The ketogenic (keto) diet is a really popular low-carb diet that helps people lose weight and improve their health. On this diet, you enter a metabolic state called ketosis in which the body burns fat to make ketones.
The keto diet is different from what most would consider healthy. It reduces carbs to less than 50g a day, while asking you to make fat 80% of your daily calorie intake. Despite seeming counterintuitive, keto is proven to be healthy.
The Keto Diet: Everything You Need to Know
Keto is a low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein diet that has been doctors use since the 1920s to treat diabetes and epilepsy. Recently, the diet has caught the attention of the public and even celebrities like Adriana Lima and Halle Berry.
So, how does this diet look like? Well, the central rule of keto is to follow these macronutrient ratios:
- 70-80% of calories from fat
- 20-25% of calories from protein
- 5-10% of calories from carbohydrates
Having less than 50g of carbohydrates is another must to put the body into ketosis – the goal of the ketogenic diet. Protein also needs to be moderate while fat intake can vary depending on your goals.
“Struggling with your macros on keto?- here’s a link to my favorite macro calculator .”
Benefits of the Keto Diet
The keto diet offers more benefits than we can count. Here are just a couple of them:
- Weight loss
- Balanced blood glucose
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Mental focus
- Increased energy
- Reduced inflammation
- Reduced heart disease risk
- Better athletic performance
- Cancer risk reduction
- Enhanced well-being
These benefits are due to greater metabolic health on this diet but also due to ketones. Ketones are a more efficient fuel than glucose, and they seem to protect the body against inflammation.
Keto Diet Steps
These steps ensure that you enter ketosis and avoid side effects and deficiencies.
- Learn about keto diet food
Some common foods are forbidden on keto, while food you normally eat sparingly should become your staples. Knowing what you should and shouldn’t eat on this diet is extremely important for success.
- Make a keto diet plan
Creating a shopping list and meal plan makes this diet a whole lot easier. Check out this 2-week beginner’s keto diet plan to see what to eat on keto.
- Track your macros
Once you go keto, keep a close eye on your daily macronutrient intake using diet apps. This helps stick to your daily carb limit while helping you eat enough protein and fat.
- Check for ketosis
Many keto dieters like to check if they’re in ketosis three to seven days into their diet by using ketone test strips. Besides that, look for signs of ketosis like a fruity breath, weight loss, increased energy, and reduced appetite.
Keto Diet: Meal Samples
Keto is not just eating bacon and butter. Here’s a sample meal to give you an idea how this diet looks like:
Breakfast: 2 scotch eggs with almond flour, bacon, coconut oil, and parmesan
Calories: 692 kcal, Fat: 56g, Carbs: 2.2g, Protein: 40g
Lunch: Mexican fried cheese (1.5oz) with black olives
Calories: 176 kcal, Fat: 16.7g, Carbs: 2.3g, Protein: 6.1g
Snack: 1 cup vanilla smoothie with almond butter, cottage cheese, and olive oil
Calories: 353 kcal, Fat: 27.6g, Carbs: 7g, Protein: 18g
Dinner: Chicken skewers (0.27lb chicken thighs) with avocado ketchup
Calories: 397 kcal, Fat: 26g, Carbs: 3.2g, Protein: 33.5g
Expectations on the Keto Diet
The keto diet promises many benefits. But something not everyone likes to talk about are the side effects. Here are some of those side effects to expect:
The keto flu refers to symptoms of electrolyte imbalances and hypoglycemia dieters develop within the first week of going keto. To prevent the keto flu, drink fluids, take electrolytes, and reduce carbs gradually.
Eating enough fiber on keto can be difficult. But fiber is important for normal gut functioning. Not enough of it causes constipation on the keto diet. Eating lots of low-carb vegetables like broccoli as well as nuts and seeds helps prevent this.
The keto diet is a low-carb diet that’s very popular for weight loss. Many dieters also use it to improve their overall health. Despite being contrary to what we know about healthy eating, the diet is healthy.
Following this diet takes a lot of researching and dedication, though. You shouldn’t just go head first. Careful planning and measuring is necessary for the diet to be safe and effective.
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