Keto Dieting For Beginners and Experienced Dieters
The ketogenic diet is one of the best ways to lose weight, but it brings so much more. This diet of high fat, moderate protein, and low carbs can burn fat and improve conditions related to inflammation and high blood sugar, including cognitive decline and type-2 diabetes. The best way to reach ketosis and feel these effects is to make a plan and stick to it, and with keto, it’s actually pretty easy!
The Basics Of The Keto Diet
A regular diet is made up of three food types known as “macronutrients.” Carbohydrates are the macronutrient the body uses the most for fuel, as it gets converted into glucose. On a ketogenic diet, carbs are typically reduced to under 50 grams per day, or roughly 5% of your overall diet. This is a lot, but it’s for a good reason: you’re essentially “starving” the body of the glucose it normally uses for energy.
Of course, you’re not starving yourself on keto – far from it. While cutting carbs gets a lot of attention, the vast majority of what you’ll eat to make up for this reduction is fat. Healthy fats should deliver around 70 – 75% of your calorie intake, sometimes higher. It’s important to eat them because your body will be converting the fat into ketones to fuel the body and, most importantly, the brain.
If you notice the math not adding up, it’s because we haven’t talked about the macronutrient that makes up the last 20 – 25%: protein. Protein is a combination of amino acids that are important for muscle growth and repair, as well as the health of hair, nails, and skin. Too much protein will prevent your body from entering ketosis, but if you eat between 20 and 30 grams per meal, you can spread it out over the day.
How Can I Plan My Keto Diet?
Planning is important to success in keto. When you take the time to prepare, the transition into ketosis will seem a lot easier. One way to start is by adopting a low-carb diet and transitioning into the more rigorous ketogenic diet.
Even still, the change can sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s easier to make sense of keto when you know what you can eat. This way, you healthily approach the diet and see it not as an absence of your favourite foods, but as the presence of other delicious offerings. Your meals and snacks should center around the following:
- Avocados: Whole avocados make for simple, delicious meals and snacks. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
- Eggs: Organic or pasture-raised eggs make the best choice.
- Fatty fish: This includes salmon, herring and mackerel.
- Full-fat dairy: Yogurt, butter, and cream. Milk isn’t a good choice because it has a lot of lactose, which is a simple sugar.
- Full-fat cheese: Brie, cheddar, cream cheese, mozzarella, and goat cheese.
- Low-sugar berries: Consumed in small amounts, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all acceptable. They will also give you much-needed antioxidants and nutrients.
- Meat: Grass-fed beef, pork, chicken and turkey are all acceptable. You can even give bison and venison (deer) a try!
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, peanuts and flaxseeds. This includes raw nut butter made from peanuts, almonds, and cashews.
- Natural oils: Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut butter and sesame oil.
- Non-starchy vegetables: Broccoli, leafy greens, tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers.
- Condiments: Add a little flavour with salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, and fresh herbs and spices.
Once you know what you can have, meal planning and snacking becomes much easier. A well-rounded keto diet can effectively make you feel fuller, and this is particularly helpful when trying to lose weight!