When thinking of taking on a diet for the New Year many people are going to stumble across the increasingly popular keto diet. Why is the keto diet so popular nowadays? By combining fasting, avoiding carbohydrates, and adding dietary fat, you can push your body into a metabolic state of ketosis. Ketosis is where you force your body to burn stored fat (ketones) rather than carbohydrates we typically burn from our food (glucose). This pushes you into using an alternative fuel source for the body that it’s not used to, when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply. This diet is extremely useful for people looking to lose weight quickly and also helps to manage other very serious health problems. Many of you may turn your back on the keto diet early due to its restrictions on carbs. Most of us are accustomed to having carbs be a featured food group for our meals/diets and having to restrict your carb intake can seem like a daunting task. (Not with PBH goodies ;)) So, how many carbs can you really have on the keto diet?
For the average person not partaking in any diet, you can eat between 100-150 carbs per day and still be considered to be on the low-carb end of the spectrum. Unfortunately, this won’t transition your body into a fat-burning state of ketosis. On the keto diet, your carb count will be far lower, often between 25-50 grams of carbs per day. While on the keto diet, most people aim to consume 70-75% of their daily calories from fat, 20-25% of calories from protein, and just 5-10% of calories from net carbs. That’s a very general range as your individual macronutrient goals will vary depending upon your age, body composition, activity level, and any fat loss goals you have. Although the numbers/percentages will vary from person to person, everyone who partakes in the keto diet must be prepared to dramatically cut certain foods out of your diet all together to help hit these daily goals.
To many, these percentages alone may be enough to stray them away from this diet. But don't let it scare you! It's very easy! Just take note of your daily calorie intake and other nutritional info and convert these percentages to grams. This will make it much easier for you to smartly shop and eat plenty of keto options that will keep you well within ketosis. For example: If you’re trying to hit the 5-10% threshold for carbs daily, and are consuming an average 2,000 calories on average, you’re looking at an average of 200 of your calories daily are allowed to come from carbs. Since one gram of carbs is equal to four calories, you’ll then take 200 divided by 4, to get an allowance of 50 grams or less of net carbs per day (varies from person to person). That’s a lot of PBH Keto Donuts and Cookies!
It’s very important to try and stay within your carb range while partaking in the keto diet. Fail to do this and your body either won’t reach a state of ketosis, or you’ll kick yourself out, which will make all your prior carb-counting worthless. Many people on the keto diet eat our keto cookies and keto donuts and they still stay in ketosis. So long as you are not consuming high amounts of our keto desserts you will still be enjoying sweets and still staying in ketosis. Keto is all about building upon your own progress and continuing to strengthen your body within these restrictions to re-teach your body healthier methods. Although keto is known to help with weight loss and energy, staying strict to the diet and its carb counting has proven to benefit people in the long term by reducing risk for many diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and celiac disease to name a few!
But don't we need carbohydrates for energy throughout the day? I mean it is our main source of energy right? Right, but when you push your body into the state of ketosis, you drive your body away from using these carbs and towards using the fat in your body instead (ketones). Sure, limiting your body’s usual source of energy will result in sluggish workouts/days to begin. But it's important to know you’ve replaced that sugary energy source of norm with fat and ketones, so even though you may find yourself sluggish in the beginning, have no fear! For the long term using these ketones make for a much more stable and lasting energy source for your body to help you push through your day in the office, or the gym! The ketogenic diet has been shown to improve endurance in people like athletes, who need all the energy they can get.
A major issue many new dieters come across is always being hungry within their diet’s restrictions. This can lead to plenty of cheating and lack of results which make many quit very early on. Many studies conclude that the ketogenic diet reduces hunger and food intake “significantly more” than other diets with higher carb intake. No easier way to diet than not having to worry about always being hungry!
So, what can you eat while on the keto diet to keep your carb intake well within ketosis?
Your goal for eating while on keto is to use whole, single-ingredient foods that are unprocessed and low in carbs to keep you in ketosis. Here are the best categories of foods that are low in carbs and high in fat.
- Meat – Red meat or poultry
- PBH Keto Desserts
- Fish – Rich in omega-3 oils like salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
- Butter and cream – Organic, grass-fed if possible
- Cheese – Unprocessed
- Non-Hydrogenated oils - Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil are great fat oils
- Avocados – Fresh or frozen pulp
- Low-carb vegetables – No potatoes, squash, pumpkins, peas or corn
We hope this helps you when figuring out how many carbs you can have on the keto diet. Let's crush those New Years goals together.