It’s no secret that food makes your body work. That being said, did you know that your body generates energy in multiple ways? Additionally, you can manipulate the body’s energy creation process in a lot of ways. The result of this manipulation can be a changed metabolism and even make your body use a different fuel source. Ketosis is one such process that changes how your body makes energy. If you eat different foods, you can switch your body’s main fuel source from glucose (carbohydrates) to fats and molecules called ketones. This is one particular method I guide clients through to experience healthy and successful weight loss.
If you’re on the keto diet, you eat very little carbs, a little protein, and lots of fat. That puts your body in ketosis. You eat ketogenic if you eat healthy fats mixed with a little protein and carbs. In this article I’m going to give you the nine simple steps to transitioning into a ketogenic diet.
Step 1: Stop Eating Sugar.
Sugar cravings affect everyone – myself included. Stopping eating sugar means every type of sugar. It doesn’t matter if it’s white or brown sugar. Just don’t eat it. Of course this includes cakes, pies, pastries and all the other goodies that are loaded with sugar. Stop eating honey, agave and other organic sweeteners because they are still sugar.
In addition to making sure adequate calories and macronutrients are consumed, one thing I often suggest to break this afternoon or after-dinner sweet habit is to replace it with a sweet herbal tea. It’s perfect for chocolate addicts. That’s the key! By drinking tea, the ritual can continue, but the sweets habit can be broken. There are naturally sweet teas, like apple spice and vanilla almond, that don’t have calories or anything artificial in them.
Step 2: Stop Eating Grains.
Grains are packed with calories! Plus grains are relatively low in vitamins and minerals, which are what most modern humans need.
While grains do contain vitamins and minerals, you can easily find them in other, more nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits, and meat. You eat a lot more of other, more nutrient-dense foods when you ditch grains, so you get a lot more vitamins and minerals.
Grains include: rice, millet, cornmeal, wheat, barley, oats and rye. Stay away from processed grains like cereal, bread and snack bars.
Step 3: Stop eating industrial oils.
Did you know that vegetable oils are not made from vegetables? The so-called “vegetable” oils are made from various seeds that weren’t meant for human consumption, and are formulated for industrial use while undergoing a lot of chemical processing so they can be poured. You can even deodorize them to mask a chemical smell. You don’t want that in your body.
This includes canola oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, grape seed oil , sunflower oil and all of the oils that are processed and made in factories.
Step 4: Eat Healthy Fat
Our bodies need fat, it’s essential to health, and it has an important role in hormone production and energy storage, while also keeping us insulated and protecting our organs.
Healthy fat foods include: Avocados, avocado oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, olives, olive oil, sardines, tuna, salmon, anchovies, macadamia nuts coconut and coconut oil.
Step 5: Don’t Forget Your Electrolytes and Salt.
Despite the keto diet’s nutritional completeness, it can make your body process electrolytes differently. Sodium is released from the body as carbs and insulin levels go down. Because of this, keto diets typically require extra electrolytes to stay balanced.
Different types of electrolytes are needed for different body functions. You need a good balance of calcium, sodium, and potassium to contract your muscles. You can get an electrolyte imbalance if you take too much or too little.
Himalayan pink salt is probably the best type of salt when you are on a ketogenic diet. It provides essential minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc. Pink salt also helps regulate blood sugar levels and balances your body’s pH level.
Step 6: Eat Whole Foods.
Ketogenic foods are low in carbohydrates, high in fat and low in protein. Whole foods are always best for your overall health and wellness. Whole foods include vegetables, meat and fish.
A diet made up of primarily whole foods will result in a diet high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals since they are not manufactured. They’re also not addictive since they don’t contain extra sugar.
Consuming whole foods isn’t just something you do for only a week. Since this lifestyle emphasizes eating healthy, real foods, those who switch from a conventional American diet high in processed foods and saturated fats may lose weight and become healthier.
Step 7: Walk Every Day
Walking is one of the best exercises for overall health and wellness. Walking helps improve your circulation, it reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart disease and also helps in controlling health issues such as high blood pressure, body aches and pains, diabetes and high cholesterol.
Step 8: Drink Water
More than 60% of the human body is made up of water, making it vital for life. In addition to keeping us alive, water also keeps our metabolism going. Humans have millions of cells, and each cell has millions of molecules. We all need water, but our kidneys and liver make sure any excess gets thrown away. Filtering and cleaning blood, reabsorbing water and nutrients are the kidneys’ and liver’s jobs. For cells and organs to work and have essential chemical reactions, they need water.
When you’re on a keto diet, dehydration causes you to lose water and gain weight. It’s essential to drink water every day. Try to drink 64 ounces of water every day.
Step 9: Don’t Cheat
Don’t cheat on the keto diet. During the first few days on the keto diet you may be tempted to cheat but don’t do it. After three to five days your body should adjust to the diet and your cravings should subside. If you do cheat, it can put you out of ketosis and it can take another week to get back into ketosis.
If you want to improve your health while eating foods you like, the ketogenic diet might be for you. You can also pair Keto with intermittent fasting for better results. Researchers are looking into this diet as fast as people are searching the web, so it’s likely that more and more keto research will be published in the near and far future, possibly providing even stronger evidence of its efficacy. It’s not perfect, but the ketogenic diet hasn’t been proven to cause long-term harm..
By knowing the benefits, risks, dos and don’ts, and armed with scientific research, you can make a ketogenic diet work for you.
Dr. Michael Kenny is the founder and CEO of Frankford Health Associates Aesthetic Medicine. He runs healthy-living clinics in Philadelphia, Feasterville, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania helping struggling Americans manage their weightloss journey so to life happy and healthy lives. Find his clinics online at www.wakeupskinny.com.