What is a Keto Diet?
Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy, so it will be chosen over any other energy source.
Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodsteam, by taking it around the body. Since the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed, and are therefore stored. Typically on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy.
By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis. Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories, but through starvation of carbohydrates. Our bodies are extremely adaptive to what you put into it – when you overload it with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the main energy source.
What Do I Eat?
To start a keto diet, you will want to plan ahead. That definitely means having a viable diet plan ready and waiting. What you eat really depends how fast you want to get into a ketogenic state. The more restrictive you are on your carbohydrates (less than 15g per day), the faster you will enter ketosis. Normally, anywhere between 20-30g of net carbs is recommended for every day dieting – but the lower you keep your glucose levels, the better the overall results will be. If you need ideas for food, there are plenty of keto recipes for you to choose from.
- There are a total of 6g carbohydrates in 1 cup.
- There’s also 2g of fiber in 1 cup.
- So, we take the 6g (total carbs) and subtract the 2g (dietary fiber).
- This will give us our net carbs of 4g.
|Spinach (Raw)||1/2 Cup||0.1|
|Bok Choi||1/2 Cup||0.2|
|Lettuce (Romaine)||1/2 Cup||0.2|
|Broccoli (Florets)||1/2 Cup||0.8|
|Cauliflower (Steamed)||1/2 Cup||0.9|
|Cabbage (Green Raw)||1/2 Cup||1.1|
|Cauliflower (Raw)||1/2 Cup||1.4|
|Collard Greens||1/2 Cup||2|
|Kale steamed||1/2 Cup||2.1|
|Green Beans steamed||1/2 Cup||2.9|
You want to keep your carbohydrates limited, coming mostly from vegetables, nuts, and dairy. Don’t eat any refined carbohydrates such as wheat (breads, pastas, cereals), starch (potatoes, beans, legumes) or fruit.
Dark green and leafy is always the best choice. Most of your meals should be a protein with vegetables, and an extra side of fat. Chicken breast basted in olive oil, with broccoli and cheese. Steak topped with a knob of butter, and a side of spinach sautéed in olive oil. If you’re finding yourself hungry throughout the day, you can snack on nuts, seeds, cheeses, or peanut butter to curb your appetite.
Know Your Macros
“Macros” is an abbreviated term of macronutrients. Your macros are your daily intake of “the big 3” nutrients: fats, protein, and carbohydrates. You can use the following calculator to see what your daily needs will be. If you exercise or want to see a more in depth explanation on how we are calculating this, you should use the full version of the Keto Calculator.