Six Major Concepts you need to know on Keto Diet
Right strategies can make all the difference in the world when it comes to reaching and maintaining ketosis. We can get a lot of advantage by understanding how our bodies react to and tolerate certain aspects of our diet and general lifestyle.
In this article we will talk about 6 major concepts that can help on your keto journey, or 6 major mistakes people make, depending on how you look at it:
Staying hydrated seems obvious, but most people are still not hydrating properly. We forget to drink water while getting caught up in our day-to-day routine or we don’t drink simply because we don’t feel thirsty and we assume that our body has enough water. Unfortunately this is not true.
As a general rule of thumb you should be drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water. Start with drinking at least 32 OZ in the morning after you wake up, then another 32-48 OZ before noon and the rest throughout the day.
Hint: Many people believe that all liquid drinks count as water when it comes to hydration. This is a common mistake, in fact, caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea are dehydrating. You should be drinking pure water to hydrate yourself efficiently.
A lot of people take excessive amounts of protein without realizing it. When you consume too much protein on keto diet, the amino acids are turned into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.
If you notice that you are out (or about to be out) of ketosis, you should really start paying attention at the amount of protein in your diet. It’s never the same for everyone and while some of us may require higher amounts of protein, others will do just fine with lower amounts. It all depends on your daily activity levels, workout intensity, kind of workout (resistance vs. aerobic) and weather your goals are to gain muscle or slim down. For example, if you do extreme resistance training and your goal is to shape your muscles, you will require more protein than if you were doing aerobics or resistance training to slim down.
Calculating proper protein intake is easy. If you are not too active during the day, you should take between 0.27-0.36g of protein per each pound of your weight. If you are exercising (no high intensity workouts), you may increase protein intake to around 0.45g per pound of the body weight. And finally, if you are doing high-intensity workouts, you should take between 0.45g and 0.72g per pound of your body weight daily. It’s always a good idea to start on the lower side, watch your ketones levels and then decide on increasing the intake.
We are usually informed that it’s very important to minimize our salt consumption. Indeed, when we are eating a high carb diet, our insulin levels are naturally higher and with higher insulin levels our kidneys retain more sodium which can result in greater sodium/potassium proportions.
When we get on a reduced carb or keto diet, our insulin levels are reduced, our kidneys retain less sodium which results in lower sodium/potassium proportions, thus requiring more salts in our diet.
When on low-carb diet, you should additionally take 3-5g of sodium that can be consumed through natural foods, salts (we recommend healthy, mineral rich salts) or supplemented. For the reference, each tablespoon (6g) of salt contains around 2g of sodium. KEYTO+B12 BHB Salts complex contains 930mg of sodium BHB per serving.
Every time we get stressed out, our body will produce stress hormones that will raise our blood sugar levels by releasing stored glycogen into the bloodstream. This could be fine when it comes to occasional or any kind of short-term stress that unfortunately most of us have to deal with regularly. However, if you suffer from chronic stress, you may find it hard or even impossible to reach and stay in ketosis. This does not mean you should give up – you could still implement a healthy lower carb diet, but at the same time you should really concentrate on lowering your stress and create strategies that will lead you to a less stressful, more relaxing life.
Hint: same basic principle applies to your sleep as well – not sleeping enough or sleeping poorly raises your internal stress levels and contributes to higher sugar in your blood. It’s always critical to get a good night sleep for overall wellness, but if you are consistently not getting enough sleep on ketogenic diet you may face some hard times staying in ketosis.
Intermittent fasting refers to a strategy of restricting food intake to specific time frames.
It’s essential to know that your success is not just determined by consuming enough fat, protein, and limiting carbs. How frequently and how much you eat are two critical questions that have a significant influence on your overall wellness.
There are two main approaches that most people take:
Eating windows – you can restrict yourself to certain time periods within a day when you consume food. For example you can eat between 5pm and 10pm and fast the rest of the day. Skipping meals, breakfast for example, could be considered a similar, but lighter approach. Eating windows are often referred by numbers, for example 18/6 would mean 18 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating.
Cleansing is a more advanced approach and it refers to limiting yourself from food for an extended period of time, usually 24 to 48 hours. Normally people cleanse one a week, once in couple of weeks or once a month, but it’s not recommended to start with cleansing right away. When you adapt to eating on schedule, you can try it for a short period – up to 24 hours and see how it works for you.
When it comes to intermittent fasting, you should always feel comfortable. This is not something that’s required as a part of keto diet but it’s a great way to reach and maintain ketosis.
Exercise is great for you regardless of the diet – it helps you maintain healthy body, it lowers risks of health disease, type 2 diabetes, boosts your energy levels and even improves your mood and mental clarity. Adding exercise to ketogenic diet allows you to combine the best of both worlds and benefit your health significantly.
Noteworthy, if you are doing high-intensity exercises that requires continues muscle activity you can increase your carbs intake and improve your performance without a risk of being knocked out of ketosis. Based on studies, when our muscles start functioning at high-intensity levels, they rely on sugar as the fastest energy source and only switch to ketones and fat after approximately 2 minutes of continuous exercising. If you are doing resistance training, for example, it could be fine to consume 30-50g of carbs an hour before the exercise (Targeted Ketogenic Diet). However, if you prefer low-intensity exercises such as aerobics or jogging, you won’t need these extra carbs. Ketones and fat are the best energy sources for all low-intensity activities.
So what’s the best kind of exercise on keto diet? The ones you enjoy and do regularly! Ideally it’s a mix of high and low intensity workouts, but the key here is to set your goals and consider low-carb diet effects on our performance. If your goal is to gain muscles, you should create a caloric surplus of 300-500 calories per day where most extra calories are from fat. If your goal is fat loss, you should create a caloric deficit of 300-500 calories per day. Always keep calories intake at the same level to achieve stable weight loss – you need to be patient as it’s not recommended to go over 1% weight loss per week for muscle retention purposes. For endurance exercise consider recommendations above (depending on the exercise goals), don’t change your carbs intake and see if your performance has changed comparing to what it used to be before starting keto diet. As long as there is no change, nothing needs to be done, but if your performance decreases, you may want to consume extra carbs or supplement with exogenous ketones before your training sessions.
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