The Ketogenic Diet: A Beginner’s Guide

The Ketogenic Diet: A Beginner’s Guide
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The Ketogenic diet or keto diet for short is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits.  There are studies that show how this type of diet can help you in weight loss and improve your overall health.

 

Keto diets may even be beneficial in battling illnesses like diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.  Continue reading to learn more about Ketogenic Diet.

What is Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the atkins and low-carb diets.

The main concept of this diet is to drastically reduce the carbohydrate intake and replace it with fat.  Reducing your carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When the body is in the state of ketosis, the body becomes efficient in burning fat for energy.  Fats are turned into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.

Keto diet can also help in the reduction of blood sugar and insulin levels.

The Four Types of Keto
  • Standard Ketogenic Diet – This is a very low-carb (5%), moderate-protein (20%), and high-fat diet (75%).
  • Cyclical Ketogenic Diet – This diet involves periods of higher carbohydrate refeeds.  A sample cycle is 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.
  • Targeted Ketogenic Diet – This type allows you to add carbs around workouts.
  • High-protein Ketogenic Diet – Similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes a higher percentage of protein.  Common ratio is 60% Fat, 35% Protein and 5% carbs.

The Cyclical Ketogenic and Targeted Ketogenic Diets are often practiced by athletes and professional bodybuilders.

Ketogenic Diet and Weight Loss

Below is a quick runthrough how Ketogenic aids the body in weight loss:

  • Increased fat burning – Keto Diet  increases the amount of fat your body burns when resting ,in a daily activity, and during a workout.
  • Decreased fat storage – There are some studies that show Keto Diet reducing the process of converting sugar to fats.
  • Gluconeogenesis – Your body converts fat and protein to carbs for fuel. This process may utilize additional calories in a day.
  • Appetite suppressant- Keto diet promotes positive changes in your hunger hormones, which helps in making you feel your are full.
  • Food elimination – Limiting your carb intake means limiting your food option.  The reduction of calorie intake in this process is essential to fat loss.
  • Improved insulin sensitivity – Keto diets can improve insulin sensitivity, which helps in fuel utilization and metabolism.
Foods to Eat
  • Meat – Red meat, steak, chicken and turkey
  • Fatty fish – salmon, tuna, and mackerel
  • Eggs
  • Butter and cream
  • Cheese (unprocessed)
  • Nuts and seeds – Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
  • Healthy oils – Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
  • Avocados – Whole or freshly made guacamole
  • Low-carb vegetables – Most green vegetables, tomatoes, onions and peppers
  • Condiments – salt, pepper and various herbs and spices
Foods to Avoid
  • Sugary foods – soda, fruit juices, cake, ice cream, etc.
  • Grains or starches – Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
  • Fruit: All fruit, except small portion of berries like strawberries.
  • Beans or legumes – Chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, etc.
  • Root crops and tubers – Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc.
  • Low-fat and diet products – These are highly processed and high in carbs.
  • Some condiments or sauces – Often contain sugar and unhealthy fat.
  • Unhealthy fats – limit your intake of processed vegetable oil, etc.
  • Alcohol – Due to their carb content
  • Sugar-free diet foods – often high in sugar alcohol and highly processed.

Ketogenic Diet can be great for people who are looking for a way to lose weight efficiently. However just like any diet routine, it matches certain lifestyles and weight goals.  For professional athletes or for people who wish to gain more muscles or weight, they might find other diets might be more suitable than Keto Diet.

Finally, just like any other diet program — it is ALWAYS best to consult your doctor and see if the Ketogenic Diet suits your body requirements and health lifestyle.

A Ketogenic Diet can be great for people who are overweight, diabetic, or looking to improve their metabolic health. It may be less suitable for elite athletes or those wishing to add large amounts of muscle or weight. And, as with any diet, it will only work if you are consistent and stick with it in the long term. That being said, few things are as well proven in nutrition as the powerful health and weight loss benefits of a Ketogenic Diet.

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