If the tenets of aketo diet—high in fats and low in carbs—sound familiar, you are not wrong.Atkins and ketoare not dissimilar. The goal of both diets is to help you lose weight more efficiently by reaching a metabolic state in which your body burns fat (instead of carbohydrates) and sugar. Classic keto diets are very high in fat, could be quite restrictive, and are often done with medical supervision. But this ultra-high level of fat may not be crucial for you to maintain the fat-burning state of ketosis. Atkins is a ketogenic diet, but one with more food choices and a greater balance of macronutrients.
If you are new to the keto diet, here are a few easy tips for getting your diet plan started.
What Is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet could be described in many different ways, but the most common definition is that it is a high-fat, low-carb, and low-to-moderate protein diet. However, if you don’t know what phrases like “high-fat” and “low-carb” mean it is challenging to understand what eating keto looks like.
The simplest way I have found to conceptualize the keto diet is this: If you restrict carbs to the point that you enter and sustain ketosis, you are on keto.
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body is consistently using and burning a highly efficient alternative fuel called ketones. To produce ketones and enter ketosis, we must continually trigger a process in the liver called ketogenesis. The healthiest way to do this is by limiting carb consumption more than any other low carb diet.
This is why this version of the low carb diet is called the “ketogenic diet” — Its primary objective is to restrict carbs to the point that you stimulate ketogenesis and enter nutritional ketosis.
If you are not promoting ketone production and maintaining ketosis, then you are technically not on the keto diet. However, this begs the question: Is undergoing such a massive shift in your diet so that you could be in ketosis worth it?
Decrease carbs (but eat more veggies)
Eating a very low carb diet is vital to achieving ketosis, but low carb does not mean any carb. WithAtkins 20, net carbs are restricted to 20g or fewer per day for about two weeks to guarantee that ketosis is achieved. After this induction phase, you will gradually add small amounts of net carbs back into your diet while still burning fat. You can easily count the net carbs you are consuming with theAtkins® apporthis guide.
When limiting your carb intake on a keto diet to 20–40 net grams per day, it is crucial to eat plenty of foundation vegetables to ensure you’re getting all of your necessary vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. Reach for nutrient-dense, non-starchy veggies like kale, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, and peppers. Another bonus: the combination of eating whole foods plus gradually adding net carbs as you maintain ketosis also helps prevent setbacks, hunger pangs, and cravings for processed foods.
We know that sometimes this is easier said than done! High levels of the stress hormone cortisol can elevate your blood sugar levels and get in the way of your body’s ability to achieve ketosis. If your job or personal life is currently more stressful than usual, you may want to wait to start a keto diet. You can also help reduce stress by getting lots of sleep, exercising regularly, and trying relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga.
Increase healthy fats
Low carb keto diets replace your reduction of carbs with an increase in fat, which typically accounts for at least 60% of your daily calories. Because we’ve been told for so long to avoid fat, most people under eat fat when trying a keto diet. It is necessary to choose healthy fats from high-quality plant and animal sources, such as olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil as well as cheese, eggs, nuts, and fish.
As with any diet, increasing your activity levels can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Regularly exercising while on the keto diet, however, can also help you achieve ketosis and transition into a low carb, high-fat lifestyle more quickly than you would otherwise. That’s because to achieve ketosis, your body needs to get rid of any glucose, and the more often you exercise, the quicker your body uses up its glycogen stores before turning to fat for energy.
Increase your water intake
Water is crucial to supporting your metabolism and regular body functions, and low carb diets like keto have a diuretic effect on the body. Not consuming enough water, especially during the induction phase, can lead to constipation, dizziness, and cravings. In addition to drinking enough water, make sure you’re getting all of your electrolytes by adding some broth to your diet or a little extra salt to your food.
Maintain your protein intake
A keto diet requires eating enough protein to supply the liver with amino acids to make new glucose for the cells and organs, such as your kidneys and your red blood cells, that can’t use ketones or fatty acids as fuel. Not consuming enough protein can lead to loss of muscle mass, while consuming an excessive amount can prevent ketosis.
Maintain your social life!
Starting a keto diet doesn’t mean you have to eat every meal at home. Make smart choices when dining out by checking the menu ahead of time, asking the restaurant for nutrition information, sticking to meat and veggie options, and opting for a side salad instead of a starchy side like fries.
Keto Food List
Here is a brief overview of what you should or shouldn’t eat on the keto diet:
Do Not Eat
- Grains – Wheat, corn, rice, cereal.
- Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup.
- Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges.
- Tubers – potato, yams.
- Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc.
- Low-carb vegetables – spinach, kale, broccoli, andother low carb veggies >
- High-fat dairy – hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter, etc.
- Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries
- Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, andother low-carb sweeteners >
- Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.
Figure out how much you should eat on the Keto Diet
There are two main methods you use to figure out how much to eat on keto for optimal results:
- Check your results and adjust food intake from there.This method requires you to measure your results every about 3-5 weeks and change how much fat you eat based on what you find. Losing weight too fast and feeling fatigued all the time? Eat a bit more fat with your meals or add a keto snack to your day. Simply losing any weight? Reduce the fat content of your meals. After making the appropriate adjustments to your keto diet, check your results after another 3-5 weeks to see if you are reaching your goals at a healthy pace.
- Use our keto calculator and track your calorie consumption. If you would rather be more precise with your food intake, I recommend using our keto calculator to establish a starting point for your calorie, fat, carb, and protein consumption. When you know how much you need to eat, try using a calorie tracking app like MyFitnessPal or Cronometer. Both the calculator and the tracking app will help you figure out exactly how much you need to eat every day to reach your goals.
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