The keto diet (also known as the ketogenic diet) is one of the most talked about diets today. If you’re in the business of helping others improve their health and fitness, it’s important to be well-versed on this trend. This article will provide you with all the information you need about the keto diet, including whether or not it’s right for you and how it works.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
A ketogenic diet puts your body into a state of ketosis by using a very low-carb food intake (generally 20 to 50 grams of net carbs per day). The result is that your body switches from using glucose as its main energy source to relying on fat as its primary source of fuel. In other words, your body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis where it burns fat instead of sugar/glucose.
The ketogenic diet requires a strict macronutrient intake; 30-50% of calories from fat, 65-75% of calories from protein (moderate to high), 5-10% of calories from carbohydrates (low). This allows a person to consume more dietary fats than would otherwise be possible while still maintaining a caloric deficit that supports weight loss or health benefits.
Foods are broken down into three basic categories; fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. You will want to prioritize food items that are lower in carbohydrates while making sure that your protein intake stays high enough to maintain lean muscle mass (fats contain very little or no protein).
Depending on your health status and goals, a doctor or nutritionist may put you on a standard caloric (or carb) restricted diet for weight loss before recommending a low carbohydrate approach like a ketogenic diet. For example; Weight loss: Standard calorie restriction will slow down your metabolism to help with fat burning as well as improve overall health in other ways.
This will likely be difficult to accomplish unless you have excess body fat to begin with (such as 20%+ in men or 30%+ in women). But even then; just because your weight drops to a normal level doesn’t mean that your body composition has shifted enough toward more muscle and less fat. If it has not, then more work needs to be done through exercise or calorie reduction until your fitness goals are achieved.
A Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) consists of these macronutrient ratios; 4-8 grams of net carbs (or fewer), 1-2 grams of fiber, 30-50% calories from fat, 60-75% calories from protein (moderate to high). Unlike a targeted ketogenic diet where protein and carb levels are set in a certain percentages to achieve certain health goals (such as weight loss), the SKD may vary based on total caloric intake needs of an individual.
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
The premise of a ketogenic diet is simple — eat foods high in healthy fats and protein; cut back on carbs. To make that happen, you need to severely restrict your carb intake (less than 50 grams per day) while upping your fat and protein consumption. This puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis, which essentially means burning fat instead of sugar for energy.
As such, many people who follow a ketogenic diet get their daily carbs from vegetables (but eat meat sparingly), fruit (typically in small amounts), nuts and seeds (topped with fat like avocado or animal protein), low-carb dairy products like cheese and yogurt, with very little refined sugar.
Keep in mind that there are a few caveats to being in ketosis — most people can process only around 20 grams of carbs per day (which happens after about two days), so if you’re looking to eat low-carb, stick to just 20 grams of net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber) per day. Eating more won’t move you out of ketosis and might even cause health problems like diarrhea.
Keto-friendly foods include fresh fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna), steak (preferably grass-fed or sustainably raised), chicken and turkey without skin; eggs; high-fat dairy products (cheese and cream); nuts; seeds; low-carb veggies like kale, broccoli or cauliflower; leafy greens like spinach or lettuce. Nuts should be eaten in moderation due to their high fat content.
As far as sweets go, even in moderation (such as with dark chocolate or a small amount of honey), keep portion sizes small — no more than a few bites worth of dessert or sugary snacks per day. You can have starchy veggies like potatoes up to one to two times per day if they’re not overcooked, which depletes their nutrients; however be aware that sweet potato fries are loaded with carbs!
To make sure your brain is getting enough fuel to keep you energized, most followers of a ketogenic diet eat plenty of good fats like olive oil and avocados while avoiding grains like rice or quinoa and sugars (regular or artificial). The idea being that your body will be forced to burn its own fat reserves for energy instead of carbs or protein if there’s not enough glucose present.
No two bodies are exactly alike; therefore, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to fitness. In fact, knowing your body type can help guide you in terms of exercise selection — or even help avoid injuries that might result from overuse or poor form!
Body type awareness begins with an understanding of your somatotype, which classifies people based on their bone structure and proportion. While we’re not all built alike (thank goodness), there are three body types that most of us fall into naturally — endomorphs, mesomorphs and ectomorphs.
Endomorphs are rounder in shape because of increased fat storage (around their bellies) and have wider joints than other body types. They tend to carry weight around their thighs or hips rather than their arms or shoulders and usually have larger bone structures than mesomorphs or ectomorphs — so they can handle a lot more muscle mass before they’re at risk of getting too heavy!
Mesomorphs are naturally athletic and tend to have an ideal athletic physique (i.e., more muscle mass with less fat). They have wider shoulders than endomorphs or ectomorphs but narrower hips than endomorphs. Their bone structure tends to be lighter than endomorphs so they don’t carry around as much body weight but can still pack on muscle at a faster rate due to their naturally higher metabolism.
Ectomorphs are leaner than endomorphs but have a more difficult time gaining muscle mass or strength — they tend to be smaller in size overall with narrow shoulders and hip bones and a body that has a hard time building muscle. They’re usually naturally thin because of fast metabolisms (which burn calories more quickly) so they don’t need to exercise as much or eat as many calories as other body types to maintain their weight.
Each of these body types also has a distinctive fat distribution pattern with endomorphs generally having more fat around their bellies while ectomorphs tend to store fat in their lower bodies (like their hips or thighs). Mesomorphs don’t tend to have any areas that are predominantly fat — they simply accumulate evenly throughout their bodies.
If your body type is endomorphic, your goal should be to build muscle mass in order to increase your metabolic rate so that you can burn calories more quickly — and that means lifting weights or performing a resistance-training exercise routine at least three times per week! You should also reduce calorie intake and focus on eating healthy foods that will give you long-term energy instead of short-term satisfaction.
If your body type is mesomorphic, you have a naturally faster metabolism so don’t have to work as hard to maintain your weight — although building muscle mass will still help you look more toned! You should focus on healthy eating habits and maintaining a balanced exercise routine of resistance training and cardio (like high-intensity interval training) at least three times per week.
If your body type is ectomorphic, you’ll have to put in more effort if you want to build muscle mass! You can do so by engaging in resistance training at least three times per week (which will require an hour of exercise plus warm-up and cool-down time) while also following a healthy eating plan.
But if your goal is to maintain your weight without building muscle mass (which can be difficult for ectomorphs), then a balanced exercise routine of cardio and resistance training at least three times per week will help. You should also keep an eye on your caloric intake to make sure that you’re maintaining your current weight — not gaining weight or losing too much!
If your goal is to lose weight, any body type can benefit from following a healthy eating plan that supports weight loss. However, if you’re an endomorph who wants to lose fat from specific areas of your body like your belly or thighs then cardio exercises (like high-intensity interval training) will help — but make sure not to reduce caloric intake too much!
If your goal is to lose weight as an ectomorph who wants to build muscle mass at the same time, resistance training can help! But make sure that you’re eating enough calories each day (and don’t reduce intake) to avoid losing too much weight. It can be difficult for ectomorphs to eat enough calories because they have naturally lower metabolisms than their mesomorphic or endomorphic counterparts — but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t try!
Finally, if your goal is to lose weight as a mesomorph then cardio exercises like high-intensity interval training can help! You should also monitor your caloric intake so that you’re not eating too much while still making sure to get enough calories to maintain your current weight. However, don’t reduce your calorie intake too much or else you could lose muscle mass instead of just fat!
Keto Meal Prep:
Meal prepping has been popular in mainstream culture for years — and thanks to some recent research, we now know why. After studying 39 overweight women who were trying to lose weight over a two-year period, researchers concluded that meal prepping was one of the most effective intervention[s] for weight loss. The secret?
The most important part of a successful meal prep session is that you pre-select your food in advance, so that when hunger hits your willpower doesn’t take a backseat to dietary cravings. The best way to make sure your plan sticks? Prep as many meals as possible on Sunday — once you’ve got everything ready for five days worth of eating, there’s no going back!
And that’s not all — not only will meal prepping make your life easier (because who doesn’t love leftovers?), it can also help with weight loss. According to one study from Brigham Young University in Utah, researchers found that people who prepared their own meals were more likely to lose weight than those who ate out or used food delivery services like Seamless.
The takeaway? If you want to lose weight, consider investing some time into planning and preparing your meals ahead of time. It might just work!
If a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet sounds like something you’d be interested in trying — or if meal prepping sounds more appealing to you than slaving over a hot stove each night — consider talking to your doctor about starting an evidence-based intervention. Because when you find out what eating healthy can do for your body, it might just change your life!
Before starting any kind of program, consider talking to your doctor first — especially if a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet will drastically change your current eating habits.
Because, after all — the best way to stick with a program (especially one focused on weight loss) is to make sure you don’t feel deprived in any way! And if that means pre-selecting your food in advance so that hunger doesn’t take over at mealtime… So be it!
The Benefits of Being in Ketosis:
When your body uses fat as its primary fuel source, it enters a metabolic state called ketosis. When you’re in ketosis, your liver produces ketones that replace glucose as your primary energy source. Over time, your body completely adapts to running on fats rather than carbohydrates as its primary fuel source.
Research suggests that a well-formulated ketogenic diet can have many health benefits such as weight loss, reducing pain and inflammation, lowering blood sugar levels (especially important for diabetics), reducing acne breakouts, decreasing anxiety and more!
While being in a state of nutritional ketosis isn’t always necessary to reap these benefits (the body will naturally produce a form of ketones called acetone regardless of your nutrition state), they can be very helpful in supporting your overall health.
If weight loss or improved health are your goals, then yes! A well-formulated ketogenic diet will help you lose weight and live a healthier life. If these aren’t your goal…do not force yourself into nutritional ketosis by adopting a keto lifestyle; just focus on eating real food in moderation and exercising regularly to reach your fitness goals.
This nutrition strategy isn’t meant to replace medication, but instead compliment it with a low-carb lifestyle that fits into your daily routine. Consult with your doctor or nutritionist before making any changes in your diet to ensure they are safe and appropriate for you!
If you have any questions about whether nutritional ketosis is right for you or your family, don’t hesitate to ask! I hope that this beginner’s guide to nutritional ketosis has been helpful in providing some insight into what a well-formulated ketogenic diet looks like—but always remember that everyone needs to find their own individualized nutrition strategy.
A well-formulated ketogenic diet can provide a ton of health benefits when done correctly, but remember that everyone’s body has different needs. Start by using our guide as your starting point, but don’t be afraid to make changes along the way as you learn more about nutrition! Good luck!
Is the Keto Diet Safe?
In terms of side effects, there are very few negative side-effects of ketosis itself. It’s important to remember that if your body isn’t using glucose for energy because you’re not eating any carbs — this can be a stressful situation in your body so it will release adrenaline as part of the stress response.
Is Ketosis Dangerous?: Once your body starts producing ketones, it’s clear that they aren’t dangerous. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t potential side-effects of being in a state of ketosis — and one that should be investigated more closely is known as keto rash.
Other than that, side-effects related to a ketogenic diet usually only include symptoms like headaches or constipation.
Is Keto Right For You?: Since there are a lot of short-term benefits associated with being in a state of ketosis — and few drawbacks — there may be an opportunity to try it out if you’re interested in seeing how your body responds to such a state.
Other than that, there are no guidelines from doctors recommending a specific ketogenic ratio or how long you should stay in a state of ketosis to reap benefits.
In terms of specific side-effects that come with a ketogenic diet, headaches are one of the most common. For example, some studies have shown that up to 50% of people who follow a ketogenic lifestyle will experience headaches as a side-effect after several weeks or months in ketosis — and they’re usually pretty mild.
Other common side-effects are constipation and acid reflux, but they don’t seem to be too bad. If you experience constipation while eating a ketogenic diet — this can often be remedied by upping your fiber intake through vegetables or another supplement that contains soluble fiber like psyllium husk powder or citrucel.
If acid reflux occurs in response to eating a ketogenic diet — try eating more salt-rich foods like pickles or olives to see if that fixes your problem or taking an antacid like Zantac or Rolaids as a supplement.
Is Keto Right For You?: Because of these few issues, some doctors aren’t convinced that a ketogenic diet is suitable for everyone — especially those with certain pre-existing conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. If you have either of these conditions — or any other health condition where a healthy lifestyle includes eating fewer carbs (like someone who follows a paleo diet) — then talking to your doctor before trying out a ketogenic lifestyle may be in your best interest.
Because of these risks — especially if you have a pre-existing health condition — the ketogenic diet may not be safe for everyone. While there isn’t conclusive research about its long-term effects on most people, we know that some people don’t experience any side-effects at all when switching to a low-carb lifestyle (like with a paleo diet), while others do experience mild issues like constipation or headaches after several weeks in ketosis.
If you’re healthy but overweight, a low-carb lifestyle like a ketogenic diet may be an option worth trying out because of its potential weight loss benefits — especially when combined with exercise or physical activity. But if you have any pre-existing health conditions (or are worried about developing them) as a result of switching to a low-carb lifestyle, then talk to your doctor before making any drastic changes to your usual eating habits.
What exactly is a Keto Diet?: A ketogenic lifestyle is usually defined as one that’s very low in carbs — usually less than 20 grams of net carbs per day (10–20% of your daily calories). A ketogenic lifestyle also usually consists of eating quite a bit of fat — usually around 60 to 70% of your daily calories come from fat (some health experts recommend as much as 75–80%).
You’ll need to get enough protein too — but most people eat plenty since protein contains 4 calories per gram! To follow a ketogenic lifestyle usually means eating healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, coconut oil or fatty cuts of meat — plus plenty of low-carb veggies too!
Is it safe?: Yes! According to a study by Lam, et al., following a strict ketogenic diet could actually improve insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients.
10 Things That Help Me Stay on My Keto Diet:
Here are 10 simple things that I do each day to help me stay in ketosis — the natural state of burning fat as your primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates. This way of eating has helped me feel more energetic, eliminate most cravings completely (including sugar), drop pounds quickly (without feeling hungry), and even clear up my skin and nails! If you’re looking to lose weight or boost energy levels naturally, consider a low-carbohydrate lifestyle like keto!
First, I minimize sugar — especially fructose — because it’s metabolized by your liver as soon as it enters your bloodstream. Excess sugar not only causes insulin resistance (and therefore weight gain), but also makes it difficult to be in ketosis because excess sugar blocks your body from burning fat. I also keep my protein intake low enough to help with weight loss; just like any other muscle in your body, too much protein is metabolized as sugar in your liver.
Second, I eat more fat than carbs — even if it’s just a little bit at first. Studies show that high-fat diets raise your metabolism more than low-fat diets or even very low-carb diets do.
Third, I stay hydrated by drinking a minimum of 1-2 liters (64-128 ounces) of water per day. Since your body can’t store water, that means you need to drink at least that much each day to make sure you have enough available at all times. Your cells will thank me later!
Fourth, I eat enough fat (especially saturated fats like coconut oil) to have plenty of energy all day long. Most people don’t realize that a ketogenic diet can actually give you more energy — ketones are an excellent source of fuel!
Fifth, I eat enough protein to maintain muscle mass but not so much that it becomes converted into sugar in my liver (just like too much sugar). Eating less than 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight (0.8 grams/kg) is enough to prevent your body from converting excess amino acids into glucose — this means all of your lean body mass will remain intact!
Sixth, I don’t stress about my food choices because I know that if I eat a high-fat diet with plenty of whole foods and fiber that I’ll stay in ketosis no matter what. In fact, one of the best things about a ketogenic diet is that there are no bad foods!
Seventh, I get plenty of sleep because that’s when your body releases a hormone called HGH (human growth hormone), which helps your body repair itself so that you can lose weight faster. Getting enough sleep also helps reduce stress — another major reason why people don’t lose weight! If anything stresses you out, make sure to remove it from your life because stress inhibits fat loss.
Eighth, I minimize my alcohol intake because drinking will slow down your weight loss — even if you’re only consuming a few alcoholic beverages per week! And remember that alcohol contains 7 calories per gram (9 calories/ounce) compared to 4 calories per gram (6 calories/ounce) in carbohydrates and protein. So do yourself a favor and have one less drink next time!
Ninth, I try to exercise as much as possible because your body not only releases endorphins when you do so but also releases human growth hormone — which stimulates muscle growth while keeping fat off your body! That’s a win-win in my book!
Tenth, I make sure to get enough sunlight every day because your body uses light to manufacture vitamin D — which helps keep your bones strong while also raising your metabolic rate so that you burn more calories even when at rest! If possible, try to walk outside in the sun for a few minutes each day. Also be sure to have at least 10-15% of your total caloric intake from either fish oil or cod liver oil!
And finally, I make sure to limit my caffeine intake to one or two cups of coffee per day because too much caffeine will increase your cortisol levels — which causes your body to break down muscle tissue instead of fat! So if you’re a coffee drinker, try decaf coffee or limit yourself to just one cup per day if possible.
That’s my top 10 list of things that help me stay on my ketogenic diet! And be sure to leave a comment below letting me know some of your own tips for staying in ketosis!
The ketogenic diet has helped me lose 65 pounds over a period of just 8 months! In fact, I’ve had several family members and friends with different health issues that have also tried following a ketogenic lifestyle and they’ve all said that their lives have been improved in one way or another.
My advice? Give it a try! There’s so much to love about being in ketosis — and so many benefits to reap from being there!
Research and Keto Diet:
If a low-carb approach feels like a better fit than anything else, then that’s probably because your body isn’t processing carbs effectively. Give it time — your body can take a few months to switch from producing and storing glucose as its primary source of fuel to burning fat instead.
Also known as ketogenic diets, these eating plans are usually very low in carbohydrates and high in fat — typically with 75 percent of daily calories or more from fat. That’s a pretty drastic change from a typical Western diet.
Finally, some research suggests that eating a low-carb, high-fat diet might also reduce your risk of cancer. This may be because fat can interfere with some of cancer’s growth pathways, or it could be related to other effects that come from eating fewer carbs.
Overall, research suggests that a low-carb, high-fat eating plan can be a healthy way to reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
And when people with type-2 diabetes follow a ketogenic eating plan, they can lower their need for insulin medications and may have other health benefits. However, these studies were done in controlled settings, so more research needs to be done before we know if these benefits are also seen in everyday life.
Following a low-carb eating plan can also lead to weight loss, along with other health benefits. And while you might think that sounds counterintuitive (higher fat intake means more calories), remember that carbs can stimulate your appetite and may lead to overconsumption of food.
A low-carb eating plan can also cause changes in your blood glucose levels. These changes are important because they may help prevent type-2 diabetes or at least slow down its progression. Your body responds to low-carb diets by producing more insulin, which helps store energy from foods as glycogen in your muscles and liver. When your body has more glycogen stores than it needs, then any extra glucose that’s left over gets stored as fat instead of being used for energy.
One study of over 100 people found that those who followed a very low-carb eating plan (meaning less than 30 grams of carbs per day) for six months lost about 4 pounds more weight and experienced an improvement in their blood glucose levels. However, there were no differences in triglycerides or LDL cholesterol between people following a low-carb plan compared to a low-fat plan.
In one study of 87 obese people who tried a low-carb eating plan for 12 months, those who lost weight at 12 months showed improvements in their blood glucose levels. This suggests that sticking to a long-term low-carb eating plan can be beneficial if you have diabetes or insulin resistance.
What’s more, studies suggest that following a low-carb eating plan can improve blood pressure levels in people with diabetes. One study found that adults with type-2 diabetes who followed a low-carb eating plan had lower systolic blood pressure (the top number) compared to those who followed a low-fat eating plan.
Some research suggests that following a low-carb eating plan can also help reduce your risk of heart disease. In one study of 132 people with metabolic syndrome — which includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and belly fat — following a low-carb eating plan reduced their weight by 10% over 2 years compared to following a low-fat eating plan. This was linked to an improvement in cholesterol levels.
Furthermore, in one study of 113 overweight people with high blood pressure who followed a low-carb eating plan for 2 years, their risk of developing diabetes was 28% lower than that of those who followed a low-fat eating plan. Those following a low-carb eating plan also had an improvement in other health markers like cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
In fact, people who follow a low-carb eating plan have been shown to be at a reduced risk of death from all causes. This suggests that there are many health benefits associated with following a low-carb eating plan.
Following a low-carb eating plan may help improve your blood glucose levels and reduce your risk of developing diabetes. It may also lead to weight loss, improvements in cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and other markers of metabolic health like blood triglycerides or LDL cholesterol.
It’s important to note that most of these studies were short-term, lasting less than 2 years. More research will be needed to determine whether following a low-carb eating plan can prevent type-2 diabetes or reduce your risk of heart disease in the long term.
Based on these studies, a low-carb eating plan can improve your blood glucose levels and help with weight loss if you have diabetes or insulin resistance. It may also lower your risk of developing heart disease in people with metabolic syndrome, as well as decrease your blood pressure. However, more research will be needed to confirm these results in larger studies over a longer period of time.
In addition to diabetes and heart disease, following a low-carb eating plan can also be beneficial if you have high blood pressure or obesity. This may be because there are similar health benefits associated with both types of diets, like improvements in cholesterol levels or weight loss
Studies suggest that following a low-carb eating plan can help improve your blood glucose levels if you have diabetes or insulin resistance.
As always, thank you so much for reading my post today! And if you have any tips of your own that help you stay in ketosis or any comments about my post, be sure to leave them below! I’d love to hear from all of you!