What You Need To Know About A Ketogenic Diet
The goal of a ketogenic diet or ketogenic meal planning is actually simple.  Stay in ketosis. 

What has to be tested and may be different for every person is how many net carbs does it take for each person to stay in ketosis.  

The simplest way to get started is for everyone to begin at 20 net grams of carbs per day.  Once you are in ketosis and following 20 net grams of carbs per day you can experiment with 40 or 50 net grams of carbs per day and see if your body stays in ketosis.  If it does great you now get to eat 50 net grams of carbs per day.  If not then you will need to lower the carb amount. 
How Does Someone Know If They Are In Ketosis?
There is a simple method of measuring ketosis and it is called Keto Sticks. These are thin test strips that you can buy at most if not all pharmacies. You simply urinate on the test strip and it will tell you if you are in ketosis or not. 

Any shade of purple indicates that you are in ketosis.

To get to this level though you need to make sure you are limiting your net carb intake to 20 gms per day to start.  To determine this take the total number of carbohydrates you consume and subtract the number of fiber grams that are in those consumed carbs. This is your net carb intake.  

Another way to look at your carb intake is by macronutrient ratios.  If you can stay under 10% of your calories coming from carbohydrates then for most people ketosis will be reached. 

This means that most of your food intake is going to come from fats and protein.  This isn't a high protein diet though.  Only about 20-30% of your caloric intake will be from protein.  The remaining calories comes from fat and will equal 60-70% of your calories.  

Every meal doesn't need to be in this ratio though. 

As long as at the end of the day your macronutrient ratios fall into this range you are in good shape.  Though the keto strips will tell you without a doubt if you are in ketosis or not.  If at 10% carb intake you are still not in ketosis then try 5% and see if that ratio works to get you in ketosis. 

Keto Guideline For Success

Here are some of the best ways to stay in ketosis and get the most out of your ketogenic diet and meal planning. 

Combatting the Keto Flu: 

It is very likely that many who try and follow a ketogenic diet will experience what is called "keto flu".   

This usually occurs during the first few days and possibly up to a week. It usually occurs because the average person consumes 300 gms of carbs per day so to cut that to 20 gms per day is quite a shock to the body. It takes a few days for your body to adjust and start burning ketones for energy instead of the carbs and sugars it is used to burning for energy. 

Your energy may be down for a few days and you will feel tired or sluggish. Some tips to make this transition a little easier is to follow these steps.  
Cycle down your carb intake.  For the first 4 days consume 100 grams of carbs per day.  Then for the next 4 days consume 50-60 grams per day.  Then finally move to 20 grams per day.  This allows your body to slowly transition to understanding that it doesn't have all those sugars to burn and that it needs to start adapting to other fuels such as fat. Many times this is all you have to do to avoid the "keto flu"

Some other tips to ease this transition is to drink lots of water.  Hydration is important to keep the kidney's from working overtime during this transition. 

Drinking chicken broth can help as well because it is providing electrolytes which as you get into ketosis your body tends to dump more electrolytes than normal.  

Finally keep track of what you eat so that you make sure you continually lower your carb intake and work towards ketosis.  

These are the basics to getting started with a Ketogenic diet.  Follow these steps and you should have good success with living the Ketogenic lifestyle.  
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