Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard the latest fat loss buzz word… Keto!
But what exactly is Keto? And does it truly help people achieve improved health and actual fat loss?
The short answer is, yes. I know from personal experience, because I have healed my body and successfully shed 50 pounds, by following a ketogenic diet.
Where I once was a chronic yo-yo dieter; I am now a Keto-Lifer.
If you want Keto to work for you, and for it to be more than an unsustainable fad, I suggest that you truly learn about the Ketogenic Lifestyle, before taking the plunge.
THE HISTORY OF KETO
What exactly is Keto? Keto is a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate way of eating. Essentially, taking the recommended American Food Pyramid, and flipping it upside down.
The ketogenic style of eating was developed in the 1920’s, from observation that fasting had anti-seizure properties.
It was discovered that eating ketogenically (high fat, low carb) mimics and stimulates the metabolic effects of fasting. Effects like lowered insulin, increased growth hormone, increased body ketones, and fat loss.
Patients were benefiting from the anti-seizure effects fasting had, but without having to starve themselves, by eating ketogenically.
Every time food is consumed, there is an insulin hormone response in the blood.
Foods are scaled on a glycemic index. The higher the carbohydrate count (starches and sugars) in a food, the higher the glycemic index.
The higher the glycemic index, the greater the insulin response.
Why is insulin so important?
Insulin is a hormone that regulates the absorption of glucose (sugar) by the cells in the body.
Insulin levels that are frequently high result in the body not being able to properly absorb and utilize the excess glucose.
This is when fat storage happens. The body starts to create reserves, known as glycogen.
Glycogen is mainly stored in the liver and the muscles, as fat. It provides the body with a readily available source of energy for when and if blood glucose levels decrease.
However, because of today’s typical high carbohydrate diet, there is rarely, if ever, a need to tap into that stored energy source. That then means, the cycle continues, and body fat storage continues.
Fueling the body with ketones is known as a state of Ketosis. Ketosis is a natural state of the body when it is almost completely fueled by fat.
Very simply, when a body’s glucose storage, glycogen, is depleted, the body can begin producing and using ketones as fuel.
By eating a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet, glycogen storages can be depleted. With depleted glycogen storage, the body can then become a fat burning machine in Ketosis.
Fat has a glycemic index of zero. Eating fat and keeping carbohydrates low, means a lower insulin response; stopping the cycle of fat storage, and instead putting the body into fat burning mode.
FUEL SOURCES: GLUCOSE VS KETONES
Now we know, that when a diet is high in carbohydrates, the body is fueled by glucose. When a diet is high in fat, and low in carbohydrates, the body is fueled by ketones.
Which is the better fuel source? Glucose or Ketones?
Whenever there is a presence of glucose, the body will first use that as its primary fuel source.
This might suggest that the body prefers glucose. But that is not the case.
Think of it more as the body wants to get rid of the dirtiest, easiest fuel to burn, first and foremost. So it then can transition into the more efficient and hotter burning fuel of ketones.
- High levels of glucose, means the presence of high insulin. High insulin levels are very dangerous and damaging to the body and brain.
- Higher levels of ketones, means lower levels of insulin, better cognitive function, long lasting stable energy, and so much more.
KETO MACRO RATIOS
Keto is a High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carbohydrate way of eating.
Fat, Protein and Carbohydrates are figured as a ratio by percentage of daily calorie intake.
This ratio is based on things like activity level, height, age, current weight, body fat percentage, and overall objective.
Keto Macro Ratios:
- Fat is between 60-75% of daily caloric intake
- Protein is between 20-30% of daily caloric intake
- Carbs is between 5-10% of daily caloric intake
THE 6 SIMPLE STEPS TO STARTING KETO
Listed here are 6 simple steps to starting Keto. These are the pillar practices to deplete the body of glycogen, and begin producing and fueling the body with ketones.
- Start cutting out the obvious refined carbs: sugar, starches, grains, cereals, pastas, rice, beans, etc.
- Keep carbohydrate consumption low and nutrient dense with choices like: cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, kale, collard greens, etc.
- Eat proteins that are fattier: chicken thighs, chicken with skin, chicken wings, pork chops, 80/20 ground beef, bacon, steak, eggs, etc.
- Eat higher amounts of natural sources fat: olive oil, coconut oil, real pure butter, tallow, ghee, avocado, etc.
- Increase Electrolytes: Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium levels can be flushed from the body. Low Carb eating, like Keto, is naturally diuretic; meaning excess water retention is flushed from the body. Supplement these electrolytes to reduce and prevent Dehydration and Keto Flu Symptoms.
- Begin decreasing the frequency of eating. Start by cutting out snacking. Practice eating no more than 3 times per day. Gradually transitioning to eating as few as 1 to 2 times per day.
FREE KETO GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
Get your Free, fully detailed, Keto Guide For Beginners!
In this free guide, I go into full detail about the Ketogenic Lifestyle, how to be successful, and even include a comprehensive Keto Approved Food List.
As well as several other helpful tools and resources.