What is the Ketogenic Diet? The ketogenic diet has been one of the most popular ‘fast weight loss’ diets for the last few years. Lots of celebrities swear by it, and there’s a wide range of healthy, whole-foods to enjoy.
The ‘ketogenic’ eating plan is similar to other strict, Low-Carb-High-Fat diets, but has fewer protein options. If you’re not familiar with the typical meals in this plan, feast your eyes on these tempting images from low-carb, keto recipes you can find easily online!
You can lose weight fast on this diet, but no-one can give you an estimate of how much, as there are too many variable factors! First of all, you need to stop eating all sugary, fatty processed foods and drinks. You’ll be switching to home-cooked foods, like this Keto Mousse with Mascarpone, so it’s well-worth the effort!
Stuffed Crust Low Carb Pizza from Ketogenic Recipes
A ketogenic diet is a strict high-fat, low-carb diet, that keeps your protein intake small – medium. To help you get some idea of serving proportions, try to produce meals with 70% energy from fat, 15 – 25% from protein and 10% from carbs.
How does ketogenic dieting work?
Keto Recipe – Bacon Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
If you eat a diet containing lots of carbohydrates, (e.g. bread, grains, potatoes, pastries, cakes, candy and alcohol), the body always converts them into ‘glucose fuel’. And if you don’t use up all the glucose fuel, it goes straight into storage as sugar-glucose fat-cells. Then the next day, when you eat too many carbs, which you don’t use up in exercise, the extra sugar goes into glucose-storage again!
On the other hand, if you choose a ketogenic diet method, you stop eating carbs and your body doesn’t get the raw-material it needs to make glucose-fuel. The body ‘thinks’ food is scarce and automatically switches to producing ‘ketones’ instead. Instead of running on sugar-glucose, your body switches to ketone-fuel it gets from the fat-stores in the liver.
Ketones are small fuel cells
Ketones are just small ‘fuel molecules’ that act as an alternative body-fuel to our usual glucose energy-source. They are produced when insufficient glucose/blood-sugar is available to run our muscles and brain.
The ketogenic diet plan help you lose weight fast, by forcing the liver to make ‘ketones’ from stored fat. The whole body switches to using fuel made from stored fat-cells. And you won’t be tormented by the usual feelings of hunger that remind us to eat carbs for glucose-based fuel!
Keto-diet Low-Carb Twice Baked Cauliflower
With fewer carbs in your diet, your level of insulin will drop and your physical and mental energy will be steady, with no ups and downs. Supporters, including a lot of health providers, believe that a ketogenic diet can make your body function like an efficient fat-burning machine. And it’s not only intended to be a short-term fast weight-loss diet, but a long-term healthy eating plan, too!
Foods to avoid
Your aim is to force your body into a state called ‘ketosis’, so you need to cut your carb intake down to below 20 grams a day over a few weeks. The carb-reduction process must be done gradually, or you’ll get unpleasant side effects. Start by aiming for about 50 grams of carbs a day and cut-out the following foods:
- Sugar, fruit juice, soft drinks, candy, sports’ drinks, candy, chocolate, cakes, bakery products sweet or savory, breakfast cereals, ice-cream and artificial sweeteners.
- The body cannot distinguish between sugar and saccharine and if it’s ‘sweet’, it will raise your level of insulin.
- Starchy foods including legumes such as dried beans, chickpeas and lentils.
- Grains including bread, cereals, rice, potatoes, pasta, oatmeal, muesli – including whole-grain versions. No beer, as it’s packed with carbohydrates.
- Margarine or imitation ‘butter’ products – eat real butter instead.
- Eat fruit occasionally, if you’re trying to lose weight fast on a ketogenic diet. Fruit contains sugar and it will interfere with you achieving ‘ketosis’.
Initial side-effects & how to deal with them
Although ketosis is normally safe, it is common to experience short-term side effects. Changing from sugar-burning to fat-burning causes a lot of dieters to have ‘flu-type symptoms. So you may experience tiredness, headaches, nausea, muscle cramps etc.
When you feel these symptoms, drink a glass of water with a little salt added and maybe a squeeze of lemon for flavor. You can prevent these symptoms by drinking a bouillon cube (Oxo, Bovril etc.) in hot water as a daily part of the diet. Don’t drink salty bouillon cubes if you think you may have high blood pressure.
You may have also heard about the ‘bad-breath’ experienced during the ketogenic diet. If your breath smells like acetone/nail varnish remover, that’s a good sign. It means your body is in a state of ketosis and running on your stored, unwanted fat! A fresh-breath spray will help disguise the odor.
Foods to eat on a ketogenic diet
Fat & oil
- beef tallow
- chicken fat
- macadamia nut
- olive oil
- peanut utter
Keto-diet protein sources
- peanut butter
- red meat
- whole eggs
Vegetables grown above-ground are low-carb
Roasted red-pepper, spinach, artichoke and zucchini noodle casserole
You can eat as much as you like of these highly nutritious, low-carb vegetables!
- brussels’ sprouts
- Romaine Lettuce – (not Iceberg as it doesn’t contain enough nutrition)
- white cabbage
Restrict root vegetables and nuts
Carrots, potato, sweet potato, nuts, parsnip, turnip, beetroot and rutabaga contain high levels of carbs, so don’t eat them too often.
I’m off now to make the roast red-pepper, spinach, artichoke and zucchini noodle casserole! It looks totally delicious!
Not a suitable diet for:
Ketogenic dieting is not suitable for anyone with diabetes, or taking insulin, or anyone with high blood pressure, or breastfeeding mothers. Before undertaking any diet plan to lose weight fast, you should consult your doctor and have a medical check-up. Always put your health first.