If you’re very up-to-date with the health trends in this age, you would know something about the ketogenic diet, or at least the existence of such a thing.
All over the world are keto fans who live and breathe this diet. Some people even start coaching others to get the same results as they had with the ketogenic diet. Like Jenni who lost 50 lbs in 3 months!
But, what is the ketogenic diet and why are so many people obsessed with it? We will answer those questions in this introduction to the ketogenic diet.
What is The Ketogenic Diet
Before we dive deeper into the subject and find out why so many people get amazing results with this diet, we have to know what we’re dealing with.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet that is often used to lose weight, cure epilepsy and sharpen mental alertness. The main purpose of the ketogenic diet is to turn the body’s primary fuel source to fats (instead of carbs). One achieves this goal by increasing the fat intake significantly and reducing the carbohydrate intake to a very low level.
It’s a difficult regime to understand and get into fully, but the main principle is to keep the fat intake high while the carb intake should be minimal. In combination with a low caloric intake overall, you will successfully achieve the goals the ketogenic diet aims to achieve.
Different variations of the ketogenic diet
While there is a main ketogenic diet, it also has some variations to fit a certain type of person. Below you will read about these four different types of keto diets.
- SKD (Standard Ketogenic Diet): The most basic form of the ketogenic diet usually consists of 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs.
- High-protein Ketogenic Diet: Another variation of the keto diet that is popular is the high-protein variant, which is more useful for active people. The ratio here is 60 percent fat, 35 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs.
- CKD (Cyclical Ketogenic Diet): This variant of the keto diet allows for carb loading after some time on low carbs. An example is to go low-carb for three days and then one day higher carb.
- TKD (Targeted Ketogenic Diet): The targeted variant of the keto diet allows you to add carbs around workouts. This makes it a more suitable variant for athletes.
The SKD and high-protein variant are the most researched diets. Athletes or fitness fanatics usually use the others. So, in the following paragraphs, we’ll continue with the SKD in mind.
Why People Swear by The Ketogenic Diet
There is a trend going on for a while now of success stories from people who’ve successfully lost an insane amount of weight by making a change in their diet and/or lifestyle.
People who are on a ketogenic diet don’t do it for a period but make it their lifestyle. Just like vegans and vegetarians, you also have people who love the keto diet.
A scientific explanation of the ketogenic diet
Now, the most interesting part of the ketogenic diet is the science behind it of course. You can believe people by their word but you can never fully know how people did it and to check out the keto diet with science only makes sense.
The main benefits the ketogenic claims to have is losing weight easier, stop or reduce diabetes, lower risks of cancer, heart disease, and many other diseases.
A study found that people on a ketogenic diet lost three times more weight than those on a diet recommended by Diabetes UK. Excess fat is often linked to type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and prediabetes which means that this also helps prevent/cure these illnesses.
Besides the losing weight stuff, the keto diet also contributes to:
- Slow tumor growth and treat several types of cancer.
- Reduce Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and slow it down.
- Reduce the number of seizures in children with epilepsy.
- Improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
- Stimulate recovery in brain damage.
So, now you know why so many people feel great while there are on a ketogenic diet. It’s not just bogus. It’s backed by science.
The Do’s and Don’ts on a Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet knows many food restrictions to make the diet as effective as possible. Foods you can consume include (but are not limited to):
- Red meat
- Butter and cream (preferably grass-fed)
- Unprocessed cheese
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil
- Low-carb veggies
- Healthy herbs and spices like salt and pepper
What would be the list if you wouldn’t know which foods you should avoid, right? Well, below you will find the foods you should avoid:
- Every type of sugary food
- Grains or starches like bread and pasta
- Fruit, except small amounts of berries
- Beans and legumes
- Sugar-free foods (so no diet cokes)
- Unhealthy fats like mayonnaise
- Some sauces like ketchup
- Low-fat products (highly processed)
- High-carb vegetables like potatoes
Besides avoiding these foods, people who are on a ketogenic diet often make mistakes that they can easily avoid.
The most common mistake among them all is that they don’t allow their body to adapt to the keto diet before stopping it altogether. When you try the ketogenic diet, you should allow a transition period of six weeks before you really start to see the benefits.
Once your body is adjusted to the keto diet, and you still feel bad, and your overall performance in your daily life is bad you can then decide to stop it. You shouldn’t force the keto diet after that point because as mentioned before, the keto diet is not for everyone, and that’s okay.
Tips for Getting Started With a Ketogenic Diet
If you decide to try the keto diet yourself, you should take note of the following tips to get started the right way. First of all, the problem with every diet is that it’s hard to maintain in the beginning, you will be craving lots of foods when you start. That’s why you should make it as easy as possible for yourself to keep following this diet.
Before you’re eating out, you should have a plan on how to stick to your diet while eating out. Check the menu before you go there, order appetizers instead or simply ask the server to switch up the meal according to your wishes.
While the ketogenic diet will put you in ketosis which increases your fat loss, if fat loss is your main goal, you should also try additional methods. The best way to lose fat even faster is by working out (for strength) and cardio.
The keto diet is awesome, but as I stated earlier, it has some side effects. You shouldn’t be panicking when on the keto diet so I will list some side effects you may encounter and how to deal with them.
When your body is adapting to the keto diet, you will have to deal with the “keto flu” mentioned earlier. You will feel hungry, have sleep issues, poor energy, nausea, digestive discomfort, poor mental function and decreased performance.
To minimize these side effects you can try to transition slowly into the keto diet by implementing a regular low-carb diet for the first few weeks. Also, avoid caloric restrictions at this point (unless you’re consuming over 3,000 calories per day), the keto diet will cause weight loss even without the caloric restriction.
Your body will also be out of balance for a while which is why it helps to take essential supplements like sodium (3,000–4,000 mg per day), potassium (1,000 mg per day) and magnesium (300 mg magnesium per day).
How to set up your own keto diet
When you’re starting with a keto diet, you will have to determine which variant you’re going to use, how many calories you need and which macros (fats, protein, and carbs) you need to hit.
To determine your daily caloric need, simply take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by 10-14. Women should stick to the lower end while men should stick to the higher end.
For example, a 250lb female should consume 2,500 calories per day to lose fat. If this person uses the SKD, 2,500*0.75 = 1875 calories should consist of fat. This would mean 1875/9* = 208 grams of healthy fats.
2,500*0.20 = 500 calories should consist of protein which is 500/4 = 125 grams of protein. 2,500*0.05 = 125 calories should consist of carbs which is 125/4 = 31 grams of carbs.
So, this would mean:
Calorie intake: 2,500 per day
Fat intake: 208 grams per day
Protein intake: 125 grams per day
Carb intake: 31 grams per day
Choose foods from the foods list, and you can start to prep your meals!
*For your information: 1 gram of protein or carbs = 4 calories, 1 gram of fat = 9 calories.
A Simple Meal to get a Taste of the Ketogenic Diet
If you tried everything, but you haven’t tried the keto diet for fat loss yet, try it today by preparing the following meal for your first taste of the ketogenic diet. While I said that a ketogenic diet is not for everyone, I think at least everyone has to give it a try.
The most simple meal would be the popular breakfast:
Scrambled eggs in butter on a bed of lettuce topped with avocado
Make it yourself and wake up with an amazing taste of the keto diet! Let me know down below what your experience is/was with the ketogenic diet.
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