The keto diet was created about 100 years ago by Dr. Russell Wilder to treat epilepsy. But most people know about its use for weight loss. You may be curious to get started, learn more, or find a plan that works for you.
Regardless of what you are looking for, this guide has something for you.
Keep reading to learn more about the keto diet.
What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is an extremely low carb and high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and other low carb diets.
This type of diet involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fats. The reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
When in ketosis, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply fuel for the brain.
Ketogenic diets can reduce blood sugar and insulin levels in individuals with blood sugar related issues. These effects, along with the increased ketones, have some additional health benefits.
Keto Diet Plan for Beginners
A keto diet may be a good option, whether you’re planning on having more productive workout sessions, more energy, or losing some extra weight. Below are some steps you can take to get started!
Setting up a Keto Diet Plan
The following is a simple guide on how to start a keto diet. The guide includes the basics of the keto diet plan, some low-carb recipes, and a low-carb food list.
A keto diet plan helps you stick to foods high in fat, low in carbohydrates, and moderate in protein.
The keto diet plan focuses on a specific ratio of macronutrients to achieve the metabolic state of ketosis. These macronutrients include fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. The composition of the average ketogenic diet is 5% carbohydrates, 25% protein, and 70% fat.
Starting a Ketogenic Diet
Starting a low-carb diet or a keto diet is often intimidating for beginners. For this reason, I’ve broken down the steps to make the journey more straightforward for you.
- Carb restriction
- Protein consumption
- Water intake
- Fat intake
You can also learn more in the article: Top 8 Most Interesting Keto Diet Facts. However, most of that information will be covered in this guide.
Carb restriction is the primary and most important point in setting up a keto diet plan. You’ll need to restrict your daily carbohydrates intake to around 20g net to achieve ketosis. However, some will still get away with less than 30g.
If you’re planning a low-carb diet, your target should be under 50g of net daily carbohydrates. However, some diets have targets to stay under 100g per day, especially those designed for more active people.
Only eat when you feel hungry. It would be best to kick out the mindset that you must have at least 4-6 meals a day or constantly eat snacks.
Eating so frequently on a low-carb or ketogenic diet isn’t recommended. Frequent meals can harm your weight loss results.
However, eating fewer carbs and only eating when you’re hungry will make your keto diet plan much easier to follow. This is because it will act as a natural appetite suppressor.
If you struggle with a high appetite, you can also use an appetite suppressant.
A low-carb diet isn’t the same as a high protein diet. While low-carb diets such as keto tend to have a higher protein composition, you still need to be careful about your daily intake.
Excess protein converts to glucose when overconsumed. Set a goal for daily protein intake, and be sure not to exceed it.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Water is an essential component of an effective keto diet plan. Why? Upon eating carbohydrates, any excess is stored in the liver as glycogen. The glycogen binds to water molecules.
Low-carb intake depletes the formed glycogen, allowing your body to burn fat.
When burning fat, you also store less water in your body. The decrease in stored water makes it easier for the body to get dehydrated. To prevent dehydration, you usually need to stick to 8 cups of water per day; when following a low-carb diet, aim for 16 cups of water.
One of these is an easy way to make sure you get enough water throughout the day!
Eat Enough Fats
You’ll learn to see fat as a variable in the keto diet. Maybe you’ve been told to fear fat but don’t! Both low-carb and keto diets are high-fat diets. Fat is one of the primary sources of energy for our satiety.
You need to understand that fat is the only variable in the low carb and keto diets. Both protein and carbs are constant factors, while fat is the only variable factor; you can either decrease or increase it to lose or gain weight.
Although this isn’t a requirement for low-carb diets, I highly recommend it. Exercise helps you lose weight faster, makes you feel better, and improves your general health.
You can find some workouts to follow in our free training programs.
A Sample Ketogenic Menu for 5 Days
This menu provides less than 50g of carbs per day. However, based on your own needs, you may further reduce the carbohydrates to achieve ketosis. In addition, if you are active, you will need to consume a higher amount of protein.
The following is a general keto diet menu for five days. Of course, you can easily alter the menu based on your individual needs.
- Breakfast: Bell pepper stuffed with eggs and cheese
- Lunch: Cauliflower rice, salsa, herbs, and avocado
- Dinner: Pork chops stuffed with vegetables
- Breakfast: egg boats and baked avocado
- Lunch: Bun-less salmon burgers and pesto
- Dinner: coconut chicken
- Breakfast: coconut, walnuts, and coconut milk
- Lunch: chicken and Caesar salad
- Dinner: cheesy broccoli with bison steak
- Breakfast: Mushroom omelet
- Lunch: hard-boiled eggs, avocado, blue cheese, and turkey
- Dinner: roast chicken and sautéed broccoli
- Breakfast: two eggs served with sautéed greens
- Lunch: tuna salad, greens, and tomato
- Dinner: meatballs served with Parmesan cheese and zucchini noodles
With a keto diet meal plan, you don’t have to keep track of carbs. Instead, you can easily stick to the rules by minimizing carbohydrates intake and eating more fats following the keto diet plan.
Benefits of a Keto Diet
Aside from being made up of high-fat food, it encourages the intake of protein and low-carb foods. This diet promotes the utilization of more calories from fat and protein rather than carbohydrates.
It minimizes sugar in your body, making your body break down fat and protein, resulting in ketosis and weight loss, given calories are where they need to be.
The ketogenic diet provides some benefits that contribute to body health and wellness. Below are some additional advantages of switching to keto:
Some contributors to acne may be your blood sugar, hormones, and diet. For example, consuming a lot of processed carbohydrates interferes with the gut bacteria resulting in severe blood sugar fluctuations that damage the skin’s condition.
However, by adopting a ketogenic diet, you get to minimize carb intake, thus reducing the possibility of acne.
Weight Loss and Weight Management
Adopting a keto diet can help you lose or manage body weight. If in a caloric deficit, it helps burn fats and reduces your appetite significantly, speeding up weight loss.
Conditions such as sleep disorders, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s harm the brain’s normal functioning. However, several studies support that a ketogenic diet provides some neuroprotective benefits. These include improved cognitive functioning and alertness.
Treats Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is mainly associated with heart disease and diabetes. It has symptoms such as low HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, high triglycerides, elevated blood pressure, abdominal obesity, and elevated fasting blood sugar levels.
To curb those symptoms, you can use an effective keto diet that emphasizes the consumption of low-carb foods. The lower consumption of low-carb foods will help treat metabolic syndrome.
Weight Loss on a Keto Diet
Obesity is currently one of the most severe health problems globally. One common weight-loss strategy is to adopt a ketogenic (keto) diet.
How Does It Work?
The keto diet involves consuming a high amount of fats and reduced carbs. This combination allows your body to get into a metabolic state known as ketosis.
Under a ketosis state, your body effectively converts fats into ketones which supply energy all over the brain, reducing the need for carbs. As you continue using the keto diet, your brain and body get used to burning ketones and fat instead of carbohydrates to produce energy.
The low carb intake makes it easier to lose weight without tracking calories.
A keto diet can help you lose unnecessary weight, fight diseases and maintain a considerable muscle mass. The diet helps you lose weight through the following mechanisms:
When you adopt a ketogenic diet, you immediately limit your food options. Most of the time, you will consume foods with low carbs. As a result, you will have a lower intake of calories.
Eating junk food is quite often one of the contributors to obesity. However, you can eradicate this lousy eating habit with the help of a keto diet. The diet makes you feel full by altering the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin.
As a result, you will only eat when it is vital, preventing unnecessary weight gain.
Decrease the storage of fats
The keto diet plays a role in reducing the conversion of sugar into fats through a process known as lipogenesis. Lipogenesis helps reduce fat stores in the body and stops weight gain if combined with a healthy calorie intake.
Higher consumption of proteins
Most ketogenic diets emphasize the intake of large amounts of proteins known to allow for an efficient weight-loss management process.
Gluconeogenesis is the process of converting proteins and fats into carbs to produce fuel for our cells. The process allows the body to burn extra calories shedding excess weight.
Enhanced insulin sensitivity
A keto diet increases insulin sensitivity, improves metabolism and fuel usage, and reduces excess weight.
The above mechanisms reveal how a keto diet can help you get rid of unwanted weight when in a caloric deficit.
Weight loss can be a daunting process, especially when you have not put in place reliable and practical strategies to allow your body to burn unnecessary calories.
A keto diet is just one of the many ways to lose weight by minimizing your intake of carbohydrates.
Is a Keto Diet Right for You?
The most important factors with any diet should be your health and how easy they are to stick to long-term. There is likely a healthier option available; however, if you can maintain a keto diet, it might be in your best interest to try it!
Subscribe to the Doug Grows blog for more health, diet, and fitness information!