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Keto 101: Everything Beginners Need To Know

Published January 08, 2019 (Revised: August 06, 2019)
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<article> <section> <p>The ketogenic diet gained a lot of ground over the past decade. </p> <p>It surpassed the low-fat craze of the 90’s and the high-protein diets of gym junkies to become a front-runner in <i>weight loss</i> and <i>weight management</i>. It revolves around getting dieters into the metabolic process of <i>ketosis</i>, which is a form of metabolism where the body switches from burning sugar’s for energy (the smallest form of carbohydrates) to burning fat.</p> <p><i>Welcome to keto 101... </i></p> <p>When our bodies switch into this fat-burning mode there is a myriad of health benefits, but the one that makes the keto diet so popular is that it encourages our body to <i>use up</i> our own fat stores. </p> <p>We know, taking fat and turning it into energy we can actually use, while shedding unwanted pounds in the process sounds too good to be true, right? But it’s not. </p> <p>In this article we’ll break down how a ketogenic diet works, and explain how to use it to get sustainable results. Let’s get to it. </p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/ketogenic-diet-macros-diagram-pie-chart-infograph-0053.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/ketogenic-diet-macros-diagram-pie-chart-infograph-0053.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/ketogenic-diet-macros-diagram-pie-chart-infograph-0053.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/ketogenic-diet-macros-diagram-pie-chart-infograph-LR-0053.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="ketogenic-diet-macros-diagram-pie-chart"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What Do You Eat on the Keto Diet?</header> <p>On the keto diet we want to eat high-fat (70%), moderate protein (25%), and low-carb (5%). These <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/why-you-should-be-calculating-your-macros/" rel="noreferrer"><i>macronutrients</i></a> are really what we’ll focus on in the #ketolife. </p> <div class="sub-head">70% FAT</div> <p>70% of your daily calories should be healthy fats. </p> <p>Though the word “fat” may inspire some fear, there’s no need. Fatty foods like avocado, cheese, coconut oil, nuts and grass-fed butter are healthy <i>and</i> keep you feeling full and fueled...definitely keto approved!</p> <p>Healthy fats also contribute to HDL (our good cholesterol), help with the absorption of micronutrients, and help fight inflammation.</p> <p>Most dieters find that eating this way stops their carb cravings and leaves them feeling full longer. </p> <div class="sub-head">25% PROTEIN</div> <p>Grass-fed meats, fish and poultry are some of the proteins that you’ll enjoy in your 25% of calories from protein. These foods are ones you’ve probably tried before on your health journey, and on the keto diet, it’s no exception. </p> <p>Protein is important! Fatty cuts of meat will also help you add to your fat intake for the day. </p> <div class="sub-head">5% CARBS</div> <p>Your daily carb intake should mostly consist of vegetables on keto. We know it sounds crazy for vegetables be the lowest percentage of your daily calorie intake, but veggies are so low in calories the percentage makes sense. On keto you’ll be consuming low-carb veggies in just about every meal! <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/the-best-low-carb-vegetables-to-eat-on-keto/" rel="noreferrer">Low-carb veggies</a> like asparagus, cauliflower and kale are staples on the keto diet. So when it comes to <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/when-is-the-best-time-to-eat-carbs-on-keto/" rel="noreferrer">carbs on keto</a>, what’s important is that you’re keeping track of your carbs--staying under 50 grams of carbs per day-- and staying away from sugary and starchy foods. </p> <p>Though keeping track of these percentages may <i>sound</i> difficult, know that it varies from person to person! You may have total success just estimating your fat and protein percentages and getting them in the ballpark. The important thing will be tracking your carb intake and keeping it low. </p> <p>Which brings us to our next section of keto 101...</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/fast-food-avoid-dont-junk-0053.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/fast-food-avoid-dont-junk-0053.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/fast-food-avoid-dont-junk-0053.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/fast-food-avoid-dont-junk-LR-0053.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="fast-food-avoid-dont-junk"> </picture> <header>What Do You Cut Out on the Keto Diet?</header> <p>In short, carbs. </p> <p>Carbs are what you really have to focus on cutting from your diet on keto. (If this sounds daunting to you, you can check out our <i>enormous</i> library of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/" rel="noreferrer">recipes</a> that have converted your favorite recipes to be keto friendly!) But remember, we do this because of the numerous, life changing benefits that ketosis provides! There are different forms of carbohydrates, let’s break them down into categories.</p> <div class="sub-head">STARCHES & GRAINS</div> <p>Grains like pastas, breads, rice, quinoa and cereals are considered carb heavy for they contain a <i>lot</i> of carbohydrates. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn and carrots fall into a “no-no” category too. </p> <div class="sub-head">SUGARS</div> <p>Sodas and candy seem pretty obvious to cut out for anyone trying to lose weight and increase health. What may seem odd is that on keto, we cut out sugar from fruit too. Bananas, pineapples, grapes and mangoes are all super high in carbs and sugar which will kick you out of ketosis and bring you back to bummer-town carb lock down. If you want to experience the life gain from keto benefits, you’ll have to get rid of sugars most of the time. </p> <p>One quick note on this though! We’ve got keto dessert recipes galore in our <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/keto/sweet-treats-cookbook/" rel="noreferrer">free cookbook</a>, as well as on our <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/" rel="noreferrer">recipe page</a> because we love dessert just as much as you do! So know your sweet treats won’t be taken away from you, their ingredients will just change! </p> <div class="sub-head">LEGUMES</div> <p>Beans of all kinds, chickpeas, and lentils are high in carbs, so we try and steer clear of these on keto. </p> <div class="sub-head">SNEAKY INGREDIENTS</div> <p>Not all fats are the same. Not all meats are the same. Not all dairy is the same. Trans fats like butter substitutes can wreak havoc on your health, and hidden potato starch in shredded cheese could compromise your ketosis. This just means be sure you’re reading ingredients and checking that your meats aren’t full of added hormones or sketchy ingredients. </p> <p>A <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/the-ugly-truth-behind-the-standard-american-diet/" rel="noreferrer">Standard American Diet</a> puts far too much importance on high-carb foods in our meals, which plays ping-pong with our blood sugar and can cause chronic inflammation, leading to weight gain and other chronic diseases. Check out our “<a target="_blank" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SN7Sar1yLI" rel="noreferrer">keto diet for beginners</a>” to learn what to get rid of and what to keep to start off on the right foot.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/mature-seniors-exercise-cardio-treadmill-gym-0053.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/mature-seniors-exercise-cardio-treadmill-gym-0053.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/mature-seniors-exercise-cardio-treadmill-gym-0053.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/mature-seniors-exercise-cardio-treadmill-gym-LR-0053.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="mature-seniors-exercise-cardio-treadmill"> </picture> <header>What are the Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet?</header> <p>Now that you’re an expert on how to make healthy keto food choices, this next phase of keto 101 provides you with exactly <i>why</i> this lifestyle change has become so popular. </p> <p>Most of us are going to be interested in trying a new diet for the health benefits--duh, right? And more often than not, it’s specifically for weight loss. And we get it...who doesn’t want a 6 pack and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/top-7-post-workout-foods-for-lean-muscle/" rel="noreferrer">lean muscles</a>? But the health benefits of a ketogenic diet go far beyond just weight loss--though that’s a <i>big</i> part of it’s draw! We’re talking increased energy, help with chronic illnesses, satiated hunger throughout the day, and more! </p> <p>How does this all happen? Let us talk to you about a little thing called…</p> <div class="sub-head">KETOSIS</div> <p>We started by saying that the ketogenic diet revolved around ketosis. We’ll break this down for you. </p> <p>By scaling back our carbohydrate intake, we allow our bodies to switch from a sugar burning metabolism, to a fat burning one.</p> <p>So, ketosis is when our body converts stored fat into very effective energy molecules know as ketones. Ketones are a by-product of breaking down fat. </p> <p>In ketosis your body is burning your stored fat for fuel...a.k.a. you’re losing weight and body fat while your body uses produced ketones for epic energy. </p> <p>Where your body is burning glucose (sugar) for energy can lead to influxes of energy and depleted energy throughout the day, relying on ketones provides more stable energy to our brains without the highs and lows<sup>1</sup>.</p> <p>Clearly this is a win-win: less fat, more energy. Your body naturally becomes a fat burning machine and you’re able to lose more weight, faster. </p> <div class="sub-head">BENEFITS FROM KETOSIS</div> <p>For those of you not interested in weight loss, you’ll be happy to know that a successful keto diet also has these added health benefits: </p> <ul> <li>Less appetite. Many people find that they don’t get hungry again for four to six hours. Keto leaves people satiated and with...</li> <li>Fewer cravings. No more midnight snack runs or white-knuckling it through birthday parties. Squishing your sugar cravings also leads to...</li> <li>More <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-energy-how-the-keto-diet-combats-fatigue/" rel="noreferrer">energy</a>: Hello, morning workouts! And hello to...</li> <li>No more getting “hangry.” With stabilized energy at-the-ready from ketone bodies...</li> <li>Our brains even start to work better. Ever had a big dessert and the next day you feel like you’re living in a fog? That’s a sugar hangover, and you can kiss those goodbye on the ketogenic diet.</li> </ul> <p>Working off of ketones streamlines our bodies because our hormones are no longer playing ping-pong all over the place. In fact, living off of ketones has been reported to help with these ailments as well:</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/the-keto-diet-and-diabetes/" rel="noreferrer">Diabetes</a></li> <li>Seizures <sup>2</sup></li> <li>Autoimmune diseases</li> <li>Alzheimer’s</li> <li>Even cancer! <sup>3</sup> </li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/hiker-women-mountain-top-together-celebrate-0053.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/hiker-women-mountain-top-together-celebrate-0053.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/hiker-women-mountain-top-together-celebrate-0053.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/hiker-women-mountain-top-together-celebrate-LR-0053.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="hiker-women-mountain"> </picture> <header>Keto and You</header> <p>So there you have it, keto 101 complete. Armed with all of the latest studies and information, some of which we’ve already provided, the keto diet can be a safe, invigorating lifestyle change that can give you your health and connect you to the body you deserve. Whether your main goal is weight loss or you just want to feel like a well-oiled machine, the keto diet can deliver on your goals. </p> <div class="sub-head">Resources</div> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/the-fat-fueled-brain-unnatural-or-advantageous/" rel="noreferrer">The fat-fueled brain: unnatural or advantageous?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4124736/" rel="noreferrer">Ketogenic Diets and Pain</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3321471/" rel="noreferrer">The Ketogenic Diet as a Treatment Paradigm</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://thenourishedcaveman.com/keto-101" rel="noreferrer">Keto 101</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/health/autophagy#diet" rel="noreferrer">Diet changes that can boost autophagy</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ruled.me/ketosis-ketones-and-how-it-works/" rel="noreferrer">Ketosis, Ketones, and How It All Works</a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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