A ketogenic diet is widely known as a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers a variety of health benefits such as weight-loss as well as cancer and type 2 diabetes prevention. The sharp decrease in carbohydrate intake and increase in dietary fat induces a metabolic state called ketosis, in which the body burns fat for energy at efficient rates while the liver converts fat to ketones which are used to supply energy for the organs including the brain and heart. If you’re thinking of embarking on a ketogenic diet, here are 5 useful tips to help you make the most out of it for optimal results and benefits.
1. Increase alkaline food intake
Ketogenic diets tend to contain a significant (but not large) amount of meat, which naturally reduces pH levels of the body. The rise in acidity in your body can lead to a host of problems instead of bringing health benefits. To counter this, it is advisable to support your kidney’s natural blood pH-regulating function by consuming alkaline-rich foods which can help quash the side effects associated with ketogenic diets, such as bad breath and constipation. The simplest way to do this it to incorporate leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale and chard into your diet.
2. Reduce acidic food intake
Excessively consuming acidic foods like alcohol, dairy products and coffee can affect your body’s ability to retain a pH-balanced state. While this does not mean that you should cut off acidic foods entirely, you will need to moderate your intake accordingly. Viewing them as occasional treats to be enjoyed should allow you to have a firm handle on how much you consume.
3. Practice patience
It usually takes about a week for your body to deplete itself of glycogen before shifting into ketosis. Remember to be patient and give your body time to adjust, instead of expecting instantaneous results. After all, any sort of tangible change takes time!
4. Give intermittent fasting a shot
Practicing intermittent fasting (IF) can supplement a ketogenic diet by resulting in greater amounts of fat-loss and boosting energy levels. IF usually consists of divvying up the day into fasting and feeding windows (e.g. 16 hours for fasting, 8 hours for feeding). By fasting, you invariably place a limit on your calorie intake since our bodies are naturally constrained when it comes to the amount of food we can consume in one sitting, no matter how ravenous we may feel. Subsequently, during the fasting state, the fat cells in your body are used as energy to fuel physical activities, which will help you lose weight.
5. Lead an overall healthier lifestyle
This may sound rather intuitive, but it bears repeating that maximising the effects of a ketogenic diet also requires a change in your overall lifestyle. This means that you should endeavour to achieve things like reducing stress levels, getting sufficient quality sleep and increasing general physical activity for a healthier you!
Following these tips should set you on the right course for a successful diet that reaps maximum results, but you should also keep in mind that there exist a variety of ketogenic diets that you can adopt, ranging from the standard ketogenic diet to the targeted ketogenic diet. Going “keto” can be a life-changing experience; are you up to the challenge?