If you find yourself in a conversation about dieting or weight loss, possible are you’ll hear of the ketogenic, or keto, diet. That’s because the keto diet has become one of the most common methods worldwide to shed excess weight and enhance health.
Studies has demonstrated that adopting this low-carb, high-fat diet can improve fat loss and even enhance certain conditions including type 2 diabetes and cognitive decline.
This piece explains what to eat and avoid while following a keto diet plan and provides a one-week keto meal plan to start.
Ketogenic Diet Basics
The keto diet, as a rule, is very low in carbs, high in fat and moderate in protein. When following a ketogenic diet, carbs are typically lower to less than 50 grams daily, though stricter and looser versions of the diet exist. Fats should substitute the majority of cut carbs and deliver about 75% of your total calorie intake.
Proteins should account for about 20% of energy needs, while carbs are often restricted to 5%. This carb reduction makes your body to rely on fats for its major energy source rather than glucose a process called ketosis.
While in ketosis, your body makes use of ketones molecules secretes in the liver from fats when glucose is limited as an alternate fuel source.
Though fat are usually preventive for its high calorie content, research approves that ketogenic diets are significantly more effective at enhancing weight loss than low-fat diets.
Plus, keto diets lower hunger and increase satiety, which can be especially helpful when trying to lose weight.
The ketogenic diet depends on a very low-carb routine. Carbs are often restricted to less than 50 grams a day, replaced mostly with fat and moderate amounts of protein.
Ketogenic Diet Meal Plan
Switching over to a ketogenic diet can appears overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Your focus should be on lowering carbs while increasing the fat and protein content of meals and snacks. In order to reach and stay in a state of ketosis, carbs must be avoided.
While some people might only achieve ketosis by taking less than 20 grams of carbs daily, others may be fortunate with a much higher carb intake.
Generally, the lower your carbohydrate consumption, the easier it is to reach and stay in ketosis. This is why sticking to keto-friendly diets and avoiding items high in carbs is the perfect way to successfully lose weight on a ketogenic diet plan.
Keto-Friendly Foods to Eat
When following a ketogenic diet, meals and snacks should concentrate around the following foods:
Poultry: Chicken and turkey.
Eggs: Pastured, organic whole eggs make the best choice.
Meat: Grass-fed beef, venison, pork, organ meats and bison.
Fatty fish: Wild-caught salmon, herring and mackerel.
Full- fat cheese: Cheddar, mozzarella, brie, goat cheese and cream cheese.
Full-fat dairy: Yogurt, butter and cream.
Nuts and seeds: Macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseeds.
Healthy fats: Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut butter and sesame oil.
Nut butter: Natural peanut, almond and cashew butters.
Avocados: Whole avocados can be added to almost any meal or snack.
Non-starchy vegetables: Greens, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers.
Condiments: Salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, fresh herbs and spices.
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Foods to Avoid
Avoid foods high in carbs while following a keto diet plan.
The following foods should be avoided:
Bread and baked goods: White bread, whole-wheat bread, crackers, cookies, doughnuts and rolls.
Pasta: Spaghetti and noodles.
Sweets and sugary foods: Sugar, candy, ice cream, agave syrup, maple syrup, and coconut sugar.
Grains and grain products: Wheat, rice, oats, breakfast cereals and tortillas.
Sweetened beverages: Soda, juice, sweetened teas and sports drinks.
Beans and legumes: Black beans, chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans.
Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, corn, peas and pumpkin.
High-carb sauces: Barbecue sauce, sugary salad dressings and dipping sauces.
Certain alcoholic beverages: Beer and sugary mixed drinks.
Fruit: Citrus, grapes, bananas and pineapple.
Though carbs should be avoided, low-glycemic fruits including berries can be enjoyed in limited quantity as long as you’re maintaining a keto-friendly macronutrient range.
Make sure to choose healthy food sources and steer out of processed foods and unhealthy fats.
The following items should be restricted:
Unhealthy fats: Margarine, shortening and vegetable oils including canola and corn oil.
Processed foods: Fast food, packaged foods and processed meats including hot dogs and lunch meats.
Diet foods: Foods that has artificial colors, preservatives and sweeteners including sugar alcohols and aspartame.
Sugar can be found in a wide range of beverages such as juice, soda, iced tea and coffee drinks. While on a ketogenic diet, high-carb drinks must be stop just like high-carb foods. It’s no small matter that sugary beverages have also been connected to various health conditions from obesity to a high risk of diabetes.
Thankfully, there are lots of tasty, sugar-free options for people on the keto diet.
Keto-friendly beverage choices may include:
Water: Water is the best choice for hydration and should be taken throughout the day.
Sparkling water: Sparkling water can make a perfect soda replacement.
Unsweetened green tea: Green tea is delicious and gives many health benefits.
Unsweetened coffee: Try heavy cream to add flavor to your cup of Joe.
If you want to include some extra flavor to your water, try experimenting with different keto-friendly flavor mixture. For instance, tossing some fresh mint and lemon peel into your water bottle can leave hydration a breeze.
Though alcohol should be avoided, enjoying a low-carb drink such as vodka or tequila mixed with soda water is perfectly fine on occasion.
A healthy ketogenic diet plan should revolve around high-fat, low-carb food options and restrict highly processed foods and unhealthy fats. Keto-friendly beverage options must be sugar-free. Options for water, sparkling water or unsweetened green tea and coffee.
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