Everything You Need to Know About Keto

 

The ketogenic diet is a great tool for weight loss. It consists of a low carb, high fat intake which has many health benefits. Many studies have shown that a keto diet can benefit people with diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Why Low Carb?

When you consume foods that are mainly carbs, (potatoes, pasta, rice and bread) your body uses enzymes to break down the carbs. Carbs are the body’s primary energy source and broken down into glucose and stored as glycogen. Once glucose levels are diminished, enzymes will break down the glycogen storage. When you consume a diet consisting of high carb and high fat, the carbs get broken down for energy first and the excess fat is stored. However, when on a keto diet, due to the low-carb consumption, the body will enter a state of ketosis. It lowers blood sugar and insulin levels by shifting metabolism from carbs to ketones and fats.

 

 

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis is when your body adapts to the low-carb and high fat diet, becoming extremely efficient at burning fat. Your body has to break down the fat consumed as there isn’t a sufficient carb intake. It does this in the liver, by creating ketones from fat storage, to produce energy. Once your body has adapted to the keto diet, it will burn ketones as the primary energy source. This will result in fat loss and weight loss.

 

 

Reaching Ketosis

There are multiple ketogenic diets, we will be informing you of the standard keto diet, the most researched one. The standard keto diet usually consists of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs. These are percentages of your calories, which you can work out using this calculator. This is different for everyone, so you may have to play around with it, especially at the start of your diet. It’s also recommended that you don’t cut carbs down to 5% straight away. As you will feel exhausted after a few days, before you even reach the ketosis state. Cut the carbs down day by day, it’s a slower process by more realistic and easier on your body to adapt.

 

A great method to reach ketosis is intermittent fasting. This is when you can either skip meals, or allocate a time frame each day that you can eat. For example, you may choose to eat all of your calories between 4pm and 11pm. The rest of the day your body will be in a fasting state and will break down fat to supply your body with energy. To combat hunger during the fasting period, you can drink water and coffee (in moderation), as it will suppress your appetite.

 

 

How to Know You’re in Ketosis

If your body reaches the metabolic state of ketosis, you may experience a few or some of these symptoms.

 

Reduced Hunger and Increased Energy- You’ll experience a much lower level of hunger as your body adapts.  You will also feel energised physically and mentally.

Increased Urination- The ketosis has a diuretic effect, meaning you’ll need to urinate more often. Several ketones are excreted during urination which is also a factor. It is important to drink a sufficient amount of water, try to aim for a gallon a day. Also, increasing your salt intake will help your body retain more water and replenish electrolytes.

Dry Mouth- This is linked to the increased urination as it leads to more thirst and a dry mouth. Again, it is important to drink a sufficient amount of water.

Bad Breath- This is linked to the dry mouth symptom. The ketone, acetone, is excreted through our breath which can smell similar to nail polish remover. Don’t worry this is only temporary and can be fixed by using gum or mints.

 

If these symptoms are not apparent to you after around 10 days, there are two tests to measure whether you are in ketosis. The first being urine strips, however they are known to be inaccurate. Another test using blood strips, but these are rather expensive.

 

 

Foods you can eat

Fish- Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel

Meat- Steak, Chicken, Pork, Bacon, Turkey

Nuts and Seeds (Great for snacks)- Almonds, Monkey Nuts, Walnuts, Chia Seeds

Vegetables (Low Carb)- Tomatoes, Onion, Peppers, Broccoli, Spinach

Oils- Extra Virgin Olive, Coconut

Butters and Creams

Avocados

Cheese (Unprocessed)- Cheddar, Cream, Mozzarella, Goat

 

Here is an example of a ketogenic meal, with recipe ingredients:

Keto Grilled Pork Belly with Ssamjang Dipping Sauce

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes
🍽 Servings: 1

 

Ingredients:
100g Pork Belly, cut into 1″ steaks
Fresh Lettuce for serving

For the dipping sauce:
1 Tbsp Doenjang (fermented miso paste)
2 tsp Chili-Garlic Paste
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1/2 tsp Erythritol
1 tsp Sesame Seeds
1/2 Tbsp chopped scallions

Procedure:
1) Mix together all ingredients for the dipping sauce.
2) Grill pork belly for 7-10 minutes per side.
3) Serve pork with fresh lettuce and dipping sauce on the side.

Nutritional Information:
Energy – 300 kcal
Protein – 23g (31%)
Fat – 20g (58%)
Carbohydrates – 8g (10%)
Fiber – 3.2g

Like what you see? Sign up to Custom Keto Diet. They create your very own keto diet plan based on scientific research, to suit your food preferences, daily activity levels, height, weight and target weight goals. This maximises fat burning via the correct calories and macronutrients for each individual.

 

Foods to avoid

Fruit- A medium banana has 27 grams of carbs which is above your recommended daily intake.

Sugary Food- Cake, Ice Cream, Candy

Sugary Drink- Soda, Fruit Juice, Smoothies

Grains and Starches- Rice, Pasta, Bread, Oats, Cereal

Beans and Legumes- Peas, Chickpeas, Lentils

Sweeteners- Desserts, Syrups, Sugar-free Toppings

Alcohol

Sauces- Ketchup, BBQ, Honey Mustard, Salad Dressings

Root Vegetables- Carrots, Parsnips, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes

Unhealthy Fats- Processed oils, Mayonnaise

 

 

 

Side effects

 

Keto Flu

When adjusting to a keto diet, especially for the first time, you may experience some flu like symptoms. Such as fatigue, cramps, nausea and headaches, this is known as the keto flu. This usually goes away after a few days, just ensure you drink plenty of water and replenish your body with electrolytes.

 

Decreased Physical Performance

This is only temporary as your body is adjusting to using fat as an energy source instead of carbs. After your body has adjusted, your physical performance will return to normal. If your physical activity requires powerful movements, e.g. weightlifting or track, then you can “carb up” just before your workout. This is only a small amount of carbs (approx. 20g) but it will provide you with sufficient energy for your workout. For example, a banana is perfect for a pre-workout snack if you are experiencing decreased performance.

 

Constipation

This is common when shifting to a keto diet due to dehydration. The solution is to increase your water take. Aim for a gallon a day (4 Litres), and certainly drink a glass of water with every meal. Consuming vegetables with high fibre content can also solve this problem.

 

Cramps

Cramps are a common side effect when adjusting to a ketogenic diet. These are only a minor issue, caused by a lack of minerals in the body. To combat this, put salt on your food and ensure your water intake is sufficient.