Ketosis Diet – Home » Blog » Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: A Beginner’s Guide to the Low Carb or Keto Diet
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The ketogenic diet has been gaining popularity over the past few years and for good reason. There are countless proven results that it works. Speaking from personal experience and proven results, the ketogenic diet can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, lower your blood sugar, stabilize your insulin levels, and improve your overall health.
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It is considered particularly beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Having experienced these three ailments myself, I am a firm believer in the ketogenic diet and its benefits.
Because of the ketogenic diet, I was able to reverse my type 2 diabetes and completely reverse my PCOS. After years of weight gain my insulin levels finally stabilized and I was able to lose over 100 pounds after the keto diet.
I’ve definitely gained a lot of pounds, but I’m very happy with the results so far.
Before starting a ketogenic diet, I think it’s important to understand how it works, what it actually is and why it’s so effective.
What Is The Keto Diet And Should You Try It?
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I cannot guarantee that people who follow a ketogenic diet will get the same benefits as I did. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider to find out what type of diet is best for you and your health.
The human body can work in two ways. One is burning glucose for energy, which most people do, and the other is burning fat for energy, which people do on a ketogenic diet or low-carb diet.
The human body is designed to use the glucose in your body for energy. But when you don’t eat carbohydrates, your body can’t burn glucose for energy because there’s nothing to burn. So, on a ketogenic diet, when your body burns fat, whether it’s dietary fat or body fat, it starts producing molecules called ketones, which are used to make energy.
The body will use these ketones for fuel when blood sugar (glucose) supplies are low. Ketones are produced by eating a low carbohydrate and moderate protein diet. When the body starts using ketones as fuel, it is called ketosis.
Ketogenic Diet Health Benefits
In ketosis, your daily energy needs are met by burning fat so you don’t need to use glucose.
The amount of carbohydrates that should be eaten to reach ketosis varies greatly from person to person. Stress, weight, heredity, disease, etc. are all factors. The standard is to eat less than 20 grams of carbs per day, but some people (like me) can eat up to 50 grams of carbs and still stay in ketosis.
Carbohydrates eaten are broken down into glucose, which is then used for energy. When there is more glucose in your bloodstream than it needs, your body stores the excess as glycogen in the liver and muscles.
The human body will automatically turn to glucose for energy. But because the body can only store about 2,000 calories of glucose at any one time (2), it is not a permanent source of energy. Therefore, when eating a standard high-carbohydrate diet, you need to constantly replenish your energy sources with food throughout the day because the urge to eat never stops.
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Because of this, it is difficult to stabilize our blood sugar which rises and falls after eating. We are so dependent on glucose that it is very difficult to lose weight.
In addition, the hormone insulin has a profound effect on blood glucose levels. Insulin is a hormone that balances blood sugar. It tells the liver, fat and muscle cells to absorb the incoming glucose and therefore lowers the level of glucose in the bloodstream.
Insulin also inhibits fat burning so we can store or burn glucose inside. Once the glucose is dealt with, insulin starts burning fat again.
People with good insulin sensitivity have no problem maintaining healthy blood sugar. But problems occur when blood glucose levels are persistently high.
Diabetes And The Ketogenic Diet
When there is a constant flow of glucose (when you eat several or more carbohydrates a day), those same high levels of insulin make the cells insulin-deaf, meaning the cells no longer absorb the glucose. Blood glucose levels are always high or very high. This can lead to insulin resistance, obesity, type 2 diabetes, PCOS and many other lifestyle diseases.
When there is a lack of glucose in the bloodstream (by not eating carbohydrates), a hormone called glucagon is released. Glucagon stimulates the liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose, which is then released into the bloodstream. Glucagon also tells the body to use a stored fuel source, fat. As it burns fat, ketones are created by the body.
Ketones are used as a fuel source throughout the body, especially in the brain. In the human body, the brain requires a lot of energy and can only run on glucose or ketones.
Ketones are then used as your main source of energy. It takes a while for the body to get used to burning fat instead of glucose for energy. This term is commonly referred to as “fat adaptation” or “fat adaptation”.
A Simple Guide To Starting A Ketogenic Diet
Once you’re in nutritional ketosis, your insulin and blood sugar levels go down, your HDL cholesterol goes up, and you finally start losing weight. Since your body burns nutrients and body fat as its main source of fuel, you also begin to lose weight.
Because insulin levels are constantly stable, the hormone insulin doesn’t need to alert the brain that we’re hungry because we’re always enjoying all the fat we’re burning.
When following a low-carb or ketogenic diet, you can subtract fiber and sugar alcohols from total carbs to give net carbs. Because fiber and sugar alcohols don’t affect your blood sugar or get stored as glycogen, they pass through your body so you don’t have to count them.
However, some people use total carbohydrates as a carbohydrate restriction. Just know that if you choose to consume total carbohydrates, the foods you can eat are even more limited.
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Fat adaptation is when your body gets used to burning fat for energy instead of glucose.
Once you get used to burning fat for fuel instead of glucose, this period is called fat adaptation.
When you stop eating carbohydrates, the human body cannot burn glucose because there is nothing to burn. Instead it starts burning fat (diet and body) which then produces molecules called ketones. The body will use these ketones as energy, which is called ketosis.
You don’t need high ketone levels to do a keto diet. Ketones are not the cause of fat loss, they are only the result of fat burning.
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To tell if you are in ketosis or not, there are a few things you can do.
Now that you’re a little familiar with the science behind the ketogenic diet, you’re ready to get started! The easiest way to define a ketogenic diet is that it is a high healthy fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diet.
The first thing you need to do when starting a ketogenic diet is to cut back on carbs. On a standard American diet, you’ll typically eat 300-400 grams of carbohydrates per day. However, on a ketogenic diet, you need to limit your carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams per day, or preferably less than 20 grams per day.
The keto diet is very easy to follow but can be difficult to implement at first. Our bodies are so used to burning glucose for energy that to do a complete 180 degrees requires a major change in our physiology and lifestyle.
Health Benefits Of Low Carb And Ketogenic Diets
Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are all macronutrients (macro) that make up the bulk of our food. The rest are called micronutrients and include vitamins and minerals, both of which are essential for the human body.
Carbohydrates are found largely in grains, sugar, rice, bread, pasta, quinoa and buckwheat. They are also abundant in fruits and vegetables. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn are high in carbohydrates. Fruits like bananas, mangoes, grapes and dried fruits like raisins are high in sugar and therefore high in carbohydrates.
Protein is found in animal foods such as pork, beef, chicken, fish and eggs. You can also find some protein in plant-based foods like beans, pulses, nuts, and seeds.
Fats are found in oils (avocado, coconut, olive), avocados, nuts, olives, seeds and animal proteins such as lamb, pork, steak and dairy.
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You will need to calculate how many carbohydrates, proteins and fats you can eat in a day with my keto
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