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Ketosis is a normal bodily process where fat is converted into compounds called ketones to be used as the body’s main source of energy. This process comes with lots of health benefits, and studies show that diets that promotes ketosis aids weight loss by suppressing appetite and burning fat. This is the idea behind ketogenic diet.
Also, newer studies show ketosis’ benefits for managing type 2 diabetes, neurological conditions, and more. With that said, how can one get to a state of ketosis? Simply cutting out carbs will not get you there. You will also need to use ketone test strips to ensure you can measure your ketosis level. Let‘s breakdown all the steps.
Minimize Carb Consumption
Cutting out carbohydrates is the first step to ketosis. In a normal condition, the body uses sugar (glucose) from carbs to convert into a source of energy. Glucose (in the form of glycogen) is stored in the liver and muscles. However, the human body contains cells that can also use other sources of fuel, like fatty acids (ketone bodies). In nutritional ketosis, you are allowing your liver to convert fatty acids into ketone bodies to be used as fuel.
The carb restriction differs from one person to another. Some may need to limit their net carbs (total number of carbs minus fiber) to 20g per day. Others may get to ketosis state even by eating twice as much. To get the right measurement, it is best to use a ketone test strip so you can closely monitor it.
A form of ketogenic diet called Atkins Diet suggests carbs restriction of 20g or lower per day for a span of 2 weeks can guarantee ketosis. After which, small amounts of carbohydrates can be gradually reintroduced to the body while maintaining ketosis.
Add Coconut Oil
Adding coconut oil while doing a keto diet can boost ketosis. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides a form of fat that is rapidly absorbed by the body and taken straight to the liver to be converted as ketones (for energy).
Also, coconut oil contains lauric acid. Some research shows lauric acid produce sustained ketosis levels as the body metabolizes them more slowly than other types of MCT.
When using coconut oil as part of your ketogenic diet, it is best to include them gradually. This is to minimize digestive side effects like diarrhea and stomach cramps. 1 teaspoon per day is the ideal way to start. Work up your way to 2 to 3 teaspoons a day for a week.
You can easily find coconut oil in local grocery stores or online.
Increase physical activity
More and more research shows the benefits of ketosis for athletic performance, especially for endurance exercises. Also, being more active helps the body get into ketosis state faster. This is because the body uses up stored glycogen. Normally, you replenish it by eating carbs and the body breaks it down and converts it to glycogen. When minimizing carbs intake however, your glycogen storage low. This triggers the liver to produce ketones as an alternative fuel for the muscles.
Ramp up your fat intake and eat ample amount of protein
Since the body needs fat as alternative to carbs, you need to supply your body with fat. The idea is to eat 60 to 80% of the calories from fat.
To maximize ketosis, you need to supply your body with protein. The liver needs amino acid (building blocks of protein) for gluconeogenesis (the process of making new glucose). The keyword is ample, excessive protein can be counterproductive for ketosis.
When in doubt, make sure to use ketone test strips so that you can ensure that your body maintains the state of ketosis.
Ketosis is a metabolic process within the body that offers numerous health benefits. When your body enters ketosis, it converts fat into a compound known as ketones. This becomes the body’s main source of energy. There are several studies that claim diets promoting ketosis are great for weight loss as it can also help to suppress appetite. More studies are being done to see the impact of ketosis for Type 2 diabetes and other neurological disorders.
Whether you are trying to lose weight or simply want to live healthy, here are 10 tips you can try to get started on a keto diet.
- Identify food items you can add to your keto diet. This is the most important thing you need to know before embarking on a keto diet. To give you an idea, you must incorporate food that is low in carb, moderate in protein, and high in fat. A few examples of the items you can add to your keto diet: healthy fat (such as lard, olive oil, butter, and coconut oil), fish and seafood, meats and organ meats, berries, and non-starchy vegetables.
- Be aware of the ‘keto flu’. When you switch to a keto diet (also known as low-carb diet), your body will feel moody, tired, or nauseous as it craves for carbs. This is part of the adjustment period since your body is used to consuming carbohydrates and after removing carbs from your diet your electrolytes will be out of balance. These symptoms will last for a week or two. You can cope with these symptoms by drinking more water as well as increasing your salt intake.
- Look at fat as fuel. When you cut sugar from your diet, your body will naturally turn to fat as its source of energy. Don’t be afraid to turn to healthly sources of fat like coconut oil, olive oil and butter.
- Consume more coconut oil into your diet. Coconut oil is one of the main food components of the keto diet. It is also a good source of lauric acid that enable your body to produce sustained levels of ketosis. It is also metabolized faster than any other types of fat. Slowly build up a the amount you add to food. Adding too much before your body is used to it can cause digestive discomfort.
- Get active. Diet is not the only way you can achieve a keto lifestyle. You need to ramp up your physical activity, too. Ketosis has been known to benefit athletic performance and endurance exercises. Exercise helps to increase the rate of ketosis production.
- Try short fasting. One of the proven ways to start a keto diet is to go without eating for a few hours. A common trick used by people who follow this diet plan is to go on a fast from dinner one day until lunch the next day, about 16 hours. Intermittent fasting is a dietary approach that is known to induce ketosis. An important note on fasting, though: do not go more than 5 days as excessive loss of muscle mass can be dangerous to your health.
- Get enough protein. Another element of your keto diet that you need to pay close attention to is your protein intake. Make sure you consume enough of it without being excessive. You need protein so your liver gets adequate amount of amino acids to produce new glucose. They are important for the organs in your body that does not rely on ketones as fuel. Once you have tested your ketone levels, you can make adjustments to your diet as needed.
- Use the Keto-Mojo Blood Ketone and Glucose meter. Testing both ketones and glucose can help you adjust your diet so you can stay on track and hit your goals. A new measurement used to help determine the effectiveness of your diet is the Glucose Ketone Index (GKI). Rather than just getting a snapshot of your data by testing a single test, combining the two measurements gives you a better overall picture of your health.
- Build a meal plan. To increase your success at keto diet, you need to create a meal plan for lunch and dinner. This will decrease the chances of eating non-keto food items. You can even prepare your meals ahead of time and freeze them to be consumed later.
- Personalize your diet. This is one of the great things about the keto diet is that it involves a lot of self-experimentation. It is an exciting field that has seen a lot of growth over the past few years. Therefore, it is important to take the keto blood test to ensure that your target is being met.