The ketogenic diet which is also named the keto diet is a low-carb with a high-fat diet that promises many benefits for health.
There are many studies and research that also support this concept that it helps you to lose weight and improves overall health.
According to studies ketogenic diet even helps people with diabetes, epilepsy, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other several chronic diseases.
Here is a detailed guide to the Keto diet for Beginners, it will help you to understand the concept behind the keto diet and weight loss.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
Basics of the Keto Diet
The keto diet is high fat and very low-carb diet that has many similarities with the low-carb diet and Atkins.
The keto diet drastically reduces the intake of carbohydrates and replaces them with natural fats. This procedure of high fat consumption and low carbs puts your body into a metabolic state which is called Ketosis.
By entering into the Ketosis state your body is capable of burning fats efficiently for energy instead of carbs. In the ketosis state, your liver turns fat into ketones to supply energy to the brain.
Because in Keto your body burns fats which help to reduce blood sugar and improve insulin level control. It also increases the ketones level and other many health benefits.
Types of Ketogenic Diets
There are several types of ketogenic diet such as
SKD (Standard ketogenic Diet)
It contains low carb, high fat, and moderate protein diet which normally contains
CKD (Cyclical Ketogenic Diet)
In this type of diet, some days on low carbs and some days on high carbs contain to ditch the brain such as two high carb days followed by five ketogenic days.
TKD (Targeted Ketogenic Diet)
In this type you can add carbs with your workout hours means you can add carbs to your post-workout meals.
HPKD (High Protein Keto Diet)
It is near to a ketogenic diet but you only take some extra proteins. So in this diet, the ratio will be
- Fat 60%
- Protein 35%
- Carbs 5%
Only SKD and HPKD have been studied properly while targeted and Cyclical keto diets are more advanced ways for athletes and bodybuilders.
In this article, we will discuss mostly SKD (Standard Ketogenic Diet), but all these principles you can apply to other versions also
What is Ketosis?
When your body starts burning fats for energy instead of carbs is called ketosis.
When does Ketosis start?
When you reduce your consumption of carbohydrates significantly and supply sugar (glucose) to your body which is the main source of energy for the cells.
The best way to get into ketosis is the use a ketogenic diet. This includes reducing the carbs intake by up to 50 grams and replacing it with fats daily such as fish, meat, eggs, oils, and dairy products.
Protein consumption is also very important in the ketogenic diet, if you consume protein in high amounts it can be converted into glucose. But consumption of protein can slow down your transition to a ketosis state.
To enter into a ketosis state faster you can use the method of intermittent fasting, there are different types of intermittent fasting, the most common one is limited eating for a minimum of eight hours a day and not eating anything for the remaining hours.
There are many tests that determine the state you entered into ketosis or not such as breath, urine, and blood tests, they are ketones-based tests that your body produces.
There are some symptoms that also indicate that you entered into ketosis such as
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Low appetite
- And reduced hunger
Can You Lose Weight With Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is very useful and effective to lose weight safely with low-risk factors of getting sick.
According to researchers, the ketogenic diet is more effective in loose weight than a low-fat diet.
You can lose weight without tracking food and counting calorie intake.
Many studies have shown that a ketogenic diet is found more effective for long-term weight loss than low-carb and low-fat diet plans. People who use the keto diet to lose weight lose an average of two pounds more than people who use a low-fat diet.
It also reduces triglyceride levels and blood pressure so will get many health benefits along with losing weight fast.
Another study has shown people who followed the keto diet for two months lost five times more than the people who followed a low-fat diet.
By following the keto diet your body increases ketones and lowers the sugar levels in your bloodstream. it also improves insulin sensitivity which helps to control blood sugar levels.
Diabetes, Prediabetes, and Ketogenic Diet
Diabetes is a metabolic condition associated with impaired insulin function and high blood sugar levels.
By following the keto diet you lose excess fat from your body which is the main reason for Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes and prediabetes and other metabolic syndromes.
According to studies, insulin sensitivity increases by up to 75 percent with the ketogenic diet. And women with type 2 diabetes significantly reduced glucose levels by following the keto diet by just 90 days. which is a milestone in long-term sugar management.
In another study people with type 2 diabetes who followed a keto diet lost up to 26 pounds just in two years, so we can say that there is a direct link between weight and type 2 diabetes.
And people who use the keto diet to control type 2 diabetes need less medication which is a very big benefit of the keto diet.
Health Benefits of the Keto Diet
Many neurological diseases such as epilepsy can be treated with the ketogenic diet. Research have shown many health benefits of the keto diet such as
The keto diet is found very useful during cancer treatment, the keto diet slows down the growth of the tumor.
The ketogenic diet has shown very good results in epileptic Children. The keto diet significantly reduces seizures.
The ketogenic diet can be helpful in reducing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and slowing down its progress.
The ketogenic diet is found very useful in improving brain recovery after brain injuries.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Ketogenic diets play an important role to reduce insulin levels which can be helpful in polycystic ovary syndrome.
Some experts say that the ketogenic diet can be helpful in improving symptoms of Parkinson’s disease although more research is needed to prove it.
Foods to Avoid in Keto Diet
Avoid any food that contains high carbohydrates.
Here is a list of some foods that you should not take or reduce your intake during the ketogenic diet plan
Grains and starches that come from wheat-based products such as pasta, rice, cereals purge, etc are prohibited in the ketogenic diet
Foods that contain sugar are not allowed in the ketogenic diet such as soda, fruit juices, cacks, smoothies, candy, ice cream, energy and cold drinks containing sugar
Almost fruit of all kinds except some berries such as blueberries and strawberries.
Tubers and Root Vegetables
Root vegetables and tubers contain more sugar than other vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, etc. they should not consume during a ketogenic diet.
Diet or Low Fat Products
Condiments, low-fat mayonnaise, and salad dressings.
Diet or Sugar-Free Foods
Such as syrups, sugar-free candies, puddings, desserts, sweeteners, etc.
Beer, liquor, wine, and all kinds of alcohol-containing drinks.
What Should You Eat During Ketogenic Diet
You can base your ketogenic diet plan on these foods for getting better results from a ketogenic diet
You can use eggs omega-3 whole eggs or pastured
Steak, red meat, ham, sausage, chicken, lamb, bacon, turkey, and beef
Cream and Butter
Heavy cream and grass-fed butter
Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and virgin coconut oil.
Pepper, herbs, spices, and salt
Low Carb Veggies
Tomatoes, green chili, onions, peppers, leafy green veggies.
Fresh whole avocados and guacamole
Try to base your diet on whole foods, if they are single-ingredient base it is recommended
One Week Keto Diet Plan for Beginners
To help you get started, here is a simple beginner’s keto diet plan for one week that you can extend following its basics.
Egg muffins and veggies with one tomato
Grilled chicken salad with olive oil or avocado oil, olives, side salad, feta cheese
Salmon or tuna with asparagus cooked in olive oil or butter
Tomato, eggs, spinach, and basil omelet
Peanut butter, almond milk, spinach, stevia, cocoa powder, and a milkshake with some sliced strawberries.
Salsa with cheese shell tacos
Topped with blackberries and coconut, nut milk chia pudding
Olive shrimp salad or salad with avocado
Beef chops with some cheese, salad, and broccoli
Omelet with peppers, salsa, onion, spices, and avocado
Guacamole and salsa with a handful of celery sticks and nuts.
Pesto and cream cheese with chicken stuffed with grilled zucchini
Peanut butter with whole milk yogurt, sugar-free greek, berries, and cocoa powder
Tacos, beef ground lettuce wrap tacos with some bell peppers slices.
Mixed veggies and loaded cauliflower.
Blueberries with cream cheese pancakes and grilled mushrooms
Noodles, beet, and zucchini salad
Tuna cooked in olive oil or coconut oil with toasted pine nuts and kale.
Mushrooms with fried eggs
Broccoli and low-carb sesame chicken
Bolognese spaghetti squash
Try to rotate meat and vegetables from time to time, because all of them have different kinds of nutrients and have many health benefits.
With the keto diet, you can choose from a wide variety of nutritious and tasty meals, vegetables, fats, and meats are very important parts of the ketogenic diet.
Best keto snacks
If you feel hungry between your regular meals here is a list of some healthy keto snacks:
- Fish or fatty meat
- A handful of seeds
- A handful of nuts
- Keto sushi
- One or two boiled eggs.
- Dark chocolate
- Keto snack bars
- Bell peppers
- Celery with salsa
- Smaller portions of some leftover meals.
Tips and Tricks for Keto Diet
- Starting keto is not much difficult but keeping stick to the ketogenic diet can be challenging, there are many tricks and tips that can help you to adopt the keto diet easily.
- Understand the foods and check their labels and get help from google to know about fat, carb, and fiber in your favorite foods, so you can add them to your keto diet meals plan
- Do some planning of your meals before time so you have extra time to prepare them according to your taste
- There are many blogs and cookbooks where you can find keto-friendly recipes and meal ideas that will help you make a good keto diet menu.
- You can also buy prepared keto diet meals for quick and convenient keto meals at home
- If you are too much busy you can buy frozen keto meals
- When you go on tours or visit your family and friends you can bring your own food. Which will help you to stick with your keto diet plan.
Tips: Eating Out on a Ketogenic Diet
- Many restaurants provide keto-friendly meals.
- Most of the restaurants offer fish and meat-based dishes, you can order these items and replace high-carb meals with vegetables.
- You can also choose egg-based meals as an option, you can choose omelet, bacon, and eggs
- You can get bun-less burgers. Just swap fries with salad. Add extra cheese, bacon, eggs, or avocado.
- You can enjoy meat with extra cheese, sour cream, and salsa at Mexican restaurants.
- For dessert, you can ask for berries with cream or mixed cheese board
Side Effects and Prevention
Ketogenic is famous for being safe for most healthy people but there are some side effects of a ketogenic diet while your body adapts to it.
There is some evidence you can get keto flu. It is usually over within some days based on reports from some diet plans.
Keto flu symptoms include
- Poor mental function
- Low energy
- Sleep problems
- The high feeling of hunger
- Low performance during exercise
To overcome these issues try a regular low-carb diet for some days. Which will tell your body to burn more fat before completely stopping carbs intake.
Water and mineral balance changes in your body due to the keto diet so adding some extra salt or taking supplements can help you, you can talk to your dietician or doctor about it.
You should eat full to avoid a calorie deficit. Normally you lose weight with a keto diet without calorie restrictions.
Risks associated with Keto Diet
Being on a ketogenic diet can cause some negative effects on your health such as
- Extra fat in the liver
- Stones in kidneys
- Low protein
- Deficiencies of micronutrients
If you are using sodium-glucose as medication avoid the keto diet because it can increase the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis.
More research is needed to find the safety of long-term use of the keto diet.
Supplements for Help in Keto Diet
No specific supplement is required for the ketogenic diet, but if you feel low energy and lack mental focus these supplements can be helpful
MCT oil provides energy and power to your body by increasing ketone levels, you can use it by adding it to drinks and yogurt. you can buy the best MCT oil from amazon
Minerals are very important for your body, you can add some salt and mineral supplement to your diet for better results.
Caffeine is very useful; it provides energy along with fat loss and mental focus.
This supplement helps to raise ketone levels to maintain the body’s energy and mental health.
Creatine has many benefits for health and performance, it is a very good combination with the keto diet and exercise for fast weight loss
If you have protein deficiency add a half scoop of whey protein to your daily intake to improve your health and post-workout recovery.
Keto Diet: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most asked questions about the keto diet and their answers.
1. Will I lose muscle with the keto diet?
Keep in mind that losing muscle is the main risk of any diet, but you can overcome this issue by increasing protein intake which will minimize your muscle loss especially if you are a weight lifter.
2. Can I eat carbs again?
Initially reducing the carb intake is very important but after two to three months you can eat carbs occasionally.
3. What if I feel constantly weak, tired, or fatigued?
If you feel weak, tired, or fatigued it means you are not fully into ketosis, to overcome this reduced carb intake and you can get help from different kinds of supplements such as keto diet pills.
4. Can I get muscle mass on a ketogenic diet?
Yes you can develop muscle mass but you have to increase protein intake, anyhow it will take time. But protein should be moderate because a high intake of protein can spike insulin levels and lower ketones levels.
5. Why does my breath smell?
It is a common side effect of a ketogenic diet. Increasing water intake and you can chew some sugar-free gum for a better smell
6. My urine smells Why?
Do not worry it is because of the excretion of by-products during ketosis.
7. Is ketosis extremely dangerous?
People mix ketoacidosis with ketosis, ketoacidosis is dangerous but ketosis is a fine state of the body for healthy people.
The ketogenic diet can be helpful for people with
- Want to improve metabolic health
It is not very useful for elite athletes and those who want to add some extra muscle mass or weight. Talk to your doctor before taking any diet plan and deciding if the keto diet is right for you