The Keto diet is a popular topic these days.
It seems like a lot of people want to know what the keto diet is, but they also seem to be afraid that it’s going to make them look too skinny or fall short of their daily requirements for various nutrients.
Well, the truth is that this diet is not quite as complicated as most people believe it is.
All you need to do is follow a few simple steps, and then you can rest assured that your body will get all of the energy it needs while at the same time burning away the excess fat in your body.
Table of Contents
- Keto For Beginners: All You Need To Know
- Following The Keto Diet Long Term
- Ketogenic Diet – Benefits
- Ketogenic Diet – Getting Started
- Why Follow A Ketogenic Diet?
- Keto vs. Low-Carb Diets
- Why do People Follow a Ketogenic Diet?
- Ketogenic vs Low-Carb Diet: Which is Better?
- Other Benefits of Going Keto
- Ketogenic Way Of Eating
- 3 Ketogenic Recipes For Dinner
Keto For Beginners: All You Need To Know
The first thing is that this diet requires you to limit your carbohydrate intake and increase your fat intake.
It’s also important for you to consider both the quantity and the quality of the food items you eat.
So, if you want to find out more about how to follow a ketogenic diet, just keep on reading and we’ll explain some of the most important things for you.
This diet does not include any processed food items.
Instead, all you need to do is focus your attention on fresh meat and vegetables such as eggs and avocados.
For this reason, it can be quite difficult to follow this type of diet for people who are used to eating processed food items every day.
Following The Keto Diet Long Term
But, if you want to follow this diet in the long term, then it is definitely worth making that lifestyle change.
There are many reasons why you should consider following a ketogenic diet instead of other diets out there.
First and foremost, this diet will allow you to increase your energy levels naturally.
You see, during the normal metabolic process, glucose is broken down into smaller components so that it can provide us with enough ATP which we need in order to contract our muscles.
However, you are going to have more trouble gaining energy if your body does not have enough carbohydrates.
In fact, the only thing that is going to serve as a replacement for glucose as an energy source would be ketones.
So, this diet forces your body into producing ketones which will then provide you with enough energy to get through the day without having to eat all of those sugary snacks.
But, you need to keep some things in mind.
You see, when the body is trying to produce ketones it can cause several side effects such as fatigue and nausea.
To avoid this kind of issue, you should stay on the ketogenic diet for at least a month before going off of it together.
What’s more, ketogenic diets are also great because you can use them for both losing weights and gaining muscle.
For example, if you are trying to lose weight then it is best to reduce your carbohydrate intake by quite a bit while increasing the fat intake.
But, if you are trying to gain muscle mass instead, then you should add more carbohydrates to your diet.
In addition, you should be aware that this type of diet is not suitable for everyone. If you have any medical condition or if you are pregnant then it’s best to avoid going on a ketogenic diet.
But, in general, all in all, there is no reason why you should not follow this type of diet.
Ketogenic Diet – Benefits
The main benefit is that it will allow you to lose weight by reducing your carbohydrate intake. This means that instead of burning glucose, the body will start using fat as its main source of energy.
A secondary benefit comes in the form of muscle building. This is because the body will not rely on glucose for energy, but will instead use ketones for this purpose.
As is the case with most diets out there, there are certain benefits that you can expect to see when you implement this type of diet into your routine.
For example, it has been shown that ketogenic diets can help us fight cancer and epilepsy. What’s more, they have been used as a regular part of the diet for those who suffer from diabetes.
Ketogenic Diet – Getting Started
To get started with this diet you need to start off by knowing what you can and cannot eat. This means that all of the processed food items and junk foods need to be taken off of your shopping list and you should stick with fresh meat and vegetables.
In addition, we would recommend that you use coconut oil anytime you want to cook something as it will contain high amounts of healthy fats.
This is another thing that you need to consider when going on a ketogenic diet. You see, when the body is creating ketones it may lead to nausea and fatigue.
So, to avoid this, you need to stick with low carbohydrate vegetables such as spinach and kale.
As we mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons why people tend to eat a ketogenic diet is because their bodies lack energy at times and this type of diet will allow them to fight that feeling of lethargy quite easily.
However, you also need to keep in mind that this type of diet needs time before its full effects can be felt. Don’t expect immediate results and rather transition into that particular lifestyle gradually instead.
In addition, people experience constipation on ketogenic diets, but this is only to be expected as the body tries to get rid of excess water from your system.
In any case, these are just a few things that you need to know before going on a ketogenic diet. If you manage to stick to it then you should be able to lose weight and feel healthier in general.
Why Follow A Ketogenic Diet?
There are many reasons why people choose to follow the ketogenic diet. A lot of the time, it’s because they want to lose weight or fat more quickly than they can on their own through normal eating. Other times, it’s because you’re suffering from a chronic health condition that would benefit from this type of dietary change.
No matter what your reason might be, there’s an abundance of research that backs up the fact that this diet plan can help you achieve your goals in a very short period.
Keto vs. Low-Carb Diets
I’m sure you’ve heard about the low-carb diet before, even if you haven’t tried it yourself. Just to be clear, the ketogenic diet is not the same as a low-carb diet. Generally speaking, both are similar in that they are “less” carb diets than your typical eating plan, but if you’ve ever done either one of them before, you know there’s a difference.
Specifically, what sets these two apart from each other is the lack of carbs and high fat intake. Carbohydrates (carbs) are a macronutrient, which means they provide your body with energy in the form of calories.
They also play an important role in the development and regulation of certain hormones within your body, which can have both positive and negative effects on your health.
A low-carb diet sacrifices all but the bare minimum amount of carbs needed to sustain human life for its own sake, while shifting more focus onto healthy fats to make up for it.
Fibrous vegetables are usually included if you’re following a strict version of this plan, but some exclude them as well since they still contain carbs no matter how many nutrients they offer.
The ketogenic diet is very similar to the low-carb diet in that it’s focused on limiting carbohydrates, but that’s about where the similarities end. This type of eating plan includes “good” fats (monounsaturated and saturated) as well as “bad” fats (polyunsaturated).
The difference between this macronutrient and regular fat is that your body can trap polyunsaturated fat within its cellular structure since they aren’t fully saturated. In other words, you end up storing all of those carbs within a cell instead of turning them into energy because the cells are never allowed to reach their full capacity.
In contrast, monounsaturated and saturated fat levels are much higher when following a ketogenic diet approach. These types of fatty acids are considered “fully saturated” because every single part of the molecule is occupied by hydrogen atoms.
This makes them much less likely to get stored within fat cells, consequently promoting higher energy levels and better overall health.
Why do People Follow a Ketogenic Diet?
People choose to follow this type of dietary approach for lots of different reasons, but I’ll go over some of the most common ones here so you have a better idea of why people choose to go keto.
It’s Efficient at Burning Fat
One reason people opt for this kind of diet is that it’s extremely efficient at burning fat. It does this by forcing your body into ketosis, which is defined as “a metabolic process that occurs when most of the body’s energy comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which glucose (sugar) provides most of the body’s energy.”
Basically, your cells start breaking down fat and converting it to ketones for energy. This is a more efficient source of fuel than carbs, so you end up with less fat accumulation within your cells despite eating a higher amount of them on this plan.
Lowering Your Risk for Chronic Disease
The other reason people tend to follow this kind of diet is that it’s been shown over and over again by scientific studies that limiting dietary carbohydrate intake leads to better health outcomes overall. In particular, cutting back on sugar has been suggested as one way to prevent chronic disease by effectively slowing down the aging process in the body.
Ketogenic vs Low-Carb Diet: Which is Better?
Both of these types of diets have pros and cons depending on who is doing the dieting, so there is no simple answer here. Generally speaking, you can expect to lose weight more quickly with a ketogenic approach if that’s what you’re interested in, but it can be difficult to follow since eliminating carbs from your diet requires lots of preparation work every day.
It might not seem difficult at first, but once you realize how many things rely on some sort of carbohydrate base (bread, desserts, processed snacks), it becomes clear that sticking to this kind of plan day after day is pretty unrealistic for most people.
For that reason alone, I tend to recommend a low-carb approach since it’s more likely to allow you to stay on track especially if you’re goal is weight loss. That being said, there are times when cutting carbs from your diet isn’t an option for whatever reason so the next best thing will always be limiting your intake of dietary fat.
Even though these aren’t considered “low carb,” they still offer some pretty impressive nutritional profiles and can definitely be paired with a ketogenic workout routine if you want to get more specific about what kinds of foods you eat throughout the day.
Remember, ketosis is essentially a metabolic state in which fat becomes your primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates – this means that following a mostly low-carb approach with lots of protein will help you achieve the same benefits as keto without requiring as much effort.
Other Benefits of Going Keto
Lastly, I want to mention that some other benefits come along with following a ketogenic diet plan, and one of these has to do with building more muscle regularly.
It’s certainly not guaranteed since everyone responds differently to different types of diets, but research seems to suggest that this type of approach can stimulate very fast muscle growth even if your daily calorie intake remains low for an extended period.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, most people tend to lose muscle quickly whenever they’re losing weight due to poor dietary habits (or genetics).
Ketogenic Way Of Eating
Well, keep in mind that the ketogenic way of eating is still pretty new when you compare it to all of the other types of diets that are currently being marketed for weight loss.
Some of these have been around for decades, but the ketogenic diet isn’t quite at this level yet even though it’s becoming more popular every year.
Basically, this means that there are still a lot of things we need to learn about the long-term effects of following this kind of plan so you should do your research before deciding whether or not it’s worth trying out on your own.
3 Ketogenic Recipes For Dinner
When you want to follow a diet plan like keto but don’t know where to start, just remember that there are lots of simple recipes that can be made in a short amount of time. In particular, the ones listed below have been designed for people who want to reduce their carbohydrate intake without too much hassle:
Fish Tacos With Cabbage Slaw
What You Need: 1 tbsp olive oil, 4 (4 oz) tilapia fillets, 1/2 cup red onions, thinly sliced, 1/2 cup radishes thinly sliced, 2 tbsp mayonnaise (choose one without sugar), 8 corn tortillas (6 inches), 3 cups cabbage coleslaw mix.
How To Make It: Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Season both sides of fish with salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes per side or until golden brown and the fish starts to flake. Flake into small pieces with a fork. In a large bowl, combine red onions and radishes. Add mayonnaise and toss well to coat. Heat tortillas according to package directions; top each tortilla with some cabbage slaw and then the fish mixture.
Spicy Shrimp With Cauliflower Rice
What You Need: 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 garlic cloves minced, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 3/4 lb shrimp peeled and deveined (weight after peeled), salt and black pepper to taste, 1 cup riced cauliflower,
How To Make It: Cook oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add red pepper flakes and shrimp to the skillet; season with salt and black pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the shrimp is fully cooked through, stirring frequently. Serve immediately alongside riced cauliflower.
Spicy Chicken Stir Fry
What You Need: 1 tbsp avocado oil, 1 lb chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces, 3 cloves garlic minced, 1/2 tsp ginger powder, 2 cups cabbage shredded, 4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 2 tbsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos).
How To Make It: Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once hot add chicken breast pieces along with garlic and ginger powder. Sauté together for 5 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Add the cabbage and toss to combine. Season with red pepper flakes and soy sauce (or coconut aminos). Remove from heat once everything is evenly coated in the sauce, serve immediately.