The ketogenic diet, or simply `keto` is a diet that requires you to eat high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate foods. But does it make a difference? You can discover information below to help you decide whether to attempt the ketogenic diet.
This diet plan may be the best option for you if you want to:
- make changes in your lifestyle
- simplify your life
- try something that will boost your health and help you lose weight
- benefit you in many other ways
For many people, carbs like pasta, bread, or potatoes take up more than 50% of their daily diet. Our bodies break down sugars found in carbs to fuel us with energy. In the keto diet plan, the goal is to change the glucose calories with fat. In a typical keto diet, your nutrition centers around fatty foods. They’ll make up from 60% to 80% of your daily calories. Proteins take up 15% to 20%. Carbs are down to no more than 50 grams.
Following the low-carb keto diet will likely lead to weight loss within the first 3 to 6 months. The keto diet calls for big changes in your daily diet, so the best first step is to ask your doctor or a nutritionist if it’s right for you.
Ketosis as a result of keto-diet
The keto diet works by changing the way your body uses energy. The body converts sugar into glycogen for energy. But on the keto diet, carbs are reduced, and as a result, the body can enter a metabolic state called ketosis – where you burn fat for energy instead.
Meal plans that help reach ketosis are highly beneficial for weight loss, one of the reasons is their appetite-suppressing effects. Of course, we have to have in mind that achieving a state of ketosis can take work and planning. It is not enough just to cut carbs.
Some things can help you to reach ketosis faster. Firstly, you must reduce your body’s glycogen daily intake. The keto diet will help you do that by reducing carbohydrates to less than 50 grams a day. After about two days to a week of keeping the carbs level low, your body should start burning fat reserves for energy. But this can be different from person to person and it can take a little bit longer.
Two or three days of fasting can trigger ketosis, too. Exercising and physical activity are great ways to start spending glycogen reserves faster. Using coconut oil also helps because it provides your body with medium-chain triglycerides which are quickly absorbed and converted into ketones.
Foods to eat
While following the keto diet the majority of your meals should be around these foods:
Meat – ham, chicken, sausage, turkey, and red meat.
Fish – trout, tuna, salmon, and mackerel
Eggs – omega-3 whole eggs or pastured
Heavy cream and butter
Cheese – unprocessed cheeses like blue, goat, cheddar, cream, or mozzarella
Seeds and nuts – almonds, flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Healthy oils – avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
Avocados – whole avocados or made guacamole
Low-carb vegetables – tomatoes, green vegetables, onions, peppers, etc.
Condiments – pepper, salt, herbs, and spices
It’s best to use mostly whole, single-ingredient foods in your diet. If you prepare a plan for the whole week or even a month, it can help you a lot and it will make your daily routine easier.
Foods to avoid
Any high-carb food needs to be limited. Here are some foods that need to be avoided on a ketogenic diet:
Sugary foods – fruit juice, soda, smoothies, cake, candy, ice cream, etc.
Grains – wheat-based products, pasta, rice, cereal, etc.
Fruit – almost all fruit, except small portions of berries
Beans – peas, lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.
Root vegetables – parsnips, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, etc.
Diet products – salad dressings, low-fat mayonnaise, and some condiments ( honey mustard, barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, etc.)
Unhealthy fats like processed vegetable oils
Alcohol – wine, liquor, mixed drinks, beer
Sugar-free diet foods – syrups, puddings, sugar-free candies sweeteners, desserts, etc.
Avoiding these foods and eating a low-carb diet is the most important factor in achieving ketosis. Achieving ketosis is important because that is the state in which your body uses fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.
Example of a 7-day keto-meal plan
The following menu has less than 50 grams of carbs per day. As previously mentioned, some people may have to reduce carbs even more to reach ketosis.
This is just an example of the 7-day menu, which can be changed depending on individual needs and preferences.
Breakfast: cauliflower toast with avocado and cheese
Lunch: salmon burgers without a bun with pesto
Dinner: zucchini noodles with meatballs and cheese
Breakfast: omelet with mushrooms
Lunch: tuna salad, celery and tomato, and green veggies
Dinner: roast chicken with sauce and fried broccoli
Breakfast: bell peppers stuffed with eggs and cheese
Lunch: hard-boiled eggs, arugula salad with blue cheese, turkey, and avocado.
Dinner: grilled salmon with spinach fried in sesame oil
Breakfast: chia pudding with coconut milk with coconut and walnuts
Lunch: salad with cobb meat and greens, avocado, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, and turkey
Dinner: chicken curry with coconut
Breakfast: egg boats and baked avocado
Lunch: Caesar salad
Dinner: pork chops and vegetables
Breakfast: butter-fried 2 eggs with fried greens
Lunch: burger without a bun with cheese, mushrooms, and avocado side with greens
Dinner: pork chops with green beans fried shortly in olive oil
Breakfast: full-fat yogurt with Keto granola
Lunch: steak bowl with cauliflower, cheese, avocado, herbs, and salsa
Dinner: steak with cheese and broccoli
As you can see, keto meals can be diverse, creative, and flavorful. Ketogenic meals are usually based around animal products, but, there is a variety of ingredients that can be great for vegetarian meals. Your meals should be full of whole foods, fiber-rich, low-carb veggies. Healthy fats like butter, sesame, avocado, and olive oil are welcome, too.
If you want to, you can add a cup of berries to your breakfast, or between meals you can eat some keto-friendly snacks such as:
- Parmesan crisps
- Almonds and cheese
- Macadamia nuts
- Avocado with chicken salad
- Kale chips
- Heavy whipping cream and berries
- Two hardboiled eggs
- Peppers and celery with cheese dip
- Coconut chips
- Sliced salami with olives
These are just some ideas to help you understand the variety of ingredients that a person on a keto diet can eat. Snacks should have a high level of fat, less protein, and almost no carbs. You can also increase your fiber intake by eating vegetables and high-fat dipping.
When you decide to follow a diet, whichever diet that is, you need to keep in mind the appropriate number of calories. This number can be different from person to person and it is based on the activity level, gender, age, and weight loss goal. For questions, help, or ideas feel free to contact us. An excellent strategy to accomplish your goal and ensure that you are doing it correctly is to get advice from a professional.