At the beginning of a new year, many people like to make new year’s resolutions or set goals etc (don’t worry if you haven’t, it doesn’t mean you’ll have a terrible year). These, more often than not, include health goals.
It can seems like everyone’s talking about going keto, doing keto, eating keto, following the keto lifestyle, eating a ketogenic diet, getting back on the keto train….. and you’re thinking about trying this keto thing for yourself or giving it another go if you’ve already tried it.
Is it just eggs and bacon and oil or butter in your coffee?
Well it sort of can be but there are actually loads of variations of the ketogenic diet and soooo may opinions about what a ketogenic diet actually looks like. You just have to google keto to see that – standard keto, cyclical keto, vegan keto, dirty keto, paleo keto etc. I’ll let you head down that rabbit hole yourself.
So, I suggest first up think about why you want to try it.
Do you want:
- To lose weight?
- Gain better athletic endurance?
- Lose your afternoon slump?
- Improve your mental clarity?
- Manage your diabetes or epilepsy?
Research suggests you can achieve all of this on the keto diet, but it can be helpful to tailor your keto searches around the topics that apply to you to make sure you get information that fits with your goals. You can see from an earlier post why I choose keto.
When embarking on something like trying keto it can a bit of trial and error and it is different for everyone. There is no magic switch you can just turn on.
And of course, a quick disclaimer – when drastically changing your diet, it is always a good idea to seek medical advice. I am in no way a medical expert.
The basic idea of the ketogenic diet is that you eat very small amounts of carbohydrates, medium amounts of protein and get most of your daily kilojoules from fat, the standard aim for a strict ketogenic diet is usually a 5% carbs, 10% protein, 85-90% fat ratio averaging out to around 20g or less net carbs a day. A number of people follow a looser style of keto maintaining less than 50g carbs a day and then it can evolve into “low/lower carb” diets.
Carbs are the body’s preferred source of energy because they’re the easiest to convert but when we stop providing the body with carbs (i.e. eating them), ketones are produced by the liver from fat, and that is when you get into ketosis.
When you’re in ketosis, fat is used as fuel for the brain and body. Scientifically this is when your body is at its most efficient and is the whole point of the ketogenic diet. It varies dramatically from person to person in terms of how easy it is to get into ketosis and to stay in ketosis so please, as with any other goals or resolutions you make, don’t compare to others, it should be about your journey and about what you want to achieve.
Here are a couple of websites with lots of information about the science for those who want it but also about how to get started and a lot of recipe ideas.
There are many, many reasons to try out the keto way of life so if you’re not already living it, or you want to get back on the wagon, why not give it a go right now – there’s no time like the present.