The name keto is a derivative of the word “Ketogenic,” which is the metabolic state that the body will enter once the state of ketosis is achieved through the food we eat.
Keto, or the ketogenic diet, has been growing in popularity for many years and the main concept of the keto diet is to restrict the amounts of carbohydrates and sugar to enable the body to change the way it metabolizes food for fuel.
The keto way of life will see you restricting the number of carbohydrates and sugar you consume, to a level where the body will enter a metabolic shift called ketosis, where your body will use its own fat stores and the ketones produced from this process as fuel for your body.
The action of restricting sugar and carbohydrates as part of the keto diet can provoke significant weight loss in a short time, once the body has entered ketosis and your body is functioning in a ketogenic state.
How much sugar can you have on keto?
The answer will always be to stick to under 20g a day to establish the initial ketogenic state. Ketones are released as your metabolic state switches from carbohydrates and sugar as its primary fuel source to ketones and body fat.
Still, when you think about it, these elements of a diet weren’t as freely available until more modern times, so actually, the body is designed to work perfectly well without them in the high quantities that modern-day food availability allows us to have.
Carbohydrates and sugar, apart from being components of food, are actually the most accessible sources of quick-release energy for your body.
They provide fuel for us, but not without a downside to their intake.
As these components are taken on inside the body, there comes a time shortly after their consumption where the energy runs out seemingly just as quickly as it went in.
This energy that rapidly runs out causes a crash in energy and functions, so you rely on more sugar and carbs to bring you back up again, and so the energy/crash cycle begins again.
On keto, your body learns to switch its metabolic state from using food (carbohydrates and sugars) as its energy source to burning ketones for fuel when the state of ketosis is achieved.
Ketosis can only be achieved by restricting the amount of sugar and carbohydrates you take in through your diet.
Your body can and will manage perfectly well without excessive quantities of either of these elements; however, it can be challenging to drastically reduce carbohydrates and sugar.
It’s important to highlight here how sugar and carbohydrates are connected for the purposes of keto.
It’s all in the element of glucose.
Sugar is obviously something that contains a tremendous amount of glucose as standard. Still, when our bodies metabolize carbohydrates, any excess energy that is not used through exertion will be stored by the body as glucose, therefore converting into body fat.
A ketogenic state can occur in the body when the consumption of carbohydrates is drastically reduced, And by reduced, we mean lowering all carbohydrate content to a maximum of 20g a day.
You may hear of people having a higher amount of carbohydrates in their daily intake and still being in ketosis, and this can be true.
However, they are usually seasoned professionals at conducting low-carb processes. They can also be in a keto maintenance mode after a considerable weight loss.
You will find the carbohydrate content on the packaging of any food you buy. A great rule to stick to is that anything between 1-4g of carbohydrates per 100g serving is excellent.
What other components of my diet do I need to amend?
Today’s keto diets advocate 75% of calories from fat, 25% from protein, and less than 5% from carbs, which will put your body into the metabolic state of ketosis.
Ketosis is a process that happens when your body is essentially deprived of enough carbohydrates to burn for energy.
So instead, your body will burn existing fat stores (and we all have them!), which creates a substance called ketones, which are secreted from the liver, which the body then uses as an immediate source of fuel in the absence of glucose (which carbohydrates and sugar give you)
In essence, the keto way of life removes the higher quantities of glucose from your consumption to force the body into producing ketones, which will then become your source of fuel, taken from the stores of fat you already have and wish not to have.
You’ll find that a lot of convenience food contains hidden sugars and carbs. We should be heading to the naturally high protein sources of food to keep the carbohydrate count low and within the daily targets.
Foods to eat on a keto diet
- Leafy green Vegetables
- Nuts (in moderation)
While keto is quite open with these foods, please be mindful of the amount of fruit you eat on this plan, as many fruits contain natural sugars, affecting ketosis.
Stick to a handful of berries a day, such as blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries, as these contain the least amount of carbohydrates per 100g serving but actually have the most antioxidants needed for immune health.
What can the keto diet do for me?
The keto way of life is perfect for losing weight, and that’s probably why you are here reading this!
While the weight loss element is true, we need to make it crystal clear that the weight loss that the keto process provokes will differ from one person to the next: we are all different.
Our bodies will tolerate different techniques in differing ways, and keto is no different.
Main ketogenic diet benefits
- Improved insulin resistance
- More energy
- Reduced inflammation
- Less Bloating
- More regular bowel movements
Sometimes, it’s not just about weight loss; it can be about improving other elements of health that are sometimes difficult to control in another way.
It’s always best to stick to under 20g a day to establish the initial ketogenic state. Ketones are released as your metabolic state switches from carbohydrates and sugar as its primary fuel source to ketones and body fat.
Once you have established that ketogenic state, you can increase your carbohydrate and sugar intake daily, but be cautious of having a dramatic increase of either or both, which will certainly knock you out of your ketogenic state.
The ketogenic diet is not easy to achieve or maintain. Still, it is the most rewarding plan to follow if you are looking to lose a lot of weight in a short time or you are looking to improve your current and future insulin resistance.
All in all, keto holds a lot of popularity for a reason; it is quick and effective when it comes to shifting excess weight, but it also has some excellent side effects, such as better energy and a better overall lifestyle.
It’s essential to ready food labels correctly while on keto. We prepared a video for you: