In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get started with a keto diet. What steps to take before starting and how to properly implement a keto diet in your life.
What you need to know before you start
- If you are currently eating a lot of carbohydrates (and most likely you are), then you will have to adapt to the keto diet.
- The adaptation period is individual, but it is worth preparing for at least two weeks
- Without going through the adaptation period, you will not see the advantages of this diet.
- During this period, a temporary (a couple of days) loss of strength is possible.
- After adaptation, you feel great. And you probably won’t want to eat anymore.
- You will certainly lose weight, even if you do not set such a goal.
- Some people have contraindications to a low-carb diet. For example, people with liver disease. People with type 1 and 2 diabetes may benefit from a low-carb diet, but they must be extremely careful when taking anti-hypoglycemic medications. Consult your doctor.
Basic “Do’s and Don’ts”
A more complete list of products in a separate article. Here is the main thing.
Eatable: Meat (beef, pork, poultry), fish and seafood, eggs, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, green plants (spinach, lettuce, kale, asparagus, broccoli, celery), avocado, vegetables (not potatoes, beets and other root vegetables with a bunch of starch), heavy dairy cream, cheese, fat whole cottage cheese, nuts (the fattest are macadamia, pecan, walnut).
You can drink: water (a lot of water), tea, coffee. It is possible with heavy cream, but, of course, without sugar.
You cannot eat: sugar, all flour (bread and pastries, pasta), vegetables with a high starch content (potatoes, beets), cereals (rice, buckwheat, oats, corn), fruits, sweeteners, fructose.
Do not drink: sugary drinks and fruit juices, beer.
Limited: berries, milk, legumes (peanuts, beans, lentils, etc.), carrots
Of course, these are not all existing products. If you are unsure about a food, check the nutritional information on the label or online. Carbohydrates should be very low (unless they are dietary fiber). If it’s a semi-finished product, see the composition. Sugar, flour, glucose, fructose and starch should not be at all.
What should be the dishes
The ketogenic diet is all about maintaining the correct ratio of calories consumed. Read our detailed instructions on how to calculate everything. In general, focus on the following:
Carbohydrates 20-50 grams.
Protein 1-1.5 grams per kilogram of your body
Fat – about 200 grams (total about 70-90% of calories)
For example, a person of average height needs about 2,700 kcal of energy per day. It is believed that 1 gram of protein or carbohydrates gives 4 kcal, and 1 gram of fat – 9 kcal. Accordingly, in our example, if we eat 30 grams of carbohydrates and 80 grams of protein, we will need another 2,260 kcal (2700-30×4-80×4), which we get from fat. This means that you need to eat about 250 grams of fat (2260/9). Knowing the nutritional value of foods will help you compose the right meals.
If you do not want to do calculations, you can just experiment, which I highly recommend. The main rules are simple – take products from the green list and combine them. Eat meat or fish with vegetables, top these dishes with olive oil or add butter. Your salads should shine. Use vegetables as a way to deliver fat (oil salads, fry vegetables with oil), or eat fatty meats. Avoid overeating protein like dry beef or chicken breast, and eat more green plants.
Minimum Steps to Achieve Ketosis Fast:
1. Limit your carbohydrate intake.
The main obvious step, without it nothing will work. Reduce consumption to 20 grams of carbohydrates per day to start. This allows the body to use up all its glucose stores and begin the transition to processing fat for energy.
2. Add coconut oil to your diet.
It contains MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides), which are very easily absorbed by the body and are immediately converted into ketones. There is no need to buy MCT oil, because it is 70-80% coconut and has the same effect.
You can start with one teaspoon in the morning every day and go up to 3 teaspoons within a week.
3. Add physical. load.
There are a lot of studies that support the increase in ketosis with regular exercise. It has also been found that ketone levels increase significantly when exercised before meals.
One clarification, it is not advisable to do this in the first couple of weeks of starting a low-carb diet.
4. Increase your intake of healthy fats.
Introduce healthy fats to your diet and your ketone levels will rise. The keto diet isn’t just about cutting down on carbohydrates, it’s about eating more fat.
Let me remind you healthy fats – extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, butter, lard. There are also many foods rich in fat (avocado, cheese, eggs, dark chocolate, fish, nuts, etc.)
5. Try intermittent fasting.
One of the strongest ways to speed up ketosis is to stop eating for a few hours, preferably 12 to 16 a day. There is an article on this site about intermittent fasting. There is also “fat starvation”, when food intake is maintained, but the number of calories is sharply limited and they are all taken only from fat.
6. Monitor your protein intake.
It is necessary to consume protein, 1 g of protein per 1 kg of desired weight is recommended. You can not both underestimate this value (this leads to loss of muscle mass, because the body will maintain blood sugar levels by processing its own protein in the form of muscles), and overestimate (this will lead to excess production of glucose from protein and bring you out of ketosis) … The minimum consumption is considered to be 0.55 – 0.77 g per 1 kg of the desired weight.
7. Instrumentally measure the level of ketones.
And make adjustments to your diet and lifestyle as needed. Especially at the beginning of the keto diet, it is important to clearly know how the body reacts to certain actions, what happens to the level of ketones. In a few weeks, you will understand which actions enhance ketosis and which ones violate it.
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