The keto diet has been around for almost 100 years. It was stumbled upon to treat seizures in the early 1920s. However, what the doctors found was that keeping their patients on a low carb diet forced their bodies to use fat as the first-line source of fuel, instead of the usual glucose. When only fat is available for the body to burn, the body converts the fats into fatty acids, and then into compounds called ketones, which can be used as fuel.
Fast forward to today and it’s now quite the trend. New Image™ has been doing keto before keto was “cool!” So, to say we know a thing or two about this lifestyle is an understatement.
Essentially keto is a low carb, moderate protein, high-fat diet and we minimise carbs (from sugary foods, pasta, bread, rice etc). On a keto diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run mostly on fat, burning fat 24-7. When insulin (the fat-storing hormone) levels become very low, fat burning can increase dramatically. It becomes easier to access your fat stores to burn them off.
When we eat less than 25g of net carbs per day our body eventually runs out of fuel it can use quickly. After around 3 days our body will start to break down fat for energy. When we avoid sugar and starches our blood sugar stabilises and the level of insulin drops. This increases fat burning and makes you feel more satiated, reducing food intake and increasing weight loss. Keto helps to burn fat more effectively. Your body uses fat and ketones rather than glucose (sugar) as its main fuel source.
The brain is a hungry organ, it consumes lots of energy everyday but it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose or ketones.
We produce ketones when we eat very few carbs. Ketones are made in your liver from fat (either from food or your body fat). We naturally produce ketones (usually overnight in a fasted state), but when in ketosis our liver makes way more to provide energy for our brain.
When you eat food and it is broken down to its individual components, the carbohydrates will break down to a sugar called glucose.
We want to drastically reduce these carbohydrates and force the body to find a new energy source, which is fat.
So in the absence of glucose, we start to burn fat and the liver makes ketones. The brain loves ketones. That’s why that brain fog you might often experience may disappear. You have better energy and some even report better mental recall. Once ketones are raised to a certain level in the blood you are officially in ketosis. This is where you achieve your weight loss goals and other benefits.
'Macros' is an abbreviated term of macronutrients. Your macros are your daily intake of ‘the big’ nutrients: fats, protein, and carbohydrates. Your nutrient intake should be something around 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate.
Apart from keeping an eye on fat content, you should also consider the protein. You only need moderate protein on keto– roughly 25% of your daily calorie intake should come from proteins
From a vitamin and mineral perspective, be sure to incorporate fibrous fruit & vegetables such as spinach, broccoli & cauliflower. Perhaps investing in a high-quality keto-friendly fibre supplement such as FibreMax™ if you struggle. Many people choose to purchase keto strips, which detect ketones in the urine. That way, you can be sure you really are in ketosis.
Some vegetables can also be fairly high in carbs and fruits can also contain high amounts of sugar, such as apples – so always check before you decide on what to include in your diet.
Simply type in your gender, age, height, activity levels & it gives you your ideal macros. Remember, someone who is a frequent gym user and has a fairly active job will require different macros to someone who is an accountant and sits at their desk all day. This calculator helps to figure it out for you.