The keto diet plan is not a specific diet, but a philosophy of eating to follow for life. It aims to give you results, both from the point of view of the improvement in beauty, physical appeal, and metabolic health.
In theory, to lose weight you only have to burn more calories than you eat, although, in practice, it is not so simple. This is why many people continue to resort to risky so-called miracle diets, looking for solutions.
Luckily, there are diets that we can follow as a starting point to lose weight, and the keto diet is one of them.
What Is Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet or keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that seeks to create ketone bodies that stimulate fat burning through extreme carbohydrate reduction.
It involves hugely reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with the good fat, driving your body into a metabolic state. This is what is known as going into ketosis.
Ketosis is when the body runs out of energy and uses fat reserves as fuel. Thus, keto diet is a diet plan based on the intake of fats and also of proteins, avoiding simple or complex carbohydrates as much as possible.
With time, your body becomes amazingly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also learns to turn fat into ketones in the liver; ketones can supply energy for the brain.
Keto diets can cause massive reductions in insulin and blood sugar levels, which come with numerous health benefits.
Keto Diet For Beginners
One of the most complex things about the keto diet is sticking to complete meals without resorting to the usual cereals, legumes, fruits, and vegetables that can break the state of ketosis; which is what ultimately promotes fat burning and weight loss.
This is especially difficult for beginners on a keto diet plan. We have always been told that energy is obtained from cereals, tubers, and other traditional sources of carbohydrates.
With the exception of Legumes, fruits, and vegetables (which contains carbs in varying proportions) carbohydrate-rich foods are often part of a balanced and healthy diet, so it may shock you that they are not allowed on a keto diet.
Keto Diet Explained
Modern lifestyles disrupt our internal regulatory processes. Many people live with constant cravings and suffering energy swings.
Some, with sacrifice and effort, manage to lose weight for a time, but finally hunger and cravings wins and the pounds return.
The problem with most of us is that we see our body as a fire that we have to keep active. Our diet plan is such that fat represent large trunks that burn slowly, while glucose is like leaf litter that burns out quickly after causing a large flare.
However, an efficient metabolism should mainly use fat first for all daily activities, reserving glycogen for the brain, and intense physical activity.
For different reasons, our metabolism prioritizes the use of glucose most of the time, hindering access to fat reserves and signalling hunger every few hours.
The good news is that there are methods that help reverse this metabolic situation: ketosis and intermittent fasting. They work well separately but are especially powerful when properly combined.
Many have achieved results with this approach when all previous diets had failed them. They are surprise by the rapid fat loss, and they are even happier with the rest of the changes they observe in their day to day living.
Some of the changes include:
- from constant cravings to rarely feeling hungry.
- also, from always thinking about food to staying focused throughout the day.
- From ups and downs of energy to uninterrupted vitality.
- From suffering to lose a kilo to losing fat easily.
But the benefits of ketosis (and intermittent fasting) go far beyond fat loss or improved energy levels. More and more studies indicate that including periods of ketosis and intermittent fasting benefit health through multiple mechanisms.
Even if you are at your ideal weight, you will reduce your risk of disease if you follow the keto diet program every now and then.
Despite the fact that low-carbohydrate keto diets have become fashionable, both to lose weight and to define muscles or be healthier, these foods by themselves are not magical. It is the quality and general context of diet and lifestyle that defines a healthy diet that can facilitate weight loss.
Keto Diet For Fat Loss and To Build Muscles
How do the keto diet helps you lose weight?
Given the above explanations, it is easy to answer this question; we force the body to burn fat to obtain the fuel it needs. This translates into logical weight loss, also promoting muscle definition, where appropriate.
Precautions Before Embarking On A Ketogenic Diet
This diet strategy seeks to force a very specific state of metabolism in which it enters a kind of exceptional situation – ketosis. By not receiving the usual energy it needs, emergency reserves are used up, and it does not gather or accumulate new fuel.
Submitting the body to such an extreme state can be a very radical shock at first, which can be difficult to get used to. Furthermore, it is not without risks and possible negative side effects, such as bad breath, difficulty concentrating, a drop in physical performance, dehydration and/or constipation, or, in rare cases, ketoacidosis with nausea, vomiting, and fainting.
It is a diet not recommended for people with metabolic diseases such as:
- diabetes mellitus
- hormonal problems,
- eating disorders
- Diseases related to the liver, kidney or pancreas, among others.
It is always advisable to consult our doctor or a professional who knows our specific needs before embarking on a keto diet, in order to avoid health risks and achieve our goals safely.
It is not an adequate diet to follow in the long term, much less without supervision. Serious nutritional deficiencies can be created in the body, such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Ketogenic Diet Foods And Menu Planning Of Ketogenic Diets
After so much theory about keto diet, the practice and its problems come in. It is not so easy to plan a complete keto diet menu while minimizing dietary carbohydrates.
A ketogenic diet not only avoids popular carbohydrates (bread, rice, potatoes, pasta), it also restrict fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains such as oats.
An effective keto menu will have to be nutritionally complete to avoid deficiencies of energy and essential nutrients.
It should also be varied, appetizing and tasty. One type of meal routines are usually the first cause of failure of any diet.
However, good planning, preferably with a professional, will be the basis of success and avoiding improvisation and practices that could also get us out of ketosis without realizing it.
The nutritional density of fats is very low and must be compensated with high-quality proteins, vegetables, and some fruits with higher concentrate of vitamins and minerals, with the minimum of carbohydrates. Such fruits include avocado, blueberries, raspberries, and currants. Dried or dehydrated versions should be completely avoided, also juices and smoothies.
How to plan a complete weekly menu
Below we offer some menu by way of example with recipes included, which in any case should always be adapted to individual specific needs.
Since the exact amount of carbohydrates can vary, we can consider including vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, or mushrooms in their proper proportions.
- Breakfast: Cloud bread or cloud bread with avocado and ham or bacon.
- Lunch: Juicy baked chicken breast or Middle Eastern-flavored drumsticks with homemade pesto sauce.
- Dinner: Sole with donkey lemon sauce, without the garnish potatoes, better with spinach or mushrooms.
- Breakfast: Keto garlic bread with homemade mayonnaise.
- Lunch: Baked salmon with dried fruit, monitoring the amount of zucchini according to specific needs.
- Dinner: Eggs on the plate with sobrasada.
- Breakfast: Cloud eggs with bacon.
- Lunch: Low-temperature roast rib or brisket or baked rabbit chops.
- Dinner: Tuna tataki with ponzu sauce.
- Breakfast: Protein keto bread with aged cheese.
- Lunch: Keto chicken and avocado salad.
- Dinner: Cod omelette.
- Breakfast: Cheesecakes without sugar with blueberries.
- Lunch: Canarian roast leg with oil or herb butter and arugula seasoned with extra virgin olive oil.
- Dinner: Grilled turbot with sesame sauce, without garnish.
Do We Have Keto Diet Snacks?
Depending on our specific needs, especially if at first we find it difficult to follow this diet, we can add some light snacks to the basic menu. This should be in the form of light snacks between meals, occasional snacks, or as a complement to main meals.
To satisfy the cravings, you can go for 100% natural cocoa, mixing it for example with a creamy fatty ingredient, such as crushed avocado, peanut butter, cream or yogurt (always dairy in its natural version).
Sugar-free chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa, preferably greater than 85%, can also be a suitable occasional treat, in moderate portions.
More snacks are:
- Avocado truffles.
- Baked roasted pumpkin seeds.
- Panna cotta with cocoa, better without adding sweetener or stevia.
- Microwave fried almonds.
- Tapenade of black olives
- 100% natural yogurt, whole milk, preferably rich in natural proteins – Skyr type or authentic Greek – without abusing.
- Butter or peanut butter 100% natural.
- Tahina or sesame cream 100% natural.