The ketogenic diet is an expanding trend in the world of weight loss and wellness. But what exactly is it? How does the keto diet work? What are the pros and cons of the keto diet?
Our complete “Ketogenic Diet Guide” gives you the answers to all of these questions, along with a 1-day keto diet meal plan and a list of keto foods.
In addition, you’ll also learn the foods that you have to avoid while following the ketogenic diet system for maximum weight loss and health benefits.
The ketogenic diet, also known as the “low-carb diet”, is based on reducing carbohydrate intake and limiting protein to an adequate amount, while promoting high-fat consumption.
The main purpose of following a keto diet is to put the body into the ketosis stage as soon as possible.
Normally, the body uses glycogen (the stored version of broken-down carbs) for fuel. But when the body runs out of glycogen, it starts to burn fat as fuel.
After a while, the fatty acids start to break down and ketone bodies appear as the body’s new energy source. And this is when your body enters the ketosis stage.
One way of accelerating the process of entering the ketosis stage is by doing intermittent fasting with a fasting schedule that has a fasting period longer than 18 hours.
If you want to do intermittent fasting to enter the ketosis stage more quickly, you can get support from Fasting Kompanion.
The other way of entering the ketosis stage is by increasing fat consumption and eating very few carbs so that the glycogen stores are easily emptied and the body starts breaking down fatty acids as fuel.
In the ketogenic diet, it is also important to consume protein in moderation, as excess protein is converted into glucose and used as the body’s primary fuel, which you’re trying to avoid if the aim is to enter ketosis as soon as possible.
What can you eat on a keto diet?
To prepare a balanced ketogenic diet menu, 70% of your plate should consist of healthy fats, 25% protein, and only 5% of carbohydrates. The amount of carbohydrates you consume should not exceed 35-50 grams.
You can use the below list of foods for the keto diet to help prepare your daily meals.
Keto diet meal plan
If you’re still wondering what to eat in a day, this 1-day keto diet meal plan can help you organize your daily menu.
What can’t you eat on a keto diet?
Since the ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet, you can’t eat foods with high glycemic index levels, such as:
- Pastry foods like bread, cake, pasta
- Starchy and high-carb foods such as cereals
- Most fruit (except the low-carb fruit in the list above) and all kinds of fruit juices
- Root vegetables with high carb levels such as potatoes and carrots
- Fries, trans-fat foods, junk food
- Legumes (peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, dry beans)
Keto diet benefits
Although the most well-known benefit of the ketogenic diet is making weight loss easier by helping you burn more fat, it also has other health benefits:
- Increasing the level of good cholesterol (HDL) and reducing bad cholesterol (LDL).
- Improving heart health.
- Protecting brain functions against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and epileptic seizures.
- Reducing blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Reducing inflammation factors.
- Reducing the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- Reducing skin problems such as acne.
- Making you feel fuller and reducing your appetite.
- Facilitating weight loss.
- Reducing the fat around the waist area.
Who should not try the ketogenic diet?
While the ketogenic diet has many health benefits, it also has some side effects. Although these side effects are not seen in everyone, it is useful to be informed before starting the ketogenic diet.
The most common keto diet side effects in beginners are:
- Flu symptoms (this is also called the keto flu)
- Bad breath
- Headaches, weakness, and thirst due to loss of water in the first weeks
- Changes in digestive pattern (diarrhea or constipation)
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) due to reduced carbohydrate intake
- Frequent urination
Most of these side effects are temporary and will disappear on their own after a while if a balanced diet is followed.
If the side effects are very intense or continue for a long time, you should consult a doctor.
However, the keto diet is not suitable for everybody. If you:
- Have kidney disease
- Have liver or pancreas-related problems
- Have heart disease or are in the risk group
- Are pregnant or lactating
- Have type 1 diabetes
You should not follow the keto diet.
To sum up
Doing intermittent fasting while following a keto diet plan is the ultimate way of entering the ketosis stage, and will give you the best results.
The hardest part may be to minimize your carb intake, as many of us are used to turning to junk food and high-carb pastries for a quick energy boost. For this reason, it is normal for beginner practitioners of the ketogenic diet to have difficulties and experience some side effects in the first few weeks.
By following a balanced ketogenic diet plan, you can get rid of these side effects over time. However, before starting the ketogenic diet, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor to check if your general health is suitable for trying this diet.
Lose weight with fasting
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