Do You Even Low Carb? A Beginner’s Guide to Keto

Ketogenic Diet Plan For Beginners: What Is Ketosis And How Does It Work?

The term “ketosis” refers to the condition where your body produces less glucose than it uses up. This is why you feel hungry when you are not burning enough calories. Your brain does not like this situation because it requires energy to function properly. When your blood sugar level falls too low, your brain signals to your muscles to stop working. Your heart rate slows down and breathing becomes shallow. This is what happens when you do not have enough calories in your bloodstream.

How Does Ketosis Help Me Lose Weight?

When you burn fewer calories than you consume, fat cells begin to shrink and empty out. Fat cells release hormones called lipases which break down fats into smaller molecules such as fatty acids (FAs). FAs are used for energy and stored in your liver or muscle tissue. If you do not eat enough calories, then your body will use these stored FAs to fuel itself. However, if you burn off excess calories from protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats instead of storing them as fat, then your body burns off more calories than it consumes and stays at a stable weight.

What Are Some Benefits Of Ketosis?

Ketogenic diet can help you lose weight, improve your overall health and is an effective treatment for epilepsy. To understand how, let’s look at how the body breaks down carbohydrates:

1. Glucose

Glucose is the simplest form of sugar and is typically derived from carbohydrates. Your body uses glucose for energy, which is why you feel more active after eating a candy bar or drinking a can of soda. Without glucose your body would not have the energy it requires to continue working. Your body converts glucose to energy by breaking it down through a process called glycolysis.

2. Glycogen

Some glucose is stored in your liver as glycogen and some is stored in your muscles as glycogen. This stored energy is used when your body needs more fuel, such as during a long run or when you haven’t eaten in a while.

3. Ketones

But what happens if you haven’t eaten in a while?

If you haven’t consumed enough carbohydrates, your liver begins to break down glycogen into a different kind of sugar called ketones. Your body can then use these ketones as fuel. This process is known as ketosis. When your body switches from glucose-based metabolism to fat-based metabolism, that’s when you begin to burn fat instead of carbohydrates.

The good thing about ketosis is that it proves that your body has an unlimited supply of fuel if you learn how to access it. The bad news is that most people do not know how to achieve this properly and end up gaining more weight.

What Are The Different Types Of Ketogenic Diets?

There are several types of Keto diets that you can try at home. You may find one that suits your lifestyle better than the others.

1. Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): The SKD is the most common type of Ketogenic diet.

This diet includes 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrate.

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2. Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): The TKD is similar to the SKD, except you consume carbs around your workouts.

3. Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): This is a mix of the SKD and TKD.

You follow SKD until you hit a weight loss plateau, then you use TKD to break it.

4. High-Protein Ketogenic Diet (HPKD): This diet includes 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbohydrate.

5. High-Protein, Low-Carb Diet (HPLCD): This diet includes 35% fat, 45% protein and 20% carbohydrate.

6. Calorie-Restrict Ketogenic Diet (CRaKD): The CRaKD is similar to the SKD, except you restrict your calories before starting the diet.

7. Glycogen-Loaded Ketogenic Diet (GLKD): This diet includes 0.

8 grams of carbohydrate per pound that you weigh.

What Are The Benefits Of Ketosis?

There are several benefits to the Keto diet. Some people use it for medical reasons while others use it to lose weight rapidly. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of the diet.

Pros:

1. Weight Loss: One of the main reasons people chose to follow the Keto diet is because it helps them shed pounds quickly.

Since your body has no carbohydrates to break down into glucose, it begins to burn fat for energy instead.

2. Mental Clarity: Another benefit of the Keto diet is that some people experience an increase in mental clarity while on the diet.

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Your brain still requires a certain amount of energy to function properly. Normally, this is obtained from glucose. But since the body has converted to burning fat instead of carbohydrates, your brain has access to more energy, which leads to a clearer mindset.

3. Epilepsy Treatment: One of the most popular uses of the Keto diet is as a treatment for epilepsy in both children and adults.

Since the Ketogenic diet was first designed as a way to control seizures, it’s one of the best treatments available for people with this condition.

4. Lower Blood Sugar: For people with type 2 diabetes, the Keto diet can help to lower blood sugar levels.

Cons:

1. Weakness And fatigue: The first few weeks of the diet can leave you feeling a bit week and fatigued for the first few weeks.

This is normal and should go away after your body becomes accustomed to its new fuel source.

2. Bad Breath: The ketones that are released when your body is in Ketosis smell a bit, and many people find this unpleasant.

3. Electrolyte Imbalance: When you switch your body’s fuel source from glucose to ketones, you also change the balance of electrolytes in your body.

This can lead to symptoms such as muscle cramps, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and constipation.

4. Weight Gain: While it’s true that you will lose weight rapidly in the first week or two of being on the diet, many people find that the weight loss tapers off after this period.

This is because your body has adjusted to the diet and is better able to adapt and burn both fat and carbs.

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5. Vitamin Deficiencies: Since the Ketogenic diet severely limits the amount of food that you are eating, you are also likely to become deficient in certain vitamins and nutrients.

It is essential to take multivitamins while on this diet so that you don’t suffer from any deficiencies.

6. Ketone Breath: As your body burns fat for energy, a byproduct called ketones are released.

Your breath may have a distinct smell. This isn’t considered a serious side effect, but it may be hard to cover up the smell if you have a meeting at work.

Should I Follow The Keto Diet?

The Keto diet is perfect for people who are looking to lose weight quickly and efficiently while still feeling satisfied and keeping their energy levels up. It’s important that you stick to the diet though and avoid carbs. If you aren’t athletic or really active, then this diet is probably not a good idea for you.

The best results from the Keto diet are accomplished by combining it with exercise. If you work out during the week, then going hard on the weekends may not be a problem for you. Still, you should make sure to take care of your body and not over train.

The most important part of the Keto diet is your mental state. If you aren’t in the right mindset, then you may not succeed. Stick with it, and remind yourself that this is only temporary and that you will benefit greatly from this diet.

Talk to your doctor before making any major lifestyle changes.

Keto One Month Progress

I’ve been on the Keto diet now for about one month and have been documenting my progress. I am down 12 pounds in this first month. I can honestly say that I feel much better, have more energy and don’t feel as hungry all the time.

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I know that weight loss isn’t the only factor when it comes to health, but it is a big one. Many people gain a lot of weight during the Winter months and then struggle to get rid of it. You can lose this weight without starving yourself or spending every weekend on the treadmill.

The Keto diet has been proven over and over again to help you lose weight while maintaining muscle mass. It is a healthy way to get your body into an efficient state where it is burning fat for energy instead of carbs.

You can eat more fat on this diet than you might think and there are even healthy sources of carbohydrates that you can eat on this diet. There are also things you need to avoid, but those you can have in moderation as long as you keep your carb intake low.

My check-ins with my doctor go much better, and I get a clean bill of health every time. I have more energy and less aches and pains. I can’t wait to keep on this journey and see what the next month brings.

I’m still not sure if I am going to start exercising though since that is something that you should do on this diet. I’ll have to think on that a little more.

My biggest suggestion for anyone who is starting this diet is to keep your mind strong. Many times you will be offered food that you can’t have and it’s very easy to break down and have just a little. Don’t do it. Stay strong and you will be able to reap the benefits in no time.

You May Also Like:

The Complete Guide To Fat Burners

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Do You Even Low Carb? A Beginner's Guide to Keto - Image

3 Common Ketogenic Myths

Sources & references used in this article:

The Ketogenic Diet-A Beginners Guide by E Elman, L Richer – blog.medisys.ca

Dear Mark: Does Low-Carb Shorten Lifespan? by M Sisson – marksdailyapple.com

Beginners guide: When and How to Supplement With Ketones by MY STORY – shawnwells.com

Keto Calculator: The Simplest Ketogenic Macro Calculator by M Sisson – 2017 – Hardie Grant Publishing

The Pros and Cons of the Ketogenic Diet for Your Skin by HOKC Works – teamketo.com

Ketogenic Diet Considerations: Do We Need Carbs for Performance? by RM Lewis – 2018 – R&C Publishing via PublishDrive

A Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up a Summer Transformation Plan by A Vaughn – dermveda.com

How Long Does It Take Get Rid of Sugar Cravings After Going Keto? by K Cann – breakingmuscle.com