Ketogenic diets are becoming increasingly popular, not only because research shows the potential benefits of following this kind of eating plan (rewriting the rule book surrounding fat intake), but also because many people are looking for new and reliable methods of getting and staying lean and healthy in lockdown.
Put simply, ketogenic diets are diets that prioritise ketosis-friendly foods (i.e, foods that are limited in or totally exclude carbohydrates), in order to switch the body from its current fuel source: glucose, to that of ketones. This may allow someone to lose weight reliably, and healthily, as you are effectively running on ‘fat’ rather than running on carbs. If you’re considering making major changes to your diet, His & Hers would, of course, recommend seeking advice from your GP or from a dietician first.
This diet is in line with how we ate during our evolution. Refined grains and wheats are still a relatively recent addition in the scope of human history, and before then, we would hunt animals. Eating healthy fats (which have the highest nutritional and caloric content of any food) is something that even animals prioritise – for example, bears often eat the fattiest parts of their prey first rather than the lean meats – making use of this principle.
However, while our bodies switch fuel sources quite effectively, it’s also important to consider a few preparations you should make when following this diet.
And, of course, our preliminary piece of advice, as mentioned above, is to visit your Doctor before embarking upon any major change in your diet, as this article does not constitute direct medical or nutritional advice for your particular situation.
Prepare For The Keto Flu
Switching from glucose to ketones is a natural process, and takes place after a few days of no longer eating carbohydrates. However, this can sometimes bring up flu-like symptoms in our bodies, particularly if we’ve been eating carbs all our lives. This is because our body assumes something is wrong, despite us being perfectly healthy. Look for ways to replace the electrolytes you are missing, alleviating the symptoms.
Lower Your Alcohol Intake
Even low carb alcohols such as spirits will hit you much harder when in ketosis, and can temporarily limit your ketone production, because your liver has to process the alcohol first and foremost. Lowering your alcohol intake can help you feel much better, but if you do decide to drink, make sure it’s in lower volumes, as the compounding effect will be felt much more. This will help you save money, but if you usually enjoy several drinks on a night out, you will have to moderate your intake if out with friends (when that becomes possible again).
Of course, it’s essential to get enough healthy fats and leafy green vegetables in your diet each day. This means consuming nuts, avocado, eggs, omega 3 fatty acids in the form of fish, and more. However, you may also want to consider MCT oil, a healthy fat source that helps you cook more healthily, and generally helps you hit your macros as planned. In the long run, this can help you fulfil your dietary requirements rather than relying on less-than-healthy fats to fill your quota.
If you are embarking upon a new ketogenic diet, we hope this advice helps you to beat any initial tiredness and hunger pangs. Also, if you have any tips based on your own experiences of following a ketogenic diet (or any other healthy eating plans) please share them with us in the comments or on social media.
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