Do you know fat can help you lose weight? If you are confused, then I have a feeling that the ketogenic diet will impress you for sure. Gone are the days when fat-free diets ruled the marketing airways. Now you can opt for a high fat, low-carb diet to lose weight.
One of the most trending topics of today is “keto diet”. In recent years it has achieved attention because it promotes weight loss by forcing the body to burn more fat for energy.
What is a Keto diet, anyway?
A Ketogenic diet or simply “keto” is a diet plan that involves eating lots of fat and fewer carbs. It is relatively close to the Atkins diet but slightly differs in a way that it limits your protein intake. A Keto diet has been in clinical use for about 80 years. It trended in the 1920s to treat patients with epilepsy. The diet is dependent on fat with around 15 to 20 percent of protein and only 5 to 10 percent of carbohydrates.
If you are looking for ways to follow keto diet successfully, then continue reading. I have compiled useful keto tips and tricks that will help you along the course.
It sounds basic, but it is difficult to follow. We often forget to hydrate by getting busy in our everyday life. You need to super hydrate your system by drinking 32 to 48oz. of filtered water between the time of waking up and before noon. The digestive system needs to be hydrated enough during this period.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is the most productive tip you can implement right away. There are several intermittent fasting protocols that will help you stay on the keto track in a good way. Fat fasting is a typical way to lose weight. This is when you absorb 80-90% of calories from fat for a set period (no more than three to five days) while restricting everything else. It will help your body to speed up its metabolism and burn more fat.
When you follow a ‘low carb’ keto diet, you have lower insulin levels. This makes your kidneys excrete more sodium leading to a lower sodium ratio and a higher need for sodium in the diet. So add an extra 3,000 to 5,000 mg of sodium in your diet to avoid electrolyte imbalances.
You can consume an added amount of salt in your diet by drinking organic bone broth daily and sprinkling pink salt on every meal. You can also eat low carb foods that contain sodium.
Regular exercise promotes low carb, high-fat lifestyle and increases ketone levels. To keep keto diet on track, your body needs to dump glucose present in the body. Frequent exercise will help the body drain out glycogen stores faster.
Once your body eliminates glycogen, it will seek other forms of fuel and will turn to fat for energy. Exercising uses fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids for fuel.
To boost fat loss, incorporate a workout regimen including both high intensity and low-intensity exercises. This will help balance blood sugar level in your body and maintain ketosis.
Constipation is one of the major challenges people face on a keto diet. To prevent this, I recommend consuming fermented foods (if tolerable) such as kimchi, apple cider vinegar, etc. Take a fresh green drink every day as it will help increase calcium, potassium and magnesium levels. Besides that, consume a lot of water and add pink salt to meals for extra sodium.
When you consume excess protein, your body turns it into sugar through a biochemical process called gluconeogenesis. Consuming too much protein on the keto diet can be harmful. The frequency of exercise you perform will determine the amount of protein your body can utilize before converting it into sugar. If you are doing heavy weight training exercises frequently, you need more protein. While if you are doing low-intensity exercise, you need to consume less protein. The general rule to consume protein is one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.
You know that ketogenic diet is a low-carb plan which promotes weight loss, but it doesn’t mean you completely cut the carbs out of your diet. Instead choose them wisely. Eat nutrient-rich carbohydrate sources such as non-starchy veggies and little amounts of low-glycemic fruits like lime, lemon or a handful of berries in a protein shake. Try to avoid sweet potato during low carb days.
Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil can keep your keto diet on track. Adding lots of MCT (a form of saturated fatty acids) oil to your meal can add 60-70% fats in your diet. Because MCTs are metabolized into ketone bodies, they are used for energy in the body. You can add MCT oil to protein shakes, beverages throughout the day to maintain ketone levels on the higher side. You can also cook food with oils containing high MCT content such as coconut oil.
Stress triggers the production of cortisol (stress hormones), so you can combat the chronic stressor. Chronic stress will cease your ability to stay in ketosis as it elevates your blood sugar and reduces ketones. Maintaining ketosis may not be the right goal if you are going through a tough period of your life. So it is recommended to set your goal to stay on an anti-inflammatory, lower carb diet. Also, plan strategies that will help you reduce stress while creating relaxation and peace in your life.
Several studies suggest that there is a connection between sleeping and appetite (a balance of ghrelin and leptin in the body). Ghrelin is a hormone produced in our stomach and is released when we are hungry and increases our craving for food.
Leptin is present in fat cells and is released to signal the brain we’re full. It decreases appetite and increases satiation (fullness). Sleeping plays an important part in the production of human growth hormone and cortisol secretion. Check a study on Growth Hormone and Cortisol Secretion in Relation to Sleep and Wakefulness. In case of sleep deprivation, leptin levels go down and ghrelin levels rise. So try to maintain a good sleeping schedule.
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