Welcome back to Axis Labs’ two-part series on the keto diet plan for beginners. If you missed part one, you can find it here. To get you caught up, we covered what ketosis is and how it works to help you lose weight. We also explored why the diet is so popular and even offered four fast ways you can get your body to enter ketosis. In part two, we’ll explore some of the more technical sides of the ketogenic diet, as well as offer you some guiding principles on what to eat and how to maintain your health while on the ketogenic diet. Of course, you can always make your ketogenic diet journey easier by using our line of keto supplements, products that are designed to help you enter and maintain ketosis so you can burn fat faster and longer.
What does a Ketogenic Diet Look Like?
When it comes to following a ketogenic diet, it’s all about limiting carbs and increasing your fat intake. Ultimately, you want to lower your blood sugar and insulin levels, while focusing your body’s metabolism on the fats and ketones it has stored instead.
Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet
So what does a low-carb, high-fat diet look like? It’s actually pretty simple and doesn’t limit your culinary options all that much. You can readily divide it up into an "eat this, not that" type chart:
Foods That Fuel ItYour body craves healthy fats during ketosis, so you’ll want to offer it plenty of those. You should be consuming foods like:
- Vegetables with low-carb concentrations, like tomatoes, onions, peppers, and other green vegetables
- Butters and creams
- Unprocessed cheeses
- Red and white meats like beef, chicken, and turkey
- Salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
- Nuts and seeds
Foods to AvoidOf course, while you’re offering your body all those delicious foods above, you’ll want to stay away from these equally delicious, but carb-rich foods:
- Sugar laden foods like soda, fruit juice, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
- Most fruits, except for small portions of berries
- Beans and legumes
- Diet products and low-fat options, as these are often high in sugars
- Vegetable oils, mayonnaise, and other processed oils
- Grains and starches, like breads, rice, pasta, and cereal
- Potatoes, carrots, and other root vegetables
These foods are all high in carbohydrates, and even small portions of them have the potential to knock your body’s metabolism out of ketosis and rely again on carbohydrates for energy. This can undo your careful work and keep you from losing weight as quickly as you want.
What You Need to Know
So after all of this, what do you really need to know about the ketogenic diet? Basically, the ketogenic diet requires some changes in your lifestyle, and your experience may differ from your friends and family who are also on the ketogenic diet.
What are the Downsides?
The ketogenic diet has a lot of promise for helping you reach your health and wellness goals, but that doesn’t mean that it is free of downsides or issues. Some people who are new to the diet, or aren’t offering their bodies enough healthy fats will experience something colloquially called "keto flu." Keto flu can leave you feeling nauseous, dizzy, and with stomach pains. It can make it difficult for some people to stay on the diet when they start to feel bad just a few days after starting the diet. Fortunately, the cure for keto flu is fairly easy. By following the ketogenic diet carefully, and offering your body the micronutrients it needs, you’ll transition smoothly from processing carbs for energy to fats. There’s also a process called "ketoacidosis" that occurs when your body takes ketosis too far. Essentially, ketones build up in your blood and they become acidic. Those with diabetes are vulnerable to developing ketoacidosis if they aren’t taking enough insulin while on a ketogenic diet. If left unchecked, ketoacidosis can lead to a coma or even death. This can be avoided, of course, by following your diet closely and working with your doctor to make sure that you’re taking your medications as directed and testing your blood sugar levels.
Keto Necessitates a Lifestyle Change
Like most diets, the ketogenic diet does require you to reevaluate your lifestyle a little bit. If you’re coming off a diet that’s rich in carbohydrates from fast food, junk food, snacks, and extra helpings of dessert, the "restricted" food choices in a ketogenic diet may come as a shock. Unlike other diets, keto requires a little more dedication and concentration than others. You can’t simply hop on and off the ketogenic diet when you feel like it, as it can actually confuse your metabolism, leading to increased weight gain. The ketogenic diet requires you to be diligent about what your eating and when.
Keto Takes Time and Your Experience May Vary
We all want to watch excess weight melt off our bodies, but until the researchers at Axis Labs develop the perfect formula for this process, you’ll have to stay patient and stay on the ketogenic diet. Don’t expect to start seeing dramatic weight loss right away. Not everyone is going to find weight loss success following the ketogenic diet, and they might have different levels of weight loss. That’s no reason to be discouraged, of course. In some cases, individuals may experience more pronounced weight loss when they first start the diet, but that is likely because they have more weight to lose. It’s also important to keep in mind that "slow and steady wins the race." Measured weight loss is more effective than rapid weight loss and is more likely to result in a permanent change in weight.
Keto Affects Your Workouts
As a leading researcher and provider of sports nutrition supplements, Axis Labs is focused on providing you products that help you make the most of your workout. However, the ketogenic diet can have an immediate impact on your workouts, and not always in a good way. When you first start the ketogenic diet, your body is still used to burning carbs for energy. When you take those away, your body has to scramble to find new sources of energy. Suddenly, the sets you used to rip through or the long runs you used to take are a little harder. Studies have found that new adopters of a keto diet experience a decline in their high-intensity workout performance. However, once you’re adjusted to the ketogenic diet, it can actually help improve your strength, endurance, and focus. One study found that utilizing exogenous ketones in your diet not only limits your body’s need for carbs, but also "increase post-exercise glycogen replenishment, decrease proteolysis, and act as metabolic modulators and signaling metabolites," which basically means that you can push your body harder, longer.