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What is the keto diet?

The main purpose of being on the ketogenic diet is to “reprogram” the body to use fats rather than carbohydrates as a source of energy. The keto diet is a low carbohydrate diet with moderate consumption of protein, and relatively high consumption of healthy fats. To really get a great understanding of the diet, check out the KETO CAMP COURSE in our shop.

Also, check out our latest BLOGCAST with co-author of “What the fat” book, Professor Grant Schofield.

With a regular high-carb, low-fat diet (HCLF), the consumed carbohydrates are converted into glucose, which is then used as an energy source. Whereas, with a low carb healthy fat diet (LCHF, such as keto), the amount of consumed carbohydrates is low, so the liver converts fat into ketone bodies and fatty acids, which replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in blood is known as ketosis.

The keto diet is primarily used in medicine to treat refractory epilepsy in children historically. However, the ketogenic diet has also been found to be useful outside of this medical condition. Particularly, what interests people most with the ketogenic diet is the rapid fat loss that accompanies the diet due to the adaptations of the body to burn fat instead of glucose.

The keto diet is gaining popularity right now, and for good reason. the keto diet allows you to more easily tap into your bodies fat stores. fat is a more calorie dense fuel source than glucose, therefore the diet allows better endurance, and fat burning efficiency. 

ketosis is a natural metabolic state that our body defaults to in the absence of a certain amount of carbohydrate. It can take time for the body to adapt, but keto supplements can put us in a state of ketosis much quicker.

there is much on going research right now as to other possible benefits of the keto diet, such as benefits for brain health and mitigating symptoms of chronic conditions.

 

Why use keto supplements and what are they anyway?

Keto diet supplements help you get into ketosis faster and easier. They sustain your energy and curb your appetite. Here is a run down of some of the most popular keto diet supplements 

Exogenous ketones

Exogenous ketones are made up of beta hydroxy butyrate salts and medium chain triglycerides.

These are easily assimilated by the body for fuel, raising your blood ketone level. The best exogenous ketones contain natural flavors and sweeteners.

Keto switch exogenous ketones are excellent for raising your blood ketone levels above base line.

Who is the keto diet for?

As we already mentioned, the ketogenic diet is widely used to treat epilepsy in children. However, it can be exceptionally helpful for anyone. The benefits of the ketogenic diet aren’t limited by the treatment of brain disorders. ketosis can help with improving the cognitive function, athletic performance, and with losing weight.

This healthy weight loss makes the keto diet exceptionally attractive for many. In fact, the ketogenic diet helps not only lose weight but also maintain a healthy weight (once it has been reached), which is great for those wanting to reduce their weight or maintain. Athletes would also certainly find the keto diet useful for their performance

Endurance athletes can benefit from a higher energy dense fuel source. Athletes who compete in events which require muscle mass can also benefit as the diet is muscle sparing, unlike other forms of dieting which can waste muscle.

How long does it take to get into ketosis?

The body usually enters a moderate state of ketosis in a matter of weeks. How fast you will reach ketosis depends how metabolically flexible you are(how readily your body switches from using glucose as fuel to using ketones). everyone. In the initial phase of the diet, some people experience a transitional period known as “keto flu”. this is a temporary state the body goes through as it switches fuel sources. Exogenous ketones help alleviate keto flu.

keto flu can be rough. most of us rely on carbs all of our lives. Our body doesn’t know any other way. ketosis is a natural default state when carbs are low, but it takes a little time for our body to become efficient at using and producing ketones for fuel. Exogenous ketones can alleviate some of the hard work from the body in producing ketones as they elevate ketone levels in the blood.

Typically athletic performance can drop off initially, but then comes back in a matter of weeks. to be fully keto adapted takes several weeks, but is well worth it for those wanting to improve their health, lose weight, and also for endurance athletes.

Is the keto diet safe?

Ketosis is a natural metabolic state for humans. Before agriculture had been mastered, we would make do with any food e could easily harvest, but for sure we ate less carbs than we do now. we store fat as a reserve of energy for later use in times of famine and naturally tap into these reserved energy supplies in the absence of carbohydrate. This is ketosis. However, getting into ketosis and maintaining it might (and probably will) require some getting used to. Nowadays, our bodies aren’t used to low-carb diets, so you will need to approach the keto diet carefully. Some people might be able to one day suddenly minimize their carb intake, but most will probably need to do it gradually.

The initial stages of the keto diet are accompanied by a number of side effects. While they are relatively safe, they can cause a lot of discomfort for you. Among those side effects are excessive thirst, constipation, fatigue, and reduced physical performance. These side effects occur due to sudden changes in one’s diet, but with a little time and the right supplementation, the body will adjust to the low-carb ketogenic diet.

Health benefits of the keto diet

The ketogenic diet has many health benefits for those who follow it. In fact, those benefits are not limited by mere fat loss and better weight control. Renowned expert on the keto diet Mark Sisson points out the following benefits of the ketogenic diet:

 

  • Improved cognitive function

Mark Sisson also references a number of studies focused on the impact of the keto diet on the cognitive function. In particular, a very low-carb diet has been found to improve memory in older adults. Apart from that, ketosis is thought to be able to clear up the so-called brain fog. The sense of euphoria accompanying the keto diet can also improve productivity, while the increased mitochondrial biogenesis can improve the efficiency of energy production.

 

  • Improved physical performance

The ketogenic diet has a number of great benefits for athletes as well. At any intensity, a keto-adapted athlete burns more fat and less glycogen compared to an athlete on a regular HCLF diet. Athletes with long-term keto adaptation have been shown to burn up to 2.3 times more fat at peak oxidation, as well as 59% more fat overall than sugar-burning athletes. This is significant because fat is a more energy dense fuel.

Another benefit of keto adaptation is that the body preserves glycogen, which is used for intense efforts. The liver and muscles store glycogen enough for only a couple of hours of intense muscle activity, and you would need to intake carbohydrates to replenish it. A keto-adapted athlete uses fat and ketones as energy sources, which allows for the preservation of glycogen for use when necessary. It should be noted, however, that the keto diet isn’t as useful for strength athletes as their muscles primarily use glycogen for fuel, which won’t allow them to fully uncover the performance benefits of the diet, though such athletes will still be able to enjoy the weight loss achievable on the keto diet.

Lastly, ketosis is accompanied with the biogenesis of mitochondria, which improves the efficiency of energy utilization and its extraction from food, which improves athletic performance.

  • Ketosis improves epilepsy
    • The keto diet contributes to the treatment of epilepsy through a number of mechanisms. Firstly, it reduces neuronal excitability by increasing the conversion of glutamate into glutamine and then glutamine into GABA. Ketosis also reduces free radical formation in neurons, which is a likely a cause of seizure occurrence. Lastly, ketosis increases antioxidant status in the neuronal mitochondria and improves their function.

      Mark Sisson notes that ketosis also has benefits for brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, and Parkinson’s. Additionally, modified keto diets are beneficial for other medical conditions.

     

    Weight loss on the keto diet

    Weight loss is another benefit of the keto diet, and we thought to cover it separately as it is often the most desired effect of the diet. The ketogenic diet isn’t a classic weight loss diet, but it can greatly help with losing body fat, whilst maintaining muscle. That’s because the keto diet reduces insulin, increases body fat mobilization, and decreases the appetite.

    In fact, Mark Sisson indicates the decrease of appetite as the main effect of the keto diet that contributes to fat loss. Most diets fail because of the drive to eat more food, which isn’t the case with the keto diet as it suppresses the production of hunger hormones, which usually occurs after weight loss.

    Many diets work in the short term but not in the long. If you want to achieve massive weight loss, the keto diet is especially effective: after all, to enter ketosis, your body needs to release its stored fat. However, long-term effects require keto adaptation, which takes some time, as we already mentioned.

    The ketogenic diet is thus a great way for people to lose excess body fat. In fact, it can be useful not only for those who just wish to look better. Athletes can also benefit from the diet because it will allow them to control their body weight much easier. And let’s not forget about the improved physical performance!

    What to eat on the keto diet?

    The ketogenic needs a well-planned meal plan, otherwise you won’t be able to enter ketosis. Calculating the amount of carbs, proteins, and fats you consume is recommended. 

    For most of people, the meal plan needs to include 5 – 10% carbs, 70 – 75% fats, and 15 – 20% proteins. In fact, the more restrictive you are on carbs, the quicker you will get into ketosis. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t decrease your carb intake rapidly. Instead, do it gradually.

    You can keep track of your carb, fat and protein intake using this macro calculator.

    So what about the right sources of nutrients? Those on the keto diet commonly receive carbs from nuts, dairy, and vegetables. Grains like wheat, rice, or corn, as well as products containing sugar (including most fruit and starchy vegetables) should be avoided. If necessary, natural low-carb sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit could be used to sweeten the food and beverages.

    The best source of protein is organic, grass-fed meat. However, consuming too much protein compromises the diet. If you eat more protein than your body needs, it will convert the excess protein into glucose, via gluconeogenesis. That is why the keto diet is a moderate protein intake diet.

    Also keep in mind that initially, the meals on the keto diet might be too bland for your taste. In this case, the food can be seasoned, though make sure you don’t use sauces and seasonings containing sugar. 

    What other essential supplements support the keto diet?

     Apart from “keto” branded supplements, there are a few others you might consider whilst following the keto diet. These consist of healthy fat, minerals, hormone and energy support. All of which are considerations when wanting to avoid the keto flu. 

    Here is our list of other keto diet essential supplements-

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