The ketogenic life has taken social media and the world by storm. As a person who has been studying keto and living the lifestyle, I want to take a break from scrolling Instagram, looking at all the delicious pictures of keto food, and chat about what to look out for on keto. There are so many lovely instagram profiles that show great dishes, but they lack severely when it comes to the education behind the food.
Why are we keto? What’s a ketogenic lifestyle look like? Most have jumped on the keto bandwagon because they see it as a quick and easy way to lose weight, and that’s fine! But there’s more behind the science of keto and understanding how it actually works.
A ketogenic lifestyle doesn’t consist of eating all fat and only fat. There are rules and guidelines, like any other chosen lifestyle, to heed if you plan to be successful living a keto life. A properly crafted keto lifestyle consists of eating real foods that help you hit specific macro goals; moderate fats, moderate proteins, very low carbs.
If you call yourself a keto person, you should not be consuming more than twenty grams of carbs per day. Most of us should be staying under one-hundred grams of fat per day, and everyone’s protein goal will vary. My personal daily protein target is one-hundred and thirty-seven grams based on my lean muscle mass measurements. More on that in another post. I don’t want to go too deep until we have more of an understanding about keto and how to properly get started in the lifestyle. As you learn to follow that roadmap, however, you’ll notice that you aren’t consuming a ton of calories either.
With all of that being said, I wanted to talk about what to look out for when you’re buying what you believe are keto-friendly products and foods. The main goal of keto is to severely cut sugar and to transform our bodies into fat-burning machines. The consumption of sugar hinders your chances of becoming a fat-burner. Most people today are sugar burners; people who consume higher amounts of carbs. Carbs are sugar. Sugar is carbs. Four grams of carbs equals one teaspoon of sugar in the bloodstream. Most American adults consume around three-hundred grams of carbs daily.
The problem with sugar is that it makes you age faster, it destroys your organs over time, and is tied to so many health issues. Health issues very large companies paid to have covered up. Ketogenic lifestyles are proven to help with brain and heart health, assists in reversing diabetic ailments, and even helps prevent memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
When you’re a fat-burner, you’re using your body’s fat stores for energy. By consuming the necessary amount of protein that your body requires, along with keeping your fat levels at a decent amount, one-hundred grams or less, and your carbs very low, your body shifts from burning excess sugars to burning the fat you’re already carrying around. When you consume excess sugars, carbs, your body begins to store fat.
Sugar-burners experience more fatigue and burning out of energy more quickly than fat-burners. “Oh my blood sugar is low…” It’s actually just your body burning your fuel source too quickly. By burning fat, not only are you creating a healthier environment for your insides, you’re purging all toxins and are sustained for longer periods. You’re not tired or hungry because it takes the body longer to process fat, therefore you won’t be hungry. By consuming healthy fats, the body’s abilities are amplified.
Now, let’s dive into the good stuff. If you’re eating keto, most nutrition labels shouldn’t be more than a few ingredients long. Why? Because you should be eating real food. If you see a label with a bunch of words you can barely pronounce or aren’t familiar with, you should put it down. Most of those words are variations of hidden sugar! If you’re purchasing low-carb, pre-packaged products, watch out because you will see almost all of these items. Sugar is a no-no on keto. Here’s a list of hidden sugars and other things to be leery of:
- Corn syrups
- Variations of cane
- Rice syrups
So what are the takeaways? Keep your carbs very low; below twenty grams a day if you want to be truly keto. Eat healthy fats, but don’t over eat fats; below one-hundred grams a day. Figure out your daily protein goal by figuring out your lean muscle mass measurements. Eat real food – keto labels shouldn’t have more than a few ingredients at most.
Here is a video we made a few years ago, showing you how to make keto bread. Some call it cloud bread and we’ve made loaves of this before too! This video we’ll show you how to make tasty buns for a sandwich or burger. Enjoy!