What is a ketogenic diet?
What is a Keto diet?
It is a long term approach for a healthy, clean, and conscious lifestyle. It’s a way of life that renders optimal energy, good sleep, a clear mind, and a boosted psyche all day long.
The basis of a ketogenic diet is extremely simple:
- lots of vegetables
- alternating meat & fish
- vegetarian dishes
- healthy fats
If you already live and eat healthily, going clean keto will be just a small extra step. The name Keto is derived from the delicate metabolic state called “ketosis”, which can be achieved by eating an extremely low amount of carbohydrates, a moderate amount of proteins, and a lot of healthy fats within your macronutrients. “Ketosis” is a natural “defense-system” that prevents us from starvation (f.e.our ancestors did not have permanent access to food and needed a way to turn to the reserves stored in our body) When your body gets into ketosis, your body will produce ketones, that promote burning body fat.
Your lifestyle will be Keto when your consumption is high enough in fats to cause a change in your metabolism. Ingested fats will change into ketone bodies, rather than being directly oxidized into a form of cellular energy called ATP*. To cause this metabolic switch, you must gradually lower the intake of calories derived from carbohydrates and proteins. A high intake of healthy fats(minding the calorie amount), will cause the metabolic switch that is called “KETOSIS”.
What do we need to consume?
There is no single, specific keto-diet-ingredient that you need to eat. If you like to eat meat, that’s fine. However, you can also eat in such a way that your calories come primarily from plant-based nutrients. Pick a keto diet that suits you and your specific needs.
Below is a breakdown of the types and amounts of food you need to consume to be in ketosis.
These percentages of fats, carbs, and proteins are just estimates based on an average human being. Remember, there are a lot of factors that influence the relationships between macronutrients. This means that someone with a certain ratio can get into ketosis, while another person can’t. The correct split of macro-nutrients can vary from person to person. Keep in mind that other factors such as sleep, exercise, stress, genetics, and years of metabolic damage should also be taken into account.
In other words, do NOT panic or get discouraged when you fail to go into ketosis quickly, let your body adapt and get healthy before trying to lose that extra weight.
Start with veggies!
Fill your plate with veggies and then add your macro’s!
Be aware that some veggies do contain a certain amount of carbs. You must be sure to avoid those. (we will add a list)
A low carb vegetable is filled with vitamins and minerals…
Ketones are a type of acid produced by the body when fats are used as an energy source. These acids are made in the liver. This process can occur in various situations. Ketones are fuel for the brain and other organs. If you have ever skipped breakfast after a good night’s sleep, then you have most likely started producing ketones in your blood.
With a low carbohydrate diet, moderate protein intake, and a lot of healthy saturated and mono-unsaturated fats, those ketones will increase until they become the dominant fuel for your body. Ultimately you will need very little glucose to function.
The process that breaks down ketones is called “ketolysis”.
Am I in ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic process that occurs when the body begins to burn fat for energy because it does not have enough carbohydrates to burn. During this process, the liver produces chemicals called ketones. These will supply energy, more than you can imagine!
The ketogenic diet aims to induce ketosis to burn more fat. Proponents of the diet claim that it boosts weight loss and improves overall health.
People following a “well-formulated” ketogenic diet typically eat less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day and around 1.5 g of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Despite these guidelines, some people following the diet may not know when they are in ketosis.
Initially, the keto diet can cause symptoms like headaches and concentration difficulties. However, over time as your body adjusts to the diet, these symptoms should subside.
Keto side effects
It’s difficult to list the possible side effects of going keto, because it varies from person to person, depending on their health. Asking whether keto is unhealthy, would be akin to asking about the side effects of a diet for an omnivore whose calorie intake is based on fresh foods (animals, nuts, fruits, and vegetables). How would you react?
You would think they’re crazy to ask because everyone knows that eating vegetables is good for you. Why would there be something inherently wrong with it?
Similarly, the keto diet is (usually) based on fresh, healthy foods. In other words, it’s evolutionarily coherent, just like the diet of an omnivore!
Keep in mind that every diet can be followed and executed poorly.
When renouncing a diet with many processed carbohydrates (of poor quality), people can experience flu-like symptoms.
It’s completely normal to experience flu-like symptoms when you drastically cut down on highly processed, poor quality carbs. This is known as the ‘keto flu’ and it can take anything from a few days to a few weeks to subside.
Possible symptoms include:
*Increase of urine (diuresis)
*Dizziness or lightheadedness
*Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
*Constipation (or less often diarrhea)
The higher the processing needed to refine starchy carbs like wheat and flour, the worse your blood sugar and insulin response will be when you eat them.
However, when you stop eating these foods and your carb count is drastically reduced, your physiology must adapt to this shift in the fuel source.
This can lead to ‘keto flu’. Although it isn’t strictly a medical term, the keto flu is, in a way, like a carb-withdrawal. This is similar to how junkies quit drugs
Another possibility is that starting a low-carb or keto diet involves metabolizing more total fat than your body is used to. This leads to temporary discomfort in meeting the energy requirement and thus contributes to the keto flu.
Health benefits of the ketogenic diet
Modern science has discovered several good reasons to follow the keto diet.
The amount of time you need to be in ketosis remains to be open. Nonetheless, the keto diet is good for your health.
By cutting out carbs you can decrease blood sugar levels.
By following a keto diet can also help reduce insulin resistance effectively, which is especially beneficial for obese, diabetic, and chronically ill patients.
The ketogenic state is particularly interesting for obesity:
ketones can reduce appetite and cravings.
More and more cancer research brings cancer-fighting properties of ketones into the spotlight. However, it is still unclear whether the clean ketogenic diet is powerful enough as isolated therapy!
Although the trend indicates that a majority of patients benefit from ketogenic diets (and fasting) in combination with other medicines.
My personal experience with the keto diet
I started the ketogenic diet when I was diagnosed with cancer and noticed a lot of benefits. This is also one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about the keto diet!
The keto diet can help decrease the symptoms of many diseases, and could even slow down the progress of many chronic modern diseases.
This isn’t a fad diet: it’s a healthy way to live your life! You have your health in your own hands. You can use the ketogenic diet to optimize your own health.
One of the first historical applications of the keto diet was to control epileptic attacks.
If you’re interested to learn more about this topic I would highly recommend you read the work of cancer researcher Dominic D’Agostino. As well as reading ‘The Metabolic Approach to Cancer’ by Dr Nasha Winters and Dr. Jess Higgins Kelley, I also learned a lot on the “The Truth about Cancer platform”& “The Ketogenic Bible” by DR J. Wilson & R. Lower
Before you start your ketogenic journey you should self reflect
Plan according to your objectives, lifestyle, and eating habits.
- Is good health your number one ambition?
- Would you like to lose some weight?
- Are you perhaps a pre-diabetic?
- Do you want to feel lighter?
- Would you like an alternative to get over mild cognitive problems associated with getting older?
- Do you want more focus and energy throughout the day?
- Are you an athlete who struggles with carbs.
- Do you want to restore your hormonal balance?
- Do you want to help combat chronic disease?
Your specific goal will ultimately determine your approach. Define your vision and do not let anything thwart your objectives.
Always remember your ultimate goal. We know, it’s difficult to overcome years of indoctrination that tells us to eat lots of bread, pasta, and breakfast cereals, but once you go clean Keto, you’ll see that this is just a myth. Fat is your friend and you’ll build a renewed friendship with it in the coming months.
And don’t give up! We’ve had people come to us and say that they tried the keto diet for a few weeks and noticed zero results, but what they fail to understand is that 2-3 weeks isn’t enough to adapt to the keto-eating style. You have to (want to) keep it up longer, the final result will be worth it and after a while, you’ll be happy that you persisted.
We hope you found the answers to your questions. Remember that this is just a summary of the way to perform a keto diet. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us in the contact form below. You can also reach us via Whatsapp.
*”The Ketogenic Bible” by DR J. Wilson & R. Lowery
- Dr. Berg Keto and Intermittent Fasting training