A Week on the Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet first emerged as a treatment option for epileptic patients in the 1920s, but recently there has been a lot of buzz around keto being one of the ultimate weight loss eating plans. The idea is to manipulate your body into burning fat as its primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates or the converted glucose. To do this, you must get your body into a state of ketosis. This is a survival mechanism of the body for the liver to break down fats and create ketones in times of food shortage and starvation. This does not mean you need to starve, nor should you! By cutting out our carbs and foods which convert into glucose, we can force the body to enter metabolic ketosis. When we starve our body of glucose, it will convert fat into ketones which are then used for energy and the fat is no longer stored on our body. When you eat under you daily calorie burn, your body will resort to converting your stored fat into ketones for energy. This is when serious weight loss begins!
So, what does a week on the ketogenic plan really look like?
If you are giving this a try, we strongly advise you to do a little planning before you begin and start by purging your house of temptations. Your body will be screaming for glucose options, and your resistance will be as strong as the nearest bag of pasta! As the goal is full ketosis, the restrictive you are with your carbohydrates, the faster you will reach this state, but you still need a few carbs for certain body functions, so stay within 10-15 grams a day and don’t go over twenty. If you currently eat a high carb diet, start at 50 carbs a day and gradually work your way down to avoid too much shock to your system.
For the moderate amount of carbs you do consume, try to get them from vegetables, dairy products or nuts and seeds. Avoid all processed or refined carbohydrates such as any products with gluten, bagged chips and cereals or baked goods. You also need to cut all fruits other than berries, avocados, olives, coconut, lemons and limes and cut starches such as potatoes, beans or legumes. Keep it easy with no grains, sugar, tubers or fruits at the beginning.
So what exactly will you be eating?
Keto is not the ideal diet plan for vegans or vegetarians, not to say it can’t be done, but your nutrient intake could be very low, and a solid supplement regime would be necessary. Otherwise, you will eat 70% fat preferably polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats avoiding trans fats and being conscientious about the types of saturated fats you incorporate. Go for lean cuts of organic, grass-fed meats from beef, poultry, fish, bison, goat, lamb, pork, game meats, veal, etc., and choose oils like ghee, coconut oil or butter, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, MCT oil or macadamia oil. Choose from a large variety of nuts and seeds as a snack, but avoid cashews, peanuts and pistachios. You also want to pass on soybean, sunflower, grapeseed, hemp, flaxseed and safflower oils as well as margarine. Dairy should be eaten in extreme moderation.
Next, you want protein to comprise 25% of your diet and no more. This may be restrictive compared to what you currently eat, but too much protein can cause lower levels of ketosis. Your protein will be found in many of the same foods that are making up your fat consumption, and it is also in a variety of approved vegetables. With all the non-starchy vegetables to choose from, hunger will never be a problem. Try to choose vegetables that grow above ground like broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, kale, leafy greens, peppers, pumpkin, tomatoes and zucchini.
Lastly, 5% of your plate will be carbohydrates. Get creative with nut flowers like almond flour or enjoy an extra helping of cauliflower, asparagus, avocado or pumpkin seeds.
Now that you have a basis for your meals, consider what you’re eating and drinking outside of those meals. Opt for 4-6 liters of water per day to help control hunger between meals and cravings. This will come in handy when you also stop snacking! You want to balance out your insulin levels as much as possible and even begin to utilize some intermittent fasting, meaning eat within a certain window of time each day. The most common breakdown is fasting 18 hours, evening, overnight and morning and eating your meals during the remaining six hours.
The next step to effective keto is proper supplementation! Bone broth is an extremely beneficial add in on the keto diet as it helps prevent the keto flu, which is a collection of symptoms similar to having the flu that many people experience when they first start the keto diet. Bone broth will also help you retain lean muscle mass and skin elasticity as you lose weight and change your body. You don’t need to go stock up on bones and organs though. Check out the many flavors of Bone Broth from Terra Origin.
MCT oil will become your new best friend when striving to stay in ketosis. The oil is treated like a carb in the liver and converted into ketones, but it is then processed as a fat which give you more satiety. This means there are more ketones in your system which is more energy at the disposal of your cells which translates to less food cravings and increased metabolism. Try adding a tablespoon to your cup of coffee with 2 tablespoons of unsalted, raw organic butter for a keto coffee morning boost!
If you can’t stomach the idea of altering your morning brew, take a scoop of Terra Origin Keto Collagen MCT powder and a scoop of the coffee flavored Bone Broth Collagen for a double hit of ketogenic support and blend them up with a tablespoon of coconut oil, a cup of unsweetened almond milk, half of a frozen avocado and a tablespoon of raw cacao powder. Enjoy!