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What Exactly Happens To Your Body When On The Keto Diet?

Here's How To Manage Your Expectations When Embarking On This High-fat, Low-carb Diet

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Most people don't realize that undertaking a new diet requires a degree of adjustment to incorporate a new lifestyle into their usual routine. It's not a decision you can make overnight - you have to be in the right mindset at the beginning of your new diet to ensure success.

It's counterproductive to jump into a diet without first figuring out how their body will respond to the change. For example, if you decide to start training like an elite athlete, and your body isn't used to that level of exertion, you might just collapse on the first day. The key to getting your body to crave exercise instead of dread it is by gradually increasing the intensity over a reasonable amount of time. That way, your body would have time to adjust and in the end - perform at the elite level.

The same principle applies to starting a new diet. Make sure to gradually transition into a new lifestyle so your body has time to adapt, lessening the chances of hunger pangs, fatigue, headaches, and other unpleasant reactions.

When you ease into a new diet, have a clear guide and strategy in place to keep you on track, like a meal plan. Fixed meal plans give you just the right amount of macronutrients to take through a variety of foods. Pair this with your daily recommended water intake to stay hydrated and satiated, especially when transitioning into your new diet.

If hardcore athletes still require guidance in maintaining their nutrition, what more for you? Luckily, you don't need to hire a personal nutritionist to get your diet started. If you're curious about getting started on the ketogenic diet, you can take a FREE quiz and get your personalized 28-day meal plan here.

So You Want To Start A Keto Diet

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While there's a ton of diets you can choose from, there's one that's remained a trending hot topic for a few years - the keto diet. Essentially, it cuts down your carbohydrate intake to the bare minimum and replaces the deficiency with a high percentage of good dietary fat, which will serve as your body's primary source of fuel instead of glucose (derived from carbs).

The standard proportions of your macronutrients in a keto diet should usually range from 75 to 80 percent fat, 15 to 20 percent protein, and 5 percent carbohydrates. It sounds relatively simple, but it's much easier said than done. Try this exercise:

  1. Think of your favorite meal or snack that you enjoy eating
  2. Think of all the meals and snacks you eat each day that contain carbs
  3. Imagine having to scrap all your usual meals and snacks - even your favorites - to make way for keto-friendly foods

Bacon can stay though, don't worry.

The positive takeaway from a keto diet is that you don't have to give up all of your favorite foods - there are many alternatives to keep your meals keto-friendly and still palatable. With a meal planner like KetoCycle, you'll never run out of healthy options to eat!

Signs That Your Keto Diet Is Working

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As you go about your keto diet, it's essential to identify the signs or factors that indicate that you're effectively progressing into your weight loss program. Below are what you should consider to encourage you that you're on the right track.

Increased Ketones In Your Blood

The best indicator to know if your body is in ketosis is through a ketone test. A blood test would be the most effective, although it requires a quick prick of your finger to measure your ketone levels. Other home testing kits are available, like indicator strips that measure the ketone levels in your breath or urine.

Weight Loss "Whoosh"

The "whoosh" that's being referred to here is the drastic weight loss that typically occurs within the first few weeks of a keto diet. However, it's important to remember that you're losing excess water weight and not fat when this happens. After all, rapid fat loss isn't healthy, and a keto diet helps pace your body to lose weight at a steady pace without adversely affecting your health.

Steady Drop In Weight

Although not as drastic as losing all the water weight in the beginning, your body will eventually shed the excess fat the more it utilizes your fat stores for energy. What also helps in fat loss in a keto diet is the low amount of carbs you consume, leading to lower insulin levels in your bloodstream, opening the gateway for fat to be metabolized for energy.

Slimmer Body

When your body metabolizes carbs for fuel, it releases free radicals or oxidative stress in the body, causing it to bloat. However, when fat is used as the primary energy source in the body, it doesn't release free radicals and cause inflammation. Moreover, ketones also block an immune receptor that triggers inflammation, so your body feels thinner and lighter during your keto diet.

Keto Flu

Another one of the lesser appealing effects of a keto diet is that your body will exhibit flu-like symptoms as your body acclimates to the new source of energy (fat). The onset of your keto flu symptoms is your keto-adaptation period, and it's a bit of a slump that you'll have to power through in your first weeks with the keto diet. Expect occasional bouts of brain fog, lethargy, headaches, and even nausea - this is caused by hypoglycemia or low levels of blood sugar as your body adapts to the low-carb diet.

Pro-tip: To reduce the unsatisfying effects of keto flu, follow a meal plan that involves meeting your recommended water intake and macronutrients and vitamins every day. Keto Cycle has a beginners program to help you avoid keto flu symptoms during your adjustment period.

How To Plan Your Keto Meals

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Perhaps the trickiest part about maintaining a ketogenic diet is in planning out your meals. Count your macronutrients (carbs, fats, and proteins) to make sure you're not consuming more carbs than you should, or else you risk stagnating your keto progress. It might be challenging to adjust from a three-digit carb load every day to a mere 20- to 50-gram limit, especially if this is new to you. That usually leads to replacing your favorite snacks and meals you're accustomed to with more keto-friendly ones. It can be a challenge, which is why it's recommended to use an app to guide and plan everything out, like KetoCycle.

To know which foods are high in fat and low in carbs, the KetoCycle app features a database of thousands of recipes. It's a personalized keto diet meal plan and programming app to help you lose weight and maintain your energy while you're in a state of ketosis. From these recipes, you'll learn how to incorporate fatty foods into delicious meals and even convince you to create your own keto recipes. KetoCycle customizes your meals according to your dietary preferences so that you're enjoying what you're eating while getting into the healthiest shape and weight you've ever been in your life.

Download the KetoCycle app on your phone to start your keto diet on the right food. Find out more here.

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