There are plenty of ‘keto meal prep plans’ or ‘keto-friendly snacks’ out there that tout superiority over others like it in the market by claiming to provide rapid weight loss. BUT, more often than not, they fall flat when it comes to producing actual results.
So… what should you do then? What is the best way to do Keto?
Well! It all starts with getting yourself up to speed on the latest findings and trends. After all, the Keto diet is only effective if you fully understand all that’s involved.
Don’t worry! It’s easier than you think! Once you understand the concept, you can apply it to your own circumstances, your own goals, and, of course, to your own body.
And so, without further ado — whether you’re new to Keto or a haggard Keto veteran…
Let’s get started!
Keto 101: Back to Basics
Keto can be considered quite complex at times. But really…
Keto is just tricking our bodies to burn the fat that we’ve stored inside of it.
All we’re doing is limiting the amount of immediate energy our body has (by lowering our carb/caloric intake), to force our body to source that energy from our own reserves. Thus, effectively, allowing us to rapidly burn fat, and, ultimately, lose weight!
Conceptually, this is simple. Take away the carbs, and your body burns fat! Done deal.
However, it’s the actualization of this practice that most people struggle with.
This brings us to the following…
Keto Science: In a Nutshell
For Keto to work, you have to learn about macronutrients.
This is probably the trickiest part about learning how to do Keto, and it’s definitely the most difficult to actually put into practice. In fact, it will require a lot of practice and pre-planning on your end. However, once you’ve figured it out, then your results will become exponential!
Different Keto plans have different ways of breaking down the dreaded macros. But the basic principle applies for all of them. That is…
- LOW CARB = 5% to 10%
- MEDIUM PROTEIN = 25% to 30%
- HIGH FAT = 60% to 70%
Some people will take it to the extreme, by recommending that you eat under 5% of carbohydrates and up to 80% of fat to properly do Keto. And… in truth, that’s neither wrong nor right.
Once you get more used to the diet, you may find that you have to take it to the extreme to make it work. Or, you might find it to be the exact opposite.
Everyone has a sweet spot for maximum effectiveness.
But, for the sake of getting used to the diet, the average person should follow the breakdown we introduced above. This is the most effective way of starting up ‘Ketosis’ — which is the term used to describe the effects of Keto in the body.
If you want to be able to kickstart ketosis and get your body burning fat, you’ll need to keep a couple of things in mind. We’ve broken down the basic dos and the basic don’ts below. However, these are just basic instructions, we’ll go over it in more detail later…
Keto DOs and DON’Ts
- DO intermittent fasting to boost results!
- DO try to decrease carb intake to around 20-50 grams per day.
- DO exercise to actually burn fat.
- DO stay hydrated or supplement for electrolyte deficiency.
- DO NOT rush, Ketosis takes 2-4 days to activate.
- DO NOT over-snack — to prevent excess caloric intake.
- DO NOT drink alcohol or eat too much sugar!
How to Use Keto to the Fullest!
Everyone has their own reasons for trying out Keto. It’s been around since the 1920s, and we’ve learned more and more about its different benefits as the decades passed.
However, with so many different ways to use or take advantage of Keto’s many benefits, it can be pretty difficult to keep a central goal in mind — which is actually vital in making sure that you use Keto to the fullest! Of course, it’s up to you to figure out just what you want from Keto.
By figuring out what you want, you can use the Ketosis process to its fullest potential!
That’s the first step in trying to do Keto correctly!
To that end, here are the five most common reasons people try Keto, along with details on how you can change the diet slightly to account for your specific goals:
Keto for Weight Loss
The most common reason people try Keto is for its weight loss properties.
And, as the diet that is the closest to fasting — which also tricks the body into using up its stored energy source, this is more than acceptable. Most Keto plans acknowledge this fact and have already arranged for more success in this regard.
However, if you want to know what other things you can do in order to speed up your weight loss with Keto. Here are some things that you can try:
- Limit Carb intake to 20-50 grams per day!
- Eat nutrient-rich foods and avoid processed foods.
- Create a calorie deficit to actually burn fat.
- Establish good exercise habits to burn off excess calories.
And, finally, make sure that your weight loss expectations are realistic. According to Healthline, most experts recommend that you aim to lose only 1-3 pounds per week. As this can go a long way in making sure that you lose weight steadily rather than just fleetingly.
Keto for Fat Burn
Outside of just general weight loss, there are those who try Keto in order to burn fat specifically — usually as a way to improve their BMI. If this is your goal, then you should already know that Ketosis has actually proven to effectively burn fat!
However, what you might not know is that there are certain things that you can do in order to accelerate your progress for this purpose specifically.
For example, those who want to burn fat with Keto should try to consume fats that cannot be stored as body fat or fat that is consumed quickly for energy. An example of this type of fat can be found in MCT oil or Coconut oil, it’s called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
By eating this type of fat, you can limit the amount of dietary fat stored whilst maintaining the required amount of fat-intake to stay healthy during Keto!
Fortunately, doing this nowadays is easy. There are countless of MCT oils and powders available in the market for this reason, after all — which you can buy for the purpose of supplementing your diet for more efficient fat burn.
Keto to Improve Blood Sugar & Blood Pressure Levels
Elevated blood pressure levels is something that almost a third of American adults are dealing with today — according to the CDC.
If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels and you want to try the Keto diet, then congratulations! It’s seen as one of the best and most natural ways you can lower your blood pressure levels — it may even normalize your blood pressure completely!
According to certain reports Keto is even effectively being used as a treatment for Type II diabetes, as it forces the body to maintain low glucose levels which reduces the need for insulin.
But, whilst this is true for most, this is unfortunately not the case for everyone!
Before you even attempt to use Keto to lower your blood pressure and sugar levels… here are some things that you should keep in mind.
- Increase fluid and salt intake (for the first 2 weeks) to minimize side-effects.
- Increase caloric intake — make sure you’re eating enough calories.
- Avoid keto if you have Hypercholesterolemia.
- Avoid keto if you’re on blood-pressure medication.
If you have any trouble adapting to this diet, the best thing to do is to talk to your doctor! They will know what to do. In fact, you should do so even before you consider trying Keto for yourself. As they will surely know whether this is a diet that will help you in your quest to normalize your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, or if it will just prove to be a hindrance.
Keto for More Focus and More Energy
Although not necessarily something most people have in mind when it comes to trying out Keto, we’re certain a lot of Keto veterans can attest to the increased focus and energy boost that they experience once they’ve fully adapted to the diet.
However, this benefit is a lot more difficult to achieve than most. And, for most people, it is completely normal to experience the exact opposite — called the Keto Flu, where, instead of an energy boost, they report a fogginess in the brain that makes them feel sick and exhausted.
If you’re suffering from this, don’t worry! There are a couple things you can do to get back on the right path. Which includes the following:
- Sleep! Not sleeping properly during Keto can make your energy levels suffer greatly.
- Take Exogenous Ketone supplements to make up for an electrolyte deficiency.
- Consume MCTs to increase access to instant energy.
If the fatigue persists, then look over your fundamentals. Consider how you’ve broken down your macro intake and see if there have been any missteps along the way. And, most importantly, make sure that you’re eating enough calories.
Researchers have found that Keto can effectively suppress your appetite (more on that below), which has proven to be troublesome for some. As it can greatly decrease the number of calories you’re eating — which can lead to too high of a caloric deficit.
So, make sure you’re eating enough! Or else, you’ll never be able to experience the increased focus and energy boost that a lot of long-term Keto dieters strive for.
Keto for Appetite Suppression
As mentioned above, another benefit of Keto is appetite suppression. People on Keto often experience reduced hunger pains and cravings. Which is great for those who find themselves constantly snacking or eating when they shouldn’t.
According to certain studies, this phenomenon has been studied and associated with a hunger hormone called ghrelin (which increases appetite). Supposedly, when in Ketosis, the body decreases the production of ghrelin, as it focuses on consuming body fat as energy instead.
Because of this, we feel less hungry while on Keto. Or better yet, we are hungry, but because our body isn’t producing ghrelin as it normally does, we just don’t feel it as much as usual.
This benefit naturally occurs while our body is in ketosis and actively using stored fat as energy. So, you don’t have to do anything special — you just have to be in ketosis.
It takes the average dieter around 2-4 days to enter this state. Something that you can confirm yourself by calculating your ketone levels with a breath, urine, or blood test.
Boost Keto Efficiency!
We’ve mentioned quite a few tips to help you along the way already.
But just to drive the point home once and for all, we’ve also included this quick breakdown of all the different things you can do in order to increase your Keto-efficiency. Starting with…
Optimize Your Carb Intake
One of the key driving factors of the Keto diet is your carb intake. As mentioned before, the recommended amount is around 5% to 10%. This will work for the average person.
However, there are those who might have to take things further — and limit it even more. Like 50 grams per day, or even, only 20 grams per day.
This is especially true for your first few days (or weeks) of Keto. In order to achieve the ketosis state sooner, you might want to cut back your carb intake to the lowest recommended amount (less than 20 grams per day), and then slowly increase your intake once you’re in ketosis.
Include MCTs In Your Diet
This was mentioned earlier as well. But MCTs, the type of fat that cannot be stored and thus, is immediately used as energy, are a great source of fat in your diet.
In truth, one of the most difficult parts of Keto is making sure that you eat enough fat while avoiding overly saturated fats. The easiest way of overcoming this issue is to include MCTs into your Keto diet.
To do this, you can source MCT fats naturally by including Coconut oil in your meal prep or by supplementing MCT regularly in oil or powder form (which you can easily buy online.)
Exercise More and More
This may seem obvious, but Keto won’t work unless your body is actually using up energy — only then will it tap into your stored fat reserves to produce ketones as fuel.
Furthermore, exercise has been proven to increase ketone production — which will not only get you into ketosis faster but should also get your body accustomed to using ketones (produced from stored fat) and fatty acid as an alternate fuel-source that much sooner.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is another way you can go about boosting your results. It’s not one that we’ve mentioned in detail so far, but only because it’s not really a requirement.
Fasting while on Keto is not something that everyone can, or even, should do. However, it’s taken as a fact that intermittent fasting can boost Keto results rapidly.
It’s a tactic that is most often used a couple of days before you even start Keto. Having such a large caloric deficit to start with pushes you into ketosis faster — which should speed the acquisition of results. Unfortunately, doing this will not necessarily make you lose weight faster. But, for those having a difficult time getting into ketosis, this may be a strategy to use.
So… What is the #1 Way to Do Keto?
Unfortunately, it’s not so easy that what works for one person will work for another.
That is why we’re pushing you to learn keto rather than just follow a strict plan.
When it comes down to it, everyone’s body will react differently. And so, you’ll need to make your own adjustments to whatever Keto plan or diet you end up going with in the end.
As mentioned previously, there are ways of testing whether you’re actually in ketosis or not. Take advantage of those tests (they’re available for at-home use too) to figure out whether your ketone levels are in the right range. And if not, adjust accordingly.
Don’t be afraid to try out new things!
Decrease your carb intake, increase your caloric intake, try out supplements or electrolytes, etc. It’s through knowing how to make these adjustments that you’ll be able to actually properly do keto. That’s the best way. Because it’s your way that matters!
There’s nothing wrong with trying out a Keto plan made by someone else, just don’t give up if things aren’t going your way. Instead, take advantage of what they’ve taught you, and what we’ve written here, to make something out of what you already know.