What is the keto diet?
A keto diet is a type of meal that is known to have low carb content. This diet propels the liver to produce ketones as a source of energy instead of usual glucose. Keto diet is also referred to as low carb diet, ketogenic diet or low carb high fat diet (LCHF).
How it works
When you take food rich in carbohydrates, the body will produce insulin and glucose. Since the body utilizes glucose as a primary energy source, the fats are not used and are instead stored in the adipose tissues. By reducing the intake of carbs, the body is stimulated into a ketosis state.
Ketosis is a natural body process that helps humans to survive when the intake of carbohydrates is low. During the state of ketosis, the body will produce ketones, which results from the breakdown of fats by the liver. The main objective of the ketogenic diet is to force the body into this type of metabolic state. Ketosis can only be achieved by cutting down on carbohydrates and not through starvation of calories. Optimal ketone levels offer lots of health benefits like weight loss, and mental and physical performance enhancement.
How long does it take to achieve ketosis?
Individuals who maintain an optimal net carbohydrate limit usually take 2 to 3 days to achieve ketosis. You can speed up the process by exercising so that you can accelerate the use of glycogen in the body. Individuals who live a sedentary lifestyle may take up to seven days to get to ketosis. When you stick to a ketogenic diet, you can easily get into ketosis. You can check your ketone levels using a blood ketone meter or ketone detection strips as you begin your keto diet for beginners.
Keto-adaptation usually occurs when the body shifts from glucose metabolism to fat metabolism. Adaptations to ketosis are quite complicated and they involve almost all the body systems. Key adaptations usually take place in body tissues, particularly the liver, kidney, muscles and brain. It is very easy to get to a ketosis state. However, it is more challenging to be keto-adapted.
Keto-adaptation is meant for individuals who are serious about their diet and approach a low-carb diet as a lifestyle and not a short-term solution to achieve weight loss. Being keto-adapted may take 3 weeks or even months for your body to learn how to utilize ketones as an energy source.
The keto flu is characterized by a headache and a feeling of malaise that results from dehydration and the body increasing its carbohydrate deposits. Most keto dieters will experience extremely low energy levels and they will have a feeling of tiredness. You can eliminate the ketogenic flu by replenishing body electrolytes with whole foods or tabs that are high in potassium, for example, raisins, avocados, bananas, salt, bouillon, or beef broth.
Just like any other type of diet, the low carb diet requires attention and focus. It can be a lifestyle change when it is done right. This diet is designed to be a complete lifestyle change that you can continue with for your entire life. It is best to discuss extensively with your primary physician before you start the ketogenic diet.