Ketogenic Diet for Beginners- A Quick Guide
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
Let’s be honest – many of us have subscribed for a gym membership but haven’t used it judicially. Some of us have never visited a gym, and haven’t regularly exercised either. But wouldn’t ALL of us love to be fit and healthy? Is there a diet that can help provide us with numerous benefits? Is there a diet that can help us lose weight and enable general good health as well? The answer is an emphatic YES! That diet is a Keto Diet. In the next five minutes, you’d wonder why you didn’t get on a keto diet earlier!
Can you Lose Weight with Keto Diet?
A Ketogenic diet is a very low- carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet. Though it has numerous health benefits, the primary reason why many people have started following a Keto Diet is because it aids weight loss.
What is Ketosis and How Does a Keto Diet Work?
Cells in the body typically rely on glucose from carbohydrates for energy. When carb intake is minute, the cells turn to the high fats available instead. The cells access the fat stores in the body and burn them off hence enabling weight loss. Ketosis is a metabolic state where fat from the diet and from the body is burnt for energy and in healthy people, ketosis kicks in 4 to 5 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbs per day.
So in summary, high fat diet is perfect to reduce weight provided you strictly follow a Keto diet.
What are the Health Benefits of a Keto Diet?
Low carbohydrate intake, which is the main idea of a Keto diet, has several health benefits. Firstly, there is definite weight loss- a large proportion of the fat lost is from abdominal fat and thus avoids serious metabolic problems.
Risk of heart diseases is lower because a keto diet lowers blood triglycerides which are harmful fat molecules. In addition, high fat also increases HDL or Good Cholesterol.
A very high number of people suffer from the two most common problems – diabetes and blood pressure issues. There is extensive research which suggests that low carb consumption lowers blood sugar and insulin levels and can even treat type 2 diabetes. Carb reduction also causes a reduction in blood pressure and thus, can be extremely useful for individuals with HIGH Blood Pressure or Hypertension.
Beyond these benefits, following a Keto diet is known to be beneficial in treating common heart ailments, kidney diseases as well as epilepsy in children. Further research is being conducted to map the effects of a Keto diet to important brain functions and also behavioural attributes such as higher levels of alertness and concentration.
What are the Types of Keto Diet?
• STANDARD KETOGENIC DIET (SKD): This comprises 5% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 75% fat. Extremely low amount of carbs below 50 grams a day with moderate amounts of proteins, which is about 90 grams a day and large amounts of fat, close to 150 grams a day form a typical SKD
• TARGETED KETO DIET (TKD): This comprises 15% carbs, 20% proteins and 65% fats and is generally followed by sportspersons, athletes and active individuals who need more carbs than usual.
• CYCLICAL KETO DIET (CKD): This is followed by people who wish to cycle in and out of Ketosis. On Keto days, the SKD composition can be followed while on ‘OFF’ days, 25% fat, 25% protein and 50% carbs can be consumed. Off days can be twice a week generally, while five days are keto diet days.
Keto Diet Food List
The great thing about a keto diet is that it doesn’t matter whether you live in the west or in Asia, or whether you are a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian, as long as you have the discipline, you will see wonderful results.
The following are some of the foods one must include while on a Keto diet:
• Meat, Steak, Bacon, Chicken, Salmon, Tuna, Shellfish, Eggs
• Cheese, Butter, Almonds, Walnuts, Olive Oil, Coconut Oils, Cottage Cheese • Broccoli, Cauliflower, Spinach, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Bell Peppers
• Blackberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Plums, Olives, Avocados
• Dark Chocolate, Cocoa, Plain Greek Yoghurt, Unsweetened Coffee and Tea • Flaxseeds, Chia seeds, Sesame seeds
What not to eat on a Keto Diet (foods to avoid):
• Rice, Pasta, Oatmeal, Wheat
• Potatoes, Corn, Peas, Beans
• Most fruits, Juices, Sugary beverages, Snack foods
So, what can keto diet menu for beginners look like?
For breakfast, you could have a handful of almonds and walnuts and Omelettes or try Fried Eggs with Bacon and a Coffee.
You could Lunch on a Chicken Salad with olive oil and some Almond milk or a Vegetable Salad with Greek Yoghurt.
Tiring day at work or at home? Relish some Chicken stuffed with pesto and cream cheese or Salmon with asparagus cooked in butter for dinner.
Throw in some berries as a snack and some dark chocolate for your cravings and you are well on your way to living a really healthy life!
Does a Keto Diet Really Work and Can You Sustain It?
YES and YES
Like any change, it does take time to adapt. Like any success, it does take discipline.
Though not everyone needs to or wants to follow a Keto diet (Sportspersons who need high proteins and muscles are a case in point), the numerous benefits of a Keto diet are well established. It does work wonderfully when followed with diligence. Depending on your age, lifestyle and body type, you can work within the structure of a Keto diet but simultaneously figure out which type of Keto works best for you. It is nutritious, healthy, sustainable and a great way to lose weight. Needless to say,
with so many health benefits, it’s a no-brainer to switch to this extremely nutritional and simultaneously therapeutic diet.
It’s the time to KETO!!