Sugars that are lower on the glycemic index means that the body absorbs them slower and that they do not cause significant increases in blood sugar and insulin levels. Foods with a high glycemic index, typically at 70 or higher, can cause insulin resistance, which can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and inflammation if consumed in excess. Natural sugars such as coconut sugar, agave (the worst offender) and honey all have a high glycemic index, so cannot be consumed on the Keto diet.
There are different ways to keto, and how you do it depends on your ultimate health goals and lifestyle.
Dirty keto- is eating anything as long as it fits in your MACROS. That means anything goes as long as you stay between 20-30 carbs a day. A good example of this is someone driving through McDonalds and ordering a hamburger, and eating just the meat. We know it’s not healthy, but they are still consuming no carbs.
Lazy Keto- is simply estimating how many carbs you are having without inputting your food intake into an app, or counting your MACROS. This might be good for people in maintenance, or people just staying away from carbs, but if you are trying to lose weight, this can be ineffective as most of the time we eat more than we think we do.
Clean Keto- is eating mostly organic, whole foods, and staying away from processed foods as much as possible. This is the method that we use at Keto in the Country because we are concerned about all the chemicals added to our foods and GMO’s. We approach keto and food as preventative medicine, and our goal is to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
All nutrients are broken down into MACROS and MICROS. Macros is short for Macronutrients and make up the caloric content of a food. The three categories of macronutrients are carbohydrates, fat, and protein. To sustain the ketogenic diet, you must stay within a certain of all of these Macronutrients. Everyones MACROS will be different and the best way to find out what you need is to download an app and input your personal information to find out how many grams of each you need to eat within a day. There are many free apps available that do this.
MICROS are the vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and antioxidants that are found in natural food sources. Although it’s not common for people on Keto to keep track of their MICROS, I feel its extremely important to keep up with them so you have a very good idea of where you are lacking in your nutritional goals and serves as a guide to what you need to eat more, or less of so your body is running at optimal level.
Ketosis is a normal and natural metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose (or sugar) it starts using stored fat for energy instead. This accounts for the rapid weight loss that most people experience on the Keto diet.
It takes most people anywhere from 3-5 weeks to be in full ketosis.
You most certainly do not have to intermittent Fast (IF) on the keto diet, though fasting has proved to be very healthy, as it gives your cells times to do some housekeeping and throw out out all the toxins that have been stored in them. If you are not IF for health reasons, but just for weight loss, IF combined with the ketogenic diet is extremely effective for quick weight loss.
The keto flu is thought of as inevitable for beginners embarking on the keto journey, and this is simply not true. The keto flu occurs when your body starts eliminating stored water in your body, and since this is where your electrolytes are stored, your lose your all important electrolytes as well, causing brain fog, leg cramping and headaches. If you supplement your electrolytes the keto flu can be greatly lessen the effects of the keto flu if not eliminate them completely.
There are a few measures to tell whether you are in ketosis or not. There are the urine sticks, breath testing devices, and blood sampling devices. The urine sticks are the least dependable because after a couple of weeks, as your body starts using ketones for energy, instead of eliminating them through your urine, and makes it look like you are no longer in ketosis which is cause for panic in people just beginning the ketogenic lifestyle.
The blood and breath testing devices are more accurate, though my suggestion would be to save your money and just trust the process. You will know you are in ketosis, or fat burning mode, if you find your craving for sweets are diminishing, and you find you are not as hungry as you used to be. When your body is burning fat for fuel, it is a more clean and natural process and you will find your brain fog clearing and even though you are eating less food, you will have more energy.
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