Ketogenic diets have gained popularity in recent years. Celebrities like Halle Berry and Vanessa Hudgens have committed to this diet. For some, this is the perfect opportunity to lose weight and for others, it’s the best way to begin living a healthier lifestyle.
Still, there are few people who know everything they should about the keto diet and that’s why we’ve created this guide. Below, you can read about what the ketogenic diet is, how you can implement it in your life, and its various benefits.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
A ketogenic diet isn’t just about cutting out carbs. You also need to eat a lot of fat. The idea behind it is that you need to cut out all carbs from your diet and replace these carbs with fat. When you do this, your body goes through ketosis.
When ketosis sets in, your body burns fat more efficiently than it does normally. Fat will be transformed into ketones in your liver and will then be used for energy more easily. This diet can reduce both insulin and blood sugar levels.
The 4 Ketogenic Diets
There are four different versions of the ketogenic diet that you can implement in your life. Depending on your individual needs and desires, you might choose a different version.
Standard ketogenic diet:
A standard ketogenic diet is one that has high levels of fat and low levels of carbs. This diet is the one that most people are familiar with and as such, it’s the one that has the most misconceptions associated with it. This diet will usually require you to have a ratio of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. For all of you pasta lovers out there, this might be a rough one.
Cyclical ketogenic diet:
While this might not be the keto diet you’re used to hearing about, it happens to be a favourite among those who follow it. This diet allows you to eat your pasta and your potatoes without breaking the promise you made to yourself.
Here, you’ll follow the standard ketogenic diet for 5 days a week and for two days a week, you can eat more carbs than you do on the previous 5 days. If you’re a person who has a difficult time following a regime or if you find yourself bingeing often, you might find it easier to follow this diet.
Targeted ketogenic diet:
With this kind of diet, you don’t have to limit yourself from eating carbs. You can eat carbs as long as you’re eating them on the same days you work out. That means you can eat your fruits and juices if you know you’ll be heading to the gym later that day. For some, this is a diet that’s more sustainable and it’s one that’s easier to maintain over time.
High-protein ketogenic diet:
This keto diet only different from the standard ketogenic diet because you’ll have to reduce your fat intake and increase your protein consumption. Your ratio should be 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
If you work out frequently, this form of the ketogenic diet might be the best one for you because it allows you to get the protein you need to maintain your lifestyle.
How to Incorporate This Diet Into Your Life
If you’re willing to make this change in your lifestyle, you likely want to know how you can drive your body into ketosis. If you want to see results quickly, you should make changes as soon as possible. There are two ways in which you can start your ketogenic diet.
The first way for you to throw your body into ketosis involves fasting for two days. During this time, you should only be drinking water. Your body will begin burning the fat cells in your body because it won’t have to burn off the usual calories you consume.
The second way to begin a ketogenic diet is to do so gradually. Over the course of a few weeks you should be making the following changes:
- You should gradually lower the number of carbohydrates to 20 grams per day.
- You should limit the amount of protein you eat to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight you have. If you’re 150 pounds, for example, your protein intake should be around 100 grams.
- Remember not to starve yourself. You should eat fat during the day but you should avoid snacking. Try eating enough fat to satisfy you.
- Exercise is key! Whether you’re fasting for up to 2 days or you’re gradually integrating into this lifestyle, you should remember to keep exercising.
- Lastly, you should always remember to sleep. That’s because sleeping will allow you body to rest after your exercise and will increase your ketosis. Sleep deprivation can slow the process of ketosis and may even increase your cravings.
Resources to Follow a Ketogenic Diet
If you’re going to follow a ketogenic diet, you should have a few resources to help you stay on track. Some of the best resources for this diet can be found in books, which is why we provide you with a few titles below.
The Keto Diet by Leanne Vogel
The book is essentially a guide that helps you stay on track with your diet. Within this book, you’ll find over 100 recipes for you to follow; after all, it can be difficult for you to maintain the ketogenic diet if you don’t know what to eat.
The Keto Diet will also provide you with five different meal plans, all of which can help you meet your body goals and ideal weight. The goal of this book is for you to find your own path because there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to your life and your food.
The Complete Ketogenic Diet For Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle by Amy Ramos
The benefit of this book is that it will prepare you for the ketogenic lifestyle if you haven’t tried it before. It provides you with a number of recipes that can provide you with the daily nutrition you need.
You should be warned, though, that you will have to dedicate some time toward cooking when you decide to follow these recipes.
Keto Diet by Josh Axe
In this book, the author focuses on how our dietary decisions shape our lives. This is a book that can help get you started in this diet and that will provide you with a 30-day plan to maintain it.
You may have already heard of this author because he is also the founder of the novel Eat Dirt and of the website https://www.draxe.com.
Example of a Ketogenic Diet Plan
Now that you know all about how you can get started in this lifestyle, we can provide you with an example of a meal plan. This plan is the first step for you to live a healthier and happier life. Of course, you can always interchange meals and days so that the meal plan suits your needs.
Breakfast: To start your day off right, you should eat two eggs that are cooked in butter. On the side, servce green beans.
Lunch: The good news is that you don’t have to give up burgers when you’re on a ketogenic diet. Cook a beef patty and throw some greens on top. Next, you’ll want to put some cheese, mushrooms, and avocado on the greens.
Dinner: For dinner, you get to sautee some mushrooms and pork chops with coconut oil.
Breakfast: Cook a mushroom omelet.
Lunch: Place a bed of greens on your plate. Next, make yourself a tuna salad with mushrooms, celery, and tomatoes and put it on top of your greens.
Dinner: Roast yourself a chicken and make a creamed sauce to go with it. On the side, eat some sauteed broccoli.
Breakfast: This one will change things up a little. You can stuff bell peppers with cheese and eggs.
Lunch: Make an arugula salad with hard-boiled eggs, turkey, and greens of your choice.
Dinner: Grill salmon and top it off with spinach.
Breakfast: Combine yogurt with granola
Lunch: Combine the following in a bowl: steak, cauliflower rice, avocado, cheese, and salsa
Dinner: Cook bison steak. On the side, eat steamed broccoli with melted cheese on top.
Breakfast: Serve a mushroom omelet.
Lunch: Caesar salad and chicken breasts or thighs.
Dinner: Pork chops and veggies.
Breakfast: Make cauliflower toast and spread avocado and cheese on top.
Lunch: Cook some salmon burgers and pesto.
Dinner: Make zucchini noodles, parmesan, and meatballs.
Breakfast: Chia pudding, coconut, and your choice of nuts.
Lunch: Make a cobb salad with your choice of greens and meat.
Dinner: Slow cook curry chicken in coconut milk.
The Best Foods For a Keto Diet
There are certainly some foods that are better to eat than others when it comes to a keto diet. That’s why we’ve come up with a complete list of these foods. If you want to make your own meal plan, make sure to include some of these!
Pasturized eggs: These provide you with a good source of protein and fat.
Chicken: Here’s your protein.
Turkey: More protein!
Fish: Make sure to eat fish that provide you with higher concentrations of fat.
Beef: Try to get your beef from reputable sources.
Dairy: Dairy in general will provide you with the fat you need.
Nuts: You can generally eat any nut you want because they provide you with a high concentration of fat.
Water: You can also drink coffee, tea, and wine as long as it’s not excessive and as long as you don’t use added sweeteners.
Veggies: In general, we suggest that you eat vegetables that grow above ground more than anything else. This means you can eat avocados, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplants, etc.
Safety Concerns: Who Can’t Practice This Lifestyle?
Of course, there are concerns with any lifestyle choice. There will always be some people who should avoid certain diets.
With the ketogenic diet, we suggest caution for anyone who has type 2 diabetes; however, we’ll also describe why this diet might help those with heart disease. Here’s why!
Practicing With Diabetes
A study that was published in the Journal of Physiology that studied the effects of the keto diet on mice. According to the study, this diet could increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes during its early stages.
This study also describes how the body may develop insulin resistance, If you already have diabetes, then, you may want to contact a medical professional so that he or she can determine whether this lifestyle is the right one for you.
Practicing With Heart Disease
There’s a number of reasons why a ketogenic diet might be healthy for those with heart disease. For one thing, eating more fat can improve your cholesterol. Because ketogenic diets help individuals with fasting, it also helps with the prevention of fat storage. As such, the fat in your body can be used for energy rather than being stored and causing blocked arteries.
The Paleo Vs. The Keto Diet
The paleo diet is another game changer for those who want to live a healthier lifestyle. It focuses on a low-carb and high-protein diet, much like the keto diet; however, it does differ in some aspects.
The paleo diet includes foods that were eaten during the Paleolithic era, which is where its name stems from. When you begin using the paleo diet, you’ll be eating a large number of veggies, fruits, and meats. This is where you’ll see the first difference between the paleo and the keto diet. The keto diet demands that you avoid fruits as much as possible because they tend to have a high concentration of carbs.
The main difference between the keto and the paleo diet, however, revolves around the very purpose of the ketogenic diet: your body needs to enter a state of ketosis for it to work properly.
Which One is Most Flexible?
In short, the ketogenic diet is rigid. That’s because you need to cut out anything that involves carbs and if you do eat carbs, you have to keep your consumption to a minimum.
In comparison, the paleo diet requires you to remove the following from your diet: potatoes, grains, vegetable oil, salt, and processed foods. You can eat meat that’s been grass-fed, seafood, fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, and coconut oil.
If you’re a person who finds it difficult to restrict themselves, you’ll need more determination to follow the ketogenic diet, however, it’ll be well worth it when you see how beneficial it is to your overall life.
The Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
If you’re not sold on the keto diet yet, you might want to hear about how advantageous it is to live this lifestyle.
You’ll Have a Lower Appetite
If you find yourself constantly hungry, you might be eating too many carbs. People who eat a lot of pasta and fruits tend to snack and eat more overall. When you follow a low-carb diet, you’ll experience a decrease in appetite because you’ll be fuller for longer.
You’ll Lose Weight More Quickly
This is one of the main reasons why people follow a ketogenic diet. When you follow this lifestyle, you’re likely going to lose weight more quickly than you would otherwise. That’s because your body will rid itself of water more and will burn more fat when it goes through ketosis.
You’ll Have Lower Insulin and Blood Sugar Levels
We already spoke about this before. This can be a benefit and a curse, depending on the way you look at it. For some people, lower insulin and blood sugar levels are a major benefit. For those who live with diabetes, this could be a life changer; however, this is still up for debate and there are still studies being conducted.
You May Experience Lower Blood Pressure
Having high blood pressure can put you at risk for a number of different diseases and illnesses. You may, for example, experience heart disease or kidney failure in the long-term.
As such, following the keto diet may extend your life expectancy and may provide you with a completely new lifestyle.
You May be Able to Fight Metabolic Syndrome
If you haven’t heard of this before, here are a few of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome:
- Cellulite in the abdominal area
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar levels
We already covered these three symptoms above and since the keto diet is known for aiding in all of these areas, the keto diet may also alleviate symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
Demystifying the Keto Diet
Although the keto diet has been around for several years, there are still plenty of rumors being spread about it. Some headlines claim that this diet is dangerous and bad for your organs; however, this is not true. Here are some of the most common myths about the keto diet.
You Can Eat ALL the Fat
We’ve been talking all about how you need to eat plenty of fat to maintain this lifestyle; however, that doesn’t mean you should be eating as much fat as you can. You should try to avoid saturated fats if you can; in fact, unsaturated fats are the best way to go. At the end of the day, you should only be getting 60-75 percent of your daily calories from foods that contain fat.
You’re Putting Yourself In Danger
This is likely the most popular myth about the keto diet. Anything can be dangerous when it isn’t performed safely, which is why you should consult a medical professional before beginning your diet. You should also try to get all of your vitamins and minerals in during the day because if not, you may experience deficiencies.
You Can’t Drink Alcohol
We already told you that you can drink two glasses of wine every now and then; still, many people believe that you can’t consume any alcohol when you’re on the keto diet. There are plenty of alcohols that have a lower concentration of carbs, which is why you’ll just have to be more careful about the way you drink.
You Need to Fast
No one expects you to fast if you’re in this lifestyle. If you don’t want to, you can slowly ease into a lower carb count. Not only this, but you shouldn’t be fasting while you’re on the keto diet. You may go through longer periods of time without eating during the day and you may fast before starting it if you choose to, but there is no obligation to fast.
The keto diet typically reduces your need or want to snack, which can promote weight loss. If you’re thinking of fasting for one or more days during the keto diet, you should consult a medical professional. This is especially true if you’re exercising every day.
A ketogenic diet is one of the best ways for you to lose weight and to experience a healthier lifestyle in general. We know how important it is for you to prioritize your health, which is why we created this guide.
While a number of other diets have a considerable number of health risks, you don’t have to worry about that when you begin the keto diet. Of course, you should always consult a medical professional when you make a drastic change in your lifestyle.
Are you currently or have you practiced the keto diet? Let us know about it in the comments below!