The keto diet has become very popular in the last couple of years, and plenty of women have been choosing it as their go-to weight-loss plan.
Want to know what it is, and if you can do it as well?
This article will shine some light on this topic and will reveal all the pros and cons regarding the keto diet.
What Is The Keto Diet?
Keto diet involves eating pretty much everything you can imagine, besides carbs and sugar.
In an ideal case, your body will enjoy and eat 75% fat, 20% protein, and will eat only 5% of carbs on a daily basis.
If you proceed for long enough with this regime, your body will convert energy a lot differently and will start to lose weight.
If you manage to eat a lot of fat and a lot fewer carbs, you will go into ketosis, which is a metabolic state in which your body burns all fat.
This diet has been around for a whole century, but it has become a huge thing in the last decade thanks to some fitness experts and their way of sharing and spreading the news about keto.
History Of The Keto Diet
This diet has been around for an entire century.
At first, it was used as a cure for epilepsy with younger children.
During the 1920s some scientists and doctors have figured out that high levels of ketones in the blood can lower the risk of having a seizure with epileptic patients.
This low-carb diet is still used to this day for the same reasons, but also for everyday lifestyle decisions.
During the keto diet, your liver produces all the ketones which you can use as your active energy.
However, if it was the opposite and you were eating carbs, your body would produce and store glucose (sugar), as well as insulin.
The truth is that your body can convert glucose the fastest into energy, which is why we often have those ‘sugar-rushes’ as children, and we successfully run on sugar.
However, once there is no sugar in our system and for our body to use and take as its own fuel, our body will go into ketosis.
What Is Ketosis?
This state is a natural process of our body which happens once our daily food intake is quite low.
In this state, your body has to produce ketones on its own which are produced from the liver and the fats that are in the liver.
You won’t need to starve yourself in order to get to this state, but you will, in fact, starve your carbohydrates.
However, those who have some liver issues might find this diet unpractical and a bit harder to follow along.
Benefits Of Being On A Keto Diet
Ask yourself what are your goals before proceeding further with this diet.
You can achieve so much, such as lose all of your unwanted pounds, but you can also feel a lot more energetic, as well as flexible & good inside out.
Almost anyone can benefit from this diet, and here are some of the reasons why you should do it:
1. Weight Loss
Your body will start to burn fat a lot better and faster than before due to the low levels of sugar (insulin).
Plenty of men and women who go on a keto diet lose all of their extra weight, and they even refuse to go back to their previous eating habits and lifestyle in the end.
In most cases, once you start eating carbs you will get back to your standard and previous weight.
2. Blood Sugar
The diet can prevent diabetes and is a lot more efficient than some other low carb diets.
If you have diabetes you can and should consider this as your solution.
3. Mental Strength
Some people believe that their mental performance can improve thanks to the keto diet.
Ketones can fuel your brain because no sugar or carb will mess around in your blood flow, but you will drain all you have from your fat.
4. A Lot Less Hungry
Since fat is more reliable and better at giving you energy than sugar, keto diet will leave you feeling a lot more energized and prepped for physical activities.
Also, fat will fulfill you inside out, and you won’t reach for any snacks as you would normally do.
5. Insulin Resistance
As previously mentioned, insulin resistance and diabetes can be under control when you are on keto.
This can help you lower your insulin level and you can also take omega 3 fatty acids to get the best outcome.
6. Clear Skin
Some women can experience clear and healthy skin when they go on a ketogenic diet.
In most cases, this is because you will reduce the intake of dairy and you will only eat specified and healthy food. Not as much sugar is also great for your skin.
What Can You Eat On A Keto Diet?
If you are intrigued thus far but you are still wondering what your options are no worries, there is plenty of them.
However, it is really important to plan ahead and to count your calories.
The more restrictive you are, the faster you will get into the stage of ketosis.
And once you are in ketosis, the more fat you will ‘burn off’.
In order to gain these results the fastest, make sure you always…
- Grains – corn, rice, wheat, and cereal
- Fruit – you can eat avocados and berries, but fruits like apples, oranges and bananas are filled with carbohydrates and sugar
- Tubers – potato
- Sugar – honey, maple syrup
What To Eat Then?
- Meat – lamb, salmon, fish, beef, chicken
- Greens – kale, spinach
- Vegetables – anything above ground (broccoli, cauliflower)
- Dairy which is high on fat – butter, hard cheese
- Seeds – walnuts, sunflowers, macadamia
- Fats – coconut oil, saturated fats
What To Eat If You’re Craving Something?
It is always important to stay consistent.
However, during those ‘times of the month’, or simply if you are in a bad mood try to remind yourself what is the goal that you are trying to achieve.
It will be such a shame that all of your hard work and dedication goes to waste due to one bad cheat day.
However, what you can do is chew and snack on some: seeds, nuts, cheese, peanut butter, or fruits.
Try to trick your mind into thinking that these are your go-to fish n chips since they are so crunchy and delicious on their own.
What Can You Drink When On Keto?
You should drink water, tea, coffee (no sugar added), diet and sugar-free drinks, almond milk, coconut water, and wine.
You can experiment with some other drinks, but you should make sure that they are very low on sugar.
How To Tell If You’re Reaching The State Of Ketosis
Some people are sometimes not too sure whether they’ve reached their state of ketosis.
But in case you reduce your carbs while successfully increasing the protein intake along with fat, there is no doubt that you will reach this state sooner than later.
You may notice some symptoms which are linked to ketosis which will confirm that you’ve reached that point.
These symptoms may include:
If you are dehydrated or if you feel like you are drinking a lot more water than the usual then you are in ketosis.
Drink 2 liters of water per day to calm down your thirst.
Also, some can experience a weird taste in their mouth (explained as metallic or nail polish feel/taste), which is very uncomfortable at first, but later on you will get used to it and it will disappear.
By drinking a lot more liquids, you will definitely make a lot more bathroom visitations.
Some people can eat only 1-2 times a day and then will go into a fasting mode.
If you don’t have these symptoms you can even purchase urine strips or blood strips which will tell you what is your current state.
How To Test Your Blood Or Urine
If you want to do these steps you can do them on your own at home.
There are three effective methods, such as:
1. Urine Strips Stix
This solution is cheap and simple to do.
You can do this test on your morning urine by dipping the stick in urine.
Wait for 15 seconds for the stick to soak up and for it to change color.
Once it does, it will show you your present state of ketones.
If you get a higher reading which is marked with a purple color, you will know that you are in ketosis.
These sticks are somewhere around $2-5 per piece.
2. Breath Ketone Analyzers
These are quite expensive and not the best go-to solution if you are on a budget since they are often over $150.
However, they can tell you your current ketosis level and you can reuse them as much as you like, and in the long run.
3. Blood Ketone Meters
Lastly, there are blood-ketone meters which can tell you your exact ketone level in your blood.
These are the most accurate, but you can expect one test to be around $2 (and you can only use it once).
Check out our review of the best ketone blood meters here.
Are There Different Types Of Ketogenic Diet?
If you feel like you need some modifications and if keto diet does not sound as friendly as you’ve expected it to be don’t worry, there are some different kinds of it.
In fact, you can customize your diet and choose between four well-known options, such as:
SKD (Standard Ketogenic Diet)
This is a classic and most described diet on the internet, as well as in this article.
This is the no bread but high on butter choice, similar to what we’ve explained at the beginning of the article where we’ve advised you on taking 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbs.
HPKD (High Protein Ketogenic Diet)
This diet is a slight variation where you can eat a bit more of protein, but you will use it to build muscles and will eat a bit more before heading out to the gym, or before getting ready for any other sports activity.
CKD (Cyclical Ketogenic Diet)
This diet is a low carb diet for a week, but then is followed by 1-2 days of eating a lot of carbs.
During these two days, you will rotate it by 180 degrees and you will focus mostly on carbs, yet take a lot less fat and protein.
Once these 2 days pass you will restart the cycle.
Mostly bodybuilders go for this diet since it lets them build a lean mass, and it lets them have massive cheat days.
TKD (Targeted Ketogenic Diet)
This diet is a mixture of everything, but is also combined with one hour per day of working out.
People who go for TKD eat just a bit more carbs, but they sweat them out when working out at the gym.
Are There Any Downsides To The Keto Diet?
Yes, there are, but as much as it is with anything in life, you can’t expect it to be perfect.
One of the most well-known downsides is the ‘keto flu’. This is a very common state which will go away in a few days, and you need to let it pass on its own.
You will know that you have it if you start to feel dizzy, or if you experience fatigue, headaches, cramps, and body discomfort.
Besides this, other downsides and possible side effects may include:
What you should know, is that keto is a diuretic.
You will go to the bathroom a lot more often than the usual, and your body will take a lot of time to transition and to get used to this change.
Most people can experience leg cramps at first.
These mostly happen early in the morning, or really late at night.
However, they pass soon and on their own.
This can also be a sign of mineral deficiency (especially magnesium) in your body.
If your body dehydrates you will demand water (as previously mentioned).
However, you might get constipated along the way.
Your heart can beat a lot faster and harder, but this is not unusual or any out of the ordinary.
In fact, it is quite normal.
If it starts to bother you try to eat a lot of salt and stay away from working out for a while.
You can have some issues with producing milk if you are low on carbs.
You should add 30-50g extra carbs (but in a form of fruits) to gain back the milk.
Unfortunately, this is possible and most common during the first 5 months of the process.
If this does occur you should take multivitamins and some other supplements.
Also, make sure your body rests enough and take 8 hours of sleep each night.
What To Eat In A Week?
If you feel like you need an in-depth plan on what you can eat in a week we’ve listed your options down below.
Whenever making your own food, try to read the calories that are listed on the back of the packaging. If possible, you should write it down and see if it is okay considering your daily macros, and your weight loss plan.
Also, whenever preparing your food, it is really important to purchase organic, and unprocessed or fabricated food. Don’t add artificial sweeteners, and try to stay away from mayo, ketchup, or any type of sauce.
Day 1: Monday
For your breakfast eat some eggs, tomatoes, and bacon. You can also drink a protein shake if you are in a rush.
For your lunch eat a chicken salad made with virgin oil.
For dinner eat salmon with asparagus, but make sure it has been prepared on coconut butter.
Day 2: Tuesday
For your breakfast eat eggs, tomato, and add some feta cheese.
For your lunch make a peanut butter shake with some almond milk and cocoa powder.
For dinner, you can eat cooked vegetables.
Day 3: Wednesday
For breakfast, you can create your own dairy-free milkshake.
For lunch try out a shrimp salad made with olive oil and add avocado.
For dinner try to eat some broccoli and spinach.
Day 4: Thursday
For breakfast prepare yourself an omelet with avocado, salsa, and some onions.
For lunch try to eat nuts, guacamole, and celery sticks.
For dinner eat a chicken salad or chicken stuffed with pesto.
Day 5: Friday
For breakfast eat any sugar-free yogurt.
For lunch try to stir-fry some beef along with vegetables which were fried in virgin oil.
For dinner try out a bunless burger.
Day 6: Saturday
For breakfast eat a few eggs along with some celery.
For lunch eat salmon with nuts and broccoli.
For dinner eat ham.
Day 7: Sunday
For breakfast have some bacon and mushrooms.
For lunch try a white fish and add some garlic.
For dinner eat a steak with a veggy salad.
If you are ordering food outside the house and you are in a restaurant ask the waiter if it is possible to replace any carbs (such as rice or potato), that usually come as your side dish with healthy vegetables.
Also, do ask what oil they are going to use when preparing your food since virgin oil & coconut butter are the best options.
Is The Keto Diet Worth It?
In the end, this entirely depends on the person who’s thinking of doing it, as well as their personal goals.
If you are trying to lose some weight then sure, this might be for you.
However, those who want to build muscle will find this solution unpractical. If you are not too sure what to do, here are some pros & cons regarding keto diet.
- Lowers your body sugar level
- Helps with insulin as well as epileptic seizures
- There are 4 different kinds of diet which just might suit your personal preference and eating habits
- Will help you eat a lot cleaner
- Might actually save you money since you will be eating only 2-3 times per day
- Helps you move better & think clearer
- Helps with acne & bad skin
- Not the best choice if you have liver issues
- A limited amount of food that you can eat which is bad if you are a picky eater
- Might be hard to figure out if you are in a state of ketosis
- Not ideal for everyone: you might experience fatigue, hair loss, heavy heart beating
Wrapping It Up
So there you have it. All you need to know about the keto diet.
Have you ever gone keto? If so, how did you get on? And do you have any recommendations to help out our readers?
Let us know below. We’d love to hear from you.
If you’re on the keto diet but feel you need more protein, check out our new post on the best protein powder for the keto diet for some great ideas.
Or boost your results with an organic MCT Oil for keto dieting