The Ketogenic Diet (KD) is here to stay. I can assure you it’s not a fad diet. What’s truly striking about the KD research within the last 15 years is the impressive track record for long-term success for obesity. So if you’re sitting there with stubborn abdominal body fat then tune in and look for the keto signs throughout the store because this is one loss in life you can live with.
KD Controls the Hunger Monster
Anyone who’s ever been on a low-fat diet will tell you about the “hunger monster” which always ends up sabotaging your will and determination. Those who’ve battled their weight will tell you that being hungry is a game changer and the biggest reason one throws the towel in. The monster always wins, and then bam the weight is back plus more. With the KD the hunger monster shrinks and more importantly so does your belly. In the meantime, you’re feeling your clothes looser while you resolve increases. Those who follow the KD report the hunger monster is slain for good once you convert over to being a fat-burner. KD users say they’ll never go back to the old dysfunctional way of eating because it’s a game changer for success!!!
The well-researched part of the KD that has been proven time and time again is that it truly “teaches” your body to be a fat-burner versus a carbohydrate-burner. The good news is our cells already have the software downloaded to become a fat-burner; however, the cells need YOU, the human programmer, to understand how to turn on the fat-burning software.
Get Psyched Up to be a Fat-Burning Programmer:
If you’ve had a love affair with carbohydrates then falling out of love with carbohydrates will take awareness along with knowledge and skills. I tell my clients it’s like going to live in a different country. Before you move to that country you need to learn a lot about the landscape, climate, how to speak the language, exchange currency, etc.
When you’re ready to move to keto-land the following steps are key:
- First and foremost, discuss this with your physician to see if you have a health issue or if taking any medication that the KD would be counter-productive.
- While testing the KD’s shallow waters, begin to track how many net carbohydrates you are actually eating. There are many apps that make this process super easy. Examine where you could begin cutting back. For example, if you make meatballs for dinner try the Miracle Noodle instead of using regular pasta. Instead of using Rice, switch over to using rice cauliflower (which you can find ready to use in the freezer case). While doing your carb awareness training, keep in mind the following is the recommended net carbohydrates you should shoot for as you officially start the KD.
- Week 1: 20 grams of net carbohydrates
- Week 2: 30 grams of net carbohydrates
- Week 3: 40 grams of net carbohydrates
- Week 4: 50 grams of net carbohydrates
Remember it’s important to test for ketones because you need to find your sweet spot to stay in metabolic ketosis. It’s often between 20-50 grams of net carbohydrates to achieve its full benefit.
- Test the KD-waters by cooking a few meals and snacks within the context of your typical diet. This will start to build your “I-can-do-this” skills along with your repertoire of ideas. Keep expanding more and more KD recipes as you downsize your old go-to recipes. The web is chock full of delicious KD meals. I’m just amazed at how delicious some of these meals are. For example, I cooked braised short ribs with cauliflower potatoes and a salad. Are you hungry? I will be posting many of my favorites in the coming weeks. Once you have a solid two weeks of menu items that you really like, you’re ready to move to the keto-land. I also recommend that you add at least one new recipe a week once you officially get out of the KD gate.
- A big part of keto lifestyle is intermittent fasting (IF). Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating within a shorter time window. There are many IF patterns but by in large for KD it means eating within a 6-8 hour window only. If your first meal of the day is at 6 am (yes this includes coffee) then the last meal should be at 2 or 4. If you’re used to eating three meals and three snacks a day, slowly decrease this pattern to two meals and two snacks within a 6-8 hour window, then decrease the snacking to only one and eventually to none.
- It’s so important to hydrate very well.
- Don’t avoid salt on the KD. Remember last week we discussed how your insulin levels would go way down when you embark on a KD? When your insulin levels decrease you excrete more electrolytes and minerals, so make sure you use a Pink Himalayan sea salt, Kosher salt and Celtic Sea Salt with Minerals.
- MCT oil is very helpful because it turns into ketones fairly quick and helps you go into ketosis quicker. The downside is if you add too much it can have gastrointestinal side effects. If that happens, just go slowly, like ½ tsp. in coffee, ½ tsp. in salad dressing, ½ tsp. in a keto-Friendly Protein Shake. MCT has no taste and no flavor, so it’s easy to assimilate into your drinks and food.
- Finally, there is some very exciting research on using exogenous ketones along with powder MCT oil so that you can get a steady rise in ketones. I’ll be writing more about that in future blogs.