If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve probably researched different diet methods that are highly effective in cutting those extra pounds. Perhaps, you’ve come across the keto diet as it’s widely popular for providing successful results to those who’ve tried it.
Keto diet is the process of manipulating your body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates for energy. This happens by having a low-carb diet and consuming foods high in fat instead. This diet plan has been highly effective for weight loss, especially when matched with proper exercise.
With the keto diet, you should be limiting your carb intake and increasing your protein and fat intake. To help you keep up with this method, you can use a keto calculator to ensure that you’re consuming the right amount of nutrients per day.
What Is Ketosis?
If you’ve been practicing the keto diet, you’ve probably heard of the term ketosis—a natural metabolic state—in which your body burns your fat instead of carbs to fill the energy gap, mainly due to the lack of carbohydrate intake.
With ketosis, you can’t immediately expect a weight loss miracle merely by starting on the program from day one. Anticipate that your body will enter ketosis within three to four days after consuming only 20-50 grams of carbohydrates per day. In line with this, you shouldn’t limit every food intake but increase your consumption of healthy fats and protein.
When you’ve stabilized your body into ketosis, you may want to check your carb limit if you can notch it up a little to allow your body to consume more carbohydrates moderately. You may figure out your maximum carb intake per day without losing your body’s ketosis effect.
Understanding Your Ketone Level
When entering ketosis, you should be aware of your ketone level if it’s still healthy or harmful to your body. The ketone level can range from 0.5 to 10 mmol/L. If your goal for implementing a keto diet is weight loss, you should start reaching ketone levels from 0.5 to 1 mmol/L. After you’ve entered ketosis, you can increase it slightly by aiming for 1 to 3.0 mmol/L.
People who are using a keto diet for therapeutic benefits can aim for 3.0 to 5.0 mmol/L. You must avoid reaching 10 mmol/L as it can be too intense and unhealthy for your body.
Checking Your Ketone Level
You can check your ketone level using keto-glucose testing kits. You should have this handy if you’re trying to test your carb limit.
You need to test your ketone level 30 minutes before eating and taking another test 120 minutes after. You need to check at the same hours of the day to ensure that you’ll have consistent results. You may want to start two hours after you wake up in the morning (having fasted the night before) to get yourself into the baseline status.
Testing Your Carb Limit
Now that you know about ketosis and ketone levels, you can now start testing your carb limit for a much enjoyable keto diet experience. You should check your carb limit when you’re at least in the third month of your keto diet. You may follow the steps below:
For Days One to Three
On your first three days of testing your carb intake, you can add five grams to your daily carb intake. Say, for example, if you’re already consuming 20g, you can expand it to 25g a day. After finishing your additional carb for the day, check your ketone level, and see the results.
If your ketone levels significantly dropped below the 0.5 mmol/L minimum ketone level, and your glucose increased to more than 30 mg/L, it means that your maximum carb intake would only be 20g per day. You should keep it that way if you want to remain in the ketosis program.
If you’re still on ketosis for the first day, continue to consume 25g of carbs a day and test your ketones every day to ensure that your body is still in ketosis.
For Days Four to Six
After you’ve proven that your body can handle 25g of carbs a day, you may want to increase it by adding another 5g to your daily carb intake. For this example, you’ll be consuming 30g of carbs a day to test your limits.
If your body has stayed in ketosis after the fourth day, continue to consume 30g of carbs per day until the sixth day, considering that you continue to test your ketone level each day at the same time.
5g-Increase Every Three Days
If you’re still in ketosis with 30g of carbs a day, you can continue to increase your carb intake by 5g every three days until you’ve figured out your maximum carb intake for each day. You just need to ensure that you test your ketone and glucose levels each day at consistent times to guarantee that you’re capturing accurate results. With this method, you’ll be able to keep up with the ketosis program without having to sacrifice tons of carbs in your diet.
Going on a ketogenic diet takes a lot of sacrifice and discipline in terms of consuming the right type and amount of food and having proper exercise. It’ll be challenging to keep your carb diet to a minimum, but it’s one of the best choices if you want to lose weight effectively.
While your body’s in ketosis, you should try to test your carb intake to make your keto diet a lot more enjoyable and so that you wouldn’t think of it as a frustrating diet plan.