Maybe you're tired of being overweight. Maybe you've tried every diet in the world and nothing's worked.
Now, a recent hype around something called "ketosis" has sparked your interest. Apparently, you can eat loads of fat and still lose weight?! Is this real??
Yes it's real, and the proof is in the pudding. According to Healthline, over 20 studies have been conducted showing how a ketogenic diet helps you lose weight. Moreover, you lose that weight even when you eat the same number of calories as non-keto people.
In fact, weight loss is only one of many supposed benefits. At least, that's the word on the street and now you want to give it a go.
But before you go keto, there are some really important things to know and expect. Keep reading to find out...
9 Things to Know About Before Going Keto
Before starting the ketogenic diet, you must understand:
1. The Definition of Ketosis
A ketogenic diet is characterized by eating tons of fat and minimal carbohydrates (with medium levels of protein).
The purpose of doing that is to enter a natural physiological state called Ketosis, which is when your body runs almost entirely off of fat - including the fat stored in your body.
Ketosis happens when your body doesn't have enough insulin to turn glucose into energy. Fat then becomes the replacement energy source.
Your liver turns fat into chemicals called ketones, which are released into your bloodstream for your muscles to burn as fuel.
The outcome? Well, it's meant to increase energy levels, actively support weight loss and help with different health conditions too (including epilepsy and cancer).
2. You Can (And Should) Personalize Your Keto Diet
Originally, ketogenic diets were defined by ratios of 4-5 parts fat to every 1 part carbohydrate and protein.
People often quote a 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carb split in your diet, with a carb intake range of 20-50 grams per day.
But in practice, you can chop and change these ratios to find what's right for you. Everyone's "ketosis threshold" is different.
Starting with a higher carb intake has the benefit of easing you into this process and helping you find the optimal level. If you aren't noticing results, simply drop your carb intake over time.
3. The Benefits of Supplements
In the same way that vegans sometimes supplement certain vitamins they can't get from their diet, people going keto often do the same.
Supplements can come in all forms. Some will boost energy levels, others replace electrolytes, a few simply boost fat and protein levels to help you reach ketosis quicker.
Supplements are great if you're looking to reach ketosis quickly and/or counteract some of the negative effects your new diet can bring (more on this below).
4. It Can Take Time to Lose Weight
When you start on a keto diet you'll probably lose a bunch of weight almost immediately. Some people report losses of up to 20lbs in a week or so!
The more weight you have to lose, the quicker it'll come off to begin with.
But don't be disheartened if it takes longer for you to lose weight. Or if you find your weight loss slowing down after an initial nosedive.
It's important to remember that slower weight loss is healthier weight loss.
And it's totally normal for your rate of weight loss to slow down too. That first weight reduction you got so excited about is actually the loss of 'water-weight' (weight caused by water that's stored in your body after eating carbs).
Be patient and don't give up just because you don't notice immediate results. Remember, this is a lifestyle choice rather than a simple diet.
5. The Keto Flu
Many people moving onto a keto diet experience carb withdrawals- otherwise known as the keto flu.
You might feel groggy, lethargic, and generally subpar.
It's usually a direct result of your body changing its fuel source from carbohydrate to fate. But dehydration may also be a contributing factor as the keto diet makes you urinate more. Be sure to drink lots of water.
Keto flu is totally normal and shouldn't last more than a few days. The symptoms aren't fun, but it's a reliable way to know that you're on your way to ketosis.
6. Initial Loss of Strength & Endurance
If you like to work out, at first you might notice your strength and endurance take a nosedive.
This is a totally normal outcome of your body transitioning from carb-burning to fat-burning. Your body adjusts over time, though, and your usual energy levels will return to normal
You may even be able to work out harder than before. Many people report increased energy, focus, and general athleticism thanks to a ketogenic diet.
7. Keto Breath
Keto diets do a lot of good, but they also come with some slightly less desirable negative side effects!
Keto breath is one of them.
Essentially, you can get awful smelling breath as a result of the ketones and extra protein you're eating. It's worse at the beginning but can remain a constant annoyance.
Good oral hygiene will help. Brush, floss, mouthwash and so on to keep your breath fresh!
8. Gastrointestinal (GI) Issues
An upset tummy is another unfortunate by-product of ketosis.
And again, the change in diet is responsible. It usually goes one of two ways: constipation or diarrhea. Either way, it isn't great.
Over time your body adapts though and this will become less of an issue.
9. Medical Issues
The long-term effects of a keto diet aren't fully known and doctors sometimes caution against it as a result.
Though it's predominantly safe (and beneficial), there is the potential for complications if you struggle with an intolerance to high-fat foods, gall-bladder problems, or diabetes.
Ketosis is meant to be particularly problematic for certain types of diabetes, where the excessive ketones in your bloodstream can be potentially life-threatening.
It's recommended that pregnant or breastfeeding women avoid ketosis too. But this is only because insufficient research has been done on this topic so far.
Before going keto, be sure to check with your doctor if you have any pre-existing medical issues.
The high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet is growing in popularity thanks to its wide range of benefits. Indeed, it offers many positive neurological and physical effects to those who do it. These include weight-loss, enhanced energy levels and support against diseases like cancer to name a few.
But this lifestyle choice isn't necessarily easy and can take time to be effective. It's also worth knowing about the side effects, like the bad breath, flu, and potential issues for diabetics. (Be sure to consult with your doctor if you're at all unsure about starting a ketogenic diet.)
While the Keto Diet can be tough at first, Grandma's Keto is all about making it easier to stay keto. We've made it super easy to get the right macros and nutrients you need without sacrificing taste. Check out Keto Collagen Cacao for a tasty protein drink that can help boost skin and tissue repair and keep your keto furnace burning.