With a proposed macronutrient breakdown of 20% protein, 10% carbs and 70% fat anyone in their right mind would proceed with caution when considering the ketogenic diet. The idea of eating more fat goes against everything we’ve ever learned.
The concept is to change your metabolic state to utilize fat in the form of ketones for fuel instead of carbohydrates in the form of glucose.
As a nutrition enthusiast I was intrigued and decided to do some research. I read Keto Clarity by Jimmy More and Eric C. Westman and watched The Magic Pill on Netflix. Keto Clarity helped me understand the concept from a scientific standpoint. The Netflix doc took the scare tactics approach but shed some light on the concept nonetheless.
Here are a few takeaways from my research that have convinced me to try the keto diet for one week.
There isn’t a magic macro mix to achieve ketosis
Everyone is different and as with any macro mix it takes some trial and error to really learn what will help get you where you need to be. This is more welcoming because you can really listen to your body and identify what is best for you to achieve ketotis.
There is an emphasis on quality foods
This isn’t a style of eating that calls for food manipulation. The goal is to ingest high quality meats, a great deal of vegetables and lots and lot’s of water.
Fat loss not weight loss
There is a difference between dropping weight on the scale as a result of water weight loss, accidentally burning muscle and burning body fat. Because ketosis requires the use of fat for energy, there is a direct correlation with fat loss.
Improved brain function
There can be a positive effect on mental-well being while in the state of ketosis.
You can test for ketosis
It doesn’t have to be a guessing game. There are three ways to test whether or not your body is experiencing ketosis. You can utilize urine ketone strips, a blood ketone meter or a ketone breathalyzer
There is potential for improved athletic performance
The new found mental sharpness and new found source of fuel may all support superhuman behavior at the gym.
There may be bad breath but you can solve for it
It is almost inevitable that in the early stages of ketosis you will experience foul breath. The good news is that it can be resolved or at least maintained by hydrating, dental hygiene and spearmint leaves.
The fact that ketosis is completely out of the norm but yet can still support body function does not change what we already know about nutrient consumption. With the right macro mix protein will build muscle and carbohydrates can fuel fitness. All it means is there are more options out there and more opportunities to learn what works well for you.