Understanding The Keto Diet
With so many diets promising optimal weight loss and max health and performance, it is hard to find one that actually works. The ketogenic diet has been used by many professional athletes and actors to lose weight and burn fat fast. Two years ago one of the most prolific athletes of this day and age, Lebron James, used the keto diet to drop 25 pounds and improve his fourth quarter endurance.
So how can you turn your body into a fat burning machine?
The ketogenic diet is a low carb, high fat diet that shares many similarities to the famous atkins diet. By heavily reducing carbohydrates and replacing them with a high fat intake, the body enters into a metabolic state called ketosis.
Ketosis is a state in which the body creates ketones, which are alternative fuel molecules created in the liver from fat. When the body has a low carb intake, it shifts away from using blood sugar (glucose) as its main source of energy. Ketones become the main source of energy and cause the body to run almost entirely on fat. Insulin levels become low due to lack of glucose and fat burning increases dramatically. The body’s fat stores become easily accessible as energy and therefore become easier to burn.
This metabolic state of ketosis has many health benefits that extend past initial weight loss. This low carb diet boasts many potential benefits to improve,
- Weight loss
- Overall health
- Less sugar cravings
- Mental Focus
Recent findings have shown the keto diet to help,
- Normalize blood pressure
- Epilepsy control
- Acne reduction
- Combat cancer
- Heartburn and stomach
- Reduce migraines
What to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet?
Foods to consider
Here are some low carb foods to consider on the Keto diet that will help induce ketosis. (Numbers indicate net carbs per 100 grams)
he most important aspect of the keto diet is to limit the intake of carbs as much as possible. Generally keeping carb intake under 50 grams is acceptable, but for optimal results keeping intake under 20 grams will yield the best results.
Foods to avoid
In order to achieve the goals of the keto diet means cutting out most carbohydrates as well as starchy foods (ie bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes). This diet is supposed to be high in fat and not necessarily high in protein.
Here is a rough guideline.
10% energy from carbs, 15-20% from protein, and 70% from fat.
Example Keto Diet (1 Week)
- Breakfast: Bacon, eggs and tomatoes.
- Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil and feta cheese.
- Dinner: Salmon with asparagus cooked in butter.
- Breakfast: Egg, tomato, basil and goat cheese omelet.
- Lunch: Almond milk, peanut butter, cocoa powder and stevia milkshake.
- Dinner: Meatballs, cheddar cheese and vegetables.
- Breakfast: A ketogenic milkshake.
- Lunch: Shrimp salad with olive oil and avocado.
- Dinner: Pork chops with Parmesan cheese, broccoli and salad.
- Breakfast: Omelet with avocado, salsa, peppers, onion and spices.
- Lunch: A handful of nuts and celery sticks with guacamole and salsa.
- Dinner: Chicken stuffed with pesto and cream cheese, along with vegetables.
- Breakfast: Sugar-free yogurt with peanut butter, cocoa powder and stevia.
- Lunch: Beef stir-fry cooked in coconut oil with vegetables.
- Dinner: Bun-less burger with bacon, egg and cheese.
- Breakfast: Ham and cheese omelet with vegetables.
- Lunch: Ham and cheese slices with nuts.
- Dinner: White fish, egg and spinach cooked in coconut oil.
- Breakfast: Fried eggs with bacon and mushrooms.
- Lunch: Burger with salsa, cheese and guacamole.
- Dinner: Steak and eggs with a side salad.
Keto Diet Not For Everyone
Before considering any kind of dieting, consulting a doctor/ physician is always encouraged. Specifically if you have any problems with the following, then professional opinion is needed.
- Are you on medication for diabetes, e.g. insulin?
- Are you on medication for high blood pressure?
- Are you breastfeeding?
These conditions may take special preparations or adaptation.