Updated: Feb 20
Everything you need to know about the keto diet.
Changing your eating habits for the ketogenic diet means taking care of your body and your brain. Keto perfectly complements a healthy, busy lifestyle while improving energy levels.
First of all, I tried to lose weight with the Keto Diet and it works great. In 1 month, I lost 10 kg. Also, I feel better and more energized.
Here are the typical dishes of the keto diet
Features of the ketogenic diet:
• Very high consumption of lipids (75% of intakes)
• Unchanged protein intake
• Considerable reduction in carbohydrate intake
• Causes unpleasant symptoms in the first few weeks (ketogenic flu)
• Rapid weight loss
• The state of ketosis would have many health benefits (energy boost, protection against certain pathologies, etc.)
What is the definition of a ketogenic diet?
The keto, or ketogenic diet, is characterized by a marked decrease in the consumption of carbohydrates (the family of sugars) and protein and by an increase in the proportion of energy that comes from fat. Although it's very fashionable these days, it was invented in the 1920s to decrease seizures in children with epilepsy and decrease the amount of medication they take. . It then gained popularity in recent years, not only for weight loss but also for improving symptoms of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic (or keto) diet is a diet that advocates very low carbohydrate consumption in favour of a higher intake of fat.
The person following a ketogenic diet should almost completely exclude from his diet foods rich in carbohydrates (less than 50g per day) such as grain products (bread, pasta, cereals, etc.), starches, legumes, products that contain added sugar (cookies, pastries) as well as fruits and many vegetables that are too "sweet".
The menu will include meat, fish, seafood, eggs, nuts, high-fat plain yogurt, dairy products, vegetable oils and leafy green vegetables.
The principle of the ketogenic diet is simple: by reducing carbohydrate intake, our body will draw on our fats for energy.
Our liver will then produce acetone and acetyl acetate which will be transformed into ketone bodies. The fat thus metabolized creates what is called a state of “nutritional ketosis”. Fat thus becomes our main source of energy.
How does the keto diet work?
The basics of the ketogenic diet are simple, but in practice, preparation is key. Theoretically, it suffices to consume 75% of good fats, 20% of proteins and 5% of carbohydrates daily. The goal is to get into a state of ketosis. Thus, we give up all carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta, and focus on healthy fats, such as avocado and coconut oil.
A strict keto diet prompts the body to use fat as the primary source of energy. To do this, we must perform ketogenesis, the transformation of fatty acids into ketones by the liver. The main fuel of the body then becomes ketone. Ketogenesis is a natural metabolic mechanism.
Are you moderate, liberal, or strict in your ketogenic diet?
A regular diet includes a daily carbohydrate consumption of between 300g and 600g. As part of the ketogenic lifestyle, this carbohydrate intake is reduced more or less drastically. Indeed, depending on individual goals and nutritional needs, it is possible to adopt a moderate, liberal or strict ketogenic diet. Here are the differences between the three approaches:
Moderate keto diet
• Daily carbohydrate consumption between 50g and 100g
• Maximum of 10% of the calories provided by carbohydrates
• Suitable for active and healthy people who do not weight to lose
Liberal Keto Diet
• Daily carbohydrate consumption equal to or less than 50g
• Suitable for people who are slightly overweight and who do little physical activity
Strict keto diet
• Daily carbohydrate consumption equal to or less than 20g
• Recommended for people who are significantly overweight or suffering from a certain illness
• Ideal for sugar addicts
How do I know if I'm in ketosis?
Normally, we go into ketosis in a few days, 72 hours for the majority. Some signs are easily seen and it depends on whom. For some, they don't have side effects. First, there's the smell. This is because the release of ketones results in bad breath. Rest assured, there are many ways to hide it. Then you will quickly notice a drop in appetite. Also, physical symptoms may be felt during the first few days. Some people will have nausea, cramps, fatigue or dehydration. Fortunately, these annoyances usually only last for two or three days, while the body gets used to its new diet.
After a few days, we will thus fall into a state of ketosis. However, it can take a month or two for the body to use only fat for energy. This stage is called the keto-adaptation.
To follow the keto lifestyle well, it is recommended to measure your ketosis rate. Two techniques are currently on the market. There are urine dipsticks and blood glucose meters. The former is easier to use but is less precise. The second determines exactly the concentration of ketone in the blood, but it is more expensive.
Foods allowed in the ketogenic diet
The ketogenic diet adapts to individual lifestyles. Some people want to be on a strict diet, while others will be more liberal. The basics of the keto diet are to limit your carbohydrate intake to less than 50g per day, but anyone can tailor their diet according to their needs and goals. Despite some restrictions, a wide variety of tasty foods are allowed in the ketogenic diet. Here is a partial list of foods accepted or not:
Accepted: the majority of meats, even bacon (in a limited quantity of course), seafood, especially salmon for its high-fat content, and nuts.
Refused: sausages and meats with fillers like soy.
Accepted: Saturated and monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, butter, avocados, coconut oil and duck fat.
Refused: processed fats, such as corn oil, margarine, and certain vegetable oils.
Fruits and vegetables
Accepted: anything that has a lot of fibre, little sugar and grows outside the ground, such as tomatoes, eggplants, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
Refused: root vegetables, such as potatoes, beets, carrots, peas and onions, as well as fruits that contain little fibre.
Accepted: firm or soft cheeses, yogurt, sour cream and all foods that are high in fat.
Refused: skimmed dairy products or dairy products with added sugar, such as cream cheese and ice cream.
Accepted: Anything that does not contain added sugars, such as water, coffee and tea. Wine, preferably dry, is allowed, but in moderation of course.
Refused: fruit or vegetable juices, sports drinks, soft drinks and beer.
This category is the most critical in the ketogenic diet. Carbohydrates should not be eliminated 100% from your diet, but it is important to reduce them. In other words, all high carbohydrate products, such as pasta, rice, bread, and cereals are refused. On the other hand, there are products, like Protilife Keto Bars, that work well with the ketogenic diet by providing some of the daily allowable carbohydrate intakes. For bread and pancake lovers, alternatives like almond flour, coconut and oat fibre exist to bend the rules a bit.
The Keto lifestyle is packed with health benefits. However, you have to prepare well for your transition. Planning meals for the first few weeks and shopping for groceries goes a long way in strictly following the restrictions of the ketogenic diet. The Keto Bars are a great complement to a ketogenic diet, decrease cravings, and help you stick to your guidelines even when there's not enough time to cook.
Pros and Cons
The positives of the ketogenic diet
• Feeling of fullness
• No calorie restriction
• Good supply of quality lipids and proteins
• Rapid weight loss
• Potentially positive effect on blood lipid levels
The negatives of the keto diet
• Unpleasant side effects in the first few weeks (ketogenic flu)
• Little dietary diversity
• No deviation allowed
• Difficult to follow
• Not very compatible with a fulfilling social life