What is the keto diet?
The Ketogenic diet is a low carb diet plan that transforms the body into a fat-burning machine.
This diet has many potential benefits including weight loss, Reduced Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels, May help reduce the risk of cancer, Improves heart health and many more.
The term is coined from the name of a type of energy molecules produced by the Kidney called ketones. These are divided by the human body when our carbohydrates intake gets low, as they work as an alternative fuel for the body’s energy consumption when there’s not enough sugar (glucose) in the blood.
The Ketogenic Process – What is it?
Despite some experts argue that this diet plan is hard to maintain trough time –Several of them place it under the “yo-yo diet” label–, it’s not accurate that this diet has enough evidence that verifies its efficiency to lose weight fast.
It basically consists of adjusting the body to release more ketones through the bloodstream, every once in awhile consuming carbs and controlled amounts of protein (eating more protein can turn it into blood sugar as well). As in the absence of sugar proceeding from the food ingested, it will start to ‘break down’ the stored fat into these important molecules (the process is called ketosis).
Once you reach ketosis, the body begins to burn stored fat for energy because it does not have enough carbohydrates to burn.
Keto Diet for Beginners
The general benefits of this diet are well known: weight loss without hunger, diabetes correction, a decrease of sugar cravings, and better mental focus – However, there are many more. Look down at some tips on how to begin your keto diet as a beginner, reach ketosis, and get to known when you’ve actually reached it.
Step By Step Guide To Start Your Keto Journey
1. Star By Counting your carbs
There’s no need for some particular way or method. You can use a notepad to write down all your foods and the amounts of carbs you’re ingesting approximately every day.
2. Get Rid Of As Many Carbs As You Can
Erasing carbs is impossible, but if you start throwing away one or two from time to time, you will be crafting a better environment to follow your plan.
3. Buy Low Carb Foods
lower the number of high carb foods from your grocery list and include low carb foods such as lean meats like sirloin, chicken breast, or pork, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables.
4. Planning your menu
You have to spend more time in the kitchen, and so that you can cook keto-friendly recipes. We have provided a 7 days keto plan bellow to help you understand how to plan your menu.
5. Keep hydrated
You have to keep yourself hydrated to get most of the keto diet. It is super important to drink a minimum of 6 to 8 glasses of water every day.
6. Say No To Foods That Are Not “Keto Friendly”
Say no to the foods someone offers to you that doesn’t go with keto, it can be in a meeting, parties, and other social events you attend. We have to organize ourselves so we don’t fall into this sudden temptations.
Tips To Reach Ketosis:
a. Limit how Much Carbohydrates You’re Eating
As you might have already noticed, this is the most crucial step. Lower your daily consumption to 50 – 20 grams a day.
b. Balance Your Protein consumption
This translates into consuming less than 1 gram per kilo of body weight (If you weight 60 kgs, limit it to 60 grams of protein).
Consuming way too many proteins is the most common mistake people do when trying to reach optimal ketosis.
c. Eat Enough Fat
You must eat as much fat as to feel satisfied. This tip draws the line between this diet and starvation.
d. If Needed, Try Intermittent Fasting.
Doing some form of intermittent fasting can be very useful to stimulate the ketone levels in your keto diet further, like the 16/8. Hence it quickens weight loss and diabetes reversing.
Keto Diet And Exercise
Exercising is great for any diet, Physical exercise stimulates the production of ketones in the body and makes you lose weight more integrally.
Signs That It’s Working
- Your mouth dries more, and you get way thirstier.
- Increase in the urine. You’ll need to go to the bathroom more often.
- The acetone formed causes what is called the keto breath. A lot of people describes this smell as fruity; however, the odd halite is temporal.
- Hunger decrease. This sign covers carbs and sugar cravings, as the body increases its tendency to feed off its fat deposits.
- Energy increase. After some days of feeling low on energy, caused by the sudden decrease in sugar fluctuations, you’ll feel as your energy levels rise. People starting their diets often experience and describe this symptom as a steady state of mental clarity.
Adapting to ketosis
Adapting to the diet plan can take 10 to 30 days. During this stage, you may feel some temporary illness, like dizziness, migraine, fatigue, and carb cravings.
1-week Keto Plan
Your lifestyle has a significant impact on the amount of food to be included in your diet program. Here are some recipes you can try in your home, regardless of your particular habits (like the amount of exercise you do, your body weight, and your age) and you’ll be fine:
Breakfast: Eggs, tomato, and bacon.
Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil, and feta cheese.
Dinner: Salmon with butter and asparagus
Breakfast: Omelette with tomato, basil, and goat cheese.
Lunch: Almond milk, peanut butter, and chocolate protein.
Dinner: Vegetables with ground meat, cheese, and tomato.
Breakfast: Almond milk, Protein, and peanut butter
Lunch: Roast beef salads with avocado and olive oil
Dinner: Ribs with broccoli and tomato salad.
Breakfast: Avocado Omelette with peppers and onion.
Lunch: Chicken with cream cheese and pesto.
Dinner: Salmon salad with avocado and tomato.
Breakfast: Yogurt without sugar, mixed with strawberries, and peanut butter sweetened with Splenda.
Lunch: Chicken with broccoli cream served with mushrooms.
Dinner: Meat with egg, bacon, and cheese.
Breakfast: ham and cheese Omelette with spinach.
Lunch: Almonds with ham, and cheese as the side dish.
Dinner: Fish cook with butter.
Breakfast: Fried egg with bacon and mushrooms
Lunch: Hamburger meat with cheese, salsa, and guacamole.
Dinner: Meat with broccoli.4
Diet Cheat Day*
You can eat with a lot more flexibility.
- Try to eat vegetables within each meal, and vary the ones you consume, since each green gives different nutrients to your body –Broccoli, spinach, pumpkin, zucchini, laughing cabbage, cucumber, etc.).
- Don’t hesitate to change or modify your menu, depending on your tastes.
- Remember to keep net carbohydrates into account. These are the carbs of food minus the fiber it contains. For example, a plate of broccoli that has 6 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber, has 4 net carbs in total.
- For every one week of healthy eating, where you follow these recipes accordingly, you can take one cheat day in your keto diet. This skipping won’t harm the ketosis process going on inside your body significantly.
Keto Diet in the Long Term – Grocery List
Foods like red meat, beef, ham, sausages, bacon, chicken, and turkey.
Like salmon, trout, tuna, and tilapia.
Whole eggs contain omega-3.
Cream and butter
Preferably extracted from animals fed on grass.
Fresh cheeses, like cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella.
Nuts and seeds
Almonds, nuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
Mainly try to consume extra virgin olive oils, coconut oil, and avocado oil.
Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole.
Vegetables low in carbs
Most of the green vegetables; also tomatoes, onions, peppers.
It is best to base your diet on salt, pepper, herbs, and spices
Foods to avoid
Such as sodas, fruit juices, shakes, desserts, etc.
Grains or starches
Products based on wheat, rice, pasta, cereals, etc.
All fruits, except berries or strawberries.
Beans or legumes
Peas, beans, chickpeas, and lentils, etc.
Vegetables and tubers
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, etc.
Diet or low-fat products
These are highly processed and often rich in carbohydrates.
Some sauces and condiments
These often contain unhealthy fat and lots of sugars (Barbecue, ketchup, salad dressings, etc.).
Limit your consumption of processed vegetable oils, etc.
Due to the high content of carbohydrates, many alcoholic beverages harm your state of ketosis.
Sugar-free diet foods
These are processed and often rich in sugar alcohols, which will affect your ketone levels.
When it comes to drinks, the variety is milder. Base your drinking on water, tea, and coffee with a moderated amount of milk or cream. A glass of red wine from time to time is good as well.
The Keto Diet… Pros And Con’s
Fat-burning increase, insulin levels decrease – both remarkably. These are the optimal conditions to stimulate weight loss without starving.
You’ll be losing almost 10 pounds in the first week. Weight loss per week on the keto diet is around 2 – 7 pounds on average.
When the body starts burning fat unceasingly, it develops constant access to a stored amount of energy, equivalent to the consumption of many weeks or even months. This state decreases hunger.
Following the diet for a long time, many people start feeling the need to eat only twice a day (often skipping breakfast), and others even once.
Not having to fight against hunger has the potential to help with problems such as sugar or food addiction, and possibly certain eating disorders such as bulimia.
Benefits Aside From Weight Loss
Healing Effects On The Brain
High-fat diets have healing properties for brain conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases and epilepsy; as well as in endorphin production and mood.
Increases energy and improves focus
Ketosis results in a stable flow of energy (ketones) to the brain, and thus prevents large fluctuations in blood glucose. Many times, this causes an improvement in mental focus, concentration, and energy.
Keto Diet and Diabetes
Evidence supports the use of the ketogenic diet as a treatment protocol for diabetes. As it drastically reduces carbohydrate intake and, therefore, the need for so much insulin. As a result, it can calm the body’s insulin response.
More Fat Burned While Exercising
According to famous personal trainer Ramsey Bergerson, doing cardio while following the ketogenic diet can, “help increase fat oxidation, save glycogen, produce less lactate, and use less oxygen”.
Improved skin health
Acne and other skin problems are commonly caused by underlying inflammation and insulin resistance. This diet is good for the skin as ketone molecules are anti-inflammatory. If we follow a food program that stimulates our bodies to generate them, it will reduce inflammation and unwanted acne.
This outcome has been seen more or less frequently in many cases; however, studies have not been conclusive. According to some doctors, keto plans can improve blood sugar control in patients with type II Diabetes, at least in the mid-term. The case for cholesterol have been somewhat similar, yet they tend to go back to past levels even faster.
Nonetheless, there’s not any long-term research that analyzes its effects on cholesterol over time. Vegan meals tend to help with this though.
- Uncontrolled consumption of red meats, fat, processed and salty foods can damage your health.
- You may want to consult a specialist if you are taking some type of insulin medication, hypertension drugs, or breastfeeding.
- Fatigue, reactive hypoglycemia, and carbs cravings.
Side effects in the regular stage
- A decrease in physical performance
How to reduce keto diet side effects?
One way to reduce your side effects keto diet is to start eating mildly average low carb foods during the first one or two weeks. Then start gradually decreasing your carb intake, until you get to the 50 grams mark.
It can also be helpful to consume around 3,000 to 4,000 milligrams of sodium, 1,000 milligrams of potassium, and 300 milligrams of magnesium per day. This way, you will compensate for the minerals lost from lowering high on carbs foods.
In the beginning, it is recommended to eat until you are satisfied and not concentrating too much on counting calories. The ketogenic diet results in weight loss in the first few phases even without a strict calorie count.
Now you know what keto is, what a typical keto diet looks like, how it affects you and how it helps. And better yet, you know your body better as well, so you can try doing the keto diet and see if the results meet your dietary requirements.
But be sure to abort the diet plan if you start experiencing discomfort. Furthermore, DO NOT get into the diet without checking up with your physician first. Especially if you have pre-existing health problems.
If you are looking for alternative diets for weight loss, look here.