If you’ve tried and tried one too many weight loss techniques and have failed at all of them, know that you’re not alone. Nor is this any reason to worry or take unnecessary stress that would only make you eat out of anxiety, because the answer to the longstanding debate of what the quickest way to lose weight has been found in the ketogenic diet.
The ketogenic diet (also known by its shorter name, ‘keto diet’) is a diet plan that offers a wide variety of health benefits. It is low-carb and high-fat diet plan that helps in reducing weight while simultaneously improving your health.
Since it is a diet plan that reduces the intake of carbohydrates, replacing them with fat, the keto diet causes the body to enter into a metabolic state called “Ketosis”, which is a direct result of the reduction in carbohydrates. Thus comes the name ‘ketogenic diet’.
Ketosis is a process that takes place within the body when there are fewer carbohydrates to burn for energy. In turn, this keto diet – when it reduces the carbohydrates intake – results in a fat-burning process within the body. This process leads to the body making substances called ketones which the body uses as fuel. The ketones are produced from the fat that is being burned, all of which takes place in the liver. The energy from these ketones is used throughout the body, especially for the brain.
On a ketogenic diet, the main source of fuel for the body is fat because the carbohydrate intake is reduced by a drastic amount. Therefore, the body is constantly burning fat during the entire day. When the level of insulin in your body becomes low, the process of fat burning increases by aggressively as it becomes easier to access the fat storages to burn them off.
However, there are other benefits as well, such as reduced hunger and a steady energy supply throughout the body.
Since the keto diet demands a reduction in the intake of carbohydrates, it is advised that carb intake should be less than 50 grams on a particular day of the diet; the ideal level is to keep it below 20 grams per day. The lesser the carb quanity, the more effective your keto diet plan will be. Foods that you can and should eat on a keto diet include:
Unprocessed meat is keto-friendly and low on carbohydrates. However, precaution must be taken to not eat meat in excess as meat contains protein and excessive protein intake is converted into glucose, which makes it hard for ketosis to take place.
Consumption of eggs in any form is highly advisable – boiled, scrambled, omelet, or fried in butter are all acceptable ways to eat eggs
● Vegetables that grow above the ground
Taken in either frozen or fresh form, vegetables grown above the soil are equally good. Examples include cauliflower, broccoli, avocado, and cabbage.
The diagram above shows foods that you’re free to enjoy while on a ketogenic diet. The numbers stated under each type of food are the digestible carbohydrates per 100 grams. Thus, to make your keto diet more effective, the lesser the carbohydrates, the better it is for you. From the diagram, it is evident that foods such as butter, olive oil, meat, fresh, and seafood should be at the top of your eating list as they are known to be very low on carbs. Cheese, eggs, and vegetables that grow above the ground can also be eaten as they contain fewer quanitities of carbohydrates.
Food items that contain high levels of sugar, starch, and carbohydrates should ideally be avoided. Rice, bread, pasta, and potatoes are examples of such foods that should not be on the eating list when you are on a keto diet. Processed foods are also not recommended while following this dietary routine.
The diagram above shows some of the food items that should be avoided when a keto diet plan is being followed. The numbers under each food item state the number of carbohydrates per 100 grams. Food items like candy and chocolate bars are very high on carbohydrates and thus, should be completely excluded from the diet. Other food items such as donuts, juices, pasta, potatoes, bread, rice, beer, and bananas are also recommended to be avoided as they have high levels of carbohydrates, which will make the process of ketosis less effective.
● Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): The most commonly followed version of a keto diet that includes 5% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 75% fat.
● Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): As the name suggests, this diet involves high periods of carbohydrate consumption, for example five keto days followed by two high carbohydrate days.
● Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): This type of diet involves targeting your carbohydrate consumption around a workout routine.
● High Protein Ketogenic Diet: This variation of the diet promotes a high intake of protein, such as 5% carbohydrates, 35% protein, and 60% fat intake.