Ketogenic Diet 101 starts with you making a choice! You are here because you are ready for a change, you have exhausted many efforts and came up wanting. You are the mom or dad wanting more time and energy with your children. You are the person wanting to feel better in their clothes. You are tired of feeling like there is nothing more to life than working and sleeping.
You heard someone, somewhere, say their life has changed drastically because they are doing this low carb thing. You have tons of questions and are looking for where to begin. Look no further! We are here to make your new lifestyle transition smooth and easy. Now let’s get started!
Why is this diet transforming into a lifestyle and movement that is working for so many people? The answer is simple… it gets us back to our “native state” which is proven with the latest scientific research. What is our native state? Back in the days of the caveman, humans hunted and gathered their kill and what they ate off the land would allow them to thrive, with sustained energy for long periods of time until their next meal was found.
Small Daily Changes
Some people take an all or nothing approach to the ketogenic diet. If you are one of the 5% of the world that can take a massively strict approach and not fail… go on with your bad self! For the rest of the population, I suggest making small changes to your eating habits over time to make a big impact. We didn’t get radical and throw out everything in our pantry when beginning the keto lifestyle. We started with taking the bun off our burger when eating fast food, having our coffee black without the added artificial sugars, and cutting out soda. That lead to cooking with grass fed butter, using zuchinni in place of noodles, and adding mct oil to our coffee. Gradually our family adapted this way of eating and our children even got on board.
When I heard someone say, “eat fat to burn fat” I thought they were crazy. Unbeknownst to me, they were right! The typical American diet has an abundance of carbs and unhealthy fats. Many people are carb loaded, meaning their diet is made up of mostly carbs that are converted into glucose. The energy from glucose is not sustainable and short lived. Think of when you have a breakfast consisting of toast or cereal. Within a couple hours hunger creeps in again and energy levels crash. When following the Ketogenic Diet the body transitions from running on glucose to burning fat, which breaks down into ketones. Once your body is producing ketones from fat this is the metobolic process called ketosis. Ketones are a much cleaner fuel source that allow for sustained energy and satiety. In order to get in and stay in a state of ketosis, carb intake must be low. Macronutrients are the compounds in food in which we get the bulk of our calories from to create the body’s energy. They include carbs, proteins, and fats. Typically one should maintain 5-10% of calories from carbs. Keeping carb counts under 20-30 grams of net carbs (grams of carbs minus grams of fiber) is a good start; 15-30% of calories from protein; and 60-75% of calories from wholesome, healthy fats.
With that being said, macronutrient intake is not exact and every person is different, meaning, one person can maintain ketosis with 30% protein, 60% fat, and 10% carbs while another person has to stick to 5% carbs, 25% protein, and 70% fat. There are apps available to help track macros to figure out the ideal route for each individual. You can access a keto calculator here.
At a high level, to understand what to eat, here is a suggested food list.
Critical Tips to Stay in Ketosis
When following a ketogenic diet there are some critical tips to follow to stay in a state of ketosis.
1. Stay Hydrated
2. Practice Intermittent Fasting
3. Consume Enough Good Salts
4. Get Regular Exercise
5. Improve Your Bowel Motility
6. Don’t Eat Too Much Protein
7. Choose Carbs Wisely
8. Use MCT Oil When Possible
9. Keep Stress Down
10. Improve Your Sleep
You can find the full break down here.