If you’re looking to get a jump start on your health and fitness goals this year, you may be thinking about trying the ketogenic diet. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase before — it’s a huge diet buzzword — but aren’t sure what it means. Here’s a primer: The ketogenic diet is an eating plan that drives your body into ketosis, a state where the body uses fat as a primary fuel source (instead of carbohydrates), says Stacey Mattinson, RDN, who is based in Austin, Texas.
Macronutrients (macros) are molecules that our bodies use to create energy for themselves – primarily fat, protein and carbs. They are found in all food and are measured in grams (g) on nutrition labels.
A: First take a breath, it’s not the end of the world. You may find that your weight goes up temporarily as your body retains water. You may also find that the scale goes down pretty quickly when you lose that water. If you see the scale fluctuating, please keep in mind that there’s a biological reason for it.
For most normal people, the amounts of fats and protein will be enough to naturally keep you satiated and naturally keep you in a calorie deficit. Though, the average American is not always normal. There’s tons of hormone, endocrine, and deficiency problems that we need to take into account.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is not a diet; it is a frequency of eating and not eating. When you do not eat, you lower insulin. So, the less frequently you eat, the less stress is put on the pancreas and the less insulin you produce. However, it’s something you have to let your body adapt to.
You get to start experimenting more with dessert and dinner. You get to snack as you please inside your window and best of all – you get to eat that protein laden chicken that you’ve been missing so much of!
While the ketogenic diet can be therapeutic for individuals with certain conditions, precautions need to be taken to prevent any severe keto side effects. If you are medications to control your condition, this is especially important.
If you’re accustomed to a protein intake well over your body weight—let alone lean body mass—you may be skeptical about a diet that demands you reduce protein intake by as much as half. Wittrock can relate.
If you experience frequent muscle cramps while becoming keto-adapted this is likely due to mineral imbalances. As I mentioned before, minerals are crucial for proper nerve impulse conductivity. A muscle cramp is essentially a misconducted impulse brought on by poor hydration and mineral balance.
So, we have a situation where the body has way too much insulin in the blood—yet the insulin is not able to do its job in the cells, either. The cells are resisting it. As a result, the body keeps making more and more insulin. These hormones are on a constant feedback loop, sending and receiving messages of “Sugar is high—release more insulin. . . . Must lower blood sugar for the body to stay alive.”
Studies show multiple long-term benefits of a keto diet on an individual’s weight and health. Keto significantly decreased body weight, body fat and body mass of individuals in various studies[*]. Keto has been shown to kick your body into a high-performing metabolic state, increasing fat metabolism during exercise[*]. As long as you continue to consume 1-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body mass, you can preserve muscle mass while still burning fat.
Our main goal here is to stay pretty simple at first. In my eyes, simplicity is key for someone that is just starting out on a low carb diet. You don’t want it to be a difficult transition (kitchen-wise), because it will be hard to just get rid of your cravings.
Diabetics: When you are eating less carbs and sugar, you will likely need less insulin or blood-sugar lowering medications to maintain blood sugar balance. Again, speak with your physician about this potential change and work with him to coordinate proper medication dosage.
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Increase Meal Frequency: Eating every 3-4 hours will ease the hypoglycemic stress on the body. This will equate to 4-5 small meals throughout the day. As you become adapted, fasting for longer periods of time will become much easier.
Excess calcium in the urine (hypercalciuria) occurs due to increased bone demineralisation with acidosis. Bones are mainly composed of calcium phosphate. The phosphate reacts with the acid, and the calcium is excreted by the kidneys.
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The common keto side effects that people experience come down to three primary culprits: Hypoglycemia, HPA axis dysfunction, and poor hydration/mineral balance. The following strategies will help prevent these underlying issues and their respective side effects:
Typically, anywhere between 20-30g of net carbs is recommended for everyday dieting – but the lower you keep your carbohydrate intake and glucose levels, the better the overall results will be. If you’re doing keto for weight loss, it’s a good idea to keep track of both your total carbs and net carbs.
Around this time, Bernarr Macfadden, an American exponent of physical culture, popularised the use of fasting to restore health. His disciple, the osteopathic physician Hugh Conklin, of Battle Creek, Michigan, began to treat his epilepsy patients by recommending fasting. Conklin conjectured that epileptic seizures were caused when a toxin, secreted from the Peyer’s patches in the intestines, was discharged into the bloodstream. He recommended a fast lasting 18 to 25 days to allow this toxin to dissipate. Conklin probably treated hundreds of epilepsy patients with his “water diet” and boasted of a 90% cure rate in children, falling to 50% in adults. Later analysis of Conklin’s case records showed 20% of his patients achieved freedom from seizures and 50% had some improvement.
You should continue to try new recipes every week. You’ll get more familiar with ingredients, your own taste buds and will be surprised by just how good some things are! Soon enough, you’ll be trying to convince your friends and family to try what you’re eating because they’re missing out on how delicious your lifestyle has become!
“The cleaner, the better when it comes to the keto diet,” says Jadin. Focus on “whole” and “unprocessed.” Also, strive for a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats for balance. Note: Tipping the scale toward too much protein is a common pitfall many people make on the keto diet. Mind your protein intake, since too much can kick you out of ketosis, says Jadin.
Brew the coffee using your your preferred method (I recommend French press). To make one serving, use 2 1/2 tablespoons (13 g/ 0.4 oz) of ground coffee and a cup (240 ml/ 8 fl oz) of water. Place the ground coffee into the French press. Bring the water to a boil and let it cool for a minute. Pour the water into the French press and stir vigorously. Depending on the preferred strength, steep for 2-4 minutes. Then, press the plunger all the way down.