Learn Why You Should Use The Keto Diet (And How To Do It!)
The keto diet for weight loss is certainly getting a lot of attention these days, which is interesting considering how it didn’t start out that way. In fact, the ketogenic diet was originally intended as a means of treating serious epilepsy in kids and infants, and then, only under strict medical supervision.
These days, however, the ketogenic diet has moved into mainstream culture as a means for low-carb weight loss, as well as a way to minimize cardiometabolic risk factors.
What Is The Keto Diet?
The keto diet isn’t just another low-carb diet. Some argue that it’s just another repackaging of the older Atkins and Paleo diets. However, this isn’t really true. Atkins diets restrict carbs while focusing on a lot of protein with limitations on fat. The Paleo diet isn’t truly low-carb, but does put restrictions on some foods rich in carbs, primarily grains.
The keto diet is quite high in fat and really low in carbs. This is designed to put the human body into a state of ketosis, which is where the body burns fat for fuel instead of glucose.
The Technical Points
The ketogenic diet is something that promotes a state of ‘pseudofasting’. After just 72 to 96 hours of either fasting or sticking to a truly low-carb diet, the human body will deplete its immediately available stores of dietary starch and sugars. At this point, it switches over to burning fat for its primary fuel.
Genuine ketogenic diets might limit carbs to no more than 20-50g each day, and they’ll largely come from nonstarchy veggies. Protein must be balanced in a way such that enough is consumed to maintain the lean body mass already present, but also low enough for ketosis to be preserved, since certain amino acids can be converted into glucose that would end the state of ketosis.
After about a week, the body goes into a full state of ketosis that reduces the secretion of insulin. There is also an overproduction of acetyl-CoA resulting in ketones like beta-hydroxybutyric acid and acetone being formed. Ketones are able to cross over the blood-brain barrier, which means that they can feed a brain that is typically hungry for glucose but can’t use fatty acids for its fuel.
As with anything else, you should consult your physician or doctor before making changes to your diet or exercise. Many medical professionals wholeheartedly endorse the ketogenic diet because so many adults need to lose weight. A third of all adults are obese, and twice as many are overweight.
Extra pounds create risk factors for illness, injuries, and disease ranging from cancer and diabetes to heart attacks, stroke, and premature death.
However, while the results can be great and the diet can be somewhat simple to stick to, given its approach and focus on macros, it’s not always fun to start. Those following it should commit to at least three months of it to see how it really goes, since it can take four or five weeks to truly settle into a new diet plan.
The drastic changes inside the human body can also be a bit uncomfortable if done too quickly. A common side effect is jokingly called the ‘keto flu’, which might be a combination of constipation, nausea, headaches, fatigue, and lightheadedness, which might be attributed to restrictions on carbs and rapid sodium excretion.
Keto Diet For Weight Loss Macro Breakdowns
When following a ketogenic diet, there are general guidelines for breaking down the macronutrients in terms of food intake. The diet is firstly considered low-carb, since only about 5 percent of all calories should come from carbs. Protein is consumed moderately, with anywhere from 15 up to 35 percent of all calories coming from this particular macronutrient.
The diet is very high in fat, which 60 to as much as 80 percent of all calories coming from fat sources. Note that fat sources do not all have to be animal fats.
Fats, Fats, Fats
This is where most of your keto diet is going to come from. Fortunately, there are many tasty ways to get a lot of east fat into your diet. Bacon and steak are two things most people love, so start there. Also, look into oils like olive or avocado oil. Mayonnaise, butter, hard cheeses, and cream cheeses are also great sources of fats.
Protein Packs A Needed Punch
If you overdo it on the protein, you might get previously mentioned amino acids that knock you out of ketosis. However, if you don’t get enough protein, you’ll burn muscle tissue along with your fat, and you might even risk heart damage. Fortunately, fish are a great source of healthy protein in most cases, notably tuna, which you can use in things like tuna rolls and tuna salad.
Also, look at chicken and pork for variety. Beef can be helpful, and you can’t ignore the versatility of eggs.
The Carb Crackdown
Starving your body of sugar and starches is what makes it give up on glucose and switch to fat. As such, you have to start avoiding potatoes, rice, pasta, white bread, soft drinks, and all sugary juices. Fortunately, you can go for things like bagels, bread, cauliflower, and zucchini noodles.
In terms of fruits and veggies, you can have all the broccoli and leafy greens you want, as well as raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries.
Beverages Matter Too
Water is the obvious primary option you should drink most of the time. Tea and coffee are also permitted in most keto diets. Milk, sadly, isn’t great, since the lactose is converted into sugar by human bodies. Need some milk in your coffee? Try butter, coconut oil, or heavy cream. If you enjoy alcohol, aim for wine over beer.
Using A Keto Macro Calculator
While it’s possible for you to sit down and work out the numbers with a pen or pencil and paper, along with the calculator function of your smartphone, it’s really not necessary. There is a free keto macro calculator available online at https://iifym.com/keto-calculator.
This calculator does three things for you. First, it makes it much easier to crunch all the numbers. Secondly, it helps you determine how many calories you can have while still meeting your fat loss objectives. Third, it will even break down those calories along the specific keto macro distribution you need.
Once you’re able to do all of this, then you can have the confidence that you’re applying the right macro split for your situation. This, in turn, makes it possible to track both your macros as well as your total food intake all day long. This takes the guesswork out of whether you’re at the proper ratio for losing weight or not, freeing you up to not only get into a state of ketosis, but stay there for as long as you need to!
Making Things Easy
Not only does the calculator make it easy to figure out and then apply the proper keto diet for weight loss, it’s also very simple to use. You just scroll through and answer basic questions about factors like your age, height, gender, weight, current eating patterns, conditioning levels, and medical background.
Each question has multiple choice answers you can choose from, with helpful explanations about which ones you should pick if you’re not sure.
Tools You Might Need
Just knowing your macro breakdown and certain foods you can and can’t have isn’t quite enough. While the free calculator is a great start, there are other things you should consider getting your hands on in order to truly comply with the keto diet for weight loss in the long run.
The first would be a great food scale. A high-precision digital model is best, and you can find them in both local brick-and-mortar retail stores, as well as online. Find something affordable and easy to use with great reviews, and then place it prominently in your kitchen.
Don’t worry about hauling it around when you’re away from home. Just use it for six months at home and you’ll be well on your way to eyeballing portion sizes of nearly everything you eat on a regular basis.
Keto diet cookbooks for weight loss are another great thing to find. Check your local library for some free ideas to get started, find new books online and your neighborhood bookstore, or look for used copies online, at yard and garage sales, or even your local Goodwill store.
Finding dishes that are nutritious, tasty, easy to make, and keto-compliant is the real secret to sticking with this diet for a long time. It’s technically keto-compliant to fill your fridge with dark, leafy greens, bacon, and strawberries, but you know the bacon alone won’t last long.
In conclusion, the keto diet for weight loss is a very effective means of losing weight. When you understand the science behind macronutrients, you also understand how this diet works.
Fortunately, online technology and free calculators make this diet very easy to figure out and apply to your current life so you can enjoy the tremendous benefits this eating pattern has to offer you.