If you’re an aspiring fitness enthusiast, there’s no way that you haven’t heard about the recently raging and popular Ketogenic diet. While a few dieters weren’t entirely satisfied with the results, many of them swear by this diet that helped them transform.
In a nutshell, a ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate and high-fat diet that works imminently in shedding fat. Apart from helping in losing weight, following a ketogenic diet promises several other health benefits.
If you’re a beginner and have very little insight on ketogenic diet, follow this guide to know everything about it.
What exactly is a ketogenic diet? how does it work?
Also known as Keto, the ketogenic diet is a boon for all fat lovers. This diet gives you the complete freedom to eat healthy fat in higher quantities, not having to feel guilty about it.
With a very low carbohydrate and high fat intake, keto diet pushes your body to use fat as the primary fuel source. Carbohydrates are converted into glucose and in turn used as energy.
Since your body is devoid of carbohydrates, which is usually the main energy source, it has no option but to turn towards fat for help to carry out basic bodily functions. At this point, your body reaches a state called ketosis. During this phase, your liver breaks down fat, which results in the production of ketones.
On a ketogenic diet, your body uses these ketones as fuel or energy for functioning. And when fat is burned, you will lose weight automatically. However, every coin has two sides, which is also the case with the keto diet. It has its own pros and cons.
You can read more here to educate yourself on whether a keto diet is meant for you or not. While it is generally beneficial for most people, being thorough can avoid any health risks in the future.
Amount of Carbohydrates to fat ratio
When we speak of reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing fat content, what amount are we talking about exactly? While an average adult normally consumes around 45 to 50% of calories from carbohydrates on a daily basis, a keto diet demands consumption of 80 to 90% of daily calories from fat, around 10% from protein and only 5% from carbohydrates.
While this is a traditional keto diet form, you can up the protein intake to 20% on a daily basis to make it more liberal and doable. The main goal is to stay low on carbohydrate intake. If your goal is to build muscle, you should aim at 0.8 – 1g of protein per pound of lean body mass. You can also try adding dietary supplements like Ursolic acid into your diet to help your body maintain muscle mass while on this diet.
- It helps in shedding fat and losing weight.
- It provides a boost in physical performance.
- It is beneficial for people suffering from type-2 diabetes.
- It keeps you full all the time, controls your appetite and reduces sugar cravings.
- It stabilizes your cholesterol profile and keeps the blood sugar levels and blood pressure in check.
- Ketones fuel the brain, hence improving focus and concentration.
While it has several benefits, the keto diet also showcases a few health risks and disadvantages.
- You might experience ‘keto flu’ after a few days on the diet. It refers to a condition in which you feel dizzy and nauseous.
- Too much ketone builds up in your body can result in dehydration and can cause an imbalance in the chemical composition of your blood.
- A keto diet also contains less fiber, which can result in constipation.
- You can face certain nutrient deficiencies due to eliminating important food groups such as fruits and root vegetables.
Ingredients and food to eat on a Keto diet
Your shopping list should include basic keto-friendly food items (high in fat content and low in carbs) such as:
- Butter or olive oil
- Overground vegetables
- Lean meat
And now, the things that you need to avoid (basically high carb food items):
- White bread
- Beer or alcohol
- White or brown rice
- Soda or fruit juices
- Chocolate or sweets
- Candy or granola bars
- Canned and packaged food
Starting off with these basic pantry ingredients is simple and convenient. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on buying fancy ingredients where you can make do with basic food items.
You can try several combinations and meal recipes out of these basic ingredients such as vegetables, cheese, omelet or butter-poached chicken with baked veggies.
Even though the keto diet has several positive reviews, we advise you to seek your medical practitioner before starting off with it as it can have different effects on varied people.
However, if you’ve already been practicing keto for a while and are happy with the results, we recommend continuing it until you reach your goal.
image source: businessinsider.com