2018 is officially coming to an end! Which means the inevitable is looming just around the corner… New Year’s Resolutions. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to begin the journey towards a healthier, happier you.
While there are tons of different diets and healthy eating regimens to try, one is gaining serious popularity as the sexiest choice of all: the Keto diet.
You may have heard of it before or even pinned some recipes on Pinterest, but the Keto diet is more than just monitoring what you eat. When executed correctly, the Keto diet becomes a change of lifestyle, resulting in major shifts in your body’s metabolic functions. Basically, your body will begin to burn fat for energy, resulting in a leaner, healthier physique.
Sounds great, right? It is! But you’ll need to fully understand the process in order to reap the benefits. The Keto diet isn’t for everyone either, so keep in mind your health conditions, lifestyle, and dietary restrictions before deciding to dive right in.
To make sure that this diet is right for you, you'll want to know the lowdown on the Keto diet.
New Year’s Resolutions: Starting the Keto Diet
Before starting the Keto diet, you’ll need to understand what it is. Put simply, the Keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. Because you are no longer allowed to have carb-heavy foods for energy, the body becomes extremely efficient at burning fat for energy instead. Then, the body is able to produce ketones from the liver, which can supply energy to the brain, lower blood sugar and insulin levels, and more.
The Keto diet was first invented to treat patients with epilepsy. Since then, doctors have discovered its effectiveness for aiding in weight loss, treating type 2 diabetes, and lowering fat levels in the blood. It’s also a great option for people looking to cut carbs out of their diets in general.
Some groups that should avoid the Keto diet are pregnant women, type 1 diabetics, those with liver or kidney problems, and patients who suffer from eating disorders. Since the Keto diet is an extreme change in food intake, doing so with other pre-existing conditions can be dangerous.
Also, if you are taking any prescribed medications, you should check with your doctor before you start the Keto diet to make sure that it’s a safe option for you.
What the heck is Ketosis?
As we mentioned before, successfully implementing the Keto diet will result in the production of ketones from the liver. Ketones are water-soluble molecules that are released from the liver as a result of not having enough insulin in the body to use as an energy source.
Because the body needs a source of energy from somewhere, it has the liver turn fat into ketones, which are then released into the bloodstream as a source of energy. This cycle of the liver’s production of ketones is known as ketosis.
Achieving ketosis doesn’t happen overnight. Once you start the Keto diet, it can take up to 7 days before your body reaches this phase. If you’re looking to kick your body into ketosis faster, you can try a water fast (only drinking water), or a fat fast (increasing fat intake) over the course of a few days. You can test yourself to make sure you’ve reached ketosis by testing the level of ketones in a blood, breath, or urine sample.
Once you’ve reached ketosis, there are a couple things you’ll need to maintain in order to stay there. You’ll need to stay hydrated, keep carb intake super low (ideally 20 grams per day), and increase your fat consumption. Sometimes a short fast can be helpful here or there, such as skipping lunch and loading up for breakfast and dinner.
Living the Keto Life
The Keto diet is a commitment; You’ll have to adhere to its rules in order to actually achieve the benefits that the diet is recommended for. Keto dieters will always have to consume very few carbs, and rev up their fat intake. Don’t be surprised by how differently you feel after you start the Keto diet, because it’s a huge transition in food intake.
Thankfully, when you do decide to start the Keto diet, it doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your favorite foods. Yes, you won’t be able to gorge on cupcakes anymore, but a few ingredient swaps in your recipes can make your dishes keto-friendly. Stevia will become your best friend.
On your journey to ketosis, you may experience some less-than-desirable side effects. This phenomenon is known at the “keto flu,” and shows up as soon as you start the Keto diet. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, poor concentration, muscle soreness, and difficulty sleeping.
In order to combat this illness, you’ll want to load up on water and supplement yourself with nutritious foods. A great source of inflammation-fighting power is SUTRA Gold, which is keto-friendly and an awesome immune booster.
Some keto dieters also report a lack of vitamins and minerals in their diets, which can make you feel like crap when you start the Keto diet. It’s important to make sure that you’re supplementing yourself with things like iron, magnesium, and MCT oil to feel your best. Also, keep an eye out on your vegetable intake; Adding more leafy greens can really help with fatigue.The New Year is a time for new beginnings, and the decision to start the Keto diet could be a great first step on your health and wellness journey. With so many recipes and tips at your disposal, moving towards the Keto lifestyle has never been more achievable. Let’s make 2019 the healthiest year yet!