Ketogenic Diet: A Beginner’s Guide

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

Most people seek diets that will provide amazing results in a short amount of time, but they overlook the fact that a diet is meant to create a certain healthy lifestyle that will offer results during the course of extended periods of time.

A ketogenic diet represents a popular low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat meal plan that teaches you how to have a healthy way of living, along with aiding in the process of weight loss. In other words, learning what and when to eat will aid your body in properly using the energy and boost internal processes that lead to a balanced weight and health.

Types of The Keto Diet

If you are interested in starting a ketogenic diet, you first need to learn that there are several types of keto diets

1. A standard ketogenic diet represents an extremely low-carb and high-fat diet, which usually recommends around 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs.

2. A cyclical ketogenic diet is the one that alternates periods of high-carb meals, normally consisting of 5 ketogenic days, with two high-carb days.

3. For those that workout a lot, a targeted ketogenic diet is the best option due to the fact that it permits you to add carbs before or after intense exercises.

4. A high-protein ketogenic diet resembles the standard version of a keto diet, but it requires more protein, the ratio being 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.

Health Benefits of The Keto Diet

A ketogenic diet meal plan has various benefits for our health and wellbeing. This happens because it impacts in a positive manner our body`s chemistry, determining it to become more efficient in using fuel sources. So, let`s see below the top benefits of a keto diet.

1. First and the most important benefit of a ketogenic diet is weight loss. This happens due to the fact that the body is encouraged to transform fat into energy at a higher rate, while determining it to burn fat when more energy is required, instead of searching for glucose.

2.Balancing your appetite is another benefit derived from following a keto diet. This takes place because the diet is not full of carbs, which will eliminate cravings that lead to bad eating habits.

3.A ketogenic diet has a beneficial impact on mental health, too. Hence, you will observe that you will have an improved mental focus and your sleep habits will change. This happens because the body is trained to use energy in a consistent manner, which will prevent the brain from focusing mostly on energy sources and distribution throughout the body.

4.Another important benefit of a keto diet is that it boosts your energy levels, as the body properly stores, distributes and consumes fuel sources. After a couple of weeks of following this diet, you will easily observe how you will be able to get up easier in the morning, while the energy wave you experience will last throughout the day.

What to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet and What Foods to Avoid

Well, the keto diet is easy to understand and follow. The purpose is to find the right amount of low-carbs and high-fats that will feed your bodily correctly. Thus, here is a list of foods recommended in a ketogenic diet that you might want to try:

  • When it comes to meat, you can opt for steak, ham, bacon, chicken, turkey or red meat, depending on your preferences. Also, it is highly recommended to include in the diet fatty fish such as salmon in order to feed your body omega fatty acids.
  • Moreover, you can eat unprocessed cheese like mozzarella, blue cheese, cream cheese or even cheddar, along with lots of eggs and butter.
  • Nuts and seeds represent a must eat for a keto diet and you can eat everything starting from almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds or even pumpkin seeds.
  • Low-carb veggies complete the overall meal plan and most of the green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers are good to go.
  • Remember that you should cook your meals using healthy oils such as extra virgin oil.

Knowing what to eat in a ketogenic diet is necessary, but what about the foods you should avoid if you aim to get the best results from this meal plan? Well, here is a list of foods you should avoid in a keto diet.

  • The most important part of a ketogenic diet is to cut out sugar sources like soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks, vitamin water, sweets, candy, cakes, chocolate bars, frozen sweets or even breakfast cereals.
  • Margarine is considered to be one of the most harmful foods for our health because it is industrially obtained from aliments that imitate butter and have no health benefits overall.
  • Carbohydrate sources such as bread, pasta, potatoes, porridge, rice, beans or lentils are to be avoided and can be replaced with root vegetables.

 Example of a Week Keto Meal Plan

This being said, let`s help you in getting started with a keto diet. The ketogenic diet for beginners might seem a bit complicated, when, in fact, it is rather simple to keep up with a well-established meal plan. Here is an example of what a ketogenic meal plan for a week looks like.

# Monday

Breakfast – Cottage Cheese, eggs, and tomatoes

Lunch – Turkey salad with olive oil dressing

Dinner – Salmon and vegetables

#Tuesday

Breakfast – Egg and cheddar cheese omelet with tomatoes or peppers

Lunch – Milkshake made out of almond milk, cocoa powder and stevia

Dinner – Meatballs and vegetables

#Wednesday

Breakfast – Milkshake made out of coconut milk, almond milk, strawberries

Lunch – Tuna salad with avocado

Dinner – Chicken chops with parmesan cheese and salad

#Thursday

Breakfast – Scrambled eggs with peppers onions and avocado

Lunch – A mix of nuts and guacamole

Dinner – Chicken with cream cheese and vegetables

#Friday

Breakfast – Sugar – free yogurt and peanut butter

Lunch – Beef cooked in olive oil with vegetables

Dinner – Warm sandwiches with bacon, eggs, and cheese

#Saturday

Breakfast – Cottage cheese and vegetable omelet

Lunch – A mix of nuts and cheese

Dinner – Tuna, eggs, and spinach salad

#Sunday

Breakfast – Fried eggs with mushrooms

Lunch – Cheeseburger with guacamole

Dinner – Steak with salad

Side Effects of Keto Diet

In most cases, a ketogenic diet is great for everyone, while side effects do not occur in the majority of healthy people. Anyhow, if you suffer from a particular medical condition, it is best to ask your doctor if you can enrol in such diet plan or not.

Initial side effects of a keto diet are referred to as keto flu. They last a couple of days and are strictly related to the fact that your body tries to adjust to the new meal plan. Symptoms such as poor energy, nausea or sleep problems appear at the beginning of the diet, but they disappear after a day or two.

Bottom line, a ketogenic diet is a manner in which we re-teach our body how to use fuel sources correctly and feed us correct amounts of vitamins and minerals. It is a lifestyle we should promote more often as it boosts our health and brain performance, being a great diet for anyone who wants to enrol in a healthy way of living life.

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