The Ketogenic Diet for Beginners
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb eating plan which encourages the body to enter into a state called ketosis.
Ketosis is a normal and healthy metabolic condition in which the body burns its fat reserves rather than using glucose as fuel.
Burning of those stored fats then produces ketones, which eventually act as the primary energy source of the dieter.
The ketogenic diet has been counted on by many individuals who want to lose weight.
However this can be a challenging diet, but if followed to the tee, you can reap the rewards that the diet promises.
Once your body adapts, it becomes easy and becomes a lifestyle instead of a diet.
Benefits of a keto diet
A keto lifestyle has so many benefits. Most people start this diet because they want to lose weight and are then pleasantly surprised with the general health benefits.
If you want to lose weight, then this definitely is the diet to give a go. And here is why.
Get rid of excessive fat
The body produces ketones when using existing fat as the primary fuel source. It might take a few days to reach a state of ketosis, but when you start burning fat, you might be pleasantly surprised at how fast the pounds drop off.
The keto diet can suppress your appetite by harmonizing metabolic hormones.
Lowering the insulin resistance of the body and maximizing ketone production will eventually make dieters feel less hungry.
Maintain muscle mass
Including enough good fats in your diet will give your body the energy to transform fat reserves into beneficial ketones.
This has the advantage of maintaining muscle mass integrity since the healthy fat in the diet provides the body with the energy it needs without using muscle protein to generate extra sugars.
Want to know more about the advantages and benefits of the keto diet, then read more here.
Keto diet rules
Assuming you follow the standard American diet, the first rule is to accept that you must substantially change what you eat.
One of the good things about this diet is it does not eliminate the majority of the best-tasting foods found on this planet, like all meats, fish, seafood, certain dairies, olive oil, butter, and avocados.
You must avoid vegetables with starches, like potatoes and white squash. Still, you can have your fill of broccoli, kale, cauliflower, chard, spinach, cabbage, and cucumber.
You can eat most seeds and nuts, but carefully check how many carbs they have. You'll find our best nuts for keto guide helpful.
It is also advisable to eat high-fat foods that are not processed.
When you start, you'll want to apply these rules strictly. I know I am repeating myself, but if you want to succeed, you have to put the rules into practice.
If you want to know the specific foods you can eat, check out our detailed shopping list of must-have foods.
For everything you need to know about exactly how much you should eat. How to calculate net carbs, what you should eat, and how much of the different foods you should be eating, check out our
Foods to avoid
Some foods have to be avoided on a ketogenic diet.
Obviously, these are foods that are rich in sugar, carbs, and the wrong kinds of fat.
These foods can be detrimental to your body and produce an abundance of glucose that the body will convert into fat reserves.
Too much sugar and carbs might also spike insulin rates and blood sugar levels. It will curb fat loss even if the dieter is on a strict exercise regimen.
To steer clear of these foods, control your consumption of processed foods, grains, noodles, pasta, rice, vegetable oils, milk, margarine, and other high-carb, sugary items.
Do yourself a favor, work out what foods are good for you and that you should eat, and place all your focus on them.
Making the keto diet more effective
To make your ketogenic regimen more effective, ensure that your carb intake is mainly from non-starchy vegetables and as low as possible.
Your consumption of proteins should be adequate, but that is probably lower than you may think.
Your fat intake should be high in proportion to carbs and protein and should be as much as 75% of your total calories.
While the ketogenic diet allows you to eat when hunger strikes, you will feel hungry less often. If you get hungry, it might be because you need to eat more fat.
For breakfast, you can have at least two boiled eggs taken with 100 grams of cheese and washed down with a cup of coffee, no creamer. Bacon is always a huge favorite among ketoers.
In case you feel a bit hungry before lunch, you can make do with 30 to 50 grams of nuts as long as these nuts contain little carbs.
Snack only if you really need to, but work towards eating twice a day!
For more on why and how to combine intermittent fasting with a keto diet, check out our article:
Intermittent Fasting: What You Need to Know
For lunch, you can have any kind of meat paired with your choice of vegetables that are allowed on the diet. Eggs and cheeses are also great options. For dessert or snacks, you can have berries with cream or cream cheese.
Dinner might mean a choice of meat or fish with your preferred vegetables.
To make life easy, get a good cookbook and follow the recipes. Especially when you start, it may be much simpler to follow a set program with set recipes.
I like these simple 5 ingredient recipes because they are easy to prepare and delicious. Get the bundle with breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes, or let them create a meal plan tailored to your needs.
Try new foods or recipes as you get more comfortable with your meals and new routine. Experiment a little so that you don't get bored with your food.
But when you start, get the program, use the recipes, and take small steps to better health.
Ketogenic Diet for Beginners - More Questions?
Do you have more questions? Then watch the frequently asked questions video.