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Staying fit with Ketosis – a beginners’ guide to the Keto diet plan

The keto diet has gained massive popularity in recent times. While there is little research on the ideal duration, studies suggest that the keto diet can work in weight loss. Hence, the keto diet can essentially point towards your first steps to eating clean.

Before we learn how to do the keto diet, let us understand the mechanism behind it.

Keto diet explained

Carbohydrates burn down in the body to produce glucose, the primary source of energy. The general idea behind the keto diet is to reduce glucose levels in the body and substitute them with fat.

The fat would be converted to ketones, a clean source of energy for your body. This, in turn, would stabilise your blood sugar levels and effectively bring down your overall weight.

When your body is fuelled by ketones, instead of glucose, you tend to feel more energised, have fewer hunger pangs, and also reduced mood swings. However, keto is not just about lowering your carbohydrate intake and substituting it with fat.

Here are some things you must know before you start this regime.

10 steps to a Keto diet for beginners

1. Knowing the right fat

An ideal keto diet plan for beginners must include a healthy dose of fat. You must look for heart-healthy variants of unsaturated fats like olives, cottage cheese, nuts, avocado, eggs, and seafood like salmon. Substitute your rice, bread, and pasta with healthier substitutes like non-starchy greens and lean meat.

Keto diet should not become an excuse to eat loads of processed fat. Processed food comes loaded with complex sugar and a high level of carbs. Focusing on cleaner fats that are whole and unprocessed is pivotal to get the desired results.

2. Do your research

The best way to begin your keto diet is to know everything about it. Read reliable sources online on how to start a keto diet and learn about all the associated benefits and risks. Talk to friends and family members who practice the diet to understand how it will impact your current lifestyle.

Analyse and read if you would be able to manage the regime without any glitch.

3. Talk to your medical practitioner

Understand from your medical practitioner if this diet plan would be ideal for you. Sometimes a specific medical condition, dietary restriction, or medication can render you unsuitable for this diet plan.

Some conditions are:

  • High risk of cardiac ailments
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Pre-existing liver, kidney, and thyroid conditions

4. Make a healthy Keto meal plan

You can design a simple keto diet menu for beginners with the staples you have in your home. Make a diet chart with the required calorie count and stick to it to ensure desired results.

Ensure that you don’t have many cheat days as even one cheat day can pull you very far from your goal.

5. Keep hydrating yourself

The biggest challenge in this diet regime is to keep replenishing the electrolytes in your body. When you start a keto diet, you tend to urinate more often and can easily fall prey to dehydration.

Ensure that you have lots of fluids at regular intervals and also consume enough electrolytes like sea salt to maintain a healthy level.

6. Eat the right amount

The key to a successful keto diet for beginners is to eat right. Often the main reason to start a keto diet is weight loss. To avoid any health risks, ensure that weight loss is a slow and steady process.

Sudden and drastic weight loss can be detrimental to your overall health and can even prove fatal. You need the right amount of macronutrients along with the regular intake of fats.

Protein is an essential part of your meal. However, too much of it can hinder your ketone production. Generally, a keto diet menu for beginners should have around 20-25% Proteins, 70-75% of fats, and less than 5% of carbs.

You can try a protein supplement like Gradual protein powder that has a Gradual Release Energy System (GRES).

7. Be prepared for change

When your body starts keto, it will take time to adapt to it and initially may resist the diet. In this case, you might show flu-like symptoms.

There would be episodes of fatigue, nausea, joint pain, and mental fogginess during the initial few days.

Be patient and persistent as these would go away after a while. You can manage these symptoms effectively by doing the following:

  • Drinking loads of fluids
  • Consuming adequate electrolytes
  • Increasing non-saturated fat content in your diet

8. Inform your family

From the day you start the keto diet, your meal chart would look utterly different from that of your other family members. You must keep them updated about your diet plan and ensure that they understand everything about it.

While you might get back to your regular diet eventually, they must be on the same page as you and know your restrictions.

9. Track your results

Keto is a successful way to lose weight, but it might not work for everyone. You must track your progress and look out for any red flags. See if you feel better physically and mentally after following this regimen for a week.

Measure your weight daily and get your blood work analysed by your medical practitioner. You might want to download a reliable ketone tracking app for yourself to get started.

10. Know when to stop

Keto is not a forever plan, and you must get back to your usual routine after a while. However, some people make changes to their lifestyle and adopt a healthier diet plan after trying keto. Your change must be a gradual and steady process.

Avoid suddenly switching to your regular dietary pattern. This will only promote unhealthy weight gain and negate any positive effect the keto diet had on you.

In conclusion

It is incredible to see how a keto lifestyle can do wonders for your overall health. However, if done recklessly, a keto diet plan can also pose significant health risks. Get your diet plan approved by a practising dietician before you start the keto diet.

Seek medical assistance if you experience:

  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Persistent digestive issues
  • No weight loss
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Sleep disorders
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Author: CK Birla Hospital
The CK Birla Hospital is a NABH accredited, multi-speciality hospital located in Gurugram. The hospital aims to improve the quality of healthcare with an emphasis on UK NHS guidelines for nurse and midwife training. Policies and protocols adapted from UK’s National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines mean a robust focus on safety, high quality clinical care and cleanliness.
 
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