By Keto Tito Neil
November 11, 2018
Updated April 26, 2020
1. What is a Ketogenic diet?
A Ketogenic diet is high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carb. To illustrate, let’s talk math. That means 75% of calories from fat, 20% from protein and only 5% from carbs. When you switch from a carb-based diet to a carb deficit, your body goes through a state called Ketosis where it efficiently burns fat for fuel. This has a range of benefits, such as weight loss, body fat reduction, improved mental clarity, increased energy, and many others.
Ketosis is a metabolic process where your body burns fat for energy instead of burning glucose. The carbs that you eat (yes, the unli-rice, pandesal, and those delicious frosted cupcakes) are easily broken down into glucose which your body uses for energy. So what’s wrong with this? Well, eating a diet of excess carbs causes blood sugar spikes that trigger your body to store more fat and make you even hungrier. It’s an endless cycle. Now, when you cut back on carbs, your body won’t have enough glucose to use for fuel, so it’s forced to burn ketones (or the fats broken down by your liver) instead. Say what? You read that right. When you’re in Ketosis your body isn’t burning glucose for fuel, it’s burning FAT for fuel. So cool!
3. What are the benefits of being in Ketosis?
The benefits of Ketosis include weight loss, body fat reduction, improved mental clarity, increased energy and many others.
First, let’s start with weight loss. When you cut back on carbs, Ketosis forces your body to burn its excess fat stores, resulting in effective weight loss.
Second, Ketosis actually helps you retain your muscle mass, so as your body burns excess fat, you end up reducing your body fat percentage. You know what’s even better? Ketosis targets the area where your fat is most concentrated – your tummy. Yup, it helps shred the flab in your tummy, where if you’ve hopefully been working hard, a six-pack will be revealed!
Third, people have experienced a heightened state of mental clarity and cognition while on Ketosis. By reducing carbs, your body doesn’t go into carb crash, where your energy drops and you lose mental focus (like after lunch!) In fact, most people claim to feel a second burst of energy in the afternoon where they gain greater mental focus.
Fourth, Ketones are a cleaner and more efficient fuel source for the body to burn, so it gives you a steady boost of energy throughout the day.
4. What can I eat on the Ketogenic diet?
So the general rule is to eat 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs. Don’t be alarmed. When we talk about fats, we mean healthy fats. Think avocados, butter, cheese (yay!), cream, olive oil, coconut oil, almonds and walnuts! When it comes to protein, beef, chicken, pork and fish are all good, but you have to eat this in moderation. As for carbs, you can only have between 20 grams to 50 grams of net carbs a day. Food like cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, are all low in net carbs. Coffee? That’s always good. But go for Cold Brew with a dash of soy!
5. How much carbs can I eat?
Sadly, not much. You can eat between 20 to 50 grams (max!) of NET CARBS a day. You heard that right! How small is that? 20 grams is equivalent to ONE medium-sized banana or a small piece of bread. What are net carbs? This is the total amount of carbs minus dietary fibers. Everything you eat has net carbs, so you have to add up what you eat to keep your diet to 20 grams net carbs. Don’t worry though, we’ll try to curb your carb cravings with tasty non-carb options, like Keto Bread, Cauli Rice or Zoodles!
6. What food should I avoid?
This is where it gets un-fun! Avoid rice, bread, cereals, sweets, sugar, soda and beer at all costs. Be wary of fruits too as most are high in carb, like bananas, apples, mangos. Be choosy in your vegetables and avoid carrots, corn, potatoes and beans. Even milk is high in net carbs. Switch to soy milk.
7. How long does it take to get into Ketosis?
It takes anywhere from 2 to 7 days for the body to adjust and go into the state of Ketosis. This of course depends on a number of factors, i.e. your body type, how active you are, and what you’re eating. So if you want to get into Ketosis sooner, you need to strictly follow the diet and reduce your carb intake to 20 grams max. No cheating!
8. How will I know if I am in Ketosis?
So, the easiest way to find out if you’re in Ketosis is by using Ketone Test Strip, which by the way, one stick comes FREE with every weekly subscription of a Ketos of Manila meal plan! Isn’t that awesome? So how do Ketone Test Strip work you ask? Well you have to pee on it. Yup. You read that right. The Ketone Test Strip measures the amount of acetone in your urine (translation: these are unused ketones or the ones that your body and brain haven’t used up for energy!) The deeper the shade of purple (congratulations you overachiever You!) the higher your ketone levels!
There are, of course, other ways. Like taking a blood test (ouch!) or checking your breath. Breathe into your hands. Does it smell metallic? Congratulations, you’re likely in Ketosis! Does it smell like yesterday’s lunch? Time to brush with Closeup!
9. How will I feel when I start a Ketogenic diet?
So, you just started Keto and you feel like crap. Headache? Brain fog? Seeing stars in the middle of the day? Peeing way more than usual? Stomach cramps? That’s all totally normal. In the first few days, your body has to create a whole new set of enzymes as it adjusts from burning glucose to burning fat. Don’t worry, this only last as a few days. Make sure you drink lots of water and up your salt intake to replenish your lost electrolytes. Once your body fully adjusts you’ll notice a change in your energy levels and a boost in your mental clarity! Now that’s worth slugging it out for!
10. I love sugar and sweets. Where can I get Keto-friendly desserts?
If you have a sweet tooth like us, we know how hard it is to ditch sugar cold-turkey! If you're craving for desserts, check out The Sugar-Free Bakery. We love their Keto Almusal bundle, which consists of Keto pandesal (!) and Keto Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (it tastes like Nutella, but sugar-free!). Or try their Signature Keto Molten Lava Muffins or Keto All Nut Cookies! Are you a Milk Tea addict? If you are, then you must try their Seriously Sugar-Free Milk Tea - tastes like real milk tea, without the sinful sugar!
Now that we’ve answered your Keto questions, are you ready to make your health and fitness transformation?
The KETO a Fitter You starts here!