Keto or ketogenic diet is the recent dieting fad to hit the world. It is also known as LCHF diet (a low carb, high fat diet).Now, it is a fact that your weight loss journey depends majorly on your diet. It is 70% what you eat and 30% exercise.
However, a large chunk of people rely solely on working out to lose weight and when it comes to dietary restrictions, they make it a low carb, low fat and a high protein one. A lot of people cut down fat along with calories to lose weight. Now, not all fat is bad. It is one of the macro nutrients (Carbohydrates, fats and proteins) after all.
How a keto diet works: Carbohydrates are your body’s favourite source of energy. They are simple molecules and are easy to break down to produce glucose which is required for day to day activities and basic body functions.Your body begins to extract energy from the fat sources stored in the body once you restrict carbohydrates. This is called entering a Keto state.
Fats molecules are power houses of energy, so this keeps the body going despite restricting carbs.
How to start a Keto diet: Simply start by making a diet plan and sticking to it religiously. This brings me to the most important part. How exactly do I divide my macro nutrients? Well, 70% of your diet should consist of fats, 25% of proteins and the remaining 5% carbohydrates. Remember, you are restricting carbohydrates, not calories.
What to eat on a keto diet: Your main source of carbohydrates should be vegetables. Refined carbohydrates (bread, pasta), starch (potatoes, beans) and also fruit (Exceptions are avocado, star fruit berries – in moderation) are a strict no as they do have a lot of natural sugars which you body can easily break down into glucose.
Do not eat:
Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cornflakes or any type of cereal.
Sugar – for obvious reasons, as it defeats the purpose. Honey is off limits too.
Fruit – as already mentioned. Avoid apples, bananas, oranges etc. or any other fruit for that matter, apart from the ones mentioned above.
Root vegetables – Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams etc. as they are high in starch.
Meat – This is a very Non-vegetarian friendly diet. You can basically consume fish, mutton, chicken, eggs to your heart’s content.
Dairy – Since this diet is high in fat, make cheese, butter, coconut oil you best friends.
Leafy vegetables – Although most don’t like them, they are going to help you in reaching the daily fiber requirement.
Nuts – Walnuts, sunflower seeds etc are high in fat.
Vegetables – the ones that are allowed are cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, beans and cucumber.
Vegetarians are at a little disadvantage when it comes to keto as they would be missing meat from their diet. There is one thing though that they could consume without a restriction – Malai paneer. That is nothing but paneer made from full fat milk.
What is Keto flu: Your body is used to working with glucose but now you have stopped it and it is working with ketones. Therefore, it takes some time for it to get used to it. You might go through something called as ‘Keto flu’. This includes, nausea, headache fatigue etc. and it usually last from 4 days to a week. However, there is nothing to worry about and once you get past this hill, you will notice an increase in energy and mental clarity.
Things to keep in mind: The body uses stored fat to produce energy as we have already discussed. In this process, ‘ketones’ are produced in the liver. Your body takes some time to adjust when you start anything new. Here are a few things one must do, in order to work this out successfully.
Drink lot of water – The ketones in your body might make you use the bathroom a lot more than usual. Also, the reduction in fiber might make one constipated, so a lot of water might help with that.
Work out – Just a regular 20-30 min walking can help in making this diet work for your weight loss. This is a bare minimum.
Protein intake – Don’t go overboard with the protein as you body can covert this to glucose. Load up on fat meats and dairy.
As with anything, consistency is the key! Keep a track of what you are having and once you begin to see results, it motivates you to keep on going.