First of all what is ketosis? You have tried all the “healthy” ways to lose weight and you lost a lot of weight too. But you are not yet at your goal and whatever you try does not seem to be working anymore. You are eating right, you are working out, and you are drinking lots of water. Now what else can you do?
When you are at a plateau, you need to pull out the big guns to help you lose weight. The Ketogenic diet is one of those magic tricks that can put your body back into gear and jump start weight loss again.
Normally, our body utilizes carbohydrates that we consume to get energy for regular body functions. But when we are on a diet, our body produces energy molecules known as ketones from the fat present in our body. This process of burning a lot of fat to produce these ketones is known as ketosis. This method of weight loss is most effective because you do not lose much muscle mass, and instead lose more fat in a short amount of time.
The trick to put our body into ketosis mode is to avoid all sources of carbohydrates from rice, grains, sweets, potatoes and all those starchy food. You need to consume a controlled amount of proteins such as eggs, meat etc. but you should not overdo it as excess protein intake will spike your insulin level too. A way to feel full quickly is by ingesting high amount of fatty food, like using copious amount of butter in your meat or with your vegetables. Since you are not eating starch and consuming less amount of proteins, this will not make you gain weight, but instead will make you feel fuller. You can also consume certain vegetables that contain fewer carbohydrates to keep your hunger in control. More fat consumption will make sure you eat less and thereby reduces your protein and carbohydrate intake thus putting your body into optimal ketosis.
Since this diet messes around with your body’s normal functioning, you need to monitor the ketone body levels by using a Urinalysis for ketone bodies (which is basically strip you pee on, which changes colour according to the ketone bodies present in your urine).
You begin the diet with a 2 week induction phase by consuming less than 20gms of carbohydrates per day. You can continue this phase until you are within 10kg of your goal weight. You might feel lightheaded during this phase which is quite normal. When you are within 10kg of your goal weight, you can start increasing your carbohydrates intake by 5gm during each week till you reach your goal weight.
You will need to avoid caffeine, alcohol and other sugary drinks as they will increase the insulin levels, thus reducing the production of the ketone bodies. You should drink lots of water as ketosis often causes dehydration, so you need to drink more water than you ever did. Try drinking a glass of water before each meal to make you feel fuller.
You can consume a controlled amount of meat during this ketogenic diet, as meat contains fewer amounts of carbohydrates. In this diet, you need to consume both fatty and lean cuts, as too much fatty cuts can increase your cholesterol levels. You can consume all kinds of meat from fatty cuts of beef and pork to lean cuts of chicken and turkey breasts. Another best ketosis friendly food is fish like sardines that have fewer carbohydrates and pack all the essential nutrients.
Consuming oils such as olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil is a part of ketonic diet since these oils are high in fats and are often heart healthy along with being a staple of this diet.
Vegetables like lettuces, broccoli, asparagus, cucumbers, olives, peppers and artichokes and non-sweet vegetables like onions, turnips, Brussels sprouts, asparagus and zucchini are accepted whereas starchy vegetables like potato, carrots, peas etc. are to be avoided.
Although dairy is essential a part of this diet, since they contain fewer carbohydrates and are richer in fat, certain dairy products like milk should be consumed in moderation as the natural sugar present in it can hike the insulin levels as well. The accepted dairy includes butter, cream, sour cream and cheeses.
Read thoroughly on the diet. Make sure you do not have type-1 diabetes, liver or kidney related diseases before starting this diet. The best thing is to go to your physician and ask him for advice and also try to get a complete check-up done before starting ketosis for weight loss.
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