A keto diet plan is an eating schedule centered on foods that avail a lot of health-friendly fats, sufficient protein, and minimum carbohydrates. It is aimed at obtaining calories from fat rather than carbohydrates. A keto diet works by reducing the body’s sugar reserves. Therefore, the body will start burning down fat for its energy needs. The process results in the production of chemical molecules known as ketones that are used for fuel. Numerous health benefits come with adopting a keto diet. These will be covered in-depth in the article. However, they generally include weight loss, anti-acne, anti-seizure, and heart health.
The Basics of a Keto Diet
A keto diet is high fat and low carbohydrate diet that shares significant similarities with the Atkins and low carbohydrate diets. The diet involves trimming carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat-rich foods. The carbohydrate reduction leads the body into a metabolic state that is known as ketosis. This is the state in which the body becomes heavily reliant upon burning fat for its energy requirements. It also causes fats to be turned into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy to the brain.
When you significantly decrease your carbohydrate consumption, you limit your body’s supply of glucose, which happens to be its primary source of energy for the cells. It is paramount to highlight that adhering to a strict ketogenic diet is the most effective way to enter ketosis. This is usually achieved by restricting your daily carbohydrate intake to about 20 to 50 grams. The decrease in carbohydrate intake will have to be counterbalanced by an increased intake of fat-rich foods. These include meat, nuts, eggs, and healthy oils. Individuals should also note that they regulate their protein consumption. This is because protein can be easily converted into glucose is consumed in large quantities, thereby retarding the transition to ketosis.
The ketosis state can also be accelerated by engaging in intermittent fasting. Of course, there are several facets of intermittent fasting. However, the most common one involves minimizing food ingestion to about 8 hours per day and fasting for 16 hours.
To establish whether one has entered ketosis, blood, urine, and breath tests can be used. These can be used to assess whether you have entered the state by measuring the number of ketones produced by your body.
Specific symptoms become evident once you have entered ketosis. These include frequent urination, dry mouth, increased thirst, decreased hunger, and appetite.
Types of Keto Diet Plans
It is important to note that there are several versions of a keto diet plan. These have varying areas of thrust. Therefore, individuals can select a type of keto diet plan that is most suitable for them based on their health and fitness goals. Described below are some of the most popular types of keto diet plans.
A standard ketogenic diet (SKD)A standard keto diet plan emphasizes low carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high fats. Generally, a standard ketogenic diet contains 10% carbohydrates, 20% proteins, and 70% fat.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet
This one enables you to add carbohydrates around workouts.
- High protein ketogenic diet
A high-protein ketogenic diet is quite similar to a standard ketogenic diet but adds more protein. Its ratio is typically 5% carbohydrates,35% protein, and 60% fat.
- Cyclical ketogenic diet
A cyclical keto diet plan involves having periods of high carbohydrate refeeds. For instance, one can have 5 consecutive ketogenic days followed by 2 high carbohydrate intake days.
Individuals need to note that only high protein and standard ketogenic diets have been studied in depth. Targeted and cyclical diets are quite advanced methods and are mainly aimed at athletes and bodybuilders.
Ketogenic Diet Meal Plan for a Dieter
Making a transition to a keto diet plan can be overwhelming, but it does not have to be complicated. The focal point should be reducing carbohydrates while increasing fat and protein intake. In simple terms, to achieve the ketosis state, carbohydrates should be minimized. The exact quantity that is required to achieve ketosis varies from one person to another. Some individuals achieve ketosis by just eating 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, while others require a much higher intake. If you intend to use a keto diet for specific health and fitness goals, as is the case with athletes and bodybuilders, you should consult a dietician.
Keto Diet Meal Food to Eat
There are specific foods that should make up your keto diet. Generally, your diet should be based on unprocessed and low carbohydrate foods. Listed below are some of the foods that you should include in your keto diet.
Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and spinach.
Fruits: Pears, oranges, apples, blueberries, and strawberries.
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.
Eggs: Pastured or omega 3 enriched eggs are the best.
Meat: Chicken, pork, lamb, and beef.
High-fat dairy: Butter, heavy cream, yogurt, and cheese.
Fats and oils: Olive, fish, and coconut oil.
Fish: Trout, salmon, and haddock.
Also, Some Foods Dieters Should Avoid
There are also foods that people on a ketogenic should avoid. Generally, any food that has a high carbohydrate should be minimized. Below is a list of foods that should be minimized or eliminated.
Sugary foods: Fruit, smoothies, ice cream, candy, soda, cake, etc.
Fruit: All fruits, save for small portions of berries such as strawberries.
Legumes: Kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas.
Grains or starches: Wheat-based products, pasta, cereals, and rice.
Root vegetables and tubers: Sweet potatoes, parsnips, and potatoes.
Sugar-free diet foods: Sugar-free candies, puddings, sweeteners, desserts, and syrups.
Unhealthy fats: Mayonnaise, processed vegetable oils, and so on.
Low fat or diet products: Salad dressings, low-fat mayonnaise, and condiments.
Some condiments or sauces: Honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, and barbecue sauce.
Beverages in Keto Diet Meal Plan
Individuals should also be particular about the beverages they take when they are on a ketogenic diet. One of the most common mistakes that other people make is to assume that a keto diet plan is not specific about beverages. It is paramount to note that high-carb beverages should also be avoided when on a keto diet, just like the case with foods. Individuals should avoid drinks with high sugar content, such as iced tea, coffee drinks, and soda. The good news is there are several keto-friendly beverages that individuals can have. These are highlighted below:
Water: This is the best choice for hydration purposes and can be consumed at any time of the day on a ketogenic diet. Individuals can also add some flavor to the water. For instance, adding lemon peel and fresh mint to your water bottle can make your hydration process more pleasant.
Unsweetened coffee: This will also do. You can try adding heavy cream to enhance flavor.
Unsweetened green tea: This is very tasty and comes with numerous health benefits.
Sparkling water: Sparkling water is an excellent beverage on a ketogenic diet and makes an excellent replacement for soda.
How to Start With a Keto Diet
The best way to start on a keto diet plan is to do so gradually. This is because making the transition usually comes with several side effects. These may include diarrhea and vomiting. Therefore, it is recommended to slowly decrease the carb content while simultaneously increasing protein and fat.
How the Keto Diet Can Help You to Lose Weight
One of the primary reasons people go for a ketogenic diet is for weight loss. There are several mechanisms by which a keto diet does this. Firstly, a keto diet is an appetite suppressant. It helps suppress hunger hormones. As a result, you will find yourself eating less often than you did previously. A keto diet also results in decreased fat storage. This is because by limiting carbohydrate intake, fat is used for energy. Lastly, research also suggests that ketogenic diets slightly increase the quantity of fat burned during rest, exercise, and routine activity.
Health Benefits of Keto Diet Plan
The primary reason why people engage in a keto diet plan is because of its several health benefits. Some of the benefits that are associated with the diet are described below.
Enhances Cardiovascular Health
According to medical studies, a keto diet helps improve cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol levels. However, the positive effects of the diet on heart health are highly dependent upon the quality of the diet. Therefore, it is paramount to follow a healthful and nutritionally balanced keto diet plan to derive its full benefits against cardiovascular complications.
Promotes Weight Loss
A ketogenic diet is the ideal one for people who intend to lose weight. The diet supports weight loss in several ways. These include reducing appetite and boosting metabolism.
Acne is a dermatological condition closely linked to diet practices and blood sugar levels in some people. This is because highly processed and refined carbohydrates can change the much-needed balance of gut bacteria and sugar levels. This can result in adverse effects on the skin. According to medical research, a keto diet can help reduce acne symptoms.
As highlighted before, the ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fat in a keto diet change how the body uses energy. This results in ketosis. According to the Foundation, ketosis can reduce the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy. Research on its effectiveness is still ongoing, even though it has already shown great potential in children who have focal seizure attacks.
Anti-Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
A ketonic diet also anti-Post Ovary Syndrome properties. This is a hormonal disorder that can result in the overproduction of male hormones, ovulatory dysfunction, and polycystic ovaries. A carbohydrate-rich diet has been known to cause adverse consequences in people with PCOS. These include weight gain and dermatological problems. While studies are still ongoing, preliminary results have shown that a keto diet improved several key indicators of PSCOS, such as weight loss, fasting insulin levels, and hormonal balance. It has also been shown to benefit people with hormonal disorders such as type 2 diabetes.
According to medical research, ketones produced as a result of ketosis carry neuroprotective. Benefits. They play a role of paramount importance in protecting and strengthening the brain and nerve cells. A ketogenic diet can help prevent or manage conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
One of the popular benefits of a ketogenic diet plan is it reduces one’s appetite. This is a significant benefit considering that hunger is usually the most discomforting side effect of dieting. Most people usually quit dieting efforts due to hunger. However, a keto diet has low carbohydrates and results in an automatic reduction in appetite.
Risks & Side Effects of Keto Diet Plan
Of course, a keto diet plan has numerous health benefits. However, it is also important to note that it also has some risks and side effects. In fact, one of the most frequently searched items online reads’ side effects of keto diet plan’. Even though the diet is usually safe for most individuals, some side effects may pop up as your body adapts. They are usually given the umbrella term keto flu. They are usually over within a few weeks. The most common keto flu symptoms include constipation, vomiting, and diarrhea. There are also other less common symptoms. Namely, decreased exercise performance, nausea, sleep issues, digestive discomfort, insufficient energy, and mental function. To minimize the severity of these symptoms, users can try a regular low carbohydrate diet for the first few weeks. Such a move will help your body to adapt to burning more fat before you entirely eradicate carbohydrates. A keto diet can also alter the mineral and water balance in your body. Therefore, adding extra salt or mineral supplements to your meals can help. Generally, whenever you doubt any aspect of a ketogenic diet, you should consult a certified physician for medical advice.
During the initial phase of your workout plan, you may end up feeling weak. Well, this is because the body is still transition from using carbs to fats as sources of energy. In some instances, people may end up experiencing the keto flu. Some of its symptoms include fatigue, headaches, brain fog, and sore throat, among others.
Low Energy Production
This high-fat and low-carb diet may lead to low energy production. Although you might eat high amounts of fat, you might not have enough energy for workouts. This is because fewer numbers of calories may result in fatigue.
This is not new to workout enthusiasts on the keto diet. “Keto-poops,” also termed keto diarrhea, can easily strike while you are in the middle of workouts. This is a frequent side effect of a high-fat diet. You may abruptly feel poop while engaging in workouts such as CrossFit or yoga.
While you are working out, you may feel extreme thirst. Well, this is the side effect of the keto diet. It causes dehydration by increasing the loss of electrolytes through urine. This is one of the main reasons why people lose water weight while they are on keto. If you notice fatigue or cramping, these could also be signs of dehydration. So, rehydrate and continue with your workouts.
What Type of Exercise Is Best for Keto Diet Plan?
The type of exercise that suitable for you depends on the type of keto diet you’re using. In addition to that, it depends on your wellness goals. Some of the keto-friendly types of exercises that you can engage in include:
These types of exercises are usually characterized by short energy bursts. The main source of energy for anaerobic exercises is carbs. However, healthy fats also act as secondary energy sources. Anaerobic exercises include any type of weight training.
A low-intensity aerobic exercise is keto-friendly. They promote the steady burning of body fat. This leads to gradual weight loss in a natural manner. Note that low-intensity aerobic exercises should last for more than three minutes.
They are vital for the development of lean muscles. Additionally, stability exercises help to enhance movement control and body alignment. Some of the stability exercises that are suitable for the keto diet plan include core training and balance exercises.
These types of exercises promote the body’s flexibility. They help to prevent injuries by enhancing the recovery time of injuries and aches. Furthermore, flexibility exercises help support the joints, stretch the muscles, and increase muscle motion.
Tips & Tricks for Staying on a Keto Diet Plan
Adhering to the best keto diet plan can be a daunting task initially. There is a need to adopt keto diet plan tips and tricks to help you maintain the much-needed consistency. Below are some of the tips and tricks that one can implement to make the process easier.
Know Your Foods
No doubt, you need to acquire sufficient knowledge of the products that you can eat. You should familiarize yourself with food labels and check essential aspects such as fat, carbohydrates, and fiber content. This will help you determine whether or not particular foods will fit into your diet.
Plan Your Meals Ahead
It is beneficial to plan your meals in advance. This will help you avoid the last-minute frustration of having to decide what and what not to eat. A well-planned diet will go a long way in ensuring that you have a pleasant keto diet experience.
Use Food Sites, Blogs, and Apps
Several websites, food blogs, apps, and cookbooks can also help you find keto-friendly recipes and meals. They even help you build your own customized menu. This is where you can find valuable information, such as a keto diet plan for beginners. They can also avail you of a keto diet-free plan.
Travel With Your Own Food
Most people usually find it challenging to stick to their keto diet plan when attending social gatherings or visiting family and friends. Carrying your food to such occasions will help you curb cravings and adhere to your meal plan.
Eat Out in Keto-friendly Restaurants
It is also critical to visit keto-friendly restaurants when you want to eat out. There are several such places everywhere. They offer dishes that are suitable for people on ketogenic diets. It is beneficial to be a loyal customer of a few keto-friendly restaurants rather than eating out haphazardly.
No doubt, numerous benefits can come with adopting a keto diet plan. According to medical research, such a diet routine can help improve your cardiovascular and brain health. It also helps in managing conditions such as obesity, acne, and epilepsy. Making a significant lifestyle change, such as adjusting to a ketogenic diet, can be a daunting task. It demands a lot of discipline and commitment to be able to reap the benefits. Individuals can do this by planning their meals ahead, visiting food websites and blogs for ideas, and traveling with their food. It is also paramount to highlight that committing to a ketogenic diet plan also carries some risks and side effects. This may range from nausea, digestive discomfort, diarrhea, and sleep issues. As a parting shot, if you find yourself unsure concerning any aspect of a keto diet, you should visit a certified dietician or physician for sound medical advice.