Rule #1 – Forget everything you know about nutrition!
Rule #2 – Keto is a lifestyle and not a diet!
I’m really excited that you asked for more information on the Ketogenic Lifestyle! It might seem like a daunting task to sift through all of the research right now but just know that it’s much easier than it seems. My biggest piece of advice is going to be to listen to your body! If you’re hungry, then eat. If you’re not hungry, then don’t eat! Just make sure you’re sticking to some pretty basic rules.
But first, what is Keto?
Basically, you want to keep your Macro Nutrient intake as follows:
– Fat: 70%+
– Protein: 20%
– Net Carbs: 5% – This is carbs minus fiber
– 0 Sugar – This is KEY!
Your body will enter a type of starvation mode called Ketosis where you switch from using Glucose for fuel and your body will start converting fat to ketone bodies or Ketones. The ketones will then be used as fuel for your brain and cells. It appears as though ketones may be a more efficient fuel for the body. Do not fret though, your liver is storing 24 hours worth of glucose as glycogen and will dip into this reserve as needed. Proteins you’re ingesting will also be converted to glucose to replenish your glycogen stores meaning your body will not be attacking your muscles for fuel. If you have weight to spare, then you’ll lose weight as a byproduct of this lifestyle. The main benefit you’ll experience is mental alertness and clarity, lots of energy, and you will no longer experience that fog and fatigue you face every afternoon.
You may experience what is called a Keto Flu in the beginning which is like a hangover. Your body is just transitioning. Essentially, your body is lacking key electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, and potassium) that it might not be getting from your new lifestyle. You’ll want to make sure to add salt to your food and supplement magnesium and potassium. Avocados are high in potassium and you can use epsom salt baths for magnesium. Once you’re in a state of Ketosis, which can be measured through a blood test like diabetics do (above 0.5 mmol of Ketones in your blood), then your body starts burning all fat for fuel. This is called becoming fat adapted. If you’re not consuming enough fat for your body, which is normal, then your body will start burning the excess fat reserves that you have stored. The key here is to not consume sugar or carbs as it will invoke an insulin response from your pancreas and your liver will then trigger a fat storage response for your body. Stick to green leafy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, etc.
After some time of sticking to a high fat lifestyle, you should start noticing that you’ll be less and less hungry compared to a higher carbohydrate lifestyle you’re used to following. THIS IS NORMAL! Like I said, just remember to eat when you’re hungry. The practice of grazing or eating 6-10 meals per day is wrong. Along with making sure you’re eating healthy fats like butter, heavy whipping cream, animal fat, etc, you’ll want to make sure that you stick to foods that are low on the glycemic index. This means they are not causing an insulin response. Lower the amount of insulin in your body will encourage your body to stay in a state of ketosis and continue burning fat for fuel rather than storing it.
I think that’s enough to get you started! Here are a few resources that I’ve used to get to where I’m at today. If you have any other questions, then please just let me know!
– https://celticketo.blog/ – My blog
– https://www.myfitnesspal.com/ – Tracking food and macros
– http://2ketodudes.com/ – Podcast
Oh, here’s a progress picture that keeps me going: