What is Keto Diet?
A very low carb and high fat diet that can provide enormous health benefits is known as a keto diet. It helps improve health and lose weight. It has health benefits against epilepsy, cancer, diabetes, and more. This is popular for many reasons and good for you. High fat and low carb eating can help reduce your weight and may bring long term effects on your health (1).
Keto is a type of low carb diet, but it is stricter than other diet plans! This is the stricter version of low-carb eating and has its potential benefits and risks too. It encourages people to ditch carbohydrates from their diets.
How does Keto Work?
Keto diet can be useful in many ways, and it works amazingly by keeping your body in ketosis (metabolic state.) Your body starts burning stored fat instead of carbohydrates to create ketones as body fuel.
Ketosis – Gives your body in the state of starving
It is all about eating a moderate protein amount that is around 25%, the high fat amount that is about 70%, and minimal carbs. You can force your body to utilize fat by following a low carb diet—fat converts into fatty acid, and then fatty acid eventually coverts into Ketones. Since fat becomes the first-line source fuel for your body, instead of glucose, your body gets into a state of starving.
Ketones can be used and take up to body cell’s fuel. Your body will only depend on Ketones for energy, and it will reduce your weight too. Ketosis seems to affect insulin and regulates your appetite or hunger.
Burn the hard fat
Body fat is hard to get rid of. Many studies show that hard body fat, commonly the belly fat is associated with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and heart attacks. Some lifestyle changes and a simple diet is enough to get rid of it. Keto diet can force your body to burn the hard, untouched fat.
Reducing the intake of carbs or nutritional ketosis can result in your body is switching to a metabolic state. When your body is in a metabolic state means it is forced to burn stored fat to make energy or fuel for the body.
Things You Must Know Before Starting A Keto Diet
If you are planning to start a keto diet, then there are a few things that you need to know. Check the various vital aspects below:
Keto Diet Benefit: Is it safe?
Keto is gaining popularity because it is highly beneficial and useful:
- Reduces hunger: It helps in reducing the appetite, which can tend to be the side effect of dieting. Ketogenic diets (KDs) have been shown to prevent an increase in ghrelin secretion (your hunger hormone), which helps to reduce desire to eat (2) (3). You eat more protein and fat and end up consuming fewer calories.
- Effective fat loss: Using stored body fat and fat from your keto meals as your body energy, this can be a simple way to burn body fat. It is a practical and faster way as it helps lower insulin levels and acts to rid the body’s excess water. It ensures rapid weight loss that conventional weight loss diet.
- Lowers blood triglycerides (fat molecules): Excessive carb consumption can elevate the level of these molecules. A high level of triglyceride in your blood can be a heart disease risk factor. People can experience a reduction of blood triglycerides by cutting carbs.
- Increase HDL cholesterol more effectively than traditional diet: It is an effective way to increase proper High-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels(4). HDL cholesterol, known as “the heart-healthy cholesterol”, which almost Americans do not have enough to decrease the risk of cardiovascular illness.(5)
- Reduces insulin and blood sugar levels: Keto diet can reduce insulin and blood sugar levels and suitable for the people who have diabetes (6). It can also help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of many diseases like kidney failure, stroke, and heart disease.
- Other health benefits: Keto diet is effective against metabolic syndrome to involve high triglycerides, abdominal obesity, hypertension, and neurological disorders, like epilepsy, dementia, ALS, traumatic brain injury, acne, cancers, and metabolic disorders.(7)
However, this diet is right for people, but in some cases, it cannot be a good option as it can cause kidney stones, low blood pressure, constipation, and more. This is not safe for people with conditions involving their gallbladder, thyroid, liver, and pancreas.
Who should consider a Keto diet?
People who want to lose weight and switch to healthy eating should consider a keto diet. If you do not have any health condition involving gallbladder, pancreas, liver, or more, then it can be useful for you. This is an effective way to lose weight.
People who are taking medication to lower blood glucose, lowering blood pressure, you should consult with a doctor before opting for such options.
You should have complete information about the Keto diet before you make your final decision.
Who should avoid it?
This is good for people to some extent, but there are some potential risks of the keto diet that you should know about:(8)
- Those people who are insulin-dependent or with Type 1 diabetes should avoid it as a keto diet can lower blood sugar.
- If you have a history of an eating disorder, then you should not go with a strict diet as eliminating food groups may activate a relapse. Experts suggest that people with an eating disorder need adequate and regular food intake.
- If you have had removed gallbladder, they should also avoid the keto diet.
- It can suppress thyroid hormone levels, so those are having thyroid disease; they should avoid a keto diet.
- Patients with acute hepatitis (fever, jaundice), cirrhosis, liver failure; primary carnitine deficiency, carnitine palmitoyltransferase deficiency, carnitine translocase deficiency, porphyrias, or pyruvate kinase deficiency
This is a great option when it comes to losing weight, but this is not everyone. Those who are diabetic or overweight and want to improve metabolic health, then it can be a good option. If you want to add more weight and a large amount of muscle to your body, then this keto-diet is not for you.
How long does it take to get into ketosis?
Switching your primary body fuel source from sugar to Ketones may take some time. Some people may find it takes longer to enter into it than others. If you want to enjoy the benefits of a Keto diet, then you have to enter a state known as Ketosis.
This is a metabolic state where the body converts fat into ketones that are used as a source of energy for your body. You have to reduce carbs intake drastically to get into Ketosis. Time may vary as it depends on person to person.
Generally, if you consume 20 to 50 grams of net carbs/day, it may take two to four days to get into this state. Some people may take more than a week as we mentioned it depends from person to person. Normally, if you consume 20 grams of net carbs or below, it only takes about 36 hours to get into ketosis. But we do not recommend switch into a very low carb diet suddenly, it often bring more adverse effects than slow down.
Time depends on many factors that may involve your daily exercise, protein intake, fat intake, carb intake, metabolism, and age. If you eat a low or moderate carb diet typically before starting a keto diet, then you may take lesser time to get into ketosis than people who eat a high-carb diet.
If you are consistent and stick with keto or low carb diet in the long term, then you can see the differences and experience the desired results. You can enjoy weight loss and the powerful health benefits of the keto diet.
How long does it take you to see the weight loss result of keto diet?
When you get into ketosis, you start experiencing results. Weight loss may be the common objective of opting for the keto diet. You may expect to see results fast, but it all depends on some factors. The exact result is not possible for everyone, as everyone has a different weight loss rate. Results depend on some factors, including your body composition, your health situation, fat adaptation period, and daily habits.
You should think about your energy level, health issues, thyroid problems, metabolic state, and blood sugar issues. If you have any such health issues or metabolic issues, then it will take some time.
Results also depend on your muscle mass, body fat, BMI, and more. You may experience faster weight loss in the beginning if you have excess weight. Your daily habits, eating habits, and exercise routine also impact the results. Your body may take some time to become fat-adapted.
Be patient. It’s worth!
It has many obstacles when start, but it is considered an effective weight-loss method in a natural way without exercise. Some people may not get instant results or find it hard to opt for this solution.
If you follow the keto diet strictly, you can see the results within one month. However, in the early stage, most of the weight loss comes from water. It is still not the goal that Keto dieters aim to.
Then, it’s time for keto-adaptation, when your body starts to be familiar with the new fuel – “fat”. Do not give up too soon if you still not get the results as your expectation. Your body needs at least three months for full adaption when you get the results of burning fat.
How to start a Keto Diet?
Understand about keto food list
If you are a beginner, then you need to learn how to start a keto diet. It is made up of a small number of carbohydrates, moderate protein, and most fats. It works by turning your body into a fat-burning machine. This is a straightforward diet, and you just need to eat healthy fats and low carbs food like vegetables, fish, eggs, and more.
Firstly, you need to check with a doctor before opting for a keto diet. You can try various keto styles, but it is essential to track your protein, fat, and carbs by using the app. You must understand your keto food list.
What to eat?
Healthy fat and low carb foods is the staples on Keto diet. Some keto-friendly foods include whole avocado, oils, heavy cream, coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, cream cheese, butter, coconut, cheese, seeds, nuts, omega three whole eggs, meats, fatty fishes, non-starchy vegetables and leafy green vegetables.
- Non-starchy vegetables include bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, asparagus, zucchini, and more; while, leafy green vegetables include collards, kale, spinach, and romaine. You can opt for condiments such as spices, healthy herbs, pepper and salt
- Fatty fishes like tuna, trout, salmon, and mackerel.
- Meat options include turkey, chicken, bacon, sausage, ham, steak, and red meat.
What not to eat?
High carb and sugary foods are red flags as it’s the traditional way to fuel your body, consume these foods, you can not get into ketosis. Foods and drinks that you should avoid while following a keto diet include
- Sugar: includes almost fruits – dried, fresh even healthy food: banana, pineapple, apple…
- Starchy foods: chicken nuggets, whole grains (cereal, rice, pasta, and wheat,) highly processed and high-carb food items, legumes and beans (chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, and peas,). This may also include veggies such as parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, and potatoes.
You should also keep away from high carb foods and remember sugar is a carb. It might be the worst part on ketogenic diet, but wait, you still survive when craving sugar and carb if you know about keto substitutes. That’s why startdietplan.com not only let you know this food is Keto friendly or not, we also give the Keto substitutes in case this food is not Keto-friendly.
The Keto Substitutes
Cutting carbs from the diet may be frustrating sometimes, but you can go with keto substitutes. There are some options that you can try like cauliflower rice, keto bread, lettuce leaves, cauliflower pizza crust, zucchini chips, almond flour, zucchini noodles, mashed broccoli, turnip fries, pork rinds, almond milk, mushrooms, cheese chips and more. The beginning may be a little bit difficult, but you still need to make healthy choices.
You should also know about the supplements of a keto-diet. It may include minerals, MCT oil, caffeine, creatine, whey, and exogenous ketone.
Start Your Low Carb Diet
A low carb diet restricts certain carbs and helps change your eating habits. Your body needs to get used to switching from carbohydrates to fat as an energy source. It makes your body capable or adaptable to accept the changes or new metabolism.
It helps limit carbs those found in fruit, starchy vegetable, and grains slowly which is better to reduce cravings for carbs and sugar. Keto diet is more restrict and stricter, and applying it directly can be more difficult and tired.
Know how much to eat
You should know how much to eat while following a strict diet plan. You can calculate how much you should eat to achieve your weight loss goals. You can try Keto macro calculator to figure out the macros for both keto diet and low carbs diet. It helps calculate how much of each macronutrient you should eat to achieve your goals. You just need to enter some information about you (unit of measurement, gender, age, height, weight, activity level, body fat percentage) and diet type to calculate fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
Essential Tips on Starting a Successful Keto Diet
Meal Plan Benefits
Having a proper meal plan is very necessary to follow a keto diet. Keto diet consists of food items that offer healthy fats, sufficient amount of protein but less or low on carbohydrates. Let us see how the keto meal plan is beneficial.
- Ensure adequate nutrition in the daily diet: If you plan your diet for the entire day according to the requirement of your body, it will help you ensure that you don’t miss out on something.
- Helps you follow the diet correctly: If you have a plan, you will not eat anything else just to satisfy your appetite.
Simple Meal Plan Formula to Start With
If you want to start a keto meal, but you are not sure how to do it, then we have a simple plan for you.
- Before: Your current diet might include plenty of carbohydrates, non-vegetarian cuisines, and vegetables.
- Now: A straightforward formula for keto diet is that you just need to consume plenty of vegetables, reduce the carbohydrates and increase the level of healthy fats. So your new diet should contain a lot of leafy vegetables. They are rich in fiber and potassium, which can help you reduce Keto side effects.
1-Week Free Keto Diet Plan – Sample
This sample 7-day keto diet plan, with an average of 16-18g net carbs per day, which is a very low carb plan. You can add up more vegetables, toppings or portion size of serving to feel fuller and more suitable for you.
|Day 1 – Monday||16g|
|Breakfast||3g||Crab and Parmesan Stuffed Salmon|
|Lunch||5g||Grilled Chicken with Avocado Salsa|
|Dinner||7g||Easy, Keto Low-Carb Beef Chili(Top this with bacon, sour cream, shredded cheese, avocados, or more)
|Day 2 – Tuesday||Day 2 – Tuesday|
|Breakfast||4g||Avocado Toast (Net carbs for 2 servings!)|
|Lunch||6g||Big Mac Salad (Mac Cheeseburger salad loaded with ground beef, lettuce, tomato, onion and a special big mac sauce)|
|Dinner||6.7g||Low Carb Keto Ramen|
|Day 3 – Wednesday||18g|
|Breakfast||2g||Easy Keto Low-Carb Everything Bagels|
|Snack||2g||Cheese Crisp (Whisps)|
|Lunch||10g||Enchilada in a Bowl|
|Dinner||4g||Low Carb Taco Salad|
|Day 4 – Thursday||17g|
|Breakfast||4g||Shrimp and Avocado Ceviche Salad (Keto and Low-Carb)|
|Snack||2g||Chocolate Chip Cookies (keto)|
|Lunch||8g||Keto Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Casserole(Net carbs for 2 servings!)|
|Dinner||3g||Keto Ground Beef Stir Fry|
|Day 5 – Friday||16g|
|Breakfast||3g||Easy Avocado Deviled Eggs (Net carbs for 3 servings!)|
|Lunch||7g||Keto Sheet-Pan Mediterranean Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles)|
|Dinner||5g||Keto Sticky BBQ Chicken Wings|
|Day 6 – Saturday||18g|
|Breakfast||4g||Keto Crustless Quiche Recipe with Bacon & Cheese (Net carbs for 2 servings!)|
|Lunch||12g||Low Carb Meatloaf (Net carbs for 2 slices)|
|Dinner||1g||Easy Blackened Salmon|
|Day 7 – Sunday||16g|
|Breakfast||3g||Easy Keto Pizza Chicken Bake|
|Snack||7g||Keto Green Smoothie|
|Lunch||4g||Garlic Butter Salmon and Asparagus|
|Dinner||4g||Cabbage Lasagna (gluten free)|
Eating out has been an integral part of our daily lifestyle. And, it should remain, but the only thing is that you need to be very conscious about what you are eating. If you happen to step into a random restaurant, you should be very careful about what you eat. Try to order the dishes with high protein and fewer carbs.
Yes, Restaurants provide Keto dishes. These days various restaurants offer keto dishes. So whenever you want to eat outside, you should prefer such restaurants. This way, both purposes will be served. You will get to eat outside and that too without compromising your keto diet.
Essential Rules to Follow to Keep Your Weight Loss Efficient
- Enough & moderate Protein: Protein is an important thing due to you want to lose weight not to lose muscle mass. Although there is still not actually evidences that excess protein can prevent you from ketosis, it can bring some downside effects to your health and your pocket. Keep it at moderate levels to stay on the safe side, as most experts recommend between 0.6-0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight, depends on many factors such as your age, state of health, lifestyle…
- High fat does not mean eating a lot of fat: When we say that a keto diet is high on fat, it doesn’t mean that you should start consuming a high amount of fat. First of all, you should go for healthy fat and that too in adequate quantity.
- Drink a lot of water: Drinking lots of water is an integral part of the keto diet. While having a keto diet, you should ensure that you stay hydrated.
- Carbs & Calories: Carb is the first thing you need to pay attention to, as any plateau or weight gain on your ketogenic diet, check the amount of carb if there is any hidden carb. Although in almost diet, you need to count calories, with Keto diet, limiting carb is enough strict. Follow it is enough for you to lose weight. Counting to cut down calories, of course, will bring better results of weight loss, but it will not work if you are too strict with yourself because you can feel more hungry and craving for food.
Ready for the Keto side effects
Like various other diets, the keto diet also has some side effects. As your body is not used to such a diet, it responds to this change, and it results in side effects. Some of the common side effects are:
- Keto Flu: When you start a keto diet, your body starts adapting to the changes. While you are on a keto diet, your body derives its energy by burning fat instead of glucose. So initially, you feel uneasy, and this condition is termed as Keto flu. Some of the symptoms of keto flu are:
- Frequent urination (in few cases)
- Dehydration: Your keto diet is working on you if you experience water loss in your body; yes, keto diet shall make you feel thirstier than the usual routine.
- Lowering Bone Density: Studies show that low-carb, high-fat keto diet adversely affects the overall bone health. [9,10]
- Irregular Sleeping Pattern: Keto diet may disturb your sleep and create insomnia; however, this effect may be short-term.
- Malnutrition: If you haven’t followed the Ketogenic diet adequately, then in a few cases, malnutrition may also take effect.
By following our above tips, staying hydrated, adding in fiber and potassium, you will have better preparation for Keto side effects.
If you are a beginner and planning to make some dietary changes when it comes to either a healthy lifestyle or weight loss, then you should take advice for your doctor. Eating right is beneficial for your health. You should try a low-carb diet first, and then opt-in for a stricter option; that is, the keto diet. It may take some time to get the required results, but you need to be patient. Many factors contribute to getting results faster than other diet plans.
Remember to listen to your body. Everyone is different, so you may get the results later than others, it is not the problem.
Here, in this article, we have covered most of the aspects that are related to the keto diet, which can prove useful to you and help you in accelerating your steps towards a keto diet. Keep tuning into us for regular updates and information!