Starting Keto is not difficult but for you to attain your goals, you must start it correctly. A lot of beginners failed to actualize their objective because they started wrongly. Sometimes it could be as a result of lack of determination to keep to their “Keto Diet Routine”
Starting Keto properly is one thing and not deviating from your Keto Diet routine is another thing. Guess what? You need both to meet your target. In this article we will bring to your knowledge how to start keto correctly and also explain a lot of other things you need to know about ketosis so you don’t deviate from your daily/weekly routine.
What You Need To Know About Ketogenic Diets?
Ketogenic Diets are called keto diets for short. They are diets that are greatly rich in fats, very low in carbs and moderately rich in proteins. If you start Keto Diets, you are directly telling your body to burn more fats for energy instead of carbs. When this happens, your body will stop storing more fats and start burning them to generate energy that your body needs. For you to successfully transition from burning carbs for energy to burning fats for energy, you will need to be consistent.
The process of energy generation in your body involves a lot of natural processes including hormonal. These processes must be altered before you can get any result. This might be difficult when you are just starting out but with time, you will get used to it. Also, when you start getting results, you will be motivated even more.
What really happens in your body? “KETOGENESIS/KETOSIS”
What is Ketogenesis?
Ketogenesis, also known as Ketosis, is a biochemical process through which the body generates ketone bodies by breaking down fatty acids and ketogenic amino acids. These ketone bodies (Acetoacetate and 3-beta hydroxybutyrate) will be used to generate energy. This process takes place when there is insufficient glucose in your system.
Glucose, derived from breakdown of carbs, is the commonly used substance to generate energy in the body. The fatty component of the food we consume, which contains even more energy than carbohydrate, will be stored for future use, and this results in weight gain as long as you eat frequently. In the absence of glucose, the body will channel these fats into the catabolic pathways to generate energy. This happens when we are hungry or probably starving.
However, you don’t have to starve in order to make your body burn more fats instead of carbs for energy. If you consume more fats and less carbs, your body will gradually switch from burning carbs to burning fats in order to adapt to the new condition the system is exposed to. This calls for consistency, it won’t happen overnight, and we are here to help you as much as we can.
Now, let’s go straight into the main topic:
How To Start Keto Correctly
“A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step” The first most important step in starting a proper keto diet plan is to get started. The second most important step is to be consistent, never deviate from your keto diet routine or stop halfway. “Don’t be that fat guy who wants to lose weight but finds it difficult to get up from his couch”
In simple terms, we will summarize, in bullet points, how you can start your keto diet plans, and explain each in detail.
- Low Carbs
- More Fat
- Moderate Protein
- Lower Your Insulin
- Additional Tips
Now, let’s explain them in detail
1. Low Carbs
The more you consume carbohydrates, the more your body will store fats, because all the energy needs of your body will be met from glucose which is more than enough in your system. At any time, ensure that your consumption of carbohydrate is pretty low once you start keto. This will help your body to transition from burning carbs to burning fats for energy. Also, it will reduce fat storage in your body and even recruit more fats from the store, thereby helping you to avoid weight gain and lose weight instead.
Does this mean you are going to eat less quantity of food or probably starve? The answer is NO. You won’t necessarily eat less nor starve. What you need to do is to work on the components of the food you eat. Add more fat and reduce the quantity of carbs in it. Carbohydrates constitute the major component of the food we consume while fats, protein and other classes of food make up a lesser quantity.
As you already know, some carbohydrate sources are not safe for your keto diet plan while some are pretty good.
Let’s take a look at some of the ones you need to avoid:
- Sugars: Which include; horney, agave nectar, brown sugar, white sugar, date sugars
- Fruits: especially apples
- Grains: e.g. wheat flour used to make breads, pasta cereals used to make crackers biscuits, etc.
- Starches: e.g. potatoes
Here are carb sources that are safe for your keto diet and also very healthy:
- Fruits: Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Peaches,
- Sugars: like sugar alcohols
- Grains: like almond flour used to make bread, pizza crust etc
- Starches: e.g. cauliflower which are very similar to potatoes. You can make recipes that have similar taste like potatoes with cauliflower.
- Vegetables: Consume more vegetables, at least 7 cups per day. E.g. Salads, Broccoli, Kale, Brussels, Sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, Beets, Spinach, Zucchini, Mushrooms, Bell peppers, Cabbage, Cucumber, Asparagus, Eggplant etc. You can consume the vegetables first before proteins. If you consume proteins first, you will get filled up pretty fast and you won’t be able to take as much vegetables. Vegetables provide food for your microbes and other nutrients like potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. These microbes are very vital for gut functions and energy production.
To ensure that you always consume foods that contain safe carbs, always read the labels to know if they contain sugars that are not safe for your keto diet plan.
2. More Fat
Yes, you read it correctly! You need to consume more fats than carbs to help your system switch from burning carbs to burning fats. To trigger ketogenesis in the body, the glucose level will be considerably low. This will send a signal to the system to recruit fat into the catabolic pathway to generate energy. Thus, you have to lower your carb intake and increase your fat intake to initiate and maintain a metabolic state known as “KETOSIS”
When our body stores more fat we will gain weight, when it burns more fat we will lose weight. Hence, if you consume large amounts of carbs and fats at the same time, you will end up gaining weight because the carbs will be broken down to yield glucose which will be used to generate energy while the fat will be stored for future use. If you hear “MORE FAT” don’t be scared of gaining more weight, all you need to do is to reduce your carb intake while increasing your fats intake.
The essence of this article is to help you start keto correctly and not for you to starve or eat unhealthily. You need enough energy for your daily activities, both voluntary and involuntary. As you are reducing your carb intake, you need to increase your fat intake to get an adequate amount of calories to support these activities.
You can consume these fats: Avocado, coconut oil, olives/olive oil, butter and other fatty proteins like nuts
Here are the fats that you definitely want to avoid: soy oil, corn oil, canola oil, and cottonseed oil. These oils are highly inflammatory and not good for your system. Even safflower oil and sunflower oil, you need to be careful about consuming them.
3. Moderate Protein
Protein is an important class of food used for bodybuilding. It is also a source of energy just like carbs and fats. If you go to the gym frequently, then you need to consume an adequate amount of protein but not too much. Proteins are derived from both plants and animals. The safest proteins are the ones that contain a lot of fats. Examples are; pork, turkey, egg, nuts, nut butters, cheese, etc. Lean proteins or low fat proteins like protein powders are not safe for you if you really want to go keto because it will increase your insulin level. Other proteins like fish, seafood, and chicken are also pretty good for you when consumed in moderate quantities.
4. Lower Your Insulin Level
Insulin is a very important hormone in the body that regulates glucose absorption into the cells. Each time you eat, your body sends a signal to stimulate the release of insulin so that glucose won’t accumulate in the blood which will result in a disease condition known as diabetes. Also, when you eat more carbs, more insulin will be released.
To lower your insulin level, you need to reduce the number of times you eat and also reduce the quantity of carbs you consume each time. If you eat less frequently, your body will receive less signals to release insulin. Same thing happens when you eat a lesser amount of carbohydrates. You can eat larger quantities at a time but make sure it contains less carbs.
5. Additional Tips
To ensure that you achieve your goal without deviating from your keto diet routine, there are a number of tips we have arranged to help you in this journey. They include:
- Skip breakfast: Skipping breakfast is very important. During the early hours of the day (7-9am), there is usually an increase in the level of cortisol which will trigger hunger. Though this hunger may be difficult to resist, you can still skip breakfast. You don’t have to do it once, you can push your breakfast to afternoon gradually. Let’s say you used to eat your breakfast by 8am. You can push it to 9am (adding one hour to it). If one hour is too much, you can make it 30 minutes. After some days, you can add another 30 minutes or one hour to it depending on how long you can endure. Do this until you are able to eat your first meal for the day at 12 noon. Instead of food, you can take coffee. Add butter or MCT oil to it.
- Stop Snacking: Taking snacks can increase your appetite and make you crave for more food. The more frequently you eat, the more you trigger insulin release which will hinder ketogenesis. Also, snacks contain mostly carbs which is what you are trying to avoid. Add more fat to your meals so you can go longer without taking snacks.
- Don’t eat unless you are hungry: Sometimes we eat just because we are not full as we should be or because we think it’s time to eat. Do not eat unless you are really hungry. Even if you feel hungry, but you are still strong and you can work efficiently, do not eat.
- Drink water, tea, coffee and take vitamins. Anything without sugar. Exercise is also important.
- 6-hour eating window and 18-hour fast: This works for those who can skip breakfast without snacking. In this case, you will eat your first meal by 12 noon and the last one by 6pm. Hence, you will only eat within a period of six hours while fasting for the remaining 18 hours of the day.
If you think that going keto is difficult, then think again. All it takes is just for you to start. Also, make sure you are doing the right thing. Do not risk your health while trying to lose weight. We have given you some examples of food products that you need to avoid and the ones you can take in addition to best practices currently available to help you achieve your goals while keeping your health optimal.
Furthermore, make sure you read labels before buying any food products out there. If you need any keto product to help you transition fast to ketosis, you can check out this article.
Before we call it a day, we will like to give you a summary of the benefits of ketosis.
Ketosis leads to the production of ketone bodies which is very beneficial to the brain. It helps in cognitive functions of the brain and prevents some brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Ketosis leads to breakdown of fats for production of energy. This helps to lower the level of cholesterol in the body thereby preventing some cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis, hypertension etc.
Through the breakdown of fats, ketogenesis helps to prevent weight gain and encourage weight loss. This will also help to maintain good body shape.
Eating food containing more fat and less carb helps to lower the risk of diabetes. Also fats yield more energy than carbs.
There are other benefits of keto, get started and see the magic!!