You decided to learn more about the keto diet and what happens to the body in the state of ketosis.
This type of diet is a low-carb high-fat way of eating that comes with many health benefits all backed by many scientific studies.
Eating a ketogenic diet may help you lose weight, improve general health and it’s shown to have a positive effect against diabetes, epilepsy and even cancer.
I created this short and comprehensive guide to help you understand the basics of the keto diet.
What is a ketogenic diet?
A ketogenic diet is also known as keto is a high-fat, low carb and moderate in protein diet. Eating more fat and small amounts of carbs help your body to enter ketosis.
Ketosis is a state where your body switches the primary fuel to ketones (instead of glucose). Your liver produces ketones, from fat that are used as fuel both when the food intake is low or when we eat fewer carbs. This new fuel is preferred even by the brain over, and it can run solely on fat.
Our body can adapt very well to different situations. You can also produce ketones when you are fasting (not eating), but I’m not sure if we can live without food forever.
Ketosis turns your body into a fat burning machine with many health benefits including weight loss, better focus and
Health Benefits of Keto
- Weight Loss
Many people start lowering carbs with the goal of weight loss and most of them encounter great success. Burning fat for fuel is excellent because you eat tasty foods you’re not hungry all the time. Studies show that low carb high-fat diets are better for fat loss than any other way of eating.
- Suppresses appetite
Studies show that eating foods high in fat and restricting carbs, while eating to satiety will help you feel less hungry over the time. Ketosis prevents the hunger hormone (Gherlin) to rise. You’ll have no desire to eat, it also helps with stress eating and the hunger will disappear.
- Constant energy and mental clarity
Many people notice an increase in energy levels. Ketosis is a more reliable energy source that keeps your body steadily fuelled, and you avoid big blood sugar drops. Brain fog will be gone for good.
Studies also show that a keto diet improves memory and productivity (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15123336)
- Improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels
One 2004 study shows the effect that keto has on obese individuals:
- Improved cholesterol levels: From week one to week 24, the level of total cholesterol decreased
- The good cholesterol HDL cholesterol levels significantly increased
- LDL cholesterol (the bad one) levels decreased considerably
- Decreased triglycerides: The level of triglycerides (fat) decreased substantially following 24 weeks of treatment
- Reduced blood glucose: The level of blood glucose significantly reduced.
It’s an excellent method to reverse type 2 diabetes, to prevent it or to keep it under control.
Four Different types of Ketogenic Diet
There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:
- Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is the most common versions and the one I recommend if you are just starting. The rules are to consume 20-50 grams of net carbs per day. 75% of your diet should come from fats and 20-25% from protein.
- Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This type allows you eat 20-50 grams of net carbs before working out. Great for very active individuals to maintain the exercise performance.
- Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): means you alternate the carb intake during the week. You keep the carbs at a minimum for 5-6 days then, you have a few high carbs days. It comes under the name of “carb loading.” If in the low carb days you aim for less than 50g carbs in the load phase you consume about 500 grams of carbohydrates.
This type is best for bodybuilders or athletes to help maximize the fat loss while building lean muscle mass.
- High-protein ketogenic diet: This is remarkably similar to a standard ketogenic diet, except you include more. You can try eating 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.
What foods to eat?
To be successful, you should start by understanding the basics and what are the allowed foods.
Here’s a list of the most common foods you can create your meal plan around:
- Meat: Steak, sausage, bacon, chicken, salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel, turkey, etc.
- Eggs: High in protein and healthy fats.
- High Fat Dairy: Butter, cream, cheese cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella)
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, macadamias walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Healthy fats: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil, etc.
- Avocados: Salad and dips.
- Low-carb vegetables: Peppers, cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli etc.
- Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, lettuce, etc.
- Sweeteners: Stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, etc.
- Berries: Rasperries, blackberries, blueberreis, etc.
What foods to avoid?
Keeping a low carbohydrate intake may seem hard if you don’t know what foods are high in carbs and should be avoided.
Here’s a list of foods that should be completely cut out on a ketogenic diet:
- Processed sugary foods: Sodas, fruit juice, cake, pastry, ice cream, candy, etc.
- Grains: Wheat products, rice, pasta, cereal, corn, etc.
- Fruit: banana, apple, peare, orange etc.
- Beans or legumes: Peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
- Tubers and root vegetables: potatoes, yams / sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
- Low-fat or diet labeled products: These are highly processed and often high in carbs.
One Week Ketogenic Meal Plan Sample
Here’s a sample keto meal plan that helped me get started in the first week:
Breakfast: Egg Omelette with bacon and cheese
Lunch: Tuna Salad
Broccoli Cream Soup
Breakfast: Keto Chia Pudding
Lunch: Cheeseburger Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed Avocado Boats
Breakfast: Keto Coffee
Lunch: Steak with veggies cooked in butter
Dinner: Stuffed Peppers
Breakfast: Eggs, Bacon, and vegetables
Lunch: Keto Fathead Pizza
Dinner: Chicken salad with olive oil and avocado
Breakfast: Low Carb Noatmeal
Lunch: Hasselback chicken with spinach and mozzarella
Dinner: Baked Salmon with Asparagus and Butter
Breakfast: Pancakes with low carb syrup
Lunch: Pork chops with roasted vegetables
Dinner: Guacamole served with celery sticks
Breakfast: Full-fat greek yogurt with a handful of nuts
Lunch: Spicy Thai Shrimp Salad
Dinner: Chicken Lettuce Wrap Sandwich