keto diet

How to start a Keto Diet for Beginners: Benefits and Things to Avoid

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KETO DIET FOR BEGINNERS

We all want to be healthy, and for many of us, that means eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats.

Unfortunately, this can make it hard to keep on weight. That’s where the ketogenic diet comes in!

The keto diet is an extremely restrictive but very effective way to lose weight fast.

what is keto diet

 

Beginning keto? Well, first let me tell you what is a keto diet and how it affects weight loss.

 

A. WHAT IS KETO DIET?

A keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that helps you lose weight by making your body burn fat instead of carbs.

The ultimate goal for this type of eating plan is to get the body into a state known as ketosis.

Ketosis is when your body burns the excess fat it has stored up and converts it into energy or fuel. This process can take weeks, but some people experience benefits within days.

The Keto diet is a low-carb high-fat diet that aids in weight loss.

A ketogenic diet is a way of eating a high amount of fats, a medium amount of proteins, and very low carbs.

What are carbs?

If you are interested in weight loss then carbs are not good for you.

Carbohydrates are macronutrients found in starches, foods with high sugar content, bread, flour, pasta, rice, potatoes, cereals, bagels. These foods are so much available and delicious that they can be easily over consumed.

Carbohydrates break down to glucose which is in turn used by the body to release energy.

What is ketosis?

When carbs are discarded for a long time from our diet then our body enters into a phase called ketosis.

In a normal condition, the body burns glucose for energy. But once our body enters ketosis, then it starts burning fat for energy.

What are ketones?

When in a natural condition, the body uses glucose as its main source of fuel, but while being in a ketogenic diet (deficiency of available glucose) for long, our body starts breaking down fats for energy and that is when the liver produces a molecule known as ketones to be used as fuel to the body and brain.

Do you want to know the ketones level in your body?

Then order some ketone pee strips (NO, this is not an affiliate link).

This is an important step to start. As a beginner, you need to know what are foods are pushing you away from ketosis.

You cannot rely on every recipe you see on the internet which says keto-approved. You have to check whether a certain combination of foods raising or decreasing your ketones.

There is also a danger of having high ketones count known as DKA (Diabetic Keto Acidosis).

Ideally, our ketone level  should not go beyond > 1.5

So, it is always good to have a ketone level checked.

How many carbohydrates should you consume while on a keto diet?

Low carb researchers Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney suggested an upper limit of 50 gms of carb for daily intake.

Anything below that level is good for a ketogenic diet.

Aiming for 35 gm of carbs daily should be a good keto way.

How to tell if you are in ketosis?

1. As I mentioned earlier that you can use the keto strips to check if you are in ketosis.

2. The other symptoms can be a rapid weight loss (initially it is due to a drop in water weight)

3. Reduced food cravings are another indication.

4. You can also face bad breath or fatigue.

5. A bad headache could also be a symptom. Drink enough water to avoid negative feelings.

 

B. BENEFITS OF A KETO DIET

ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet would not have been trending if it was not a very effective measure.

 1. Curb diabetics

Keeping the blood sugar level low and check on insulin has proved to be effectively curbing diabetics. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic patients have got very positive effects following a ketogenic diet.

 

2. Effortless Dieting

ketogenic diet

Eating more proteins and fats satisfy our hunger pangs.

Following a keto diet will never make you feel hungry as you are already consuming full-filling meals.

 

3. Leads to a lesser risk of Cataracts

Our eyesight gets affected gradually if we have high blood sugar levels.

A ketogenic diet always tends to lower your blood sugar levels and hence maintains improved eyesight. It even decreases the risk of cataracts due to the same reason.

 

 4. PCOS can be treated with a ketogenic diet

PCOS is a very common problem in women’s health.

Low carb diets decrease the overall insulin level and hence reduces irregular menstrual periods and improve PCOS condition.

 

 5. Improves Digestion and reduces Bloating

It is well known that potatoes, pasta, high sugary foods are likely to increase body bloating due to acid reflux. So maintaining a low-carb diet improves these conditions.

Taking out the carbohydrate from the diet also helps in digestion and other gastrointestinal problems.

 

 6. Helps to gain Muscles

ketogenic dietA muscle gain also comes with fat gain. A ketogenic diet solely promotes muscle gain.

For an endurance athlete, the ketones in the blood lead to a significant performance boost.

Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek have a number of papers published about ketogenic dieting for ultra-endurance athletes.

 

 7. Improves Gall Bladder health

Gallstones are formed due to a high amount of carbs intake. So keeping a sufficient amount of fat and keeping the carb count low somewhat prevents the formation of gallstones.

 

 8. Lowers Blood pressure

Keto and blood sugar, the Low-carb diets are greatly associated with lowered blood sugar levels.

Since ketogenic diets are designed to reduce carb intake, it lowers blood sugar levels effectively.

Lowered blood sugar levels reduce the risk of heart disease, kidney failure, and other cardiovascular diseases.

 

 9. Helps fight Obesity

Abdominal Obesity, diabetes, hypertension are effectively reduced while on ketosis.

A large percentage of harmful fat in the abdominal cavity is lost due to low-carb diets.

A ketogenic diet helps to fight obesity and prevent major metabolic problems.

 

10. Increase in energy levels

You will notice a lack of cravings for carbs and a boost in energy levels within a week of a keto diet.

 

11. Increases HDL

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as good cholesterol which carries the cholesterol from the body to the liver where it can be reused or excreted. So higher the levels of HDL, the lower is the risk of any heart disease.

HDL can be increased by eating a lot of fats. As fat consumption is the main ingredient of a ketogenic diet, so the HDL level tends to increase measurably.

 

12. Controls LDL

Bad cholesterol or Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) tends to increase the rate of heart disease.

The higher the level of LDL, the higher is the chances of heart attacks. Though all the LDL particles are not of the same size. The smaller particles are more harmful.

A low-carb diet for a prolonged period starts turning the smaller particles into larger ones and thus it becomes less harmful.

 

 13. Lowers Triglycerides Level

Triglycerides are the fat molecules in the blood which are a strong heart disease risk factor.

The consumption of sugar and a high-carb diet tends to increase the triglyceride level.

Hence, on the contrary, a low-carb diet tends to eliminate triglycerides on a large percentage.

 

C. HOW TO START A KETOGENIC DIET FOR BEGINNERS

ketogenic diet

To start a ketogenic diet all you need is determination and a crystal clear meal plan.

1. Initially, it will be a bit tough to get accustomed to the new changes in eating habits. So you may take a week before you actually can start the diet. But in the meantime do not start eating high-fat diets along with carbs which is a sure shot way to obesity.

2. You will get ample keto breakfast, lunch, dinner recipes available on the internet. Always be prepared for a weekly meal plan. You can do the meal plans on weekdays and get your grocery shopping on Fridays.

Here are 11 keto recipes for beginners and a 7 Day Keto Meal Plan for a keto diet beginner. 

3. While you prepare yourself for high fat and low carb diet, do not forget to take the protein intakes in between. If you feel you are not getting enough proteins then Egg whites are an excellent way.

4. If you are unsure of what amount of protein, fats, and carbs will be good for you then you can use the Keto Calculator. You can use any keto calculator as it is always a good start to know your body. Having the calculation metrics will help you to keep focused on your diet plan.

 

D. KETO DIET FOOD LISTS

Now when you have decided to start with your first ketogenic diet then here go the food lists that you should be aware of.

Here are 10 Keto fruits that you can safely eat on a keto diet and 19 keto vegetable lists to use to fill your stomach.

I also liked this vivid list of keto foods from ruled.me.

You will have 2 sections here. One of the foods to have and the second, the foods to avoid. Take notice of both.

 

  1. Butter
  2. Avocado Oil
  3. Coconut Oil
  4. Goose fat
  5. Red Palm Oil
  6. Creme
  7. Cottage Cheese
  8. Ghee
  9. Sour Cream
  10. Whipped Cream
  11. Yogurt
  12. Eggs
  13. Bacon
  14. Beef
  15. Chicken
  16. Duck
  17. Lamp
  18. Mutton
  19. Pork
  20. Tuna
  21. Trout
  22. SwordFish
  23. Salmon
  24. Carp
  25. Catfish
  26. Sardines
  27. Crabs
  28. Lobster
  29. Shrimp
  30. Squid
  31. Oysters
  32. Blueberries
  33. Avacado
  34. Strawberries
  35. Coconut
  36. Cranberry
  37. Lemon
  38. Raspberries
  39. Olives
  40. Brussels sprouts
  41. Cauliflower
  42. Cabbage
  43. Chives
  44. Egg Plant
  45. Kale
  46. Green Onion
  47. Lettuce
  48. Radish
  49. Turnip
  50. Tomato
  51. Zucchini
  52. Red Cabbage
  53. Spinach
  54. Brocolli
  55. Bell Peppers
  56. Almonds
  57. Hazelnuts
  58. Pecans
  59. Walnuts
  60. Brazil nuts
  61. Peanuts
  62. Chia seeds
  63. Flax seeds
  64. Sesame seeds
  65. Sunflower Seeds
  66. Pumpkin seeds
  67. Hemp seeds

 

  1. Sugary Foods
  2. Milk Chocolates
  3. Milk
  4. Cookies
  5. Beer
  6. Cakes
  7. Banana
  8. Papaya
  9. Mango
  10. Potatoes
  11. Sweet Potatoes
  12. Rice
  13. Pasta
  14. Chips
  15. Bread
  16. Oats
  17. Beans
  18. Honey
  19. Wheat
  20. Barley
  21. Soda

 

E. HEALTHY KETO SNACKS WHICH YOU CAN GULP ANYTIME

Apart from the keto food lists, you can always keep some keto snacks handy.

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Soft pretzels
  • Avocado
  • 90% Dark chocolates
  • Cheese

Here are 8 keto snack recipes that you can carry to gulp between foods and yet be in ketosis.

 

F. SIDE EFFECTS OF KETO DIET

We generally intake a high-carb diet. So, suddenly when we shift to a low carb diet then it is natural for our body to take some time before we can adapt to this new kinda diet.

There are few keto side effects that are worth mentioning though they are short-term and will get over in 7-10 days.

1. Drowsiness: A very common side effect of a sudden shift to a low-carb diet is drowsiness.

2. Visiting the toilet frequently: As our body is getting rid of excess water so it is common to have frequent urination.

3. Constipation or Diarrhea: When you start a ketogenic diet then you are likely to face any of the two.

4. Keto flu: Another very common symptom of a keto diet is experiencing some flu-like symptoms.

Here is the guide to Keto Flu and how to avoid it in a keto diet.

5. You may experience muscle cramps and lethargy due to the cut in carbs from the diet.

Some of the side effects of a keto diet are also the symptoms that you are doing keto right and entering ketosis.

Check out the signs and symptoms of ketosis to make a clear idea.

 

G. KETO SUPPLEMENTS

In a keto diet, we will be cutting off many foods so it is better if we start using some keto supplements to fulfill the gap.

 1. The first supplement which I would like to mention is MCT oil.

MCT oil can be added to drinks or salads and it increases the ketones level in our body.

2. Omega 3 supplements give better results on a ketogenic diet. You can have keto-friendly foods like salmon or sardines to increase omega 3 in your daily keto diet.

3. Creatine plays an important role in energy production and muscle contractions. Creatine supplements also aid in weight loss and better performance.

4. Bone broth or electrolyte replenisher helps to retain the electrolyte levels which tend to get lowered due to a low carb diet on a ketogenic diet.

You can check the details about keto supplements from Healthline.

 

My Take on Ketogenic Diet for Beginners

There are several interesting lip-smacking keto recipes to start with.

The site Fitness Bash is entirely dedicated to keto and healthy recipes.

Everybody is different so a keto diet results will differ from person to person. Nevertheless, you can always give it a serious try as most people had great results with the ketogenic diet lifestyle.

 

Related Ketogenic diet for Beginners

Ketogenic Diet for Beginners

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