Being successful on a diet is knowing the basics of that specific diet before you start. Jumping right in is also a way to approach a diet, but I find that doing my research before I start gives me the knowledge to meal-plan and anticipate any setbacks I might have. However, you can get stuck just doing reach and never actually start. Allow yourself a week to do the research and prep for this new diet and after that week go into the diet and keep doing research.
The good thing is that there are so many resources for the ketogenic diet from blogs to Youtube videos to podcasts. The basic thing you want to understand and know before you start the keto diet is understanding how many carbs to intake and how to track your carbs. This is the most important thing to be successful on this diet.
When you are doing your research don’t worry about the information on ketones and how to measure your ketone levels or what keto products people are eating. Look at how you eat now and what changes you need to make to have your meals low carbs. If you eat out a lot, focus your research on eating out on a ketogenic diet. If you are a baker, focus your research on keto-friendly baked goods. Find examples of meals people eat on a daily basis and see how you can modify this to fit into your life. As you start your keto diet you’ll be able to do more research as you keep learning about it.
You’ll find on Keto Corner lots of examples of meal ideas and educational information on a ketogenic and low-carb diet. I want to share some of these basics with you today so you have one place that you can go to to get all of your keto essential information.
The top things to know about the ketogenic diet
What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet, also known as keto, is a low-carb diet. When eating low carb, your body will go into a state of ketosis which is when your body creates ketones and uses ketones as energy.
How does the ketogenic diet work?
On an average American diet, carbohydrates are our main source of energy. On the keto diet, you are allowing yourself enough carbs for basic bodily functions and allowing your body to use lipids, also known as fat, for its main source of energy. If you are trying to lose weight, your body will “feed” off of the lipids, fat, that are on your body. If you are maintaining weight, you will want to make sure you are eating more fat to give your body the energy it needs.
One way I like to think about this is if we were stuck on an island with no food and how our body would survive without food. Any of the carbs you have eaten will be used first for energy. Once you’ve used up your carbs, the fat on your body will be used for energy. Once you’ve used up your fat, the protein in your muscles (and lastly cells) will be used for energy.
The Ketogenic diet is using science to change where our energy source is coming from and can be very helpful in losing weight for many people. Fat also gives you more energy compared to carbs. Carbs are essentially just sugar and will cause your body’s glycemic index to go up (blood sugar). On a keto diet, you’ll eat low glycemic index food and have a more stabilized blood sugar level.
What are the advantages to the ketogenic diet?
The keto diet is popular for many of its health benefits. Its origins come from a diet used to reduce seizures in children. It’s extremely popular now for weight loss, which I can attest to. Keto also lowers your risk of heart disease. It increases your HDL cholesterol, also known as the “good” cholesterol, and lowers your LDL, also known as the “bad” cholesterol. A low-carb diet also reduced blood sugar and insulin levels. Blood pressure is also reduced on a keto diet. These are just a few health benefits of the ketogenic diet.
How long does it take for your body to get into ketosis?
It usually takes 3-4 days. You may experience the Keto-Flu which usually consists of a headache, fatigue, constipation, and difficulty sleeping. This will only last for a week. Think of this as withdrawal from carbohydrates/sugar. To reduce Keto Flu make sure to drink water and have electrolytes.
How many carbs should I have on the ketogenic diet?
20-50 carbs a day will keep you in ketosis.
I recommend 20-25 for someone who has moderate activity.
How many carbs you need is up to your lifestyle, but I’ve found that I naturally eat 20 carbs a day.
How do I calculate the carbs?
You want to calculate your net carbs. You will learn to read labels and use – nutrition website to calculate net carbs very quickly.
Net Carbs = Total Carbohydrates – Fiber
Vegetables have a lot of fiber so you’ll want to make sure you know how much fiber to get a true Net Carb amount
These are just the basics to know so you can get started today! I’ll go over these topics in more detail so during your Keto journey you’ll be able to learn even more!