Keto Diet Review
Keto Diet Review
From Instagram to Twitter to Facebook, the online community is buzzing with the ketogenic diet. If you are on any of these social media platforms, then it is very likely you may have come across a post praising the wonders of the ketogenic diet. If you are reading this right now, then it's okay to assume you are curious about what this diet is all about. Well, you have come to the right place. This article will cover all aspects of the ketogenic diet to provide you everything you need to know about it.
First a little about me. I must admit I was skeptical about the Keto diet until my doctor recommended it, after I told him I was having a hard time losing weight for a couple Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments. I did a lot of reading and research and wold like to share that with you all.
My goals were to lose and maintain a body weight of 185lbs. In the past I felt and looked great around 185lbs, and I feel comfortable competing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at 88Kg/195lbs.
Last but not least before I share all that I researched and learned about Keto. My top Keto benefits have been:
- Lost 15 lbs and went from being gassed after 1 - 5 minute round of training to feeling strong through 3 - 5 minute rounds.Visible 6-pack absWon gold in my at the San Francisco Jiu-Jitsu World League tournament on the keto diet.
What is the ketogenic diet?
First things first, what exactly is the ketogenic diet? The ketogenic diet, commonly shortened to the keto diet is a high fat, low carbs eating plan. The diet simply involves a drastic reduction in your carbohydrate intake and replacing it with healthy fats. When you consume a lot of fatty foods with very little carbs, your body system goes into a state known as ketosis. Ketosis can be defined as a metabolic state where the body predominantly burns fat into ketones and uses it as fuel, in place of carbs. This happens as a direct result of the body being deprived of carbohydrates which it uses as fuel to provide energy.
Essentially, with less than 50 grams of carbs to use, the body resorts to burning fats to provide energy for the body and brain. Your body system gradually becomes better at using fats for energy, not only the fat that you eat, but also the fat that is stored in your body as well. Thus, the more your body burns fat, the more weight you lose and in there lies the essence of the ketogenic diet.
What foods can you eat on a keto diet?
The keto diet is not complicated, there are many keto friendly foods available. In the most basic sense, it is a shift in the type of foods you eat to turn your body into a fat-burning machine. Talking about the food you eat, as a high fats low carbs diet, a typical ketogenic meal should contain healthy sources of fats such as avocados, coconut oil, whole eggs, olive oil, coconut oil, butter, nuts, and seeds. Fat found in unprocessed meat such as beef, salmon, chicken, turkey, and pork come highly recommended as well.
While fat-rich foods are necessary for a keto meal, it is highly recommended that you watch the type of fats you consume after all your goal is to gain the health benefits. For instance, although foods like cheese, mayo, and bacon fit the fat allowance of a keto diet, however, for your health, these foods are not always the best options and should only be consumed occasionally. Besides foods rich in fat and protein, also ensure that you eat your vegetables. Additionally there are many 0 net carb keto snacks that were delicious.
Now for the things you shouldn't eat, it goes without saying that you should avoid foods rich in carbs such as grains and starch. Also avoid foods with high sugar content too including fruits, candy, soft drinks, smoothies, cake, ice cream, bread, pasta, cereal, pies, cookies, and other processed foods.
The amazing thing about the keto diet and perhaps one of the easiest reasons why people follow this eating plan is because it does not involve a wide deviation from the typical everyday foods most people consume. Basically, a lot of people are successful on the keto diet plan because they are not craving the foods they know they can't have. Also, considering the fact that the keto diet is high in fat and moderately high in protein, it's easy to feel full on this plan.
Common errors to avoid while on a keto diet
Most people may be doing keto wrong without even realizing it. One of the most common errors people make when on a keto diet program is in the kind of things they eat. It is important to understand that while a certain type of food might be good for your body, it does not necessarily mean it will fit into your keto diet.
Common examples of these types of food include fruits. Now, fruits like apples are no doubt good for the body as they are good sources of vitamins. However, when eaten, these high glycemic fruits are converted to glucose in the bloodstream, just like other carbs. Thus, while they may not be bad for you, they help in the production of glucose in the body which is used as fuel in place of ketones.
The goal of the keto diet is to reduce/shut off the production of glucose so as to trigger the production of ketones for fuel. Thus, even if you avoid food rich in carbs but still consume other foods that can be converted to glucose, you are indirectly nullifying the essence of the ketogenic diet, because, in the presence of glucose and ketones, the body will always choose glucose over ketones.
While you may want to watch the fruits you eat, do not make the mistake of skipping out on vegetables - they are the best way to get your micronutrients into your diet plan. A lot of vitamins and minerals are contained in fruits and green vegetables so if you are going to be on a diet that is already low in fruits, then you should consume a lot of veggies to make up for that. These micronutrients are essential to your body and without it, even if you are losing weight on your keto diet, it does not necessarily mean you're being healthy.
Another mistake people make when they go on a keto diet plan is that they consume excess fats too fast and early in the program. It is recommended that you start out with small amounts of fats and gradually increase it until your body gets used to burning fats for fuel.
Your body system may not be able to deal with excess fats early on which can bloat up the gall bladder and cause sleep related health problems. If you experience sleep disorders while your body is trying to adapt to ketosis, supplement your diet with foods rich in calcium and magnesium to help you sleep better.
How to know if you are in ketosis
The body can be said to be in a state of ketosis when it is burning fats instead of carbohydrates for fuel. In a normal state, when you've consumed carbohydrates, it is converted to glucose which is then sent into the bloodstream to provide you with energy for your day to day activities. One indication of ketosis is the dreaded keto flu side effect.
Carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, breads, rice,and even yummy donuts are the body's main energy source, thus when you are on a keto diet, the body is deprived of its main source of energy. Reducing your sugar intake will drastically improve your health by reducing your blood sugar levels.
To make up for that, the liver then breaks down fats to ketones which is delivered into the bloodstream as fuel. Thus, when you are in ketosis, one of the first things you would notice is increased energy thanks to the super fuel from the ketones in your bloodstream. I used a Keto Mojo shown in the picture below, which I got from Amazon. Buy one here > Keto Mojo Blood Ketone Monitor
Additionally, people on keto diets have reported that they experienced a drastic reduction in cravings for sugary foods, bread, and other carbohydrate rich foods. Also, with less sugar in your bloodstream to cause hyperactivity, the cognitive functions of your brain will be improved - more focus with less brain fog. You may also notice a reduction in how often you get hungry - you will be able to go for long periods of time without eating or being hungry like I was.
If you are in ketosis, you might also smell it on your breath. This doesn't mean you will have bad breath, nonetheless, you may detect a change in what your breath usually smells like. Some keto diet enthusiasts have described it as a combination of a little metallic, a little sweet and rotten apple breath. Finally, ketosis can also be detected in urine. One of the hallmarks of a body in ketosis is demonstrated by purple coloration on urine strips. If you tend to urinate a lot at night, that will also be reduced.
How to track your keto diet
The Keto diet plans have different macros. This is the breakdown of how much fat, protein, and carbs are in your daily diet. The average ketogenic macro split has 60 to 75% of calories from fat, 15 to 30% of calories coming from protein and 5 to 10% of calories from carbohydrates. Now based on the macros, there are four main plans of the ketogenic diets as explained below;
Standard Ketogenic Diet - this is the most recommended and commonly followed ketogenic macro split. It has 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet - this plan follows a course where you would cycle five days of high fats and low carbs with two days of low fats and high carbs.
Targeted Ketogenic Diet - here, you are allowed to have carbs before or after your workouts (the body prefers to use carbs for more intense anaerobic exercise).
High Protein Ketogenic Diet - this plan has a keto macro split where calories from fats will drop down to around 60%, calories from protein go all the way up to 35% while calories from carbs will be kept to a minimum of 5%.
How does ketosis affect the body?
The ketogenic diet is known to be one of the best ways of lowering your insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that is released by the body to regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates. Now, with very little carbs in the body, the production of insulin will drop and low insulin levels are associated with fat loss.
However, it is important to note that eating too much protein and unhealthy fats such as trans fats can also trigger the production of insulin in the body and maybe even spike it to unhealthy levels. Thus, even while on a keto diet, it is important to watch how much protein you consume and the type of fats you take in as well.
Studies demonstrate that maintaining a keto diet can help in the treatment of certain cases of cancer and has been proven to improve symptoms in people with heart diseases, Alzheimer's, epilepsy and Parkinson's.
How keto diet and intermittent fasting work together
A lot of people combine the keto diet with intermittent fasting in a bid to lose weight. Simply put, intermittent fasting is an eating plan involving periods of fasting and normal healthy eating. The combination of intermittent fasting and the keto diet works because fasting helps your body reach ketosis faster. As the body is deprived of food, to produce energy and maintain balance, the fuel source is naturally shifted to the fats stored in the body. Also, with nothing to digest, when you are on a fast, insulin and glycogen levels reduce leaving the body with fats as the only source of fuel. Thus, combining a keto diet plan with intermittent fasting will not just help to kick start the process of ketosis, it may help you burn more fats than using either program alone.
I'm not a doctor so keep in mind this was written from my own experiences, and research. Before starting the keto diet, consult your doctor for medical advice. Although I was on the keto diet short term, many people such as those who have type 2 diabetes choose to adapt it for the long term. There are other diets such as the atkins diets which have produced similar results for other people. Ultimately you want to do what is right for you. Depending on your health profile, increasing your saturated fats can be detrimental to your health.
While on a keto diet, it is pertinent to understand that results will not be immediate. Your body has been living on glucose your entire life and when you switch over to a completely different fuel source, it will need some time to adapt. Your cells will have to produce new enzymes that will break down the ketones as opposed to the glucose they are used to and that is going to take some time. On the average, it would take about 4 weeks to 6 weeks for your body to be fully adapted to being in ketosis. It may take a little longer or shorter depending on the status of your health. Either way, you will have to be patient with your body. I've been on Keto for over 120 days as of the writing of this article and may return to my regular diet soon.
There are a bunch of different diets that work when it comes to losing weight and the ketogenic diet is just one of the many choices that you have available to you when choosing a diet plan. If it fits you, then do it. However, despite the high fat frenzy, it is important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all plan to the Ketogenic diet, variate your diet program to a plan that suits your body and provided you stick to it, there is no doubt you will see results down the line.
If you would like more information on starting and maintaining the Keto Diet, please visit Keto Resources for additional information. Additionally there are a wealth of resources throughout the internet > Keto Resources