The list of diet options is immense, but I believe that the best way to get someone into shape is through keto dieting. People go on a diet for all sorts of reasons. The most common motive is when you have an unhealthy weight and are looking to drop the pounds and increase your self-esteem. Athletes go on diets when they want to achieve their maximum physical condition, and in many cases, people abstain from food when they are aiming for a sexier and more appealing body.
The body usually gets its energy from the carbohydrates you consume. When you are undergoing a ketosis diet, the body is conditioned to create ketones in the liver, creating a type of energy which will replace the ones being produced by carbs.
This kind of diet is a shortened term for the ketogenic diet, but it is most famous for the term low-carb diet.
How Does Keto Diet Work?
The good thing about eating carbohydrates is that it lets the body produce both insulin and glucose. Compared with all other energy sources, glucose is the easiest and fastest to convert into energy. This is probably why people feel much stronger when they consume carbohydrates than if they were eating a different type of food. As glucose turns into energy, insulin helps in transporting it in your bloodstreams.
Since glucose is the only nutrient converted into energy, guess what is left inside the body – fats. Since your body is not using the fats, then it gets stored in your system, and accumulates over time. A person fond of having a high-carb diet will gain weight over time.
By utilizing a low-carb diet, the body goes into a different metabolic state. It is a natural process that the body carries out to aid in the survival of humans when they have low food intake.
This diet is also known as a low-carb and high-fat diet. Instead of turning glucose into energy, the liver undertakes the conversion of fats to energy for the body and brain.
The objective of this diet is to induce the body to be in this metabolic state by abstaining from carbohydrates.
A very important note that I need to make sure is towards to top here, is that on your food labels the fiber content is also shown as a carbohydrate. You must subtract the fiber to get the net carbs that we care about here. It is extremely important that you do not cut fiber out of your diet. As a matter of fact, you likely do not consume enough fiber as it is, and this diet will not necessarily cause you to naturally increase that, so please do yourself a favor and focus on adding healthy high fiber foods to your diet.
What People Get When They Are On a Keto Diet?
Essentially, what happens when you go into ketosis is that your body uses fat as the main source of energy. This means the fat that you consume will be converted into energy and not stored.
It’s just like going on a morning jog or sweating at the gym. The only difference is that instead of shedding fat by consuming all of the carbs and then moving to fat, it is converted into energy that the body can utilize.
Insulin is a hormone which serves as the body’s storage for fat. When a person goes into a metabolic state, insulin drops significantly. This condition instantly transforms your body into a fat-burner.
The keto diet isn’t just some kind of theory advocated by the uneducated. Studies conducted by Hussein M. Dashti et al. illustrate that a keto diet has had a more significant effect on obese patients compared with other types of dieting.
It Lowers Sugar Level
Sugar comes from glucose. Glucose, on the other hand, is found in carbohydrates. When carb intake is reduced, sugar level goes down in the process. The natural readiness of keto to reduce sugar levels is due to the types of food that your body is consuming.
A scientifically backed study has proven that keto diet is capable of lessening the probabilities of a person to suffer from diabetes. A person who has recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or is a pre-diabetic should consider a keto diet.
Increased Mental Focus
For some people, mental focus is a necessity of their daily lives. However, when you have too much mental strain, your ability to stay focused may be affected. This is a problem because it can lead to stress and cause numerous other short and long-term problems.
By following a proper keto diet, you will naturally increase your fatty acid intake. Fatty acids taken in vast amounts are known to have superior impacts on the brain’s functioning.
Just by reducing your carb intake, mental focus will sharpen, due to blood sugar levels dropping. Apart from that, ketones are also great for charging up the brain. Together, the effect on your mental performance will be remarkable.
Carbs may be the easiest molecule to be converted into energy, but they are also the easiest to lose. Eat carbs now, and then a few hours later, the body will already feel worn out, increasing your hunger level and making you want to eat again. This circle of eat, hunger, eat is an obvious problem for managing your caloric intake
When the body goes into ketosis, you will begin to consume fat for energy instead of glucose. Fat is a much better energy source compared to carbs and will give the body more energy throughout the day.
Many people have acne problems, that is why I felt it necessary to add this little section.
Most people find their skin clearer when they follow this diet. One study has shown that being an active low-carb dieter can reduce or even prevent skin inflammation and lesions, while in another study, a connection was shown between acne and the increased intake of high-carb foods.
Preparing to Go Into a Metabolic State
Keto dieting is sort of like driving a vehicle a race car. Before running the car at top speed, you have to wait for the engine to warm up.
The same applies to keto dieting, you need a shift in lifestyle for it to work. The following are the steps that you should take to ensure success in your keto journey.
Master the Basics
First things first, to make keto dieting work, you have to be familiar with the types of foods that you are allowed to eat. These are leafy greens, nuts, seeds, sweeteners, meat, high-fat dairy, berries, avocado, above-ground vegetables, and other fats.
On the other hand, it is also vital to learn the types of food that shouldn’t be consumed when on a keto dieting such as starches, sugar, or grains. Anything else that has high-carb properties like tubers or fruits are off limits.
Keto dieting is a process, meaning to say that a person has to stick with the diet routine to see the efficacy. Sometimes, people end up adhering to the diet for about a month, and then right after that, they go back to their previous eating habits. You will not see any development from keto dieting if you cannot commit to changing your lifestyle. This really should not be considered a diet, but should be looked at as a whole other lifestyle, so you must change your daily habits to make this work for you.
Determine Your Current Weight
Since the whole point of keto dieting is to lose weight, it is essential to keep track of the changes of your current shape. Keeping an eye on your weight and the pounds that you intend to lose is vital to see if keto dieting is effective.
One thing to point out is that if you are weight training at the same time as shifting to the keto diet, you are better off measuring things like your waistline and body fat percentage, as a reduction in weight may not be possible since you will also be building lean muscle mass.
Part of the preparation process is ensuring that you can monitor your body changes. Since it is difficult to see the transition through a mirror on a daily or even weekly basis, it is necessary to have pictures of yourself throughout the entire process.
Picture taking isn’t a one-time thing in keto dieting. It has to be done every couple of weeks so that comparisons can be made easier.
Plus, in our current social environment where everyone wants to or needs to show off the great things they are doing, having pictures of your progress and success could come in handy here.
Get Rid of All the Food You Shouldn’t Eat
Temptation is the biggest culprit for failure, especially in keto dieting. The level of discipline required of people intending to practice keto dieting can be tough to achieve in the beginning, but as you stick with this, you will see that it becomes much easier.
Trust me when I say that within a few weeks, you will not even miss the other junk, and you will begin to wonder why you did not know about this or do it sooner.
The best approach in keto dieting is to rid yourself of all the allurement. Make sure that the house is free from high carb foods such as processed food, bread, wheat flour, rice, most fruits, etc… You can always donate your food to the local food pantry.
Tell Your Family And Friends About Your Plan
The biggest source of temptation is friends and family. They don’t do it on purpose. Sometimes, the people closest to your heart end up being your greatest tempters even though they are only trying to be friendly and caring.
What I have found is that most family or friends won’t tempt you to consume foods that aren’t allowed if they are informed about your goals and what you can and cannot consume. I think you will find that most of the time, they will be rather accommodating.
Your family and friends can also be a source of encouragement. It could be difficult to convince yourself to stick with keto dieting, so having your close family member or friends around to remind you of your goals can influence you to stay on track. It is kind of like an accountability partner. If you have one of those, make sure you discuss this with them.
Start Counting Carbs
Eating food without carbs is impossible. However, you can limit their intake of it. At first, it is natural to feel like slacking off, but that is likely because you are still exposed to the wrong foods. Count your carbs while you are in the grocery store. Make sure you are only purchasing items that are low in carbs to begin with. I have provided you with a basic keto shopping list to make getting started easy. You can also check out the Keto Food Pyramid to get an easy overview of how to shop.
It is easy to determine what kinds of foods you should be purchasing for yourself by using our keto calculator. It will give you the amount of carbs, protein, and fats you should consume on a daily basis.
Just consider that if you are only buying low carb foods and bringing those into the house; When it comes time to make your meals, you should already know that your meal is a low carb meal. There is actually no reason to count your carbs for meals you are making, it really is that simple.
It is important to be mindful of your eating habits in the first few weeks since that is the phase when you are still getting used to the lifestyle. It only takes one snack to ruin the entire plan for keto dieting.
Stocking the Fridge With Low-carb Foods
No amount of discipline can stop your tummy rumblings if it’s looking for food. I believe It is important to have convenient keto snacks and keto desserts so your diet won’t be put at risk when hunger strikes. If you are at work, then it is also vital to keep a pack of low-carb snacks to grab. Here are some suggestions:
Peanut butter and celery sticks – This used to be every child’s favorite snack, but you may want to revamp it. You should take 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of cream cheese. Smear a generous amount of Splenda in there, and then you can start spreading or dipping it in the celery sticks.
Walnuts or almonds are also a good choice. Anyone going on keto dieting would want these foods to be in their nutritional diet since they carry lots of fats that are essential for someone going on low-carb routine.
String cheese and kale chips. This is the best option if you are always out on the road. Just carry these foods with you, and grab a bite whenever you get hungry.
Keto Diets in Restaurants
When you meet someone for a lunch or dinner meeting, it is easy to forget about your diet. Especially when you see or hear what they are ordering. I guess I am not sure if it is forgetting so much as it is choosing to ignore your diet.
At home, you have full control of the foods that you consume, but once inside a restaurant, things can get a little crazy, especially if you have an officemate or friend who keeps on ordering meals that are not part of your keto meal plan.
You should make yourself familiar with the types of food you can order when in a restaurant. This applies whether you are at a sit-down restaurant or a fast food. There are ways to eat at both.
For breakfast, always go for eggs. Aside from being good for the keto diet, eggs are also rich in protein. A good combination for breakfast would be bacon and scrambled eggs. Forget about the croissant or English muffin.
For lunch, it may be an excellent option to go for a chicken salad. Just be careful with the dressing. Ask the waiter, if they could keep the dressing on the side. If not, then you may want to switch the dressing to a vinaigrette.
For dinner time, steak or a chicken breast is always a good option. You can go for steak with broccoli on the side or burger minus the buns with a side salad. One of my all-time favorite is seared chicken breast with a side of mixed veggies.
How to Determine if You are Already in a State of Ketosis
You can’t help but ask, “Is it working yet?” Once someone gets into keto dieting, you become much more conscious of your body. You will start looking in the mirror to see if there are any changes, just to see if it is actually working.
The changes in your body may seem like a good indicator of the efficacy of keto dieting, but in reality, looking at your body in the mirror is not going to be helpful. If you go on any diet and cut out 500 calories per day, you will see results. The important thing here is that ketosis is more about changing from burning glucose to burning fat. We need to know that we are burning fat around the clock, not just once our glucose, that we are continuing to eat, are expended. Though I hope that is not the case for you.
The best way to go about it is to use Nurse Hatty® – Ketone Strips. What do you do with a Nurse Hatty® – Ketone Strip? It is really quite easy, just pee on the strip. You will then get a measurement that will tell you what your ketone levels are.
Ketone Strips are a requirement, especially if you are still working your way to the keto phase. When you are already in a state of ketosis, then it becomes noticeable. But if the person is just starting out, it can be impossible to. Nurse Hatty® – Ketone Strips lets you do precisely that.
Someone going into keto dieting may want to prevent having a dark purple result in testing since it indicates a very high level of ketone in the urine. A healthy result would be between dark pink and light purple.
It is also good to note that you shouldn’t be drinking water right before doing the testing since it is most likely to give an unreliable test result. With that in mind, you also wouldn’t want to get into ketosis testing when you are diluted since it will most probably produce the same result as the latter.
Doing the ketone strips testing is relatively easy, but here is a walkthrough for beginners:
Urinate on the test strip.
- Shake the strip to get rid of excess urine that may be dripping from it.
- Wait approximately 40 seconds for the result to come out.
- There is a color leveling guide on the side of the bottle. You can compare the result using it.
If you notice over the weeks as you maintain a strict diet that you are producing less and less Ketones, and possibly even none, do not get concerned, this means that your body has transitioned to ketosis as its normal state and no longer needs to produce ketones to start using fat for energy.
More Signs That You are Going Into Ketosis
Nowadays, people are getting fonder of taking shortcuts or gimmicks to reach their goals or destination. That’s a kind of mindset that doesn’t work well for keto dieting.
There is only one way to go to reach optimal ketosis, and it is relatively easy to get started. It may take a while for the effects to start sinking in, but once they do, these are the signs that a keto dieter needs to look out for.
More Time in the Comfort Room
A good sign that your efforts are starting to pay off is the need to urinate more frequently.
Some people get agitated when they have to pee more than usual, but this is actually a normal phase for anyone going through keto dieting. Partly because you should be increasing your liquid intake as part of the diet.
Since ketones are a diuretic, anyone engaging in keto dieting will need to pee a little more frequently. When you are in keto dieting, the body produces acetoacetate, which has to be released in the urine, so remember, peeing is not a bad thing.
Mouth Becomes Dry
When a person releases more fluids than usual, you get thirsty more often as well. Even though increased urination is a good sign for a keto dieter, that doesn’t mean that you should let yourself go thirsty.
More time in the bathroom means that you have to drink plenty of water to replace the fluids that you lost in urination. Do not forget this step.
No need to worry since this is only temporary. When you go into a keto stage, the body produces acetone emitted in your breath. It may smell like overripe fruit, but the smell will go to away after some time. This was actually never an issue for me, but I guess it can be for some people.
Everyone goes through the keto flu stage wherein the dieter is tempted to go back to your previous lifestyle due to how your body has been feeling ever since you decided to take on keto dieting.
But if you can just get past this stage, then you will start feeling more energetic than ever. What’s more is that you will almost never feel those hunger pangs you dealt with in the past, not the usual scenario when a person gets hungry even after you just ate. For me, I can go over 24 hours without starting to feel hungry. This works out great for the intermittent fasting that I also do in conjunction with this diet.
It is a common complaint among first-time dieters that their physical performance is affected when they go into keto. This isn’t true for the most part.
Remember the keto flu that was just mentioned earlier? This is only a small part of it. One’s body has to adapt to its new energy-production method, which could affect physical performance. But once you get past the adapting stage, the effects on your body will reverse. What seemed like physical strain will start to feel like zest, and you will be more energetic than ever.
Tips to Insure Success
When you are in deep ketosis, the body will be induced to urinate a lot. With the amount of fluids that are excreted from the body, you have to continue rehydrating yourself to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Naturally, keto dieting is a healthy style of living, but if you let yourself get dehydrated, it is going to have adverse side effects.
It is recommended that the dieter drinks 32 ounces of water from the time you wake up and another 32–48 ounces of water before noon time.
Increase Salt Intake
Ordinarily, medical experts would recommend people to lessen their intake of sodium since many people are struggling with these issues. Due to that, some people are led to believe that sodium intake is actually a bad thing, when in fact it only becomes detrimental to your health when you are on a high-carb diet.
When someone consumes high-carb foods, the insulin level rises. It is good to note that insulin can affect the kidneys in a bad way. If you already have a high level of insulin, then consuming salt can add to the workload of the kidneys.
However, when someone is in ketosis, the body produces lower levels of insulin. In retrospect, the body will need a higher dosage of sodium.
Avoid Consuming Too Much Protein
Some people on a keto diet end up eating too much protein. Typically, protein intake would be a good thing, but when you are in ketosis, consuming too much will inhibit the body from converting amino acids into glucose. This means that you will go back to using carbs to produce energy again. In short, it is going to disrupt the whole keto stage.
Keep Stress out of your Life
If you are going through stressful experiences right now, then this isn’t the best time to set keto as a goal. Or maybe it is, maybe this is exactly what you need to turn things around.
Stress can set back keto therapy big time. If you are serious about getting into the ketosis stage, then you should engage in activities that can reduce your stress levels. That way, the intensity of the emotion cannot penetrate your keto goals.
What does stress have anything to do with keto? The presence of stress in your life can boost the production of stress Cortisol, which in turn can elevate the level of blood sugar. Once again, the state of ketosis will be disrupted, and instead of getting energy from fats, the body will try to get it from carbs again.
Make sure that you are focusing n reducing stress as part of your lifestyle transformation.
This goes back to stress once again because when a person lacks proper sleep, the body produces an increased level of Cortisol, resulting in the creation of glucose inside the body.
If your goal is to achieve and maintain ketosis, then you have to have full control of your lifestyles. If you are used to going to sleep late at night, then you need a total change in habits for the diet to take effect. It is essential for a person on this type of diet to get 7 or more hours of sleep. That should give the body enough time to rest and prevent it from producing stress hormones. Really, this applies in general, make sure you get enough sleep to reduce cortisol production.
Stress and lack of sleep produces a horrible downward spiral that is hard to break. If you are stressed you end up sleeping less, which then produces more stress, and so on and so forth. Break the cycle immediately by starting with getting enough sleep.
Negative Side Effects of Keto Therapy
Ketoacidosis occurs when the body produces too many ketones. However, it is pretty rare for someone to need medical intervention when this specific scenario hits them.
The exception is if you have diabetes. If this is the case, then severely high levels of ketone can lead to insulin secretion and serious medical problems.
Due to the dangers that come with the keto diet, it is recommended that you consult with your physician before engaging in this activity.
These are some other side effects you may experience during the first few phases of the diet:
This side effect usually happens in the evening or morning and is generally due to lack of magnesium. There is nothing to worry about here because this phase is completely normal. To help the body adjust to this new diet, you need to drink plenty of fluids, as well eat salty foods.
One of the things people notice about this diet is constipation. It is mainly due to dehydration, which is precisely why people taking this diet is prescribed to drink plenty of fluids since getting into the stage of keto is definitely going to make a person urinate more frequently, thus the loss of fluids.
The other reason is that people tend to eat less fiber with this diet. That is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. While fiber is identified as a carbohydrate, it is not the same as sugar. You can and should consume 25 – 30 grams of fiber daily
Increased Heart rate
It is part of the whole transitioning phase. When a person goes through these kinds of changes, your body is going to need some time getting used to these changes. An increased heart rate may be part of the process. It is a sign that the body is reacting to your new diet.
Sooner or later, your heartbeat is going to get back to normal. But in the event that it doesn’t, you should consult a doctor about these symptoms.
Reduced Physical Performance
Since your body has gotten used to using up energy produced from carbs, you may start feeling a bit less energetic because of the drastic changes in diet. But once the transition from carbs to fats as your bodies energy source is complete, the effect is going to reverse, and your energy should show a noticeable increase from before.
I think keto is one of the healthiest ways to reduce your weight, but just like any other kind of diet, it requires the cooperation of, not only the person doing the diet, but also your physician. With that being said, I recommend you always check with your physician before starting any diet.