A Beginner’s Guide For Living The Keto Lifestyle
Finally, an easy to understand breakdown and explanation of the Keto diet…
Obesity is a global health concern. The widespread of obesity has increased a lot over the last three decades.
People who are obese face many challenges with their physical health and also often experiences mental complications, such as depression and social anxiety.
It is estimated that around 33.4% of the adult population in the United States are overweight and approximately 32.9% are considered to be obese(1).
About three decades ago, the obesity rate in the country was less than 15%.
Weight loss becomes an essential part of an obese person’s health.
Without losing weight, they will continue to experience disabling effects, psychological symptoms, and problems with their general health.
Unfortunately, most people who lose weight are unable to keep the weight off in the long term.
With thousands of different weight loss pills, courses and other products on the market promising to assist people with losing weight, most do not know where they need to turn to if they would like real results.
The good news is… there is no real need for expensive weight loss supplements or anything of the sort. The only supplements that you may want to take are things like Vitamin D, Magnesium, MCT oil etc but, most of the time these can be gained from the right food choices. If you do feel that you need to supplement then I have listed what i think are the top 8 keto diet supplements that you might consider taking.
The Keto Lifestyle has a significant number of research studies and scientific papers to prove its efficiency in delivering real weight loss results.
Switching to a Keto Lifestyle is really not difficult and can positively change the body – not only leading to improvements in weight loss efforts but also bringing about many other potential benefits.
One study explains that(2), in addition to the weight loss benefits of a Keto Diet, this type of lifestyle also holds numerous psychological and physical benefits for the human body.
How I Came Across The Keto Lifestyle
Before I get more into the Keto Lifestyle and tell you more about what the Ketogenic diet is and how you can get started, I first want to share a personal story with you.
Since a very young age, I have weighed much more than what was considered healthy for me.
Many of the people in my family were obese, and they did not pay a lot of attention to the bad things that obesity does to their bodies.
This, in turn, caused me to eat what I wanted, skip out playing sport at school and avoid physical activity as much as I possibly could.
My obesity continued into my teenage years and stripped me of my self-confidence.
I became anxious whenever I was around other people – I continuously found myself thinking that those people only had terrible thoughts about me.
I considered myself fat and ugly.
I had a difficult time socializing, standing up in the classroom and talking in front of the class, and I frequently withdrew from many activities due to my lack of self-confidence.
By the age of 17, I started to experience adverse health effects due to my weight.
I couldn’t take this anymore and decided that a change had to be made.
Time To Make A Change But It Wasn’t Easy…
Unfortunately, I soon discovered that losing weight is not as easy of a task as I initially thought. My idea of losing weight was to adopt a better diet, do some exercise and the weight will just start to drop.
I even reached for fat burning supplements and appetite suppressants. I frequently lost some weight while on a diet or while taking supplements, but then the weight just crawled its way back into my body.
I started to do research – and a lot of it, I might add. I discovered that there are certain “lifestyles” that involve completely changing your approach to nutrition and eating.
I soon learned about the Ketogenic diet, also simply referred to as the Keto diet.
After reading up on how this lifestyle works and how it could benefit me, I decided to give it a try – and this was probably the best decision I have made in my entire life.
Today, I am healthy, and I feel great – no more obesity or being overweight.
I have gained the confidence I need to step out into the world, socialize and tackle all of the challenges that life throws my way head on.
I have even introduced the Keto Diet to my family, and they have all just loved the transition from their unhealthy lives toward a Ketogenic Lifestyle.
I am here to share with you some important information about this amazing Ketogenic or Keto lifestyle that I, myself, along with my family, have adapted to.
I will tell you everything that you need to know, including what you can eat, what benefits you can expect, and more – this will help you decide if the Keto diet is the right option for you.
What Is The Keto Lifestyle?
We should start considering what exactly a Keto lifestyle is and what exactly the famous Keto diet is.
The idea of the Keto diet is to reset the way you plan your meals completely.
The average person tends to focus on gaining their energy from carbohydrates.
While this is normal, considering the fact that carbohydrates are the primary source of energy that the body utilizes for a number of different functions, including to ensure that you can get through the day, enjoy some time at the gym, and exert mentally challenging activities.
With a Ketogenic diet, you focus on reducing your carbohydrate intake significantly so that your body does not resort to the use of carbohydrates in order to produce energy. Instead, a Ketogenic diet rather places a focus on producing energy from fat sources.
The Ketogenic diet consists of three essential factors that you need to take into consideration:
- Low intake of carbohydrates.
- Moderate intake of proteins.
- High intake of fats.
I’ll be honest – adopting a Ketogenic lifestyle takes time, patience and effort.
Your existing diet has made your body used to resort to carbohydrates in order to produce energy.
When you transition toward a Ketogenic lifestyle and adopt the Keto diet, then you will first need to train your body to stop using carbohydrates and rather resort to fats as a source for the production of energy.
To better understand how this all works, we need to take a look at what happens when you reduce your intake of carbohydrates and increase your intake of fats.
Normally, you eat foods that are relatively high in carbohydrates – your body then turns the carbohydrates into glucose, which is transported through your body with the help of insulin, a substance produced and excreted by the pancreas.
When you continuously consume carbohydrates, your blood glucose levels spike and, eventually, you become at risk of developing insulin resistance.
This can, in turn, lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
At the same time, the body isn’t using any of the fat stores and turning it into energy, since you are supplying your body with a constant supply of carbohydrates.
It is also important to consider the fact that excess glucose is now converted to fat and then stored in the body, leading to excess weight gain and further contributing to obesity.
With the Ketogenic diet, you stop this entire process.
Your body does not have enough carbohydrates to use for the production of energy, which cause the body to go into a state called “ketosis.”
When this happens, your liver starts to produce a substance known as ketones – once your liver produces ketones, your body starts to resort to these ketones for energy instead of carbohydrates and glucose.
Ketones are the result of the liver breaking up fat – this, in turn, causes your body to be turned into a fat burning machine.
Is There Any Scientific Evidence Behind The Keto Lifestyle?
Looking at scientific evidence behind the Ketogenic lifestyle is vital.
Fortunately, unlike many of the other “lifestyles” and “diets” out there – the Keto diet holds quite an impressive number of scientific studies to provide solid evidence of its effectiveness in regards to improving health, losing weight and benefiting the body.
Let’s consider some of the studies that have been conducted to provide an overview of whether the Keto diet is not only effective but also a safe lifestyle.
- One study noted that the introduction of a Ketogenic diet has benefits in regards to type 2 diabetes. The study also noted improvements in obesity, with a lower body weight reported amongst individuals following a Ketogenic diet as compared to some other diets.
- One study provides evidence that the use of a Ketogenic diet can offer improvements in body composition. The same study also found that a Ketogenic diet provides improvements in the overall well-being of participants.
- A recent study found that a Ketogenic diet might help to inhibit the growth of tumor cells. This study was conducted on animal models but has opened up an opportunity for further research to be conducted on human subjects.
Types Of Keto Diets
The general idea of a Keto diet is beneficial for many ailments, especially among obese individuals, but one thing that you may notice when you start investigating the Ketogenic lifestyle you may notice that there are different types of Keto diets that you can follow.
There are three primary types of Keto diets that you can choose from when you decide to adopt a Ketogenic lifestyle. Let’s take a look at each of these options to help you decide which would be best for you.
- Standard Keto Diet – The most popular option when adopting a Ketogenic lifestyle is the standard keto diet. This is a very simple option that simply involves lowering net carb intake per day to a level that falls between 20 grams and 50 grams, which depends on a number of factors related to your individual traits.
- Targeted Keto Diet – As the name suggests, this is a specific type of Keto diet that involves following a stricter plan when it comes to diet and exercise. With the targeted Keto diet, you need to consume your carbohydrates around half an hour before you exercise – carbohydrates should be easy to digest and possess a relatively high Glycemic index. Fructose should be avoided as this would restore glycogen supplies in the liver, which is considered a negative factor when following a Keto diet. During the rest of the day, you will consume your proteins and fats.
- Cyclic Keto Diet – The third option when choosing to opt for a Ketogenic lifestyle is the cyclic Keto diet. With this option, you would plan your diet in cycles – on most days, and you would consume around 50 grams of carbohydrates on a daily basis. When cycling, however, or as it is called – “Carb-loading” – you would consume between 450 grams and 600 grams of carbohydrates during a 24 to 48 hour period. After this period has passed, you would return to your 50 gram carb days.
Looking for more foods that are on the Keto Diet plan? Read More
What Are The Benefits Of The Keto Lifestyle?
The popular Keto diet has many advantages that you can benefit from.
My body, weight, physical health and even my psychological well-being have all gained benefits from my transition to a Ketogenic lifestyle – so to help you understand why I am so grateful for discovering this lifestyle, let’s take a look at the top benefits of a Keto diet.
- Weight loss benefits – The fact that the Keto diet greatly helps to reduce body weight is the most important benefit that such a lifestyle and diet has to offer. Many studies have proven that the Keto diet helps to burn fat faster, but also safely – this is a major benefit as many diets in the modern-day causes you to starve your body, which is not a healthy way to lose weight effectively.
- Heart Health – Your heart also greatly benefits when you switch to a Ketogenic lifestyle. A Keto diet will help to lower your triglyceride levels. Additionally, this type of diet helps to increase levels of HDL cholesterol and reduces levels of LDL cholesterol.
- Neurological Health – A Keto diet can also help to protect your neurological well-being due to the neuroprotective properties that the foods consumed when following a Keto lifestyle possesses. A Keto diet also provides improvements in your mitochondrial function, further offering you the ability to maintain your neurological health.
- Fights Against Diabetes – Numerous studies have proven the prevalence of type 2 diabetes to be significantly lower among people who follow a Ketogenic lifestyle. This is because of the reduction in the release of insulin by the pancreas, as well as a better balance of your blood glucose levels.
Foods That You Can Eat When Adopting A Keto Lifestyle
One of the most important adjustments you will have to make when it comes to transitioning from your current diet to a Keto diet is the changes in what you eat and what you do not eat.
With a Keto diet, you place a larger focus on fats and reduce your consumption of carbohydrates.
First of all, as much as 80% of your new diet should consist of foods that are high in healthy fats. Ideally, you should obtain these fats from food such as:
- Olive oil
- Grass-fed butter
- Palm oil
- Coconut oil
You should also ensure you consume a steady amount of proteins, as this plays an important role in a Keto diet. Foods that are good options when it comes to including protein in your diet include:
- Wild-caught fish
- Full-fat dairy (hard cheeses
- Macadamia nuts
- Sunflower seeds
You should also make sure you eat vegetables that are not considered starches.
This includes broccoli, spinach, kale, zucchini, cucumber, asparagus, and more.
You can also include blackberries and raspberries, as well as other berries that do not have a significantly high Glycemic index rating.
When it comes to sweeteners, it is vital to stay away from things like refined sugars. Rather opt for options such as erythritol and stevia.
These are options that can help to sweeten your coffee, for example, without adding to the total glucose that will be produced in your body.
While there are many foods that you can include in a Keto diet, there are also some food options that you need to stay away from. Any food that will add too many carbohydrates to your daily diet should be restricted significantly.
Foods that are high in carbs and sugar should be avoided – if you do opt for these, remember that only a small amount of your daily food intake should consist of carbohydrates.
Refined sugars, maple syrup, agave, and honey are all sweeteners that should be avoided. Grains, such as cereal, rice, wheat, and corn, are all high in carbohydrates – you should avoid these too.
Other foods that need to be avoided on a Keto diet include certain fruits, such as oranges, apples, and bananas.
Tubers, such as yams and potato, are also considered to be on the list of foods to avoid.
Maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy body can be difficult when you are used to living an unhealthy life.
Obesity eventually starts to take over your entire life, causing depression and many physiological health effects.
By transitioning to a Keto Lifestyle, you can achieve a state where your body goes into a fat burning mode.
The Keto diet is also known to offer a number of additional benefits, including better mental alertness, higher energy levels throughout the day and more.
Just like I have achieved a healthier overall life through the adoption of a Keto diet, you can too – the information I provided here offers you a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know about a Ketogenic lifestyle.
If you are looking for more valuable details on the Keto Diet and want some excellent recipes that you can get started with, then be sure to take a look at the Ketosis Cookbook.