A Beginner’s Guide to the Credo of Keto
These days, it may seem to you that everyone and their dog are on a keto diet. People go crazy for keto. What is it? Does it really work? Here’s the lowdown.
How does Keto work?
The ketogenic lifestyle revolves around the principle of ketosis: a natural process the body initiates to burn fat as energy.
Let’s say that the cells of your body are like little cars. Your bloodstream is the road. When you eat a high-carb food, your body produces glucose and insulin. Glucose is your body’s go-to fuel; it’s like gasoline for your car. Insulin is like the gas pump. It’s the hormone that helps glucose enter your body’s cells so that they have the energy to travel around your body.
The truth is, however, that your body is composed of more than just sugar-eating monster trucks. Your cells can be Toyota Priuses. They can even be Teslas. And like gasoline, the cost of glucose can be high – especially when you are trying to lose weight.
Like a hybrid stores electricity every time you brake, your body stores fat cells as an energy reserve. If there is no glucose left in your body, your body produces what are called ketones. Ketones convert fat into energy. That’s why keto adherents avoid carbs like the plague. Less carbs equals more time in ketosis.
The Benefits of Keto
A ketogenic diet is a vehicle for incredible weight loss success. Science and stories testify of the results. But it’s not just about weight loss. It’s also a fantastic resource for anyone diagnosed with insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, Type II diabetes, or even epilepsy. You’ll have increased energy and normalized hunger. Fats are a more effective source of fuel than glucose and are more satisfying. And some people go keto specifically for the increased mental performance that ketones bring to the brain.
Before you start, however, it’s only fair that we warn you: it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, especially in the beginning. Many new ketoers will experience what is commonly called “Keto Flu.”
Your body is addicted to sugar. When you take that sugar away, you are going to experience the effects of withdrawal.
Symptoms include fatigue, headaches, nausea, sugar cravings—even vomiting, constipation and diarrhea in more severe cases. This flu can last a few days or even a week.
To reduce symptoms, make sure that you drink plenty of water, eat food that is rich in electrolytes and fat, sleep well, and avoid strenuous exercise.
If you can get through that first week, you’ll begin to reap the benefits and your life as a ketoer will be much more pleasant.
Planning your meals is a vital key to keto. An excellent ketoer will eat less than 15 grams of carbs a day. Your nutrient intake should be around 70% fat, 25% proteins, and 5% carbohydrates.
Avoid wheat, sugar, tubers and most fruit. Your keto grocery list should consist of loading up on the meat, greens, vegetables, high-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, avocados and berries, low-carb sweeteners like stevia, and healthy fats like coconut oil.
If you don’t have time to plan or make your own keto meals, don’t let that stop you. Companies are popping up around the nation offering ready-made keto meal delivery services right to your door.
With a little online research and maybe a trip to Barnes and Noble, you’ll be planning the next ketogenic success story.