Maintaining a healthy weight can be hard but losing weight is even harder. There are numerous diet plans that claim to help reduce weight rapidly. In the world of weight-loss diets, low-carbohydrate diets have grabbed a lot of attention and have become very controversial. The Paleo, South Beach, and Atkins diets all fit into the category of low carb diets designed to lose weight and stay in shape and are sometimes referred to as ketogenic or keto diets. But true ketogenic diet is totally different. It has been around for nearly a century but over the past few years has become the trendiest diet and obsession that is rumored to keep top celebrities like Kim Kardashian fit and strong.
What exactly is a keto diet?
The Ketogenic Diet or more commonly known as Keto Diet involves consuming a significant amount of fat, a moderate amount of proteins and a very minute amount of carbs. It changes the way the body normally converts food into usable energy. Consuming a lot of fat and very little carbs puts the body in the state if ketosis, a metabolic state in which the body burns fats instead of carbs to fulfill its energy requirements. In case of low carbohydrate levels, the liver converts the available fatty acids into ketones which are an alternative source of energy. As a result, the body becomes very efficient at burning fat for producing energy.
Keto diet has numerous potential benefits such as it burns fat, reduces inflammation, provide immediate energy to the brain, increases the amount of energy available and lowers blood sugar levels.
How to start a keto diet and what to eat
Starting a keto diet is not easy and at times be very challenging. The diet is all about increasing the consumption of foods that are high in fats and limiting foods high in carbs. Due to the high-fat requirement, eating fat at each meal becomes necessary. The main points to remember when starting a keto diet are:
- Restrict carbs: Restricting carbs is the most important thing to do when planning on doing a keto diet. They should be restricted at less than 20g-50g per day. To achieve this, foods that are to be consumed must be carefully selected. Fruits are high in carbs but certain fruits such as berries can be consumed in a very small proportion. Leafy green vegetables are like kale and spinach are recommended.
- Have moderate protein intake: It is important to consume proteins in a moderate amount because high protein levels can stress the kidneys and above all excess protein gets converted into glucose. Protein sources that are high in saturated fat include beef and bacon.
- Increase fat intake: People always fear fat but this should not be the case when intending to go for a keto diet. Enough fat should be consumed so that energy as well satiety is provided. Some unsaturated fats like nuts, seeds, and tofu are also allowed. Saturated fats from oils, butter and lard are highly encouraged in large proportions.
- Drink lots of water: Drinking lots of water is very crucial. Burning fat means that the body is storing less amount of water which can lead to severe dehydration. It is recommended that at least 16 cups of water must be consumed daily.
- Eat only when hungry: It is not necessary to consume 3-6 meals a day or eat frequently. The key here is to only eat when hungry as this will aid the fat burning process.