Keto Diet 101: 5 Nutritionist-approved tips before you start
The Ketogenic or keto diet has been around for a number of years (since 1920’s) and more recently been in the spotlight for losing weight. It was originally developed to help reduce seizures for patients with epilepsy, where now days research has shown it to help reduce weight, control appetite, stabilize blood sugar levels and improve brain function to name a few.
What is a keto diet?
The keto diet is a low carb, moderate protein and high fat way of eating that can help you burn fat more efficiently as the body goes into a state of ketosis. In simple terms this means the body switches to burning fat and ketones for fuel instead of carbs (sugars) as you lower the amount of carbohydrate ingested. A standard keto diet typically contains 70% fat, 20-25% protein and 5-10% of energy from carbohydrates.
Before getting started on the keto diet, let’s look at some hand tips to follow.
As with every kind of diet it is important to understand that specific diets are very individual so a keto plan might not be for everyone and not for long term. We always encourage our clients to speak with their doctor or health professional first.
Focus on whole, real foods! For best results clients should stick to eating whole and unprocessed foods while eliminating inflammatory foods such as sugars, refined grains, processed meats and low quality dairy.
Foods to eliminate include those high in carbs and more refined – sugary foods, grains/starches, alcohol, juices, root vegetables, beans, legumes, unhealthy fats, high sugary fruits (berries are great options to include) and sugary sauces (ketchup, sweet chili, salad dressings and BBQ sauce).
Remember not all fats are created equal and can become problematic if we focus on the wrong types such as hydrogenated oils. Good fats include those from plant sources like avocado’s, nuts, olive oils and quality animal fats.
The keto flu - when you first begin on the keto diet the body has to adjust to a new source of fuel so you may experience symptoms such as mood swings, irritability and brain fog but these should subside in a few days. Not everyone will go through this but it’s important to stay hydrated and let the body rest when needed.
Initially the weight loss will mostly be from water as the body adjusts to the new regime while getting into ketosis. Try to keep up the macro ratio’s and calorie levels so the body still maintains its muscle mass.
Try to familiarize yourself with food labels checking the macro’s (protein, fat & carb amounts), the list of ingredients and any hidden sugars in there.
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