If you’ve done any research at all with the latest diet trends, you’re probably going to see information about the Keto diet plan. At the same time, you might be asking what it is.
Most people readily accept that a keto diet plan is low carb, but it’s so much more than that. In fact, it is meant to encourage your body to work at its best and force your body to dive into fat stores for energy.
If you follow the diet plan correctly, then you’ll be able to maintain your metabolism without starving your body.
Understanding What a Keto Diet Plan Involves
There is a process that your body will go through should you ever be forced to survive with a minimal intake of food. This process is called ketosis, and during ketosis, you produce ketones as a result of the fats being broken down in the liver.
Maintaining a keto diet plan is key to achieving ketosis, but you need to do it a certain way in order to get the benefits of ketosis without actually going through starvation. Instead, you’re limiting your body’s consumption of carbohydrates.
Carbs are where your body would normally pull from to keep up your energy levels because they are an easy source to access. By limiting carbs, you force your body into ketosis while simultaneously maintaining your calorie intake.
Straightening Out the Keto Diet Plan Myths
The ketogenic diet is trending because it works, but it’s also important to recognize that there are some myths out there that are simply not true. We aim to straighten it out and get the facts right.
Don’t Eat All the Fat
No, you can’t actually eat all the fat you want, but you can improve the total number of calories that come from fat on a daily basis. Unsaturated fats are the way to go - so that means nuts, fish, olive oil, seeds, meats, avocados, and similar healthy fats are good choices.
It’s Not Dangerous – If Done Correctly
It also is not a dangerous diet as long as you do it correctly. Yes, you can experience kidney stones, intestinal issues, vitamin deficiencies, and a few other issues, but that only happens if you’re doing it wrong.
To avoid these possibilities, you need to drink plenty of water and hit your targets on a daily basis. If you can do that, then you’ll be fine.
Yes, you can still drink alcohol. Yay, you! There is a caveat, though, and it means that you are restricted to specific alcohols that are acceptable. You’ll have to steer clear of wine and beer, but you can drink most liquors without a problem. Check the carb count first as most of them are keto compatible.
Ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis
Ketosis and ketoacidosis are not the same thing. Ketosis happens when your body is using fat as it’s primary energy source.
Ketoacidosis is dangerous and can even be life-threatening if not addressed. It happens when you have both high levels of ketones and blood sugar at the same time and can affect organ function.
Fasting is not required when you’re following a keto diet plan. It’s not even recommended until you’re solidly following the keto diet plans that are out there. That doesn’t mean that intermittent fasting isn’t useful, but you don’t have to do it.
Yes, you’re restricting cabs, but that doesn’t equal going crazy on protein. The generally accepted recommendation is to eat about 75% of your caloric intake from fat, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbs.
You don’t need to quit your workouts when you follow a keto diet, but you might need to change things up a bit. Going keto can be a shock to your system, so if you’re feeling off, you’ll need to modify your routine until you feel better.
Benefits of a Keto Diet Plan
There are many benefits here’s a quick list that you’ll experience as a result of following a keto diet plan. Not only will you lose weight, but you’ll also see your energy levels increase. It won’t happen immediately, but it will happen if you trust the process.
You’ll lose weight because your body is going to be using your fat stores as the primary energy source. Your blood sugar will also stabilize as a natural by-product of following a keto diet because of what you’ll be putting into your body.
If you want to drop your blood pressure along with your cholesterol, going the way of a keto diet plan is a fantastic choice. As long as you follow the guidelines, you can find yourself with a much better level of cholesterol than you had before keto.
Many people also claim to have an improved mental focus and clarity when on a keto diet. As ketones are produced, and your carb intake is lowered, causing a reduction in blood sugar spikes. As a result, you experience an improvement in both concentration as well as focus.
If you are an adult that still suffers from acne, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that your skin might get better if you follow a keto diet.
What You Should Eat on a Keto Diet Plan
The biggest part of the keto diet plan is the actually planning ahead for what you’re going to be eating. The short of it is that what you eat will determine just how fast you’re going to force your body to get into ketosis.
When it comes to the carbs, you’re going to want to limit your carbs and ensure that any you consume come from nuts, veggies, and the occasional dairy. You’ll need to stay away from wheat, fruit, and starches.
To help clear things up a little on what you can and can’t eat, here’s a quick list to get you on your way.
Avoid – grains, sugar, fruit, tubers, legumes.
Eat – meats, leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, nuts, seeds, avocados, berries, high-fat dairy items, and other fats like coconut oil and olive oil.
Of course, there are more specifics involved, but this preliminary list should be enough to get you going on your shopping list.
How to Get Started on a Keto Diet Plan
As you get started on your keto diet plan, you’ll need to remember that you will be eating more fat than anything else. You’ll often find yourself hungry in the beginning, and when you do, you need to eat protein.
Don’t avoid eating because you can end up causing more problems later on.
When you start to pick out which vegetables you’re going to eat, you want to pick dark leafy greens as your first veggie of choice. You’ll need to follow it up with a protein along with a side that is heavier on the fat.
Examples of meals include things like a chicken breast cooked in olive oil complete with a side of cheesy broccoli or maybe a steak along with a side of spinach that was sautéed in some olive oil.
You’ll also need to get to know how to calculate net carbs. The easiest way to think about net carbs is to take the total grams of carbs and subtract the total grams of fiber. Your remainder is your total net carbs.
How to Recognize Ketosis
There are a few ways that allow you to recognize that you’re in ketosis that range from more clinical methods to thinking about the way you feel.
If you really want to spend the money and go the extra mile, you can purchase blood or urine strips that test for ketones. It can get pretty pricey if you decide to go this route.
It would be much easier to instead think about the physical symptoms that you’re experiencing to know whether or not you’re in the middle of ketosis.
You’re going to urinate a lot more frequently in the beginning, so expect to need a bathroom more often until you get yourself established.
Because you’re gong to the bathroom so often, you may also experience a dry mouth which means drinking more water which sends you right back to the bathroom. It’s a cycle that eventually calms down.
Also, don’t be surprised if someone you know backs away from you when you’re talking to them because your breath can stink when you’re in ketosis. It doesn’t last forever, but it does happen.
Once you get past the worse symptoms, you’ll also feel less hungry and an overall increase in energy courtesy of ketosis.
A word of advice to you – focus more on nutrition than wondering if you’re in ketosis and you’ll be better off.
The Expected Physical Performance
Many will say that your physical performance is going to suffer when you’re following a keto diet plan.
The truth of the matter is that yes, in the beginning, you may have to modify the way you work out, but over a longer period of time, you will find that your body will adapt and perform much like it did before going on the keto diet.
There is a study that was done that examined cyclists These cyclists followed a diet plan for four weeks with the end result of having the same aerobic endurance after those weeks that they did in the beginning.
A similar study was conducted with gymnasts that followed a ketogenic diet In the end, they were seen to have the same muscle mass before as they did after.
Don’t Underestimate the Dangers of a Keto Diet Plan
It has been stated once and will be said again – the keto diet is not dangerous as long as you follow the guidelines. If you don’t, then dangerous things can happen.
Ketone production can get high enough to cause ketoacidosis, but it is not the norm.
This can happen more often if you have Type I Diabetes, so if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, make sure you inform your doctor of what you’re planning to do. Your doctor may need to monitor you more closely to make sure you don’t end up on the wrong side of the keto diet.
If you make the mistake of eating too much protein in addition to the high levels of fat, then you’re going to end up gaining weight instead of losing it. With that kind of consumption, you’re going to end up with more health problems, too, like increases in cholesterol and raising your blood pressure.
Side Effects of a Keto Diet Plan
There are plenty of common side effects that happen when you’re following a keto diet plan. It doesn’t mean that it’s not working, but it will explain why you’re going through whatever you’re experiencing.
The Keto Flu
If you’re going to try keto, you’ll need to be aware of the potential side effects that you could face. One of them has been nicknamed the keto flu.
The keto flu has a wide array of symptoms. You can experience feeling tired, nausea, and all sorts of issues that make you just not feel well.
Nutritionists generally agree that the reason for this feeling is due to the massive shift that you experience as you change the foods you normally eat to eating food on a keto diet plan.
To avoid the keto flu, it might be a good idea to go down this path slowly and gradually. By taking the time to make the adjustment, your body can better adapt.
If you find that your legs are cramping more often after going on a keto diet, know that it is entirely normal.
The biggest reason that it is happening is due to a lack of magnesium in your body. To help combat the issue, drink plenty of fluids and consider being proactive by taking a magnesium supplement.
Things will get backed up for a few reasons, but the biggest one is not enough water. If you’re not drinking enough fluids, then you’re going to get constipated on this and just about any diet.
Increasing fiber intake by eating the right veggies can also make the issue go away. Alternatively, you can take a psyllium husk supplement to keep things moving.
Your heart might feel like it is going to beat itself out of your chest from time to time when you go keto, but this, too, is normal. The faster and harder heartbeat is a result of not enough fluids and not enough potassium in your blood stream.
You can solve the problem by drinking more water and taking a potassium or other electrolyte supplement at least once a day.
Suggested Keto Diet Plan Recipes
When you’re starting on a new diet plan, one of the more difficult things to deal with is figuring out what you need to make to be successful on your plan.
To help you with that, we’re going to present a few easy recipes that you can fall back on along with some references to find more.
If you haven’t been out to the Delish website, you’re going to want to see what they have to offer regarding easy keto recipes. In just one article, you’re going to find 35 recipes that you can make easily and successfully.
Women’s Health Magazine also has another 32 recipes listed to make your mouth water and still keep you on track for your keto diet plan.
These recipes include delectable dishes like Garlic Rosemary Pork Chops and Creamy Tuscan Chicken. Some of their easier recipes include the BLT Burger and the No Carb Philly Cheesesteak, so those are getting included here.
- 1Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll make a bacon weave using 6 different half slices while it is preheating.
- 2Season the bacon if necessary and bake it for approximately 25 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel when done and allow them to cool for 10 minutes or so.
- 3Shape the ground beef into burger patties, season with salt and pepper, and then grill it the way you like.
- 4Mix the mayo, lemon juice, and chives to create an herbed mayo if you’d like to, and assemble the burgers with the bacon weaves acting like buns. Tomatoes and lettuce will be placed in between. Enjoy!
No Carb Philly Cheesesteaks
- 1Heat 1 tbsp of oil and add the onion and bell peppers, season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook until tender-crisp, then remove them all from the pan.
- 2Add the steak and season with salt and pepper. Cook the steak until each side is seared, then add the onions and bell peppers.
- 3Sprinkle the cheese over the entire mixture and let it melt. Scoop the mixture on top of the lettuce leaves. Bon Appetit!
Keto is its Own Reward
Following the diet can be tough at first, but if you give it the time it deserves, then you won’t be disappointed in the results.
Any lifestyle change can be a challenge, but your health is the most valuable thing you possess. Do this diet correctly, following the guidelines closely, and your health will thank you!
As always, check with your Doctor before making any changes to your diet or your supplements. They can guide you toward the perfect supplements for you and may have valuable input for your diet.