You must have often heard about the celebrities following a ketogenic diet? What is it? A keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that transitions your body from burning carbs to burning fats for energy.
The diet involves reducing and replacing carbohydrate intake with fat. Research shows that people who take a moderate or high-fat diet lose just as much weight as people who consume a low-fat diet. It isn’t the dietary fat that is converted to body fat but the excess calories. Now, fat does contain more calories per gram than carbs or proteins, but all calories aren’t the same!
Fats slow down digestion and keep you full for a long time after your meal. That’s why the keto diet is based on fat consumption.
Basically, a keto diet comprises approximately 55-60% fats, 30-35% proteins, and 5-10% carbs which puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
What is Ketosis?
FATTY ACIDS ————–> KETONES
The process of breaking down fatty acids to produce ketone bodies in the liver is known as ketosis. It uses fats instead of carbohydrates to produce energy in your body. In the absence of carbs, fats will provide your body with energy, and hence, fat is the king of ketosis.
Keto Diet Plan For Beginners: Keto Basics
Classic keto diets eliminate carbs and are very rich in fats. This makes them quite restrictive. And so, it is often done under medical supervision. However, if you are a beginner, you need to consume a well-constructed diet with adequate carbs, proteins, fiber, and fats.
Keep reading to learn a few basic tips to get your diet plan started.
- Lower the carbs
Consuming a low-carb diet is important if you want to achieve ketosis. You need to limit your carb intake to 20-40 grams per day. However, make sure to consume plenty of vegetables to get all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You can include non-starchy and nutrient-rich veggies like kale, peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, and spinach in your diet.
- Try not to be stressed
When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol – a hormone that elevates your blood sugar levels and gets in the way of your body’s ability to achieve ketosis. Getting lots of sleep (preferably, 7-8 hours every night), regular exercise, meditation, yoga, etc. can help you reduce stress.
- Increase healthy fats
Since a keto diet focuses on adequate intake of fats – healthy fats, you need to include high-quality plant and animal sources in your diet. For example – coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, nuts, eggs, cheese, fish, and meat.
- Increase physical exercise
Not only does increased physical activity help you achieve your weight-loss goals quickly but also helps your body in achieving ketosis. In order to achieve ketosis, your body needs to get rid of any glucose. The more often you exercise, the quicker your body will use up its glycogen before turning it into fat for energy.
- Increase your water intake
A low-carb diet has a diuretic effect on your body which may lead to dizziness, constipation, and cravings. Make sure you get enough electrolytes. You can do that by adding a little extra salt to your food.
- Maintain your protein intake
Amino acids make glucose for the cells in your body that can’t use fatty acids as fuel. These are supplied by proteins, and hence, it is necessary to get adequate proteins from your diet.
- Don’t stop dining out
Starting a keto diet doesn’t mean you have to miss the dine-outs. Instead, you must make healthy choices like sticking to veggie options and meat (optional). PS: Avoid dining out until the pandemic exists.
List of Healthy Keto Diet Foods
Eggs and Meat: Eggs, lamb, chicken, turkey
Seafood: Salmon, trout, sardines, shrimp, tuna
Vegetables: Tomatoes, onions, brussels sprouts, spinach, zucchini, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, eggplant, cucumber, bell peppers, asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, celery
Fruits: Avocado, olives, oranges, kiwis, lemons, strawberries, apricots, raspberries
Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, chia seeds, hazelnuts, coconuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds
Dairy: Cheese, yogurt, heavy cream
Fats and Oils: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, butter
Beverages: Water, sugar-free carbonated water, coffee, tea
Other Foods: Dark chocolates, herbs, condiments
Benefits of Keto Diet
- Helps you reduce weight
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Improves various health conditions including heart disease, cancer, brain injuries, epilepsy, acne, PCOD, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and more
A Beginner’s Weekly Keto Plan
|Monday||Scrambled eggs with sauteed greens||Chicken mayonnaise salad with cucumber, avocado, tomatoes, onions||Chicken stew made with celery, mushrooms, herbs, and broth||Almond milk smoothie|
|Tuesday||Egg muffins with cheddar cheese, sun-dried tomatoes||Cauliflower soup with bacon pieces or tofu cubes||Garlic buttered shrimp with zucchini noodles||Roasted turkey, cucumber, celery, and pepper|
|Wednesday||Almond milk smoothie that contains nut butter, chia seeds, protein powder, spinach||Shrimp and avocado salad with tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, and feta cheese||Garlic butter steak with mushrooms and asparagus||Boiled egg, cheese flax crackers|
|Thursday||Omelet with peppers, broccoli, mushrooms||Avocado and egg salad with onion and spices||Brussels sprout salad, chicken breast with cauliflower rice||Cheese slices and bell peppers|
|Friday||Scrambled eggs with onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, sunflower seeds||Tuna salad with tomatoes and avocado||Chicken sticks with veggies||Berries, nuts, celery sticks with almond butter dip|
|Saturday||2 fried eggs with avocados and blackberries||Grilled salmon with leafy greens and tomato salad||Chicken breast with cauliflower mash and green beans||Kale chips, cheese slices, bell peppers|
|Sunday||Yogurt with keto-friendly granola||No bun chicken burger||Broccoli, stir-fried chicken, mushrooms, peppers||Egg, vegetable muffin, sugar-free turkey|
**Those who do not eat non-vegetarian foods can replace these products with high-fat plant-based foods.**
**Please consult your nutritionist before following the meal plan.**
A keto diet is great for weight loss but you need to be consistent throughout. So, when are you beginning your diet? Hopefully, this article was a good read for you. But again, I recommend taking a doctor’s advice before adapting to the meal plan. HAPPY DIETING!!