Ketogenic diet is “in” thing in Hollywood and everywhere else in the globe these days, but many still don’t understand how it works. Loosely described as a high-fat, low-carb meal program, it is often compared to the popular Atkins diet from years back.
How does it work? Keto diet involves the sharp reduction in carbohydrate consumption and replacing it with fat. The goal is to eventually have zero carbs to force the body into a state of ketosis. This is a metabolic state where the body becomes supercharged to burn fat stores to obtain the energy it needs to function. Fat in the liver is also transformed into ketones, which can then deliver energy to the brain. However, it may also cause a huge drop in insulin levels and blood sugar. While this dieting method has proven effective for many, it’s certainly not for those with underlying conditions.
Here are some tips for successful ketogenic diet implementation. Let’s focus on the do’s and don’ts.
- Ensure that the primary source of your calories is fat.
Fat is the star of the ketogenic meal replacement diet, so feel free to consume it. To reach that coveted state of ketosis, at least 70 percent of your daily caloric intake should come from fat. At least 25 percent should be allocated for protein, while the remaining 5 percent should be from residual carbs (emphasis on residual).
- Continue with your leafy greens but cut down on nuts.
Don’t get rid of the vegetables just because you were told eat more fat. You can still enjoy green and/or leafy vegetables such as spinach, bell peppers, broccoli, and more. However, you should totally get rid of nuts and food from nut sources. While they are rich in minerals and healthy fat, most of them also contain carbs.
- For extra fat, use coconut, olive, avocado oil. Butter works, too.
If you’re not up to eating the fat outright, you can add oils to your drinks and meals. Enjoy your butter! In fact, there’s new drink called bulletproof coffee, where instead of putting cream or milk in, you put butter. Try it!
- Don’t eat carbohydrate and protein-rich food.
Carbs are not welcome in keto. Keep your protein intake very low, as well, and this includes milk. You need the bulk of your food to be composed of fat, not these other two macronutrients, to reach the ideal state of ketosis. Don’t ruin all your hard work by forgetting to keep these low to zero.
- Don’t use anything fat-free. Love the fat.
Again, you absolutely need fat. Don’t be scared about grabbing the regular versions of food.
- Don’t think the keto diet is an excuse to eat whatever you want.
The law of thermodynamics applies to keto dieting, too. While you are allowed to consume fat and make it a huge chunk of your diet, you should still watch your calories. You simply can’t enjoy 4,000 calories worth of fatty food and expect to lose weight.
Remember that because the ketogenic diet requires a sharp change in your eating lifestyle, you shouldn’t make the switch abruptly. Allow your body to get used to the shift slowly, until it gets used to the changes. This type of diet isn’t an overnight success and requires commitment on your part, especially if you’ve been used to breads and starchy foods all your life. Just be patient, do it gradually, and stick to the program.