How Do I Keto? (And is it Right for Me?)
Now that you have a better idea of what this diet entails, you’re probably wondering if it’s a good match for you.
The first thing that you have to remember is that a ketogenic diet isn’t a one-size-fits-all silver bullet for your weight woes.
Losing weight is a significant benefit of this approach, no doubt. However, it’s the result of meeting specific metabolic needs that vary for each person.
This is why there are four basic types of ketogenic diets:
- The Standard Ketogenic Diet – or SKD – is considered the classic method of kickstarting of your ketone production. This is focused on cutting on carb intake, which can be as low as 5% of your total diet (as recommended in a study by Dr. Goldman at BC Children’s Hospital in Canada). Your fat intake would roughly make up about 75%, while protein fills in the rest.
- The Targeted Ketogenic Diet – or TKD – works best for the athletic folks who want to support their demanding lifestyle. You’d have to eat the same amount of carbs as SKD (also very low!) before you intend to work out.
- A Cyclical Ketogenic Diet – or CKD – is a better choice if you want to take your time making the keto switch. This is a bit more forgiving because you can take alternating days of low-carb and high-carb consumption.
- A High-Protein Ketogenic Diet has a lot in common with the classic version. But as the name suggests, this is a proper diet if you’re lacking in the protein department.
As you can see, you’ll need to do the initial groundwork to fine tune your intended keto eating plan. However, doing your due diligence will pay off in spades and you’ll soon reap the massive benefits.
Here’s a general overview of what you need to keep an eye out for:
#1: Food Intake
Of course, what you eat will define the level of success you’ll enjoy after doing keto. As you learned from the different variations of the ketogenic diet, you need to find the ideal amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Protein, in particular, depends on personal factors like weight, total amount of body fat (which can be done at a gym or medical center), gender, height, and age.
#2: How Much Weight You Want to Lose
You need to figure out how many calories you need in a day (for both physical activity and basic body functions), as well as your body fat percentage. This will help you work out the amount of body fat you want to shed.
Work with your physician, nutritionist and trainer to figure out your specific needs. That includes how many calories to consume, and your required protein intake (which will help you burn fat better).
#3 Lose Weight by Working out
It’s important to note that you need enough quality food to fuel your exercise routine. Starving yourself recklessly while trying to burn those calories can backfire. A study from the American Physiological Society says that you need to consume enough protein to prevent muscle cannibalization. This happens when the body goes into starvation mode. So as you work out, make sure that you’re eating the right stuff to keep your muscles in good shape. This will then help you shed those pounds.
As for exercise itself, a lot of keto practitioners are fans of HIIT, or high-intensity interval training. Some trainers recommend doing cardio-like HIIT routines, like treadmill sprints, going on the Stairmaster and cycle sprints. There are other HIIT-based exercises, such as the walk and sprint, infinite pushups, and sit up and jump.
Note that there are other keto-friendly workout options as well. This includes (but is not limited to) yoga, Pilates, CrossFit and good ol’ cardio. To find out which of these exercises work best for you, talk to a professional trainer.
Eat Right, Live Longer
As we’ve talked about, there are massive benefits to making the keto switch, but always remember to consult with a professional.
They can help you transition into this lifestyle change and keep a close eye on your progress. With their guidance, you can keep track of other factors like rate of weight loss, ketone levels, and calorie intake.
And once you’ve made the leap, you’ll enjoy optimal nutrition, a satisfied tummy and trim waistline!
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