PEEK-A-BOO INTO THE KETO DIET
Someone has rightly said that today’s age is equivalent to the fitness age. The 21st century is characterized as a period of health consciousness. More and more people are seen turning towards eating right, sleeping for about 6 to 8 hours, getting physically active in one’s daily routine, say walking the dog or taking the stairs or even adopting superior fitness practices that include full-fledged sessions of yoga, Pilates, functional training, aerobics, cardio, and weight training among others.
There was a time when a major focus was on working out, to get those washboard abs and muscular arms. However, with time people came to realize that diet is equally important. After all, it is rightly quoted that “Abs are made in the Kitchen”. This has led to fitness freaks adopting diet programs that either is customized by a private nutritionist or are largely popular over the internet.
Out of the many diets making the rounds these days, a diet program that is most viewed and most followed not only in India but also in major parts of the world is the “KETO DIET”. Let us now get to know more about this diet form.
What is the Keto Diet?
Keto Diet is interchangeably referred to as the Ketogenic Diet. The basic working of this diet revolves around reducing the intake of carbohydrates while pushing up the overall fat consumption levels. In simple words, Keto advocates the substitution of carbs with fats. When such a dietary change is brought about, the body of the person following Keto enters into a peculiar state known as the “Ketosis”. Once in the Ketosis state, the body learns to utilize fats to derive energy. This, in turn, prevents excess fat from depositing in one’s body.
For the longest time now, experts in the field of health and fitness have been laying stress on low fat based diets to lose weight and get fit. However, after viewing the many benefits associated with the Keto Diet, these experts have started looking beyond such low-fat diets.
Types of Keto:
Individuals, who have just recently started to familiarize themselves with the Keto Diet, are under the impression that Keto is a common, one for all diet program. However, facts suggest otherwise. There are different sub-types under Keto. Based on one’s body type and fitness goals, one can opt for a particular sub-type.
SKD is the acronym for the Standard Ketogenic Diet. This is the most commonly followed Ketogenic Diet. Most of the people swear by this diet. This diet form lays a great deal of focus on fat consumption. Any person, who is following SKD consumes about 75% fat-based foods in his or her diet followed by protein and carbs consumption, which stands at 20% and 5% respectively. When Keto was originally introduced to the masses, it began with the Standard Ketogenic Diet.
CKD is better known as the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet. In this form of Keto Diet, the person in question is required to follow a certain pattern or cycle of diet, which changes every week. A common form of Cyclical Ketogenic Diet would be to follow a high fat based diet for about five days followed by a high carb diet for another two days.
TKD stands for the Targeted Ketogenic Diet. On a day-to-day basis, TKD is the same as the Standard Ketogenic Diet, wherein a person follows a high-fat diet followed by protein and carbs consumption. The only difference between TKD and SKD is that in the case of former, the person on a TKD diet has to take feeds of carbohydrates just before and after one’s workout. This diet form is apt for individuals, who involve themselves in active physical sessions.
HighProtein Ketogenic Diet:
On an overall level, the High Protein Ketogenic Diet functions more or less like the Standard Ketogenic Diet. The only difference in this diet form is that this involves higher protein consumption as compared to SKD. Any person following the High Protein Ketogenic Diet is required to consume about 60% fats, 35% proteins, and around 5% carbs.
Normal individuals can opt for either the Standard Ketogenic Diet or the High Protein Ketogenic Diet. However, it would be more appropriate for bodybuilders and sports professionals to opt for either the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet or the Targeted Ketogenic Diet. Even though the basic principle of all these diets is, the same it is always better to take a well-informed call.
How is the Keto Diet different from other Diets?
As soon as someone is asked to go on a diet, the person in question starts fretting mainly because people consider diet to be an equivalent to starvation. The common notion is that when on a diet, one is forced to consume a reduced number of meals, reduced food portions and of course, a complete ban on an array of items that are otherwise considered high in calories or unhealthy. In reality, this is not what a diet is meant to be, even though most diets advocate the same.
When on a diet, all that you need to do is to consume a balanced diet. You need to focus on providing your body with all the essential nutrients. As long as you are consuming the right amount of calories from the right food items, there is nothing to worry about as such.
The Keto diet wins hands-on, on these parameters. When on a Keto diet you tend to consume fat-rich foods in sufficient quantities, which is why the question of starvation gets completely ruled out. This is one massive distinguishing factor between Keto and other diets in general.
Things to Remember when on a Keto Diet:
Take one step at a time:
Any new dietary program brings about a drastic change in one’s food and lifestyle habits. This is why; it is highly advisable to introduce diet changes at a rather slow pace. As discussed, keto requires you to cut down on your carbs intake. However, a point worth remembering here is to reduce the intake of carbs, one day at a time. Instead, if you choose to fully eliminate carbs from the Day 1 of Keto, your body might find it difficult to adjust to this sudden change. In days to come, you might even find it difficult to stick on to your Keto diet plan.
Carry out an in-depth study:
The internet is flooded with heaps of information as far as food ingredients and food recipes associated with Keto are concerned. Make these your best friends through your Ketogenic journey. To begin with, start looking out for low carbs substitutes for food items that you consume daily. Through this process, you might even end up coming across Ketogenic food ideas that compliment your taste buds. As and when the keto-based food alternatives increase; you will slowly start enjoying your diet program. This would also end food monotony of all sorts.
Do not miss out on your Nutrients:
Since Keto requires you to eliminate carbs from your diet; there are bright chances of a sudden vacuum forming in your body. This is where; it becomes essential for you to fuel up your body will all the essential nutrients, which include the likes of minerals, vitamins and even fiber for that matter. You will be able to achieve this goal by munching extensively on fresh vegetables. Having said that, your meals must comprise of non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, kale and others in this group. By doing this, you will not just be filling up your stomach, but at the same time, you will prevent yourself from feeling hungry and also be able to keep cravings at bay.
Keep Stress Levels under check:
To make the most of your Ketogenic diet, you must prevent your blood sugar levels from going haywire. You will only be able to control your blood sugar levels when you make sustained efforts to keep your stress levels under check. You need to understand that panic and anxiety will act as hurdles for you. Even though it is much easier to preach rather than practice, there are certain activities, which you can adopt to stay miles away from stress of all kinds. These activities include engaging in a relaxing yoga session or making meditation a daily practice. For some people, a highly intense workout may also help to get rid of stress. In the end, you need to figure out what works best for you.
Allow your body to Relax:
When you introduce any sort of change in your life, it takes a while for your body to interpret and adjust to such changes. The same is true about Keto as well. While on Keto, your body is obvious to experience some sort of transition. To avoid falling sick or to do away with coping issues, it would be wise to give enough rest to your body and mind. Irrespective of what your sleeping pattern has been in the past, now you need to develop the habit of sleeping for at least 6 to 8 hours every night. Similarly, it would be an added advantage if you follow a fixed bed timetable.
Stay Active & Exercise:
To reach your desired health goal, you need to widen your horizon and not rely on Keto alone. Though dietary changes are preliminary as far as getting healthier is concerned, you also need to lay your focus on staying physically active to your best ability. It is always a good idea to stick to a dedicated workout program each day. However, for people, who are finding it difficult to commit to such a program can simply work towards getting active while they perform their day-to-day chores. After all, taking a brisk walk in the park or walking your dog can also take you a long way.
Hydration is the Key:
When on Keto, your body is anyway experiencing a lot of change. Amidst all this, if you fail to consume enough water there are high chances that you may feel tired and exhausted. Hence, you should consume about 6 to 8 glasses of water each day. You can increase your water intake further if you are involved in an intense exercise routine or if it is a humid day. If you take hydration very lightly, you might end up feeling dizzy and lightheaded. If this continues for a longer time duration, you may even end up feeling constipated. There may be times when due to lack of water consumption you may find it difficult to differentiate between your hunger and thirst requirements and can eventually give in to your cravings. Hence, come what may you need to lay extensive focus on hydration.
Stay away from the Chatter:
Keto can only become a success for you if you put your mind and heart into the process. Blindly consuming keto-based foods will only make you lose track of the game in the future. One of the main reasons as to why such diets fail is because people give in to the chatter eventually. A lot is being said and advised. What needs to be understood here that it is always good to take advice, but whether or not to imbibe the same should be every individual’s call. This is mainly because what has worked out for one person may not necessarily work for the other. It is all about trying and testing various ideas.
If you have been thinking of taking up a diet program to be able to achieve certain health goals in the future, then it is certainly a good idea, to begin with, Keto. However, when you begin this worthwhile journey, make it a point to consider the above parameters and more so ever make them your guiding light through this journey.
To make this process even more interesting, you can find a Keto diet buddy for yourself, who would agree to take this road with you.
Confused about whether to start Keto or not? Now is the time to try it.