A ketogenic diet, or most commonly called as keto diet, is a very low-carb meal plan, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. This kind of diet has many potential benefits for weight loss, health, and performance, but also some potential initial side effects. A keto diet is similar to other strict low-carb diets such as the Atkins diet or LCHF (low carb, high fat) meal plan. These diets often end up being ketogenic more or less by accident. However, the main difference between LCHF and keto is that protein is restricted in the latter.
What is ketosis?
The word “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the case that it makes the body produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”. This word means to be an alternative fuel for the body, used when blood sugar or glucose is in short supply. Ketones are produced in many instances: if you eat very few carbs and only moderate amounts of protein; in the liver from fat.
A keto diet is designed specifically to result in ketosis. It’s possible to measure and adapt to reach optimal ketone levels for health, weight loss, or for physical and mental performance. There are lots of reviews about this diet plan, you can check their website here.
How to Achieve Ketosis
There are many things that increase your level of ketosis, according to Diet Doctor. Here they are, from most to least important:
- Restrict carbohydrates to 20 digestible grams per day or less – a strict low-carb diet. Fiber does not have to be restricted, it might even be beneficial.
- Restrict protein to moderate levels. If possible stay at or below 1 gram of protein per day, per kg of body weight. So about 70 grams of protein per day if you weigh 70 kilos (154 pounds). It might be beneficial to lower protein intake even more, especially when overweight, and then aim for 1 gram of protein per kg of desired weight. The most common mistake that stops people from reaching optimal ketosis is too much protein.
- Eat enough fat to feel satisfied. This is the big difference between a ketogenic diet and starvation, that also results in ketosis. A ketogenic diet is sustainable, starvation is not.
- Avoid snacking when not hungry. Unnecessary snacking slow weight loss and reduces ketosis.
- If necessary add intermittent fasting, like 16:8. This is very effective at boosting ketone levels, as well as accelerating weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal.
- Add exercise – adding any kind of physical activity while on low carb can increase ketone levels moderately. It can also help speed up weight loss and diabetes type 2 reversal slightly.
- Usually not necessary: Supplement MCT oil and/or Bulletproof coffee.
- Usually not necessary: Supplement exogenous ketones.