such as asparagus, mushrooms, bean sprouts, bell peppers, sugar snap peas, wax beans, and tomatoes
keto vegetables that fit in with the diet

You also have a good selection when it comes to snacks as well. Some of the foods that you can eat as snacks while on a keto diet include the following:

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    Beef or turkey jerky
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    Veggies with homemade dressing
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    Boiled eggs
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    Minced meat

Evan some condiments are also permissible on a keto diet. The list includes:

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    Apple cider vinegar
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    Herbs and spices
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    Unsweetened mustards and unsweetened hot sauce

If you are a fan of hot beverages, you can add tea, and coffee without milk or sugar (in moderation) or bone broth.

You can also eat the following moderately high carbs containing foods occasionally, but limit the intake

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    Dairy products (full fat)

Limit intake of dairy products as they contain sugars and carbs. But if you want to indulge occasionally, make sure you are consuming high fat-containing dairy products. Such items include:


  • Full-fat cow's milk
  • Hard cheeses
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    Medium starchy veggies
  • Parsnips
  • Sweet pea
  • Okra
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Yams
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    Legumes
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Hummus
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    Nuts and seeds
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Chia and flax seeds

Foods to completely avoid

If you are on a keto diet, certain foods are completely off limits. Some of the prominent ones include sugars, syrups, and bread. Here are some foods you can think of as a "anti-ketogenic food list":

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    All grains

All grains contain a ton of starch, and hence they are completely off limits on a keto diet. Grains include the supposedly healthy grains as well including the following:


  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Wheat and any form of bread
  • Corn and corn products
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    All processed foods

Processed food contains a ton of sugar, and hence they are not allowed on a keto diet. Some of the processed foods that are entirely banished include:

  • Chips
  • Sweets
  • Cakes
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Chocolates
  • Canned foods including soups
  • Foods with artificial sweeteners
Fatty foods

Alcohol on a Ketogenic Diet

alcohol in diet

One of the more common questions about a keto diet is whether alcohol and ketosis mix.

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as you may think. Your body can use alcohol as a fuel to generate energy; just like it uses glucose.

Hence, when you consume alcohol during a ketogenic diet, assuming you picked a low carb beverage, your body burns off the alcohol instead of the fat.

Now, the impact of this phenomenon on your weight loss can vary depending on the individual.

I know some people who have little effect of consuming small amounts of alcohol occasionally on their weight loss. However, I also know a few individuals who experience a complete halt in their weight loss as soon as they consume alcohol.

So, there is not a simple answer to the question.

Should I completely avoid alcohol?

Well, as I pointed out, the impact of alcohol on weight loss varies from one individual to the other. So, it is not possible to say unequivocally that you should ban alcohol from your diet.

The best foot forward will be to try a moderate amount of alcohol and see how it affects your body. That way, you can make an educated guess regarding the inclusion or exclusion.

How will my ketogenic diet impact my buzz?

I thought you would never ask! Just kidding!

The thing is, your alcohol tolerance goes down on a keto diet. So, you will get drunk fast! There are a couple of reasons for this. First, your body will be metabolizing alcohol almost immediately. What this will do, is get you drunk quickly. Secondly, you will not be eating a ton of carbs that can help you to soak up the alcohol and slow down the process of intoxication. As a result, all the alcohol you drink is readily available for absorption, and you get tipsy quicker. Alcohol and ketosis can be a dangerous mix if you aren't careful.

Whether you decide to indulge in an occasional alcoholic drink, make sure that you are sticking to the low carb variety. Some of the beverages that you can try includethe following:

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    Hard liquors such as whiskey, brandy, tequila, vodka, rum, gin, and scotch
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    Low carb beers
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    Low carb wines such as Merlot (3.2g of carbs), Pino Noir (3.4g of carbs), Champagne/Sparkling Wine (1.5g of carbs)

What is Ketosis?

The ketogenic diet is an excellent way to get your weight down and get back in shape. Over the years, this approach has been refined, validated and used by millions to get rid of their body fat safely and efficiently.

But what does a keto diet do to your body?

Well, to answer these questions, we will have to dig just a little deeper into the physiology of the human body. Don't worry; I am going to keep it as easy to understand as I can!

So, to figure out what is the effect of the keto diet on your body, let's see what the term 'keto' means. It is a short form of the word 'ketosis.' It is a healthy state of your body when most of the energy is not coming through burning glucose, but through burning what are called 'ketone bodies.'

What are Ketones?

Ketones or Ketone bodies are fuel molecules just like glucose that the cells of your body can use to generate energy. But the most interesting thing about them is that they are produced by burning the stored fat in your body.

You see, when you are fasting, there is no supply of glucose from the diet to use. But your body, especially your brain, needs a lot of energy to function. So, there is a mechanism in place to convert the stored fat in the body to ketone bodies that can be used to generate energy. It is the reason why your body stores fat in the first place!

When you consume a diet that is very low in carbohydrates and moderate in proteins a.k.a a ketogenic diet, the body assumes that you are fasting and initiates the ketosis process. It is called metabolic ketosis as your body is burning off fat due to the lack of glucose in your blood.

However, metabolic ketosis should not be confused with diabetic ketosis. In the case of a diabetic ketosis, there is a lot of glucose in the blood, but due to insulin resistance, the body can't use the glucose and relies on burning ketone bodies instead. This type of ketosis is horrible for your body. It can create a ton of problems and is one of the worst nightmares in managing diabetes.

How do You Enter The State of Ketosis?

Ketogenic Diet Tips

Your body enters a state of ketosis if you fast for about 3-4 days. It forces the body to rely on ketone bodies for energy, and it makes them by burning the stored fat.

Many so-called tips and tricks promise a faster way to enter the state of ketosis. However, the best way to achieve ketosis is through proper diet. There is no short cut or a gimmick that can take you there.

You can enter ketosis if you follow the following guidelines:

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    Restrict the intake of carbs to less than 20g a day.
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    Limit your protein intake as well. As we discussed earlier, proteins can be converted into glucose when you restrict carbs in your diet. If you don't limit the amount of proteins in your diet, it will be challenging to enter into a ketosis phase.
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    Forget about counting your fat intake. You are not going to lose weight on a keto diet if you are starving yourself. A bulk of the calories in a keto diet need to come from fat. So, stop worrying about eating fats.
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    Drink plenty of water. Make sure that you are drinking at least one gallon of water a day on a keto diet. It will help you to stay hydrated as well as curb hunger.
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    Start working out. Exercise is a great way to boost your metabolism and a good way to enter ketosis.

How do You Know If You are in Ketosis?

So, you are doing everything right. You have limited your carb intake as well. But how do you tell whether you have entered the coveted ketosis phase?

Well, it is not that difficult to tell if you are in ketosis. The best and most definitive way to answering this question is using blood or a urine test strip. You can use these strips at home, and they can tell you whether you have entered ketosis or not.

While the urine strips a‚Äčre less accurate compared to the blood strips, they are less costly as well.

Breath testing is another option. It is more accurate than urine testing but less accurate than blood testing. You can read our Ketonix Breath tester review here.

If you are not interested in testing your urine, breath or blood, there is an alternative way as well. Many signs can indicate that your body is in a state of ketosis. These signs will tell you whether you are on the right track or not.

ketone body testing kit

If you need to go to the bathroom more often

If you have just started a keto diet; increased urination frequency is a good indicator. Ketosis causes diuresis or increased urination. So, if your bathroom visits have markedly increased, pat yourself on the back, you are heading in the right direction.

If your mouth is dry

A dry mouth is yet another hallmark of ketosis. If your body enters ketosis, you urinate frequently and lose water. As a result, your mouth feels dry. Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water during a keto diet to stay hydrated.

If your breath is bad

One of the main ketone bodies that your body is generating when it is in ketosis is Acetone. It is a volatile liquid that can be exhaled by lungs. There is only one drawback of this. Acetone has a bad smell to it. It smells like over ripe fruit or a nail polish remover. If you experience a bad breath during a keto diet, it is probably due to the acetone. Don't worry, though; it will go away in the long term.

If you don't feel hungry but yet quite energetic

Another hallmark of reaching a keto state is reduced hunger and a clear mind. You will start to feel more energetic and lose all the cravings for those mid-day or late-night snacks.

What to Expect on a Keto Diet?

A ketogenic diet is one of the best ways to lose weight, but it can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning. However, if you know what to expect when you are on a ketogenic diet, managing the temporary side effects can be easier.

When your body enters ketosis, it is undergoing a significant change in the most fundamental way possible. It is only natural for the body to reach to this change that you are imposing on it before it gets used to it.

There are certain ways in which your body is going to respond to your ketogenic diet. Some of these ways can have quite an unpleasant effect as well.

weight loss

However, there is good news:

These effects are only transitional. Once your body adapts the "keto way" you will see these effects fade away and you will have more energy than ever before.

In the meanwhile, you can see some so-called side effects of a ketogenic diet. Let's see what they are.

1. The keto flu

One of the most prominent reactions to a keto diet is the keto flu. But what is the keto flu? The symptoms of keto flu are just like the regular flu. You will experience tiredness, dizziness and overall lack of energy. Most people experience extreme fatigue during this phase of the ketosis.

You may even feel some lack of mental focus as well during this phase of ketosis.

Although you will want it to end, it is going to take its time to get over. In the meantime, you must stay determined and keep going strong.

Most people experience the worst symptoms in the first week of ditching the carbs. However, in some people, the symptoms can last for up to 5 weeks as well.

How to manage keto flu symptoms?

If you are experiencing the symptoms of keto flu, you can take steps to make it more bearable. Here are some tips that will help you get through this tough phase.

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    Eat more fats: Starving yourself is the worst thing you can do on a keto diet. If you suddenly stop eating carbs, your body will feel the pinch in the worst possible way. It still needs the energy to function, and you must provide it; in the form of fats. So, eat plenty of fats such as butter, ghee, and lard. As soon as you put more fat calories in your body, you will start feeling better.
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    Drink plenty of water: When your body enters ketosis, you lose a lot of water. If you don't replenish the lost water, you can leave your body dehydrated, and it can worsen the symptoms of keto flu. Make sure you are drinking at least a gallon of water when you start a keto diet.
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    Add more salt to your diet: Your body loses a lot of sodium when it enters ketosis. Replacing the lost sodium is essential for the proper functioning of the body. So, you should add more salt to your diet to replenish the lost sodium.
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    Eat a few moderate carbs if you must: Going on a strict keto diet can send your body into a state of shock. If you crave for carbs, adding a few foods that have moderate amounts of carbs is not such a bad idea. Just make sure that you are not overdoing it. Remember, if you feel crappy, you are not likely to comply with the diet anyway. So, it is better to bea bit moderate in the beginning if it means a better long-term compliance.

2. Loss of physical strength

During the initial phases of the keto diet, it is quite common to experience a lack of physical strength. If you lift weights, you will feel that suddenly, your strength is not there. It is quite a natural reaction of your body to a keto diet.

Make sure you are drinking plenty of water, replenishing your electrolytes and most importantly, not starving yourself. Soon, you should feel good again, and as soon as this initial phase blows over, you well get back the energy you once had and then some! So, stick it out my friend, for there is something great to come!

The bottom line is:

During the initial phase of ketosis, you are going to feel, well, crappy! That's the truth. But always remember that all these effects are transient, and they will go away. Soon, you will see your fat melting away and your energy levels better than ever.

So, stick it out and make sure you are following the tips mentioned above to make this initial phase as bearable as you can.

Famous People Who Like Keto

The effectiveness of a keto diet has turned many famous people into die hard keto fans. From movie stars to professional athletes, everyone seems to sing high praise of this amazing diet.

Some of the most beautiful women in the entertainment industry swear by the keto diet. Megan Fox, Adriana Lima, and even Kim Kardashian follow a ketogenic diet to stay in shape and keep up the energy for their busy schedule.

Some of the most successful professional athletes also follow a keto diet. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are among the many pro basketball players who found that low-carb, high-fat diet helped them add that extra oomph to their game.

The point of mentioning all these celebrities is this:

The keto diet works! Just imagine, all these famous people have all the resources at their disposal. They have the best experts advising them. If they think that something works, theremust be some truth to it, wouldn't you think?

Again, I am not saying that you should start a keto diet just because LeBron James is on it or Megan Fox is on it, but the fact that they are is kind of a big deal! Don't you agree?

Besides, there is a ton of scientific evidence that supports the keto diet. So, it does not need any celebrity endorsements in the first place!

Something to Take Home

People who are trying to lose weight and get back in shape often don't realize the impact a good diet has on their efforts. While they are ready to immerse themselves into all kinds of exercise routines, they pay little attention to their diet. As several research papers have pointed out, exercise or health supplements alone just don't work if they are not complemented with a good diet. And a keto diet has the potential to transform your body like never before.

So, there you have it, this is everything, well almost everything, that you need to know about the ketogenic diet! It is quite a smart strategy if you think about it, isn't it? Once your body transforms from a 'fat-conserving mode' to a 'fat burning mode,' dropping those pounds is not that difficult!

If you found this article informative and helpful, please share it with your friends. If you have any comments or suggestions, we would love to hear from you in the comments below as well.

Stay healthy and keep at it! Till the next time!

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