What Is a Keto Diet?
A ketogenic diet is essentially a low carb, moderate protein, and higher-fat diet that helps individuals burn fat faster and more efficiently. It is very similar to other low-carb diets. It has shown to be very beneficial for weight loss, health, and overall performance, and there are numerous studies to back it up. A huge number of doctors and healthcare practitioners recommend it.
A ketogenic diet is especially effective for losing excessive body fat, reducing hunger, and helping with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
The ketogenic diet works by putting you in a state called ketosis. Ketosis is a state where your body switches to using ketones instead of sugar as fuel. In order for this to happen, you must lower the amount of carbs and sugars you consume. Grains, starches, sugary drinks, bread, pasta, candy, and fruits (except some berries) are examples of foods you should avoid during this diet.
As we’ve mentioned, the ketogenic diet is a very low carb, high-fat diet and it is very similar to the Atkins diet and other low carb diets.
It works by extremely reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat instead. With this reduction in carbs, your body goes into a state called ketosis.
Once this happens, the body becomes super effective at burning fat for energy. It also changes fat into ketones in the liver and leads to supplying more energy for the brain.
Keto diets could also cause significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. In combination with increased ketones, this can be very beneficial for your health.
You should also put a limit on how frequently you eat because every time you have a meal, you trigger insulin. Insulin prevents fat burning and generates fat storage. The goal of the keto diet is to lower your insulin levels. The best way to stop generating insulin spikes is to eat less frequently.
This doesn’t suggest that you should eat less food or even lower your calorie intake. It just means that you shouldn’t have snacks in between meals and only consume food 1-2 times a day. If you are on a healthy keto diet, there is one exception to the no-carb rule.
You can consume as many low-carb vegetables as you want as long as you avoid starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn. You should aim for 6-10 cups of vegetables daily.
How Much Protein Should You Eat on a Keto Diet?
After cutting down on carbohydrates, you should focus on consuming a moderate amount of protein. 3-8oz of protein per meal is recommended. Always try to consume meats that have fat on them. Never opt for lean or low-fat options. You should eat meat, fish, chicken, seafood, eggs (with the yolk), cheese, and nuts.
A keto diet doesn’t mean a very-high-protein diet.
About 100 grams of protein per day is completely okay if your body mass weight is around 70 kilos (160 pounds).
There are concerns that people on keto diets consume too much protein, but this actually isn’t the case. Protein is very filling and most people don’t tend to overeat on it. Even though amino acids that come from protein foods may turn to glucose only an insignificant percentage actually do. This might have something to do with individual factors like the degree of insulin resistance.
However, people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes usually do pretty good with moderate levels of protein, if their diets are low carb as well.
Also, keep in mind that if inadequate protein intake goes on for a long time, it can become a serious concern. It could lead to a loss of muscle and bone, and it can get worst as you get older. Here’s a detailed calculator on the ideal protein intake based on your circumstances.
How Much Fat on a Keto Diet?
Once you’ve calculated how much protein you should consume, the next step is focusing on the right amount of healthy fats. Fats are significant in making you feel full and satisfied. Healthy fats that you should focus on are avocado, butter, olive and coconut oil, and animal fats. Make sure to avoid soy oil, corn oil, and canola oil.
Are Keto Diets Efficient
A keto low-carb diet is usually a higher-fat diet because fat provides the energy that you no longer get from carbs. This is one of the main differences between a keto diet and starving which results in ketosis. A ketogenic diet is more than sustainable while starvation isn’t.
If you get a feeling of starvation, you will probably feel tired and think about giving up on your diet. But a good keto diet will help you avoid the feeling of getting too hungry, making it tenable and possibly giving you a sense of accomplishment. We wrote a detailed article about the efficiency of the diet here.
Finally, focus on getting enough protein foods and low-carb veggies, with enough added fat to feel full and satisfied. If you are feeling hungry most of the time, double-check to see if you are getting good amounts of protein at most meals and, if need be, add more fat to your meals such as more butter, more olive oil, or some tasty sauces.
Intermittent Fasting on a Keto Diet
Once you are comfortably making progress with keto, you should consider adding in intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is simply cutting back on your meals and giving your body more time to recover from insulin. These are the three tips for intermittent fasting:
- Eat only when you feel hungry
- Skip breakfast
- Stop snacking
Fasting is very effective at increasing ketone levels, as well as advancing weight loss and improving insulin levels. Fasting is also usually easy to combine with a keto diet.
The biggest benefit is that it could help you enter ketosis faster. There are a lot of different ways to practice intermittent fasting, but the most generally used method includes limiting food intake to around 8 hours per day and avoiding meals completely for the remaining 16 hours. This method is known as 16:8 fasting.
Keto Diet Explained
A keto diet is a widely used diet and it can be useful for people who are overweight, have diabetes, or are simply looking to improve their overall health.
On the other hand, professional athletes and those who want to gain muscle or weight might opt for other types of diets.
Finally, be sure to talk with your doctor about your eating plan and decide based on his advice whether a keto diet is the right thing for you.