Keto In a Nutshell...
If you haven't noticed already I like to keep my site SIMPLE. Why? Because I am a BUSY Mom! If I wanted to go and sit and read medical documents and research I would go back to school... or work!
Below I am going to outline for you, What the Keto diet is and How it works in the simplest way I can. I used to work for a Man that would say, "If my teenage lazy son cannot come in here, read the procedure, and accomplish it perfectly, make it where he can!" So, here we go!
- The Ketogenic diet trains your body to burn FAT for fuel, instead of carbs (when the individual eats properly). I want to forewarn you, you cannot eat correctly a few days and then go back to eating donuts and expect to stay in Ketosis (if you ever even got there).
- Wait - you said a word I don't know, "Ketosis". What is that?!
Normally, your body takes the carbs you ingest and converts them to glucose. Your body then releases insulin that acts as a "carrier" for the glucose, taking it to the bloodstream and then utilized for energy. Glucose is the body's primary source of energy (in this situation). Now, if you cut carbohydrates down to a small intake amount, glucose is not available, and the body must find another energy source to keep you ticking.
By in taking a higher amount of fat, and low carb, your liver begins utilizing fatty acid (fat stores) in the body and converts them to an energy source, called a Ketone. This process is called "Ketosis".
In order to determine if you are being successful on the Ketogenic diet, you will want to test your blood for Ketones. (See blog post called, "I hope you're not just Weighing")
*** A lot of sites will recommend breathe or even urine tests. I do not do this bc it is not as accurate.
Some Personal Notes:
- A lot of research goes back and forth on the amount of protein intake on the keto diet. I will say that I personally have found that I need to keep my protein lower to stay in ketosis. If my protein is too high, my body decides to burn the protein for fuel instead (first). Some research will say this is not the fact, eat as much protein as you want. This is just my PERSONAL knowledge. In general I fall more in the 80% 15% 5% category on the Keto diet. That is what I have found works best for me, at a 30% deficit while trying to "lose weight".
- There are calculators online for Macros - I recommend using a few different ones and taking an average. These generally do not, however, take into account different medical issues. (You can also purchase a meal plan via my Store and your Macros will be included AND altered as you lose weight).
- Often people will ask if carbs are Net carbs (total carbs - total fiber - sugar substitutes) or overall carbs. I personally go by NET carbs. I stick to 20 g NET and usually land around 35-55 g total carbs each day depending on what I have eaten. Your body needs the fiber.
- A misconception of the ketogenic diet is that it will raise your cholesterol and is very unhealthy. I can personally tell you that I have hypothyroidism and had high cholesterol before I started this diet. Within 2 months of changing to this lifestyle, I had my annual bloodwork and my thyroid was functioning better, and my BAD cholesterol has lowered! I do recommend getting annual bloodwork before you begin, and then a few months in. Make sure your medical provider is aware you are eating low carb, healthy fats, and moderate protein. Be careful using the term "keto" as many Drs are not well researched in what that means.
You can also find some "at home tests" if you do not have insurance or want to make Dr appointments for this. You CAN use an HSA (Health Savings Account) card to pay for these tests as well.
Overall, I hope this short blog post helps shed some light into the Ketogenic diet for you.
- The Ketosis Mom
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- Jennifer @KetosisMom