What is the keto (ketogenic) diet, and how will it help me?
Since writing my last blog post, I have had many people ask me about the ketogenic ( keto ) diet! I have also had a few coworkers ask me for further details on it… since I literally dropped a ton of weight in a short period of time. So I figured I would answer some of the questions I have received in this blog post! You are welcome to post your questions in the comments section, and I will answer them for you!
1. What is the keto diet?
The keto diet is a VERY low carbohydrate that focuses on protein and high fats s cuts out sugars and carbs. The average amount of carbs one person can have a day varies, however it is typically between 20 to 50 grams a day. These carbs and sugars are naturally found in vegetables and other food sources.
2. What is our typical food intake look like?
I track everything I eat using the Lose It app. The allows me to count the calories, but also gives me a pie chart on my macronutrients, and breaks down what I have eaten for the day.
For breakfast, I eat an egg and some sausages. I might make some bacon or keto bread!
For lunch, I will eat a salad with blue cheese dressing and olives. I might bring in meatballs and a small amount of sauce.
For dinner, I’ll cook up some onions and peppers… and steam.
However, when planning my day, I always remember to track what I eat and keep it under a certain amount of calories. I use the app Lose It. It is available for all devices (cell phone, laptop, tablet, etc): android, apple, or on your personal computer. It is also easy to use!
I will also shortly post a suggested menu to guide you through your first week (or more) of the keto diet!
3. How do I calculate my macronutrients?
There are many websites out there to help you calculate the percentage of fat, protein, and carbs you can digest. I suggest first talking to a Doctor or a nutritionist before starting this diet. If you have diabetes or other illnesses, you may need to modify this diet.
One great website to check out is: Keto Calculator
Fill in the information that is asked to obtain your percentage and amount of proteins, carbs, and fats you should be taking. You can use apps like Lose It or My Fitness Pal to track it!
4. What are macronutrients?
Everything we eat can be broken down into macronutrients. Majority of foods have a component of how they have digested: proteins, fats, and carbs. Basically, each food has a breakdown of how the body digests it, and what it does with it.
5. Why give up carbs?
Carbs can be found in a variety of things: such as flour products, products with gluten, potatoes, starches, and carrots. The closer it is to the ground, the higher in starches and carbs it is.
Carbs are basically another form of sugar. The body breaks down carbs and converts it into sugar or energy. By giving up carbs, the pancreas and body have to convert from the carb and sugar energy to fat burning. Once your body reaches ketosis, your body is better at burning fat which helps you to lose weight.
Sugar is one of the most addicting elements out there… some even suggest it is even more addictive than heroin or other street drugs.
Once I gave up sugar and carbs, I have not had a craving for them. After a few months, I found them to be too sweet for me.
Once your body goes from sugar/carb energy to protein energy, you feel 110% better. You have more energy. You retrain your body what the true feeling of being hungry means. Most of all, you lose weight as your body converts the fat you have stored in energy.
6. What are foods I need to stay away from?
While using this diet, it is key to know what foods you should or shouldn’t be eating. You want to stay away from foods that contain a high amount of sugar or carbohydrates. Remember carbohydrates translate in our body into sugar. The key is to stay under a certain amount that is calculated for you in the Keto Calculator. No bread made out of wheat or flour, no rice, or high carb quinoa. You should avoid fruit as they contain a high amount of sugar. Key in fruits is if it has the word “berry” in it, it should be safe to eat. For example, strawberry, cranberry, or raspberry.
Also remember that the closer to the ground that it grows, the higher amount of concentrated carbohydrates it has. So that means no potatoes or sweet potatoes. Carrots are also higher in sugar. Also, consider the time of year that the vegetable is growing and when it might have been picked. As a protective mechanism against frost, many vegetables secrete a higher amount of sugar in their outer layer in order to protect itself from the cold weather.
There are many recipes and alternatives to our favorite dishes that cut the carbs down. Just by looking in Pinterest or other ogre booking sites, you can easily find replacements for your favorite dishes.
Post your questions in the comment section below, I’ll answer them as they come! Remember I am not your doctor, nurse, or medical professional. Before starting any new diet, you should consult with your primary physician to make sure it is right for you.