Keto 101

A beginner’s guide to the ketogenic diet.

Rachel Hinch - May 2019

Keto 101

A beginner’s guide to the ketogenic diet.

Rachel Hinch - May 2019

-Shuttestock

WHAT IS THE KETO DIET?
Low-carb diets have always been a fan favorite for quick, effective weight loss. However, the keto diet is much more than that. The idea is to minimize your intake of carbohydrates to about 5 percent of your daily nutrition so that your body enters a state of ketosis. This is when your body switches fuel. Normally, energy is taken from glucose—the sugar made from carbohydrates. In ketosis, your body uses energy from ketones, which are typically found in stored fats. So, less carbs burns more fat, which leads to weight loss.

HOW DOES IT HELP WEIGHT LOSS?
In addition to burning fat deposits for energy, a drastic low-carb diet can mean a lower caloric intake. Restricted caloric intake will inherently lead to short-term weight loss. Cutting out carbs and increasing protein and fats can also encourage weight loss as water-based glycogens (glucose storage) dwindle out of your body and water weight is lost. An increase in protein and fat consumption may also help you feel full and thus suppress your appetite.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS?
When it comes to short-term loss, low-carb diets come out on top, above low-fat or Mediterranean diets. But for lasting effects, remember this diet is high maintenance and requires a true change in lifestyle. And, as with any restrictive diet, there are some downsides to consider. Many people experience the “keto flu” in the first few days of fully embracing the keto diet. The symptoms are very similar to those of the actual flu and are caused by the shift in electrolyte balances. It is also critical to look out for any nutritional deficiencies: low sodium, low potassium, and low vitamin C can all lead to sluggishness, brain fog, and constipation. If this happens, it is important that you stay hydrated, avoid strenuous exercising, replace electrolytes, and get plenty of rest.

SO WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY EAT?
Experts say to aim for a daily nutritional balance of 75 percent fats, 20 percent proteins, and 5 percent carbohydrates. When talking about fats, saturated fats are preferred. Oils and butters are high in saturated fats, as well as proteins like beef and pork. But unsaturated fats like nuts and avocado can helpful fulfill your daily fat intake goals. There are few restrictions on proteins, but fruits and vegetables can get tricky. Fruits should be kept to a minimum as they are high in sugar, yet a handful of berries can be had without breaking out of ketosis. Vegetables are restricted to primarily dark, leafy greens. Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, bell peppers, cucumbers, and celery are all key players in this type of diet.





You May Also Like


Health & Wellness

How to Approach Your Healthy Eating Goals

Health coach Lauren Shafer of Live Full shares her tips.

Health & Wellness

Cold Affront

Winter-proof beauty updates to protect your skin.

Health & Wellness

Making Strides

Accomplish your New Year's fitness resolutions with these eco-friendly products.


Charmed Life

How to Set Realistic New Year's Resolutions

Local life coaches explain how to set goals that you'll actually stick to in 2020.

Health & Wellness

Ma’am Overboard

Age is just a number—until you look in the mirror.

Charmed Life

Tips for Starting a Meditation Routine

Anjali Sunita of Baltimore Yoga Village shares her relaxation techniques.

-Shuttestock

Doctor Finder

Connect With Us

Most Read


Maya Rockeymoore Cummings Declares For Late Husband’s Seat: We break down the familiar faces in upcoming special Democratic primary.

What to Know About the Maryland Cycling Classic Coming September 2020: For starters, Baltimore's pro cycling event will be more than 100 miles long.

Maryland Politicians React to Trump Impeachment: Local leaders reflect and look ahead at Senate trial.

Meet the Ravens’ 25-Year-Old, Number-Crunching Whiz Who Has John Harbaugh’s Ear: Park School alum Daniel Stern helps call the game-changing shots for his hometown team.

Maryland Native Maggie Rogers Receives First Grammy Nomination: The singer-songwriter was nominated for “Best New Artist” alongside big-name acts.