In the world of fast and trendy fads, finding a meal plan that meets our dietary needs can be overwhelming. When it comes to dieting and weight loss, there a several different meal plans on the market touting fast, sustainable results.
One of the most popular diet plans in the world today is the ketogenic (keto) diet. Backed by scientific research, the keto diet involves a low-carb, high-fat diet that promotes fat loss. Evidence also cites that this diet can improve some health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. But how does it actually work?
The Ketogenic Process
The keto diet restricts carbohydrate intake to about 50 grams per day. Healthy fats replace most of the cut carbohydrates. Fats account for roughly 75% of the total caloric intake; proteins account for about 20%, and; carbohydrates are typically restricted to account for 5% of the total caloric intake.
Reducing carbohydrate intake caused the body to go into a state of ketosis. In this process, our bodies use fats, instead of sugar, as its main source of energy. Ketones are made from fats in the liver when a limited amount of sugar is available for use in our systems.
The Keto Diet
With all of that information, making the switch to a keto diet may feel like a daunting task. The truth is that with a little dedication, switching over isn’t as complicated as we think.
The main goals of the keto diet meal plan are to: (1) reduce carbohydrate intake and (2 to increase the fat and protein intake. Once the body reaches a state of ketosis, the amount of carbohydrates we consume is completely restricted.
As a general rule, consuming the least amount of carbohydrates makes it easier for the body to reach and maintain ketosis. Eating keto-friendly foods and avoiding high-carb foods is the most efficient way to lose weight. What is the ideal meal plan?
Keto-Friendly Foods and Beverages
In a keto diet, meals and snacks should include the following foods:
- Grass-fed venison, bison, beef, pork, and meaty organs
- Chicken and turkey
- Wild-caught herring, salmon and mackerel
- Organic whole eggs
- Whole avocados, broccoli, mushrooms, greens, peppers, and tomatoes
- Mozzarella, goat cheese, brie, cheddar, and cream cheese
- Yogurt, cream, and butter
- Natural almond, cashew, and peanut butter
- Lemon juice, vinegar, pepper, salt, fresh spices, and herbs
As with high-carb foods, high-carb drinks must be avoided to reach and maintain ketosis. This is why sugary beverages, including iced tea, juice, soda, and coffee, must be avoided. Keto-friendly beverage alternatives include:
- Flat or sparkling water
- Unsweetened green tea
- Unsweetened coffee
Sparkling water is available in several flavors and is a great substitute for soda. Heavy cream can be used to add flavor to your coffee. For additional flavor, we can use keto-friendly foods, such as lemon or mint. Lastly, alcohol consumption should be restricted, but low-carb beverages, such as tequila or vodka and soda water, are permitted occasionally.
To keep the body in a state of ketosis, we must avoid foods such as bread, pasta, grains, beans, and fruits. Furthermore, unhealthy fats; diet foods with artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives, and; processed foods must also be avoided. Lastly, alcohol consumption is restricted, but low-carb beverages, such as tequila or vodka and soda water, are occasionally allowed. However, sugary mixed drinks and beer must be restricted.
To help make the switch over to keto a little easier, here are some ideal keto-friendly snacks choices:
- Low-carb veggies and guacamole
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Avocado, greens, and high-fat dressing
- Heavy whipping cream and berries
- Coconut or kale chips
- Macadamia nuts
- Cheddar cheese and almonds
- Chicken salad-stuffed avocado
- Peppers, celery and cream cheese dip
Keto-friendly snacks can help keep us full between meals, but we need to also be aware of snacking too much. The appropriate amount of calories consumed is based on how much weight we want to lose, how active we are, our gender and our age. Ideal snacks should be low in carbohydrates, moderate in proteins, and high in healthy fats.
The keto diet promotes weight loss by using fats instead of sugars in the body as the primary source of fuel. A ketogenic diet consists of high-fats, moderate proteins, and minimal carbohydrates. An ideal diet meal plan should include low-carb, high-fat foods such as meats, eggs, low-carb veggies, and sugar-free drinks. Processed food and unhealthy fats are completely restricted.
Keeping up with the restrictions of a keto diet can seem overwhelming. However, switching to the ketogenic diet does not have to be difficult, as evidenced by its worldwide popularity. With our help, you’ll be on your way to a better, healthier you.