While I have been eating LCHF (low carb high fat) on and off over the last 4 years. The last 6 months or so I have become very committed to it. recently completing a straight 30 days of strict keto eating (as compared to lazy keto or dirty keto). These are all words you will soon become familiar with on your keto journey.
A little background on the keto diet. It’s short for “ketogenic” and it promotes weight loss through a diet low in carbohydrates. (less than 20 grams a day), high in protein, and moderately high in fat. Picture a dinner plate featuring a salmon filet, a mound of broccoli, and a drizzle of olive oil or cheese.
So what’s the lowdown? Ok so this is what I found, and why my belief is in Keto. My theories simplistic I know, but it works for me. It all starts waaaaaay back after the industrial revolution when food became more processed and people got less active. With this came increased incidences of heart attack, obesity and cancers. Of course this was a concern for Governments around the world.
The health of their people was getting worse. People were dying younger, and health costs were rising. Around the 1950’s the UK Government started looking at solutions for this problem as did the US Government. They both commissioned their scientists to look into it.
The UK scientists identified that sugar was the problem, whereas the USA identified that fat was the problem. You know what thinking won out – based on the proliferation of low fat food and low fat marketing.
But hey! Guess what? When you take fat out of food it tastes pretty horrific, so how do you make it taste better? – you add in sugar (Lesson number 1 – low fat does means high sugar!)
OK so here we are in 2018 and health problems and obesity are massive problems, and rising year on year. It is clear that the low fat diet and the traditional food pyramid is not the solution.
And that is where the Keto diet enters the frame.
Ok, here comes the science:-
To understand ketosis, we must first understand the role of insulin and glucose in the body.
Insulin’s produced in the body in response to glucose/carbohydrate consumption. In modern diets, our body runs off of glucose for energy and doesn’t need or use fat, causing your body to “store” excess sugar (glycogen) as fat in the liver and body. This can cause several health concerns including obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia. and fatty liver disease.
The Ketogenic Diet –
is a metabolic state when we consume low carbohydrate, moderate protein. and high fat, allowing the body to switch from using glucose as its primary fuel source to ketones (fat). This only happens when glucose isn’t available for fuel.
When the body produces ketones, the levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) in the blood increase. which are synthesized in the liver, making it an energy source used by every cell in the body. When we look at the muscles, heart, liver and brain. ketones are a preferred fuel source. and higher carbohydrate diets show to actually cause a breakdown in their functioning.
So, when we break down fat, our bodies generate ketones that help us burn fat for fuel. and provide more energy than when we use sugar/glucose.
Think of throwing gasoline on a fire: that’s carbs. We see an instant increase in the flame, but it burns fast, dampening the fire shortly after.
Now throw on a nice big log that will burn slower, and longer. That’s fat.
On a Ketogenic Diet, your body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. (i.e. “in ketosis”), thus decreasing blood sugar and insulin levels in the blood. When in ketosis for a long period of time, it becomes easy to access your fat stores and burn them, sometimes referred to as being keto-adaptive.
How are we going to do this?
Resources! There are loads out there. Use them all. I especially recommend Diet Doctor, who is a Swedish doctor and expert on the subject.
- This is the diet doctor website! Have a good look around this website and follow him on facebook too
- Instagram. Search “#Keto” on instagram and you will find thousands and thousands of IGs to follow. Search “#KetoTransformations” and be prepare for your jaw to DROP. Check out Keto Konspiracy for some food inspiration
- Download a tracker or a carb manager. I use myfitnesspal – but you do need to adjust the macros (75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs)
- Facebook, facebook, facebook! There are some super groups on facebook. You need to join these!
- Netflix & Youtube: Watch The Magic Pill movie and Cereal Killers movie
Frequently Asked Keto Questions
Some questions people have asked me!
Doesn’t fat make me fat? No. Like green vegetables doesn’t make you green. So I eat a load of fat and I lose weight? What is very important about keto is what you take OUT of your diet. You must remove the sugar from your diet before you add the fat.
But yes you must eat fat. A lot. This is a high fat diet. Low carbohydrate (i.e. sugar) and low protein, but high fat.
What happens if I do this diet for a couple of weeks and then go back to my regular diet? You first lose a load of weight. Yaaayyy You then pile it back on. And more. Do not do this!!! Better to stick to what you are doing currently rather than doing this.
Can I have the occasional sweets or sugar on this diet? See answer above. The combination of high fat and sugar is not good. You know this :-).
So how do I get started?
- You do loads and loads of research until you are happy that you know why you are doing it and how you are going to do it.
- You join this facebook group and you read their “files” section. There is all the information you need there!
- You read the diet doctor website inside out. Read up on Dr Berg Keto and watch youtube.
- You plan your food. Breakfast, lunch and dinner for the first week. Look at the Diet Doctors keto diet plans
Then you start.
- You eat real food. And you feel happy. I picked up a snack in the supermarket. How do I know if something is high or low carbohydrate. It looks healthy! All the resources above give information on how to read food labels.
It is important that you learn this. It is different in Ireland to the USA (how foods labelled) so make sure you are clear. – this is where all that research comes in!
Ps. When it “looks healthy”…there is a high chance it’s not lol!
Can I eat vegetables? Yes. Research and know the veg you can eat, and the veg you can’t.
My twin sister swears by broccoli smothered in coconut oil and roasted in the oven.
Is fruit ok? Do your research on this. Avoid most fruits as they are far too high in carbohydrate.
But avocados are your godsend!
So it’s all about cheese? I can eat a ton of cheese? Nooooo. Snacking on and eating too much cheese is a common mistake which prevents weight loss. Number 12 on the 18-point, weight-loss tips is Eat less of dairy products and nuts. Read that for more information.
Pizza. I miss Pizza. hear you. No more pizza I’m afraid. But you can have cheatza! Google how to make it – you can make the base from cauliflower or almond flour (fathead pizza). I prefer the almond flour one. It’s great.
Is this sustainable? You will never feel more full and satisfied. Your sugar cravings will be gone forever. Your mind and brain will feel clearer. You will lose a ton of weight. So, yes :-).
I’m not sure if I’m eating enough fat? You’re not. Eat more butter. Come on, this cannot be healthy?? Read up and research. Fat is not the problem. It is the sugar that is the enemy. I know this is hard to get your head around based on everything that we have heard and understood over the last 50 years. But avoiding fat has not worked. We need to change this habit.
Don’t fear fat!
Don’t blame butter for what the bread did 🙂
Is hummus keto? No 🙁
Seems like a lot of work to me…You will cook more, yes. And that will make you feel good!
- For me it is all about getting fat into my diet. Remember this is a high FAT diet. It is not high PROTEIN. And remember…Low Sugar. (That’s the most important, you must get that sugar out)
I add butter into my coffee. Yep, I know that sounds totally gross. It’s not. You first get used to it and then you love it. Lovely creamy buttery golden coffee. Mmmm. And good for you. You must get your mind around embracing fat (your mind will fight this, but the more research into this topic the more you will realise the benefits of fat and keto)
Get that fat straight into you in the morning via your first amazing coffee! And all throughout the day.
- Intermittent fasting. What’s that all about?
- That’s lesson 2. Just get yourself all researched up and started on the keto food. Then you can look at Intermittent Fasting.
- Will I lose weight? Please tell me I will lose weight
- Yes. But that’s only one benefit. Stick with it. Soon you will be raving about this Way of Eating and how you feel and all the benefits.
- I feel lousy. Do I have keto flu?
- Yes, You probably do. It will go. Three days max I bet it is gone. Maybe two. Ok maybe four.
Drink bone broth. Drink water. Take magnesium supplements. Take paracetamol. Add lo-salt to your diet. Savour your lovely warm buttery bullet proof coffee. Eat avocado.
STICK WITH THE KETO FOOD. It WILL pass.
(Do some research on this asap if you start feeling flu-ey. Remember it will pass)
- Any more tips?
- Yes. From my twin sister. It’s a good one:
Eat food that your grandparents would recognise (umm yeah I don’t think your granny would recognise that crappy protein bar you’re chomping on. Put it in the bin now)