You may have tried your fair share of low carbohydrate diets over the years, including the well-known Atkins plan. However, have you heard of the Ketogenic, or keto, diet that’s taking the world by storm? This low carbohydrate diet option gives you a surefire way to lose weight by limiting sugars and loading up on fats and protein.
Keto kick starts your body into burning fat stores rather than relying on glucose for energy. If you are eating less than fifty grams of carbohydrates a day while maintaining high fat and protein macros, your liver will produces plenty of ketones, which knock glucose right out of the picture. This process is known as ketosis.
Your body can better control its blood sugar levels when in ketosis. Stable insulin levels help your body utilize fat for energy. As your body fuels itself using fat stores, the pounds seem to melt right off. The keto diet works well on its own, but pairing it with a good exercise routine, like weight lifting, nets the best results.
Calculating Your Macros
To effectively follow this diet plan, you must hit your macros precisely each day. The easiest way to do that is to calculate your protein, fat, carbohydrate and calorie needs using a calculator. The best keto calculator is found here.
Enter your age, weight and activity levels to get started. You can adjust the macros slightly to account for your weight loss preferences. At the end, you will receive a recommendation for how many grams of protein, fat and carbohydrates you should eat daily.
You can input that information into MyFitnessPal, a calorie-tracking program, to make it even easier to follow. This calculator even shows a detailed weight loss prediction based on the provided macros.
While on a Ketogenic diet, your food choices revolve around meats, vegetables and nuts. You will avoid all grains, including wheat, rice and rye. You can choose from a list of acceptable fats, including butter, oils and dressing, to meet those macros. You can find a good list of acceptable foods right here. In addition, only choose drinks that lack real sugar, but sugar substitutes are okay. Plain water is always best though.
Sticking to It
Cheating on this diet is a big mistake. The keto flu can hit you in full force if you consume too many carbohydrates in a single day. Keto flu symptoms include headaches, nausea, fatigue and body aches. Therefore, if you want to do keto, remember you cannot have any cheat days without paying the price. Luckily, most people notice a marked decrease in carb cravings.
Results vary according to your weekly calorie deficit. In general, if your deficit nears 500 calories a day, you may lose between one to three pounds a week. However, use your calorie tracker for the best estimate on deficits for weight loss. Having trouble? This plan gets easier as carb cravings start to go away. Stick with it, and good luck.