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The keto diet has long been touted for its appetite-suppressing abilities, yet adhering to it can be tricky. Even when choosing healthy whole-food and quality protein sources as your staple foods, cravings for carb-heavy treats may still surface.
Keto cycling is a relatively novel approach to keto dieting that involves intermittent periods of low-carb and higher-carb eating, according to some experts. They believe it can help regulate hormones and foster muscle growth.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state in which your body transitions away from burning glucose for fuel to instead switch over to burning fat for energy, producing an abundance of ketones as a by-product.
Your liver produces various kinds of ketone bodies that are then utilized by your body as energy sources. Beta-hydroxybutyrate is an example; there are others such as acetoacetate and acetone as well.
Nutritional ketosis occurs when blood ketone levels reach a specific threshold; this metabolic state is generally safe and healthy, though there may be side effects.
One such condition is diabetic ketoacidosis, which often develops when insulin levels drop too far below their usual range and cause the body to produce ketones at an alarmingly rapid pace. As a result, fat and proteins break down rapidly into ketones within minutes.
Ketosis can lead to fatigue, poor concentration and muscle weakness – symptoms which increase your chances of weight gain. Therefore, many people utilize keto diet as part of a weight-loss plan.
What is Keto Diet?
The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat eating plan designed to put your body into ketosis; this means using fat as its primary fuel source instead of glucose found in carbohydrates such as sugar or starchy vegetables.
Though keto can help people shed excess weight and enhance athletic performance, its high amounts of saturated fats have been linked with heart disease and diabetes – so it is wise to be aware of any possible risks prior to embarking on it.
According to nutritionist McManus, it’s recommended to limit your saturated fat consumption to no more than 7% of daily calories – choosing healthy sources like avocados, coconut oil, fish and fatty meats instead.
Santos-Prowse suggests eating plenty of green and leafy vegetables, which provide an abundance of potassium and fiber.
As your body adjusts to a high-fat, low-carb eating plan, it may cause dizziness, jitteriness, or nausea – this is normal and should take several weeks before your body recognizes fat as its primary fuel source.
Staying on a keto diet successfully means making it part of your lifestyle and refraining from bingeing on junk foods – this is key for continuing weight loss, muscle gains and not regaining it after going off of it.
How to Start Keto Diet
Keto diet cycles are an increasingly popular way to add variety and reap its benefits while staying on course with keto. This approach allows for some leeway from strict low-carb dieting by including higher carb foods on occasion for certain days during the week before returning back to strict low-carb eating.
Keto cycling may be beneficial, but it’s essential that you find what works for you personally. “Many who follow keto for extended periods can struggle with cravings; reintroducing carbohydrates or sugars can make staying on plan more challenging,” according to Molly Devine, RD.
Santos-Prowse suggests adding one or two higher-carb days into your schedule as a way of having some flexibility while staying on a keto diet plan.
On days with high carb intake, try including healthy complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice as part of a healthy meal plan. Be sure to include more vegetables like broccoli and asparagus into the mix!
On refeed days, make sure you still consume plenty of protein and fats; these will provide your body with essential nutrients while replenishing its glycogen stores. Enjoy Bulletproof coffee occasionally but do limit how much you have.