It’s one of the most popular diets today, focusing on high fat and medium protein intake. The keto diet is based on a few basic principles. It’s a low-carb diet which forces the body into ketosis. It substitutes proteins and fats as the main source of energy instead of carbs. Depending on your commitment, you can push your body in to a level of ketosis that sheds your weight.
The reduced carb intake forces your body to burn fat and thus consume the resources that your body has already stored. All in all, this means that you find yourself leaner, and much less bloated in the long run.
What is the Keto Diet?
Ketogenic diets get their name from ketones, the molecules produced after digesting fat. Your body is forced to do so in the state of ketosis which comes about as a result of the low-carb diet. Instead of glucose, your body begins to digest fat as an energy source. While previous evidence used to push for low-fat diets, research has shown that low-carb diets actually reduce weight more effectively. That doesn’t mean that you should go for low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets at the same time. The latter is used to fill in for the former.
This doesn’t mean that you cut out carbs completely. On the contrary, carbs are needed in small amounts for your body. Your brain needs carbs for different processes and your body even resorts to synthesizing carbs from fats and proteins to make up for it.
Ketogenic diets aren’t something new. They were invented in the 19th century for people with diabetes and heart disease according to Harvard Health Publishing. In 1920, it was also used as an effective treatment for epilepsy in children. The keto diet has also been used and tested for other diseases like cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome and even Alzheimer’s. What better way to reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease than just changing what you eat?
Turns out, ketogenic diets are also incredibly effective when losing weight. They raise your resting metabolic rate and also reduces your body fat percentage. If you want to be healthier and reduce your dependence on sugars and also lose weight, this diet is it.
Everyone’s body type and dietary needs are different. However, you need a basic starting point to try to gauge what your body needs. So, here is a simple guide to get started on a keto diet to lose weight. You can substitute food intake depending on your dietary needs.
Designing a Keto Diet Plan for Weight Loss
The Basics of the Keto Diet
In a keto diet, you reduce the intake of carbs to about 20-50 grams a day. While more flexible versions of the diet exist, this is the standard.
Fats should replace the lion’s share of your diet. This will mean that about 75% of your total calories will be fat. The rest should all be protein (10-30%). While this is a low-carbohydrate diet, it doesn’t mean carbs can’t still be part of your diet. However, their share shouldn’t be greater than 5%. As stated earlier, there is flexibility here, but not too much.
The most effective keto diet isn’t just a low-carb diet. It actively reduces your hunger pangsThat way, the more hangry ones among us won’t be so during the late hours of night.
Your ketone levels will spike during this time, and will help your body substitute for glucose and carbohydrates. Your body will begin to burn ketones for energy as a fuel source.
As a result, your cholesterol levels will be reduced as well.
A Simple Keto Diet Menu to Start With
While this may not be all to your liking, it’s a simple keto diet menu to start with. It is filled with foods that act as a great protein source and a healthy fat resource. The health benefits of this diet are enormous and the health risks are very low.
This is one of the most effective diets for weight loss. It burns off excess body fat and keeps you healthy and active enough to build muscle mass. The diet is filled with substitutes for a healthy source of fats and proteins. You can even substitute your own favorite sources including almond butter and cocoa butter. However, first you need to take care of the basics.
To start the week off, you should have a simple breakfast of eggs and pastured butter served with sauteed greens. This is a great protein source to start off your keto diet with.
For lunch, you should go with a bun-less burger topped with avocado and a bed of greens. You can even add cheese or mushrooms. Remember to always go for low-carb veggies.
For dinner, you can try some pork chops and green beans with coconut oil.
As you can see, the diet reduces the standard carbs per day that normal folks have as part of their diet.
Let’s go with a classic mushroom omelette for the breakfast option on Tuesday. You can follow that up with a tuna salad and tomato and celery with a bed of greens for lunch.
For dinner, you can go for a full roast chicken with cream sauce and broccoli. Of course, you can save this to have for any day of the week. It’s a solid meal and won’t cost you many calories.
For breakfast, you can go with a bell pepper stuffed with cheese and eggs. This will both be filling and healthy.
For lunch you should go with a simple Arugula salad with turkey, avocado, blue cheese and some hard boiled eggs.
As for dinner, you can go with something simple like a Cobba salad, but you can also go fancy. Try a grilled salmon with spinach sauteed in coconut oil. You won’t regret it. Here, we’re keeping the daily number of carbs per day low, even though we’re going for greens.
We’re getting close to the weekend now so let’s start some basic indulgences. No, that doesn’t mean a lot of carbs. However, we can start to have some fancy meals now.
For breakfast, let’s have a full-fat yogurt topped with keto granola.
You can have a steak bowl with cheese, herbs, salsa, avocado and cauliflower rice for lunch.
Finally, you can have a big dinner featuring a bison steak with cheesy broccoli. Enjoy that, because Friday won’t be as filling.
You should treat yourself to some beautiful baked avocado egg boats on the first Friday of the diet. Then follow that up with some Caesar salad and chicken at lunch.
Finally, you should have some pork chops with vegetables for dinner.
Saturday should continue with the progress you’ve made.
In the morning, you should have a cauliflower toast topped with avocado and cheese.
You should have some bun-less salmon burgers with pesto for lunch. The bun-less burgers keep the carbs per day low as usual.
Finally, you should end the day with a meatball dinner served with both zucchini noodles and parmesan cheese.
While you may think that Sundays are cheat days, you should think again. You shouldn’t wipe out all the gains you’ve made so you can taste sweets. You can take a break from the keto diet once every 2 weeks if you want. However, for the first 2, no heavy sweets or indulgences necessary.
You should start off with a coconut milk chia pudding topped with coconut and walnuts. That’s all you need to hold you over for the morning.
For lunch, you should have a cobb salad with hard boiled eggs, avocado, greens, and turkey. You can even add in some cheese if you want.
FInally, for dinner, you should keep it light and go with coconut chicken curry.
For more suggestions on what to eat on a keto diet, check out our article.
How Do Keto Diets Induce Weight Loss?
You already know that the keto diet is an effective diet for weight loss. This low-carb, high-fat diet works on the simple logic of reducing intake of foods which will put on the pounds. However, let’s expand a little on what makes the keto diet effective for weight loss.
High Protein Doses
The keto diet is based on medium protein and high fat intake. Hence, it can lead to an increase in the protein intake. If you work out, this means that you have a greater propensity to build muscle mass. Another reason why it’s one of the most healthy diets on the planet. Also, more proteins and a low-carbohydrate diet mean that you have a greater propensity for weight loss. This is why the keto diet is considered one of the best weight loss diets.
Not only does the keto diet help you burn more fat and reduce blood glucose levels in your body, it also suppresses appetite. That’s right. You don’t have to take appetite suppressants if you’re on the keto diet. Instead, the keto diet helps you feel full. Since it goes for more protein and fats instead of a greater calorie intake, it creates a positive change in the body.
It changes the hunger hormones including ghrelin and leptin. As a result, you feel more full and don’t require those mid-meal snacks. It doesn’t exactly kill the midnight cravings, but it helps reduce the hunger pangs that you keep having in between breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is a great advantage for long-term weight loss.
This is particularly advantageous for obese adults who face severely harsh health conditions. They can not only avoid discomfort muscle cramps, but also near fatal weight gain.
Decreased Fat Stores
Ketosis burns fat and protein in lieu of burning carbs. However, the keto diet has also been shown to reduce the fat stored in the body as a whole. Burning fat for energy means that the ketone levels in the blood rise and less fat is stored. Also, scientific evidence has suggested that lipogenesis, the literal process of generating fats in the body is slowed by ketosis. Since lipogenesis turns glucose into fats, and the keto diet reduces carb intake, and blood glucose levels, this makes sense. All the carb intake in a keto diet gets converted into energy mostly, hence, lipogenesis is slowed or altogether halted.
Greater Insulin Levels Sensitivity
The keto diet drastically improves the insulin levels sensitivity of the human body. This can improve the fuel utilization of the body as well and speed up your metabolism. Higher insulin sensitivity means that your body will respond to high blood glucose levels more efficiently. Thus, it will digest glucose as effectively as possible. That combined with smaller carbohydrate intake means your insulin sensitivity will be extremely effective at eliminating extra sugars.
As mentioned above, your body simply requires glucose or carbs for certain processes or functions in your body. If it can’t get it through natural resources, it will synthesize its own. Gluconeogenesis is the name given to this process. It converts both protein and fats into carbs for fuel. This can burn so many additional calories every single day. It’s another side benefit of the keto diet.
Burning More Fat
Many studies have found that the keto diet actually increases the resting fat burning rate of your body. This sounds great for long-term weight loss. This automatically means that you burn more fat during daily activity and especially during exercise. While there is weak evidence here, certain studies are quite encouraging. They show that following the keto diet actually removes the harmful fats stored in your body.
If you begin following the keto diet, you’ll lose weight faster than you have ever before. Not only will you shed the pounds, but you’ll also build muscle mass through exercise.