The ketogenic diet is when you tell your body “hey, burn fat instead of carbs when you need energy”
- General Dietary Guidelines – 5% Carbs, 10-20% Protein, 70-85% Fats
High fat, low carb, ample protein. We can change the bodies fuel by changing what we eat. The foods outlined below will build up “ketones” (energy from fat) and cut out “glycogen” (energy from carbs).
Ketosis Expanded Explanation
The USDA recommends that our daily diet consist of between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates. If you are like me this number is much greater.
The American Heart Association says to limit added sugars (daily) to 38 grams or 9 teaspoons. However, the average person in the U.S consumes 82 grams daily or 19.5 teaspoons.
The constant high levels of glucose cause the pancreas to produce insulin – signaling the body to store (excess) calories as fat.
How Does the Ketogenic Diet Work?
Ketones (aka Ketone bodies) are created by the body breaking down fat for energy. This occurs during starvation or similar circumstances or when someone purposely limits their carbohydrates. The body converts fats into fuel by creating Ketones (Ketogenesis)
Carbohydrates are not the best fuel for the body. Do you ever notice that after eating carbs you are hungry a short time later? It appears that fat is a much more sustainable and stable form of fuel.
Once the body is restricted to a list of foods (see below) low in carbohydrates and high in fat along with adequate protein the body will be forced into a mild state of “Ketosis” i.e; the body burning stored fat rather than glucose (sugar) derived from carbs.
Carbs are turned into glucose and excess glucose that is not burned up will be stored… as fat (a moment on the lips and a lifetime on the hips) but we can change that!
Is the Keto Diet Good for You?
A few benefits from the keto diet are
Lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides, lower LDL (bad cholesterol)
Better mental focus, higher energy levels, lower appetite
Did I mention weight loss? Abdominal fat loss (visceral)
Is a Keto Diet Safe?
Dr. Gianfranco Cappello from Sapienza University in Rome created the Keto diet. He has documented his findings after claiming to have treated 19,000 patients and “No significant adverse effects were recorded” that study published by National Center for Biotechnology Information can be found in this article.
What are the Major Myths about the Ketogenic Diet?
- Will the kidneys be hurt from high protein intake?
Ketosis is a mild form or Ketoacidosis – in the case of a diabetic person – this can be life threatening. Ketosis has not been shown to cause kidney damage or disease in normal functioning kidneys.
On the contrary Robb Wolf a former research biochemist actually shows “Chronically elevated blood glucose levels DO cause kidney damage” a very good read if you have the time.
- Does the mind need glucose to function?
In short, yes, however the body can produce and synthesize glucose for the brain while in Ketosis. Also, many report a high level of mental clarity after cutting the carbs.
Furthermore, in a 2017 study “The Current Status of the Ketogenic Diet in Psychiatry” conducted by researchers at the University of Tasmania in Australia shows positive results in both human and animals that underwent a keto like diet.
- Does the diet cause nutritional deficiencies?
What is it like to go on a ketogenic diet?
I once heard someone remark that change is uncomfortable.
I have done a few “fasts” in the past; drinking just water for a week sometimes two. I noticed that discipline is a wonderful friend. Discipline is a caring helper that can bring you to many exciting new places. Without it you are stuck.
For the first few days you may feel flu like symptoms. Lethargy, low energy, and of course some cravings for junk food. Your work outs may be less explosive – this as the body shifts from burning glucose… to burning fat for fuel.
The first week will show a nice loss of weight from water leaving the body. Our glycogen is in the bodies water so as it leaves you will also loose water weight. (glycogen – readily mobilized storage form of glucose)
How long does it take to feel increased energy and mental clarity after starting the ketogenic diet?
Many report mental clarity after a few days. Energy levels may come in 3 to 4 days but on average 1 to 2 weeks is usually the time the body needs to regulate itself and build up ketone levels.
Keto Meal Plan?
**NOTE: I noticed a few fruits on the list that are high sugar. Generally tropical fruits are high in sugar. Also – sweet potato’s – although great for you…are very high in carbs. Enjoy!
- Keto Diet Recipes? (External Site)
How to Get Started on Keto Diet?
You can download a grocery list and meal plan. The secret here is to pick a day of the week to go grocery shopping and to plan your meals. This trick will introduce a new “habit” which will replace an old habit.
Can You Eat Fruit on Keto Diet?
Yes, aim for low glycemic fruits.
What Not to Eat on Keto Diet?
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What about you? Have you tried the Keto Diet?
Please share your thoughts about this post.