Cutting to the chase: The ketosis diet is where you consume high amounts of healthy fats and proteins while simultaneously reducing your carbohydrate intake
If you’re a beginner and this is your first look at what a keto diet is all about, stick around because I’ve got the ultimate 5 minute rundown for you. Se let’s begin with looking at the basics behind a ketosis diet for beginner. The ketosis diet is an eating plan designed to minimize carbohydrate intake while simultaneously increasing your fat intake to compensate for the missing carbohydrates. It is a great diet to enter into a body state called ketosis.
So What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is where the body (of an average person) switches from using glucose as a primary fuel source to using ketones. As strange as it may sound, a keto diet is actually a way to fast and help your body reset.
Glucose is a storage of blood sugar in the body, produced by foods such as carbohydrates or excess proteins. Ketones are produced when the body does not have enough glucose to burn for energy.
As a result, the liver will begin to produce ketones which are then used by the body as a fuel source. After a period of time (which varies from person to person) the body will adapt and use ketones as the primary fuel source.
The Basics of Ketosis Diet for Beginners
The basic motto to follow on the ketosis diet is to keep carbohydrate intake low while keeping fat and protein intake high.
The ketosis diet is rich in healthy fats. The two healthy fats to ensure you are eating are monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Foods such as meat and poultry, cheese, eggs, and seafood are all staple foods under this diet.
Examples of staple foods could include:
Chicken or turkey, fattier cuts are better as they have a higher fat content
The smellier the better for the higher fat content, but most cheeses will be suitable
Chicken eggs are best but others are generally just as good
Salmon, shrimp/prawns, shellfish and other deep-sea fish are good choices
Broccoli, green beans, carrots or zucchini are all good foods, avoid vegetables high in starch such as potatoes and sweet potatoes (yams)
- Leafy Greens
Spinach, lettuce, bok choy and kale are great under the ketosis diet
For our vegan readers, check out our article on how to do the Ketosis Diet for Vegans.
When I started the diet I learned that depending on how strict you want to be, you should limit your carbohydrate intake to somewhere between 20g and 50g per day. I also learn that while using the diet, you should be somewhere around 75% fats, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates.
It is vital that you are consuming enough healthy fats to make this diet work. If you don’t you will be hungry due to the lack of fats and avoidance of carbohydrates.
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Common Occurrences on the Ketosis Diet
A number of things will occur with your body while you are on the keto diet. They can range from:
- Increased weight loss
As your body switches from glucose to ketones, your body will burn more stored body fat.
- Improved cognitive function
Ketones are the brains preferred fuel source and operates more efficiently on this source.
- Enhanced mood
Many report a higher sense of alertness, feeling in a better mood, and requiring less sleep when in ketosis.
- Boosted energy levels
Large carbohydrate meals can lead to a spike in blood sugars, resulting in a high then crash of energy levels. Ketones are slower release and result in longer periods before feeling fatigued.
- Lower cholesterol levels
Studies show that the ketosis diet can greatly improve your level of good cholesterol and lower your bad cholesterol levels.
- Suppressed appetite
Fats help you feel fuller for longer resulting in less of an appetite.
- Can cause irregularity
You may find that you become constipated due to the lack of carbohydrates to retain water. You may also experience diarrhea from the increased fat intake.
- Increased thirst
Due to the lack of carbohydrates to retain water you will find that you will be extra thirsty due to lack of stored water within the body.
- Craving for sugary goods
Depending on your current diet, you may crave sugary goods when first going on the ketosis diet.
As with all diets, ensure that the ketosis diet is suitable for you and your dietary needs. Also, make sure you are getting plenty of additional energy from your food choices to help fill the deficit left by the lack of carbohydrates. As a beginner it is worth discussing this with your Doctor to make sure that it is right for you.