The words that we hear a lot are ketogenic and diet. You should consider it if want to reach fitness and health goals is usually a follow-up sentence. But, what ketogenic diet meal plan should you choose? If you are not sure, this text may help you decide.
The basis of the ketogenic diet is that it gets your body into ketosis. That is a condition where your body uses fat, not carbohydrates as its source of fuel. If you follow the diet plan, your body can go into ketosis in a day or three. When you are on a diet, most calories you burn come from fat. Fat is very low in carbohydrates and low in protein, so ketosis also occurs when you eat low-calorie food.
Always consult with a professional before you start any new diet, but you can consider a recommended diet with a daily calorie intake of six to eight hundred calories.
Reasons for using a keto diet (good and bad sides)
If you are a beginner before you dive in, you need to know the potential benefits and risks. Different studies support the ketogenic diet. Reasons for using it might be – treatment for epilepsy or type 2 diabetes, and support for weight loss.
For treating epilepsy, this diet has shown good results, especially with kids. Keto can decrease the number of seizures, and ten to fifteen percent of kids who used this diet became seizure-free. It helped seven percent of adults who used this diet to stop having seizures when it is used for a long time. Patients may also reduce the dose of the medication. The thing that concerns doctors and patients is that it can be difficult for some people to follow it.
There are studies about diabetes that show how a ketogenic diet can improve glucose balance and blood sugar levels in two to three months. This also helps lowering down drug use, which is good news. Of course, for diabetics eating a lot of fat can be concerning. Fat can be unhealthy if we overeat. If you are in this group, talk to your dietitian, maybe they will recommend another diet for weight loss, such as a low-calorie diet, which might be more suitable for you.
When we talk about weight loss, this diet can have a great impact quickly. It can even happen in the first week. It is because your body will run out of all glycogen storage. When that happens, the weight of water becomes reduced. It looks good to see the scale dropping, but keep in mind that a loss of water comes first. The bad thing can be that for some people is short-term, and it can cause a lack of nutrition, and some health risks because you eat more saturated fat.
Benefits and risks are different for every individual. They depend on many factors, such as starting weight, general health, preconditions, activity level, and age.
Things to know about ketosis
As previously mentioned, the goal of the ketogenic diet is to get your body into ketosis. When you increase the frequency or intensity of your activities, you will lose fat and weight, but that is not the only way. Through ketosis, you can also burn fat faster, because it will help you use it for fuel. Understanding how ketosis work and what it is can help you reach your goal faster. But, before that, you need to be aware of the benefits and risks.
Food is our primary source of energy, nutrients such as fat, protein, and carbohydrates supply our body. After eating, our body breaks down carbs from foods, and then fat and protein. Ketosis happens when your body doesn`t have enough carbs or glucose, so instead burns fat.
Your body enters ketosis when your carbs intake is low. When the body breaks down fat, it produces an acid called ketones, or ketone bodies. So, that becomes your brain`s and body`s main source of energy.
Getting and staying in ketosis isn`t easy. You have to eat no more than 20 to 50g of carbs daily to get and stay there. Food that you eat during this diet has to be picked carefully so it will not get you out of ketosis. You will need protein but you need to limit them to about 20 percent of your total daily intake. This is important because if you eat more than you need, your body will change it into carbs through gluconeogenesis. It pushes you out of ketosis.
How do you know that you are in ketosis?
One way to know is by checking your ketone level. This metabolic state usually takes one to three days to achieve when you restrict your carbs intake. If you want to measure your ketones, there is no need to visit a doctor. Just pick up a ketone urine test from the drug store, or use a blood sugar meter that has that option. A normal level of ketones is 0,6 milimoles per liter. When that number is higher, it means that you are in a state of ketosis.
There are symptoms that you might face during the diet. They are called `keto-flu`. Some of them should disappear after a few weeks. And they are:
- Loss of appetite
- Increased energy after a few weeks
- Weight loss
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Fruity-smelling breath
Different types of the ketogenic diet
There are different types of the keto diet. These are the most popular ones:
- The standard ketogenic diet – SKD
- The cyclical ketogenic diet – CKD
- The targeted ketogenic diet – TKD
Standard ketogenic diet
As described before, SKD is a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb diet. It gives results in weight loss and that is why is popular in low-carb diets. Other reasons why people chose this diet are because it is easier to follow and:
- You eat until you are full, with no need for counting calories
- Eat the same food every day or similar, but macronutrients will stay the same
- Three meals per day and there is no set time for meals
Drawbacks that you can face are:
- There is an adjustment period when you switch to a keto diet because your body is used to working on glucose
- Some dieters experience dehydration, keto flu, and fatigue, but that goes away after 1-2 weeks.
Cyclical ketogenic diet
This diet is an SKD but you can eat clean carbs, one or two days a week. This will create a carb cycle and it will help you with performance in a workout. CKD is a diet that can help athletes who exercise regularly. Eating carbs may improve the body`s ability to add new muscle, especially after workouts.
Drawbacks that might happen:
- The main concern is that you will not be in ketosis on the days when you eat carbs. Clean carbs or not, your body still needs to be on a low-carb intake before it changes its fuel.
- It is important to know that you need to exercise enough, so it won`t take longer than one day to get back into ketosis.
- If you aren`t careful, this diet may help you with performance but, it might not technically be a ketogenic diet.
Targeted ketogenic diet
This keto diet is a standard keto, too, but you pay attention to the time to eat your calories. You eat five to ten percent of your daily carbs to help you stay in ketosis. But you do that before and after exercising. It will also help you improve performance and may boost energy recovery.
Potential drawbacks that you can face:
- It would help if you were diligent to stay in ketosis; it can greatly impact your training, but you will not get into ketosis right after your workout.
- Paying attention to the foods that are forbidden. If you eat carbs before and after exercising, you can`t eat fruit or higher-carb nuts for the rest of that day.
- It might be difficult to stick to this diet because requires a certain level of discipline.
The final word
In this text, you could read about different types of ketogenic diets and their good and bad sides. It is different for everyone, and the best way to choose the right one is to consult a nutritionist.
You also need to figure out what plan would go well with your goals, activities, or daily schedule. There are lots of benefits, improving your health, weight loss, lower blood pressure, and others. If you follow the diet plan you choose, the results will follow, too.