What is the Keto Diet: Things you Must Know Before Implementing



Ketogenic Diet: A beginner's guide

Ketogenic Diet had started a rage a couple of years back and I am sure most of you who want to lose weight must have tried it. So, have you lost the amount of weight you wanted? Or it did not help you? Have you done your keto right? Well, there are a number of questions that you must have had in your mind. And also for the newbie aspirers of weight loss, here is a beginner’s guide to a ketogenic diet that might help you to understand the diet better and how it works.

What is a ketogenic diet?

Celebrities like Halle Berry, the Kardashian sisters, Gwyneth Paltrow, Megan Fox and LeBron James besides many others swear by the ketogenic diet for an amazing figure and good health. With dozens of celebrities endorsing the diet, it had made a lot of headlines and still continues to do so.  

In simple terms, the ketogenic diet plan is food with medium protein, high fats, and low carbs. It can be very tough in the beginning for you to follow because a standard Indian diet is also very rich in carbs with rice and rotis. It is a radical change from present your meal plan. But strong will and determination are all you need to stick to a keto diet plan and burn those unwanted fats.

How does a ketogenic diet work?

The science behind the ketogenic diet is very simple. Carbs from starchy and sugary foods get converted to glucose that our body burns to get energy. Now the concept of a ketogenic diet is different.

This diet is an eating plan with a very low amount of carbohydrates, about 20 to 50 gm per day. When your carb intake is low, your body tries finding another fuel source for energy that it gets from the fat stored. In the process, it breaks down into molecules called ketone that is used for energy. This process is called ketosis. This leads to weight loss and if followed properly, you can lose up to a pound or two (1 kg) in a week.

The ketogenic diet has also been attributed to managing diabetes.

A beginner’s guide to Ketogenic Diet

Eat this, not that on Ketogenic Diet

If you want the ketogenic diet to have maximum effects on your weight, then you must follow a very strict diet plan and never cheat meals. When on a ketogenic diet, even a day of cheat meal can lead to weight gain. New York City-based dietitian Kristen Mancinelli, RD, author of The Ketogenic Diet: A Scientifically Proven Approach to Fast, Healthy Weight Loss says that ideally, you should begin with 20 to 30 gm carbohydrates per day.

Be mindful of your diet, do thorough research on what foods contain more carbs or fewer carbs. Bread, pasta, rice, chips, cookies, and candies are not the only foods rich in carbs. Beans are rich in protein but they have enough carbs too. Fruits and veggies also have carbs. Meat, butter, and oils are the ones that have no carbs.

Here is a list of what you should eat and what you should not on a keto diet:

Eat

Meats – Mutton, lamb, fish, chicken, eggs, poultry

Low-carb veggies – Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, tomato, mushrooms

High-fat dairy – hard cheese, butter, ghee, coconut oil, high-fat cream

Nuts and seeds – walnuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, etc.

Avocadoes and all berries – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries 

Don’t eat

Tuber vegetables – potatoes, yams

Fruits – oranges, apples, bananas

Sugar and sweeteners – honey, maple syrup, etc.

Grains – wheat, rice, corn, cereal

Don’t be scared of fats, Keto is all about them!

Mancinelli says, “People are afraid of fat because they’ve been told that it’ll kill them.” This can be a natural attitude when you are beginning keto for the first time. Make small changes and adjustments every day to get used to this type of eating. Have a burger with some fries on the side. Instead of rice or potatoes, have non-starchy vegetables. Don’t cook a skinless chicken breast, instead have one with skin on, you’ll get the required fat.

She adds, “Slowly start pushing out carbs and getting in fat. If you’re afraid of fat, a ketogenic diet won’t work for you.”

Bulletproof coffee

This is a must-have beverage when on a keto.

Here is the recipe for bulletproof coffee:

  • 1 cup of freshly brewed organic coffee.
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Add it all in a blender and blend it well. Drink! You can also add some stevia extract or cinnamon powder for sweetness.

This coffee beside giving you energy also keeps hunger at bay. However, if you have cholesterol or a risk of developing heart disease, it is best to avoid this drink. Talk to your doctor and be safe. 

While the keto diet is completely safe, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or had your gall bladder removed, it is better that you consult your doctor and dietitian to make certain adjustments and start with the diet.

Is ketogenic diet safe?

This is a commonly asked question for first-time ketogenic diet planners.

Experts say that the ketogenic diet is safe although in the initial days it might have a few side-effects that are known as the keto flu. You might have fatigue, headache, or dehydration and other health hazards. So it is important that you consult your doctor and have a well-planned diet with all the essential nutrients on your plate. 

Also read: Why You Should Include Millets in Your Daily Diet?

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