The Beginner’s Gu >
What is a Keto Diet?
A ketogenic diet is low in carbohydrates and high in fats. Replace starchy breads and sugary cereals with avocados, butter, and fatty cuts of meat. When you deplete your glycogen stores, your body adapts to using fat for fuel and generates ketones, which are a slower burning fuel source in comparison to glucose.
Many people use the keto lifestyle to treat health conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and chronic inflammation. Change your fuel source from carbs to fats to experience the following benefits.
- Sustained energy
- Less cravings
- Mental clarity
- Reduced inflammation
“Food is no longer about weight loss, it’s about my energy levels and mood. It’s about manipulating my macros to optimize the way I feel. Knowing I can do that is really powerful and I like having that control.”
The History Behind Dietary Fat
For years, the government has promoted a low fat, high carbohydrate diet, rich in whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables. It was believed that dietary fat, especially saturated fats, clog arteries and cause heart disease. Steak was out and bran muffins were in.
Unfortunately, these dietary guidelines are based off of weak data. Since removing most of the fat from the dietary guidelines and replacing it with starch and sugar, society’s health has plummeted and more than half of Americans are classified as overweight.
The Science behind Carbohydrates
- All carbohydrates are converted into sugar in the body.
- When you consume sugar, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin’s job is to lower blood sugar levels by feeding the sugar to the body’s cells. Once the body’s cells are full of glucose, the insulin then stores the rest as fat in the liver and other places on the body.
- Sugar also activates the reward system in the brain. If you frequently activate this reward system, you can develop cravings and increase your tolerance to sugar. This means you will want more sugar, more often.
- In a state of ketosis, your body breaks fat down in the liver and converts it into ketones to be used for energy. Fat doesn’t generate an insulin response, so insulin levels remain stable. This makes it much harder to store excess fat, and easier to tap into body fat stores for energy. Not only will this allow you to maintain your weight, but it will greatly encourage weight loss.
Getting started on a ketogenic diet can be intimidating. For most people this is a drastic shift in their eating habits and can be overwhelming, but you don’t need to know everything before you start. Check out some keto weight loss transformations for more valuable advice on getting started.
How to Start the Keto Diet
1. Talk to Your Doctor
We are not doctors. We simply share our knowledge and experiences to help others with their journey, so make sure you talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet.
2. Calculate Your Macros
Eating the correct macronutrient ratios will deplete your body of glucose and force it to start producing ketones. Your body will then use these ketones for energy. Use our calculator to find out the ideal macronutrient split for your body. Generally, a ketogenic diet will have the following macronutrient ratios:
- High Fat – 60%-80% of total calories come from fat.
- Moderate Protein – 15%-35% of total calories come from protein.
- Low Carbohydrate – 5% or less of total calories come from carbohydrates.