A ketogenic diet, also known as a keto diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It has been shown in numerous studies to be effective for weight loss and certain health conditions. A keto diet is especially beneficial for losing excess body fat while remaining hungry, as well as improving type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. A keto diet restricts carbohydrates, also known as carbs, in order to burn fat for fuel. In this beginner’s guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about ketogenic diets, including how to get started safely and effectively. In ketosis, your liver converts fat (from your body and diet) into ketones, which your brain can use for energy. Muscles are also fueled by fat.

1. What is a keto diet?
A keto diet is low in carbohydrates and has many potential health benefits. When you eat fewer carbs, your body starts burning fat for fuel. This can cause your body to enter a metabolic state known as ketosis. In this state, your liver converts fat into small energy molecules known as ketones, which your brain and other organs can use as fuel. Eating a keto diet lowers insulin levels, which can help you access your body fat stores for energy. Many studies show that going keto can help you lose weight without having to count calories. Ketogenic diets may have additional health benefits, such as lowering blood sugar levels.

The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet. It can assist the body in burning more fat, reducing hunger, and lowering blood sugar levels.

Disclaimer: While the ketogenic diet has numerous proven benefits, it is still controversial. The main potential risk concerns medications, such as those used to treat diabetes, where doses may need to be adjusted. Discuss any medication changes and relevant lifestyle changes with your doctor.

2. What to eat on a keto diet?
Here are some typical ketogenic diet foods. The figures represent net carbs per 100 grammes (3.5 ounces) of food.

What is the most important thing to do in order to achieve ketosis?

Limit your carbohydrate intake. You should aim for less than 50 grammes of net carbs (total carbs minus fibre) per day, preferably less than 20 grammes. The lower the carbohydrate content of your diet, the more effective it appears to be for reaching ketosis, losing weight, or improving type 2 diabetes. Initially, counting carbs can be beneficial. However, if you stick to our recommended foods and recipes, you can stay keto even if you don’t count calories.

Planning keto
Creating keto meals is simple with the right strategy.
One approach is, to begin with, a protein source, such as meat, fish, seafood, eggs, or tofu. Then, to round out your meal, choose two low-carb vegetables and a healthy fat source.

What to drink
On a ketogenic diet, what can you drink? Water is the ideal beverage, but coffee or tea are also acceptable. Ideally, avoid using any sweeteners, especially sugar.
A splash of milk or cream in your coffee or tea is fine, but keep in mind that the carbs can add up if you drink several cups per day (and definitely avoid Caffe lattes!). A glass of wine every now and then is fine, but avoid sweet alcoholic beverages.

Carb counts per glass or cup of beverage
Try to avoid
Here’s what you should avoid on a keto diet – foods containing a lot of carbs, both the sugary and the starchy kind. These foods are very high in carbs.

Foods to stay away from include:

Bread, tortillas, muffins, bagels, pancakes
Pasta and rice
Cakes, cookies, and other baked goods
Sugar and anything made with sugar
Most fruits and fruit juice
Also, avoid or limit highly processed foods and instead fill your diet with our recommended keto-friendly food options.

Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and other protein-rich foods should be the foundation of your keto diet. Include a variety of leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, and salads. If needed, use fats like olive oil to add flavour and calories. Sugary and starchy foods should be avoided. Consume water, tea, or coffee. All you have to do is concentrate on cooking, eating, and enjoying nutritious, delicious food.

Keto macros: Carbs, protein, & fat
When following a keto diet, the idea is to eat very few carbs, a moderate amount of protein, and just as much fat as you need to feel satisfied, rather than stuffed.

Limit carbs to 20 or fewer grams of net carbs per day, or 5 to 10% of calories. Although it’s possible that you may not need to be this strict, eating fewer than 20 grams of net carbs every day virtually guarantees that you’ll be in nutritional ketosis.

Eat enough protein to meet your needs. Most people need at least 70 grams per day, or 20 to 35% of calories from protein.

Include enough fat to add flavor. There’s no reason to add lots of fat unless you need extra calories. Plus, many whole foods like eggs and meat contain plenty of fat. On a keto diet, about 60 to 75% of your calories come from fat.

3. Keto results —
how can it benefit you?
Weight loss
Type 2 diabetes
Metabolic health
Type 1 diabetes
Fatty liver disease
If you’re wondering what kind of results you can expect from a keto diet, the answer is that it depends on how strict you are, among other things. Evidence suggests that keto diets aid in weight loss and blood sugar control. However, the results of even the most well-conducted study are still an average of what each participant experienced. That means your keto experience will be unique. Your weight loss and health improvements may be abrupt and dramatic, or they may be gradual but consistent. Almost without exception, you can expect to eat foods you enjoy without hunger or calorie counting when you go keto. If your diet is simple, enjoyable, and provides adequate essential nutrition, you’ll be more likely to stick to it for as long as it takes to lose weight, improve your health, and keep these benefits.

What benefits might you experience by switching to a keto diet? Quite a few, possibly.

Weight loss without hunger
According to research, keto and low-carb diets are frequently effective for weight loss. In fact, more than 30 high-quality scientific studies show that low-carb and keto diets result in greater weight loss when compared to other diets. Why do keto diets work so well for weight loss? As previously stated, being in ketosis lowers insulin levels, making it easier to access your body fat stores. Another reason could be that keto diets naturally cause people to eat less as a result of feeling more satisfied.

A keto diet has been shown to provide several benefits, such as weight loss, reversal of type 2 diabetes, and improved metabolic health. However, results may vary from person to person. Focus on your own keto journey.

4. Potential risks of a keto diet
Is there any danger in following a keto diet? Although more research on long-term health effects is needed, current evidence suggests that keto diets that provide adequate nutrition are unlikely to be harmful. Some people who have followed ketogenic diets have reported side effects such as kidney stones and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It is important to note, however, that these effects have primarily been observed in people who were on an extremely high-fat, low-protein keto diet for epilepsy. The traditional ketogenic diet for epilepsy is intended to boost ketone levels in order to control seizures. It contains far more fat and far less protein than the keto diet, which we recommend for weight loss, blood sugar control, and other health benefits.

In some cases, people who eat keto or low-carb diets with less fat and more protein than the classic ketogenic diet have higher LDL cholesterol and particle levels. Individuals with diabetes or insulin resistance, on the other hand, often respond to low-carb eating with improved lipid markers overall, as previously discussed.

5. How to get into ketosis
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat and ketones rather than glucose (sugar) as its main fuel source.

How can you get into ketosis quickly and stay there? Here are three things to know:

Eat less than 20 grams of net carbs per day. Cutting way back on carbs can help you get into ketosis rapidly, often within a few days.
Avoid eating too often: If you’re not hungry, don’t eat. Intermittent fasting or even just eliminating snacks can help you get into ketosis faster.
Measure ketones.Testing for ketones in your blood, breath, or urine can confirm that you are indeed in ketosis. Each of these methods comes with pros and cons.
6. Common mistakes
The “ideal” keto approach will most likely differ from person to person. However, to help you get ahead of the game, here are some common mistakes to avoid in order to achieve keto success. Have you heard that fat is a free food on the keto diet, or that eating more fat will help you lose fat? The truth is that consuming too much fat prevents your body from using stored fat for energy. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, limit your intake of fat. Keto-friendly foods include most nuts and some dairy products (such as cheese and Greek yoghurt).

However, if you eat too many of them, the carbs and calories can quickly add up — and these tasty foods are easy to overdo. Keep portion sizes small for the best results.Do you worry that eating a lot of meat, eggs, and other high-protein foods will cause gluconeogenesis (literally “creating new glucose”) and raise your blood sugar? You are not required to be. Protein appears to have little to no effect on blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, according to research. When you are in nutritional ketosis, your blood ketone levels are between 0.5 and 3.0 mmol/L. Higher levels, however, do not appear to be any better than lower levels for weight loss. In fact, you don’t have to be in ketosis to lose weight.

7. Intermittent fasting & keto
Some people who follow a keto diet also practise intermittent fasting in order to lose weight faster or to reverse type 2 diabetes. Intermittent fasting entails alternate periods of fasting and eating. Many people feel less hungry when they follow a keto diet. And, because we recommend eating only when you are hungry, you may naturally begin to eat fewer meals per day — or you may purposefully plan fewer meals to match your reduced appetite. For some, this may imply eating two meals per day (often skipping breakfast). Others may interpret this as eating only once a day, a practice known as OMAD, which stands for “one meal a day

8. Keto FAQ
Before getting started, you may have a few — or perhaps even several — questions about keto diets.

Here are a few of the more commonly asked questions about keto:

Is keto safe?
For most people, eating a keto diet is safe. However, as mentioned earlier, if you take medications for diabetes or high blood pressure, you should speak with your doctor about adjusting your medications. Those who should avoid being in ketosis include breastfeeding women and people with rare metabolic conditions that are typically diagnosed in childhood.

How much weight can I expect to lose on keto?
How much weight can I expect to lose on keto? 30 is the ideal amount to lose wight. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Most people lose about 2 to 4 pounds (1 to 2 kilos) during the first week. Some people lose even more. Keep in mind that a good portion of this is water weight, though. After the first couple of weeks, weight loss often slows down quite a bit. While a lot of people continue losing about 1 pound (0.5 kilo) of weight a week, many others lose more or less than this.

How will I know whether I’m in ketosis?
Sometimes, you’ll have a pretty good idea when you’re in ketosis. Among the most common signs are:

Dry mouth or a metallic taste in the mouth
Increased thirst and more frequent urination
“Keto breath” or “fruity breath,” which may be more apparent to others
Initial fatigue, followed by an increase in energy
Decreased appetite and food intake (one of the more welcome side effects!)
What is the difference between keto and low carb?
Keto and low-carb diets differ by how many carbs they contain, and sometimes by which foods are included.

At Diet Doctor, we define keto and low-carb diets by the following:

Keto: Less than 20 grams of net carbs per day
Moderate low-carb: Between 20 and 50 grams of net carb per day
Liberal low-carb: Between 50 and 100 grams of net carbs per day

On a keto diet, carbohydrates are minimized to achieve ketosis. On a low-carb diet, ketosis may occur, but it isn’t a goal.

Author: Thavocalist

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