The ketogenic or the keto diet is an eating plan consisting of high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate. In this diet, the carbohydrate intake is drastically reduced and replaced with high fat intake. The very low carbohydrate intake results in a metabolic condition of the body called ketosis. During ketosis, as the carbohydrate is absent, the body starts using the stored fat for the production of energy. It also produced ketone bodies which are used as an energy unit for the brain. The Keto diet is found effective in reducing weight, although it is mainly designed for treating severe epilepsy, fits, seizures, and many such diseases. You can notice how a ketogenic diet will help you in diabetes control. If you have problems with diabetes you can consult a doctor online or book an appointment online to resolve your health issues.
Weight loss through the ketogenic diet
Keto diet helps in losing weight by taking care of the following things:
High protein intake: In a ketogenic diet, the intake of protein is set on the higher side which promotes weight loss. This happens because a high protein diet tends to boost metabolism because of its high thermic effect and various other factors.
Hunger suppressant: Keto diet makes you feel full for a longer duration. This change is done by controlling the appetite hormones such as ghrelin and leptin.
Gluconeogenesis: Gluconeogenesis is a metabolic pathway in which glucose is generated by utilizing non-carbohydrate substrates such as fat and protein. This may help burn a lot of extra calories every day.
Reduction in fat storage: According to some studies, the ketogenic diet suppresses the conversion of carbohydrate into fat (lipogenesis) as excessive carbohydrate is stored as fat molecules. When there is a little intake of carbohydrates, fat is burnt for the production of energy.
Insulin sensitivity: Keto diets are found to enhance the sensitivity for insulin significantly which in turn helps in improving metabolism and energy utilization.
However, it is important to have enough food to meet the daily calorie requirement. Reducing down too many calories can slow down the metabolism and will make it tougher to lose extra pounds in the long run. Some nutrition experts also suggest that the keto diet only helps in losing weight for a short time and a person does not continue to lose weight after some time. Also, this diet pattern is too hard to follow for a longer duration.
Following a Keto diet
Here are some basic rules for the keto diet:
Minimize carbohydrate: About 20 to 50 grams/day of carbohydrate is taken in a ketogenic diet. Make sure to stick with this number by calculating the amount of carbohydrates and sugar in the diet.
Change the staples: The staple food for a keto diet is not grains but meat, eggs, cheese, nuts, oils, avocados, and fish. Try to stock up with these food items.
Include lots of vegetables: As the diet will mainly be composed of fat-rich sources which are high in calories, so you will not feel full. For this reason, lots of low carbohydrate vegetables are advised to be included in the diet so as to get a feeling of fullness. Besides, vegetables will also work as a sole source of fiber because you will not be getting it from whole grains, fruits, and legumes (sources of carbohydrates).
Drink plenty of water: Keep an eye on your fluid intake and drink lots of water along with other low carbohydrate fluids to get the proper amount of minerals like magnesium, sodium, potassium, etc.
Monitor your progress: Check your weight every 4 to 5 weeks. If you do not see any weight loss, evaluate your daily calorie intake again. Make sure to include enough vegetables with every meal and check your portion size.
Consistency: Being consistent is the most important factor for any diet so do not lose hope and follow your diet consistently.
Monitor ketone levels: Keep checking your blood parameters for ketone levels because the ketone level will tell you whether you have achieved ketosis by lowering down the carbohydrate intake or not.
Point of caution: As this is an extreme diet and requires a tremendous amount of change in the regular eating pattern, so you must always consult your doctor or dietitian before starting this diet. The ketogenic diet could possibly cause low blood pressure, constipation, kidney stones, nutrient deficiencies, and also an increased risk of kidney and heart diseases, if not managed properly by experts.
Keto diet meal plan for sample (vegetarian)
Although it is quite hard to achieve the moderate protein required in the keto diet through vegetarian food, it is not impossible. Below is a sample meal plan for the vegetarians who wish to follow the keto diet:
Early morning: Green tea/ herbal tea (without sugar) -1 cup of lukewarm water with lemon- 1 glass.
Breakfast: Smoothie made up of full-fat milk, peanut butter/ whey protein powder with full-fat milk/ paneer scrambled with mixed veggies and cheese (paneer bhurji)/ yogurt topped with few walnuts or chia seeds/ soya nuggets/ paneer cutlets,
All the preparation must be in olive oil or coconut oil.
Mid-morning: Buttermilk/ avocado-vegetable salad garnished with virgin olive oil/vegetable soup/ broccoli-tomato-spinach soup/ yogurt/ sprouts with veggies and avocado.
Lunch: Cauliflower-crust pizza with cheese, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, olive oil, and spinach/1 plate quinoa khichdi with veggies/ oats khichdi with veggies/ mushroom-oats khichdi/ zucchini noodles with creamy avocado sauce/ coconut curry with mixed veggies, and tofu/ salad with mixed greens, sprouts, tofu, avocados, tomatoes, and bell peppers/ taco lettuce wraps with walnut-mushroom meat, avocados, tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, and cheese/ 1 plate mixed veggies with tofu, 1 cup spinach-mushroom soup/ paneer curry with quinoa khichdi.
All the preparations must be in olive oil or coconut oil.
Evening tea: Green tea (1 cup)/ lemon water (without sugar)
Oats biscuits/ peanut butter milkshake/ peanut butter with one-piece brown bread/ banana waffles with cream dip/ zucchini chips.
Dinner: Same as lunch.
Bedtime: Full-fat milk with half teaspoon cinnamon powder.
Any food that is rich in carbohydrate should be avoided such as cereal grains including wheat and wheat products, rice, maize, etc., all fruits except small portions of berries, foods having high sugar content such as candies, smoothies, fruit juices, carbonated beverages, ice cream, etc., beans and legumes, tubers and root vegetables such as potato and sweet potato, unhealthy fats, and oils such as mayonnaise, processed vegetable oil, etc., all kind of alcoholic beverages.