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The-Ketogenic-Diet-A-Detailed-Beginner’s-Guide

Today’s fast and modern lifestyle of people has had many effects on the human body. People now work more mentally than they do physically and they seldom find time to eat well and rest as well. This busy lifestyle has taken a toll on a lot of people since they are now exposed to many health problems that are dangerous common chronic diseases, like obesity, diabetes, heart problems, and many others.

With the increasing number of the people suffering from these diseases, there’s a rise sudden rise of awareness among the people in the past decade. This has led the people to find various ways in which they can control their weight and stay away from the chronic diseases or can control the chronic diseases if they already have one. Today you can find various diet plans that are prescribed even by the doctors to stay fit, healthy, and lose weight and one of the most popular and common diet plans is keto.

What is a Keto Diet?

A keto diet which is also popularly known as the ketogenic diet, LCHF diet, and low carb diet, is a high fat, low carb diet that is a great tool for weight loss. The diet leads the body to go into a state of ketosis, which is a normal metabolic process that basically leads to the burning of fats to produce energy and ketones instead of burning carbohydrates.

If you’re healthy and you eat a balanced diet then your body tends to control the amount of fat it burns and doesn’t produce ketones. However, when you follow a keto diet, your body doesn’t get much carbs to burn and produce energy. This is where your body switches to ketosis and starts burning fats to produce the required energy.

Your body generally takes 3 days to enter into the stage of ketosis after you start keto diet and once you’re in ketosis your body will be completely generating its energy by burning the fats that are deposited in the body. This helps in reducing your weight and also in making you healthy.

Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

Weight loss

Most people tend to follow the keto diet because of its effectiveness in weight loss. There has been a fair amount of research done on keto diet that has shown that it helps people lose weight very quickly. This happens because during keto diet the body goes into ketosis and burns the fat deposits present in the body as a result of which the overall body weight decreases.

Benefits-of-a-Ketogenic-Diet

Reduction of triglyceride levels

Triglycerides are more than just another name for fat, which most people tend to think. These are specific fats that contain three fatty acid groups and glycerol, which makes the fat responsible for causing heart problems. The level of triglyceride increase mainly due to consumption of carbohydrates and once you follow a keto diet you cut most of the carbs from your meal which makes sure that the triglyceride levels also decrease.

Control of blood sugar and blood pressure

Blood sugar and blood pressure are the problems that most of the people in today’s generation face. Both the problems are linked to the excessive production of insulin in the body, which is produced when you intake carbs or food that are sweet. However, during keto diet, you’re not allowed to eat much carbs which mean that your body doesn’t produce any excessive insulin as a result of which the blood sugar and blood pressure levels stay constant and balanced.

Increases metabolism

Generally, the energy generated by burning carbohydrates tend to stay for a shorter period of time but when the body produces energy from burning fats it’s researched that the energy stays for days. This means that the energy that the body produces after ketosis stays around in the body which helps in increasing the overall metabolism of the body.

Suppression of appetite

One of the main reasons behind people gaining weight is unwanted food cravings and bigger appetites. The unwanted carvings make people eat continuously, which eventually leads to the depositing of fats that increase the weight. In these cases, a high-fat diet makes sure that the appetite is controlled and the unwanted carvings are reduced. This is why following a keto diet helps in suppressing the appetite.

These are some of the most commonly known benefits of following a keto diet.

What to Eat on a Keto Diet

Strictly following the keto diet has many restrictions on what to eat and what not to since it’s required that your body receives the minimal amount of carbs and the maximum amount of fats. This might get you thinking about what to eat when on a keto diet. Here is a list of food items that you can consume when on a keto diet:

Ketogenic Diet Foods
Ketogenic Diet Foods

Herbs – They contain some of the most powerful antioxidants that help the body during keto. Bitter herbs, like parsley, turmeric, and ginger even help in stimulating the digestion and detoxifying the body.

Coffee and tea without sugar – There’s no restriction on having your favorite tea or coffee during the keto diet. However, you need to make sure that the coffee or tea you consume doesn’t have any sweeteners and dairy products since they contain carbohydrates and stimulate insulin production in the body. Moreover, coffee and tea have caffeine, which is good for your brain and also helps in increasing the overall body metabolism.

Low-carb vegetables – Most of these vegetables contain polyphenols that are directly associated with a lower risk of chronic disease. These vegetables are a great source of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and even fiber that help in overall health improvement. You can have vegetables, like spinach, parsley, cilantro, cucumber, broccoli, cabbage, kale, sprouts, and many other vegetables that are lower in total carbs.

Nuts and seeds – These are some of the best foods that you can consume while you’re on a keto diet. Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and other nuts and seeds are high in omega-3 and fatty acids that can keep you charged the whole day.

Avocados – These are packed with healthy fats, vitamins, fiber, and minerals, which are very good for the body. Moreover, the best thing is that they a net carb count of just 2 grams.

Eggs – These are wholesome foods that contain excellent source protein and very fewer carbohydrates. Consuming eggs can provide you essential vitamins, like vitamin A, B-12, D, E, and K.

Meat – Most of the doctors and researchers emphasize that people following keto diet must consume pasture-raised poultry meat. These contain omega-3 fatty acids and other minerals and vitamins that can help in weight management.

Some more food that you can consume during keto – Apart from the aforementioned food items you can also have seaweed, coconut milk, dark chocolate, cheese, and olive oil during a keto diet.

Getting Started – A Sample Ketogenic Meal Plan For 1 Week 

Once you’ve decided to follow a keto diet, chances are that you must be wondering how to plan your meals. Generally, human body takes more than 3 days to go into ketosis, which is why a 7-day keto meal plan is a good idea to start for beginners. Here’s the complete diet plan that you could follow during the first week of your keto diet:

Getting-Started---A-Sample-Ketogenic-Meal-Plan-For-1-Week

Day one

You can have a total of 1650 calories which would comprise of 132g of fats, 88g of proteins, and 14g of carbs.

Breakfast- Sausage, spinach frittata and Coffee with no sugar and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.

Snack- ½ avocado with a little salt and pepper if you need.

Lunch- ½ cup of egg salad, 4 lettuce leaves, 2 slices of properly cooked bacon.

Snack- 20-25 raw almonds.

Dinner- 6 oz of roasted chicken, ¾ cup of cauliflower gratin, 2 cups of chopped lettuce, 2 tablespoons of sugar-free Caesar salad, 2 square of chocolate if required.

Day two

You can have 1636 calories which could comprise of 126g of fats, 88g of proteins, and 18.5g of fats

Breakfast- sausage and spinach frittata, coffee without sugar and with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Snack- 5 sticks of celery with almond butter

Lunch- 2 cups of chopped lettuce, 2 tablespoons of Caesar salad, 1 cup of chopped chicken

Snack- ½ avocado

Dinner- 1 Italian sausage link sliced and cooked, 1 cup of cooked broccoli, 1 tablespoon of butter, 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, 2 squares of chocolate

Day three

You can have 1512 calories that could consist of 119g of fats, 78g of proteins, and 18g of carbs

Breakfast- 2 cream cheese pancakes, 2 pieces of properly cooked bacon, coffee without sugar and with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Snack- 2 string cheese

Lunch- 1 Italian sausage link that is sliced and cooked, ¾ cup of cauliflower gratin

Snack- 1 cup of bone broth

Dinner- 1½ cups of spaghetti, 2 cups of raw baby spinach, 1 tablespoon of ranch dressing, 2 squares of chocolate

Day four

You can have 1386 calories comprising of 112g of fats, 69g of proteins, and 19.5g of carbs

Breakfast- sausage and spinach frittata, coffee without sugar and with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Snack- ½ avocado

Lunch- 1½ cups of spaghetti

Snack- 1 cup of bone broth

Dinner- ½ cup of salad without pasta, 4 sundried tomato, and meatballs, 2 cups of raw baby spinach, 1 tablespoon of Italian dressing, 2 squares of chocolate

Day five

You can have 1649 calories comprising of 132g of fats, 81g of proteins, and 18.5g of carbs

Breakfast- 2 cream cheese pancakes, 2 pieces of properly cooked bacon, coffee without sugar and with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Snack- 1 cup of bone broth

Lunch- ½ cup of salad containing no pasta, 4 sundried tomato, and meatballs

Snack- 5 sticks of celery with almond butter

Dinner- 1 cup of chopped lettuce, 2 tablespoons of sour cream, 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro, 1 cup of Cuban pot roast, ¼ cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 2 squares of chocolate

Day six

You can have 1604 calories comprising of 122g of fats, 89g of proteins, and 19.5g of carbs

Breakfast- 2 pieces of properly cooked bacon, 3 eggs, 1 tablespoon of butter, coffee without sugar and with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Snack- 20-25 raw almonds

Lunch- 2 cups of chopped lettuce, 1 cup of Cuban pot roast, 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons of sour cream, ¼ cup of cheddar cheese

Snack- 1 cup of bone broth

Dinner- 1½ cup of spaghetti, 1 tablespoon of ranch dressing, 2 cups of raw baby spinach, 2 squares of chocolates

Day seven

You can have 1609 calories comprising of 128g of fats, 90g of proteins, and 18g of carbs

Breakfast- 2 cream cheese pancakes, 2 pieces of properly cooked bacon, and coffee with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Snack- 2 string cheese

Lunch- ½ salad having no pasta, 4 sundried tomato and meatballs

Snack- 1 cup of bone broth

Dinner- 2 cups of chopped lettuce, 1 cup of Cuban pot roast, 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons of sour cream, ¼ cup of cheddar cheese, 2 square of chocolate

How to Reach Ketosis

Ketosis generally takes the time to get started in the body. There How to Reach Ketosismight be some case where the body may start ketosis in just three days and there might also be cases where the body takes more than seven days to reach ketosis. However, there are some hacks that could aid you in reaching ketosis in less time. Here are the hacks:

Decrease the carbs as much as possible

The human body is by default trained to use glucose derived from the carbs as the main source of energy for the body. However, when the intake of carbs is reduced then the body turns to other sources of energy like the fat deposits. This is when the body switches from producing energy from carbs to fats which result in the start of ketosis.

Increase the consumption of MCTs

MCT or medium chain triglycerides are a specific type of fatty acids that tend to be metabolized differently as they have the capability to turn into ketones without causing any insulin spikes. This is the reason why you can increase the consumption MCT and reach ketosis as soon as possible.

Consume a balanced level of proteins

If you want your body to start ketosis as soon as possible then you need to watch your protein intake very carefully. If you’re taking more amount of proteins that what is suggested during keto diet than you’re diminishing your chances of ketosis early. This is why it’s recommended that you consume the balanced amount of all the things that could help you reach ketosis faster.

How to Know You’re in Ketosis

If you’re following a keto diet then you might want to know how can you know that your body is in ketosis. Well, there are some symptoms that could help you make out when your body starts ketosis. Here are those symptoms:

Early stages

The symptoms of ketosis vary depending on the time you’ve been in the state. In the early stages of your body attaining ketosis, the symptoms might be a little unpleasant as it takes a little time for your body to adapt the change. In the initial stages, you might experience

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Brain fog
  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Constipation
  • Heart palpitations
  • Smelly breath
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Insomnia

Ongoing stages

Once after the initial problems, your body starts adapting to ketosis and this is when you start seeing the benefits. The initial symptoms get eradicated, although you might observe some ketones in your urine which is not a matter of concern. These are the things that you would notice after your body adapts to the ketosis:

  • Better blood sugar levels
  • Increased energy
  • Increased overall body metabolism
  • Fewer food carvings
  • Improved brain functions and clear thinking
  • Weight loss
  • Increase in thirst

Different Types of Ketogenic Diets

Basically ketogenic diets are of three types and all of them serve different purposes. You can choose any one of them depending on your needs. Here are the three types of keto diets:

Standard ketogenic diet (SKD)

This is the most common type of ketogenic diet that’s being followed by people all over the world. Basically, SKD requires you to eat the least amount of carbs all the time. This type of diet is almost same as the induction phase of the atkins diet, which requires the intake of not more than 20-40g of carbs in a day. The exact amount can depend on the individual needs.

Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD)

This is a type of ketogenic diet that requires you to consume carbs right before you exercise. It’s recommended that you intake food containing easily digestible carbs with a high glycemic index to make sure that you don’t end up having an upset stomach. You must keep in mind that you stay away from the foods that are high in fructose and instead you can go for high glucose based foods.

Cyclic ketogenic diet (CKD)

This type of keto diet requires you to alternate your days of keto diet with days of high-carb consumption, which is also known as carb-loading. The CKD basically requires you to start with 50g of carbs per day and then increasing it up to 450-500g per day during the carb-loading phase. This is a good diet to be followed by the bodybuilders as it can help them stack up.

Dangers of a Keto Diet

There are many dangers that are associated with the keto diet if not followed properly. Here are few dangers of a keto diet:

  • Gastrointestinal issues, like diarrhea, constipation and bloating
  • Keto can be sometimes problematic for supporting a healthy female hormone environment
  • Females especially can go through depression and anxiety
  • Pregnancy and infertility complications
  • If you’ve high fasting blood glucose and cholesterol circulating in the blood stream then the brain might induce insulin resistance to preserve glucose for itself.

Common Side Effects on a Keto Diet

Although the ketogenic diet has many benefits, that doesn’t mean the diet doesn’t have any side effects. Actually, keto diet has its fair share of side effects that are mostly overshadowed by its benefits. Here are some of the common side effects of a keto diet:

Short term side effect

The short-term side effects are very evident during the initial stages of a keto diet and they include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Thirst
  • Hunger
  • Anxiety and confusion
  • Sweating and chills
  • Tachycardia
  • Constipation
  • Low-grade acidosis

Generally, these side effects are temporary and they tend to diminish as your body adapts to the ketosis.

Long-term effect

If the keto diet is extended for a long period of time then it can have some side effects that are very evident and can cause various problems, like

  • Kidney stones or nephrolithiasis
  • Stunted growth in children
  • Increased risks of bone fractures
  • Sometimes you might have vitamin and mineral deficiency

Supplements For a Ketogenic Diet

Taking supplements during a keto diet is not necessary, but if you still want to have some supplements, here are some those can be useful:

  • Multivitamins- to maintain the vitamin and mineral balance in the body
  • Caffeine- to help you in weight loss
  • MCT oil- it can help increase your ketone levels
  • Whey protein- to boost up your protein intake
  • Creatine- for various health benefits and improved performance

Verdict

A keto diet is a blessing in disguise for people who are overweight or obese and want to keep their weight in check and even lose some in the process. It has major health benefits that can help people in many ways. However, this being said people wanting to try keto diet must first consult a doctor before doing so. This will make sure that they don’t have any major side effects that can have long term consequences on the body.