This is one of many posts about diets I will post, those that have worked for me and those that haven’t.
The key thing here is for you to understand, and I will go back to this regularly, it’s not a one size fits all. Not everyone will agree with me and not everyone will agree with me posting about diets but the purpose is simply to provide you with things that I have tried and tested so you can decide whether it’s for you or not.
Below I will talk a little bit about Keto because this is currently what I am TRYING to follow. I have always been watching my fat intake and although I still do and I am careful about the types of fats I eat I have noticed better skin and hair, much more energy and less difficulty managing my weight by following Keto. Don’t get me wrong it’s tough but it doesn’t have to be forever.

Understanding Keto – getting started

Ketosis is a state your body enters into when it is deprived of carbohydrates and begins to use fat for energy. In order to achieve Ketosis you need to be maintaining a low carbohydrate diet. As always you should not be giving Keto, or any diet for that matter, a go unless you are healthy and have no health concerns.

Keto takes time and the first couple of weeks can be reasonably tough depending on who you are and how many carbohydrates your body was used to prior to trying keto. Just like any detox diet if your body was previously receiving a certain level of something and you take that away there is an adjustment period and for Keto it’s called the “keto flu”. I’ll discuss the keto flu in another article but just know that, if you go through it, it can be a bit of a struggle for a week or so as your body adjusts.

In order to consider a keto lifestyle I have provided an explanation of the different types of carbohydrates, fats and proteins then talked a bit about macros. Once you read this article, complete your macro calculation you will be ready to get started

Understanding Keto – carbohydrates

There are two major types of carbohydrates (or carbs) in foods: simple and complex.

Simple carbohydrates: These are also called simple sugars e.g. if you eat a sweet, or a lolly you are eating simple carbs but simple carbohydrates are not only found in processed foods they are also found it items such as milk and fruit.

Complex carbohydrates: These are also called starches. Starches include grain products, such as bread, crackers, pasta, and rice. Refined complex carbohydrates have had all the nutrients stripped from them but unrefined contain a lot of fibre, minerals and vitamins. When it comes to Keto, if you are going to eat any carbohydrates, these are the ones you will be sticking to albeit few and far between, or low carb options.

Your body uses carbohydrates by breaking them down into simple sugars and as you eat more and your sugar levels rise the Pancreas releases insulin to move sugar into your cells for energy. If you overdo the sugar the amount of sugar able to be processed by the Pancreas is limited and we put on weight because we can’t burn/convert what is being consumed.

Understanding Keto – fat

The main types of fat are saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fats.

Saturated fat increases total cholesterol by increasing the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, so it should be eaten in the smallest amounts. We should aim to reduce saturated fats in the foods we eat, and where fat is used, choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Sources of saturated fat: Butter, cheese, meat fat, meat products (sausages, hamburgers), full-fat milk and yoghurt, pies, pastries, biscuits, cakes, lard, dripping, hard margarines and baking fats, coconut and palm oil.

Monounsaturated fats appear to protect against heart disease, by increasing the levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. Sources of monounsaturated fat: olive oil, canola oil, nuts (pistachio, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia, cashew, pecan, peanut) and the oils from these nuts, avocados, avocado oil, lean meat

Polyunsaturated fats can be further divided into omega–3 and omega–6. Omega-3 fats have a positive impact on heart health and an important role in brain and eye function. Omega-6 fats are necessary for growth and the synthesis of hormone type compounds. Sources of polyunsaturated fats: long chain Omega-3 polyunsaturated: Oily fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, trout), Alpha linolenic acid from walnuts, lean red meat, canola oil, soybean, flax seed, and their oils. Omega-6 polyunsaturated: sunflower seeds, wheat germ, sesame, walnuts, soybean, corn and their oils. Certain margarines.

Trans fats are formed mainly during the process of hydrogenation of edible oils to make solid fats used in shortenings and margarines. Trace amounts can be produced in the heating and frying of oils at high temperatures. They are also found naturally in beef, mutton, lamb and dairy fat. Sources of trans fat: some margarines, shortenings, biscuits, baked goods.

Like saturated fat, but thought to be even more harmful, manufactured trans fats increase ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in our blood, a risk factor for heart disease. In addition, trans fats may also decrease levels of the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, making the effect of trans fat worse than saturated fat.

Understanding Keto – Protein?

Protein is made up of 20 amino acids, some of which our body can make and others we have to obtain from food. Protein is found in both animal and plant foods.

Animal sources: meat, fish, chicken, eggs, milk, cheese and yoghurt.

Plant sources: soy protein (such as soy beans, tofu and soy milk), grains (quinoa, oats, barley, etc), nuts and pulses (dried beans, peas and lentils).

All animal foods, as well as two plant sources -soy protein and quinoa – provide all the necessary amino acids required by the body for good health and these are called essential amino acids. All other plant-based sources of protein lack one or more of the amino acids we need to obtain from our food. People who do not eat any animal products (vegans) should include a variety of plant sources of protein every day to ensure they obtain all the essential amino acids.

Athletes and the very active – Endurance athletes in heavy training require extra protein to cover a small proportion of the energy costs of their training and to assist in the repair and recovery process after exercise. Strength athletes, who are interested in gaining muscle size and function, require more protein in the early stages of very intensive resistance exercise.

Protein helps to make you feel full after eating, so including a protein-rich food at each meal can help those people who are trying to lose or maintain their weight.

Understanding Keto – Macros?

First and foremost, knowing what you’re counting is super important, right? Well, “macro” is short for macro nutrient. They’re the three categories of nutrients you eat the most and provide you with most of your energy: protein, carbohydrates and fats. So when you’re counting your macros, you’re counting the grams of proteins, carbs or fat that you’re consuming.

Why do people count macros rather than calories?

Keeping track of your macros can help you make (or plan to make) smart, healthy food choices. It’s similar to counting calories or points, but it takes the ideology one step further.

It is still important to keep an eye on your calories on keto, both to ensure you are eating enough and at the other end of the scale, ensure you are not eating too much. Just don’t be frightened of the fat and also know you don’t have to meet all of your fat target daily.

What Macros & Calorie intake is for me?

Calculate yours by using the Free keto Macro calculator I used to base my Keto diet on.

It should bring your Macros out somewhere within the ranges you see below.

  1. Fat: 40 to 70%
  2. Protein: 15 to 30%
  3. Net carbs: 15 to 30%

Understanding Keto – Conclusion

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions about the content above, understanding keto and where to go from here for you. I have been Keto for approximately six months on and off and it’s been an adjustment but I love being able eat the fats without concern, knowing that if I keep my carbs low and maintain my exercise (you don’t have to) I will see the results and AM seeing the results.

Other Recommendations

I have tried and tested a number of activewear in my entire lifetime and Lorna Jane AU/NZ have the largest selection covering all types of fitness and have a great returns program if something does not quite fit or isn’t to your liking when you receive it. I love the Lotus A/B tight because it is high waisted and has a no-dig waist band and is made of “nothing to see here” fabric.

Credits

Nutrition Foundation NZ, SCL Health

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