I’ve recently jumped on the Ketogenic bandwagon, I would like to tell you that its the best thing ever, but I don’t know yet since I’m only a week in. What I do have to share, though, are the facts and a week’s worth of my personal Keto acclimatization process. Let’s jump right into the facts first.
What is a Ketogenic/Keto Diet?
The keto diet plan is a low-carb, high-fat, limited protein meal plan. Cutting carbohydrates to 20 or 30 grams a day can reduce appetite and help lose weight, but when we drastically reduce the carb intake and limit protein consumption, we need to eat more healthy fats to balance out the diet.
Ketones are energy-carrying molecules in our bodies. When we eat carbs, our body uses the glucose in them to create energy. By following a ketogenic diet plan, we put our bodies into a state of “ketosis” which means that the body is using fat to create energy instead.
Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force our bodies into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates.
Our bodies are incredibly adaptive to what you put into it – when we overload it with fats and take away the carbs, it will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source. Optimal ketone levels offer health, weight loss, physical and mental performance benefits.
Who can not/should not Keto?
- People who are underweight or have an eating disorder
- Children (under 18 years old)
- Type 1 diabetics and diabetics taking medication for their diabetes (other than Metformin)
- Pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers
- People recovering from surgery
- Those who are frail or have a significant underlying medical condition should speak to their doctor first, as they would before embarking on any weight-loss regime.
- Those who are not sure about whether it may affect their prescribed medications should to speak to their doctor first.
- People feeling unwell or have a fever
- People with a history of serious mental health problems.
What can I eat on a Ketogenic Diet?
In short, you should eat REAL food (meat, eggs, nuts, yoghurt, vegetables and occasionally some fruits). Apart from the obvious limitation of net carb content in foods, it is also recommended to avoid processed food and any food that may contain preservatives and colourings.
Do Not Eat
- Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
- Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
- Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
- Tubers – potato, yams, etc.
SATURATED AND MONOUNSATURATED FATS
- Butter or ghee
- Macadamia nuts
- Coconut butter
- Cocoa butter
- Egg yolks (go with pasture-raised for the extra few bucks) #TreatYoself
- Coconut oil, olive oil, MCT oil, or avocado oil
- Nuts and seeds or nut butter (choose fattier nuts like macadamia nuts or almonds)
- Fatty fish
- Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc.
- Leafy Greens – spinach, kale, etc.
- Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
- 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, and other low-carb sweeteners.
- Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.
Absolute Essentials to remember when on a Keto
- Perfect Keto. Perfect Keto is a powdered drink mix and keto supplement that provides your body with exogenous ketones (whereas your body produces endogenous ketones).
- 7 Keto DHEA.
- Fish Oil.
- MCT Oil.
- Electrolytes: Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium.
- Vitamin D
Common changes in the body when on the Diet
- Using the washroom to pee like crazy
- Hunger like a vampire (for some)
- Cold clammy hands (for some)
- Pins and Needles
- Headaches (initially)
- Erratic Moods (for some)
- Keto Flu