Losing weight can really drive you crazy.
And while there are so many types of diet plan and supplements sprouting everywhere with a “Noticeable weight loss in just a week” promises, only a few are “noticeably” living up to their words.
Keto diet, in particular, have this strong reputation recognized by many. For most fitness enthusiast, keto diet is but a common word that provides real results to their weight goals. Combined with powerful exogenous ketone supplement, promises turn to reality.
But, first things first:
What is a keto diet?
Keto diet, short for ketogenic diet, is a popular diet plan with moderate protein, very low carb, and very high-fat food planning. It helps you shred stubborn body fats fast and many more studies linked Keto with amazing health benefits that fight or prevents diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cancer and so much more.
Ketogenically eating means cutting your intake of carbohydrates from 200g to 300g to only 20g to 50g every day, replacing missing carbs with fat. Drastically reducing carbohydrates activates the Ketosis state.
Ketosis happens when your body uses fat for energy fuel, instead of carbohydrates.
Like how cars use gasoline in order to run, our body needs calories for energy source. Our body’s main energy source is calories from carbs, leaving fats and proteins as options.
Normally, you consume more carbs than what your body needs in order to function for the next 24 hours. Unused carbs are stored as UNWANTED and HATED fats that build over time.
However, if you drastically cut the carbs in your diet, then the body will turn to Ketosis and will start using stored fats for energy, thus resulting in better body composition and health.
Weight Loss Benefits in Ketosis
1. More Fat Burn
Ketosis itself is the reason for burning fats. During ketosis, your body prioritizes stored fats as an energy source instead of carbs. This makes your body into an extremely high- fat-burning state.
2. Reduced Hunger
Again, keto diet is a high-fat diet. Being in ketosis controls your endocrine system in a manner that it reduces your food cravings increasing the CKK or cholecystokinin hormone’s activity. This hormone is usually secreted when you consume protein and fats and is responsible for regulating your appetites, stimulates digestion and delays emptying of the stomach.
CCK tends to decrease when you are calorie-deficit. This simply means that your weight loss diet becomes unbearable. However, a study suggested that being in ketosis state actually increase your levels of CKK even while in a calorie deficit diet. Thus, making keto diet a great way to stop binge-eating and curb your appetite.
3. Stabilized Blood Sugar
Ketosis mode can drastically increase your sensitivity to insulin leading to improved energy levels and better blood glucose control. With a keto diet, you are forced to eat high-quality sources of veggies, protein, and fats. This eliminates sugar spikes caused by a carb-heavy diet.
5 Common Ketosis Mistakes
1. Not Tracking Carbohydrates
Always keep in mind that:
A keto diet has a macronutrient breakdown of HIGH fat, MODERATE protein, and LOW carbs. You need to live with very low carb intake in order to achieve success with your keto diet. And the one rule you need to take seriously is to track, track, track since additional carbs can slip unnoticed.
As much as you want to completely remove carbs from your diet to ensure 100% keto diet success, that’s just not possible. Carbs are everywhere and your body needs it to survive. In general, carbs take 5% of your keto diet. However, the exact amount of how much you can take and still stay in ketosis differs in every individual.
Some of the factors that affect how your body makes use of carbs are:
- Your metabolic history
- Your overall lifestyle
- The carb type you eat
Using mobile apps such as MyFitnessPal is a good way to track your carbs intake. Such apps will help you see the exact amount of carbs and calories you eat.
2. Not Tracking Protein
Along with tracking your carb intake, you should also be mindful of your protein intake, For most people building lean muscle mass, protein is a must since it promotes muscle growth. However, too much dietary proteins lead to glucogenesis.
Right. Glucogenesis is when the body breaks down protein in order to create glucose. Glucogenesis significantly reduces your ketone levels, while spiking your insulin and pulling from your lean muscle. Such process alternately burns fat and protein for fuel that ultimately leads to the high levels of fatigue and the infamous “keto flu”.
In order to avoid such situations, you need to only eat moderate protein for your body to stay in fat burning mode. This means reduced muscle based meats and fattier cuts of meats you consume.
3. Not Consuming Enough Calories
If you think that it is easy to have low-calorie intake when you are trying to lose weight, then you’re wrong. While you stick to moderate proteins and cutting carbs, you will find yourself not having enough calories from the high fats you are left.
Struggling to eat enough calories from fat daily is not good over time. This is because low-calorie levels turn on your body’ starvation mode. This means that your body will start holding on to your body fats and will negatively affect your hormones and other bodily functions, particularly in women.
4. Not Testing Blood Ketone Levels
So, you learn how to properly track your calories, protein and carb intake. Is that enough? No. What’s next? Track your ketone levels and make sure that you entered and is staying in ketosis state after every meal.
There are 3 different ways to test your ketone levels. These are:
Blood testing is the most accurate and simplest way to check your ketone levels. It uses a blood meter to make a small prick on your finger and measures BHB levels in your blood. This is the most accurate test for measuring ketone levels since there are no factors that can dilute the results.
Using a ketonix meter, you can test your ketone levels with your breath. You simply blow into the meter and will show a reading based on the acetone (which are ketones that shows on your breath) level it detected.
This test is quite simple. You just pee on a stick, wait for a few moments, and read the strip for your ketone levels. However, urine ketone tests are unreliable. This is because they measure any excess or unused ketones in your body which spills over to your urine.
5. Not Considering Nutrition
Most people only think about the low-carb, high-fat rule of ketogenic diet.
“Low carbs? Crossed out. High fat? I’ll eat every high-fat food I see. That should put me to ketosis, right?”
Yes, it should!
However, you also need to think about the types of food you are eating and don’t just freely throw nutrition out of the window. If you want best results for your diet and to your health, think about the food quality and its nutrients.
EAT HIGH-QUALITY FATS
As I was saying, it is true that you can get to ketosis phase eating any high-fat food— whether it is low or high-quality food. However, eating low-quality fats is not healthy ketosis. You might reach your weight goals but you will end up paying for it in the long run and you will more likely feel really bad about it.
High-quality, healthy fats are necessary for proper hormone, brain and body functions. Because your fat intake covers the majority of your whole diet, specifically 80% of your diet, you should want it to be healthy and of high quality. These include:
- Wild fish
- Cold-pressed unrefined oils
- Grass fed, fatty meats
Avoid processed food such as cheese products, packaged sausages, and bacon.
DON’T AVOID THOSE MICRONUTRIENTS
Some veggies contain too many carbs that you might be afraid to even look at them in grocery stores. That’s understandable. However, you need those micronutrients. Here are some tips so you can add veggies to your diet:
- Steam veggies. This should shrink them down and allow you to eat a lot at once.
- Choose low-carb veggies. When eating them, add some fat. This should keep your fat proportion high, plus a nice boost of nutrient-dense plant matter. Also, fats are a good absorber of nutrients
- Create a fat-centric smoothie with vegetables such as spinach and kale.
Fiber is responsible to keep things moving along, thus, important for your gut health. So, if your diet is lacking vegetables, then you are also lacking in this area.
ADD FERMENTED FOODS
On the topic of gut health, adding fermented foods is another method you can do in order to keep your digestive system happy and chugging along properly. Here are some fermented foods you can have for 2 to 3 servings every day:
- Raw pickles
- Full-fat yogurt of kefir
Exogenous Ketone Supplements
After following every rule in a keto diet, you still find yourself questioning if it is really effective. Well, it is quite effective, alright. But maybe your body needs a little push to start seeing some weight improvements.
This is where exogenous ketone supplements may prove helpful.
First, let me define “KETONES”
During ketosis, you restrict yourself with carbs. After a long time of limiting carb intake, your liver will start to metabolize fatty acids. As a byproduct of such process, the body will synthesize ketones or ketone bodies. These ketone bodies served as a substitute energy source for the body.
EK, short for Exogenous Ketones, are ketone supplements. By definition, supplements are something that is added to something else in order to enhance or complete it. EK serve as a means of providing your body a deep nutritional ketosis.
Exogenous ketone supplements give your body an instant supply of ketone in order to utilize and help you reach ketosis quickly. It simply makes your transition to ketosis faster and less harsh.
5 Steps to Use Exogenous Ketones for Weight Loss
Nowadays, exogenous ketone supplements are undeniably hot weight loss products. Combined with a proper keto diet, your weight loss goals are close to becoming reality. Here are 5 steps you can follow to use exogenous ketones for weight loss.
1. Set your goals
Before you undergo any weight loss regimen, ask yourself this:
What’s your ideal weight? What is your weight loss goals?
Scale it to something practical and feasible. Don’t make goals that you know you can’t reach for the time being. After you reach that particular goal, then you can aim for something higher.
2. Make a Plan
Do not enter a keto diet without being prepared or not having any plan. Frustrations wasted time can be the end result of an unplanned keto diet. Plan what food you should eat, the exercises you will be doing and how will track your progress.
3. Use Ketones as tool
In case you are having a hard time losing weight, or you just want fast results, then invest in exogenous ketone supplements. Such supplements can help you transition to ketosis faster.
4. Track your Progress
Keto diet needs your tracking expertise. So you better equip yourself with tracking tools such as ketone level test, scale, camera for taking pictures of yourself every now and then, body measurements and mobile phone weight loss tracking apps.
5. Make adjustments
Perfect and smooth transitioning to ketosis is not applicable in a keto diet. You will experience sudden insulin spikes, cravings and others that can mislead your regimen. So, if needed, make changes and modifications in your diet and exercises in order to improve your ketone levels and ultimately lose weight.
Factors that Affect Weight Loss on Keto
Ketogenic diet guarantees weight loss. However, if you suddenly stop losing weight, see if any of the following could be the culprit and implement needed adjustments.
1. Eating too many carbs
Maybe you are eating more carbs than the necessary percentage. Or maybe there are some carbs secretly slipping in your diet. Whatever it is making sure to always monitor your carb intake so that your body will not return to utilizing carbs as the main energy source.
2. Eating too much protein
I have mentioned earlier that too much protein intake can cause glucogenesis. This pushes your body to use protein as the new energy source or constantly switching between protein and fat that can lead to “keto flu”.
3. Not tracking ketone levels often
You keep on saying that you are doing the “keto diet” but does not regularly check your ketone levels. So, how can you be so sure that you REALLY ARE in ketosis state?
4. Eating too many calories
Keto diet does not require to count calories since you are less likely to consume more than 5% of calories from carbs. However, if you find yourself having a hard time losing weight, then you might want to monitor your calorie intake and relatively lose small amounts of fats.
5. Not being mindful of the types of keto foods
Poor quality foods are filled with toxic and artificial ingredients. Such toxins increase the body’s toxic load and can greatly stress your body’s detoxification pathways where nutrients need to operate. Detoxification and biotransformation are nutritionally expensive and energetically costly processes. Depletion of nutritional reserves due to a heavier burden of cleaning toxic loads can offset some benefits you need for the keto diet.
6. Not eating real whole foods
While on a keto diet, are you sure that the foods you eat are whole foods? Be reminded that anything that is packaged can be full of hidden carbohydrates and other artificial fillers that can harm your health.
7. Eating too many nuts
While nuts are allowed in a keto diet, you need to know that not all nuts are equally made. Some nuts could be kicking you out of ketosis state.
8. Not incorporating fasting
Being on a keto diet also means incorporating fasting. This is because intermittent fasting is a sure way to break through weight loss plateaus.
9. Getting close to your goal weight
One good reason why the effects of your “keto diet” seem to slow down is the possibility of you getting closer to your goal weight. As you burn fatter, you become more and more energy deficit, so you might notice a slowdown in your fat burning.
10. Not getting enough sleep
Lack of sleep makes you fat. How? Not getting enough sleep slows down your metabolism, particularly your resting metabolic rate. It also disrupts dietary hormones and releases irregular amount.
Ghrelin (an appetite hormone), in particular, can be released in high amounts while lowering Satiety hormone levels, which leads to making you feel hungry all the time and forcing you to binge-eat.
Also, lack of sleep not only manipulates your appetite hormones but also pushes you to crave for comfort foods (carbs) like desserts and snacks with high carb, fat, and calorific value.
11. Being stressed out
It is important that you handle your stress levels during a keto diet. When stressed, the body’s adrenal gland releases high amounts of cortisol that triggers the “fight or flight” response.
When cortisol levels are elevated, the body also releases glucose into the bloodstream. As blood glucose increases, ketones decreases and vice versa. Insulin rising halts the fat burning process and removes you from ketosis for the next few hours and even days.
12. Adrenal or thyroid concerns
Before you undergo a keto diet make sure that your hormones are in good shape. Thyroid and adrenal issues can greatly affect any weight loss regime. So, better save yourself from frustrations and expectations and consult a specialist in order to treat underlying problems first.