Detailed guide of the ketogenic diet

The Ketogenic Diet Plan Explained

What is the ketogenic diet plan?

The ketogenic diet plan is simply a low-carb, high-fat, and moderate protein diet that is designed to put your body in a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body burns fat for energy/fuel rather than glucose.

With a normal diet when you eat something that is rich in carbohydrates such as bread, your body produces glucose and insulin. Glucose is what your body breaks down easily and converts to energy, while insulin is produced to process the glucose by transporting it throughout the body via the bloodstream.

In this case, any extra glucose that is not used up as energy is stored as fats in your body. Because your body prefers to break down glucose any time you feel hungry your body doesn’t use the stored fats as it prefers glucose hence you’ll end up snacking.

keto diet for changes the way your body produces energy because you’re limiting the number of carbs consumed in a day forcing your body to burn fats rather than glucose. Through this process, your body produces ketones which are then used as energy. This is more efficient for your body as even the stored fats that your body would normally not burn for energy then have to be used up.

How to lose weight with the ketogenic diet plan

What are the benefits of a ketogenic diet plan?

1. Weight Loss

One of the main reasons keto diet has gotten a cult following is the noticeable weight loss among those on the diet. Weight loss is achieved as the body is using stored fats for energy.

This is also because ketones suppress the hunger hormone known as ghrelin. Furthermore, it increases cholecystokinin which basically makes you feel full.

2. Strengthen and fuel the brain

Ketones are a more powerful energy source providing your brain with up to 70% of its energy needs. The brain is, in fact, the fattest organ in the body made of at least  60% fat, that means it needs a lot of fats to keep it running. Keto is a high-fat diet, the brain benefits from all the good fats.

3. Increases energy

When your body is in ketosis that is fat-burning mode. It has readily available sources of energy, stored fats so it never runs out.

This allows you to stay energized the whole day, unlike a normal diet whereby once your body runs out of glucose it means its energy sources have been depleted.

4. Lowers blood sugar

Keto diet has been proven to be very effective for diabetics. This is because it maintains low blood sugar levels because the body is using up fats for energy rather than glucose. At the same time, because the diet is based on low carbs, there are no spikes in blood sugar.

foods to eat while on the ketogenic diet plan

Foods to eat on the keto diet

  • Protein

    Meats: Beef, pork, and poultry: organ meats, beef, lamb, veal, goat, pork, sausage, ham, bacon, turkey, chicken, quail.Fish: All types esp fatty fish such as salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel.Eggs: All types

  • Vegetables

    Broccoli, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, eggplant, kale, asparagus, green bean.Mushrooms, cucumber, celery, zucchini, spinach, swiss chard, all types of cabbage.

  • Fruits

    Avocados, coconuts, lime, lemon

  • Nuts

    Almonds, macadamia, brazil nuts, walnuts

  • Seeds

    Pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds.

  • Natural Fats

    Butter and cream.

  • Healthy Oils

    Coconut oil, avocado oil, extra-virgin olive oil

  • Drinks

    Bone broth, unsweetened coffee, and tea.

  • Spices to use

    Spices and herbs, Apple cider vinegar, Hot Sauce

Foods not to eat while on the keto diet

Sugar

Soft drinks, smoothies, fruit juices, pastries, breakfast cereals,ice-creams, candy.

Grains and starch

Wheat-based products such as bread, pasta, potato, rice, french fries, porridge, muesli.

Fruit

All as they’re high in sugar except berries but in small portions.

Legumes

Beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils

Root tubers

Sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams, cassava

Unhealthy Fats

Mayonnaise, vegetable oils, margarine

Also included

Sugar-free foods, Low-fat or diet products, Alcohol

how to measures macro nutrients

What are calories and macronutrients?

Simply put a calorie is a unit of energy. So when you say something has 350 calories it basically shows how much energy your body stands to gain from consuming it.

This is important to remember as it determines how our bodies gain or lose weight. So if you eat 1800 calories and your body only uses up 1500 calories. The extra 300, your body doesn’t need is stored as fat and hence you gain weight.

But if you engage in some light exercises and you use up 500 calories, you’re body will have a deficit of 200 and you will lose weight.

It is important to understand how many calories your body needs so as to be successful in your keto diet. This is done by calculating your daily macros. Macros also are known as macronutrients, food molecules the body uses to create energy.

These are primarily found in all foods and are represented as proteins, fats, carbohydrates and are calculated in terms of grams(g).

On a ketogenic diet plan, your daily calorie intake consists of 60-70% fats, 20-30% proteins, and the remaining 10-5% carbohydrates.

To calculate and get your daily macros, you can use an online keto diet calculator. You have to answer simple questions based on your height, weight, and daily physical activity to get your daily macros. You can adjust your macros as you go depending on your goals.

keto diet menu for beginners

Keto diet sample meal plan

Monday

Breakfast: Egg omelet with bell peppers.

Lunch: Roasted chicken and feta cheese with cucumber salad

Dinner: Fried Salmon with steamed green beans.

Tuesday

Breakfast: Egg, Bacon with goat cheese.

Lunch: Korean Beef stir fry with assorted vegetables.

Dinner: Mozzarella stuffed chicken with tomato and basil with asparagus.

Wednesday

Breakfast: Feta cheese omelet with spinach.

Lunch: Fried Cabbage with bacon.

Dinner: Grilled Lamp chops buttered broccoli and carrots

Thursday

Breakfast: Mushroom omelet with Onions and tomatoes.

Lunch: Bacon, lettuce and tomato salad with chicken.

Dinner: Oven baked salmon with pesto and steamed green beans.

Friday

Breakfast: Easy Boiled eggs with avocado.

Lunch: Avocado shrimp salad with spinach.

Dinner: Chorizo with creamy broccoli.

Saturday

Breakfast: Ham and cheese omelet roll with vegetables.

Lunch: Grilled Whitefish with creamed spinach.

Dinner: Herbed Butter steak with green beans.

Sunday

Breakfast: Fried eggs with pork and mushrooms.

Lunch: Garlic chicken with grilled brussels sprouts.

Dinner: Oven-baked tuna casserole with zucchini.

side effects of the keto diet

What are the side effects of the keto diet

As your body adjusts to the new way of converting energy by burning fats, you may experience some keto side effects, especially in the first week. These symptoms are collectively known as keto flu and  include, but not limited to;

  • Headaches
  • Light nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Cramps
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness

This is expected as your body adjusts to the new metabolic state and should clear on their own.

To relieve the symptoms increase your water intake the first week or you can slowly transition into the diet allowing your body to adjust.

Common mistakes to avoid while on the keto diet

1. Not eating enough fats

For the keto diet to work as intended, it’s not just about maintaining low-carbs but also high-fat. Most people tend to underestimate just how much fat is enough especially when you’re not used to incorporating so much fat into your diet. It is best to calculate your macros to be sure you’re hitting your 70% fat

2. Eating too much protein

Keto diet is based on moderate protein principle and most people tend to overestimate just how much protein they require and end up eating too much. This kicks the body out of ketosis as the body will then burn the excess protein into glucose.

3. Not drinking enough water

Due to the drastic decrease in your carb intake, your body tends to lose a lot of water as it’s stored along with carbs in your body. You will end up feeling dehydrated as your body is adjusting to the new metabolic state. In which it flushes out the buildup of ketones through urine hence the need to drink more water.

4. Consuming too many calories

A minor downside to the keto diet is that you really need to know your macros as it doesn’t leave room for error. Foods such as keto sweets and snacks can easily kick you out of ketosis as even though they are low in carbs, you cannot overindulge as they will increase your calories.

Same with snacks, don’t overeat, eat only a small portion and allow your body to use stored fats for energy. Always check the nutrition facts of items such as sauces. Most of them tend to have hidden calories even though generally considered safe.

In conclusion

The ketogenic diet plan is a great way to kick start your weight loss journey and learn about healthy food options. The diet has been extensively researched due to its success with diabetic patients and is one sure way to lose weight fast.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the keto diet is not recommended for everyone especially those whose main goal is to add muscle.

To reap the full benefits, it is important to stay disciplined and consistent to achieve your goals.

Have you tried the keto diet? Leave a comment and share your experience

 

Keto Diet for beginners