This year rather than saying ‘New Year, New Me’, many of those looking to get fitter and healthier for the upcoming year are instead saying ‘New Year, New Diet’. There are many different diet plans currently in circulation, and finding the right one for you can be slightly overwhelming and intimidating.
Ketogenic diets (also known as keto diets) however, are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, was one of the 10 most-searched diets of 2016!
When you see the results that people achieve on low-carb and ketogenic diets, it’s easy to understand why they are so popular. Keto diets are very low carb, moderate protein, and high (healthy) fat diets that allow your body to use fat as its primary energy source, which of course results in fat loss. Remember, when you’re not burning carbs – you’re burning fat!
Not only does the keto diet yield impressive fat loss results, it also promotes muscle growth, regulates insulin and hormone levels, and it fights inflammation. If you’re tempted to try a ketogenic diet however, there are some things you should know. Here are some keto diet tips for total beginners.
1) Don’t Consume Too Much Protein
A lot of people make the mistake of making protein a priority when on a keto diet, as they often confuse keto with Atkins. The Atkins diet places more of an emphasis on protein, whereas keto primarily focuses on fat. Of course getting enough protein each day is important, but the problem is that some people take things too far and eat far too much.
Too much protein will result in a process occurring known as gluconeogenesis. This process occurs when excess amino acids from too much protein are converted into glucose. If you find yourself falling out of ketosis (you can purchase keto sticks to monitor this) it’s a good idea to take a look at your protein intake, and adjust it accordingly.
2) Don’t Fear Fat
Though it may be hard to believe, there are people out there that jump on a keto diet, and actually do not consume enough fat through fear of them gaining weight. For years fat was unfairly demonized by the press and health ‘experts’, so we have it ingrained in our heads that too much fat is bad for us.
If the fats are healthy, however, they are very good for us and they will help us to lose weight, provided we restrict our carbohydrate intake. Healthy fats such as oily fish, seeds, nut butters, grass-fed animal fats and whole eggs should be embraced, so make sure you are getting enough fat each day.
3) Consume Plenty of MCTs
MCTs, or Medium Chain Triglycerides, are easier for the body to metabolize and break down into ketone bodies due to their molecular structure. This is important because it allows you to consume slightly more proteins and carbs and still enter ketosis than with other triglycerides.
Organic coconut oil is a fantastic source of MCTs, so use this as your primary cooking oil, and as a key ingredient in bulletproof coffee.
4) Try to Control Stress
We all get stressed from time to time, which is perfectly normal. If however, you are going through a particularly stressful period, keto may not be for you. This is because when we are stressed our bodies release stress hormones such as cortisol, which elevate blood glucose levels. For shorter durations this is fine, but for prolonged periods of time elevated blood sugar levels will knock you out of ketosis, rendering the diet useless for the time being.
If you’re feeling stressed, try a combination of yoga and the ketogenic diet, as this helps with muscle conditioning as well as being beneficial for relaxation and mental well-being. This is a gentle way to try and help relieve stress, so that your cortisone levels aren’t affecting your weight loss.
Have you tried the ketogenic diet? What tips would you give to absolute beginners?
Let us know about it in the comments section 🙂