Many people trying to lose weight are looking at keto diets these days. Before you jump feet first into this new way of eating it’s important to know what keto is all about and if it’s a good idea for you to do.
Simply stated Keto is short for Ketosis. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, which refers to the state of metabolism the body is in when it uses fat as a primary energy source. In fact, we all do a little ‘ketosis” each night when we sleep. As we fast during the night, our blood sugars drop, and our body begins breaking down fat to use as energy.
A keto diet is a low carb diet where the body produces ketones in the liver that it will use as energy. It's referred to by many different names; ketogenic diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF), etc. The current keto fad encourages eating low carb, low to moderate protein, and high fat, which will put your body into ketosis.
Bad news for some, eating cheese and bacon all day would not be a great idea. If your goal is weight loss, eating more fat will prevent you from burning your stored fat for fuel. Eating a high-fat diet will keep you in ketosis, but your body will be using the recently consumed fat for fuel. When you want to lose your stored body fat, a high fat keto diet is not optimal.
A few common Keto DIY mistakes to avoid:
- Not getting in all of your electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. This can lead to feeling faint or lightheaded.
- Consuming too many carbohydrates in your vegetables. Be sure to avoid vegetables that are high on the glycemic index. If you aren't sure, look up the vegetable on an online search tool.
- Thinking calories matter most. They do matter, but ketosis is not a calorie in, calories out diet. It's getting your body into fat-burning mode based more on what you eat.
- Not being prepared. Most snack foods are high carb. When you are in a pinch and reach for a “100 calorie” pack of food, you may knock yourself right out of ketosis due to the carb or sugar intake.
The idea of keto sounds simple, but with such specific macros (fats, carbs, proteins) it can be confusing to know what to eat. If you are trying to lose fat with a keto diet, it can be quite challenging to find the proper combination in a DIY meal plan. It takes careful macro planning, meals prepping, timed eating, and what seems like an advanced degree in ketosis! An easier way is to do a coached program that has already been designed for you.
Ketogenic Diets are based on the science of weight loss and how human physiology responds to sugar, carbohydrates, insulin and fat storage. Finding someone who is experienced and certified in weight loss coaching and familiar with a ketosis program is the best option if weight loss is your goal.