A Detailed Beginner's Guide To Ketogenic Diet

Are you overweight, or obese? Have you tried all the latest fads in diet and exercise without substantial results? If you are on the verge o...

Are you overweight, or obese? Have you tried all the latest fads in diet and exercise without substantial results? If you are on the verge of giving up hope, here is good news for you. Ketogenic Diet is to your rescue. In this diet, fat from food will help cancel out the fat store in your body. So, if you hate the so-called health foods, it's a good time to chuck them away and start afresh with this low carb high-fat diet. Does this sound too good to be true? Keto has taken the fitness world by storm because of its results among numerous clinically obese individuals. If you are new to the concept of this miraculous diet, we bring to you a detailed beginner's guide to Ketogenic diet.

What is a Ketogenic diet in layman terms?

It is a diet that consists of very little carb and a substantial amount of fat.

How does it work?

Our body generally burns carbs to provide us with energy. A high carb diet leads to the production of glucose and insulin in the human body. Your body will use up as much carb as required and the rest will be stored as fat. All this stored fat just keeps accumulating in your body, adding pounds to your weight. This is the situation when you are on a normal or high carb diet. No matter how much you work out, the fat just refuses to burn because of your body which stores it and burns the carbs only.
However, when you give hardly any carb to your body, the fat begins to burn to provide your body with energy and your body goes into what is known in the diet word as ‘Ketosis’. To simply put it for you, ketosis is our body’s natural survival mechanism to give us the needed energy to function properly when food intake, especially in form of carb is low. When the body undergoes Ketosis, ketones are produced as a result of a fat breakdown in the liver. These ketones are passed from the body through urine.

Ketogenic Diet

What is the end goal of a Ketogenic Diet?

The primary aim of this diet is to force the body into ketosis. This automatically results in significant weight loss within a very short span of time. But it is not done through calorie starvation as in other kinds of diet. Here it is only carb starvation. Hence, the focus on a high-fat low carb diet.

Is Ketogenic Diet for you?

If you are obese and suffer from lifestyle-related conditions such as blood sugar or diabetes, Keto Diet can work wonders for you. But it is not just limited to this. There are several additional benefits of a Keto Diet. Take a look the diverse benefits of this diet:

Weight Loss

As your insulin levels drop thanks to this low carb high-fat diet, your body transforms into a machine that vigorously burns fat shedding away those stubborn pounds.

Optimum blood sugar level

This diet lowers your blood sugar and manages your diabetes without making you starve or long for sweet savories.

Increased mental performance

Strange but true! A ketogenic diet has shown to enhance mental focus by fueling the brains. Since sugar spikes can numb your brain to a certain extent, lack of it helps improve your mental activities. Alongside, ketones drive focus and concentration. It also helps you with anxiety issues. So when you give your body fatty acids instead of sugar, the brain activities get a new boost working better and sharper.

Heightened energy

If you were used to being lazy and tired, Keto diet will bring about a miraculous transformation in your daily habits. Fats are a more reliable source of energy than carbs, and when you load your body with the former, you will experience a surge of energy especially during your most active hours.

Drop in sudden cravings

A keto diet helps normalize hunger. Since you are satiated and full of a high-fat low carb diet, you won’t feel like eating every now and then. Your cravings for junk and sweet will take a backseat naturally without the use of extreme willpower, as is the case in most other diets.

Help control epilepsy

A Ketogenic Diet has been proven to be extremely effective in controlling severe cases of epilepsy, especially in children. The fatty acids help the nerves and brain tissues work better. There is a whole lot of literature available to understand how keto diet helps tackle uncontrollable epilepsy.

Improves triglyceride levels

Though a keto diet subscribes the consumption of fats, it controls triglyceride and cholesterol levels that are responsible for arterial buildup. It reduces LDL and increases HDL thereby keeping a check on the bad cholesterol level and protecting your heart from arterial blockages.

Skin texture and acne

The look and feel of your skin improve when you are on a ketogenic diet. Skin inflammation reduces to a great extent relieving you of hideous and painful acne. Your skin has a natural glow that is mostly because of the fatty acids and the lack of sugar and dairy. Both there are associated with skin breakouts.

Ketogenic Diet Benefits

How do you get started on a Ketogenic Diet?

First of all, it is important to take a stock of your present health condition? Are you fit, obese, overweight, stressed out or have bad lifestyle habits that are affecting your overall well-being?

Answer these questions truthfully to yourself. Once you are aware of the truth, decide whether you really want to do something about it, or just let life swing by as it is. If you take the decision to do something about your health and overall vitality, it's time to read further on Ketogenic Diet.

Keto Diet has strict food restrictions. It is important to know what you cannot eat more than what you can. So here’s a comprehensive list.

What you CANNOT eat

Grains: Common and staple food items such as wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc. are a strict no-no.

Sugar: No form of sugar is allowed. Example: agave, honey, maple syrup, etc.
Fruit: They might be healthy, but most of them are strictly not allowed in keto. These include banana, mango, orange, apple, etc.

Tubers: Vegetables and tubers that are high in starch cannot be included in your food. Example: potato, yams, carrots, sweet potato, colocasia, etc

Along with these, some other common food that is best avoided in Keto include: chocolate, doughnut, noodle, pasta, beer, sugary tea, coffee, aerated beverages, soda, quinoa, barley, corn, buckwheat, amaranth, legumes, beans, lentils, fruit smoothies, peas, and so on.

Now let’s come to the best part of the diet.

What you CAN eat

Meats: All kinds of meat is allowed in Keto. So go pick your favorite from fish, lamb, poultry, beef, eggs, etc.

Leafy Greens Vegetables: These need to be consumed in plenty to balance out all the meat in your diet. Shop for spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, etc.

Above ground vegetables: These will provide you with much-needed nutrients such as minerals and vitamins. Hunt for broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bell pepper, and so on

High Fat Dairy: These are full of fat and essential for a good balance ketogenic diet. Explore your supermarket racks for hard cheeses, butter, high fat cream, etc.

Nuts, seeds, and berries: Macadamias, sunflower seeds, mulberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, blueberry, walnuts, and almonds in limited quantities are good for you when on a keto diet

Avocado is a low glycemic impact fruit that can be consumed in this diet

Sweeteners: It’s best to avoid sweeteners, but if you absolutely cannot do without a little, go for erythritol, stevia, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners.

Oil and fats: Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil is the best. Also add coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc. in your daily cooking.

Now it is not possible to measure every gram of food that you eat. But try to follow this rule if you are new to Keto: 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate. So what you can do to remember this is when you plate up for a meal, make sure it has high-fat elements, moderate protein, and very little carbohydrate.
If you think there is no scope for snacking in Keto, you’re mistaken. Keto is not some boring diet with boiled vegetables and bland stew. You can work wonders with your Keto friendly foods. For those who still don’t seem convinced, here is a shopping list for keto snacks:

  • Salt and vinegar almonds
  • Nut butter
  • Cheese cubes and string cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Whipped cream
  • Pepper jack cheese
  • Black olives
  • Cucumber
  • Beef jerky
  • Pepperoni
  • Prosciutto
  • Salami
  • Country Ham
  • Salmon and Tuna chunks
  • Bacon
  • Coconut milk
  • Bulletproof coffee
  • Pork rinds
  • Flackers
  • Moon cheese

How will you know if your body is in ketosis?

Here are some symptoms to tell you if your body has hit ketosis:

  • Frequent and increased urination
  • Dry mouth most of the time
  • Breath smells like nail polish remover
  • Increase in energy
  • Reduced hunger

You may also use keto strip available in the market to know if you are in ketosis or not. Once you hit ketosis, keep a tab on your weight every week. You will notice 2 to 4 kgs of weight loss every week for the first one to two months. Then the weight loss may hit a plateau. This is when you need to consume a little extra carb to get the weight loss roll on. Couple your diet with moderate exercise such as walking, swimming, weight lifting for better and faster results.

What are the side effects of keto?

A ketogenic diet is a change in your regular lifestyle. And with any transition, come some side effects, even though these don’t last long. Here is a list of side effects that you may experience when you adopt keto diet.

Keto flu: This flu is brought on by the diuretic property of the keto diet and the transitioning of your body. You may experience cramps, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness for nearly a week after you start keto. Drink loads of water and replenish your electrolytes balance.

Constipation: This is very common in keto, especially in the early days. The main reason for this is dehydration. Get used to drinking massive amounts of water on a daily basis to combat this condition. Include vegetable fiber in your diet when you cook a meaty dish. Psyllium husk can be taken as a supplement in severe cases.

There are some less common effects of starting keto such as keto rash, indigestion, hair loss and faster heart rate. All these symptoms are temporary and once you are well into ketosis, all these effects will fade away.

So now that you know the most important things about Keto Diet, start off confidently and see your body transform. Read up as much as you can, and clear your doubts about this diet. Feel free to post questions to us and we will answer them as quickly as possible.

#StayFit

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