A ketogenic diet follows a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat and moderate-protein diet. Ketogenic, or “keto,” is a term coined from the word ketones, which are fuel molecules produced by the body and used as an alternative energy supply when the glucose supply in the body is low.
Under normal conditions, the body converts carbohydrates into glucose to be used as your energy source. When you restrict yourself in eating carbohydrates, the body will resort to using your stored fats and breaks fat molecules into ketones to provide energy.
On a ketogenic diet, your body will rely on fat for its steady supply of energy. This will cause your insulin levels to go down and your body’s ability to burn fat will increase drastically. This metabolic state is called ketosis.
Types of ketogenic diets
- Standard ketogenic diet (SKD). This diet is very low in carbohydrates (5%), moderate protein (20%) and high in fat (75%)
- Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD). This diet is the same as SKD but allows you to add carbs around workouts
- Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD). Commonly adapted by bodybuilders, this diet involves 1 or 2 days of consuming a high-carb diet in a week of standard ketogenic diet
How to get started
When you are on a keto diet, your daily consumption of food involves restricting carbohydrates. Consuming less than 15 grams per day can help your body enter ketosis at a faster rate.
On this diet, it is highly recommended that your carbohydrate intake should come from vegetables, dairy, nuts and seeds. Refined carbohydrates from foods such as wheat and starch should be avoided.
This is why planning ahead is an integral part if you want to get started on a keto diet. With a viable plan, switching on this diet will be attainable, safe and effective. The Keto Beginning can help you with that.
It’s a complete beginner’s guide for you to fully understand what a keto diet is. It contains strategies on how you can effectively reach goals such as weight loss, ending food obsessions and unhealthy cravings, having energy without constantly feeding, and more.
It also follows a holistic approach to ketosis by providing easily accessible and manageable ways to prepare keto-friendly foods that are nutritional and tasty.
What you can eat
As mentioned above, majority of your meals should come from whole-based foods such as:
- Meat (lamb, veal, pork, beef). If possible, stick with pasture-raised and grass-fed meat as your source of protein. It can also be a good source of fat so it’s best to choose fattier cuts. If you are thinking about cured meat, do find ketogenic-friendly ones as most of these products usually contain sugar and processed ingredients
- Fish (tuna, cod, snapper, salmon, catfish, trout, anything caught in the wild is preferred). The fattier the fish, the better
- Poultry (turkey, chicken, duck, pheasant, quail). With poultry, try choosing darker meat over white as dark is fattier
- Whole eggs (preferably free-range). Egg is a staple food for most people and can be cooked in a variety of ways for different flavors and textures
- Offal (animal organs – liver, heart, tongue). This is a great source of vitamins and nutrients
- Nuts and seeds (almonds, macadamia, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, etc.). Although nuts/seeds are great sources of fat. Snacking on them can increase your insulin levels and slow down your weight loss. Some of these nuts are also high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Plus, some nuts are also high in carbohydrates which can add up quickly if not consumed in moderation
- Cruciferous vegetables. A fancy term for vegetables grown above ground, these are the best type to include in a ketogenic diet. They are typically high in nutrients and low in carbohydrates. Go for dark, green and leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach. Vegetables that are grown below ground can still be consumed but opt for ones with lesser carbohydrates like yellow onions and portion them based on their carbohydrate content
- Dairy products (milk, heavy cream, mayo, parmesan, mozzarella, brie, cottage, etc.). Eating dairy products can be optional if you choose to do so. Using dairy products not only adds flavor to food but it’s also a great source of fat as long as consumed in moderation
- You can also consume coffee, tea, and broth. Also, drink lots of water to keep your body well-hydrated since a ketogenic diet has diuretic effects
What you cannot eat
A ketogenic diet can be described as a highly-restrictive diet considering that most fruits and certain vegetables should be avoided.
- Sugar (soda, candy, chocolate, juice, anything sweet). As a beginner, restricting yourself of sugar and sugar-containing foods can be extra challenging especially when you’re shifting from a high-carb diet
- Whole grains. Wheat products like pasta, bread, barley, beer, corn, etc.
- Fruits and certain vegetables. Potatoes and bananas should be strictly avoided because of their starch content Root vegetables like onions, garlic, parsnip also contain significant amounts of carbohydrates which means consuming them should be limited.
Although there are many restrictions when you are on a keto diet, don’t get discouraged because The Keto Beginning has got you covered.
Aside from detailed information about the keto diet, you will also get access to a 30-day meal plan that follows a gluten-free, paleo-friendly lifestyle.
What’s great about this program is that it will guide you as you go through the transition to ensure that you will be able to maintain this lifestyle, not just for a while, but for a lifetime.
The Keto Beginning meal plan will include over 50 easy-to-prepare recipes that can be made in 15 minutes or less. These daily meals also include delicious snacks and other extras so you can enjoy the benefits of a ketogenic diet without feeling deprived of food.
Aside from the recipes, you will also be guided through your grocery shopping so you have everything you need on hand to make meal preparation enjoyable and effortless. Helping you with your shopping list also makes sure that no food will be wasted.