You may have heard about “keto” or “low carb” diets in recent years because of their popularity with a wide range of populations. Celebrities have used it for weight management, high-level executives experiment with it to enhance mental clarity and athletes have tried it to enhance performance in events like the Tour De France. Originally used to treat patients with neurologic disorders, ketogenic diets are one of the oldest therapeutic diets around. The benefits of ketogenic diets and low carbohydrate diets extended past just patients with neurologic issues as they’ve also shown impressive benefits for a variety of metabolic issues including weight loss. As a result, this has piqued the interest of most people looking for an effective diet. One of the most crucial parts for long term success with these types of diets is getting into ketosis (the fat burning zone) the right way. These are some key points to remember and help guide you along the way.Most important... Eat the right foods. Download our Master Keto Food List with 100+ keto foods mapped out for you!
Know Your Macros
Macros are short for macronutrients, these are the nutrients that your body can use for energy. Macros consist of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Macronutrients make up the calories we consume, 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories while protein and carbohydrates each contain 4 calories per gram. In order to achieve nutritional ketosis through dieting, you’re required to be within a specific macronutrient range. Even for a non-ketogenic, low carbohydrate diet having an idea of your macronutrient range can be beneficial because excess protein can be converted to glucose. Fortunately for many individuals, as the low carbohydrate diet becomes more of a lifestyle, they’re able to rely less on strict macronutrient counting and can go more off intuition. In a standard ketogenic diet, the % of macronutrient distribution is 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbohydrates.
There are convenient online calculators where you can plug in variables like age, sex, height, and activity level to figure out how many daily calories you should consume. It’s important when starting a diet to remember that calculating this number will involve some experimentation and you can adjust as you go along, the important part will be understanding your macro ratios.
Counting carbohydrates is one of the most important steps when initially starting a ketogenic or low carbohydrate diet. The reason for this is because it’s deceptively easy to consume more carbohydrates than one might expect even while eating “healthy” foods. For instance, tropical fruits and juices are typically high in carbohydrates and in many instances these foods can exceed one’s daily carbohydrate intake when on a low carbohydrate diet. In standard ketogenic diets, this number would equate to 20% calories from carbohydrate total in a day. With other low carbohydrate diets while there isn't a set number 100 grams daily (or less) is generally considered to be “low carb”.
Balance Your Electrolytes: Typically when undergoing these types of diets our bodies begin to expel more water and electrolytes because carbohydrates tend to retain water, in essence, these diets have a diuretic effect. Electrolytes are minerals present in our body that are necessary for proper functioning of a number of processes ranging from fluid retention to blood chemistry to nerve signal transmission. These electrolytes consist of sodium, potassium, and magnesium, most attributes that make up the “keto flu” can be attributed to lowered levels of electrolytes. Fortunately eating from whole food sources that make up staple foods in the ketogenic diet can help address these imbalances.
Finally, one way to help hack the start of a ketogenic diet can be to...
Supplement with exogenous ketones like KetoLogic’s BHB. Studies have shown that exogenous ketone supplementation can induce a state of ketosis within hours of ingestion. A major benefit is even in individuals that aren’t following a strict ketogenic diet, exogenous ketone supplementation can put them in a state of ketosis. This can be a major benefit for people who are starting out a diet as it’s normal to struggle during the initial adjustment phases of a diet. Finally, one of the major benefits of KetoLogic’s BHB is that it contains electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and potassium which can help address any potential deficiencies one might encounter during the start of a very low carb diet.