The Ketogenic Diet
Kia ora, and welcome to your solution for beginning a Ketogenic diet. We understand that diet trends come and go, but keto is a way of life, and it is here to stay. We aim to offer you the most comprehensive information on a keto diet and lifestyle to help you make the right choices.
Let’s start your Keto journey today!
What is a Ketogenic diet?
A ketogenic (keto) diet is where an individual follows a diet of low carbohydrates and high fats. Many people think this might cause them to gain weight, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. You will find a keto diet similar to many low carbohydrate diets and the famous Atkins diet.
You have to reduce your carbohydrate intake significantly and use fat as a replacement. When you reduce the intake of carbohydrates in this way, your body goes into a metabolic state known as ketosis. During ketosis, your body will burn fat for energy more efficiently.
Besides that, ketosis will also turn the fat in the liver into ketones, which can supply energy for your brain. So, in the long run, a keto diet can lead to low insulin levels and blood sugar. That is why many people with certain health issues follow this diet.
There are a few types of keto diets you can follow, these include:
- CKD (Cyclical ketogenic diet): The cyclical diet offers periods of high carb refeed. For example, you can follow five days of keto and two days of high carbs
- SKD (Standard ketogenic diet): The diet is low in carbs, high in fats, and moderate protein. The best ratio is 70% of fats, 20% of proteins, and 10% of carbs
- High protein keto diet: You can follow the SKD, but add more protein. For example, 60% of fats, 35% of protein, and 5% of carbs
- TKD (Targeted ketogenic diet): You can add carbs in the TKD around your workout routine
You can follow any of these depending on your body and preferences. However, it will help you begin on the right foot.
Sources of a Ketogenic diet
When understanding the keto diet, you must know the sources from which you can gain nutrition during this journey. Keep in mind that you must have a goal of keeping your carbohydrate intake under fifty grams per day. Because of this, many people following keto don’t eat cereals, bread, grains, and much more.
You will also have to limit your vegetable and fruit intake, as they are also a source of carbohydrates. So, you must prepare to make a major shift in your lifestyle. Here are some of the food sources you can eat during a keto diet:
- Poultry and meat
- Natural fats
- Seafood and fish
- Above ground vegetables such as eggplants and avocados
The rule of thumb is that the fewer carbs you eat, the more effectively your body will reach ketosis. So the key here is to count the calories and carbs you eat in a day.
Is a Ketogenic diet right for me?
All of us have unique bodies that function differently. That is why a keto diet may not be suitable for your body. Here are a few signs that will help you understand when the keto diet is not meant for you:
1. Doctor’s Orders
It is always best to talk to your healthcare professional before starting the keto diet because it is highly restrictive. Many doctors recommend keto for health issues such as diabetes, but it is not suitable for everyone. For example, if you have issues with digestive health, keto will not be ideal for you.
That is because your fiber intake will also be restricted, and your digestive health may get worse. So, you must always contact your doctor before starting the diet for people who have digestive health problems.
2. It Is Not Resulting In Weight Loss You Want
People on a keto diet keep bragging about effortlessly losing weight in no time. However, not everyone will lose weight in such as easy manner. If a diet does not suit your body or metabolic system, you will have a difficult time losing weight.
So, if you are following keto with consistency and not witnessing results, it might mean the diet is not right for you. If that happens, it is always best to talk to your doctor and switch to a diet that is more suited to your body.
3. You Are Sneaking Heavy Cheat Days
For many people, a restrictive diet can lead to crashes where periods of refeeding can be intense. If you are often in search of a cheat day, it means that the keto diet is not right for you. That is because not everyone can restrict themselves in this way, and that is okay.
It is crucial to maintain a stable keto cycle to see the best effects. That is why frequent cheat days can ruin your diet. When that happens, you will not witness results.
4. You Don’t Enjoy Food Any Longer
We all have a unique dietary preference, and you must factor in your preferences before deciding to start keto. If you don’t allow yourself to enjoy your favorite foods, you will feel bad and might stop enjoying your food altogether. You must always listen to what your body wants so you can find keto-friendly ways to offer it to your body.
That is why it is a good practice to state your preferences and then decide how you will ensure to eat it in a keto-friendly manner. There are endless resources out there, such as our website, and we can help you with your keto journey in no time. After all, you must enjoy your food, even on keto.
How to start Keto
When starting a keto diet, it is crucial to have the right strategy and plan ahead. Once you have this, creating a keto diet plan is a breeze. Here is some of the most important information to help you get started:
1. Planning Your Keto Diet
The first step is to plan your keto diet. The best way to do that is to begin by picking your major source of protein. That can be tofu, fish, meat, eggs, or seafood. After that, you can choose a low-carb vegetable option and a healthy source of fat.
For example, you can pick a protein such as a steak or chicken breast. Then, you can choose one or two vegetables, such as broccoli and green beans. Finally, you must add fat for satiety and flavor, such as cheddar cheese or avocados.
2. What Drinks You Can Consume
Many of us tend to drink our calories through soft drinks, juices, alcohol, and much more. Well, water is the perfect drink for keto lovers, but of course, that is not realistic. You can also have tea or coffee, but you must remember not to use any sweeteners such as sugar.
If you love to drink tea or coffee, you can add a splash of cream or milk. However, if you drink many cups a day, you must not add milk over and over as it will add a mountain to your calories. If you like to have wine, the occasional glass is okay.
3. What You Must Avoid
Now that you know what you can consume and how you can plan your keto diet, it is equally important to understand what foods to avoid. A general rule of thumb is to avoid any food containing a lot of sugar, starch, or carbohydrates on a keto diet. These foods are the enemy of ketosis and can slow your weight loss progress.
For example, you must avoid potatoes, bread, rice, and pasta as they are high in starch and carbs. Besides that, you must also keep away from highly processed foods because they add empty calories to your diet. Instead, you should always fill your diet with nutritious foods.
4. Don’t Go Overboard With Fat
A common mistake many beginners make is consuming too much fat on a keto diet. Yes, there is such a thing as too much fat in ketosis. The rationale behind it is that you should consume more fat to lose more fat, but that is not true.
The truth is that if you eat too much fat, it will prevent your body from using the stored fat for energy. So, take it easy, and don’t go overboard with fats no matter what anyone tells you, as it can slow your progress.
Benefits of a Ketogenic diet
So, now that you are familiar with all the basics of a keto diet, you must be wondering how it will benefit you and your health. Well, we have all the answers for you. Here are the top benefits of a keto diet:
1. Lose Weight Without Feeling Hungry
The first one or two weeks will be challenging for you because your body will be shifting toward ketosis. First, however, you must keep at it to see the amazing benefits of keto. It has been proven many times that diets low in carbs are the most effective for weight loss.
The initial weeks will be challenging, but your body will stop feeling hungry for carbs once you are past that. That is because you will feel fuller and satisfied with your keto meal plan. Because of this, you will naturally not feel hungry and would want to eat less food.
2. Low Insulin Levels And Blood Sugar
If you are experiencing diabetes, the keto diet can be one of the best health changes for you. That is because cutting on carbohydrates results in low insulin and blood sugar, which is crucial for people with diabetes. For example, some people on a keto or low-carb diet can reduce their insulin dose by 50% due to the keto diet.
However, if you take any blood sugar medication for your diabetes, you must consult your doctor before changing your carbohydrate intake. That is because the doctor might have to adjust your dosage. But, of course, everyone can benefit from low blood sugar levels on keto.
3. Effective For People With Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is an issue that has a high risk of heart disease and diabetes. People with metabolic syndrome must follow a diet plan that suits their lifestyle and helps reduce such risks. Here are some of the top symptoms of metabolic syndrome:
- High blood pressure
- Abdominal obesity
- High blood sugar levels
- Good HDL cholesterol levels will be low
- High triglycerides
A keto diet is one of the most effective solutions for all these five symptoms. When you follow the diet, you can eliminate almost all of these symptoms. So, it can be one of the most effective solutions for people with metabolic syndrome.
4. You Will Experience More Weight Loss
We have already established that cutting carbohydrates can be one of the most effective ways to lose weight. It helps people to lose more weight fast. That is because when you consume fewer carbohydrates, you get rid of excess water from your body.
Because of this, your insulin levels are low, and your body helps you through rapid weight loss. So, if you are not experiencing luck with other diets, you can always follow a keto diet. It will help you lose weight faster in no time as your body burns more fat effectively.
5. Reverse Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
NAFLD occurs when you have significant fat storage in your liver. The main cause of the significant fat storage in the liver is when you eat more calories than you require. Most people that consume processed foods, sugars, or refined carbohydrates can experience NAFLD in their lifetime.
Fortunately, there is a way to reverse this issue by following a keto diet. The low carbohydrates can help you reverse or reduce NAFLD. That is because it will help you improve your insulin resistance in the long run and reduce the amount of fat storage in your liver from eating more than required.
It’s always hard to know how long you should stay on a ketogenic diet. Some people go for weeks, while others only last for days. There are many factors that go into this decision including your health goals, your weight loss goals, and more. However it is important to get professional help if you are not sure about how long you should stay on a keto diet.
Following a keto diet for too long can actually be dangerous for you. It may cause nutrient imbalance and may cause problems for you in the long run. Some experts suggest that you should stay on the keto diet for 3 to 6 months at a single time. After that, you can take a few months’ break and then get back to doing 3 to 6 months of the keto diet. Believe it or not but this is a common practice between many people who are following a ketogenic diet.
People who have researched on the ketogenic diet in detail would tell you that they cycle in and out of the diet throughout the year. And this is what is recommended by the experts. This is done to maintain a nutritional balance in the body. Some people may have found success in staying on a ketogenic diet for longer than 6 months but there aren’t enough studies on the matter that would support that there are no harmful side effects of doing so.
Our body is naturally built to operate with the help of a range of different nutrients and you may not be able to get some of those proteins by only following a ketogenic diet throughout your life. So it is important to mix it up and have a few cheat days as well.
The side effects of the keto diet increase at an exceptional rate when you go about the keto diet for a longer period of time. So if you are looking to transition to keto diet try to start slow. Go on a keto diet for two weeks and see how your body responds. If you are happy with the results or you think you don’t see the desired results, take week off and then go on a keto diet for 3 week or for a month. Success is a gradual process. There is no shortcut to it so try to take it slow and gradually increase your efforts.
What is the difference between Keto and Paleo?
Keto diet and paleo diet are two of the most famous forms of diet in the world right now. Both diets may have some similarities between them but there are many factors that differentiate them from each other as well. For example in ketogenic diet you might not be able to consume some of the fruits that are high in sugar content where as in paleo diet, more fruits are allowed. They also allow natural sweeteners as well. Both of these diets allow some dairy products, meat and even vegetables however both keto and paleo diets have different rules regarding the consumption of such food items.
The following table would make it easy for you to better understand the difference between paleo and keto diet.
|Food Items||Paleo Diet||Ketogenic Diet|
|Legumes||NOT ALLOWED||NOT ALLOWED|
|Processed Food||NOT ALLOWED||NOT ALLOWED|
|Grains||NOT ALLOWED||NOT ALLOWED|
|Sugar (Both Brown and White Sugar)||NOT ALLOWED||NOT ALLOWED|
|Most Fruits||ALLOWED||NOT ALLOWED|
|Starchy Vegetables||ALLOWED||NOT ALLOWED|
|Non Starchy Vegetables||ALLOWED||ALLOWED|
|Natural Sweeteners||ALLOWED||NOT ALLOWED|
|Sugar Free Sweeteners||NOT ALLOWED||ALLOWED|
Which diet should you go for?
It’s a really difficult question to answer. It completely depends on your lifestyle and how much you can dedicate yourself in terms of time, energy, effort etcetera. Paleo diet is more flexible whereas keto diet requires people to take it up as a full-time commitment. Both diets have been known for their health benefits when followed properly but again the side effects are different too.
If you want to start out trying out the paleo way then try going for an elimination phase first where you cut off all processed food from your life entirely and allow only natural ingredients in your body. This would be beneficial because if there was something wrong with one ingredient that may be causing some kind of issue, this process will allow you to find out.
If you want to start out with keto diet then start taking it slow. Research about what foods should be included in a keto diet and strictly stick to those foods.
Try to go for a keto diet plan that is about half of the time you want to follow and then gradually increase your efforts. This will give you an idea as to how much effort would be required if you were on full-time keto diet and whether or not you can commit yourself towards this dietary change.
Both diets have their own benefits so it’s best that you do some research online, consult with some nutritionists or even talk to friends who may have tried out either one of those diets before making up your mind as far as which one suits you better than the other.