Before we begin, let me confess that most people out there are struggling with their diet. In fact, a huge number of people are looking for an efficient way of losing weight without exposing their bodies to any health dangers. One way of achieving this is through maintaining a keto diet program. In this article let us know what is a keto diet for and how to properly apply them.
What is a keto diet anyway?
In definition, a keto diet is a low carb diet that starves the body of glucose, forcing the body to use its reserve ketones for the purposes of metabolism. To understand this better, take an example of a hybrid car. Such a car is designed to use both fuel and electricity for its full functioning. In case the car is low on electricity or battery charge, the system automatically switches to its fuel power source.
Now, back to our content, the same happens once the brain detects a low glucose intake into the body (which is as a result of a low carb intake). Since metabolism must continue, the brain switches to an alternative fuel source which is burning ketones present in the body. What are ketones? Ketones are compounds created by the liver which are derived from the fat stored in the body.
The liver produces ketones throughout your life but at low levels when you’re consuming substantial amounts of carbohydrates and protein. However, once the body detects a low intake of carbs and proteins, the liver is forced to go to full throttle when it comes to the production of ketones to be used for body energy.
So, to summarize this part, it’s imperative you understand that the more carbs you feed on, the more the body uses glucose as its main fuel. On the other hand, when eating more protein and fewer carbs, the body switches from using glucose to using ketones as an alternative fuel source. When this happens, you’re automatically induced into ketosis which is a natural state that helps you burn excess fat for a successful weight loss program.
What to eat on a keto diet?
This is the most delicate part of preparing to achieve a ketogenic lifestyle. The first thing you need to do at this stage is to plan ahead. The moment you plan on partaking in a keto diet, the first thing you require to do is organize the meals you’re going to consume throughout the program. Remember what you eat highly depends on whether you’ll achieve a ketogenic state or not.
What are the don’ts?
To get started in the keto diet, you’ll need to eliminate carbohydrates, fruity vegetables, sugar and dairy products from the program. To be specific here, you need to eliminate all types of grains (rice, corn, wheat etc), fruits (apples, oranges, bananas etc), sugar (honey, maple syrup etc), tubers (potatoes, yams etc) and finally refined carbohydrates (cereals and bread). Our idea here is to keep the carb intake somewhere between 10 to 15% on a daily basis.
What are the dos?
Moving on to the dos, you need to consume high if not moderate amounts of:
- Meat (fish, beef, lamb, eggs, poultry etc)
- Leafy greens such as spinach and kale
- Ground vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- High-fat dairy
- Low-carb sweeteners
Actually, when consuming such meals, our idea is to manage a nutrient intake goal of around 5% carbohydrates, 25% proteins and 70% fats.
Benefits of a ketogenic diet
There are many health benefits involved once you achieve a ketogenic state. Apart from the obvious benefits of weight loss, this program increases your energy levels while still promoting proper brain functioning. For these and more, let’s highlight some notable benefits of a keto diet.
Once your body detects a low carb intake, the level of insulin gradually decreases, forcing the body to burn stored fats for purposes of metabolism. This automatically leads to weight loss as the body is able to convert to a fat-burning machine without feeling any hunger.
Lowers blood sugar levels
Do we have patients with type 2 diabetes in the house? Well, this part is for you. A keto diet has been scientifically proven to lower blood sugar levels due to the types of foods consumed. Since our main target is to lower insulin levels, blood sugar levels are automatically lowered which in return helps patients with type 2 diabetes.
Improves mental focus
Ketosis allows a steady flow of ketones to the brain which in return improves your mental focus and brain performance. When you lower carbs, you actually save your brain from being impaired by high sugar levels in the blood. Recent studies have actually revealed that most academicians are moving to a keto diet as a way of improving their brain performance while working or research.
Increased physical endurance
For athletes or those who love daily workouts, a ketogenic diet can increase your physical endurance. How? When using glucose as the main fuel source, the body gets exhausted pretty quickly, forcing you to eat frequently. However, when the body is using fats as the main source, there’s enough energy to fuel you up throughout the process due to the vast supply available.
As I conclude, let me mention that a keto diet requires you to consume a substantial amount of water to avoid dehydration. You see, when carbohydrates are cut substantially, the body is rapidly depleted off glycogen (the stored form of carbs) which is equivalent to losing 3 grams of water. Therefore to restore the lost water, you need to consume lots of water to maintain your overall health throughout the program.