A high-fat diet? Discipline has never been this fun! Especially if bacon and butter are some of your favorite things. All you have to give up in return is carbohydrates. Sounds great, right?
The thing is, you really, really have to stay away from the carbs and limit your protein intake, or the ketogenic diet will not work.
If you are ready to take up the keto challenge or are just wondering what all the fuss is about, you have come to the right place. Stick around and learn the facts about keto and see if this diet is something you can get into.
What Is The Ketogenic Diet And Where Did It Come From?
Eat fat to lose fat. Sounds counter-intuitive, right? Well, it is the main premise of the ketogenic diet. It is a high-fat, low-carb, limited protein diet that is meant to force the body to use stored fat as an energy source.
‘Where did the concept come from?’ you may be wondering. Well, almost a hundred years ago, two doctors from Harvard Medical School found that fasting reduced the frequency of epileptic fits. They found that the effects kicked in after two or three days of fasting when the patients’ bodies ran out of glycogen (which is stored glucose) and were forced to burn fat to power themselves.
Since then, scientists have been monitoring the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet on epileptic patients. This high-fat diet is now used for epileptics when medication does not seem to work. The diet later got adopted as a weight loss technique.
How To Do It Right
The whole point of the ketogenic diet is to force the body to stop fueling itself with glucose and glycogen and to use stored fat instead. It is done by:
1) 70% to 90% of each meal should be fat
A person is advised to eat all the fat they want until they get full. Still, it is better to stick to unsaturated fats. Feast on eggs and bacon, and for even better results, eat avocado, olives, and olive oil. For variety add nuts, butter, fatty cheese, and coconut oil into the mix.
2) 20% of each meal should be proteins
A person should then eat a little bit of protein along with the fat. Lean meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs ought to do it.
3) Only about 5 percent of each meal should be carbohydrates
In order to get both vitamins and carbs into the meal, choose low-carb vegetables to complete the meal. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mushrooms, and cucumbers will do just fine.
Putting It All Together With A Meal Plan
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A keto diet should be done very precisely. A nutritionist can help you come up with a meal plan that has fun, varied meals and correct portions. Here are some examples of meals that follow the ketogenic diet:
- For breakfast: A feta omelet with mushroom, spinach, and whole milk. An alternative can be two eggs, natural yogurt mixed with sour cream (full-fat), walnuts and a few chia seeds.
- Lunch or dinner consisting of baked salmon and broccoli. As a lunchtime meal, a person can also have a salad made of bacon, cheese, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a fatty salad dressing like ranch.
- To end the day, eat a salad that has chicken breast, bacon, lettuce, and cheese. Use olive oil as the salad dressing.
Portion control is key to the success of a ketogenic diet, as is variety. If the food becomes monotonous, you will probably fall off the wagon after a few weeks. That is why it is super-important to come up with a fun, convenient meal plan.
Who Is A Good Candidate For The Diet?
- A person with the will to stick to the diet even when the lack of carbs sets off cravings and starts to make the person cranky.
- A person with a strong stomach. Large amounts of fatty foods make some people nauseous. If this applies to you, find a way around it. Lemon water helps.
- A person who can put together keto meals on the go.
- A person who is not trying to get pregnant: Hormones in the female body can be affected by lots of things: stress, change of environment, and yes, a change in diet. So there is that.
Advantages Of A Keto Diet
- Fats fill you up and help keeps hunger pangs away.
- For cancer patients, the keto diet could possibly starve cancer cells of carbohydrates while providing energy to the body.
- The diet stabilizes blood sugar, which means no more sugar highs and sugar crashes associated with high-carb meals.
- If the body reaches and maintains ketosis, weight loss will happen. Fast.
Carb Traps And Ketosis
The keto diet works by denying carbohydrates to the body so the body is forced to burn stored fat. Which means portion control matters.
One problem with the keto diet is: carbs are everywhere, even in fruits and vegetables, which are necessary for a well-nourished body. That’s why it is so important to come up with diets that contain mostly fat while getting enough fruits and vegetables.
It Is Not A License To Eat Greasy Foods
There is a common misconception that the keto diet allows you to eat as much grease as you can. That is not the case at all. Saturated fats will increase blood cholesterol and adversely affect a person’s health.
So, Is It Doable?
Sure, with a whole lot of dedication, and the input of a nutritionist. It is quite hard to get the body to reach ketosis and even harder to maintain, but if you manage to get your body to continuously use stored fat as its primary energy source, then more power to you.
You will reap a bunch of benefits; just remember that weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint, so you have to be in it for the long haul to keep the pounds off.
But for those of you who are into time-tested, old-fashioned things like the laws of physics, then diet-and-exercise is the weight loss technique for you.
Diet and exercise must be adopted as a lifestyle choice if you are looking to lose the pounds and keep them off forever. It is a slow and steady slog that pays dividends only in the long term, but what a payoff it is.