Wondering which weight loss plan is for you? The keto diet, or the ketogenic way of eating, is a great way to shed the pounds. This easy to follow guide will help explain the basics.
What is the Keto Diet all about?
The ketogenic diet (also known as the keto diet) is a strict way of eating, but in recent years it's been adapted to be a little more flexible.
'Dirty keto' is a term you may come across, which is when you eat foods that fit in with your daily allowance (macros), but they contain ingredients that aren't strictly Keto-friendly.
Here's an example: someone eats a square of milk chocolate, which contains only 10g of carbs, but the ingredients contain milk and sugar - these are not keto-friendly, but the chocolate fits into the under 20g a day rule.
'Lazy keto' is where the person doesn't pay attention to their macros, but stick to eating under 20g of carbs. This allows them to stay in ketosis.
Is the ketogenic way of eating for you? Only you know the answer to this question. Low carb diets are trendy at the moment. The keto diet is quite restrictive, but not as much as a diet like Atkins.
The low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat means that you can still enjoy eating out, or even devour a kebab from your local takeaway, so long as it's shish and not donner meat. With this in mind, it makes the keto diet seem much more satisfying than a low calorie one.
As the diet encourages healthy high fat foods like avocado, you may find you consume less calories than if on a low fat diet, because you feel satisfied.
Keto Diet Plan
The keto way of eating allows you to eat often, but as it's a high fat diet you may find that you are satisfied with as little as one meal a day, with no snacks in between.
Intermittent fasting is popular with the ketogenic diet. It's where food is eaten during the set hours of the day. Outwith the 'eating hours' you can drink only.
Tip - This Simply Keto* book is a top seller on Amazon, and may be a good guide to have to hand, during your keto journey.
Keto Diet Recipes
The internet is awash with keto diet recipes that will satisfy your every craving. It's not unusual to miss those everyday items such as bread and potato chips. However, there are ways of substituting these carb-laden foods with keto-friendly options.
Fathead Dough (for Breadsticks, Pizza Bases and more)
Bulletproof Coffee - Make filter coffee (or instant), and add two tablespoons of grass-fed butter, coconut oil or MCT Oil.
Keto Crisps - Cut cheese into triangles (Cheddar, Gouda or Edam are ideal). Put the triangles onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof and bake for around 14 minutes at 175°.
Keto Diet Meal Plan
Need some meal inspiration? Here's a week's worth of keto meal ideas:
Monday: Breakfast - Scrambled Egg (made with cream) with Smoked Salmon and Spinach. Lunch - Chicken Mayo and Bacon Salad with Avocado. Dinner - Steak, Blue Cheese Sauce and Celeriac Chips.
Tuesday: Breakfast - Poached Eggs, Lunch - Tuna Mayo Salad, Dinner - Chicken Curry (made with cream) with Cauliflower Rice.
Wednesday: Breakfast - Egg Muffins, Lunch - Olive and Feta Salad, Dinner - Cauliflower Cheese.
Thursday: Breakfast - Full Fat Greek Yogurt with Raspberries, Lunch - Three Cheese and Ham Omelette, Dinner - Cod in a Creamy Sauce with Broccoli.
Friday: Breakfast - Continental Meats and Cheeses , Lunch - Seafood Salad, Dinner - Tacos (made from Baked Cheese).
Saturday: Breakfast - Cooked Breakfast with Mushrooms, Lunch - Poached Salmon with Swede Chips, Dinner - Sharing Platter with Charcuterie Meats, Olives and Homemade Dips.
Sunday: Breakfast - Bacon and Cheese Scones, Lunch - Ham Salad Sandwich with 90 second bread, Dinner - Keto Pizza
Keto Diet Foods
Your perception of Kkto may be that it's very meat heavy, but it can be adapted for vegetarians, as well as pescetarians.
It is a low carb diet, so you can eat plenty of dark green vegetables, fish, seafood, nuts and high fat dairy foods too.
What can you eat on a keto diet?
The ketogenic diet is a very low carb diet, that was originally created for children with epilepsy, to combat seizures.
It differs from other no/low carb ways of eating in that for it to work and reduce inflammation within the body you must adhere to eating less than 20g of carbohydrates a day, and consume the correct foods.
The first thing you should do when starting keto, is to calculate your macros, which you can do using an online calculator. This lets you know how much protein and fat you may eat daily.
There are some foods that are strictly forbidden on keto:
- Most Fruits
And here are some examples of foods that ARE allowed:
- Dark green vegetables like Kale, Spinach and Broccoli
- High Fat Dairy
- Unprocessed Meats
- Olive Oil
What does it mean to be in Keto?
If you're in keto, that means that your body is in a state of ketosis. This can be measured via keto sticks*, breath monitors, or blood glucose monitors.
When your body enters a metabolic state where levels of ketones are raised in the body tissues. This is known as Ketosis. The fat is then used as the primary source of energy, in place of carbohydrates.
The body directly breaks down fat stores which is used as energy, which usually results in weight loss.
Ketones can be detected in blood, breath and urine, and are the byproducts of fat that is breaking down in the body. This happens when carbohydrate consumption is low.
Is a Keto Diet safe?
It's always highly advised to consult your doctor before commencing any drastic change in diet.
There have been suggestions that by eating keto you can develop fatty liver disease, but this is if insufficient amounts of dark green vegetables are consumed.
On the flip side, there are several reports that claim diabetes (type 2), fatty liver disease and PCOS have been improved when sticking to a prolonged period on keto.
The Magic Pill
'The Magic Pill' is a documentary on Netflix that follows the progress of families/individuals that are following a ketogenic diet. It has proven very popular and is likely to be the reason for a sharp spike in people on keto in the last two years.
What is BPC in the Keto Diet?
'Bulletproof coffee' or BPC is a hot coffee that contains healthy fats. You may wince at the thought, but it's a good way to start the day.
It helps you to poop, and can keep your appetite satisfied for hours on end.
All you need to do is make a cup of coffee, and add a healthy fat like grass-fed butter, coconut oil or MCT oil.