Facts About a Ketogenic Lifestyle
We were first introduced to the Ketogenic Lifestyle by our daughter and son-in-law. Our SIL’s doctor was placing him on Keto to reduce his blood sugar before he became insulin dependent. We were headed down the same path with our current eating habits and our family history of diabetes and heart disease. We decided to do our own research crediting our choices and findings on the information we found with Dr. Eric Berg, Dr. Jason Fung and Thomas DeLauer as well as an interesting couple on YouTube called Keto-Connect. They are a must to check out for yourself. I have included links to each of them below for you.
Let’s get started with a few points of understanding:
- First off, Ketogenic is a lifestyle not a diet. Stop thinking in terms of a “diet”. Diets always fail so stop using that term.
- Living Ketogenic or “Keto” is a high-fat, moderate protein, zero to low-carb way of eating to turn you from a “sugar burner” into a “fat burner”.
- Keto is safe and effective when done right. By right, I mean right for your body within the basic outline of a Ketogenic Lifestyle. It is not one size fits all, so remember that, as you approach what works or does not work for you.
- Below, get answers to frequently asked questions about Keto.
Eat fat to burn fat. It sounds counterproductive, but it is the foundation of Keto. Now let’s get started.
Questions on Keto
- What is Keto?
Keto is a high-fat, moderate protein, zero to low-carb way of eating to turn you from a “sugar burner” into a “fat burner” for energy by placing you into at state of Ketosis. There are tons of benefits to living Keto.
- What is Ketosis?
I am so glad you asked. Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body’s energy comes from ketones in the blood stream. Ketosis occurs when your body is metabolizing fat at a high rate and converting fatty acids into ketones.
- What are the health benefits I can enjoy from Keto?
I am so glad you asked. Grab your pen and notebook to keep this close by at all times.
- Health Gain vs. Weight Loss:Keto is a health gain. Weight loss is only a nice side effect of converting over to a fat burner.
- Burns fat:This is no joke! You will drop a lot of weight very quickly and healthily by turning into a fat burner through Keto. You will increase your ketone levels which will suppress your hunger hormones and make you feel full. A reduced appetite means less on your plate, longer periods without snacking or eating, which means your body will begin to dip into its fat storage for energy.
- Reduces inflammation:The keto diet is anti-inflammatory. When you are in ketosis (natural state of fat burning), your body will begin to release the built up toxins you have been storing and nurturing as a sugar burner. These toxins have been wreaking havoc on your body’s weaknesses causing you to be in a state of constant inflammation.
- Clear thinking:Ketones provides energy for your brain while fat feeds your brain, keeps it strong and removing the fog.
- Increases energy:Ketosis helps the brain create the power generators within your cells. More energy in your cells means more energy for you to get stuff done.
- Lowers blood sugar:Keto stabilizes insulin levels and lowers blood sugar, to the point that you can halt your road to diabetes and reverse your path.
- What is my allowed carb intake on Keto?
Truthfully, stop thinking that way. Stay away from carbs as much as possible. Did you realize there are natural carbs in fruits and vegetables? Why add more to your body that will eventually turn to sugar? In order to stay in ketosis and benefit from being a fat-burner, you need to restrict your carb intake. This means as close to 0 carbs as possible every day.
- What foods should I eat on the keto diet?
For the best results on keto, stick to the ways of our ancestors. I’m talking 8-10 generations back or more.
- Start with an abundance of high-quality fats, like grass-fed butter, avocado, and coconut oil.
- Moderate amounts of fatty proteins, like grass-fed meat, free-range eggs, and wild-caught fatty fish (not farm raised fish).
- Lots of low-carb organic grown vegetables, like broccoli, zucchini, avocado, cucumbers, cabbage, leafy lettuce and celery.
- What is Keto flu?
After a few days on Keto, you may start feeling ill — welcome to the keto flu.It’s a natural reaction your body undergoes as it switches from being a sugar burner to a fat burner. In order to get from here to there, your body needs to make a few changes to the way it runs.Get lots of rest and drink plenty of water and increase your salt intake. Pink Himalayan salt is the one we use. On the bright side, you know you are on the right track.
OH! Let’s not leave out some of the other symptoms you may experience: stomach issues, like constipation or diarrhea, and keto rash. I promise it will be worth it!
- How do I know if I am in ketosis?
It can take anywhere up to 2-3 weeks to enter ketosis, depending on your body’s ability to become a fat burner. Once you enter ketosis, your body will naturally produce ketones to fuel your brain and body with fat, not carbs.
Some of the signs may include an abundance of energy, better focus, and a reduced appetite.
- Do I need to count macros?
I say no. Not even the experts agree on this subject. One thing for sure, if you are following the basic guidelines, noticing your body is changing then, why waste time and new found energy picking apart your fuel intake?
- And what about net carbs?
You should keep in mind the amount of net carbs when planning out your shopping list. Always read the facts when making your selections. These are the carbs your body will actually use for energy.
Here is an easy to remember formula for figuring out how many net carbs you receive:
Total Carbs – fiber = net carbs (true carb numbers)
- Is the Keto lifestyle healthy?
A Ketogenic Lifestyle is the healthiest and most effective way of eating and living when done properly. Keto has been shown to support weight loss, create clarity in your brain, reduce inflammation, and prevent diseases. It boils down to your desire to be healthy and what you put on your plate. You will notice the difference if you “fall off the wagon”.
- Will keto spike my cholesterol?
The short answer is yes. Do not let that scare you as most of the medical society has been steering us wrong for years. Eating more saturated fat can increase your HDL “good” cholesterol, total cholesterol, and even your LDL cholesterol.
Here’s why: HDL and LDL are essentially transport vehicles for fat. We want the fat to move around becoming our energy source. We do not want the fat to lay dormant and stored for no other purpose than to cause us to become unhealthy.
- Is the keto diet sustainable long-term?
Yes, and no. Some people thrive on the full keto diet without any problems. Other people run into issues from restricting carbs long-term. If that’s the case, you may want to try carb cycling, where you eat a moderate number of carbs one day a week, so your body can cycle in and out of ketosis. It’s an effective modification for some who hit a weight loss plateau.
- What is MCT oil and how does it work with Keto?
MCT oil is a powerful tool because it helps your body produce more ketones and to obtain and maintain ketosis. MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides.
- Should I try intermittent fasting?
Absolutely! Intermittent fasting is crucial when living a Ketogenic Lifestyle. Intermittent fasting will reset your system, boost and maintain you for more effective fat burning and weight loss results. IF (intermittent fasting) is what makes living Keto work. Without it you are slowing your progress dramatically. For more information about IF visit Dr. Jason Fung on YouTube.
There is a difference between fasting and starving: Fasting is You getting to choose when to start and end your fast. Starving is when you have no choice.
If you are looking into Keto just to lose weight, you need to consider the following:
- You lose weight at the dinner table.
- You cannot out train a bad diet.
- You do not lose weight in the gym. When you go to the gym, you gain weight by building muscle and toning your body through weights and cardio.
DISCLAIMER: As with any change to your diet, always do your own research and check with your physician before deciding to make changes with starting a new plan. While the Ketogenic Lifestyle is still considered somewhat controversial, it is a less restrictive plan. Some physicians who have researched it agree with Ketogenic based on their own findings.
Opening photo: PHOTO CREDIT: https://ketosource.co.uk
Dumbbell photo: PXHERE Free Images
**Links to our findings:
CLICK HERE for Dr. Eric Berg
CLICK HERE for Dr. Jason Fung
CLICK HERE for Thomas DeLaur
CLICK HERE to follow Keto-Connect