If you are someone who is planning on losing bodyweight and fast, going on a keto diet might prove highly beneficial to you. It is in fact one of the most convenient ways of losing weight fast.
You do not need to restrict your daily calorie intake in order to lose weight. But it would be wise that you count your macros. Macro is an abbreviation of macronutrients.
Micronutrients include three important compounds namely protein, fat, and carbs. All three compounds are needed by our body in order to function properly.
But while you are on a keto diet you must watch out for the carbs in your meal. Since going low-carb is all about restricting your carbs intake by replacing them with fats and proteins.
Even so, you must not eat past the recommended calories per day depending upon your age and sex. An average healthy adult male can eat up to 2300 calories every day and not more than that.
Similarly, a healthy adult female can eat upto 2000 calories every day.
How do you count your calories and not overeat?
One of the best way to count your calories is by counting your macronutrients. Counting your macronutrients will help you count your calories.
So how do you count your macronutrients for counting calories?
It is quite simple. All you need to do is count the number of grams of fat, protein, and carbs in your food. One gram of fat in your food accounts for 9 calories. One gram of protein and carbohydrates accounts for 4 calories each.
In this article, we will try to understand the different forms of ketogenic diets, their health benefits, and how to follow this diet plan. We shall also learn how to adapt to SKD in a stepwise manner in the latter section of the article.
What is a Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is low in carbs content and rich in fat content. Even so, the amount of macronutrients differs largely according to its type. Some keto diets may contain a higher amount of fat content than the others.
But if we take a look at the standard keto plate, it divides as following;
- Protein: About 25-30 percent
- Carbohydrate: About 10 percent or less
- Fat: Around 70 percent
The goal here is to lower the net carbs intake by replacing it with fat mostly. Doing so forces the body to undergo some biochemical changes know as ketosis.
Ketosis is the process of producing ketones as an alternative source of energy for cells. Ketones as a source of energy are more sustainable and help to improve performance.
Thus you feel more energetic and will less likely run low on energy even when performing tasks that involve constant energy-burning such as exercising, weight lifting, sports, etc.
Recently, the keto diet is a topic of discussion among people on social media and for good reasons too.
The SKD is known to cure people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), polycystic ovary syndrome, epilepsy in Adults, and manage type 2 diabetes. It also considered heart-healthy and may lower your chances of suffering from heart disease such as heart attack.
People often get confused when it comes to Ketogenic diets. When we talk about the keto diet, we usually refer to the SKD. But SKD is merely a single variable of the low carb diets.
The different variations to the low carb diets approach are all thanks to people and their everchanging health goals. If you were to search on Google for the word ‘Keto’ you’ll end up getting a mixed bag of information.
Some articles only highlight the SKD while some others may highlight the high protein keto diet. So, you’ll eventually end up confused instead.
In order to prevent misconceptions and confusion regarding the different forms of the keto diet, let us understand some of the types of keto diets in detail.
We shall talk about the three most popular types first. They are:
1.The Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD)
SKD is suitable for beginners who are planning to adapt to a low-carb diet for the first time. SKD focuses on eating high-fat meals along with a moderate amount of protein and a small portion of carbohydrates.
The net carbs in a SKD is roughly 20-30 grams or nearly 10 percent. It is thus ideal for managing type 2 diabetes since it restricts the net carb intake.
Here’s a composition of carbohydrate, protein, and fat in grams for SKD.
- Around 20-30 g of carbohydrate,
- 50-70 g of protein, and
- You can add as much fat as you want.
2. Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD)
CKD, as the name suggests requires you to stick to SKD for about 5-6 days a week. You get to eat meals rich in carbohydrates for the remaining.
This type of eating pattern is beneficial for professional sportspersons and athletes. Since it helps to replenish the glycogen used up during workouts and training sessions. It also helps them to build a healthy and strong muscles throughout their body.
3. Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD)
TKD is similar to SKD apart from the fact that one gets to eat meals rich in carbohydrate whenever they work out.
TKD is suitable for athletes, gymnasts, players, and people who love to workout daily. But keep in mind not to include high-fat foods whenever you consume high carb meals.
Here are a few other less popular ones:
4. High Protein Ketogenic Diet
This diet is centered on adding more protein to your plate. The high protein keto diet plate consists of 35 percent protein, 5 percent carbohydrates, and 60 percent fat.
Adding more protein to your plate help to keep you full for a relatively long period of time. So, you will eat less frequently.
When you eat less, your daily calorie intake goes down. Lower calorie consumption leads to weight loss.
5. Well Formulated Ketogenic Diet(WHKD)
It was first introduced by Steve Phinney. It is similar to that of SKD but has a different approach.
WHKD assures that the ratios of macronutrients i.e. fats, protein, and carbohydrates meet that of the SKD thus leading to ketogenesis faster.
6. Calorie-Restricted Ketogenic Diet
As the name suggests, this diet requires you to restrict or limit your daily calorie intake. It is a great way of losing weight due to lower calorie intake.
This diet is more suitable for people who are overweight and obese and need to shade some pounds faster. Research shows that people who follow keto diet do not need to restrict their calories. Since eating fats makes people full even before reaching their daily calorie limit.
Beginners Guide to Keto Diet
Now here comes the fun part. Going on a low carb keto diet might sound enticing to most of you. But it is not that simple and requires absolute understanding of the matter.
Many people make the mistake of jumping head first without proper knowledge and regret their actions. Some even face severe health consequences such as nutritional deficiencies, keto flu, low blood pressure, kidney stones, heart disease, etc.
So in order to prevent such complications in the future, it is best that you acquire as much information as possible.
We have listed 10 tried and tested working tips below in a stepwise manner to help you broaden your information on the matter. These are 100 percent working tips and will prove helpful in your new journey.
You might as well achieve your primary goal i.e. losing some pounds sooner and without any difficulties.
We have listed some tried and tested working tips below:
1. The first thing to do is set your goal. What do you want to achieve by going on a high-fat meal?
2. The next thing is to choose a meal plan that suits your taste. Do not dive into extreme just yet. Take your time to settle down with your diets.
3. Know about the side effects of eating high-fat meals such as the ‘keto flue’.
4. Know what to eat and what not to eat in order to achieve your goal faster.
5. After a week or two, you’ll start noticing some changes. evaluate these changes properly and find out whether they are good or bad for you. If you feel like it’s not working for you, stop. If you think it is doing good so far, ask yourself whether you would like to continue?
6. If you’re willing to continue, then make a switch to a more effective meal plan for faster and better results. Or you might as well take your time and continue your current diet.
7. Now that you’ve got hang of it, its time you learn to prepare some exotic and mouthwatering dishes. You can find many dedicated Youtube channels to teach you how to prepare your meal. Try making bullet coffee for starters.
8. It is advised that you share your thoughts and experiences with your friends and family.
9. Once you’ve completed your goal, know when to quit and have a backup plan ready for permanent effects.
10. It would be best for you to stick with a diet similar to keto.
Apart from the above-mentioned guidelines, you also need to consider some other basic things such as preparing a budget to support your goal.
Going on a keto diet might prove costly. Thus you need to prepare a budget beforehand so that you won’t have to stop halfway to your goal.
Another thing that you need to consider is the food itself. Identify and list out what you are going to eat beforehand and then go for shopping.
You also need to learn to prepare your own meal so that you won’t waste extra cash while purchasing canned foods.
You’ll need to prepare a backup plan incase it does not work for you. Else you’ll have a hard time coping up.
Lastly, you should know when to quit. The keto diet is not a permanent solution to your problems. Thus you need to quit it sooner or later. Plan your next move midway and decide accordingly.
Easy Seven-Day Menu
Below we have listed the keto menu for a week to help you with your keto diets. The menu is divided into three basic categories.
- Breakfast: You can start with a cup of bulletproof coffee with hard-boiled eggs.
- Lunch: At launch, you get to enjoy delicious cauliflower soup with tofu or bacon.
- Dinner: At dinner, you get to chow down on Shrimp with noodles.
- Breakfast: Try some fried eggs with bacon and some green vegetables.
- Lunch: Later much on a veg burger with avocado and lettuce. You can add some salad to make your launch interesting.
- Dinner: At dinner remember to eat enough baked tofu with broccoli, peppers, and cauliflower rice.
- Breakfast: Bake some eggs in avocado cups to make them yummy.
- Lunch: Later you can poach a salmon or two and eat with avocado rolls wrapped in seaweed.
- Dinner: At night go and grill some delicious beef kebabs with peppers and eat them with sauteed broccoli.
- Breakfast: Try some scrambled eggs, add some veggies, and enjoy.
- Lunch: Find some sardine and prepare a salad with mayo and half avocado.
- Dinner: At night, cook trout in butter and enjoy with sautéed bok choy.
- Breakfast: Prepare some smoothie with almond butter, protein powder, and almond milk.
- Lunch: Bake some chicken tenders with almond flour with cucumbers and goat cheese for lunch.
- Dinner: At night, go and grille some shrimps with lemon and enjoy with asparagus.
- Breakfast: Treat yourself with veggie and cheese omelet and top it with salsa.
- Lunch: Prepare some tuna salad with a side of green salad to munch on.
- Dinner: A night roast a chicken with asparagus and enjoy with sauteed mushrooms.
- Breakfast: Enjoy full-fat Greek yogurt with coconut chips and pumpkin seeds.
- Lunch: Have some delicious chicken wings and celery sticks for lunch.
- Dinner: At night, enjoy zucchini noodles with meatballs, topped with cream sauce.
Note: This is not a mandatory diet and might not prove to be useful to everyone. We strongly suggest you consult a registered dietitian or a doctor before you choose any meal on your own.
List of Healthy Snacks:
- Boiled eggs
- Cheese rolls
- Almond butter and bread
- Almond milk
- Chia seeds
- Chocolates with 70% or more cacao
The ketogenic diets are full of nutrients essential that are beneficial for our body’s proper functioning and growth. They pack different types of vitamins and minerals, more than 20 different vitamins and minerals.
The sources of these vitamins and minerals vary along with the quantity. Some foods might pack more of one vitamin while others might pack more other vitamins.
Below are the nutrients found in a keto diets along with their sources:
A: Orange colored vegetables and cod liver oil are the major sources of Vitamin A.
B1: Nuts, beef, and liver are the major sources of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
B2: Meat and Poultry, eggs, and nuts are the major sources of Vitamin B2(Riboflavin).
B3: Tuna, salmon, turkey, kiver, and avocado are the major sources of Vitamin B3(Niacin).
B5: Beef, fish, broccoli, poultry, and avocado are the major sources of vitamin B5(Pantothenic acid).
B6: Fish, pork, and eggs are the major sources of vitamin B6.
B7: Egg yolk, seeds, nuts, avocado, and liver are the major sources of vitamin B7(Biotin).
B9: Brussels sprouts, spinach, liver, and kale are the major sources of vitamin B9(Folate).
B12: Eggs, chicken, fish, and beef are the major sources of vitamin B12.
C: Lemon, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli are the major sources of Vitamin C.
D: Eggs, salmon, sardines, and cod liver oil are the major sources of Vitamin D.
E: Almond, spinach, vegetable oil, etc are the major sources of Vitamin E.
K: Cauliflower, chard, spinach, etc are the major sources of Vitamin K.
Calcium: Almond, seeds, sardines, etc are the major sources of Calcium.
Iron: Organ meat, liver, shellfish, etc are the major sources of Iron.
Iodine: Seafood, iodized salts, etc are the major sources of Iodine.
Magnesium: Almond, spinach, dark chocolates, etc are the major sources of Magnesium.
Sodium: Sea salt and shellfish are the major sources of Sodium.
Phosphorous: Turkey, chicken, seafood, etc are the major sources of Phosphorus.
Keto Diet for Weight Loss
It is believed that going low-carb may help you with weight loss by reducing your appetite and switching to fat for energy instead of glycogene.
A keto diet mainly consists of fats, with moderate protein, and a limited amount of carbohydrates. This helps to lower the water weight of your body and helps in the activation of a process known as keto.
Ketosis is the process of producing ketone bodies as the source of energy for the cells. Going on periodic intermittent fasting could boost the process of ketosis.
A report published by a journal of nutrition NCBI found that going on a low-carb diet drastically reduced the body weight and body mass index of the obese patient.
Furthermore, it was also found to be helpful in lowering triglycerides level, LDL cholesterol level, and blood sugar level.
It is also found useful in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. But since it is not medically reviewed we suggest that you consult with your health personnel or a doctor just to be safe.
Apps to Help You Cut Down On Your Weight
There are many Android and iOS apps to help you achieve right weight. These apps are feature-packed and most of them offer similar features and user interface.
Some of the most common features found in these apps are; carb and net carb tracking, macro tracking, body weight, and body fat tracking, keto diet challenges, etc.
Below are some of the useful dieting apps for you:
- Carb Manager App: Android and iOS
- Calorie, Carb & Fat Counter App: Android and iOS
- My Fitness Pal App: Android and iOS
- 8Fit APP: Android and iOS
- Fit Men Cook App: Android and iOS
- Senza App: Android and iOS
- Ketogenic Diet Plan App: Android and iOS
What to Eat and What Not to Eat
When you’re on this diet, there are certain foods that you must eat more, and then there are some others that you must not eat. It is very important that you have an understanding of the foods that are allowed on a keto diet.
Also, you must know how to count the calories of each individual foods if you’re on a calorie-restricted diet.
So, to make things easier for you, we’ve listed all the different kinds of foods and drinks that you are allowed to eat while following this diet along with the ones you must prevent at any cost.
List of Foods to Eat While on a Keto Diet
- Cheese: Cheese contains 1 gram of net carbs per 100 grams.
- Fish and Seafood: They contain zero grams of net carbs per 100 grams.
- Fruits such as Avocadoes, Strawberry, and Watermelon contain around 5-10 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.
- Meat and poultry: It contains Zero net carbs per 100 grams.
- Eggs: Eggs contain 1 gram of net carbs per 100 grams
- Plain yogurt
- Nuts and seeds such as Almonds, Brazil nuts, Hazelnuts, Mixed nuts, Peanuts, etc contain 2-10 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.
- Coconut and Olive oil: They contain zero grams of net carb per 100 grams.
- Green vegetable which grows above the ground: Vegetables contain up to 5 grams of net carb per 100 grams.
List of Foods Suitable For a High-Fat Keto Diet
- Coconut and Olive oil contain 100 g of fat in 100 g of oil.
- Avocados: About 20 g of fat per 100 g.
- Flaxseeds contain 42 g fat per 100 g.
- Pumpkin seeds contain about 70 g fat per 100 g.
- Sesame seeds contain about 49 g fat per 100 g.
- Hemp hearts contain 14 g of fat per 100 g.
- Macadamia nuts: Contain about 75.77 g of fat per 100 g.
List of Foods Suitable For a High Protein Keto Diet
- Tuna contains about 30g of protein per 100 g of serving.
- Parmesan contains 32 g of protein per 100 g of serving.
- Beef contains 26.1 g of protein
- Shrimp contains 25 g of protein per 100 g of serving.
- Chicken contains 24 g of protein per 100 g of serving.
- Turkey contains about 22.6 g of protein per 100 g of serving.
- Salmon contains 20.42 g of protein per 100 g of serving.
- Lamb contains 20 g of protein per 100 g of serving.
Healthy drinks to consider:
- Drink at least 5-6 glasses of water.
- Drink hot water with lemon twice. Once in the early morning and once before going to bed.
- Tea one or twice with no added sugar
- Coffee one or twice with a splash of cream.
- Coconut water once in a while during summers.
- Red wine occasionally.
- Soda and beverages
- Fruit juices
List of foods to avoid:
- Vegetables such as peas, beans, potatoes, and lentils.
- Products with added sugars and sweeteners.
- Dairy products low in fat content.
- Cola and beverages such as soda and artificial juices.
- Foodgrains such as white rice and pasta.
- Fruits rich in carb such as banana, oranges, blueberries, etc.
- All alcohol products except for red wine.
Easy Keto Recipes
As you progress with the keto, you’ll carve for delicious keto foods to chow down on. So, it is best if you learn some simple keto meals that will be useful at times of need. You could try making bullet coffee for starter and progress with other delicious keto recipes.
Facts and Researches
It is always better to know the outcome of your efforts beforehand. Doing so helps you to save time and your efforts. And the best way to know whether your efforts will pay off or not is to look for facts and figures available on the topic.
Since it is impossible to perform research on your own, you might as well look for reliable sources for the fact and figures.
To make things easier for you, we’ve incorporated some facts and figures for your reference purpose. This will surely be helpful in understanding how effective it is in the long term.
We have listed some interesting facts below:
1. Origin: It is basically a new approach to eating and was created in the 20s as a treatment for seizures and was made popular by a Hollywood celebrity who demonstrated that it could be used to gain the right weight.
2. Drastic cutting down of carbohydrates intake: This diet requires you to cut down your carbs intake drastically. Around 50 grams per day. Including your breakfast, launch, snacks, and dinner. It is similar to eating two apples a day, insane right?
3. Burning fat is a fact: It is a proven fact that you burn fat while eating a high-fat meal. When you eat high-fat meals, your body is short on carbs to convert it into glycogen.
Starvation and lack of energy sources for the cells to function, your body then undergoes a biochemical change known as ketosis leading to fat burn.
4. An alternative energy source for the brain: In this process, it starts breaking down the fat stores within our body and converts them into ketone bodies which are then used as a secondary source of energy for the brain. The keto diet is also useful in the treatment of brain injury.
5. Short term effects: The short term effects of this diet includes problems such as keto flu, lower blood pressure, fatigue, increased cholesterol, and feeling of unwell.
6. Weight loss: Weight loss is a secondary effect of going on low-carb diets. You might consider it beneficial or problematic depending upon the preferences of your body weight.
Research suggests that weight loss is the outcome of suppressed appetite due to higher consumption of protein. However, the lack of meta-analysis of a randomized controlled trial makes things difficult to judge.
7. Low-carb high protein meals for better results: It is found that a low-carb high protein diet provides you with a better outcome when it comes to losing weight. But that does not mean that a super low-carb ketogenic diet will prove much more effective.
Pros and Cons
While there are obvious health benefits of low-carb diets, there are as well some disadvantages to it. Once again proving the proverb “where there is white, there is always black in it.” true.
We have listed the pros and cons of this diet below:
This diet isn’t always about losing weight. Losing weight is, in fact, the secondary benefit obtained on the process. Some other health benefits of this diet include improved blood sugar level.
So what about its primary benefit?
Treating epilepsy is the primary benefit of a keto diet. This diet was used to treat epilepsy patients long before people started considering it as a means of losing weight.
If you haven’t heard of the term ‘epilepsy’ just yet and do not know what it actually means, let me help you out. Epilepsy is a type of central nervous system disorder that might cause the brain to function abnormally. This might lead to abnormal behavior, sensation, and lack of awareness.
Apart from treating epilepsy, it is also beneficial for heart health, treating neurological conditions, cancer prevention, manage type 2 diabetes, lower blood sugar levels, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Below are some health benefits of this diet:
- It helps in weight loss and the treatment of obesity.
- It helps to improve metabolic syndrome.
- May lower the risks of certain cancers.
- Might prove helpful in treating type 2 diabetes.
- It may promote heart health and lower your chances of suffering from heart disease.
- Improve brain functions as well as helps in the treatment of traumatic brain injury(TBI).
- It may help to promote mental health.
- This diet is used by the physicians to help them treat anti-seizure activity.
- It may improve blood sugar levels.
The ketogenic diet still lacks further studies to support their claim of health benefits. There is no strong evidence to suggest that this diet is helpful in treating obesity, high blood sugar, etc.
Furthermore, there are no standard guidelines to when should one stop the diet or for how long one should continue to be on a ketogenic diet. This makes it difficult for people to know the exact duration of the diet which makes planning difficult.
The long term effects of the ketogenic diet are still unknown, however, there have been some cases where the diet proved to be harmful.
Below are some long term effects of this diet:
- May cause Keto breathe,
- Might also cause kidney stones to form,
- May cause vitamins and minerals deficiency,
- A higher amount of protein in the blood,
- Acne formation, and
- Fat buildup in the liver in the long run.
While on a keto diet, one needs to omit different kinds of foods. So, one might lack the nutrition required for the proper functioning of the body.
In order to fulfill the lack of nutrition, people on a keto diet might need to take keto supplements. But before you do, it is strongly advised that you consult with a registered dietitian or licensed dietitian.
List of Keto Diet Pills
- MCT Oil
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Vitamin D
- Digestive Enzymes
- Exogenous Ketones. …
- Greens Powder
- Mineral-Rich Foods
Keto Diet FAQs
1. Is the ketogenic diet safe in the long-run?
This diet limits the amount of carbs intake per day. It results in the biochemical process called ketogenesis which may promote fat burn, and help to manage blood sugar levels. But it might not prove healthy in the long run- according to Mayo Clinic.
So, before you decide to switch to this diet, make sure you have a backup plan ready.
2. Who should avoid the keto diet?
It is wise to understand that not everything is meant for everyone. Although the idea of losing weight might sound tempting to you, your body might not be able to handle the transformation process.
Especially people who are under some kind of medication such as medication for type 2 diabetes should not follow a keto diet. Other people who should not follow this diet are people having an eating disorder, people suffering from some kinds of kidney diseases, and women during the time of pregnancy.
3. What is ketone flu?
As you might be aware of the fact that when someone switches to a new eating pattern, their body needs time to adapt to the changing diet plan. As the body takes time to adjust, some side effects might appear.
Similarly, switching to a low-carb diet from a high carb diet is known to cause side effects in people known as ketone flu. It is however not a serious problem and is taken care of as your body adapts to the new diet plan.
4. What are the symptoms of ketone flu?
The keto diet isn’t medically reviewed thus might have some drawbacks such as keto flu. The major symptoms of ketone flu are as following:
- Low blood pressure
- Increase cholesterol level
- nausea and vomiting
- An overall feeling of unwellness
5. Is the Ketogenic Diet Healthy?
The ketogenic diet was mainly created to treat people who suffer from epilepsy to control seizures. It has now become a go-to diet for those who seek to lose weight.
The keto diet is a restrictive diet meaning you cannot eat anything and everything, including food that is full of nutrients. This might have an adverse effect and you might end up unhealthy.
There is also a possibility that you might face sexual health issues while on a keto diet. A randomized controlled trial is needed to observe the overall impacts of the keto diet.
Furthermore, foods rich in fat may lead to a skin condition called acne. It is the leading cause of blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples in your skin.
6. Is the Keto Diet Safe to Follow?
Although this diet is not medically reviewed it is still considered to be healthy and is backed by many experts in the field.
So, it is safe to say that the ketogenic diet is safe for you to follow unless you suffer from some kinds of eating disorder, type 2 diabetes, or kidney-related problems.
7. How many carbs per day do you eat on a Keto diet?
The ketogenic diet is a type of low carbs diet and thus limits the intake of carbs significantly. So, on average, you get to get somewhere between 50-60 grams of carbs per day. The total carbs consumed must not be greater than 60 grams a day.
8. Can You drink beverages and alcohol on the keto diet?
As you might have known alcohol and beverages packs carbs in them, it is advised not to drink alcohol and beverages while on a ketogenic diet. However, you can sometimes grab some. But remember to adjust your diet accordingly so that your daily intake of carbs is balanced.
9. How much weight can you lose on the keto diet?
In a study involving 20 participants suffering from obesity which was conducted in 2017 and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology found that one could lose on an average of 44 pounds in a period of 32 weeks while on low carb diets.
10. How Long Do You Need to follow the Keto Diet to Lose Weight?
The long term effects of the ketogenic diet are still unknown and lack further detailed studies. So, it is advised that you stay on a ketogenic diet for no more than 3-4 months.
11. Is eating red meat advised when on a keto diet?
The answer to whether you should eat red meat or not may vary upon experts you ask the question to. It is however found that unprocessed red meat is indeed good for health and packs high value of protein content.