Straight Facts About the Ketogenic Diet
Following a ketogenic diet, is really about getting to and staying in ketosis. Here's how...
Every dieter who follows any diet system or weight loss program wants sure, quick results.
Who doesn’t want that? Of course, we want to see results right away.
The ketogenic diet is a diet that focuses on lower carbs and a higher amount of fat, and it assists the body in losing weight by making the body burn fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
This, in turn, leads the body to a condition called ketosis.
There are differences when it comes to the levels of weight loss on this kind of diet. The length of time for results of this diet will also be based on how much weight the dieter intends to lose.
According to studies, though, a person who stick to a ketogenic eating style could lose over 12 pounds within 4 weeks.
When you listen to the results of dieters in forums and Facebook groups you'll find these stories of weight loss quite common.
Weight loss initially can be quite fast, but it depends on reaching a state of ketosis.
The preferred energy resource of the body is glucose, which can be acquired through carbohydrates.
When you go on the keto diet, your body experiences hormonal shifts that facilitate the discharge of fat coming from the fat cells.
The fats are then taken to the liver wherein they are reduced into ketones, which are employed as fuel.
How long does it take?
Reaching ketosis is different for everybody.
How long it takes will really depend on how low you get your carbs in those first few days. If you reduce carbs to less than 20 gram per day, it is possible to get into ketosis within a few days.
Many people get into ketosis with 3 to 4 days, but some people can take more than a week.
How do I know?
Here are some of the signs that you have reached a state of ketosis. You may experience some, but then again you may experience none of them:
- You appetite is under control. You are less hungry than you used to be. Really...
- Less or no food cravings.
- You are really thirsty.
- Strong smelling urine.
- A metal kind of taste in your mouth and foul smelling breath.
You will obviously also feel differently. Your mind is likely to be clearer and you could have more energy. (After the initial energy slump.)
The more accurate way to know is to measure.
You can do this with urine ketone test strips.
With a blood ketone testing kit.
Want to know more about testing, then you'll want to read this article.
Help I am still not in Ketosis
If you are sure that you are not in a state of ketosis or you have fallen out of ketosis because of a holiday or you have been traveling and eating low carb was tough.
Then just start following the basics again. Less than 20 grams of fat per day, protein per your body weight and lots of healthy fat.
Because I get the question about how to get into ketosis or how to get back into ketosis so often I put together a 4 step plan to get into ketosis.
Step 1 is about what you eat and step 2 is about adding MCT oil to support ketosis.
In step 3 we add fasting. This can be intermittent fasting or an egg fast.
I find that intermittent fasting very much become part of life when you live a ketogenic life.
I was surprised by the power of an egg fast though. I didn’t like the sound of it, but in reality I found it easy to do.
Step 4 is focused on getting active and to get moving
The side effects or “Keto Flu”
A ketogenic diet can be really effective, but the first week or so can actually be quite tough.
Most dieters, but not all, experience some of these symptoms. If you are lucky you would hardly have any, but the symptoms can also be relatively severe.
- Lack of energy
- Being light headed or dizzy
- Mental fog
- Diarrhea or constipation
Why does this happen?
These are basically the result of two things.
Firstly, these are carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms. Our bodies really is addicted to the sugar and starches and when they are no longer available, there is this response.
The second is due to an electrolyte imbalance.
How long will it last?
Again this depends from person to person.
For some people the symptoms last only a few days.
For most people who were eating a lot of sugar and junk food, the symptoms may persist a little longer.
What can I do about it?
It is really very important to drink enough water during this period. There is a good reason why people tend to be thirsty when they are in ketosis.
Learn to listen to your body and drink enough at least 8 glasses of water per day.
I know this may scare you, because you were always told to eat less salt. However when you stop eating processed foods, your general salt intake is substantially reduced.
Add a cup or two of bone broth to your daily diet.
Both of these help to replenish electrolytes.
Supplement with magnesium.
Hang in there, once you are through this period, you will be amazed how much more energy you have, how clear your mind is and how fast you can lose weight when your insulin and blood sugar levels are balanced.
Remind yourself, why you are changing your lifestyle. Focus on your WHY and the process becomes a little easier.
Want it straight?
Watch Jason Wittrock from BodyBuilding.com explain the 5 main mistakes people make when they are on a keto diet.
You want it straight? Then watch him now…
It will be most effective if you fully commit and really follow the guidelines to the letter. Do this and you may be amazed at the results. I really am. 🙂
As a starting point - check out our Checklists Page.
Here you'll find our proposed keto food pyramid, a checklist of what you should eat and do, our keto shopping list and many more.
... and if you are ready to take the next step why not check out these weekly meal plans from Vicky and Rami of TasteAholics...
Off course it is always prudent to consult your healthcare professional, before making major changes like this, especially if you are currently on any medications.