The dos and don'ts of ketogenic dieting

The dos and don’ts of ketogenic dieting

The ketogenic lifestyle has become a popular dietary approach among a growing number of health and physique-conscious individuals in recent years.

This very low-carb, high-fat diet forces the body to tap into fat stores for energy, which offers both health and performance benefits.

READ MORE | Forget The Fads: Trust These Science-Backed Diets

Health benefits of keto diets

From a health perspective, the keto diet can help you lose weight by improving your insulin response and restoring insulin sensitivity.

This way of eating also lowers insulin levels due to the carb restriction. The net effect is often weight lose through a combination of enhanced fat metabolism and reduced fat storage.

Better insulin function could also help to alleviate certain metabolic conditions associated with obesity and lifestyle disease.

In terms of body conditioning, the ketogenic diet has the power to incinerate fat while sparing muscle, while providing sustained energy throughout the day.

READ MORE | Keto Supplements Explained

How ketosis works

On a basic level, the diet mimics aspects of starvation because it forces the body to tap into stored fat for energy, rather than stored glycogen (produced from carbs and sugar) for fuel.

By severely restricting your daily carbohydrate intake, your body starts converting stored and ingested fat into free fatty acids and energy substrates called ketones or ketone bodies.

These ketone bodies circulate around the body and replace glycogen as the body’s primary energy source, fulfilling various vital functions that glucose had in the body. Ketone levels in the blood will continue to rise until they reach a threshold, which is when the body enters a state of ketosis.

And this is where keto supplements can assist your lifestyle transformation. You can augment the process with BHB salts and add exogenous ketones with a supplement like Biogen Keto Alkaline BHB. or boost fat metabolism with a fat-loss aid like Biogen Keto Burn.

Additional keto-friendly products like Biogen Keto Meal Shake make low-carb living easier and more convenient.

READ MORE | Simplify Low-Carb Living With The Biogen Keto Range

To help you transition as smoothly as possible to a ketogenic lifestyle, consider these dos and don’ts:


  • First check with your doctor or healthcare practitioner if this diet is safe and appropriate for you, especially if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic as these conditions increase the risk of a potentially serious condition known as ketoacidosis.
  • Eat sufficient fat, particularly foods high in medium-chain triglycerides and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including coconuts, avocados, natural oils, tree nuts and certain seeds, as well as unprocessed meats and leafy green vegetables.
  • Drink sufficient water and replace electrolytes.
  • Get sufficient sleep.
  • Monitor your calorie intake to avoid overeating because fat contains 9 calories per gram, compared to 4 calories per gram of carbohydrates and protein.
  • Constantly monitor your blood lipid profile to manage any adverse conditions that may arise from an increase in cholesterol.
  • Progressively reduce the amount of carbohydrates consume over time to no more than 50g/day.
  • Add specific keto supplements to your eating plan to make it easier to adhere to this lifestyle and support your efforts to achieve and maintain ketosis.
  • Supplement with a multivitamin and mineral complex to compensate from a lack of micronutrients usually derived from the carbs, fruit and vegetables excluded from a ketogenic diet.
  • Include a fibre supplement to maintain healthy digestion.
  • Test your urine using keto sticks to determine when you reach a state of ketosis and maintain this state as required.
  • Train using a low volume, high intensity weight training approach to preserve muscle, or a higher volume, low intensity approach for cardio and endurance-based exercise, at least until you adapt.
  • Abandon your ketogenic diet if after three weeks your body hasn’t adapted.


  • Don’t significantly reduce your carb intake without going through a “metabolic shift” – the process whereby the body is weened off its reliance on glucose and learns to function properly using ketones as an energy source.
  • Don’t eat processed meats, root vegetables, legumes (including peanuts), sweet fruits, grains, fast and convenience foods, low-fat variants, sweets, chocolates, processed carbs, sugar, artificial sweeteners, starchy carbs, baked goods, and margarine.
  • Don’t drink sugary drinks, sweetened beverages, excessive dairy milk or alcohol.
  • Don’t include too much protein in your diet. The body can convert amino acids into glucose, which can shift you out of your ketogenic state.
  • Don’t give up if you experience brain fog or a dip in cognitive function initially. The brain relies primarily on glucose and adaptation to ketones can take up to three weeks.

Author: Pedro van Gaalen

When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.

When he's not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He's worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *