A Guide to Ketogenic Diet for Beginners
A ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet that is essentially aimed to transform your body into a fat-burning machine. It’s been the secret behind the weight loss of millions of people.
What exactly is Keto?
Our body produces small molecules to use for fuel; these are called “Ketones.” This is used as an alternative to when our body is short on glucose. Ketones are made when you aren’t eating enough carbs and only a little protein. These small molecules get produced from fat in the liver, and then they get transported throughout the body, including the brain, to be used as fuel.
Because our brain needs a lot of fuel to function properly, it needs a lot of glucose, or ketones to do so.
What happens to your body on a ketogenic diet?
Your body turns to use ketones derived from stored fat as its primary fuel. The insulin level of your body becomes very low, and this boosts its fat-burning properties because since there isn’t any glucose, your body reaches into fat deposits to burn them for energy. Not only will you lose weight, but you will also feel less hungry, and be more alert throughout the day.
The state in which your body produces ketones is called ketosis, and you can get there quickly by fasting but that’s not practical for everyone. In a keto diet though, you can eat whenever you want but still experience the same benefits that you’d get from fasting.
What should you eat on a Keto diet?
The main goal of a keto diet is to keep your carb intake as low as possible. Some food items you can eat in a keto diet includes eggs, fish and seafood, low amounts of unprocessed meat, and things with saturated fat like olive oil. You can also eat vegetables- fresh or frozen, both are fine, and you can also eat butter, and cheese that’s high in fat.
Don’t drink milk because it contains sugar which can add up very fast. For drinking, water is the best option. You can also drink coffee, but with no sugar and a very little dash of milk or cream. All types of tea (without sugar) is also allowed.
Foods to avoid in this diet include starch like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes. Legumes should also be avoided since they are also high in carbs. Anything with sugar isn’t allowed, this includes beer and fresh fruits (feel free to eat a low amount of fruits that isn’t very sweet).
What’s keto flu?
The keto flu is a very common side effect that’s experienced by many people who start their journey on a ketogenic diet. The symptoms are very similar to the flu. It’s caused due to our body adapting to low carbs, and using ketones as the new source of fuel.
There are many symptoms of Keto flu which include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, headache, mood swings, lethargy, dizziness, muscle cramps, and foggy focus. These symptoms usually start within the first few days of starting this diet and can last a week, sometimes a bit longer.