Curious to learn more about the keto lifestyle? Let's start with the basics. What is ketosis? Learn more in this Keto 101 lesson.
One of the most popular low-carbohydrate diets is the ketogenic or keto diet. The keto diet encourages you to eat more foods high in protein and fat, such as poultry, fish, meat, eggs, and non-starchy vegetables.
Also, you should avoid eating any grains, bread, legumes, sugar, pasta, starchy vegetables, and some fruits.
By eating low-carbohydrate foods, your body goes into ketosis. This is the basis for the keto diet. If you’ve tried dieting by counting calories or followed any fad diets without results, keto can help you break through the weight loss barrier.
Are you ready to hear more about how ketosis and the keto diet can help you drop pounds fast?
This keto 101 guide will help you understand what the keto diet can do for your weight loss and health goals.
What Are Ketone Bodies?
When your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to make blood sugar or glucose for fuel, it uses protein and fat to produce energy. This happens while on an extremely low-carbohydrate diet, usually under 30 grams of carbs per day.
When your body starts burning fat, the resulting fat fragments are ketone bodies or ketones, which build up in your blood. This puts your body into ketosis.
What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a natural metabolic process occurring in your body when you eat low amounts of carbohydrates. It takes two to three weeks to reach ketosis.
When you’re in ketosis, your insulin levels drop, you start to burn fat for fuel and your liver releases ketone bodies. The result of ketosis is accelerated fat loss.
Normally, your body uses glucose in carbohydrates as an energy source. It’s made up of glucose molecules known as glycogens.
During ketosis, going into fat-burning mode is more efficient than using glucose for energy. The keto diet emphasizes that you can train your body through ketosis to burn more fat.
When your body enters ketosis, producing ketones, it aids weight loss, lowers your blood pressure, increases good HDL cholesterol and increases your mental performance.
Ketosis also causes a dramatic reduction in your appetite, which helps you lose weight. It also makes it easier to practice the intermittent fasting encouraged in the keto diet.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
When you follow intermittent fasting, your body reaches ketosis faster than just cutting carbs. By fasting, your body’s insulin levels and glycogens drop. If you’ve tried to reach ketosis by cutting carbs, and you haven’t had any luck, intermittent fasting can jumpstart the process for you.
There are different types of ketosis and intermittent fasting is one of them. Fasting is an easy keto method to get your body into ketosis quicker.
Don’t Eat for 12 Hours per Day
Not eating for 12 hours might seem extreme, but the plus side is that you can count your sleep time as part of your fasting routine. This fasting method is a great way for keto beginners to get into ketosis.
Using this method allows most of your fasting time to take place while you sleep. One way to do this is to fast between your dinnertime and your breakfast. For example, if you eat dinner at 6 p.m., you wouldn’t eat again until 6 a.m.
16:8 Fasting Method
When you follow the 16:8 fasting method, you fast for 16 hours and eat during the remaining 8 hours. In this case, you could eat your dinner and then skip breakfast the next day.
5:2 Fasting Method
During this fasting method, you follow your keto diet food plan for five days and eat fewer than 600 calories on the two fasting days.
Keto 101 Guide
Getting into ketosis can be challenging when you start the keto diet. It’s a totally new way of eating than what you’re used to. Following keto requires a strict low-carbohydrate diet, discipline, and commitment. Below are keto made easy tips that will make your keto journey easier and successful.
Understand Food Choices
Your first week on the ketogenic diet is the hardest. During this time, make sure you research and understand the types of low-carbohydrate foods you can eat on the diet. You also want to set a schedule for the best time for you to eat. This will help you maintain your keto plan.
Also, make sure you know how to get your body into ketosis. The keto diet plan limits your carbohydrates between 30 and 50 carbs per day for beginners and 20 grams per day once your body adjusts. You also want to eat healthier, fatty foods.
Here’s a simple keto breakdown of your daily food intake:
- 70 to 80 percent healthy fats
- 15 to 20 percent protein
- 5 percent carbohydrates
Healthy food options include fats, such as MCT oil, olive oil and ghee, proteins from organic meat, eggs, and fish, and low-carb veggies like broccoli and cauliflower.
When ketosis burns your stored glycogen, you’ll need to urinate more often. Many times, this is a temporary condition until your body adjusts to the diet. In the meantime, drink plenty of fluids to prevent headaches and muscle aches during the first few weeks.
Beat the Keto Flu with Exercise
If you’re a beginner at following low-carbohydrate diets, you might experience the “keto flu.” This is when you have symptoms, such as nausea, fatigue, headaches, and muscle pain or cramps.
Although you might not feel like doing anything when you don’t feel well, it’s better to do low-impact exercises to ease your discomfort. Try yoga, walking or swimming until you adjust to ketosis. These exercises also help increase your blood circulation.
The “keto flu” should only last for two to three weeks.
Get Enough Sleep
If you don’t get enough sleep, your metabolism works longer. When this happens, you’ll get more food cravings making it harder to stick to the plan. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night.
Are You Ready to Look Good and Feel Good?
Now that you’ve learned the basics of keto from this keto 101 guide, try keto eating to help you maintain a healthy weight, increased energy and high-functioning brain. If you understand the foods you can eat, plan ahead and make the right food choices, the ketosis and the keto diet will work for you.
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