When we’re about to start a major lifestyle change, it’s easy to get caught up in the wonder and the vision we have for our future self that’s happy and floating around and without any struggles. These images are great to hold onto for motivation, but preparation and research might turn out to be more helpful in the long run. The following will break down some of the things you need to know before you decide to embark on a ketogenic lifestyle change.
Of course, everybody is different, which means for the most accurate information about keto living in your particular context, speak to a healthcare professional or a naturopath with an understanding of your medical history.
What Is The Ketogenic Diet?
Broadly, the keto diet is an eating plan that focuses on reducing carbohydrates and increasing fats. According to the keto guide at https://forketolife.com/, the result, if done properly, is increased ketones in the blood, which can have a lot of positive health effects. This, in turn, teaches your body to burn fat rather than burning sugars and carbs as its primary source of energy. The diet has been shown to have a positive impact on many health conditions, chronic diseases, blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, energy levels, and healthy weight loss.
Who Is It For?
Of course, from a scientific and medical standpoint, a ketogenic diet is a lot more than that. To be keto by definition, fat ends up covering about 90% of your daily calories. It is sometimes a medically recommended diet for various conditions, including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, glycogen storage disease, multiple sclerosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, traumatic brain injuries, diabetes, GLUT1 deficiency syndrome, certain cancers, obesity, autism, Parkinson’s disease, and migraine headaches. More connections are being made between a ketogenic diet and other chronic illnesses all the time.
What Are The Risks
Like any choice in life, the ketogenic contains changes that result in risks and rewards. Nutrient deficiency is a common problem with any diet as often; dieters find three or four foods that meet their new criteria and stick to them instead of exploring a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods. Like a vegan eating only french fries, a ketogenic person must seek out fresh fruits and vegetables for micronutrients. Given the limited amount of carbs allowed, this means some planning ahead. Further, because fat is metabolized by the liver, a ketogenic diet isn’t right for people suffering from certain liver problems. Speak to a doctor before switching over if you’re not sure where your liver condition fits. Likewise, since the kidneys help to metabolize proteins, the keto diet (which tends to be filled with protein) can sometimes overload them. Constipation is another potential problem as the ketogenic diet is lower in foods with lots of fiber than some other diets. Most people find their body adjusts eventually, but if this is something you already struggle with, it would be best to reach out to a medical professional for advice.
What Happens When You Limit Sugars
Many of us are horrifically addicted to sugar without knowing it. What’s more, we’re ingesting way more sugar than we know because it’s hiding in everything (ketchup, for instance, is packed with it). This means that early on in the adoption of a ketogenic diet, many people go through literal withdrawal. Sugar in our bodies triggers an endorphin release. Studies have even found that sugar withdrawal mirrors withdrawal from drugs like heroin and cocaine. Symptoms include intense cravings for sweets or fast-digesting carbohydrates like chips, bread, or pasta, irritability, headaches, muscle aches, nausea, anxiety, stomach cramps, lack of energy, and depressed mood. You might be laughing this point off or thinking nothing of it. We’d urge you to prepare for a period of sugar withdrawal (it can last up to a few weeks).
Be Prepared For A Learning Curve
Once you start paying attention to sugar levels and carb levels in everyday foods, there is a period of shock that tends to follow. Sugars are hiding in so much of our food that you might go through a period of feeling betrayed or misled by your parents, your educational institutions, or the food industry more broadly. Anger, resentment, and you mean to say that all this time I thought I was healthy, I was actually hurting myself? thought processes are common. A big part of this journey is going to involve forgiveness—forgiving people for misleading you (they didn’t know what they didn’t know) and forgiving yourself for inevitable slip-ups. That yogurt looked healthy and is all dairy, so you figured it would be fine, then you read the label—that sort of slip up. It’s okay. You can’t do anything about the past, but you can work towards a healthier future.
The above information should help you get ready for a ketogenic lifestyle shift. Take your time and do the research, learn some recipes, figure out what you’re going to do when your friends want to grab those coffees that are half whipped cream. It’s all a process, and if you keep working at it, you’ll get somewhere good.