Olivia is a nutritionist and diet, fitness, and weight-loss consultant based in Texas. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Food and Nutrition.
What is Ketogenic Diet and it's Benefits
Going keto or ketogenic is a decision that you might take with the plan of becoming leaner, fitter and stronger. What nobody tells you about this diet that it is as hard to follow, as it is to sustain. Along with constant dedication, it is important to have an achievable and realistic goal in mind. The low-carb high-fat diet is supposed to be stuck on to for months to see a considerable result. A sustained ketogenic diet leads to a permanent switch to fats and ketones instead of carbohydrates to fuel the body.
Ketogenic diets have some of the most robust benefits and are holistic in their results.
- Decrease in insulin level, as the dietary carbs are not stimulating its release any more.
- Increase in the fat burning capacity because the body needs to constantly use an alternative fuel source.
- Inflammatory fat levels decrease in the body, which leads to a generalized decrease in inflammation.
- Ketogenic diets have been found to help people with many diseases such as Epilepsy, Type 1 and 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Morbid obesity, Heart Disease, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Fatty Liver Disease, Migraines and even Cancer (1)
Ketogenic Diet and Weight Loss
The human body is a symbiosis of systems, and when all these functions work in harmony does our body regulate properly. In case of blood glucose, if these levels drop really low in the blood, we would pass out and die. At the same time, the body is not able to store much glucose. It is only enough to last a couple of days. So, if we do not eat carbs for a few days at a stretch, our body would automatically resort to other options to sustain its functions. This alternate process of our body to sustain strength and function is referred to as ketogenesis.
In ketogenesis, the livers break down fat into a usable source of energy called ketone bodies, commonly called ketones. Different organs that generally depend primarily on glucose as fuel begin to use ketones as the main energy source. With a consistent diet of protein rich food ketogenesis kicks, ketone levels increase and the body enters a state of ketosis. This consistent state of ketosis that leads to a state of fat burning and reduction in the size of fat cells.
In a ketogenic diet, the percentage of the amount of carbohydrates is a mere 5% which amounts to eating less than 20 to 50 grams of carbs or a slice or two of bread per day. The remaining ratio is of about 15 percent from protein, and 80 percent is from fat. A ratio of lower protein and more fat will force the body to drag the maximum amount of its energy banks from ketones.
Ingredients for Ketogenic Diet
When preparing a ketogenic diet menu plan, it is important to keep in mind a fixed budget and all the ketogenic diet foods that are readily available in the market. A ketogenic diet is built around few basic ingredients, which can be mixed and matched to create various healthy recipes. Some of those ingredients are:
- Fatty nuts and seeds: cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds
- Whole eggs
- Full-fat cheese
- Beef cuts like filet mignon, ground chuck, porterhouse and ribeye
- Chicken thighs and chicken legs
- Vegetables like spinach and other greens such as broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, mushrooms and bell peppers
- Pork rinds
- Olive oil
- Salted butter
- Heavy cream
- Sour cream
- Cream cheese
- Fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and anchovies
- Chicken broth or cubes with at least 1 gram sodium (2)
Meal plan for Ketogenic Diet
When the question of what to eat on a ketogenic diet arises, keep in mind both the basics of the diet and your personal preference. It becomes senseless if the person is gobbling down food that he does not like. This creates dislike towards the whole regime and is a big obstacle to the sustainability of the diet.
Below is an option-oriented ketogenic diet plan, that people with various needs will find suitable. It is a 7-day plan to introduce you to the kind of food in store when following this diet. This will help you to get accustomed to the food options in this diet and hence creates a basic understanding of the diet itself.
Breakfast: Poached eggs with some sautéed greens cooked in virgin coconut oil
Lunch: Grilled chicken served with seasonal salad
Dinner: Baked salmon with a crust of nuts such as cashews or almonds served with half a baked cauliflower
Breakfast: A slice of smoked salmon with some leafy greens and cut or smashed avocado
Lunch: Low in carbs beef salad served with 2 tablespoon of Thai tamari dressing
Dinner: Chicken with some cauliflower rice
Breakfast: An omelet served some sautéed mushrooms and spinach cooked in virgin coconut oil
Lunch: Fresh tuna (not canned) served with a tomato salad, drizzled with olive oil
Dinner: Crispy skinned salmon served with zucchini noodles and pesto
Breakfast: Mountain Coffee – long black, grass-fed butter & MCT oil
Lunch: Naked burger (burger without a bum) with a raw kale slaw
Dinner: Pulled beef with a rainbow slaw and some baked Brussels sprouts
Breakfast: A zucchini & bacon fritter cooked with some butter/ghee
Lunch: Mexican chicken lettuce wrap with smashed avocado
Dinner: Middle Eastern chicken rissoles with some seasonal greens
Breakfast: Mushrooms cooked in butter, sautéed greens and crispy bacon
Lunch: Roasted chicken breast with a slice of avocado and seasonal greens of your choice
Dinner: Sirloin steak with some steamed greens
Breakfast: Veggie mix of capsicum, tomato, seasonal herbs, zucchini all sautéed in coconut oil served with 2 to 4 eggs
Lunch: Zucchini noodle and salmon salad served with an avocado dressing
Dinner: Minced lamb balls with seasonal greens
- Protein Shake
- Bone Broth
- Boiled or deviled eggs
- A handful of nuts (macadamias, almonds, pecans, walnuts)
- Small can of tuna
- Cheese like Mozzarella, cheddar, goat, Swiss, and blue cheese
- Pork rinds
- Cream cheese and berries
- Pepperoni slices
- Cold cuts and cheese roll-ups
- Veggies such as green and red peppers or cucumbers in Ranch dressing
- Celery with cream cheese (3)
Expected Results of the Ketogenic Diet
- Improvement of the overall body composition through is achieved by this diet. This might happen by both decreases in the amount of body fat and an increase in total lean body mass.
- From a training perspective, your body composition improves to a greater extent as soon as a ketogenic diet is combined with a rigorous lifting program.
- All these changes occur without the person having to compromise on his strength and overall health.
- Ketogenic diets are seen to result in adaptations that favor fat metabolism.
- With a regular following of this diet along with appropriate training in the gym, it is seen the body utilizes the fat for energy more efficiently than before, which leads to a considerable decrease in the muscle glycogen level. (4)
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2018 Olivia Philips
Erin K Stewart from Hemet, CA on May 05, 2018:
Thanks for the article. I have tried the keto diet for a few months in the past but without success. As I watched my boyfriend and my friend slim down on the keto diet I stayed the same if not gaining a little more. I want to try it again but this time not rely so much on fats from dairies. I'm gonna take what you wrote here into consideration. Thanks!