Keto Diet Basics

Lately, I’ve had a lot of people actually approaching me wanting to have conversations about dieting or weight loss.

Because the Ketogenic diet has become one of the most popular methods worldwide to shed excess weight and improve health, when I tell them I’m doing Keto, they have some idea of what I’m talking about.

Adopting this Low-Carb, High-Fat lifestyle change can promote fat loss and even improve certain conditions such as Type II Diabetes and High Blood Pressure.

The Keto diet, as a rule, is very low in Carbohydrates, high in Fat and moderate in Protein. Carbs are typically reduced to under 50 grams per day, though stricter and looser versions of the diet exist.

Fats should make up approximately 75% of your total calorie intake, Proteins should account for around 20% and Carbohydrates are usually restricted to 5%.

Reduction of Carbohydrates forces your body to rely on Fat for its main energy source instead of glucose. This process is known as Ketosis. While in Ketosis, your body uses Ketones as an alternate fuel source.
In typical diets Fat is often avoided for its high calorie content, but research shows that the Ketogenic diet is significantly more effective at promoting weight loss than Low-Fat diets.

Switching to a Ketogenic diet can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

In order to reach and remain a state of Ketosis, Carbs must be restricted.

While certain people might only achieve Ketosis by eating less than 20 grams of Carbs per day, others may be successful with a much higher Carbohydrate intake.

Generally, the lower your Carbohydrate intake, the easier it is to reach and stay in Ketosis.
This is why sticking to Keto-friendly foods and avoiding items high in Carbs is the best way to successfully lose weight on a Ketogenic diet.

When following a Ketogenic diet, meals should center around the following foods:
Eggs: Whole eggs make the best choice.
Poultry: Chicken and turkey.
Fatty fish: Salmon, herring and mackerel.
Meat: Beef, venison, pork and organ meats.
Full-fat dairy: Yogurt, butter and cream.
Full- fat cheese: Cheddar, mozzarella, brie, goat cheese and cream cheese.
Nuts and seeds: Macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds.
Healthy fats: Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil and butter.
Avocados: Whole avocados can be added to almost any meal or snack.
Non-starchy vegetables: Greens, broccoli, mushrooms and peppers.

The following foods should be avoided:
Bread and baked goods: White bread, whole-wheat bread, crackers, cookies, doughnuts and rolls.
Sweets and sugary foods: Sugar, ice cream, candy, maple syrup, agave syrup and coconut sugar.
Sweetened beverages: Soda, juice, sweetened teas and sports drinks.
Pasta: Spaghetti and other noodles.
Grain products: Wheat, rice, oats, breakfast cereals and tortillas.
Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, peas and pumpkin.
Beans and legumes: Black beans, chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans.
Fruit: Citrus, grapes, bananas and pineapple.
High-carb sauces: Barbecue sauce, sugary salad dressings and dipping sauces.
Alcoholic beverages: Beer and sugary mixed drinks.
Unhealthy fats: Margarine, shortening and vegetable oils.
Processed foods: Packaged foods and processed meats such as hot dogs and lunch meats.
Diet foods: Foods that contain artificial colors, preservatives and sweeteners such as aspartame.

Sugar can be found in a wide variety of beverages including juice, soda, iced tea and coffee drinks.

Keto-friendly beverage choices include:
Water: Water is the best choice and should be consumed throughout the day.
Sparkling water: Sparkling water makes an excellent soda replacement.
Unsweetened coffee: Use heavy cream to add flavor.
Unsweetened green tea: Green tea provides many health benefits.

Because the Keto diet is so filling, you may not need to snack. But, snacking between meals can help eliminate hunger and keep you on track while following a Ketogenic diet.

Here are some excellent, Keto-friendly snack options:
• Almonds and cheddar cheese
• Kale chips
• Olives and sliced salami
• Celery and peppers with herbed cream cheese dip
• Berries with heavy whipping cream
• Jerky
• Cheese roll-ups
• Parmesan crisps

Though these Keto snacks can maintain fullness between meals, they can also contribute to weight gain if you’re snacking too much throughout the day.

The following is a simple Ketogenic shopping list that can guide you when walking through the grocery aisles:
Meat and poultry: Beef, chicken, turkey and pork.
Fish: Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring.
Eggs: Purchase omega-3-enriched or pastured eggs if possible.
Full-fat dairy: Unsweetened yogurt, butter, heavy cream and sour cream.
Oils: Coconut and avocado oils.
Cheese: Brie, cream cheese, cheddar and goat cheese.
Frozen or fresh berries: Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries.
Nuts: Macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios.
Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds.
Fresh or frozen low-carb vegetables: Mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, greens and peppers.
Condiments: Sea salt, pepper, salsa, herbs, garlic, vinegar, mustard, olives and spices.

It’s always worthwhile to plan your meals ahead of time and fill your cart with the ingredients needed for healthy Keto dishes.

The Ketogenic diet is very effective and can be a little confusing at first. Use this article to help you navigate the troublesome parts and just try to stay focused.

Stay tuned to our page, our Instagram @ketocouplesjourneyatl, our YouTube and Facebook pages @ketocouplesjourney and our Facebook Group Ketogenic Journey, for more information and real life transformations.

Good luck on your journey!

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