Keto or ketogenic diet is a low-carb but high-fat diet. The “low-carb” part is the heart of this diet.
Considering the fact that carbs account for a major portion of our diet, it can get a bit difficult to cut them down (Keep reading to discover an easy solution).
So, how many carbs on keto should you take? What is the recommended percentage and why does it matter so much for ketosis? Let’s find out.
What Quantity of Carbs to eat on Keto?
In general low-carb diets, anything below 100-150 grams per day is considered a good enough deficit. You can achieve this level of deficit simply by replacing all processed food items with unprocessed, real food.
However, the keto diet is not just a low-carb diet. For this diet to reap results, your body must go into ketosis and maintain it. Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body stops relying on carbs for glucose, and starts using fat instead to create energy.
The only way to put your body in ketosis is to cut down carbs drastically. This means only 50 grams or lesser carbs per day. Some keto experts even recommend taking only 15-30 grams carbs per day which makes about 5-10% of your total calories.
However, these numbers vary from person to person and depend upon your daily routine along with a number of other factors. In fact, this is the reason why most people opt for personalised keto diet plans according to their situation and current level of intake.
But whatever the numbers are, they don’t mean that you have to completely remove carbs from your diet. Let me share how you can keep carbs to a minimum without starving yourself completely.
How to Identify the Good from the Bad Carbs?
The first step towards ketosis is to avoid high-carbohydrate food items like soda, bread, pasta, and rice. All these foods contain extremely high amounts of carbs and therefore must be avoided at all costs.
Now that the don’ts are out of the way, let’s talk about keto-friendly food items that can be a good source of carbs but won’t kick your body out of ketosis. Some of these are non-starchy vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower and brussel sprouts.
When it comes to fruits, avocado is a highly keto-friendly fruit as it contains only 2 grams of net carbs per serving. Berries and Olives are also low-carb and high in fiber.
In addition to vegetables and fruits, you can also enjoy treats like dark chocolate (with at least 85% cocoa) and cocoa powder. For pasta lovers, shirataki noodles are a keto-friendly alternative that contain less than 1 grams of carbs. Although these options are all keto-friendly, they still are sources of carbs and therefore must be consumed carefully. Beginners should try to avoid carbs completely and should gradually include them in their diet once their body goes into ketosis
Maintaining a Low-Carb Level
I cannot stress this enough: the keto diet needs your body to be in ketosis at all times for it to work. The key to this is to maintain a low carb-level at all costs. This means zero cheat meals or throwing caution to the wind.
By now, if you’re thinking that keto requires too much work or that it is impossible to cater to so many dietary restrictions with a daily routine like yours, you’re not alone. In fact, the main reason why some people don’t take up keto or quit quickly is that it requires commitment.
For example, what if you happen to have no keto-friendly food items someday? What to do if you’re craving something sweet at midnight and the only thing available is a high-carb candy bar? Maybe you simply don’t have time to prepare meals or don’t know how to cook at all.
The simplest solution to all these problems is to get a customised keto diet plan. Some people even opt for buying keto-friendly meals but that is usually a less trustworthy and more expensive option.
Custom keto diet plans have a number of benefits. First, they make sure to consider your daily routine and physical movement to determine the appropriate deficit rate for you. This is important to ensure that you achieve your goal without starving yourself.
Secondly, these diet plans tell you exactly what you’d be eating and when you would be eating it. This saves you from having to spend an unnecessarily long amount of time on deciding what to eat every day.
Lastly, according to your diet plan, you can stock up on all required ingredients so that you never have to worry about running out of keto-friendly options.
There are many keto experts and dieticians as well as online services that can create suitable diet plans for you. However, not all are authentic and some are just too costly. Finding the right option itself can be a hassle, so make sure to dedicate the time and energy to find a reliable source for your keto diet plan.
Keto diet is undoubtedly a highly effective diet, but it can take more effort than a regular low-calorie or low-carb diet. Cutting out carbs drastically may be an issue for some, but you can do so easily by using keto-friendly carb sources discussed above.
You don’t necessarily have to invest into tailored plans if you’re sure that you can prepare meals yourself and would like to take the matter in your own hands.