I wanted to lose pounds – a lot of them, especially around my middle. My body was beginning to rebel against me and create other issues. I knew it wouldn't be easy. I've tried many other diets. Then I started hearing about this new process called the ketogenic (or Keto) diet. The more I read, the more I liked what I read.
So I dipped a toe in and started making healthier choices and avoiding a lot of the dont's – like too many carbs, sugar and gluten. I still drink coffee with half and half. I can eat eggs, bacon and steak. I eat more fish and lots of vegetables. I have put in more activity than I used to, but I am not a exercise workout fiend by any means. And you know what – it works! I have a ways to go, but I know I can stick to this diet.
If you have been surfing the internet you cannot help but trip over references to the ketogenic (or Keto for short) diet. And for good reason – many people have had success in taking off lots of pounds in a short time. They can also keep it off over the long term. It can seem very confusing when active Keto dieters start talking about food choices, fat grams, macros, staying in ketosis, cyclic dieting, etc. If you want to shortcut figuring it all out yourself – we recommend the BodyReboot System. Find out all about it in this Free Book + Shipping.
What you need to know is the language of the ketogenic diet. Understanding the terms and do's and dont's will give you a leg up on getting into the diet and avoiding some of the pitfalls. When you finish this article you may also want to peruse – Avoid These 8 Mistakes First-Timers Make on the Keto Diet and Video: 5 Mistakes That Will Take You Out of Ketosis.
What you will find if you get into Keto is that you feel full and are not gnawing on things between meals AND you will like the meals. A big key is moderation and smaller portions. You DO NOT have to go on extreme exercise binges to make this work. 20 minutes a day is a good place to start (you will have energy to do more)
I found this great beginners guide that spells out the terms, the types of Keto diets, plus the benefits to keto, a foods to avoid list and a foods to eat list – from our friends at Healthline.com:
The Ketogenic Diet: A Detailed Beginner's Guide to Keto
The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits.
In fact, over 20 studies show that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve your health (1).
Here is a detailed beginner's guide to the keto diet.
What Is a Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets.
It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
Different Types of Ketogenic Diets
There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:
- Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs (1).
- Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.
- Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.
- High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.
However, only the standard and high-protein ketogenic diets have been studied extensively. Cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced methods and primarily used by bodybuilders or athletes.
The information in this article mostly applies to the standard ketogenic diet (SKD), although many of the same principles also apply to the other versions.
Foods to Avoid
Any food that is high in carbs should be limited.
Here is a list of foods that need to be reduced or eliminated on a ketogenic diet:
- Sugary foods: Soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
- Grains or starches: Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
- Fruit: All fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries.
- Beans or legumes: Peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
- Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
- Low-fat or diet products: These are highly processed and often high in carbs.
- Some condiments or sauces: These often contain sugar and unhealthy fat.
- Unhealthy fats: Limit your intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
- Alcohol: Due to their carb content, many alcoholic beverages can throw you out of ketosis.
- Sugar-free diet foods: These are often high in sugar alcohols, which can affect ketone levels in some cases. These foods also tend to be highly processed.
Foods to Eat
You should base the majority of your meals around these foods:
- Meat: Red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey.
- Fatty fish: Such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel (and sardines!)
- Eggs: Look for pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.
- Butter and cream: Look for grass-fed when possible.
- Cheese: Unprocessed cheese (cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella).
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Healthy oils: Primarily extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
- Avocados: Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole.
- Low-carb veggies: Most green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
- Condiments: You can use salt, pepper and various healthy herbs and spices.
It is best to base your diet mostly on whole, single-ingredient foods. Here is a list of 44 healthy low-carb foods.
A Sample Keto Meal Plan For 1 Week
To help get you started, here is a sample ketogenic diet meal plan for one week:
- Breakfast: Bacon, eggs and tomatoes.
- Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil and feta cheese.
- Dinner: Salmon with asparagus cooked in butter.
- Breakfast: Egg, tomato, basil and goat cheese omelet.
- Lunch: Almond milk, peanut butter, cocoa powder and stevia milkshake.
- Dinner: Meatballs, cheddar cheese and vegetables.
- Breakfast: A ketogenic milkshake (try this or this).
- Lunch: Shrimp salad with olive oil and avocado.
- Dinner: Pork chops with Parmesan cheese, broccoli and salad.
- Breakfast: Omelet with avocado, salsa, peppers, onion and spices.
- Lunch: A handful of nuts and celery sticks with guacamole and salsa.
- Dinner: Chicken stuffed with pesto and cream cheese, along with vegetables.
- Breakfast: Sugar-free yogurt with peanut butter, cocoa powder and stevia.
- Lunch: Beef stir-fry cooked in coconut oil with vegetables.
- Dinner: Bun-less burger with bacon, egg and cheese.
- Breakfast: Ham and cheese omelet with vegetables.
- Lunch: Ham and cheese slices with nuts.
- Dinner: White fish, egg and spinach cooked in coconut oil.
- Breakfast: Fried eggs with bacon and mushrooms.
- Lunch: Burger with salsa, cheese and guacamole.
- Dinner: Steak and eggs with a side salad.
Always try to rotate the vegetables and meat over the long term, as each type provides different nutrients and health benefits.
We didn't have space for everything – there's more to this article from our friends at Healthline.com
You need to know that Keto is not for everybody – if you have any health issues – consult with your health care provider before going on any diet for their recommendations. Looking for more information about a excellent Keto system? We suggest you start with this free webinar – Free Training! Reveals How to Activate Your Body's “Reboot System”.
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