The ketogenic diet is a controlled diet high in fat, with moderate protein, and low carb, similar to the Atkins program. Typically, those on the keto diet are restricted to about 30 to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day.
When you fuel your body with mostly protein and (natural) fat instead of carbs, your body goes into a natural state called ketosis, where ketones are produced directly from a breakdown of fats in the liver.
The primary goal of living on a keto diet is to achieve an optimal level of ketosis, a metabolic state that burns up fat quickly, leading to faster weight loss and other benefits. Knowing how to maximize weight loss in ketosis means combining the right foods you eat on a keto diet with proper exercise. You will not only slim down, but the keto diet may also subside your cravings for unhealthy food because you will feel fuller longer. Consuming the right amount of healthy fats also clears up breakouts or acne in the skin.
Many people choose to go on this diet for various reasons besides merely losing weight. Adhering to a keto diet naturally lowers blood sugar, so it is an ideal option to control diabetes. Sticking to a keto diet also improves mental focus, as ketones nourish brain activity and spikes do not deter psychological strength in blood sugar. Studies have shown a keto diet can also be used to treat epilepsy.
If you’re just getting started on your keto diet and the thought of cutting out carbohydrates seems daunting, this article will serve as a guide of what should be on your plate. Once your body and mind adjust to your new lifestyle, you may be shocked at how quickly the pounds melt away!
Groups of Foods You Can Eat on a Keto Diet
Your main food groups of foods you can eat on the keto diet will consist of healthy fats. For optimal results, aim for a diet that is made up of 70 percent fats, 25 percent proteins, and 5 percent of carbohydrates. Be careful not to overeat protein while on a keto diet. Ideally, you should be consuming about 1 gram of protein per day per kg of your body weight.
A typical keto-friendly plate would consist of a moderate amount of protein, a side of natural fat, and some vegetables on the side. Your menu while on the keto diet includes vegetable oils, all types of meat, eggs, and fish, dairy products such as butter and cheese, vegetables that grow above the ground, and nuts and seeds (except for legumes).
Utilizing Protein in Your Keto Diet
To speed up weight loss and optimize your health, get your protein from the highest-quality sources possible. Grass-fed and locally raised beef is an excellent option where available. If you eat fish, try to purchase wild-caught salmon and other seafood.
Avoid processed meats such as sausages and cold cuts, as these might contain added carbs. Make a habit of reading the label of any food you are considering purchasing to be aware of what you will consume honestly.
An excellent source of both healthy fat and protein are dairy products. Choose full-fat options when pouring milk and adding cheese to your plate to adhere to the keto diet. If you suffer from any lactose allergies or intolerances, opt for hard cheeses, as these typically contain less lactose.
Consuming Healthy Fats and Vegetables
Anything foods consisting of natural fats are perfect foods you can eat on the keto diet. You’ll be eating fat thanks to the meat you are eating, but it may be helpful to add in cheese, butter, coconut oil, or vegetable oil to your meals to adjust your fat intake. The best vegetables to eat while on a keto diet are dark and leafy, growing above the ground.
These plants are dense with nutrients but low in carbohydrates. Prime examples of these are spinach and kale. Avocados are an excellent option for a side, breakfast or snack. Although they are technically fruits, avocados are remarkably high in natural fats and low in carbohydrates, making them one of the ideal foods.
Best Keto Diet Snacks to Curb Hunger
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Snacking while on a keto diet can prove to be a tricky balance. It is essential to eat enough food to maintain blood sugar levels and curb hunger, but take care to not overindulge in snacking while you are not hungry, as this can undermine the weight loss results of your keto diet. Pay attention to your body when you feel any hunger cues—could you merely be bored or stressed, instead of starving? Do not use snacking to “stuff” yourself and hinder weight loss.
In the event a snack is necessary, nuts are an excellent option. Macadamia, Brazil, pecans, and almonds are popular choices among keto dieters as these have more protein and fat. Be careful not to overindulge, as they do contain carbs. Avoid eating peanuts, as these are technically a member of the legume family.
Some other quick and easy snack options for your keto diet are hard boiled eggs, cold cuts (be sure to study the label!) and string cheese.
Foods to Avoid While on a Keto Diet
As you likely know by now, the main foods to avoid while sticking to your keto diet are the majority of fruits and grains. You may have small amounts of berries as an exception to this rule because they don’t have as many carbs. Foods consisting of sugar and starch should be nowhere near your plate. Do not eat carb-loaded potatoes, pasta, and bread.
Unfortunately for beer lovers, this drink is full of carbs and should not be consumed at all, or in minimal moderation. If you are toasting a celebration, it is best to raise a glass of low-carb wine or plain spirits. While on a keto diet or any weight loss plan, always avoid overly processed and sugary foods such as candy, chocolate, and soda.
Maximizing Average Weight Loss During Ketosis
Sticking to your diet plan is the most crucial aspect of weight loss, but there are other factors you can utilize to maximize your results. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day improves your bodily functions and flushes out toxins. Getting enough sleep every night also keeps your body running smoothly and reduces the stress hormone cortisol. A practical exercise plan combines cardio and strength training to make the most of ketosis. Find an activity you enjoy, and consider inviting a friend along to keep you accountable.
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