The ketogenic diet plan, which is a low carb diet that focuses on putting your body into a state called ketosis, turns your body into a fat-burning machine. We’ll show you how.
Rather than using glucose to power up your day, your body turns fat into ketones that provide your body with an endless and steady supply of energy. Whether you need to be competition ready or are striving for optimal health, the keto diet may be the answer.
Let’s look at what you need to know to get started.
What’s the Science Behind the Ketogenic Diet Plan?
For most people, glucose is the primary source of energy.
Most foods that the average person eats contain either protein and complex carbohydrates that break down into glucose. Or they eat foods that contain simple sugars that are already in a broken down form.
This in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. But what happens is that people eat more than they require to meet their energy needs. This excess glucose gets stored as fat.
If they continue to obtain too much glucose from their diets, they never burn the fat. And they keep adding to it. In addition, people who have too much glucose will suffer from many health conditions. We’ll take a closer look at those under benefits.
But there’s an alternative.
Your liver naturally produces small cells called ketones. These ketones can also be used as energy.
You could force your body to produce ketones by fasting. But then you would get hungry after a while and you’d be depriving your body of nutrients.
Did you know that 35% of diets fail within 7 days? Only 1 out of 5 dieters make it to one month. And only 20% can stick to it for 90 days. The #1 reason for failure — chronic hunger.
But a person who is on the ketogenic diet plan reduces glucose in the body. At the same time, they increase ketones by significantly reducing carb and excess protein intake while increasing fat intake.
Fat is incredibly filling. So there’s less hunger. Those on the diet can stick with it to lose weight, get healthy and achieve optimal health.
Many studies support this diet as a long-term solution. It’s not a fad. It’s a lifestyle that can make you healthier and happier.
What Are the Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet Plan?
Wow! Where do we start. We’ll keep this short, but we really could write a whole book on this.
The ketogenic diet plan has the following benefits:
- Reduced insulin resistance. High glucose in the body leads to insulin resistance, which leads to type 2 diabetes. You’re slashing the glucose to give your insulin a fighting chance to regulate energy in the body.
- Reduced energy spikes and drops. With glucose you feel a sugar rush of energy, then you get tired. Ketones have a more sustained release, so no more energy roller coaster.
- Improved brain function. Your brain loves ketones. They’re its desired fuel. We’re not going to say that you’ll get smarter. But when your brain works more effectively, you and others will think you are. Note, that when you first start the diet, you may experience a little mental fog as your brain adapts.
- Improved physical endurance. A common misconception is that a low-carb diet will make you tired. This is flat out wrong. Once the ketones are flowing, you’ll feel more energized and have greater endurance.
- Weight loss/fat loss – It seems contradictory, but eating more fat and fewer carbs will actually reduce your fat mass.
Are There Any Pitfalls to Be Aware of?
Every diet can have its pitfalls, those little hurdles that you overcome to achieve optimal results. Knowing these in advance will help you succeed.
Understand that you’re completely “re-wiring” your body’s energy production system for the better. Your body will be confused at first.
You will likely experience the following over the first 1-2 weeks:
- Sugar withdrawal – It only lasts a couple days in most people. Sugar is a drug. Your body gets addicted to it. Take it away and you will crave it. But very soon you won’t even want it.
- Tiredness – Right after you make the switch you may want to scream out, “Liars”. It won’t hurt our feelings. We know that you may experience tiredness because your body is looking for glucose to produce energy. As soon as it starts producing those ketones, it will thank you many times over.
- Mental fog – The brain is also learning about this new fuel source. You may actually have trouble concentrating for a short time.
Take a few days off work, power through it and you’ll be so glad that you did.
How Do You Get Started?
You don’t have to completely eliminate carbs. Some carbs are good carbs. They help you digest food more effectively.
To get started, cut your net carbs back to no greater than 50 grams a day.
Net carb = carbs – fiber
Fiber is 100% okay on the ketogenic diet plan.
Once you feel that you’ve got this, try reducing net carbs to less than 20 grams a day. The fewer, the better. Staying at this level will mean completely giving up bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and sugary foods.
If you must splurge, do it rarely and don’t go over 50 grams.
Be sure to check your yogurt. Some yogurts have 20-40 grams of carbs per serving, especially ones marked low-fat/fat-free.
Replace these carbs in your diet with fat and protein. On this plan, your goal is to get about 10% of your energy (calories) for carbs, 15-25% from protein and 70% from fat.
These fats should come from a variety of sources:
- Nuts & seeds
- Cream sauces
- A variety of oils like olive, grape seed, almond, avocado, coconut
But remember that most of these will also have some carbs. Pistachios and cashews, for example, are higher net carb than pecans, macadamia — and believe it or not — peanuts.
In addition, you’ll learn tricks to keeping carb intake low like above ground veggies are low carb. Below ground are higher.
For best results, eat a diverse diet. Make sure that you’re getting your macro-nutrients.
It’s time to do something great for your body by making the switch to a ketogenic diet. We can help you be competition ready with the best in fitness gear for hardcore body builders, power lifters and MMA. Check out our selection.