The Keto diet is becoming one of the most popular ways of eating for weight loss. As we can see, every second person is trying to jump on the keto bandwagon. This article is focused on keto diet for beginners. All those who have read or heard about the raging popularity of this popular diet and want to know more, read on.
To stay fit and slim is a dream of every person, and to achieve this, people mostly opt for crazy shortcuts and fad diets. The promise of rapid weight loss is a common feature of every diet, even though dieticians always recommend losing no more than 2 pounds a week.
Almost every week, some diets create craze among people, diets come and go in the magazines and on the best-seller lists, and only a few stay popular. Such diets seek attention as they tend to reduce weight in a short period, and they appeal more to people’s vanity than to their desire to stay healthy.
Different diets follow different diet patterns. Some ask you to go for high protein and low carb, and some are plants based diets, while others require fasting for more extended periods.
You should never pay heed to the idea of eliminating one or more than one food group as it’s never considered a healthy part of a weight loss plan. Thus such diets that claim weight loss forever are nothing more than scams.
There is no hard and fast rule on the effectiveness of any diet. One diet cannot work the same for everybody. Every person’s body and the immune system responds differently to any diet.
Keto is one of the most popular diets nowadays. It is a short term of word ketogenic diet. The Keto diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet. In this diet, you limit your carbohydrate intake (glucose), which your body uses for energy, and replace it with fat.
According to a pub med study, people who followed the keto diet lost 5 lbs more than those following low-fat diets after six months.
What is ketosis
Following a ketogenic diet is the most effective way to enter ketosis. It’s a process that occurs when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to produce energy. When you cut down your carb intake to less than 50 grams of carbs per day, your body eventually runs out of fuel (blood sugar).
At this stage, the body will start to break down protein and fat for energy and produce ketones (fuel that the liver creates from stored fat). This metabolic state is known as ketosis.
You also need to keep a check on your protein intake. If the protein is consumed in large amounts, it can also get converted into glucose, which may slow your transition into ketosis. To achieve ketosis, you should consume 75% calories from fats, 15 % from proteins, and only 5% from carbohydrates.
During ketosis concentration of ketones in the blood becomes high. The number of ketones produced determines whether your body has entered into ketosis or not. It is checked via blood, breath, and urine tests.
For ketosis to start, we need to consume a minimum amount of carbohydrates per day by avoiding foods such as grains, legumes, potatoes, and fruits and fill up on fats like nuts, fish, and eggs. Some foods termed as “fat bombs” like unsweetened chocolates and coconut oil are also added to diets to achieve fat intake goals.
For healthy people, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating fewer carbs per day. Ketosis not merely helps you burn fat but also makes you feel less hungry.
If you have started the keto diet recently and experiencing some changes in your mood swings, then it’s a good signal for you. During the first week of a keto diet, you might start to feel bad, which might be the onset of keto flu.
You might notice the smelly metallic breath due to our body’s chemicals during ketosis. You may also experience some side effects such as headache, constipation, bad breath, nausea, fatigue, and cramps. This condition is known as “keto flu.” This flu is not similar to other seasonal flu in which you suffer from runny noses and sneezing.
Don’t worry, as your body is getting ready for shedding some kilos when your main diet is keto meal, and these signs will go in the span of one or two weeks. Drinking enough water will help to ease some of these symptoms.
Types of ketogenic diets
If you plan to start a keto diet, you may be wondering which version is best suitable for you. Some keto variations have been developed, which are a little more flexible and comfortable to stick with long-term for different keto dieters.
You have to choose keto meal plan according to your goals, health, and activity level. So always seek medical advice before starting any diet. You will select the type of ketogenic diet according to your body’s needs.
A standard keto diet (SKD)
This is the most common version of the ketogenic diet, or you can say most popular. This is the keto diet for beginners. You have to choose a diet that should focus on high fat, moderate protein, and low carb. It includes a diet containing 70% of fat, a 20% portion of protein, and only 10% of the carbs.
So you should always listen to your body and assess your energy level when following any specific diet. The standard (SKD) keto diet plan is the most researched and most recommended keto version.
A cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD)
This diet version is designed for people who had a tough time sticking to one diet plan for a long time and wants to have carbs on cheat days.
This diet involves periods of carb backloading, including five days of the traditional keto diet and two non-keto days per week. As its name suggests, it’s a kind of cycle in which your body goes in and comes out of ketosis.
A targeted ketogenic diet (TKD)
It’s quite similar to the already discussed SKD diet. This type of diet is adopted by people who want to add keto diet along with their workout routine.
You should follow a simple ketogenic diet initially to allow your body to get adaptive to it. Once your body learns to run on fats, it can go back and forth more readily with moderate carbs.
It’s designed in a way that you’ll have just enough carbs to fuel your workout and would be able to return to ketosis quickly after you cool down. Such a plan is most popular among athletes, who fuel them up with carbs to replenish the glycogen lost from muscles and competitions and to keep their blood sugar levels normal during endurance exercise.
A study published in the Journal of Sports medicine states that the keto diet helped increase athletic endurance.
High protein ketogenic diet
You may find this modified keto more flexible as it allows you to eat more protein and less fat. You can increase your protein intake up to 35 % in this type. According to a study published by Pub-med, a high-protein ketogenic diet is quite useful for weight loss in people.
Foods we can eat in the keto diet
What food we should eat on keto diet plan and what we should avoid is the first query that everyone has before beginning this keto journey.
If you plan to switch to a ketogenic diet, you will have to make changes from your fridges to pantries.
We will discuss some of the foods which can be consumed and are known as keto-friendly. Although you will get a chance to munch on a lot of different foods and tempting Cheese, so get ready.
Unprocessed Meat and Seafood
As keto is a high-fat diet, not high protein, you have to consume meat in a limited portion. It would be best to avoid processed meats like sausages and meatballs as they contain a high amount of carbs and salt content and a lot of fat is not healthy fat.
Fish and seafood are loaded with potassium, B vitamins, and protein. The presence of omega-three fatty acids in fish helps control sugar levels and prevent chronic heart diseases. Add 2 to 3 portions of fish and seafood per week to your diet.
When you think about eggs, they are versatile. Either it could be boiled egg, omelette, or scrambled. Eat the way you like it. As the ketogenic diet is mostly about fat, you can enjoy your meals with lots of added butter, coconut oils, and cream to enhance food flavour and keep you fuller for longer.
Non-starchy Green vegetables
If you have recently eaten a bowl of starchy vegetables like peas, look for it as it’s not keto-friendly. A bowl of peas contains 14 grams of carb, which likely to put you off track on keto. Switch to other options like broccoli and zucchini as they have less than 3 grams of carb per cup.
So add on nonstarchy green vegetables to your keto diet menu, as these contain a fair amount of fibre and is low in carbs. It will also help relieve constipation, the most common side effect of keto diet.
Berries and avocados
If you want to eat fruit and vegetable, berries and avocados are excellent keto friendly foods. They are packed with fibre making them a perfect go-to.
Berries are rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation and protect against disease. It would help if you restricted other fruits like bananas as they have a high carb ratio. So when you aim to lose weight, try to eat berries too in small portions.
Apart from that keto friendly foods with their high fat content also keep your blood sugar and insulin level at optimum level.
Butter, cream, and coconut oil
If you are sacrificing your craving for carbs, you will get an opportunity to enjoy food loaded with cream and sauteed with butter. In this diet, you would not be starving yourself anymore. Coconut oil is beneficial in keto as coconut oil is high in saturated fat and contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), increasing ketone production. The presence of MCTs increases metabolic rate and promotes weight loss.
Cheese and yogurt Cheese and greek yogurt are rich in calcium and protein. Cheese makes an excellent fit for the keto diet as it contains 0 carbs and is rich in calcium and fats. Studies have shown that calcium and protein can reduce appetite and promote fullness.
Research has shown that protein can reduce hunger and promote a feeling of fullness. So you can enjoy steaks with melted Cheese on top and don’t worry about weight gain.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, fibre and protein, and low in net carbs. The bad thing about nuts is you eat them in large amounts without even realizing the amount. So try to measure portion sizes when consuming any nuts like almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
A cup of whole milk is not only rich in fats but also contains 11.7 grams of carbs, which means you blow your full carb allowance on a single cup of milk. If you are craving a smoothie or sip on cold milk in hot summers, opt for almond milk. Almond milk merely contains 1 gram of carb per cup.
Thus keto is restrictive, but it will be worth doing once you get used to it. Simultaneously, not every diet is for everyone, so not everyone should embark on ketogenic diet by just looking at others. So if you plan to start a keto diet, this little keto diet for beginners might help but I would suggest you consult a dietitian to help you create a plan.