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How to Do Keto Correctly
Over the past few years, the ketogenic (or keto) diet has become increasingly popular. This high-fat, low-carb diet involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing fat consumption in order to put the body into a state of ketosis, where it starts burning fat for fuel rather than glucose.
While many people have seen impressive weight loss results and improved overall health on a keto diet, there can be some challenges and pitfalls if not done correctly. In this blog post, we’ll explore three methods for how to do keto correctly and provide tips for avoiding common mistakes.
Method 1: Tracking Macros
One of the most important aspects of a successful keto diet is properly tracking your macronutrient intake. This means keeping careful track of the grams of carbohydrates, protein, and fat you consume each day to ensure you maintain the correct ratios.
While the specific macronutrient ratios can vary slightly depending on your individual needs and goals, a standard keto diet generally involves consuming 70-75% of your daily calories from fat, 20-25% from protein, and 5-10% from carbs.
To make tracking your macros easier, you can use an app like MyFitnessPal or Cronometer, which will allow you to easily input the foods you eat and calculate the macronutrient breakdown. It’s also important to make sure you’re consuming nutrient-dense whole foods rather than relying on processed keto-friendly products, which can be loaded with artificial additives and unhealthy fats.
Real-Life Example: Ann is a 35-year-old woman who has been following a keto diet for six months and has lost 30 pounds. She tracks her macros carefully using MyFitnessPal and focuses on eating whole foods such as avocados, nuts, and vegetables rather than keto snacks.
Method 2: Electrolyte Supplementation
Another common issue for those starting a keto diet is experiencing electrolyte imbalances. When the body switches from burning glucose to burning fat for fuel, it releases excess water and electrolytes through urine. This can lead to symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and muscle cramps.
To avoid these symptoms, it’s important to supplement your electrolytes by consuming plenty of sodium, potassium, and magnesium. You can do this by adding sea salt to your food, eating potassium-rich foods such as avocados and spinach, and taking a magnesium supplement.
Real-Life Example: John is a 45-year-old man who recently started a keto diet and has been experiencing muscle cramps and fatigue. Upon consulting with his doctor, he started supplementing with magnesium and potassium and drinking bone broth for added sodium, which helped alleviate his symptoms.
Method 3: Incorporating Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting, or restricting your eating window to a certain number of hours per day, can be a powerful tool for enhancing the benefits of a keto diet. When you fast, your body enters a state of ketosis more quickly and easily, and you also may see improved blood sugar regulation and appetite control.
Many people on a keto diet find that they naturally gravitate towards an eating window of 6-8 hours per day, with the remainder of the day spent in a fasting state. This could involve skipping breakfast and consuming your first meal at lunchtime, or finishing dinner earlier in the evening and waiting until the next day to eat again.
Real-Life Example: Sarah is a 28-year-old woman who has been following a keto diet for a year and has seen excellent results with weight loss and improved mental clarity. She finds that incorporating a 16:8 intermittent fasting schedule, where she eats all her meals within an eight-hour window and fasts for the remaining 16 hours, helps her feel more energized and focused.
Incorporating these three methods – tracking your macros, supplementing your electrolytes, and incorporating intermittent fasting – can help you to do keto correctly and achieve your goals without encountering some of the common pitfalls. While keto may not be suitable for everyone, it can be a powerful tool for weight loss, improved energy, and overall health when done correctly.
You can further optimize the benefits of a keto diet by prioritizing nutrient-dense whole foods, staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, and consulting with a qualified healthcare practitioner to ensure that the diet is right for you. With dedication, patience, and a focus on these strategies, you can successfully navigate the ins and outs of a keto lifestyle and reap the rewards.