The ketogenic or keto diet has gained quite a bit of popularity over that past few years. It is a diet that is quite low in carbohydrate and high in fats. The diet will help you lower blood sugar as well as insulin levels in the body.
Your body’s metabolism will focus on fats instead of carbohydrates for providing the energy it needs.
The ketones produced in your liver will be used for providing energy to your body. The carbohydrate intake is reduced drastically and replaced with fat. This forces your body to go into a state of ketosis.
In turn, your body becomes much more efficient at burning fat and using it for energy instead of depending on carbohydrates. The fat in the liver is also converted to ketones which supply the brain with energy.
We will explain how it works further. Eating a high carbohydrate diet will make your body produce more of glucose and insulin. Since glucose is the easiest molecule to break down, the body chooses to use it as a source of energy instead of any fat that you eat.
This forces the fat to get stored and makes you gain weight. However, now that you reduce the intake of carbohydrates, your body is forced to undergo ketosis. It is a natural mechanism of the body wherein the fats in the liver are broken down to produce ketones. This metabolic state is what helps you use the stored fat in your body as the main source of energy now.
There are different variants of the keto diet that you can follow:
➢ The standard ketogenic diet has very low carbohydrates, moderate protein content and high amount of fat.
➢ The high protein ketogenic diet has a higher amount of proteins than the standard diet.
➢ The targeted ketogenic diet involves adding carbohydrates in your diet according to your workout schedule.
➢ The cyclical ketogenic diet has a cycle where you follow the ketogenic diet for a certain number of days and then add carbs for a couple of days before switching back.
Let’s take a look at how you can follow this diet. We have put together a list of food you should eat and those that should be avoided. This will help you keep track of what you eat and how to stay on a diet correctly.
You need to avoid most food which is carbohydrate based. List of food to avoid:
- Potatoes, carrots and other tubers or root vegetables.
- Processed vegetable oils
- Diet or low-fat products
- Grains and starches like rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
- Lentils, peas, chickpeas and other beans or legumes
- Sugar-free foods
Eat food that is low carb but has enough proteins and fats. List of food to eat:
- Low carb vegetables like tomatoes and onions
- Nuts and seeds like chia seeds, almonds, flaxseeds, etc.
- Chicken, bacon, turkey, red meat, ham
- Grass-fed butter and cream
- Healthy oils like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
- Avocados or guacamole
- Unprocessed cheese
- Salmon, trout, mackerel and other fatty fish
- Leafy greens like kale and spinach
The list of what to eat and what to avoid will help you choose your food. Stay away from anything which isn’t keto friendly, and you will soon see results.
There are so many recipes which help you stay on this diet without it getting monotonous. You can try different keto recipes to help you prepare the right meals for your diet and to eat something delicious and new every day.
When you get hungry in between meals, eat a small portion of some keto friendly food. For instance, you can eat dark chocolate, strawberries, salsa and guacamole, boiled eggs, nuts, cheese or some yogurt.
The diet does not require you to starve yourself or give up all the food that you like. You just need to cut out a few things that you might normally eat and eat some other foods instead.
If you are worried about eating out, we can help you as well. If you order a burger, don’t eat the bun. Choose a meat or fish main course. Dessert can be some berries and cream or cheeses. Egg-based dishes are also a good choice.
It isn’t that hard once you stick to the basics whether it is at home or while eating at a restaurant. The changes you make on this diet are easy to maintain and show you results soon enough.
Once you start the diet, just be aware of a few things to avoid any problems.
➢ Keto flu is seen to occur in some people when they start the diet. The symptoms include low energy levels, sleeping problems, nausea and increased hunger pangs. It passes after a couple of weeks. You can start by reducing the carbs little by little instead of cutting them out of your diet.
➢ The water and mineral content in your body is affected as well so add more salt and supplements to your diet to help balance this.
➢ Eat your meals until you are full and do not try to eat less while on this diet just to lose weight faster.
➢ Certain supplements like whey, caffeine, and creatine can help you ease into the diet.
The ketogenic diet is a great option for most people and is shown to be highly effective. However, if you are suffering from certain diseases or ailments, it is advised that you consult your doctor first.
Making dietary changes can affect your treatment and body as well. If they say it is okay, then go ahead with it. The diet is effective if you follow it properly and consistently for some time. It won’t show results in a day or two but will have long-lasting effects that you will benefit from.