TAKE THE FIRST STEP TO LIVING A HEALTHIER LIFE!
A STARTER GUIDE TO KETO
In simple terms, the Ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet with minimal to no sugar intake. To explain it, we’ll go over the ways your body burns fuel for energy, and how the keto diet works. There are two different ways that your body can burn its fuel, and those are burning carbohydrates (glucose) and/or burning fats (ketones). Let’s first talk about your body burning carbohydrates.
CARBS FOR FUEL
When we eat carbohydrates, our bodies break down the sugars and starches contained in carbs, turning them into another type of sugar called Glucose. The body can either use that glucose immediately, or it can store it to be used for fuel later. Depending on how much glucose needs to be burned or stored, the pancreas releases Insulin to help the body regulate glucose levels.
THE CARB ROLLERCOASTER
On a healthy diet, the body can maintain a balance of the glucose being used for energy and stored in the muscles, fat cells and liver long after we’ve eaten. But let’s be honest, not everyone’s diet is “healthy”. When the body gets too many carbs, along with large doses of sugar to go with it, it would be impossible to burn off that much glucose before the next meal. And remember, glucose can also be STORED UP. IN THE FAT CELLS. Starting to make sense? On a high carb, high sugar diet, our bodies are just storing up more and more glucose, more commonly known as sugar. Since the body needs insulin to turn glucose into stored up energy, when we’re not burning glucose as energy, the insulin starts doing what it knows how to do best, storing the excess in fat cells.
FATS FOR FUEL
Now to the good stuff. Your body can also burn FAT as a fuel source. When the body is low on carbs, it is also low on glucose. Since our bodies need a fuel source, they will look for an alternative to glucose to use as energy. This is where the fat burn begins. Your body will start to break down fats, causing the liver to release “ketones”. Ketones are a naturally occurring acid in the body, created through a process called beta-oxidation. When the body is consistently creating ketones to burn fat, it is known as ketosis. On the keto diet, getting into ketosis is our primary goal.
HOW THE KETO DIET WORKS
The Keto diet works off of a very simple ratio of the three macronutrients (macros) that make up our food, which are fat, protein and carbohydrates. Most people can start off using a simple macro ratio of 75/15/10, which means you take in 75% healthy fats, 15% proteins, and 10% carbs. This is going to vary from person to person depending on their body type and the shape they are in, but it’s a great place to start. For instance, a person who has more body fat to start with may not need to be taking in as much healthy fat to begin with, since they will have more body fat to burn starting off. Which also means that a person who starts off with less body fat will probably need to take in more fat and less protein and carbs to reach ketosis. Remember, everybody is different, and the best way to find your macro sweet spot is to try different ratios of the macros you eat on the ketogenic diet.
When you reach ketosis, you’ll find yourself feeling more focused, you’ll have more energy, you’ll see your food cravings decrease and you’ll start sleeping better. Ketosis can also help lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. Most of all, you WILL lose weight.
LEARN ABOUT MACROS
Now you have the basics you’ll need to know when starting the ketogenic diet. So what are the best foods to eat while on the keto diet? Since we talk about our foods as “macros” on the ketogenic diet, let’s find out more about what they are.