Ketogenic diets have earned their reputation as a fast acting weight loss strategy for people looking to get lean. Despite the benefits of reaching ‘ketosis’, this method can be difficult to pull off. If you can do it, well done!
Here at Paleo we’re just a little too obsessed with sweet potato and paleo pancakes to go full ‘Keto’. That’s why we’ve come up with some tips to help you 2 a similar range of health benefits as those on the Keto Diet without having to sacrifice your lifestyle.
What is a Keto Diet?
Unless you have been stuck in a cave, we’re sure you’ve heard the word 'keto' or 'ketogenic diet' being bandied about.
Ketosis is a metabolic process that occurs when your body is low on carbohydrates. At this stage, the body switches its fuel source from carbohydrates to fat stores which are broken down by ketones. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on your body’s metabolism.
What are the Benefits of a Keto Diet?
Ketosis has been used scientifically & therapeutically for aiding the treatment of loads of things such as ADHD, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, MS, migraines, Autism, stroke prevention, metabolic syndrome management, and the list goes on. The benefits for the general population can be seen in weight loss, blood sugar regulation, satiety regulation and decreased food cravings, improved energy levels, enhanced blood flow, decreased inflammation and endurance enhancement.
What is Ketoacidosis?
Ketosis and ketoacidosis are often confused but the difference between these two physical states is crucial. Ketoacidosis refers to diabetic ketoacidosis and is a life threating condition resulting from high level ketones and blood sugar. Ketosis on the other hand is simply the presence of ketones and is not harmful.
How Do I Induce Ketosis?
Ketosis can be induced through a diet that contains a high intake of fat, a moderate portion of protein and very low amount of carbohydrates. Kicking your body into ketosis means restricting carbohydrates to such levels that this occurs and that can be highly variable depending on your personal carbohydrate tolerance.
Ketosis can be reached through intake of 50-100g of carbohydrates per day and could include:
- 1 cup of cooked rice
- 1.5 cups of oats
- 2 small sweet potatoes
The amounts can be adjusted lower for people who are sensitive to carbohydrates or increased higher for people with a better tolerance.
Can protein stop Ketosis?
Protein is important for preserving and building muscle mass, however eating excessive amounts of protein could also stop your ketosis. The amount of protein needed to reach ketosis is determined by your body weight and activity level.
So not only does a proper ketogenic diet need to be closely monitored, it can be pretty monotonous. This diet is tough for lovers of cooking, since it will require you to avoid a long list of amazing vegetables that are higher in carbohydrates than leafy greens.
Are there alternatives to the Ketogenic diets?
If you’re searching for alternative, fast acting weight loss diets, you can try adopting a Low Carb, High Fat diet (LCHF).
What is a Low Carb High Fat Diet (LCHF)?
The LCHF diet involves limiting intake of carbohydrates and incorporating plenty of natural fats from well sourced animal products, nuts, seeds, avocados and coconuts.
The key to the LCHF diet is eliminating grains, legumes and refined sugars.
What Foods Can I Eat on an LCHF Diet?
- Meats: Grass fed Beef, lamb, pork, chicken
- Fish: Wild caught Salmon, trout and haddock
- Eggs: Free range, organic & Omega-3 enriched
- Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots
- Fruits: Apples, oranges, pears, blueberries, strawberries
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds
- High-Fat Dairy: Cheese, butter, heavy cream, yogurt
- Fats and Oils: Coconut oil, butter, olive oil, cod liver oil
What Foods Should I Avoid on an LCHF Diet?
- Soft drinks
- Fruit juices
- Ice cream
- Gluten Grains
- Trans Fats
- High Omega-6 Seed- and Vegetable Oils
- Artificial Sweeteners.
- "Diet" and "Low-Fat" Products
- Highly Processed Foods
What are some LCHF Snacks?
It’s best to plan ahead if live a busy lifestyle. Some portable LCHF snack ideas may include:
- A banana
- Full fat yoghurt
- Hard boiled eggs
- Paleo Hero’s Trial mix
- A handful of raw nuts