This keto diet explained article is a complete beginner friendly guide for the people who want to get started with keto diet and achieve their weight loss goal.
Let's dive into the basics and other important components involved with the keto diet.
In the keto diet, we pay attention to three major macronutrient groups which you find in the foods you eat every single day. They are Proteins, Fats, and Carbohydrates.
The Standard American diet consists of 35% Fats, 15% Proteins, and 50% Carbs. In the Keto diet, these numbers are quite different with 75% being Fats, 20% being Proteins, and only 5% being Carbs which is 10 times lesser carbs than in a standard American diet.
How Keto Diet Works?
In a nutshell, A keto diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. The idea is for you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. On the whole, in the keto diet, we work to attain a metabolic state called ketosis where your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs.
What is a Ketone?
A Ketone is not fat, carbohydrate, or protein. It is a kind of a combination or it has characteristics of both a fat and a carbohydrate but it is not either.
It comes from fat but a ketone is an alternative fuel source and the way that you get ketones is by simply lowering the carbohydrates in your diet or by reducing the frequency of eating.
This is the reason we recommend a low-carb diet with Intermittent fasting and that way you can maximize your ability to make ketones.
Benefits of Ketones
Ketones have many advantages over regular Glucose fuel,
- It increases the oxygen in your body.
- It increases your energy.
- It supports the brain (Actually your brain prefers ketones over glucose)
- It supports the heart.
If your heart is damaged or your brain is damaged then ketones are the answer. They can bypass the mechanical damage pathways and feed the tissues directly.
Process of Gluconeogenesis
Most of the body tissues can run in ketones but some parts need glucose and this is the confusion that people have in common.
They think that they need to consume glucose to get glucose which is not the case.
There is something called gluconeogenesis where your body can make glucose from fat, ketones, and proteins if it needs it.
You do not need to consume carbohydrates to get Glucose.
Adaptation to Keto
It does take time to turn the fat into ketones and it is going to take between 3 to 5 days. It all depends on the condition of insulin and the pancreas in your body.
If you are a pre-diabetic, diabetic, or if you have insulin resistance then it is going to take longer and longer to adapt.
But by lowering the carbs and going in Intermittent Fasting you will get there a lot faster.
How to get into Ketosis?
The two ways to get into ketosis is,
- You lower the Carb and
- You lower the frequency of Eating
Why to do Ketosis?
The most important thing is you are going to lower insulin in your body and most people have high insulin. Too much insulin causes insulin resistance.
“On very rare occasions your doctor ever tests you for insulin. They will test you for glucose but not insulin, if they did they probably would find higher levels of insulin. The test that you would want to do is called HOMA-IR.”
Insulin Resistance is the reason behind,
- Metabolic Syndrome
- High Blood Pressure
- Fat in the Gut area
Prediabetes leads to diabetes so in reality diabetes stems from high levels of insulin at certain points.
So Keto and Intermittent Fasting will lower insulin and that is the big benefit of doing Ketosis.
Benefits of Keto and Intermittent Fasting
But the real big benefit of doing this eating plan is that your hunger goes away. Without being hungry all the time, it makes it easy to do long-term as a healthy lifestyle.
There is even an additional benefit if you're doing intermittent fasting - That is Autophagy.
Autophagy is the recycling of garbage in your tissue. Your body will recycle all the damaged protein, the protein that your body doesn't need and clog everything up and turn that into new amino acids. That is one of the big things about autophagy.
To do this you have to fast at least for 18 hours.
Combination of Keto and Intermittent Fasting
The combination of Keto and Intermittent Fasting works very nicely together because if you just do Keto without Intermittent fasting and your metabolism is slow you may not achieve your weight loss goal or your other goals.
Because it would take a very very long time and sometimes it's not going to work. The reason behind this is that the frequency of eating, in general, will trigger insulin.
So the frequency of eating is very very important about you lowering insulin.
Healthy Keto vs. Dirty Keto
Of course, we recommend the healthy keto and this is higher quality ingredients like grass-fed, Wild-caught, pasture-raised versus conventional type foods.
With healthy keto, you are focused on nutrient-dense foods whereas with dirty Keto you are just focused on keeping your carbs low.
When you follow healthy keto you end up looking a lot better than doing their dirty keto.
The rule of thumb is don't eat unless you have hunger or unless you have the sensation of being hungry.
When you are doing the healthy version of keto with enough leafy greens, vegetables, and healthy fats and improving insulin resistance then you are not only going to be full but you are also going to be satisfied.
Your plate on Keto
If you look at the pie chart here we have about 5 percent carbs of your total calories and then 5 percent vegetables which by the way adds up to a lot.
Because if you look at the carbohydrates and vegetables, you minus the fiber giving the net carb then it doesn't come out to a lot of calories.
So if we look at the total carbs which would include berries, hummus, nuts, and seeds - there are few carbs in those and you combine the vegetables that are like 10 percent.
Then we have 20% protein and 70% fat. The fat looks like a lot but realize fat is double the calories of other macronutrients.
If we look at the actual food on the plate as shown below it looks really simple like half the plate vegetables, a quarter would be protein, and a quarter would be fat.
But because protein and fat usually come together that is going to be pretty much half your plate.
The benefits of the vegetables are vitamin C, minerals, other nutrients, and phytonutrients.
How to do Keto and Intermittent Fasting
Let's just put it all together - Ideally, when you wake up in the morning if you keep your carbs low, you are not going to be hungry so you want to skip breakfast and push it forward to the point where your breakfast now becomes your lunch.
So don't eat in the morning, you can do coffee or tea. Ideally, your first meal would be at lunch and then your second meal would be dinner so you are doing two meals a day.
If you keep this within a six-hour window that will give you an 18 hour fast.
Now, what is magical about 18 hours as that is when the Autophagy starts where you start getting some cool benefits.
The way that you are going to avoid snacking between the meals is you are going to add a little more fat with lunch and dinner to be able to go longer.
As you start doing it and becoming more adapted, you can kind of cut back on some of the fat because you are gonna be burning your fat and your fat is the healthiest fat that you can burn but the key is this 18 hour fast right here.
If you have to snack within your eating window then it is fine but we don't want to snack after dinner to the next first meal.
You can drink fluids, take electrolytes, B vitamins, and sea salt that is a necessity but we recommend you don't eat anything.
Foods that are good to focus on would be:
- Eggs (Pasture-raised and Organic)
- Meats (Organic)
- Cheese* (Grass-fed & Organic)
- Vegetables (7 -10 Cups)
- Seeds like sunflower seeds
*Some people don’t do well on cheese. Cheese has a lot of hormones and it is not good for people with prostate issues, people who have allergies.
*Some people don't do well on nuts. Especially if they are prone to kidney stones they have to be careful with almonds as well as spinach. So avoid those if you are prone to kidney stones.
Hope this article gives you some basic understanding about the keto diet. This is not simply a weight loss diet, keto is actually a way to lead a healthy lifestyle and there is no reason for you to stop the diet once you achieve your weight loss goal.
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