Are you thinking about going on a ketogenic diet? This popular eating pattern can help you lose weight and improve overall bodily functions. However, a huge question on your mind may be what you should be eating on a ketogenic diet to promote ketosis.
In this post, we will be going over:
- What ketosis is
- What you should eat to get into ketosis
- How ketosis affects weight loss
- Starting your journey into ketosis
What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a form of metabolic state that you can put your body in to turn fat into usable energy. The process happens when there’s limited access to glucose, which most commonly used as fuel for cells in the body.
The process of ketosis is often associated with the ketogenic diet, along with other low-carb diet variations. Additionally, the process also commonly happens during infancy, fasting, starvation, and pregnancy.
In order to get your body into ketosis, you need to eat less than 50 grams of carbs per day. Typically, this involves reducing intake of unhealthy food from your diet, such as sugary drinks, grains, and candy. Additionally, you might also need to cut back on carb-dense foods such as potatoes and legumes as well.
When on a low-carb diet, your hormone insulin levels will start decreasing, and large quantities of fatty acids are released from fat storage in your body. The majority of these acids are sent to the liver where they are turned into ketones, which can provide energy to the cells in your body.
What should you eat to get into ketosis?
Lower Carbohydrate Consumption
One of the most efficient ways you can get your body into ketosis is to lower your daily carb consumption. However, it can’t simply be a small drop; it has to be significant for your body.
The reason you should start cutting down on carbs is because this is why your body primarily uses for energy. Without this, your body has nothing else to use than proteins and fats. With fewer carbs in your body, fatty acids will be released, and your liver will turn them into ketones. Once they’re ketones, your body will start using them as energy.
As you’re starting ketosis, work on consuming as little carbs as you can. However, once you’re a few weeks in, you can increase your carb consumption a small amount. Also, on the plus side, a decrease in carbs can help decrease your insulin and blood sugar levels, which can help if you have diabetes.
Increased Healthy Fat Consumption
Consuming a healthy dose of “good” fat can increase your ketone levels and help your body reach ketosis quicker. Eating a low-carb ketogenic diet can help you reduce carb consumption and increase your fat consumption.
Although eating more fat doesn’t always mean high ketone levels, studies have shown that people who consumed more fat had similar ketone levels, rather than those who consumed less fat. Additionally, it’s important you work on consuming “healthy” fats, such as coconut oil, butter, tallow, lard, and avocado oil.
Maintain Your Protein Consumption
To reach ketosis, you must ensure you are eating enough protein, but not too much. Protein is needed to provide the liver with amino acids that are used in gluconeogenesis, or making new glucose. During this process, the liver creates glucose for the organs and cells in your body that are unable to use ketones as fuel. This includes your red blood cells, parts of your kidneys, and portions of the brain.
Protein is also necessary to maintain your muscle mass when your carbohydrate intake is low, and you are trying to lose weight. You need to ensure your protein intake is high enough to do this.
When losing weight, people usually lose both muscle and fat. However, by consuming enough protein while eating a ketogenic diet, you can maintain your muscle mass and maximize your physical performance.
Add Coconut Oil to Your Diet
Coconut oil contains fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which is what makes is so helping when trying to get into ketosis. MCTs are absorbed quickly and taken straight into the liver, unlike most other fats. This means that the fats can be used immediately for energy or be converted into ketones.
There is research to support this claim. For people with Alzheimer’s disease and other nervous system disorders, eating coconut oil is the most helpful way to increase ketone levels.
When adding coconut oil to your regular diet, it’s vital that you increase your intake gradually. Otherwise, you may experience digestive issues like cramps or diarrhea. Begin by eating one teaspoon a day and slowly increase it to two or three tablespoons over the course of a week.
How does ketosis affect weight loss?
Most people who are on the ketogenic diet are doing so to lose weight and increase their muscle mass. There have been countless studies that have found correlations between a ketogenic diet and increased weight loss.
One research study discovered that those on a ketogenic diet reported 2.2 times more weight loss than those on a low-fat, limited-calorie diet. Additionally, people on this sort of diet feel less hungry and fuller. This is a direct result of ketosis.
Starting your journey on reaching ketosis
Starting a ketogenic diet and reaching a state of ketosis isn’t very hard to do.
As long as you work on eating the right food and exercise daily, your body will start to burn fat into energy, rather than carbs. As you can see, this will help you lose weight and promote a healthier lifestyle.
Hopefully, with the help of this guide, you’re able to learn what you should and shouldn’t put in your body to reach ketosis. Additionally, we hope you can start using ketosis to curb weight gain you might be experiencing and fully understand the positive health implements of this eating pattern.
As with every health decision you make, it’s important to reach out to your doctor or fitness professional and make sure this is the right choice to be taking. Ketogenic diets aren’t for everyone and getting your body into ketosis isn’t always the easiest process.