THE KETO WAYMastering and living a Clean Keto Lifestyle can be easy, convenient, and delicious, but it does require knowing some basics, including how and why the diet works, what the benefits are, and the best ways to make it a lasting lifestyle. Don’t worry—I’ve got you covered. This chapter is going to break it all down so you can start putting it into practice immediately. I have been helping clients master the Long, Karissa. Clean Keto Lifestyle: The Complete Guide to Transforming Your Life and Health . Rockridge Press. Kindle Edition. the ketogenic diet for a long time now, and what I have found is that knowledge truly is power. If you are informed, you are empowered to make good decisions. If you know what certain foods do to your body, then you can choose wisely and feel confident in your choices. So, whether you are a keto newbie or have some experience with keto, I urge you to soak up all the information in the following pages so you can set yourself up for lasting success.
How the Ketogenic Diet Works
Did you know that your body has two fuel sources? The first one is glucose. Glucose is created by your body from the carbohydrates that you eat in grains, breads, pastas, sugar, and starches, to name a few. Glucose is a readily available fuel source for your body to use for energy, but it is not long-lasting, and the process of converting carbs to glucose sends your blood sugar on a roller-coaster ride that I like to call the “glu-coaster.” Here is how it works:
1.After you consume carbohydrates (think refined grains and sugars), your body begins to digest them into glucose.
2.This process of converting carbs to glucose causes a spike in your blood sugar and gives you a temporary energy boost (this is where the term “sugar high” comes from).
3.In response to this aggressive blood sugar spike (and because a glucose overdose in your bloodstream can be toxic), your body reacts by signaling to the pancreas to release the hormone insulin, which acts to remove the excess glucose from your bloodstream.
4.The released insulin works swiftly to transport the glucose out of your bloodstream to burn as fuel and then puts the rest in storage (more on this in a minute).
5.As the insulin removes the glucose from your bloodstream, your blood sugar subsequently drops, your energy level declines, and you feel hungry again.
6.So you eat more carbs, and the cycle begins again . . .
This process is why most people get an afternoon energy crash around 3:00 p.m. and start craving sweets or candy. One piece of comfort I can give you is that it is not your lack of willpower that causes these cravings. It is your body saying, “Hey! My blood sugar is low, and I need more energy—give me carbs now!” If being on the never-ending “glu-coaster” wasn’t bad enough, I have one more important fact for you. Depending on how much energy you need (which is based primarily on your physical activity level), you burn that specific amount of glucose and the rest is stored in your body. Some of the excess glucose is converted into glycogen and stored in your liver and muscle tissues for future use. But the remaining glucose that your body didn’t use is stored as FAT in the form of triglycerides. That’s right, your body stores the excess glucose in your fat cells and essentially forgets about it.
Then, of course, the whole cycle starts again. You eat more carbs at your next meal, you jump on the “glu-coaster,” your body uses what it needs for energy and stores the rest as fat. And those fat cells keep piling up. This is the reason you gain weight. But I have good news! Your body has another fuel source called ketones. Ketones are these incredible little energy pods created by your body from stored fat. Yes, you heard me correctly: You can turn those stored fat cells into energy. And not just any kind of energy—energy that is long lasting and consistent, with no afternoon crashes. When you use ketones for energy, your body is using its own stored fat as fuel. Thus, you start losing weight. Brilliant, right? The goal of the ketogenic diet is to capitalize on all of this by training your body to start burning ketones for energy instead of glucose. This phenomenon
phenomenon is called ketosis. When your body is in a state of ketosis, it becomes a literal fat-burning machine. So to summarize, these are the basics:
What is a ketogenic diet? It is a low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet designed to exhaust glucose levels and prompt the body to provide an alternative source of energy to the brain. These alternative energy sources are called ketones, which are produced by the liver using stored fat.
What is ketosis? When the body takes stored fat through the liver and produces ketones (small molecules used as fuel throughout the body), it is called ketosis.
Why do you want to be in ketosis? When you are in a state of ketosis, your body literally becomes a fat-burning machine! Ketosis is the way for humans to operate most efficiently and
can lead to numerous benefits such as weight loss, increased energy, improved focus, better sleep, clear skin, strength gain, reduced appetite, better digestion, and balanced mood, to name a few.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO KETOSIS?
Well, it’s all about what you eat and how much you eat of each macronutrient (also known as “macros”). There are three types of macronutrients in the human diet: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. On the ketogenic diet, your daily macronutrient breakdown should be as follows: 75% healthy fats 20% quality protein 5% carbohydrates It’s true—approximately 75 percent of what you eat each day will come from fat. Fat is actually the most essential macronutrient that the body needs. You need fat to live. It keeps you feeling full and satisfied, prevents cravings, and is 100 percent necessary for you to get into ketosis. When following this macronutrient ratio, you can get into ketosis within two to seven days, depending on your current glycogen supply, body type, and activity level. This means you can start reaping the amazing benefits of ketosis in as little as one week!
The Benefits of a Keto Diet
There are several different motivators for starting the ketogenic diet. For many it is weight loss, while others are looking for more energy, clearer skin, or better mental focus. For me, the ketogenic diet eliminated my terrible ulcerative colitis symptoms. Let’s review the numerous benefits of the diet in detail.
By definition, being in a state of ketosis means you are burning stored fat for energy. With a Clean Keto Lifestyle, weight loss can often be significant and can happen quickly, because not only are you turning your body into a fat-burning machine, but you are also ridding your body of processed foods, artificial ingredients, and sugars that interfere with your appetite hormones. When you are in ketosis, you seldom feel hungry, your cravings subside, and you don’t have to worry about counting calories. No more food drama.
IMPROVED BRAIN FUNCTION
Other than fat loss, another big reason so many people turn to the ketogenic diet is for improved cognitive function, mental clarity, and to finally lift that brain fog once and for all. In fact, a sharper mind is most likely one of the first benefits you will notice when achieving ketosis. This is because, in comparison to glucose, ketones are actually an upgraded fuel source for your brain. Studies have shown that ketones can provide as much as 70 percent of the brain’s energy needs and are more energy efficient than glucose.
FAST AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
One of the most profound benefits of the ketogenic diet is wonderful, long-lasting energy! On a ketogenic diet, your energy levels are stable throughout the day, meaning no midafternoon slumps, no insatiable cravings for sugar, and no need for caffeine pick-me-ups. This is because when you get off the “glu-coaster,” your blood sugar levels are stabilized. Most of my clients experience an increase in general energy levels within the first few weeks. Once again, this phenomenon is the result of your body being fueled more efficiently by ketones.
Inflammation is always present in our bodies. Some is advantageous, like when you get a scrape or a bruise and your body uses inflammation to heal. However, chronic inflammation can become a problem. A huge benefit of being in ketosis is that it can lower inflammation, because free radical production (which is extremely inflammatory) is reduced when you’re burning ketones for energy. Also, when you remove processed foods from your diet, you consequently eliminate all inflammation-producing additives, artificial ingredients, preservatives, and sweeteners, and instead fill your plate with real foods full of minerals and vitamins that work to decrease internal inflammation in your body.