What is keto?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The diet mimics aspects of starvation by forcing the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. Ketosis is the state characterized by elevated levels of ketone bodies in the blood. Very simply put ketosis is when your body stops using glucose for energy and instead uses fat broken down into ketones.
Will a ketogenic diet work for me?
Probably. Some people respond better to it than others, but most people seem to respond to it pretty well. Sometimes people have problems in the beginning (fuzziness in the head and problems concentrating are the common complaints with these people) and can’t seem to make the adjustment. If you’re one of these people the diet may not be worth it for you. Most of the time, however, those feelings only last for a few days to a week and are most severe the first time you go into ketosis.
I have diabetes, is keto good for me?
Diabetes Type I may benefit from ketosis, but it might not be the most ideal diet for someone with the disorder. Anyone with Diabetes Type I who is looking to lose weight should seek guidance from a physician on the topic firstly and understand any advice taken from this reddit on the subject is not professional.
If someone with Diabetes Type I decides to follow keto or low-carb they should be sure to keep a close eye on their blood sugar because ketoacidosis is a dangerous state that can occur in a person with Diabetes Type I.
Why does the keto or low-carb diet work?
The carbohydrate hypothesis lends to the idea that chronically elevated insulin levels lead to fat gain since insulin makes you store fat as part of blood sugar regulation. When insulin levels are controlled through the keto diet, your body releases fat from your storage cells and burns the fat off.
How do I get started?
Pretty simply just start limiting your net daily carb intake to 50g or less. This is adequate for most people but you may need to go lower. Your macro-nutrient goals should be about 60% fat, 35% protein and the other 5% carbs. It’s OK if the fat and protein numbers fluctuate but keep your carb intake to 5% or less. This means you’ll be eating things like whole eggs, fish, beef, chicken and turkey, green vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, cheese, butter, cream, nuts, seeds and, of course, bacon.
How do I know if I’m in ketosis?
The short answer is that if your carb intake is low enough you’ll be in ketosis. It may take a couple of weeks the first time. Ketostix can show you if you’re in ketosis by measuring the excess ketones in your urine. If you’re hydrated well enough or if you’re using all the ketones for energy you could be in ketosis without getting a positive result on the ketositx. Some people notice a metallic/acetone taste in their mouth or a strong smell of their urine.
How long should I do keto?
For as long as it’s working for you or until you reach your goals. If you find you’re regularly running out of energy but still haven’t reached your fat loss goals you might want to switch to a CKD or TKD.
How many carbs should I be eating?
A ketogenic diet is generally one with fewer than 50g of carbs making up no more than 10% of your calories per day. A low-carb diet is generally considered one with less than 150g of carbs a day, making up <30% of total calories. A low-carb diet is not designed to induce ketosis.
If I’m doing keto do I still need to count calories?
Yes and no. For some people simply cutting out all the carbs lowers their total caloric intake low enough to lose weight. For others they still need to focus on eating less and should keep track of their calories. Even the first group of people, however, would benefit from logging their food intake at least occasionally to get an idea of how many calories they’re eating and what the macro-nutrient breakdown is. Although it’s more difficult, you can still gain fat on a ketogenic diet so you can’t go hog wild on things like bacon and cheese.
Vegetables are high in carbs, should I stop eating them?
No, absolutely not. US nutritional values show vegetables as being high in carbs, but most of those carbs are in the form of fiber. (EU and most other labels show fiber as a separate category). Fiber isn’t broken down and absorbed by your body so it should not be counted towards your carb total. For example, one cup of Avocado cubes has about 10g of carbs, but 7 of them are fiber so you’d only count 3g towards your daily carb total. Most vegetables are also low calorie so they’re good filler foods. They’re also full of necessary nutrients.
Can I drink alcohol on keto?
Yes, you can, just watch the carbs in your beverage of choice. In that respect, spirits (whiskey, vodka, etc) and dry wine are more keto-friendly than beer, sweet wine, or sugary cocktails. Drinking won’t kick you out of ketosis, but will slow down or delay your weight loss progress. Also, many keto dieters report drastic reduction of alcohol tolerance and heavier hangovers.
Will keto work without all that fat?
To a point. The rule of thumb is to try and get about 1g of protein per pound of lean body mass (LBM), keep your net carbs lower than 50g per day, and get the rest of your calories from dietary fat. (Protein=4 Kcal/g, Carbs=4 Kcal/g and Fat=9 Kcal/g) Some people may need to go lower with their carb intake to reach ketosis and people trying to add muscle may want to go higher with their protein intake. Fat is also important because it contains valuable nutrients, it helps with satiety, and it makes food taste better.
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