I’ve always fancied myself as a keto queen with the low carb, sugar free lifestyle I typically live – however there is more to the Ketogenic Diet than meets the eye. First off, what is ketogenic?
The goal of the Ketogenic Diet is to turn the body into a fat-burning machine. Restricting the intake of carbohydrates causes the body to deplete its glycogen stores, which are made up of carbohydrates, and in turn the body begins to use its fat storage as energy. The ketogenic diet is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and see a difference in muscle definition rather quickly.
Once the body has successfully depleted its carbohydrates and begun using its fat storage the body has entered into a phase called “ketosis.” During this phase your body is generating ketones in the liver, while eating away at your fat stores, to use as energy. Since carbohydrates have become a regular staple in our diets it is normal for you to feel extremely tired during this time as your body is working extremely hard to use ketones (fat) rather than glycogen (carbs) as an energy source.
In order to put a body into ketosis the individual must either fast or eat an all protein and healthy fats diet with no carbohydrates for at least three days. Everybody is different therefore, it can take up to six days for the body to reach ketosis from an all protein and healthy fats diet. Once your body has reached ketosis you will notice an immediate shift in your body and energy level.
After learning the complexity that is the Ketogenic Diet, I decided to enlist in Paleta, a farm to table food service that offers a two-phase ketogenic program to assist individuals in reaching the metabolic state of ketosis.
The following were my scheduled meals and how my body reacted.
The first phase of the diet is 3 days long and is crucial when beginning a ketogenic diet. Think of this phase as a detox, the body needs to detox the carbohydrates. Paleta knows that the best way to kickstart your body’s metabolism and fat-burning is to deplete the body’s carbohydrate stores by solely feeding you lean protein and healthy fats.
During this first phase I felt tired, lethargic and a little cloudy. Surprisingly I was not hungry considering how little I was eating. By day 3 I had already slimmed down a little with barely any exercise.
An example of a typical phase 1 day is as follows:
Within 3-6 days your body will reach ketosis, this is the goal of phase 1.
The second phase of the diet is no longer a detox. The portions are no longer the size of a pea and you can finally eat fruits vegetables again…but only the fruits and vegetables with low carbohydrate content. This phase enables your body to remain in its ketogenic states so that the body is continuing to use fat as energy rather than carbohydrates.
During the second phase my energy levels increased, the brain fog lifted, and I started exercising more. My tummy is usually slightly bloated, but with phase two I had a consistent flat stomach. I also noticed that any puffiness in my body had subsided, especially around my lower stomach and hips.
A typical day during phase 2 is as follows:
Continuing to eat a high protein and health fat diet with low carbohydrate intake will keep your body in ketosis so it is continually a fat burning machine.
The upside: To sum it up, my ‘keto kleanse’ experience with Paleta was awesome and one that I definitely recommend if you’re interested in accelerating weight loss or if you are looking for an easy introduction into keto where everything is done for you. The food was delicious and tasted fresh. I lost inches off my waist and hips, which were areas I was struggling with for quite some time.
The downside: During this process, my liver was under quite a bit of stress with the lack of greens and increased intake of red meat. Therefore, I wouldn’t suggest strict keto for long periods of time. Keto cycling may be optimal for two weeks at a time or try keto with lots of leafy greens. I also discovered that I have a slight intolerance to eggs. While keto can be healing for those with autoimmune, the increase consumption of eggs can inflame it. If you can do keto with limited eggs, I highly suggest that.
If you are vegetarian or vegan, here are some excellent sources to help you achieve ketosis:
Supplementing can also help accelerate weight loss, so if you are adhering to a ketogenic diet, then I would try incorporating BHB Ketones.
When in ketosis Beta-Hydroxybutyrate, or BHB, becomes the body and brain’s main source of energy. BHB is a ketone that your body naturally produces in the liver in order to give your body energy when there is no glucose to use as energy. Supplementing your body with BHB is extremely helpful when starting a ketogenic since the natural production of the ketone can take time. Adding a BHB supplement can help your body reach ketosis more therefore help you achieve the results from a ketogenic diet more quickly.
Here is the supplement that I recommend: Keto Fire
Liver support is also crucial during this massive shock to your body. If you feel your liver is stressed out, clean it out. We all know and love Bulletproof coffee, but did you know that you can also shoot it up your bum? Coffee enemas are one of the strongest liver detoxes and energy boosters out there.
Yours in Health,