Posted on: 27 September 2017Share
The ketogenic diet is an increasingly popular option for people who want to shed excess fat while having satiating meals. If you are considering keto, there are ways to increase your chance of success.
Know Your Macros
The basis of the ketogenic diet is to eat low carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high fat, which will encourage your body to switch from using glycogen as a fuel source to using fat. There are may calculators to help you determine what your macros should be each day. Ideally, your carbohydrate intake should be 20g or less. The bulk of your carbohydrates should come from leafy greens and other non-starchy vegetables. It is best to choose fattier sources of protein to prevent you from consuming unnecessary protein, which will turn into glucose. Proteins such as salmon and beef are better options than leaner proteins, such as poultry. One way to increase the amount of fat in your protein is to cook it in butter or extra-virgin olive oil, or add high-fat dairy, such as sour cream or cheese.
To burn fat, you need to maintain a consistent diet and remain in ketosis. The longer you have been on a ketogenic diet the easier it will be to get back into ketosis if you slip up or have a cheat meal. Some people integrate exogenous ketones as a way to help them in the early phases of a ketogenic diet or to help them get back into ketosis after consuming carbohydrates. One of the advantages of trying exogenous ketones in the beginning of a ketogenic diet is it might help offset some of the symptoms associated with your body adapting to burning fat for energy. This is termed the "keto flu," and people typically feel tired and weak during this time. Adding potassium and magnesium supplements will also reduce symptoms. In the future, if you decide to enjoy a meal with carbohydrates, adding exogenous ketones should help you go back into ketosis as long as you promptly revert back to your low carbohydrate eating.
Experiment With Your Diet
Although the ketogenic diet can work well for weight loss and maintenance, strict keto is not always appropriate for your goals. For example, if you also have the goal of gaining muscle or will engage in extensive exercise, you may need to modify your diet to keep your body burning fat while meeting your goals. People who do heavy weightlifting and want to gain muscle may find they need to increase their carbohydrates to maximize their results. This might consist of increasing your carbohydrate intake to 50g-100g per day, and may be in the form of pre-workout carbohydrates to maximize performance. Other options include only increasing your carbohydrate intake on intense workout days, since you will quickly burn glycogen and it will not have the opportunity to be stored as fat.
Since no diet works well for everyone, keto is another option that could potentially help people who have tried to lose weight in the past and were not successful.