Ketogenic diets are in right now, and you’ve probably heard a lot of people discussing their many benefits. But how do you start out on a keto diet?
Firstly, let’s explore what ketosis is. Your body’s preferred source of fuel is glycogen which partly comes from protein (known as gluconeogenesis) but mostly from carbohydrates. Most of the time your body will only use this for energy, but going on a ketogenic diet changes this.
With keto diets you are restricting yourself to less than 50g of carbs per day (or 5% of your calories). This lack of carbs means that your body will have much less glucose to convert into glycogen.
After 3-4 days of following this you will enter ketosis. This is where the liver produces ketone bodies and releases them into the blood. During ketosis your body uses these ketones instead of glycogen for energy.
Doing so has many benefits, particularly for people looking to lose body fat while maintaining muscle mass. There is also a medical use for ketogenic diets, with epileptics being recommended to go on it as it seems to help with seizures.
To enter ketosis you should be eating 5% carbohydrates (or less), 20% protein, and 75% dietary fats. Following this diet for 3-4 days will help you enter ketosis.
You can also take exogenous ketones such as ketone salts to speed up the process slightly. They also help function as added energy for workouts instead of carbs.