KETO//OS- What is this?
Now that your understand Keto/Ketosis here is KETO//OS
Does it all make sense now?
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How to Reach Ketosis
Achieving ketosis is a pretty straightforward, but it can seem complicated and confusing with all of the information out there. Here’s the bottom line on what you need to do, ordered in levels of importance:
A keto diet is well known for being a low carb diet/high fat, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy.
When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin.
Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates.
Our bodies are incredibly adaptive to what you put into it – when you overload it with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source. Optimal ketone levels offer many health, weight loss, physical and mental performance benefits.
Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
Weight Loss The ketogenic diet essentially uses your body fat as an energy source – so there are obvious weight loss benefits. On keto, your insulin (the fat storing hormone) levels drop greatly which turns your body into a fat burning machine.
Scientifically, the ketogenic diet has shown better results compared to low-fat and high-carb diets; even in the long term.
Many people incorporate MCT Oil into their diet (it increases ketone production and fat loss) by drinking ketoproof coffeein the morning.
Control Blood Sugar Keto naturally lowers blood sugar levels due to the type of foods you eat. Studies even show that the ketogenic diet is a more effective way to manage and prevent diabetes compared to low-calorie diets.
If you’re pre-diabetic or have Type II diabetes, you should seriously consider a ketogenic diet. We have many readers that have had success with their blood sugar control on keto.
You can read their success stories here >
Mental Focus Many people use the ketogenic diet specifically for the increased mental performance.
Ketones are a great source of fuel for the brain. When you lower carb intake, you avoid big spikes in blood sugar. Together, this can result in improved focus and concentration.
Studies show that an increased intake of fatty acids can have impacting benefits to our brain’s function.
You can read a few more benefits of keto for the brain by clicking here >
Increased Energy & Normalized Hunger By giving your body a better and more reliable energy source, you will feel more energized during the day. Fats are shown to be the most effective molecule to burn as fuel.
On top of that, fat is naturally more satisfying and ends up leaving us in a satiated (“full”) state for longer. If you’re interested in the science behind how ketosis works, read more here >
Epilepsy The ketogenic diet has been used since the early 1900’s to treat epilepsy successfully. It is still one of the most widely used therapies for children who have uncontrolled epilepsy today. Learn more at The Charlie Foundation
One of the main benefits of the ketogenic diet and epilepsy is that it allows fewer medications to be used while still offering excellent control.
In the last few years, studies have also shown significant results in adults treated with keto as well.
Cholesterol & Blood Pressure A keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup. More specifically low-carb, high-fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL and decrease in LDL particle concentration compared to low-fat diets. Read more on keto and cholesterol >
Many studies on low-carb diets show better improvement in blood pressure over other diets.
Some blood pressure issues are associated with excess weight, which is a bonus since keto tends to lead to weight loss.
Insulin Resistance Insulin resistance can lead to type II diabetes if left unmanaged. An abundant amount of research shows that a low carb, ketogenic diet can help people lower their insulin levels to healthy ranges. Read more on keto and insulin resistance >
Even if you’re athletic, you can benefit from insulin optimization on keto through eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Acne It’s common to experience improvements in your skin when you switch to a ketogenic diet.
Here’s one study that shows drops in lesions and skin inflammation when switching to a low-carb diet. Another study that shows a probable connection between high-carb eating and increased acne, so it’s likely that keto can help.
For acne, it may be beneficial to reduce dairy intake and follow a strict skin cleaning regimen.
What Do I Eat on a Keto Diet?
To start a keto diet, you will want to plan ahead. That means having a viable diet plan ready and waiting. What you eat depends on how fast you want to get into a ketogenic state. The more restrictive you are on your carbohydrates (less than 10g per day), the faster you will enter ketosis.
You want to keep your carbohydrates limited, coming mostly from vegetables, nuts, and dairy. Don’t eat any refined carbohydrates such as wheat (bread, pasta, cereals), starch (potatoes, beans, legumes) or fruit. The small exceptions to this are avocado, star fruit, and berries which can be consumed in moderation.
Do Not Eat
Try to remember that keto is high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbs. Your nutrient intake should be something around 70% fats, 20% protein, and 10% carbohydrate.
Typically, anywhere between 20-30g of net carbs is recommended for everyday dieting – but the lower you keep your carbohydrate intake and glucose levels, the better the overall results will be. If you’re doing keto for weight loss, it’s a good idea to keep track of both your total carbs and net carbs.
Protein should always be consumed as needed with fat filling in the remainder of the calories in your day.
You might be asking, “What’s a net carb?” It’s simple really! The net carbs are your total dietary carbohydrates, minus the total fiber. I recommend keeping total carbs below 35g and net carbs below 25g (ideally, below 20g).
If you’re finding yourself hungry throughout the day, you can snack on nuts, seeds, cheeses, or peanut butter to curb your appetite (though snacking can slow weight loss in the long term). Sometimes we can confuse the want to snack with the need of a meal. If you’re in a rush and need a keto fast food option, there are some available.
Vegetables on a Ketogenic DietDark green and leafy is always the best choice for vegetables. Most of your meals should be a protein with vegetables, and an extra side of fat. Chicken breast basted in olive oil, with broccoli and cheese. Steak topped with a knob of butter, and a side of spinach sauteed in olive oil.
If you’re still confused about what a net carb is, don’t worry – I’ll explain further. Let’s say for example you want to eat some broccoli (1 cup) – seriously my favorite and most delicious vegetable out there.
Getting started is simple: just dive in! It’s always good to spend some time cleaning out your kitchen pantry and adding in new staples.
44 Healthy Foods Under $1
When you're on a budget and shopping for one, it can feel nearly impossible to stock up on healthy foods. Fear not: We did the work for you. Check out our list of 44 tasty and healthy foods that'll cost you less than a buck per serving.
Many snacks marketed as “healthy” actually aren’t. A good number contain sugars that raise your blood sugar and then cause an energy crash. Others contain empty carbs, lacking the fiber and protein needed to keep you full and energized.
For a healthy and sustaining snack, choose foods high in fiber, protein, and water, which fill up your stomach, let your brain know you are full, and take a while to digest, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D.N., author and nutrition consultant to the Chicago Cubs. Read on for 12 sneaky snacks that might be sabotaging your health routine. Surprised? We were.
1. PretzelsThough they’re often touted as “healthy” since they’re low in fat, pretzels aren’t doing your body any favours. Made from refined flour, they have little nutritional benefit. “Many varieties provide little fiber and virtually no protein, so they aren't very filling,” says Katherine Brooking, R.D., a nutritionist and Today show contributor. Plus, they’re easy to overeat, thanks to the salty flavor that’s almost addictive to our palates.
The better bet: Leave these guys out of the pantry, and opt for a handful of pistachios (shelling them makes the snack last longer too).
2. Energy BarsWe know, it’s so easy to toss one in your bag on the way out the door, but pre-packaged bars are often loaded with extra sugar, sodium, and calories that your body would be much better without, Brooking says. Some can pack up to 250 or more calories—but since they’re highly processed and relatively small in volume, they don’t tend to fill you up. “They are fine in a pinch, but you’re better off with snacks that have more volume and take longer to eat,” Blatner says.
The better bet: Opt for a healthier bar (we like KIND) that has no added sugars, natural ingredients you can name and count, and is a good source of protein and fiber. No matter which you choose, always check the label, Brooking says. Aim for at least 5 grams of protein and 3 grams fiber in less than 200 calories—and steer clear of any that contain more than 3 or 4 grams of saturated fat, trans fats, or any artificial ingredients or preservatives, says Brooking.
3. SmoothiesDon’t worry—we’re not hating on all smoothies here. Homemade ones can be delicious and nutritious. But many of the store-bought kind are chock-full of added sugars and calories, as they're made from fruit and not much else. Remember, drinking calories is not as filling as eating them, Blatner says. Plus, the ones at your local smoothie joint are often super-size—not really the type of portion control you're looking for, Brooking adds.
The better bet: A smoothie bowl! Make a half serving of smoothie, and top with fresh fruit, seeds, and nuts for more staying power and tasty crunch. Eating it with a spoon gives you the sensation of “eating” rather than “drinking,” which will be more filling, Blatner says.
Your favorite yogurt partner is striking out. Turns out granola is high in calories because of the extra fat and sugar it contains to make it taste so darn good. (For common brands, a mere 1/2 cup contains 210 calories, 4.5 grams of fat and 12 grams of sugar.) Plus, it doesn’t really have much staying power, since it’s low in water content, which is needed to add volume and better fill your stomach, signaling to your brain you are full, Blatner says.
The better bet: Eat it in moderation. Instead of grabbing handfuls straight from the bag, measure out a single serving, and opt for healthier (homemade if possible!) options that use natural sweeteners like honey and extra nuts for more protein. Or make a bowl of oatmeal, which contains more water.
5. Cold-Pressed Fruit JuicesAh, the juice craze. Sure, juice cleanses sound healthy, but with all the fruit sugar crammed into each bottle, they're not really doing your body much good. (Natural sugar is still sugar.) Cold-pressed or fresh-squeezed fruit juices without pulp can spike your blood sugar and ultimately make you even hungrier, says Joy Bauer, R.D.N., author, health and nutrition expert for the Today show, and founder of Nourish Snacks. To give you an idea, one bottle of green juice from a popular brand contains about 120 calories, 26 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber. What's more—it contains two servings (who saves half for later?).
The better bet: Enjoy a juice that is purely vegetable-based and contains less natural sugars and carbs, or, for an even healthier option, just eat whole fruits and veggies, Bauer suggests. Enjoy a few protein-packed nuts on the side for a more well-rounded snack.
6. PopcornMunching on popcorn during a movie can be a wiser option than diving into a pint of ice cream, but it’s still not optimal—especially when it has butter or sugars added, like common microwave or bagged butter or kettle corn popcorns. In addition, some microwave popcorns contain a chemical, diacetyl, that artificially adds a buttery taste and has been associated with lung disease and poor lung function (known as "popcorn lung"). While this is more risky for people who work in a popcorn manufacturing facility, consumers should be aware.
The better bet: Look for a popcorn with no added sugars, hydrogenated oils, or trans fat. Better yet, make your own at home in an air-popper, or check out the Greatist Approved Groceries list for healthier, store-bought versions.
7. 100-Calorie Packs
“Surveys show that a full 25 percent of daily calories are now coming from snacks, so it's really like a fourth meal,” Brooking says. “Unless you are doing a lot of endurance training or have high-calorie needs for other reasons, snacking can easily add up to extra unwanted pounds.” But even portion-controlled snacking has its pitfalls. Just because you're only eating 100 calories worth of food doesn’t mean it’s good for you—100 calories of cookies, probably not the best choice. They're also highly processed and typically lack satiating nutrients like protein and fiber.
The better bet: Grab a handful of nuts, like pistachios or almonds. If you stick to a one-ounce portion, you’ll get plenty of nutrients for just over 100 calories, which will be a lot more satisfying than a nutrition-less snack pack.
8. CerealPouring yourself a bowl of cereal is the quick solution to an empty stomach, but most snackable cereals are—you guessed it—full of sugar and carbs that don’t really fill you up and just keep you coming back for more.
The better bet: All cereals aren’t bad for you, in fact, new researchshows that cereal can be a great source of fiber, an important nutrient that Americans aren't getting enough of. No need to shun the cereal aisle altogether—next time you're there, just reach for a healthier box.
9. SushiWe love sushi for a quick meal or snack just as much as the next Seamless addict, but it’s time to accept that it’s not as healthy as we might like. Your favorite rolls contain a lot more white rice than you’d expect (one roll can have one cup), which spikes your blood sugar levels. And while it may be obvious, those "crispy" (a.k.a. fried) rolls, mayo-based sauces, and imitation ingredients (like crab)simply aren’t great for you.
The better bet: Next time you hit up the sushi restaurant, shift your gaze to the sashimi that’s just plain fish without rice. Or swap white rice for brown, a healthier, whole-grain carbohydrate.
10. Chips (Even "Veggie" Chips)
Baked chips are typically marketed with health claims, but while they may be a tad healthier than the fried kind, there aren't many benefits to these crunchy snacks. Need proof? Just check the label. Any chips (even healthy-sounding quinoa chips) made with mostly refined corn flour won’t do a great job of keeping you full. One exception: "Sometimes when the veggie chips are actually made from dehydrated vegetables, they will have a good dose of vitamins, minerals, or fiber," Blatner says.
The better bet: Craving crunch? Try some veggies and some type of protein: cucumber slices with an easy dip, like Greek yogurt and dill, or bake up some kale chips at home. Or if you really want good old-fashioned potato chips, go for a bag on our Greatist Approved Groceries List—and pair with hummus or a Laughing Cow or Mini Babybel cheese for staying power.
11. Low-Fat DairyStore packaging and sales gimmicks try to make us think that no fat is better than some, but that's not quite right. Milk fat contains CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which research suggests may help burn fat and build muscle, Blatner says. So it's actually good for you in moderation (like all things!). Plus, in fat-free or low-fat products, the missing fat is usually replaced with sugars, cautions Blatner.
The better bet: Go for whole or 2-percent milk products (like string cheese or yogurt)—they're healthier and taste better too.
12. Snack BoxesSnack subscription boxes have hit the market in a big way—but it turns out they’re not as healthy as advertised. Many are filled with extra ingredients, and all the choices in front of you may encourage you to eat more. "Whenever you have variety in flavors, it’s extremely hard to feel full since variety stimulates appetite," Blatner says. Meaning you'll have a very hard time stopping if you have a gourmet mix of all sorts of nuts, seeds, fruits, chocolates, and more sitting in front of you.
The better bet: Replace that snack pack with a handful of raw almonds or peanuts and some fresh grapes or an apple. You’ll still get a nut and fruit flavor, but you’ll feel full and energized, rather than wanting to reach for another pack.
5 Tips for Planning Your Dinner Out
7 Tips for Healthy Eating On the Go
If it's spontaneous and you don't have time to strategize, don't worry. These tips will help you eat out without derailing your progress:
Use these tips to eat out with confidence, be social and stay on track. Bon appétit!