The Beginners Guide To The Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet was adopted many years ago since the 1920s due to its range of health benefits ranging from losing weight to treating several medical conditions.
It has gained popularity recently among celebrities and health fitness enthusiasts. Studies have shown that this diet helps with weight loss, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and epilepsy.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
Ketogenic or keto diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat and moderate protein diet.
Studies show that by restricting carbohydrates, your body shifts into a metabolic state known as ketosis where it becomes highly efficient in burning fat for energy.
The diet lowers your blood sugar levels and converts fat into ketones in the liver which in turn supplies energy to the brain.
The state of ketosis can be met with deficient levels of carbohydrate in your diet usually below 30/40g per day.
A typical keto diet consists of 5%-10% of dietary carbohydrates, 20%-25% of protein and 70%-75% of fats.
Pros of Ketogenic Diet
- Weight loss: the keto diet has used over the years in a bid to help curb obesity which studies show causes at least 2.8 million deaths every year. The plan has been proven to aid in weight loss due to its ability to help you lose fat and maintain lean mass. The low-carb; high-protein diet is one of the most efficient ways of losing weight.
- Suppresses appetite: While dieting, you feel less hungry hence reducing your caloric intake. It prevents you from feeling hungry due to the high content of fats in the diet. It helps you cut down on cravings.
- Reduced blood sugar and insulin: this is important for people who have diabetes and need an alternative way of managing the condition other than drugs. The low carbohydrate diet lowers blood sugar levels. Studies show that people with diabetes who adopted the ketogenic diet were able to eliminate insulin therapy from their routine.
- Low blood pressure: high blood pressure is often with other diseases such as heart diseases, kidney failure and, stroke. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is therefore essential for the overall well-being. Low-carb diet lowers high blood pressure.
- Lowers cholesterol: it is a fact that the keto diet improves on your cholesterol levels which promote a healthy heart. Consuming food high in fat also reduces harmful cholesterol levels.
- Enhances mental focus: keto diet promotes alertness and feelings of happiness after reducing the intake of carbohydrates.
Cons of Ketogenic Diet
- Poor adaptations process: transition to keto diet is equally challenging as it is beneficial. The whole process of cutting down on carbohydrates can be torturous to adapt for some people. You may experience the keto flu which presents as a myriad of symptoms. They include fatigue, nausea, anxiety, restlessness, and headaches.
- Gastrointestinal issues: it will take your body time, and diarrhea might be an effect experienced by beginners. As you cut down on carbohydrates, your body may not get enough fiber diet resulting in loose motions. You should always remember to include low- carb vegetables rich in fiber into your diet.
- Reduced athletic performance: studies have shown that while on a ketogenic diet, athletes fail to perform when subjected to high-intensity exercises since the body is in an acidic state. It resulted in poor tolerance and performance.
- Ketoacidosis: is an extreme case of ketosis usually experienced in people with or without diabetes. Large amounts of ketones result as your body burns fat. Your blood becomes too acidic leading to organ failure if not reversed on time.
- Decreased metabolism: as your muscles burn calories, this interferes with your normal metabolism. In case you choose to go off keto diet, you’ll end up gaining fat rather than muscles.
How to Have a Successful Ketogenic Diet
Transitioning to the ketogenic diet is difficult, but if you do it right, the health benefits are numerous. To achieve and maintain a successful keto diet involves:
- Understand your goals: whether you want to lose weight, or better manage your medical condition with keto diet it all comes to having a better idea of what you want to achieve, set your goals and stick by them. Don’t do keto diet just because everyone else is doing it.
- Consume the right kind of food: this is important when you adopt the ketogenic diet. Take your time and research on the keto foods, which are very low in carbs, high in the right kind of fats. You should also incorporate vegetables rich in fiber to aid with digestion. Keto doesn’t have to be boring; you’ll have a wide range of food to decide on which works for you.
- Track your calories: by using a calorie tracker, you’ll better understand the actual amount of calories you are consuming. There are a number of applications to help you track your calories. Invest in a good kitchen scale since you will need to get the exact measure of what you are consuming.
- Adopt a new environment: clean your kitchen of any food that is not keto-friendly. It includes processed meat, sugary foods, high-calorie dense food which may trigger you to cheat on your diet. Meal prepping is highly recommended to help you stay on track and not lose focus of your diet goal.
- Accountability: get in touch with other keto dieters and maintain social support among each other. Holding yourself accountable will enable you to meet your set goals and with a group of people who share the same vision will streamline the whole process for you.
Be aware of the adverse effects of keto diet: these include the keto flu, nausea, and diarrhea which will kick in within the first few days of your keto diet. Rehydrate yourself and focus on the bigger prize.
The ketogenic diet is ideal due to its numerous health benefits. , and you should go for it. Don’t just focus on the weight loss but preferably in the overall healthy lifestyle you are creating for yourself. If the diet does not work for you, find an alternative way of staying on track to achieve your goal.