Keto Diet – A Detailed Beginner’s Guide to Safe Weight Loss
There are many diet plans out there, most of which tell you what to eat and how much to eat, and which are very hard to follow and rarely get results. The keto diet, on the other hand, doesn’t control your eating so strictly, and works with your body’s own metabolism to actually force it to burn fat!
A ketogenic diet plan does mean some foods are only eaten in moderation, but it also freely allows some very delicious, filling foods that are sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. To follow the keto diet meal plan, first consider what is meant by ketogenics and how this works with your body to burn fat while keeping you energized, feeling full, and very healthy.
1. The basics of a keto diet
A keto diet puts your body in a state of ketosis; this occurs when your body is no longer burning carbohydrates for energy, but instead turns to what are called ketones. These ketones are stored in your body’s fat. Your body rarely reaches this state of ketosis, as it will first use the carbohydrates from foods that are still being digested for energy before turning to your fat stores; this is why it’s so hard to lose that stubborn belly fat no matter how much you work out!
Following a ketogenic diet menu will mean greatly reducing your intake of carbohydrates, usually to no more than 50 grams per day, or even less. When you reduce your carbohydrate consumption this severely, your body has no choice but to enter that state of ketosis and start burning fat.
2. What are keto diet foods to avoid?
Reducing your carbohydrates when following a ketogenic meal plan doesn’t mean going hungry, as you want to fill up on protein and healthy fats, which build lean muscle and nourish and hydrate your internal organs. Vegetables are also allowed on any ketogenic diet plan, and these can also fill you up and give you the fiber you need and which would be missing when you start eating only keto diet foods.
However, following a ketogenic diet plan doesn’t mean you can just eat any protein and fat product, and still be healthy. Saturated fats, such as those found in meat and dairy, are very difficult for your body to break down. Some protein sources and fats that you allow yourself on a keto diet can also be very calorie-dense, and these calories make it harder for your body to burn that stored fat since those calories are providing the energy you need throughout the day.
3. What are keto diet foods to include?
Healthy fats allowed on the ketogenic diet would include those lower in calorie count and which are easy for your body to break down and digest; olive oil and avocado oil are two very good favorites. The fat you get from eating nuts is also very healthy for you. As said, you don’t need to necessarily avoid animal fats such as what’s found in butter and cream, but those shouldn’t be your main source of fat on a ketogenic diet.
Ketogenic diet foods are also mostly protein, but this doesn’t mean protein that is saturated with those unhealthy animal fats and which your body may have a hard time digesting no matter your diet plan. For example, lean ground beef is better than fatty hamburger, and greasy meat products like bacon should be eaten sparingly; switch to lean turkey and chicken for your protein instead. You also still need the healthy vitamins, trace minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients found in vegetables and fruits even when on the ketones diet. When planning out your menus and your keto diet meal plans, be sure you include fresh veggies and as much fruit as you can, given your limit on your carbohydrate intake.
4. Is the keto diet safe?
You may have heard stories about people trying to follow the ketogenic diet and who have experienced some unpleasant side effects, such as halitosis, constipation, and the like. You may experience some bad breath when your body enters ketosis, as this is the ketones being burned for energy and your body excreting them through your breath. Chew mint leaves or sugarless mint gum if you experience this during your ketogenic state.
Also, consider the information we’ve covered about healthy foods to eat and which ones to avoid. Since meat is difficult for your body to break down and digest, be sure it doesn’t make up the bulk of your keto diet, as this can mean constipation. Have lots of allowed vegetables on your keto diet meal plan, so you’re getting healthy fiber. Including healthy oils in your keto meals will also help to coat your digestive system and internal organs so that you have easier and healthier digestion and elimination.
5. Avoid this common mistake when following a keto diet
One common mistake that many newcomers to the ketogenic diet make is to “carbo load,” or fill up on carbohydrates one day during the week, assuming they can compensate for this during the rest of the week, or because of not understanding why some followers of a keto diet do this. Athletes may “carbo load” the night before a big game or race, in order for their body to have that stored carbohydrate for energy. However, those pro athletes are likely to burn off those carbs the next day as they push their body to the max.
For most persons, however, loading up on carbohydrates, even for one day, doesn’t allow your body to stay in that state of ketosis. Unless you’re a pro athlete or are planning on running a marathon, you probably won’t use up all those carbs and, instead, your body will continue to turn to them for energy throughout the week! In turn, you won’t be burning stored fat for energy. Keep your carbohydrate intake to a minimum every day of the week when following a keto diet, and you’re sure to finally lose those stubborn pounds and keep them off for good.