7 Benefits of The Keto Diet
When you hear about the ketogenic diet, the first thing you perhaps think of is what could possibly make it as good as people say. The answer is, there are enough benefits to change your life.
What exactly is a ketogenic diet?
The keto program recommends a diet that is low on carbs, moderate on protein and high in fat. The idea is to fine-tune nutritional intake in order to send the body into the metabolic state known as ketosis.
The body enters a state of ketosis when it no longer has stores of glycogen sugar to fuel its energy needs. With sugar out of the way, the body has no choice but to tap its stores of fat to get by. The liver converts fat reserves into ketones to present to the body as an energy source. This is why the keto program is a good way to lose fat.
7 benefits of the keto diet
Unlike other diets that offer practitioners a weight loss benefit and little else, the keto diet comes with several benefits.
Without a doubt, weight loss is the primary goal of the keto diet. It works because it makes the body look to its fat reserves to power its metabolism. It can be interesting to go deeper into the process, however.
When the body is deprived of carbs, it enters a state of ketosis. Blood sugar and insulin levels fall when that happens. As the body taps the energy in fat cells, they release considerable quantities of water, making for some great weight loss. The fat cells are then able to enter the bloodstream and make their way to the liver, where they are turned into ketones for energy processing. As long as your diet allows you to stay in a caloric deficit, you get to enjoy the weight loss benefits of the keto diet.
It takes the edge off your appetite
When your diet isn't heavy on carbs, you'll find that you don't crave as much food as before. Many people who get on the keto diet are able to fast most of the day, and only eat at mealtimes. They are simply not as hungry as before.
Improved ability to focus
When you choose a regular diet that puts carbs into the body, your brain has to deal with the rise and fall in sugar levels that happens as a result. Inconsistent energy levels can make it hard for the brain to focus. With the keto diet, however, the energy source is constant and consistent. The brain is better able to stay focused.
You feel more energetic
When you are on a regular diet, your body is always on the verge of running out of energy. You need to constantly eat and refuel. With a keto diet, however, the body taps its fat reserves, a nearly unending energy source. The body, then, is able to maintain constant energy levels throughout the day. The result is, you end up feeling a lot more energetic.
It helps you fight diabetes
When you suffer from Type II diabetes, your body experiences high levels of insulin. Since the keto diet takes excess sugar from your diet, it helps stabilize HbA1c counts, and reverse Type II diabetes.
You get improved levels of good cholesterol
HDL cholesterol helps get rid of the body's bad cholesterol reserves. When you're on keto, your body's triglyceride levels fall and your HDL cholesterol levels rise.
You get better blood pressure
When you're on the keto diet, it drops your blood pressure. Many people on the keto diet find that they are able to stop taking blood pressure medicine altogether.
The keto diet can change a person's life. It isn't a difficult diet to get on, either. There are plenty of great recipes for the keto diet. All it takes is the willingness to give it a shot.
Custom Keto Diet
You’ve probably heard of the Keto Diet and how successful it can be to help you lose weight. When you eat keto, it means that you’re strictly limiting carbs and instead you’re focusing on consuming meals that consist of protein, fats and other foods with very little, if any, carbs.
When your meals are keto based, what happens is that your body no longer has the glucose that it used to run on. So instead, it starts to burn stored fat. As a result of that, you will lose weight.
The problem is that just like any diet, you don’t need a one-size fits all approach. You’re not identical to another person who’s following a keto diet. You don’t have the same body type, the same food preferences or even the same mindset when it comes to dieting.
Even getting into a state of ketosis may vary – requiring no more than 20 net carbs for some, but up to 40 for others. So a diet that’s no flexible is just a failure waiting to happen.
That’s why you want something like the Custom Keto Diet. You need a way to learn all about keto eating that takes into consideration who you are as a person. Not who everyone is as a group.
You can eat keto, your way, once you learn how the diet works and you will lose weight. You’ll also notice that your health as well as your energy improves. Plus, you’ll be able to do all without scrimping on food or giving up the foods that you like the most.
What’s great about a keto diet is that you can gain all the nutritional information and not have to abide by any strict diet rules. You get to make your own path. You’ll discover that you can lose weight without regaining it.
You’ll learn that you don’t have to rigidly eat specialty foods that cost a lot and are as appetizing as a cardboard box. The keto way of eating follows a sound weight loss principle.
If you want to lose weight, you have to lower the amount of calories that you consume. But this is where a lot of people go wrong. They figure that if lowering calories is all it takes to lose weight, then why not go super low?
That’s what you don’t want to happen. If you take your calorie intake too low, then yes, you’re going to lose weight, but not in a healthy way. And you’re setting yourself up so that your body is going to begin to fight back against the weight loss.
You’re made for survival and your body is going to rise to the occasion to make sure that you’re not going to lose weight so fast that you’ll endanger your health. So it sends out an inner alarm that you’re not eating enough calories and then it deliberately slows down your metabolism.
It does this because your body is hardwired to kick into gear whenever there’s an issue - and not getting enough calories is a big problem for your body. This is what you’ll learn when you start uncovering the success behind a keto diet - that dropping your calories too low creates a detriment to weight loss, which of course is the opposite of your goal.
You need to know how much protein to eat, what kind of carbs, and how many to eat. You also need to know why it’s imperative that you consume enough fat. There is a balance of macros that you want to use with the keto diet and you have to understand it.
You need to learn how keto works so that you’re not just trying to white knuckle your way through the diet. You can bet that when you get hungry, the cravings will rise and demand your attention until you give in to them.
What you need to understand is that the keto diet is the most flexible diet you can follow. Nothing in it is set in stone so that you can’t make changes for fear of blowing the diet.
With this flexibility, you learn which foods give you the best results, and which ones can impede your success. This allows you the freedom to make your own good choices. If you break this down, it means that as long as the foods that you choose fall within the macros of keto, you’re on the right path.
Your diet would be broken down into percentages and you get to choose what you eat under those percentages. For example, you can choose between 60 to 80 percent of your calories from foods that are considered your fat foods.
You would then choose for your protein to be comprised of around 15% or more, depending on what you a lot for your fat foods. The remaining 5 or 10% would be for the foods that contain carbs.
The keto diet is completely customizable. The goals that you’ve created for yourself won’t be the same as the next person’s. That’s why following a plan that teaches everyone the same thing with the same foods and the same recipes never works.
Who cares how successful a diet is if you absolutely hate the food choices? Or if following something to the letter means that as soon as you stop following it, the weight all comes rushing back?
Keto is a plan that allows you to fit the diet into your life going forward rather than trying to fit your life into the diet. You want something that’s effective and yet doesn’t rob you of the joy of eating.
Can You Eat Fruit on a Keto Diet Plan?
Inevitably when it comes to the keto diet, people ask if they’re allowed to have fruit on their plan. The answer is that you don’t have to give up fruit completely just because you’re on this program.
Fruit is a natural part of a healthy diet and they offer many health benefits. But since the keto diet does focus on low carb eating, what you have to do in order for the fruit to fit into the limited carbs, is make smart choices.
You have to find the fruits that are as low in carbs as possible. That means that some fruits are going to be better for your carb count than others are. There seems to be some advice going around that if you want to stay in ketosis, you have to avoid all fruits, but that’s not the case.
You have to compare the fruits that you pick with the amount of carbs as well as natural sugar that they contain. Not all of them are high carb. You can choose to have tomatoes, which technically, though they’re often referred to as a vegetable, are really a fruit.
You can have an entire small tomato for around 3 grams of carbs. Or, you can choose the small bite size salad tomatoes and have about 2 grams for every half a cup. You may not think of eating a lemon as part of the fruit you can have on a keto diet.
Most people don’t consume the lemon that way. They add it to drinks to give it a sweet, citrusy flavor, but without the carbs. Avocados are another fruit that you can safely have on the keto diet.
An entire avocado only has 4 grams of carbs. So you can either eat half or a fourth of an avocado and still not go over your net carb limit. You can have fruit in the berry family when you’re on the keto diet.
Though they might seem high in carbs, they’re not. Just like with any fruit, though, you want to watch your portion size. You can have blackberries for less than 2 net carbs for ¼ cup.
If you prefer raspberries, you can eat those on a keto diet. The carb count and serving size is the same for raspberries as it is for blackberries. You can have strawberries, too - although the carb count comes in slightly higher at 2 net carbs per ¼ cup.
When consuming fruit, just remember that the keto diet isn’t so different from any other carb limiting diet. You just want to aim for the foods that give you the lowest amount of carbs for the biggest health benefits.
Plan Ahead for Success on Your Keto Diet
There’s a saying that goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Nothing could be more fitting for those going on a Keto diet. Of course, it is possible to fly by the seat of your pants and make decisions at each meal, but in the very beginning, that might be hard to do.
Beginner Keto dieters need a little structure, and it helps to know the ins and outs of tracking carbs and macros as well as cooking methods and food choices that will help you lose weight fast.
The first thing you want to do is educate yourself on what you can and can’t have carb-wise and try to eliminate or replace those items in your kitchen. For example, you may not want to give up your coffee, but you’ll need to replace sugar with a sweetener that isn’t loaded with carbs.
You’ll want to plan for snacks on the go that work well with your keto plan, rather than relying on fast food stops or convenience stores that are packed with processed foods. You can have bags of pecans or string cheese to take with you.
Get set up with a carb tracking tool such as MyFitnessPal, where you can track the exact carbs and use a tool like TamperMonkey to track the net carbs in your meals, which is the true number of carbs you’ll be using as your guideline.
You’ll want to prepare for the beginning of your journey – the mental cravings and old habits can be hard to overcome if you’re not ready. You may even need to get sometimes to tide you over from keto flu if you suffer from that.
This is basically just a feeling of bring under the weather when your body is first going into ketosis, and the best fix for it is a simple chicken broth that you sip to get the electrolytes back in your system.
You definitely want to plan for some variety, too. Don’t get stuck eating scrambled eggs seven days a week, for every meal. You’ll burn out. Plan on some creative ways to make meals low in carbs – and learn which foods taste best to you, such as a chocolate mousse fat bomb as a special treat.
Don’t worry that the diet is complex, because it’s not. This is one of the easiest diet plans you’ll find. But you’re just not used to eating plenty of quality fats and protein – you’re probably used to eating low calorie, low fat, so planning is necessary to retrain your brain for your future weight loss success!
How Many Carbs Can You Have on a Keto Diet?
Whenever you start a keto diet, your goal will be to lower your carb intake to the point where your body goes into ketosis, which means your body is burning fat for fuel instead of carbs.
The exact point at which you’ll get into ketosis will be different from everyone. Some people might achieve it by consuming no more than 30 carbs per day, while others have to go all the way down to 20 carbs to get into ketosis.
It usually takes about 2-3 days for ketosis to happen. Then, you’ll experience some symptoms associated with this condition. Some people get keto flu, which means they need to remedy the symptoms by consuming electrolytes like those found in chicken broth.
Others will experience fantastic side effects right out of the gate – like increased energy, a clearing of brain fog and absence of cravings that they had once battled before. It would be nice if everyone experienced this initially, but some people do go through a lethargic feeling instead.
You want to calculate your macros so that you’re getting approximately 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs. In a 1,200 calorie diet, that would be about 15 net carbs, 93 grams of fat and 75 grams of protein.
Many people who do ketogenic dieting don’t bother to track calories, except with how it impacts their macros. You could enjoy a 2,500 calorie day of meals and keep your ketosis levels in check just by managing your macros.
Some people worry if they mess up and get knocked out of ketosis. This happens, and it’s often a result of hidden carbs. Carbs can be snuck in on simple seasonings – things you don’t expect to be loaded with carbs.
If you get knocked out of ketosis, you should be able to get back in within 2-3 days after the slipup. The weight should continue coming off, but it will increase more when your keto kicks in.
Try to make sure, when you’re choosing carbs, that you choose healthy ones. Eating something like spinach or a strawberry is better for you than a handful of fake sweets that could take a toll on your digestive track.
Plus, your body still needs plenty of nutrients, so choosing your carbs carefully will help you get the vitamins and minerals that you need throughout the week. Don’t rely on supplements to do the job for – it’s better to use real foods for this purpose.
One Big Myth About the Keto Diet
There’s a big myth floating around the keto diet world that makes some people steer clear of the diet. It’s that the ketogenic diet is the same as a high protein diet. It’s not. In fact, protein should only be approximately 25% of your macros for the day.
One of the reasons people think keto is synonymous with high protein is that you can eat lots of protein foods such as eggs, chicken, beef, cheese and other meats for very few carbs.
This means dieters often fill up on these foods, and probably aren’t tracking their macros very well. If they were, they’d realize that the majority of their meals are made up of healthy fats, not proteins.
The macro count for healthy fats is approximately 70% of your nutrition for the day, with the remaining 5% being carbs. Healthy fats are beneficial for your body, while too much protein can be damaging.
One of the benefits and most alluring things about the keto diet is that you don’t have to go low fat. Fat is flavorful, so consumers love to be able to eat marbled meat, like a steak, without having to feel guilty.
When bacon and cheese are encouraged on a diet plan, it makes many dieters’ mouths water, so you often see people starting their keto diet with a heavy amount of meats and cheese.
But that doesn’t eliminate the fact that the real focus of the ketogenic diet is low carb, high fat – so it’s very important that as you wean yourself off carbs and sugar, you begin looking at which fats will keep you satisfied in lieu of larger portions.
Healthy fats are things like avocados, olives or olive oil, nuts and seeds. That doesn’t mean you can’t have other fats, but you really want to make the switch from cream butter and coconut to the ones listed above.
Keep in mind that as you stay on the diet longer, your taste buds will probably change. After going without sodas and using fake sweeteners for weeks, if you were to cheat and have a Coke or Dr. Pepper, it would probably taste way too sweet for you.
This is helpful because it curbs your sugar cravings and instead, you begin craving the healthy fats that benefit your body from head to toe. So enjoy the fact that you can have plenty of proteins, but don’t neglect the real star of this meal plan – the one that keeps you feeling full – fat!
Five Reasons Why Keto Is a Top Diet Choice
Whenever a man or woman is thinking about choosing a diet plan, there are several questions that run through their minds. They want to know how fast the weight will come off, whether or not they can stick to it, and how it will impact their life.
Keto is a top choice of diet for many people these days, and there are five big reasons why. The first is that you don’t have to give up flavorful foods. If you’ve ever been on a low calorie diet or low fat plan, you’ll understand how bland those foods can taste.
But Keto allows you to keep the fat and flavor in your diet, so you’re not banned from having cheese, flavorful, fatty meats or other delicious foods. You can make a rich guacamole topping, even and it’ll all on plan to satisfy your goals and your taste buds.
Hunger is one thing that can turn dieters away from a plan. That won’t be a problem on a Keto diet. The fact that you can have fat in your diet means you’ll always be satisfied and never feel like you’re starving.
The third reason Keto is a hot choice is that weight loss is fast. Everyone wants the diet process to be over with as soon as possible. When you’re following a Keto plan, the weight melts off quickly because your body is burning fat stores instead of carbs for fuel.
The fourth reason Keto might be the plan you choose is that it’s easy to modify anywhere. Being on a diet is hard enough. Having to follow a difficult plan when you’re eating out or traveling or visiting friends and family makes you want to quit.
But with Keto, you can easily order off any menu or pick and choose from any family meal and have a simple, low carb, ketogenic meal. When you leave off the breading and sauces, sticking to a meat and low carb vegetable, you’ll easily stay on plan.
It’s not all or nothing with keto, which is the fifth reason why so many love this way of life. Whenever many people succeed on a diet, they have to get off of it, and then regain the weight.
With keto, you can simply modify and adjust your carb intake to allow you to maintain the weight you’re currently at. You’ll raise your carb intake to 50 or even 100 carbs per day and not have to worry about yo yo dieting, like so many other plans cause.
Testing Options for Ketosis Confirmation
For those wanting to lose weight fast on a ketosis diet, you’ll want to begin testing your body to see if and when you’re in ketosis. It’s not about the initial getting into ketosis that you need to be concerned with, either.
You’ll want to continue tracking your ketones to see what, if anything, knocks you out of ketosis so that you can put yourself back on track so that you don’t stall out with your weight loss.
Your goal is to have ketone levels at more than 0.5mM. Or, with nutritional ketosis, it would be 0.5-3mM. What happens is your fat gets broken down to be used by the body, and the fatty acid spikes in your bloodstream.
They’re turned into ketones, and when you achieve those specific levels, you’re then in ketosis. There are three ways you can get your state of ketosis confirmed. The first is by using simple urine test strips.
You can buy these over the counter or online and all you to is put the tip of the strip into the stream of your urine (or into the container that you collected it in) and match the color of the strip to what’s on the bottle, which will show you when your body has a higher level of ketones.
Urine is the least accurate of the three methods, though the most convenient. You can also do a breath test to see if your body is in ketosis using a breathalyzer. The one thing people like is that, unlike the urine strips, you don’t have to keep purchasing anything to use this method.
You simply blow into the breathalyzer and it will tell you the level of ketones using the number of acetones excreted. The results you’ll get are similar in nature to the third, option, which is measuring blood ketones.
With a blood measurement system, it’s slightly more invasive because it requires the use of a lancet. It’s also the most accurate method of seeing if you’re in ketosis, and it measures the presence of BHB, instead of acetones.
You can buy different blood meters and strips. Some will test the glucose while others will test the ketone levels. After sterilizing your finger with an alcohol swab, you’ll prick your finger with a lancet and then place a drop of blood onto the test strip, which is then read by the blood meter.
Whichever way you test, make sure to track how you’re feeling at different ketone levels and how your weight loss is progressing. It will be different for everyone, and you want to be feeling your best and having the best results as well.
Tips on Eating Out on a Keto Diet
With many diet plans, it’s difficult to eat anywhere other than your own home. Even going to a friend or family member’s house can be difficult when you’re trying to adhere to a program and nobody else is. You’re not in control of the food as much.
With restaurants – whether fast food or a sit down restaurant, you have some ability to request your foods to a tailored cooking method. But many people simply don’t know how to order for their diet plan when they’re out.
The process is simple, really – you just have to be careful when ordering. For example, watch for things like sauces and breading and even condiments that might bring you out of ketosis.
Sometimes, what you want to order won’t be on the menu per se. They might have a grilled chicken smothered in gravy with mashed potatoes on the side. So you have to tailor the order to your keto needs.
Ask the waitress for the grilled chicken, minus the gravy, and substitute steamed broccoli (or green beans or zucchini, for example) for the high carb potatoes. You can enjoy them with plenty of flavorful butter, too!
There are many ways you can find out the total carb count for any fast food or sit down restaurant’s menu. Go online and look for their nutritional facts sheet. Then think of ways you can lower the carb count.
For example, swapping vegetables, asking for things without certain high-carb sauces, or having the meat prepared differently. Some people will swap noodles with vegetables at Italian food places – just as you might make zoodles (zucchini noodles) at home when preparing a keto-friendly fish on your own.
If you’re at a fast food restaurant, there are ways you can order off their menu and keep things keto friendly, too. If you want a burger, for example, ask them to give it to you without a bun.
Some people don’t understand why, so they may ask you again, but just reassure them you want the meat and cheese and mayo – no bun. They’ll usually put it in a container that you can eat from instead of a wrapped paper method.
Or, if you’re going for a sub sandwich, just tell them you’d like the meat, cheese, mayo, cucumbers and tomatoes – but wrapped in lettuce leaves instead of on a big, carb-heavy sub loaf.
Top Keto Snacks to Help You Avoid Carbs
Avoiding carbs is one of the key foundations of the keto diet. If you want to lose weight and reap the health benefits from being in ketosis, then watching your carb intake is a necessity.
You need to stay under 20-30 carbs in order to find the highest level of success. When it comes to meals and planning foods for specific mealtimes, most people do okay with limiting carbs.
But one area that tends to trip people up on the diet is when it comes time to grab a snack. It’s easy to forget the amount of carbs in the snack or not be as proactive as you need to be to look out for the sneaky diet busters.
It can be helpful to know ahead of time which snacks to grab and keep on hand. This way, when it’s time for a pick-me-up, you already know that what you’re eating isn’t going to blow your diet.
When you choose a diet, make sure that the amount of carbs it contains, if any, fit into your daily allotment of total net carbs. If you over-snack, you can have too many carbs. Make sure your snack items are ready to go foods that you can grab and go if need be.
You can have keto friendly foods like nuts, boiled eggs, or olives. Cheeses are a good idea, too. Choose ones like cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese or cream cheese. You can also have meats as snack foods.
These would foods like bacon or the higher fat cold meats. You can use garlic butter on bread made from almond flour to create a snack that equals one carb. Making a sandwich using lettuce leaves in place of bread and very low or carb free ingredients is also a good snack idea.
Some low carb/no carb ideas are to use broccoli, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, cauliflower or bell peppers and some people like to dip them in a low carb Ranch dressing.
Celery has one carb and cucumbers only contain three. You’ll want to avoid carrots as a snack, since these are higher in carbs. If you choose to have fruits such as berries, always choose the lowest carb one.
A ¼ cup of strawberries gives you less than two carbs, but the same size serving of blueberries gives you five carbs. Bananas are high in carbs, so you’ll want to keep those off your low carb snack list.
When you feel like you need to snack on something that gives you a crunch, opt for pork rinds, which are a zero carb snack. If you’re craving chocolate as a snack, look for chocolate that’s specifically made for the keto diet – usually dark chocolate.
All natural peanut butter has less than two carbs per tablespoon, making it a quick and low carb snack. You can also look for keto snack bars. These are snack bars that are high in fat, but low in carbs.