Keto Diet Tips For Beginners
As you know, the Ketogenic diet is a very low in carb, moderate in protein, and high in fat type of diet. This keto diet may sound easy to achieve until you know how minimal carbohydrates you have to consume. The keto diet may sound ideal until you get to realize that this may mean you will be substantially slashing off on your favorite high carb foods.
But don’t fret. Nothing worth having comes easy, right? If you’ve decided on following a Ketogenic Diet, that means you have goals you need to achieve. Your goals may include weight loss, managing diabetes. What’s important is, you have a plan, and you’re willing to work for it.
If you’re new on the keto diet, you must know all of those uncomfortable and unpleasant experiences are normal. For sustained keto results, you also need sustained diligence and patience.
This article will help you with tips on how you can make your keto diet transition easier.
What is Keto Diet?
What is this Ketogenic Diet? Why does it require specific levels of macronutrients?You’re probably wondering about all of these questions the moment you start to experience uncomfortable in your first few weeks, so you must get this in the way and understand the reason behind what you do.
The Ketogenic diet, more popularly known as the keto diet, is a very-low-carb type of diet that has been around since the 1920s primarily as an alternative for the treatment of epilepsy. Through the years, considerable research shows that the keto diet is also an effective method for weight loss, for managing diabetes (type I & type II), managing insulin resistance and blood sugar problems.
How does it work?
How does this type of diet work? The standard keto diet pretty much looks like this in numbers:
Why this ratio? The Keto diet works by restricting your carbohydrate intake that is converted to glucose in your body. The ketogenic diet’s goal is to keep your body reaching the metabolic state of ketosis. When your body reaches ketosis, this means that your body won’t be getting glucose for energy and starts sourcing from fat, which is turned into ketones instead.
Slashing off entire food groups like grains and starch may sound impossible at first. A high-carb lifestyle is one that many people find preferable. So if you think you’re the only one seeing this transition a very difficult one, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Tips to make the transition to a Keto Diet easier
Making the transition to the ketogenic diet and keeping it consistent is one of the most challenging parts of following the diet. The keto diet primarily involves significantly restricting your carb intake, increasing your healthy fat intake, and keeping your protein intake at a moderate amount. Of all the macronutrient ratio, carb restriction is the most challenging part. But it always sounds impossible until it gets done. Here are some points to help ease your transition period and maintain consistency while following the keto diet.
1. Drink lots of water.
Just like any other low-carb diet, hydration is crucial. Why? Fluid secretion occurs more frequently in a low-carb diet than in any other type of diet. How? Carbohydrates hold sodium and water in your body. Hence, restricting your body of carbohydrates may pose as a challenge. Restricting carbs necessarily means you will be excreting carbs, which then translates to less water retention in your body.
If you are a beginner, it’s vital that you make sure you are drinking lots of water throughout the day. So whether you’re going to work or going out, make it a habit to carry around a jug with you. You can also resort to eating hydrating foods like cucumber, kale, lettuce, and spinach as these are all rich in water and low in calories.
2. Load up with the right fats in the right quantity.
In a keto diet, you must know fats should be your primary source of nutrients. Hence, to keep yourself from craving and starving food all the time, make sure you get to the right fats in the right quantity.
Is there a healthy fat? Good question. Numerous misconceptions are surrounding the concept of fats in our body, mainly because of the bad fats. Are there really bad fats and good fats? Yes, there certainly are!
These bad fats are the type of fats that you usually hear. This type of fats contributes to increasing your cholesterol levels, clogging your arteries, increasing your blood pressure and risk of heart diseases. What are the examples of these bad fats? Saturated fats and trans fats are all examples of bad fats. Food rich in bad fats is butter, cream, cheese, full-fat milk, and palm oil.
Good fats, on the other hand, are fats that come in unsaturated form. Two kinds of good fats are monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). What are under these kinds of fats? Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are some fats under the PUFA category. And foods like avocado, legumes, flaxseeds, soy, and olive oil are examples of good fats.
So when we speak of fats in a keto diet, it’s crucial that you know we’re referring to those good fats and not the bad ones. The idea of eating healthy fats in the right quantity is for you to satiate your hunger correctly and not stay hungry at all. Again, all processed and trans fat should be off the table. Instead, fill and crave your appetite with these alternatives: avocado, almond oil, homemade butter, cheese, coconut oil, ghee, fatty fish olive oil, and all other food to source healthy fats.
If you’re having difficulty thinking about how you can incorporate these foods into your diet, there are many recipes you can browse online to make these foods more exciting and appealing.
3. Be more active
When you are following the ketogenic diet, and you are reducing your carb intake, engaging in physical activity can increase your ketone levels. This effect is further enhanced when you are working out in a fasted state.
There has been a growing number of studies and researches that have found that being in a keto diet, which will allow you to experience ketosis, is beneficial for positively influencing some types of athletic performance, such as endurance exercises. Also, being more active by doing physical activities will help you reach get into ketosis faster. For instance, when you exercise, you deplete your body’s glycogen it stores. Normally, your body replenishes these glycogen reserves through your carb intake. These carbs are broken down into glucose and then converted to glycogen. However, because of the reduction in your carb intake, your body can not replenish the reserve, and the glycogen level in your body will remain low. In response, your liver increases the production of ketones bodies (ketones), which, as mentioned, is used as the substitute “primary” fuel source for your body.
Those who are experiencing low blood ketone levels, doing physical exercise, and being more active might be beneficial for you. A study reported that for individuals who are experiencing low blood ketone concentrations, exercise helps increase the rate at which ketones are produced. It will help significantly boost your ketone level and, consequently, your ketone production. However, it should be noted that for some who are already experiencing an elevated blook ketone bodies in their body, doing exercise does not significantly increase your already high level of ketone bodies; instead, it may actually decrease, however, only for a short period.
Moreover, in boosting your ketone level, your activity level and timing are also significant. In a case study, it found that the ketone bodies were 137-314% higher when they exercised before a meal than when they exercised after a meal.
You should always bear in mind that although exercise can boost your ketone production, it will take a while for your body to adapt, especially if you are still new to the ketogenic diet. While your body is in gradual transition, your physical performance may be reduced temporarily.
Also, keep in mind to adjust your physical activities and exercises. You have to evaluate yourself if you can keep up with high intensity and strenuous workouts. Besides being more active, always ensure that your meal plan consists of a well- balanced diet. It would help if you still practice healthy eating habits by consuming whole foods, keto-friendly options, and keto-approved snacks. What is essential is while you are in a keto diet is you should only experience its positive effects, one of which is weight loss.
4. Maintain a sufficient amount of protein intake
Sufficient protein intake is necessary to reach the state of ketosis, which everyone doing a keto diet hopes for.
There are various reasons as to why adequate protein intake is needed. For example, for your liver to conduct gluconeogenesis, which means the process of “making new glucose for your body,” consumption of enough protein is required to supply the liver with amino acids to go through the process. This process is essential for your body since your liver will provide new”glucose” for the few cells and organs in your body that can not use ketones as fuel, such as your red blood cell and the portions of your kidneys and brain.
Moreover, your protein intake should be adequate to maintain the muscle mass of your body. In a regular high carb diet, carbohydrates are one of the essential sources that fuel your muscles. The carbohydrates are partially converted to glycogen, which is stored in muscle to power your workouts. However, in a typical keto diet, your carb limit intake is increased; hence, your carb intake is lower than the regular diet (e.g., before you followed the keto diet). This does not only mean you can lose weight, but it also increases the chances of losing muscles. However, consuming enough protein on a traditional low carb ketogenic diet can prevent this. Various studies have shown that preservation of muscle mass physical performance is maximized when protein intake is enough, usually in the range of 0.55–0.77 grams per pound (1.2–1.7 grams per kilogram) of lean mass. This shows that you do not need to fret about lowering your carb intake and suffering muscle loss. After all, losing weight is not mutually exclusive to losing your well-built body.
Another benefit of being conscious of your protein intake is it allows you to induce and maintain ketosis according to weightloss studies. In a study oo 17 obese men on a keto diet, that obtained 30% of calories from protein for four weeks resulted in an average ketone level of 1.52 mmol/L, which is the right level within the 0.5–3.0 mmol/L range of nutritional ketosis.
In calculating your protein intake in a ketogenic diet, it is recommended to multiply your ideal body weight in pounds by 0.55 to 0.77 (1.2 to 1.7 in kilograms). For example, if your ideal body weight is 130 pounds (59 kg), your protein intake should be 71–100 grams.
Undervalued Tip: Patience and Consistency is the key
You may not feel pleasant in your first few weeks of doing the keto diet. If you are a beginner in the keto diet, beware of the cravings, mood swings, headaches, and other side effects that may occur during the first few weeks. This will likely be a challenge in continually adapting and sticking to a keto diet. However, it would be best if you got hold of the purpose of why you started the diet. Stick and pursue it. Patience and consistency are key.
Following a specific type of diet always mean you want to get results from it, either weight loss or other health benefits. However, for these results to show, it needs a considerable amount of time. You just have to be again, consistent, patient, and determined to pursue it.
It has always been emphasized that a keto diet is more than a change in your eating habits and meal plans but is a lifestyle change. As you follow this diet, times and circumstances may get rough but believe that you are on your way to your weight loss and health benefit goals.
Disclaimer: This content provides general information only and not a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more details.