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You have probably heard about the keto diet. It involves eating lots of fat and limiting carbs. But what types of fats are healthy? How many carbs? How does it work? All answers are discussed below. The free keto guide is also perfect for beginners.
What is the ketogenic diet?
Keto diet is made up of 75% fat, 20% proteins and 5% carbs. Eating a lot of fat puts your body into ketosis. A metabolic state of burning fat for energy instead of glucose. When there is little carbs in your diet, the liver convert stored fats into ketone molecules which are alternative energy sources. Burning ketones helps in weight loss and reduces inflammation.
The benefits of the keto diet
Keto diet fastens weight loss. Ketones suppress ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and increase cholecystokinin (CCK), makes you feel full. You will stay more extended periods without eating as the body breaks down stored fats.
During ketosis, the brain creates more mitochondria cells which ensure a steady supply of energy which is more stable than glucose.
Read our Ultimate Keto Guide for Beginners for more keto benefits.
Pitfalls of the standard keto diet
On a standard keto diet, you eat less than 50 grams of net carbs a day. Restricting carbs for a long time may result in some problems like insomnia, fatigue, dry eyes, sinuses, thyroid issues and other side effects. Your body needs some amount of carbs in cyclical ketosis.
What is cyclical keto diet?
Cyclical keto means you are going in and out of keto every week. The practise involves having a day of carb-loading and six days of low-carb keto. When following cyclical keto, you will eat lots of fat and very low carbs on 5-6 days. The remaining day, you eat roughly 150 grams for carb refeed.
Benefits of a cyclical keto diet:
- Keeps you lean
- Better immune function
- Balances healthy bacteria in the gut for better mood and health
- Satisfies carb cravings hence keeps you on the keto diet in long-term
- Improves your sleep
Full ketosis is not effective for everyone. Get your carb from sweet potatoes, squash and potatoes for better muscle, body and brain functions.
What makes cyclical ketosis different?
When following the bulletproof cyclical keto diet, you will be following some hacks that make it easier for you. They include;
- Drink Bulletproof Coffee: drinking bulletproof coffee keeps you from being distracted by hunger pangs. Each cup contains saturated fatty acids (Brain Octane oil and grass-fed butter) and medium triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut. Brain Octane raises ketones four times better than coconut oil, thus keeping you full for long hours with plenty of energy.
- Add Brain Octane oil to your meal: using the oil on vegetables gives you more carbs but still, on keto. You will get 0.6 millimoles per litter which is efficient for suppressing your appetite.
How to do cyclical ketosis
Here is an example of a bulletproof eating schedule to try out:
Step 1: eat dinner by 8 pm
Step 2: drink bulletproof coffee in the morning and another at 2 pm if you feel hungry.
Step 3: at 2 pm, eat a standard keto lunch.
Step 4: avoid snacking between meals and eat another standard keto meal before p.m.
On your carb-refeed day, start with the bulletproof coffee and add one or two tablespoons of Brain Octane oil to your food. This will raise your carb count faster then recover ketosis. The cycle continues for weeks.
What to expect when starting a keto diet
- Keto flu: During the first two weeks of the keto diet, the body gives different responses as it adopts to fat burning from fats. These symptoms begin as soon as 24-48 hours after a keto diet. The adversity depends on how well your body responds. Common symptoms include; insomnia, brain fog, irritability, nausea, stomach pains, diarrhoea, chills and muscle aches.
- Keto breath: Acetone is released during ketosis. It is responsible for the metallic taste in your mouth. Some are released through sweat and urine. The breath goes away after a short while when your body adapts to low carbs.
What to eat on the ketogenic diet
Remember, a standard keto is made up of 75% fats, 20% proteins and 5% carbs. Check for recommended food that won’t disrupt your performance.
- Vegetables: choose green and leafy vegetables like broccoli, zucchini, asparagus and cucumbers. Starch vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips are also excellent choices.
- Protein: moderate protein from pasture-raised meat and well-caught fish are good. Pork, eggs, shellfish have high protein concentrate.
- Dairy: choose full-fat, organic, grass-fed butter. It has omega-3 and fatty acids and linoleic acids (CLA). They burn fats and are anti-inflammatory.
- Oils and fats: fats are an essential category in a keto diet. Load up on fats like butter, lard, ghee, coconut oil, fish oil, and Brain Octane and MCT oil. You can also get daily supplies from eggs, fatty meats and seafood.
Avoid inflammatory fats like cottonseed, corn, flaxseed, peanut, canola, and soy and sunflower oils.
- Fruits: fruits contain fructose. The sugar can take out ketosis. Fresh berries, coconut and avocado, are ideal for ketosis.
- Nuts: Most nuts have high fats, proteins and carbs. Macadamia nuts, pecans and Brazilian nuts come in handy as snacks.
- Beverages: it is easy to dehydrate when on keto. Taking water can help you stay dehydrated and replenish the lost electrolytes. Tea and coffee (Bulletproof) will boost your energy and keep you full for longer.
How do you know you are in ketosis?
During ketosis, ketone levels measure up to 0.5 mmol/L. You can check the ketone levels using urine sticks, blood stickers or breathe analyzer.
- Reduced appetite: ketones suppress your hunger; thus, you feel full for longer.
- Weight loss: eating high-fat, low-carb burns fats faster, thus fastening weight loss.
- Keto breath: if your mouth has a metallic taste, you have high ketones.