Many people are becoming more and more interested in going on a ketogenic diet but don’t know what to do before starting it. Here is some information to help you get started on your low carb eating plan.
Among the many low-carb diets out there, the Atkins diet is the most popular. The difference between a regular diet and a ketogenic diet lies in the number of carbohydrates and proteins that are consumed daily.
Fat will determine the calorie balance until the body reaches ketosis. Protein consumption will depend on each person because it will vary in relation to the amount of physical activity carried out, age, height, and gender. As for carbohydrates, only 20-50 grams per day are allowed.
Counting calories is an important recommendation, it is not an obligation.
The daily functional basis of the ketogenic diet suggests 5-10% carbohydrates, 20-25% protein, and 70-75% fat from calories.
Fats have been shown to have no side effects on insulin (sugar) levels in the blood, something that protein does. The latter, is consumed in excess, waxes a lot of glucose which produces an increase in insulin and the body begins to have problems.
How to start?
When it comes to metabolism, the ketogenic diet is very powerful. An understanding of the method and the process is necessary before starting, there are many books that explain what the ketogenic diet is and how it works, such as the “New Diet Resolution” by Dr. Robert C. Atkins, or the “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable” by Drs. Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney. Here are some tips to help you start the ketogenic diet:
Change the foods you eat: The idea is to take out all the high-carb foods and start stocking the pantry with foods from the ketogenic diet to help make the regimen more bearable, especially at the beginning of the plan.
More time in the kitchen: It is necessary to get used to spending more time in the kitchen because a characteristic of this type of diet is cooking to eat food as healthy and natural as possible.
Non-special diet, non-special foods: the food on a ketogenic diet is real food. There is no need to buy foods that state that they are low in carbohydrates or any other highly processed food. High carbohydrate foods should always be avoided.
Planning: As a recommendation, you should plan meals because then it is easier to prepare them and this avoids falling into high carbohydrate temptations.
Customs: Eating habits must be changed and the established eating times must be respected. The food at home will always be the best option.
Counting carbohydrates: Although it is not an obligation, counting the calories consumed is highly recommended. You can keep a diary, an application on a smartphone, or any tool that helps to perform the count. There are several online (online) resources designed for this purpose.
Supplements: Some natural supplements are allowed (Vitamin C, D, and E; L-Carnitine; Potassium; Magnesium Citrate; L-Glutamine, among others) always in small amounts.
Water: it is very important to stay hydrated. The rule of 6 – 8 glasses a day is present and must be carried out and respected. There are even authors who consider that we should drink 1 liter of water for every 20kg of weight.
To prevent: The craving for a sugar-disrupting sweet can be controlled with a little willpower. Imagine situations where you are away from home and the possible solutions for not eating foods outside of those allowed in the ketogenic diet. If you are going to start, it is best to spend the first 30 days without sweeteners or substitutes, since these incite your brain to look for more sugar and can lead you to break your diet.
Weight vs. Benefits: Even if the purpose of the diet is to lose weight, focusing on health benefits should be the overall goal. As a recommendation, do not weigh yourself every day, but do it in moderation until you reach the goal and check a general improvement.
Is the ketogenic diet dangerous?
Fatwas long thought and blamed for being the cause of weight gain and multiple diseases; However, reality has shown that saturated fats are good because they raise the level of sugar in the blood, so they regulate insulin thanks to carbohydrates. What you have to do is find the balance between fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, which is exactly what a ketogenic diet does. Numerous studies support this fact and many benefits are added to the low carbohydrate diet.
On the other hand, the ketosis. This state in which the body must be in order to diet has been extensively studied. There is evidence that the body in ketosis stimulates hormones and can raise cortisol and adrenaline levels. For this reason, it is necessary to keep carbohydrate consumption above 20 grams per day. The ketogenic diet is NOT a zero carbohydrate diet. Specialized medical supervision is always recommended.
In General: Side Effects
It will be difficult at first because the blood sugar levels will drop. The first week is usually the hardest because it is the beginning of the adaptation process. The intensity of side effects will vary with each person and will depend on how high carbohydrate their food is and how long they have been eating that way.
Due to the change in sugar, insulin overloads and an episode of hypoglycemia may be experienced.
There is no proven danger of a ketogenic diet, on the contrary, the benefits are increasing. The only thing that can be considered would be the effects of the period of adaptation to ketosis, for the rest, most studies indicate that this diet represents an improvement in health, helps to treat several diseases and the person will always feel better and healthier. If you want to know more about the benefits, check out this article.