Implementing the Keto Diet for Weight Loss
There are many fad diets out there that claim to help you lose weight quickly. But the ketogenic diet has proven benefits for those looking to lose weight and keep it off.
We know that cutting back on carbs is a surefire way to reduce your appetite and help you achieve rapid weight loss in the first few weeks of your diet. The trick is figuring out which foods are best to eat, how much of each you should have, and how often.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan that forces your body into a state called ketosis. It’s not an easy transformation for your body or mind, but with the right information and support network, you can do it — and reap lasting benefits.
When you’re in ketosis, your body becomes more efficient at burning fat as fuel instead of carbs. And the more fat you burn, the more weight you can lose.
On the keto diet, you will eat foods like eggs, meat, fish, non-starchy veggies, high-fat dairy, and some fruits.
You’ll avoid sugary foods, grains, starchy veggies, and anything with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Doing this will put your body into ketosis, where it burns fat instead of carbs as its main source of energy. This process not only helps you shed unwanted pounds, but it can also reduce your risk of a variety of health issues, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The Importance of Carb Quality
The quality of the carbohydrates you eat is critical when attempting a ketogenic diet. Stick to high-quality carbohydrates, including vegetables; fruits; whole grains and beans.
Refined carbohydrates, including soda, white bread, white rice, and processed snack foods, have little nutritional value and are less likely to be broken down into sugar. That’s why they can quickly lead to blood sugar spikes, hunger and subsequent carb cravings.
A few tips for choosing healthy carb sources:
- Choose vegetables and fruits that are higher in fiber and lower in sugar, like strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, spinach, grapefruit, and avocado.
- Choose whole grains like oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, and buckwheat, which are rich in fiber, minerals and B vitamins.
- Choose legumes like kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils and edamame.
What to Eat and What to Avoid on a Keto Diet
Here’s a general guide to how many servings of which foods you should be eating on the ketogenic diet. The numbers are based on a daily intake of 2,000 calories, so adjust accordingly if you need to.
- Fats: 75% of your daily calories – This might sound like a lot when you first start the keto diet, but it’s important to get enough fat to stay in ketosis. Focus on eating healthy fats, like avocados, nuts, seeds, fish, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter.
- Protein: 15% of your daily calories – To avoid the keto flu, you should start your ketogenic diet with a protein-heavy diet. When your body is getting accustomed to burning fat instead of glucose, it has less energy, which can result in fatigue, headaches and dizziness. A high-protein diet will help your body stay energized.
- Carbohydrates: 10% of your daily calories – You should be eating fewer than 30 grams of net carbs per day, according to most keto experts. That means you should avoid any foods that have more than 10 grams of carbs per serving.
How to Stay in Ketosis While Eating Real Food
As you transition from a diet rich in carbs to one rich in fat, you’ll have to make some changes in your diet. But with a few adjustments, you can still enjoy real foods. Here are some tips for eating well on the keto diet:
- Make your own keto-friendly snacks – You don’t have to go out for keto-friendly foods when you first start the diet. Nuts and seeds, cheese, hardboiled eggs, and veggies make great protein-rich snacks that are easy to prepare.
- Cook your own meals – It’s a bad idea to rely on prepared convenience foods when you’re trying to change your diet. You don’t know what’s in those products, and many of them contain high levels of carbohydrates and other ingredients that are not keto-friendly.
- Drink plenty of water – You’re going to be eating a lot of fat, so you need to stay hydrated. Aim for at least eight glasses per day.
Keto Diet for Weight Loss Bottom line
If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, you may want to consider making the ketogenic diet a part of your lifestyle. This high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet has proven benefits for those looking to lose weight and keep it off.
The trick is figuring out which foods are best to eat, how much of each you should have, and how often. A few tips for choosing healthy carb sources: Choose vegetables and fruits that are higher in fiber and lower in sugar, like strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, spinach, grapefruit, and avocado.
Choose whole grains like oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, and buckwheat, which are rich in fiber, minerals and B vitamins. And choose legumes like kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils and edamame.
You can also eat low-carb foods like non-starchy vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, and healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Avoid processed foods and foods high in sugar, artificial sweeteners, trans fat, and artificial food additives. If you’re transitioning to a ketogenic diet, start slowly and eat a well-rounded diet.
There are several ways to make the ketogenic diet easier to follow. You can experiment with different sources of fat and carbs to see which works best for you. Keep a food journal to track your progress and discover what may be triggering unwanted weight gain. You can also try helpful strategies like eating smaller meals more frequently and avoiding sugary drinks and alcohol.