If you need to lose weight, you have heard countless times that you need to reduce your calorie intake. This means a reduction in the number of carbs you consume daily. An excellent way to do that is by following a ketogenic diet.
A keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. Your body goes to a state of ketosis, where the fats you consume are burned for energy. The fat is also turned into ketones in the liver to supply the brain with energy.
The reduction in blood sugar, insulin, and the presence of ketones has significant health benefits, including weight loss, increased performance, and improved health markers.
Keto diet meals have a moderate amount of proteins. On this diet, your body switches its fuel supply to fats since the supply of glucose is short. It can, however, be restrictive since you have to consume less than 20g of carbs. Otherwise, a cheat day could throw you out of ketosis.
What You Should Avoid
You should limit foods that are high in carbs. Others can be comfortably eliminated.
Here is a list.
- Starch: Wheat products, corn, rice, pasta
- Processed sugary foods: Soft drinks, ice cream, candy, cake
- Legumes: Peas, lentils, beans
- Unhealthy fats: Reduce your intake of mayonnaise, processed vegetable oils, etc.
- Fruits: All fruits, fruit juice, and smoothies except berries in small portions
- Alcohol: Alcoholic drinks have a high-carb content that could get you kicked out of ketosis.
- Low-fat foods: These are usually highly processed with high amounts of carbs
What You Can Eat
Foods high in fat but low in carbs are ideal for this diet. You should consider meals containing these foods.
- Meat: Chicken, beef, bacon, steak
- Eggs: Omega-3 or pastured whole eggs are recommended
- Nuts: Chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, almonds
- Avocados: Fresh guacamole or full avocados
- Cheese: Goat, cream, cheddar
- Vegetables: Green veggies, onions, pepper, tomatoes
- Oils: Look for healthy fats such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil etc.
- Condiments: Spices, herbs, salt, pepper
- Seafood: Salmon, sardine, mackerel, oysters
- Plain Greek yoghurt
A Sample Of Keto Diet Meals For One Week
Starting might seem hard when you don’t know what meals to prepare. We are helping you start with this keto diet meal plan for one week.
- Breakfast: Ham and omelette with avocado
- Lunch: Guacamole and salsa with a handful of nuts and celery sticks
- Dinner: Chicken, Parmesan cheese and vegetables
- Breakfast: Ketogenic milkshake
- Lunch; Fried eggs, mushrooms and bacon
- Dinner: Pork chops with cream cheese and broccoli
- Breakfast: Omelet with mushroom and spinach in coconut oil
- Lunch: Turkey, cucumber, avocado and blueberries
- Dinner: Lamb and herb butter
- Breakfast: Boiled eggs with mayonnaise
- Lunch: Salami, salad, roasted pepper
- Dinner: Beef and steamed zucchini
- Breakfast: Blackberry smoothie with lemon juice and coconut milk.
- Lunch: Tuna salad with greens and olive oil plus a handful of raspberries.
- Dinner: Roasted chicken, cabbage with mayonnaise
- Breakfast: Scrambled eggs in butter, avocado with cilantro salsa and tomato.
- Lunch: Chicken salad, mixed greens, tomatoes and olive oil.
- Dinner: Asparagus wrapped in bacon and brie.
- Breakfast: Green smoothie (Avocado, spinach, parsley, hemp seeds)
- Lunch: Tuna salad, greens dressed with olive oil, a handful of strawberries
- Dinner: Steak, eggs and a side salad.
Possible Side Effects And How To Reduce Them
As much as the keto diet meals are healthy, you may experience some side effects in the initial stages as your body adapts.
These side effects, usually referred to as the keto flu, are often over after a few days. Keto flu can be increased hunger, reduced energy, sleep issues, nausea, frequent urination, and poor performance when exercising. To minimize the effect, you can go for a regular low-carb diet in the first weeks. Your body may learn to burn more fat for energy. You can then eliminate carbs.
You may also experience low libido when starting, but once you have adapted to the low-carb diet, the libido will usually increase to even potential higher levels due to the weight loss.
The diet can change your mineral and water balance in the body. For example, frequent urination could cause loss of electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and fluid. This can make you prone to kidney injuries.
Other negative impacts can include irregular menstrual cycles, bad breath, constipation and fatigue.
Benefits Of Ketogenic Diet
Apart from weight loss, keto diet meals have numerous benefits. Actually, it is said that the ketogenic diet was originally meant to treat neurological ailments such as epilepsy. Here are some other benefits.
1. Minimizes acne
One cause of acne can be related to blood sugar and diet. Refined carbohydrates may affect gut bacteria and blood sugar which could potentially affect skin health. Thus, a reduction in the consumption of carbohydrates as in the ketogenic diet could reduce acne.
2. May help to minimize the risk of cancer
Some theories suggest that some cancers which are associated with insulin complications could be reduced by adopting a ketogenic diet.
3. Reduce heart diseases
The keto diet can help improve factors such as HDL cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body fat. This, in turn, reduces the risk of developing heart diseases.
4. Helps to manage epilepsy
Research on epileptic children has shown a significant reduction in seizures when they consume keto diet meals
5. Helps in treating polycystic ovary syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome is linked to insulin levels. The keto diet can help to minimize the levels of insulin.
6. Managing diabetes
High blood sugar and impaired functioning of insulin are characteristics of diabetes. You can lose excess fat in the keto diet, which is linked to metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and prediabetes.
Other health benefits of the keto diet include improving symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, reducing concussions after a brain injury and aiding recovery, reducing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and reducing appetite.
Keto diet meals can give you a lot of health benefits. You can adapt a meal plan with the ingredients available and enjoy a wholesome life.