“Keto” in ketogenic diet comes from the term “ketones,” the name of small fuel molecules found in the body. This is considered an alternative source of fuel for the body, which gets utilized when blood sugar is insufficient. These ketones are produced when you eat a small amount of carbs, generally the main source of blood sugar as well as moderate amounts of protein (Que, 2017).
Keto diet usually goes neck and neck with Atkins diet especially that both follow carbohydrate restriction. One major difference between the two though, is the amount of protein that you’re supposed to take in. While keto limits protein to approximately 20 percent of your daily calories, Atkins has no cap (Lawler, 2018).
Going for a keto diet involves drastically reducing one’s carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. Such reduction in carbohydrate consumption puts the body in a metabolic state called ketosis.
In general, the body runs very well on glucose, which is produced when the body breaks down carbs. But when you cut back on carbohydrates or you simply have not eaten in a while, your body will look for other sources of energy to fill the void. Fat is normally that kind of source. When the blood sugar drops, fat is released from your cells and floods the liver, turning all its components into ketone bodies. This will then trigger your body to use it as energy source (Sharp, 2017).
The keto diet was initially developed sometime in the 1920s to help treat children with epilepsy. Since then, researches have linked it to weight loss, which eventually made people, even without a history of seizures, jump into the bandwagon. People on low-carb diets are said to lose more weight, faster, than those people on low-fat diets, even when the latter are actively restricting calories. One of the possible reasons for this is because low-carb diets would tend to get rid of excess water from your body. Since they lower insulin levels, your kidney starts shedding excess sodium. Not only does ketogenic diet help you lose weight, but it also allows you to do so without getting too hungry.
There are different types of ketogenic diet. Standard ketogenic diet (SKD) is a very low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet. This typically contains approximately 75% fat, 20% protein, and about 5% carbs. On the other hand, cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, which means you will observe five ketogenic days, followed by two high-carb days (Mawer, 2018).
The third type of ketogenic diet is targeted ketogenic diet (TKD), which allows you to add carbs around workouts. As for the last type, high-protein ketogenic diet, this is similar to SKD but would entail more protein intake. The ratio is around 60% fat, 35% protein, and only about 5% of carbs (Mawer, 2018). Among these four, only the standard and high-protein ketogenic diets have been studied broadly. It is believed that cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced methods and could primarily be used by athletes or even by bodybuilders.
On keto, aside from tracking the amount of carbs you consume, you also have to make sure that you are hitting the right percentage of calories coming from both fat and protein.
A typical keto diet would mostly consist of meat (red meat, sausage, bacon, or turkey), fish such as salmon or tuna, butter and cream, cheese, healthy oils, eggs, as well as low-carb vegetables like onion or pepper. This select list leaves out carbohydrate-heavy food like beans, rice, cereals, and potatoes. Sugary food should also be reduced or eliminated, and this includes soda, ice cream, candy, as well as fruit juices or smoothies. Alcohol must be avoided as well since there are many alcoholic beverages that can throw you out of ketosis because of their carb content.
As it can be quite challenging to prepare and cook keto-friendly food, you can opt to have your meals prepared and delivered to you instead. KetoLivingPH, founded in July 2017, offers a wide range of subscription plans for their ketogenic food delivery service. Their subscription plans include a “weekday meals only” plan, “basic XL – weekday meals only,” which means 3 meals more servings but no snack, and “weekday meals plus weekend meals.”
For its “weekday meals only” offering, you can choose from a five-day meal up to a 120-day meal option. The price starts at PHP1,950 for five days, PHP3,900 for 10 days, PHP5,700 for 15 days, PHP7,400 for 20 days, PHP14,400 for 40 days, PHP21,000 for 60 days, and PHP39,600 for 120 days.
If you prefer to have keto-friendly meals that also come with a keto snack, you may consider availing a Ketoliving PLUS meal plan since it consists of 3 meals plus a snack. You may order for five days only or up to 60 days.
Although the ketogenic diet is generally safe for healthy people, it is important to take note that there may also be some initial side effects while your body adapts to it. Keto flu usually occurs over within a few days once you start the diet. It is the byproduct of the body adjusting to a much lower carb intake as it depletes stored glucose. This may include poor energy as well as mental function. You may also feel increased hunger and sleep issues. In order to minimize this, you may try a regular low-carb diet first within the first couple of weeks. This may help teach your body to burn more fat before you jump into completely eliminating carbs.
A ketogenic diet may also change the water and mineral balance of the body, which means that you may have to increase your water intake and supplement electrolytes. You also have to make sure that you read nutrition labels and ingredients lists. There are a lot of products out there that may actually have hidden carbs and sugar inside.
Adding in light or manageable exercises during the day will also be beneficial for you. However, if you are already working out, you also have to make sure that you do not over-exercise.