The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle
Every new year starts with a long list of resolutions that always includes: living a healthier lifestyle.
Thus, the excitement of the fresh start pushes us to get a full year gym membership, and read as much as we can about diets that will enable us to get rid of the extra pounds we have, in order to finally get that body we have been dreaming of for years.
Since you are into the health and fitness world (or else you would not be here making this research), then you have probably heard of the keto diet.
While this trending diet might seem like your ultimate solution to get the body of your dreams and promote better health, there are some basic information you will need to know before deciding to adopt it.
Each body reacts differently to change. Therefore, the keto diet might be the perfect fit for you, even if it did not work for another person.
Yet, this diet has some unique characteristics and conditions that you must be sure to beck before taking any step further and applying it.
What is keto for beginners and how to create the ideal keto diet menu for beginners? Read on to find out.
Keto Diet for Beginners: A Simple Definition
We know all the questions that might be crossing your mind at this very moment: ‘Is the ketogenic diet effective?’ ‘Is keto diet backed by science?’ ‘How does the keto diet work?’
To answer those questions, let’s start by clarifying what the keto diet really consists of. Simply put, the ketogenic diet is an eating model that focuses on ingredients low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and high in fat.
Consequently, your calorie intake in every meal must be split into three shares. The first and most dominant source of calories in keto diets is from fat, that can make up to 75% of the overall calorie intake. While protein comes second with a rate around 20%, and finally carbs, making only 5% of the total calories.
The Founding Principle of The Ketogenic Diet
The keto diet relies on one assumption as a basis for every keto diet menu for beginners. This assumption suggests using ketones for fueling your body, rather than depending on glucose.
Ketones are fatty acids your body produces when there is not enough insulin to turn glucose in your body into energy. These chemicals made in your liver are sent into your bloodstream to fuel your cells instead of glucose.
Even though it might see like the trend of the decade, the keto diet has its roots in 1920 when it was used as a dietary treatment to heal patients suffering from epileptic disorders and seizures.
However, most patients are now choosing medication as a treatment for their epileptic seizures, since the keto diet requires more efforts and can be difficult to adopt.
Losing weight with keto for beginners
Of course, we are all mostly looking for diets with only one goal in mind: to lose weight. The good news is, the keto diet is known to be one of the most effective strategies you can follow to start losing weight immediately.
Research showed that people following a ketogenic diet were able to lose weight 2.2 times more than others adopting eating habits that are restricted on reducing calories and fats all together. This is due to the fact that the keto diet exceeds the usual low-fat diet recommended, since the ketogenic diet is focused on high protein intake.
Besides that, the increased ketones and insulin concentration in the body, along with the reduced blood sugar levels may also play a major role in the ketogenic diet’s effectiveness for weight loss.
Ketogenic diets: what differences?
You may have already heard that there are many types of ketogenic diets available, each version with its own specifications.
The types of the ketogenic diet include the following:
§ Standard ketogenic diet: The model keto diet, known for its low-carb, moderate protein, and high carb intake.
§ Calorie-restricted ketogenic diet: This is keto diet that limits the calorie intake to a set amount, unlike the standard keto diet.
§ Cyclical ketogenic diet: Also called the carb backloading diet, this one is mainly designed for athletes to allow them to reproduce glycogen lost during workouts, by having two days of high carbs intake after each five keto days.
§ Targeted ketogenic diet: This keto diet follows the same pattern of the standard diet, except that it targets times around workouts for its carbohydrate’s consumption.
§ High protein ketogenic diet: as its name suggests, the high-protein ketogenic diet includes a ratio of 35 percent of protein intake, rather than 25 percent in the standard diet.
Although there are series of research that support the effectiveness of these keto diet types, only the standard and high-protein ketogenic diets have been studied fully.
As for the other types such as the Targeted or Cyclical keto diet, they are often used only by athletes and people seeking to build more muscles.
The keto diet menu for beginners
What should you expect to eat when following a keto diet for beginners? We’ve got the full list for you!
Since the ideal keto diet is based on a low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat consumption, your daily meals can involve a variety of foods, such as:
- Natural oils (extra virgin oil, for instance)
- Low-carb vegetables
The most important detail to remember is that your meals must be based on single-ingredient foods that respect your chosen type of the ketogenic diet.
On the other hand, you must always be aware that there are some foods you need to avoid for your keto diet to work at its best. These foods usually include:
§ Fruits expect for berries.
§ Root vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots.
§ Processed oils and fats
§ Unhealthy sauces
§ Sugary snacks
If you feel confused about whether or not to include an ingredient in your meal, ask yourself the following question: ‘Is the food in front of you carb-based?’ If your answer to this question is positive, then you know that you should probably avoid it.
It goes without saying that eating out can be one of the most challenging parts of adopting a diet. However, this is not the case for keto diets.
Given the variety of foods you can include in your keto diet, it is easy to find a meal at almost any restaurant that would verify the ketogenic conditions.
In case you couldn’t find a perfect keto meal, you can simply substitute the high-carb foods with veggies.
Ketogenic diet for beginners: Health benefits
In addition to its original purpose of being an effective treatment for some neurological illnesses like epilepsy, studies have shown that keto diets can provide you with a variety of health benefits like lowering your risks of getting heart diseases, cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and brain concussions.
On top of that, eliminating processed oils and sugary foods may also help you reduce or get rid of acne.
Nevertheless, the research on the health benefits of keto diet is still ongoing.