One of the most popular weight loss strategies today is the ketogenic diet, a low-carb, high-fat diet plan that aims to place the body in a state of ketosis. Do you want to know how to make keto work for you? According to dietician Christine Byrne, this is a metabolic process in which the body creates energy by burning fat rather than glucose. To achieve this process, one has to reduce their intake of carbs, a main glucose source, which forces the body to find a different fuel source to burn fats.
Though ketogenic diets can be great for rapid weight loss, they often come with many risks, such as dehydration, electrolyte depletion, and increased kidney stress. If you want to use keto as a temporary weight loss strategy, here are a few ways you can adopt the diet safely.
Determine whether the diet aligns with your health needs
Before you embark on your journey but you don't know how to make keto work for you? You need to determine whether your body can handle the change. Certain health conditions can be worsened by ketogenic diets. For instance, if you have a kidney infection, you might be experiencing symptoms listed by SymptomFind, such as back pain, fever, and painful or odorous urination. Ketogenic diets often require an increased intake of animal proteins, so it can make your urine more acidic, exacerbating your symptoms. If you have certain health conditions like kidney infections that put you at risk of these side effects, be sure to do research, or consult your doctor on whether the diet is appropriate for you.
A drastic change in diet can be overwhelming for both your mind and body. In fact, going cold turkey on carbs increases your risk of keto flu. Its withdrawal-like symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, and stomach pain. This sudden change might even worsen your sugar cravings.
To let your body familiarize itself with your new diet, make the transition gradual. You can start by replacing unhealthy snacks like chips and cookies with keto alternatives like Max Mallows. Then, you can slowly reduce your carb intake and introduce keto-friendly foods into your regular meals.
Reducing your carbohydrate intake leads to decreased production of insulin. However, low insulin can also lead to increased depletion of water and electrolytes (sodium and potassium) in urine. To prevent dehydration, registered dietician and nutritionist Shauna Sacco recommends adjusting your water intake based on your body weight. Compute 75% of your total body weight and consume that many ounces of water per day. For example, if you weight 180lbs, you need to take 135 ounces of water each day.
Increase your electrolyte intake
Make up for the loss of electrolytes by increasing your intake of sodium and potassium. Salt, for example, is a good source of sodium. On a regular diet, you’d usually have too much sodium, but since keto forces you to cut down on packaged and processed foods, you can afford to add a little more salt to your meals.
Don’t stay on the diet for too long
The general rule of thumb is to stay on the keto diet for about three to six months. This is because when you reduce your carbohydrate intake, your body loses out on many of the vitamins and minerals it needs, such as vitamins C, B, and fiber. According to Insider, cutting carbs can even limit your ability to do physical activity. Since the body needs more energy to burn fat than it does to burn carbohydrates, ketosis can leave lower your usual energy level.
Though a ketogenic diet can be useful for weight loss and blood sugar regulation, it’s not meant to be used for improving overall health. Learn the risks of carb reduction before adopting keto as a health management strategy.