The keto diet is rapidly gaining popularity with individuals struggling to lose weight and also with bodybuilders. Because of its sudden rise to prominence, the Keto diet plan is often written off as just another fad diet, but this isn’t entirely true. Like the low carb diet, low carb high fat diet (LCHF), ketogenic diet, and so on, this diet is based on the biological process of Ketosis. This is a process in which the body burns fat deposits for energy, instead of carbohydrates, and this is the main goal of the keto diet; hence the name.
Ketosis is a process in which the body burns fat deposits for energy, instead of carbohydrates, and this is the main goal of the keto diet; hence the name.
Keto Diet Is Restrictive Not Extreme
The keto diet is restrictive in the sense that it requires you to limit carbohydrate intake. The key here is limitation, not elimination. This is why it is not an extreme or starvation diet, unlike many fad diets that advocate complete elimination of certain nutrients that advocate complete elimination of certain nutrients and food groups. In this diet, you need to lower your carb intake, while consuming higher amounts of fat and adequate protein. By doing so, your body will no longer be able to create glucose from carbohydrates for energy. Instead, the liver begins breaking down fat cells to release energy, while also creating fatty acids and ketones.
Is The Keto Diet Sustainable?
Contrary to popular belief, you will find that restricting your caloric intake is fairly easy with the keto diet. The main feature of the diet is that you will be getting the bulk of your calories from fats and protein, rather than carbohydrates. This gives you plenty of delicious food options, which can be very filling. Once you’ve filtered out most of the carb-rich foods, specifically those with refined sugars and bad or simple carbohydrates, you will find that there’s plenty of food you can add to your diet to reach your required caloric intake (around 2000 calories). In fact, you may find it tough to consume enough food each day to reach the required daily caloric intake! Yes, it’s a diet plan that will never leave you hungry. Don’t believe us? To get a better idea of the keto diet before and after results just check out Tanmay Bhat’s phenomenal weight loss story.
Keto Diet Simplified
What’s great about the keto diet is that you will have plenty of food options for your diet and you don’t have to endure the torture of picking the same restrictive meal plans for months on end. The goal is to keep your net carbohydrate intake within the range of 20 and 40 grams. Ideally, you should keep it below 30 grams for the diet to be most effective. If you’re confused about net carbs, it’s a pretty simple concept. A net carb is simply the figure you get by deducting fiber from carbs ingested. Still confused? Here’s how it works:
If you consume a single sliced raw carrot, you will ingest 4 grams of fiber against the total of 12 grams of carbohydrates. Your net carbs would be 12 total grams – 4 grams of fiber = 8 net carbs
What Do I Eat?
The keto diet breaks up your caloric intake into three broad macronutrient groups. Your food intake will be divided into 65-75% fats, 20-30% protein, and 5% or less of carbohydrates.
As your carb intake is limited, you will need to get trace carbs from foods like vegetables, nuts, and dairy products. You can include vegetables like radish, cucumber, cauliflower, cabbage, squash and eggplant, as well as a variety of nuts. Dairy products like milk and cheese can also add to your carb intake. Just make sure to avoid foods rich in simple carbs and sugar like bread, pasta, pastries, fried foods, cereals, legumes, potatoes, and fruits.
Fat & Protein:
If you’re a meat eater, the keto diet gives you plenty to rejoice for. The majority of your macronutrients in this group will come from meats, as well as green leafy vegetables, and healthy fats like olive oil or organic butter. You can include meats like pork, beef, chicken, mutton, and seafood, while also consuming eggs. Your choice of leafy greens is also quite wide, as you can include broccoli, spinach, lettuce, and parsley, to name a few.
For mid-meal snacks, you can fill up on nuts and nut butters, cheese, and protein shakes.
What To Expect When You Get On The Keto Diet
Making a dietary transition is never easy, not just mentally, but also physically. This is why it helps when you know what to expect, as you can prepare yourself for the changes and there is less chance of any discomfort causing a derailment.
First 2 Days: Your energy levels may plummet and you could experience fatigue and exhaustion. In some cases, people also experience headaches because of the drop in muscle glycogen and low glucose levels. The drop in glucose and glycogen levels will also trigger food cravings, but don’t falter, as your body will soon adjust to burning fat for fuel instead.
Days 3 To 7: This part will probably excite and encourage you. Yes, you lose weight rather rapidly in this period, but the kicker is that this weight loss is from water depletion. That’s because fluid loss occurs along with glycogen depletion. Your energy levels will probably still be low, but your body is adjusting to using fats for energy.
Days 8 To 14: Now that you’ve survived week 1, things start to get better. As your body adjusts to the changes in energy supply, your energy levels will gradually start to rise. Glycogen stores should also be depleted by this point, triggering your body to start producing ketones, which are generated from fat metabolism.
Days 15 To 30: If you’ve been meticulous with your keto diet foods during the period, your body should already be in ketosis now. Your energy levels should already be bouncing back, but they will not recover completely for at least a few months. One indication is the decline in food cravings. Real weight loss will also start to occur, and these Keto diet results will just keep getting better.
While the keto diet is a great option, with a fair trade off of desserts and pastries for steaks and burgers, make sure to consult a nutritionist and your doctor before going on any diet plan that requires drastic modifications to your current plan. It would also be best to avoid this diet if you suffer from conditions like diabetes or hypercholesterolemia.