There are many ways to diet using various kinds of philosophies. One proven method is to do low carbohydrate dieting. One form of low carb dieting is called ketogenic diets. This diet makes the body go into a state called ketosis. This state helps the body make sure it burns fat cells as carbohydrates are restricted so the body has to turn to fat for its main source of energy. To ensure we can get to a ketogenic state, foods high in digestible carbohydrates should be replaced with foods low in carbohydrates.
As we limit the amount of carbohydrates and thus the calories from them we need to ensure we get enough calories from other sources, mainly protein and fat. One well known diet, Atkins, relies on this method during its “induction phase”. This induction phase makes the participant eat a very low amount of carbohydrates while eating a high amount of protein and a moderate level of fat.
An excellent low carb ketogenic diet is called the cyclical ketogenic diet. The diet breaks down the amount of protein, carbs and fat into what is called macros. These macros help you distribute how much of each source of calories so you eat the right amount for each meal. The best breakdown for calories from protein, carbs and fat is a 65% fat, 30% protein, 5% carbohydrates ratio. The reason the diet is called a cyclical ketogenic diet is because we spend 5 days of the week doing a low carb phase and then the next two days is a high carb, or carb up, phase.
To work out how much to eat per day we start with working out your maintenance calories which is roughly your weight, in lbs, multiplied by 13. Subtract 500 from this number to get your target calories per day. Using an example, a woman who weighs 145lbs works out her calories per day to be 1385 calories.
To work out the amount of protein calories per day to consume we need to multiply your weight by 30%. Using the example again the amount of calories for protein would be 415.5 calories. We divide this by 4, as protein has 4 calories per gram, to work out how many grams per day to consume. The daily amount of protein for our example is 104 grams of protein. We do a similar calculation for the amount of fat required. You multiply your weight by 65% and then divide the number by the amount of calories per gram of fat, in this case it is 9 as there are 9 calories per gram. For our example the amount of fat in grams per day to eat is 100 grams. Finally the amount of carbs is worked out in a similar fashion. Multiply your weight by 5% then divided by 4. Using our example again the result is 17 grams of carbohydrates per day.
We now have the macros that tell us how many grams of each type of food we require per day on the low carb phase. A woman who weights 145lbs requires 104 grams of protein, 100 grams of fat and 17 grams of carbohydrates. During the carb up phase try to have less than 50 grams of fat each day, about 150 grams of carbs and the same amount of protein you have during the week. Using this knowledge we can then go to low carb recipe sites and start planning a weekly meal time table.
After starting the diet using these macros, about 3 days in, ketosis should start taking effect. This can be confirmed by using a product called Ketostix which measure the levels of ketones in your urine. Symptoms can be feeling groggy and less energy but after a few days your energy levels pick up and you should feel great. Try and take a multivitamin supplement every day. Try and get in exercise a few times a week but do not overexert yourself by keeping cardio to a minimum. Please note do not undertake any new diets without properly discussing them with your medical practiceer.