The Ketogenic Diet Offers New Approach to Fat and Protein
Every year, one of the top resolutions is to lose weight or get in shape. However, there is so much information out there, and a lot of it is wrong or conflicting information.
If you pay attention to diet trends, one of the most searched “diets” last year was the Ketogenic diet, a low-carb, high-fat nutrition plan. Even though the word “diet” is in the title of it, it isn’t a diet. Nutrition should be a lifestyle plan, a system of eating that works for you. You never go off of it, but you can make modifications as your goals change from weight and fat loss to more energy, better performance, or healthy aging. Keto is a lifestyle nutrition system. It is not a calorie counting plan.
Keto is very individualized. All the macronutrients will vary person to person depending on where you are starting and your history with nutrition and health.
With that said there are some general guidelines:
- Total carbohydrates (CHO) will be fewer than 50 grams. Some people, like hard-charging athletes, can get up to 100 or more and still be in nutritional ketosis. Some people might need to be as low as under 10 grams.
- This is not a high protein diet. I would say my average on Keto is around 70 to 80 grams. Again, this will be dependent on each person. I said “No way can I keep my muscle and strength eating that low protein.” Well, I’m the strongest pound for pound I’ve ever been since starting in July 2014.
- This is a high fat diet, but don’t worry — fat doesn’t make you fat. It will vary person to person. However, it should be a minimum of 150 grams. I typically shoot for 250 to 300 grams at a body weight of around 175 to 182 pounds. Fat calories are at least 70 percent of your total and can sometimes reach as high as 90 percent.
I do recommend jumping into more fat a little slower. When switching over, our enzymes for converting down carbohydrates are a lot higher, and the ones for fat are a lot lower.
Just like anything where you make a dramatic switch, such as quitting smoking or coffee, all change comes with blockages. Those blockages are simply something we need to get through to unleash our greatness.
Upon starting a Keto diet, you may experience nausea, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, focus issues, and performance drops in energy and workouts. Another big one is sugar cravings, and the more of a sweet tooth you have, the worse you’ll have it. The big reason for this is because we are switching from glucose to ketones (carbs to fat) as our main fuel source. The body can run off one or the other, but not both at the same time. Ketones, or fat, is the more efficient and cleaner running fuel. However, when glucose is present, it will use that first and foremost, because it is such a quick fuel to use and burn through.
The time it takes to get into nutritional ketosis will vary from person to person. Sometimes it can take as little as two weeks or up to three months. Some of the amazing benefits from being in nutritional ketosis is blood sugar control, meaning hunger control and more energy.
Finally, and what most people ask, is what do I eat?
Again to recap- a whole lot of fat, a moderate amount of protein, and very low carbs. The best sources of fats will be coming from coconut products, olive oil, grass-fed butter, fatty fish & seafood, whole eggs, ghee, nuts and seeds, cheese, meat, poultry, avocados, and full-fat dairy products.
Going Keto does take some planning and research. You definitely don’t just want to jump in head first. there is so many things that I didn’t cover that can help you get in nutritional ketosis faster or keep you completely out of it. I created a webinar where I guide people through the basics of a ketogenic diet. I highly recommend going through a highly reviewed Ketogenic book or ebook, because, remember, it’s a lifestyle. There are plenty of recipes out there on the internet.
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