People are very self-deceptive when it comes to dieting and it grows even more with the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet or keto diet has become one of the hottest trends due to all the new research showing how beneficial a low carbohyrate diet can be to your health.
The keto diet requires you to cut out a large portion of carbohydrates in your diet and replace it with healthy fats.
When you restrict carbohydrates from your diet, you re-adjust your body to run off dietary and body fat as its main source of energy. Adopting a low carbohydrate, high in fat diet has been shown to provide several health benefits for example reduced inflammation, improved brain function and most importantly rapid weight loss.
But just the thought of cutting carbohydrates out of your diet can discourage many people from following this way of eating as this also has several downsides in the initail phase of the diet such as blood pressure fluctuations and the feeling tiresome.
Luckily, there are tricks you can implement immediately and at home to help you start the low carb, high fat diet with minimal effort. Here are a few ways to kick start your keto with ease:
- Intermittent fasting is arguably the most effective tip one can easily follow to get into ketosis in order to lose weight; if that’s the goal. Intermittent fasting means you don’t eat or drink anything that contains calories for an allotted period of time.
- Chronic stress and anxiety hinders your body’s ability to enter ketosis severely. This happens because of the stress hormone cortisol elevates your blood sugar levels, which prevents your body from burning fats for energy because there is too much sugar in the blood.
- Poor sleep will increase levels of your stress hormones in the body. As that can prevent you from getting into fat-burning mode. so, maintaining a proper sleep schedule on a keto diet where you go to bed at the same time everyday will help improve your quality of sleep and also inturn your health.
- Many people have an uncalled stigma when it comes to how much sodium you should be consuming daily. Hence fore, add more salt to your diet.
- Maintaining a regular exercise schedule while on the keto diet can boost your ketone levels and help you transition much quicker than without exercise. To get into ketosis, your body needs to get of whatsoever glucose present in the body. Therefore, exercise frequently.
In a candid interview with OnlyMyHealth, Dr. Lakshmi, Chief Dietician, Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai explains about ketogenic diet in detail and says, "Drastic reduction of carbohydrate in the diet and replacing it with fat will change the body metabolism to ketosis. The body burns fat into ketones which can supply energy for the brain. It typically contains 70% fat 20% protein and less than 10% carbohydrates. This therapeutic diet is originally to treat paediatric epilepsy- seizures and convulsions."
This type of diet has also proven to be of good aid as there are different possible therapeutic usage for many neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, sclerosis, headache, certain neuro trauma, Parkinson's disease and/or sleep disorders.
Certain qualified dieticians plan for this therapeutic diet as a purpose but many are following this diet to control their blood sugars, especially those people who are having uncontrolled diabetes, PCOD, struggling for weight loss, and management of other metabolic diseases.
Dr. Lakhmi suggests that this diet needs to be followed under appropriate medical supervision. The medical expert/ doctor/diteician needs to be well versed with the food that should or should not be incorporated in the diet taking into consideration the current status of the concerned person and only then can the diet plan be chalked out.
Food items that can be consumed while following the keto diet are oil, butter, ghee, high fat milk, cheese, paneer, milk powder, chicken, fish & seafood, meat, nuts, avocados, coconut, etc.
Whereas, foods items such as wheat, vermicelli, rava, ragi, cornflakes, wheat flakes, millets, pulses and dhal, sugary items, honey, jaggery, biscuits, bread, cake, pastries, fruits except avocado, alcohol, vegetables especially the tubers like potato, sweet potato, yam, colacasia, Tapioca, etc needs to be avoided. If not, there are several side effects of following a ketogenic diet.
Listed below are some side effects of a ketogenic diet:
- Tiredness & lethargy
- Sleep issues
- Heart problems
- Muscle cramps
- Deficiency of calcium, Vitamin –D and magnesium
- High blood cholesterol and blood pressure