Description: Keto diet is a nutrition that implies an almost complete rejection of carbohydrates. A sufficiently large number of different nutrition systems can be considered a keto diet – both a carb-free diet and a protein diet. All of them involve the control of carbohydrates to lose weight and normalize metabolism.
Want to know more about the keto diet? Stay with us and find out all the details in our comprehensive guide on ketosis.
What is a Keto Diet?
So here we go. Keto diet is a nutritional scheme that implies an almost complete rejection of carbohydrates in the menu, which makes the level of glucose in the blood decrease. The body goes into the ketogenic mode – in this case, free fatty acids and fat reserves become the primary source of energy.
The main advantage of a keto diet is a quick loss of excess weight without constant control of calorie intake. Besides, studies of effective weight loss diets confirm that a ketogenic diet shows the best result in the long term use. That means, with its help, you can not only burn fat but also maintain a fit body shape for a long time.
However, the keto diet has several disadvantages and contraindications. Firstly, a ketogenic diet is prohibited for pregnant and lactating women, as well as adolescents. Secondly, such a diet is not combined with taking medications for diabetes or high blood pressure. Thirdly, to avoid a lack of vitamins and minerals, it is necessary to include low-carb vegetables to the menu.
How Does a Carbohydrate-Free Diet Work?
Refusal of carbohydrates and carbohydrate-free nutrition first lead to the normalization of blood sugar and insulin levels. Then it puts the body into ketosis, forcing the use of body fat reserves available for metabolic needs. In other words, the keto diet puts the body in a fat-burning mode and grants great keto diet results.
So how does a keto diet work?
With regular consumption of foods with fast carbohydrates, the blood sugar level is chronically high. It disrupts the metabolism of the insulin hormone. The body does not understand that there are already enough calories and does not trigger saturation signals. Again and again, it is demanding foods with carbohydrates and making you overeat – which, ultimately, leads to weight gain. Refusal of carbohydrates breaks this process.
So let’s take a closer look at how to start a keto diet. First, a complete rejection of sugar, sweets, and starchy foods is recommended for beginners of the keto diet. If you have never practiced a carbohydrate-free diet, devote the first 7-10 days to changing your eating habits to minimize simple carbohydrates in your diet. We’ve all been there. This period is the most difficult since the transition of the body to the ketogenic mode can cause lethargy and poor health.
If you are already familiar with the method of limiting carbohydrates in the food, the simplest way of entering the keto diet will be intermittent fasting. It is, for example, following the diet scheme 16/8. You eat only 8 hours a day, starving for 16 hours until the next meal (including sleeping). Follow this regimen for at least 5-7 days to lower the level of glucose in the blood and move more smoothly to complete ketosis. It is essential for beginners not to rush – a keto diet should be observed for at least 4-8 weeks.
A Keto Nutrition – What Can I Eat?
Eating on a keto diet only allows those foods that do not contain carbohydrates. They do not increase blood sugar and do not let the body get out of the fat-burning ketosis state. Flour foods, sugar-based sweets, sweet fruits, sugary juices, and carbonated drinks are entirely banned. However, keto protein powder can be beneficial in many keto recipes. Also, potato and other starchy vegetables cannot be eaten on a keto. Let’s dig a little deeper and list the foods allowed on a keto.
List of Keto Diet Foods Allowed:
● all types of meat (beef, pork, chicken);
● all kinds of fish and seafood;
● dairy products (butter, cheese, natural cottage cheese);
● any vegetable oils;
● any green vegetables;
● nuts in small amounts;
● berries in small amounts;
● non-starchy vegetables (avocado, pumpkin in small quantities);
● herbs, seeds (including chia seeds), spices;
Keto Nutrition Rules
One of the critical rules of nutrition on a keto diet is consuming large quantities of pure water.
Believe it or not, it helps to significantly reduce the harmful effects of the diet (in particular, difficulties with digestion and the smell of acetone from the mouth). It is also necessary to monitor the amount of salt in the diet. In essence, those who start a keto diet often consume too much salt, which causes dehydration.
Separately, we mention the need to control the use of alcoholic beverages. Keto diet can increase the level of ammonia in the blood – along with the use of alcohol, and it can provoke toxic liver damage. It is for the same reason that the keto diet is contraindicated in all diseases of the liver and kidneys.
For avoiding a lack of vitamins while observing the keto diet, it is necessary to include cherry tomatoes, green vegetables, and fruits with a minimum amount of carbohydrates. Various berries, as well as citrus fruits in small amounts, can be excellent keto diet snacks. In turn, nuts will be a good source of minerals – both peanuts, and walnuts, cedar, or any others.
The caloric content of the ketogenic menu is about 1600-1800 kcal per day, which is suitable for women who want to lose weight with low levels of physical activity. For men, calorie content and serving size should be increased. Recall that when losing weight, it is recommended to reduce calorie intake by no more than 15-20% of the daily calorie intake.
What’s the bottom line? Keto diet is a diet with maximum carbohydrate restriction. For beginners, who observe a ketogenic diet, the most difficult is the first week when the body changes to the ketosis regime. Dizziness and weakness can be observed. In the future, the metabolism changes, and the body gets used to working in a fat-burning mode without carbohydrates.
Now it’s your turn to share your thoughts about the keto diet. Have you ever practiced ketosis? What is your daily calorie intake? What are your favorite keto diet recipes?