What if we told you that you can eat cheese, red meat, add heavy cream to your coffee and still lose weight? Yes, there is such a diet that wants you to eat fat and protein. Yes, there are restrictions when it comes to the ketogenic diet, but the incredible weight loss results speak for themselves.
What is keto diet? It seems to be the miraculous lifestyle change that helps to shed fat, build more muscle, solve your health problems, and make your smarter. Now you can be smart and beautiful at the same time! Interested?
Go keto with our quick start keto diet plan for beginners! we promise to answer all your questions on ketones, keto flu, ketosis, and even a keto diet food list. Don’t hesitate; the sooner you read the article, the sooner you embark on a healthy-happy-you mission!
What Is Keto Diet?
The keto diet or ketogenic diet is also known as low carb diet and a low-carb high-fat diet (LHCF). In short, on keto diet, your body doesn’t run on carbs any longer (since you restrict them a lot) but it starts to break down fat for fuel instead.
When you enter ketosis, your body starts using the fat and producing ketones, which gives you energy, helps you lose weight, and many other benefits that you can find below.
When your body runs out of glucose (carbs) for energy, it turns to fat. Ketones appear as a product of this process. They are used as fuel for your body and your brain. According to this study, ketones can even suppress appetite!
There are three types of ketones:
- Beta-hydroxybutryrate or BHB in short
Your body produces them on its own on the keto diet during fasting or in case of high levels of fat intake. Another way to boost your ketone levels is to supplement on exogenous ketones, but more on that a little later.
Ketosis- What is it All About?
Your body can enter ketosis when your body runs out of glucose. Normally, sugar comes from carbs but when you eliminate carbs, you’re also eliminating the options for your body to process it.
Anyway, you deprive your body of sugar by:
Eating the Keto way: since the keto diet shopping list has to be planned carefully, you boost the fat intake and limit foods that could be converted into sugar.
Fasting: this is a popular thing among the keto dieters. There are a few different ways of how to approach fasting. You can either eat nothing for a few days or stick to intermittent fasting, where you eat only during a certain time. You can also skip meals or even ration your meals.
Why fasting? Because your body will burn the glucose first and then switch to fat, producing ketones in the process.
Some additional tips on how to get in ketosis include:
- Getting enough sleep
- Commit to regular workouts
- Stay away from snacks when you’re not hungry
- Limit your protein intake
How do I know I’m in Ketosis?
The easiest way to know is to test your blood, your urine or your breath for ketone levels. The breath seems to be the least popular method of the three.
You can test your blood ketone levels with a blood ketone meter. This method requires a blood sample but it’s very accurate. Not everyone is thrilled about the blood sample though so many people prefer the third option instead.
Test ketone levels in urine with ketone testing strips. This method is quite reliable. The only thing you need to do is to pee on the strip and match the color of the strip with the color on the bottle. That’s how you determine the urine ketone levels.
There are three different levels of blood ketones:
- The normal ketone levels are below 0.6 mmol/L (millimoles per liter)
- The moderate range of blood ketone levels are between 0.6 to 1.5 mmol/L
- High ketone levels are from 1.6 to 3.0 mmol/L
Anything higher than 3.0mmol/L is considered too high. In that case, you should get medical attention immediately.
Apart from measuring the ketone levels, here are a few more symptoms to show you that you’ve reached ketosis: dry mouth, increased thirst, loss of appetite, weight loss, bad keto breath, and increased energy and focus.
The Dreadful Keto Flu
Once you start with the keto supplements & food plan, the omega 3 & low carb diet, you might experience something very similar to the flu, also known as the keto flu.
While this flu doesn’t affect everyone the same way, but here’s a list of symptoms, just in case:
- Nausea, dizziness, and sore muscles
- Brain fog, poor concentration and focus
- Cramping and stomach pains
- Insomnia, irritability
Keto diet benefits
Keto diet can have incredible health benefits for your general wellbeing, brain function, and weight loss. Many of these benefits come as a result of carefully planned meals, where you focus on real, nutrient-dense foods, and healthy fats.
Overall, these are the benefits of the keto diet:
- Help with weight loss (according to many online claims and studies such as this one)
- Lower blood sugar levels
- Reduced blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels
- Improved physical performance and endurance
- Mental clarity, focus, and improved brain function
- Suppressed hunger and increased energy levels
- Potential aid in acne, says this study
Keto Diet Food List
Keto diet requires some careful planning if you want to eat clean and stick to the schedule. After all, entering ketosis will depend on what you eat. The less carbs you eat, the faster you enter ketosis.
Food to Avoid:
- Bread and pasta
- Sugar (maple, agave syrup…)
- Fruit (oranges, bananas…)
- Beans and legumes (lentils, peas…)
- Potatoes, yams…
- Grains (corn, cereal, wheat…)
- Any processed and junk food
Foods to Eat:
- Meats (chicken, beef, pork, fish…)
- Leafy greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard…)
- Dairy and eggs (heavy cream, grass-fed butter, cheese…)
- Nuts and seeds (walnuts, sunflower seeds, macadamias…)
- Fruits (berries and avocado)
- Healthy fats (coconut oil, avocado oil, MCT oil…)
For a more thorough list of keto-approved foods, have a look at this list. A lot of keto dieters supplement on protein powders and multivitamins & minerals.
Keto Diet Supplements
For a quick way to get into ketosis, you can supplement on exogenous ketones:
- Ketone salts (the most popular form of exogenous ketone supplements. The BHB ketones are bound to a salt, usually potassium, calcium, sodium, or magnesium. These are also referred to as BHB salts or Ketone mineral salts)
- Ketone esters (these are raw BHB ketones. They don’t come with any compounds or salts. The body is able to use these more quickly than the salts, but the taste is horrible and they can cause gastric distress in many cases)
- MCT oil powder (can help you boost the ketone levels, but it works slower than the first two supplements. It also doesn’t boost the blood ketone levels directly)
- Raspberry ketones (these aren’t real ketone supplements; they have nothing to do with ketosis)
According to this study, exogenous ketones are “a viable and practical alternative to dietary strategies to achieve ketosis.” What’s more, consuming them can suppress appetite.
A word of caution: exogenous ketone supplements can taste horribly. There are some that claim to taste great, there are others who don’t lie about the flavor.
In any case, these supplementations can be pricey, but they’ve become popular because they make the whole getting-into-ketosis procedure much easier, even after a cheat day.
Tips on Keto Diet for Beginners
- Your breath will smell funny until your body adapts to the new diet
- Drink water and electrolytes if you have headaches
- Track your food and progress; that will give you additional motivation and boost
- Cheat days happen- eating carbs isn’t the end of the world
- Find keto supplements that can help with your weight loss process
- On average you should reach ketosis with a restricted limit of carbs from 20 to 40 grams daily
- Stick to 1 gram of protein per kg of your body weight a day (0.45 grams per pound)
- Use this keto diet calculator to calculate the exact amount of fat, carbs, protein on a daily basis
- Even if you do keto for a short time, you can still learn a lot about how your body works and what it needs to be healthy and strong
- According to the Ketogenic Bible, Keto is not advised for: carnitine deficiency, pregnancy, kidney failure, type 1 diabetes, pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, and impaired liver function, among others.