Keto or Ketogenic Diet - Instructions for Beginners

 Recently, the keto diet has been gaining more and more popularity. All because it allows you to quickly lose weight - without stress and harm to health. A person consumes enough calories and does not feel hunger. And excess weight goes away due to the transition of the body into a ketogenic mode. The main thing is to follow the recommendations and eat according to the special menu, which we will present in this article.

What is keto or ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet is a special nutritional system with an almost complete rejection of carbohydrates and a significant increase in the level of fat in the diet. Therefore, it is also called "fat".

The diet works as follows: the human body is designed in such a way that it prefers to receive energy for its work from carbohydrates (glucose). In the absence of carbohydrates, the level of glucose in the blood decreases, and fat reserves are used.

In the process of splitting fats in the liver, ketone bodies begin to be synthesized. It is ketones, in conditions of lack of glucose, that become an alternative source of energy for the body. And the body itself goes into a state of ketosis. By the way, thanks to this phenomenon, the diet has acquired the prefix "keto".
The start of the ketogenic regimen occurs with a full or low amount of carbohydrates consumed - less than 20 g per day. Another way to induce a state of ketosis is to observe a complete fast for several days. But without medical supervision, this is categorically not recommended.
A fat diet is a great alternative to starvation, but only without limiting the amount of food. And a good way to return a slender figure, without the slightest harm to health. In addition to losing weight, it will help to achieve the following results:
  • Reduce blood sugar levels;
  • Eliminate hormonal imbalance;
  • Improve metabolism;
  • Normalize appetite;
  • Increase energy levels;
  • Build muscle mass. 
Unlike many modern diets that bring temporary results, the keto diet shows long-term results. This is not surprising, since it was developed by doctors and is based on a deep understanding of biochemistry, physiology and nutrition. And for 10 centuries it has been successfully practiced not only in medical institutions, but by those who want to lose weight on their own.

History of the keto diet

The beneficial effect of fats on the body was noticed at the beginning of the 20th century. It was then that the fat diet began to be widely used as a tool to combat the following diseases:
  • epilepsy;
  • obese;
  • Oncology. 
The ketogenic diet was first tested by Dr. Wilder (Russell Wilder, MD) in 1921. He successfully used it to treat children with epilepsy. But already in the early 30s, new drugs were invented against epilepsy, and the keto diet was forgotten.
This diet was remembered only in the early 90s, when a small child with epilepsy needed additional help in the fight against the disease. Neither drugs nor surgery could cope with the disease. Thus, a ketogenic diet was used, which successfully stopped the attacks of the disease.
In the future, the boy's father will publish the book "Epilepsy Diet Treatment: An Introduction to the Ketogenic Diet" and sponsor the training of doctors and nutritionists to promote an effective diet.
After a while, it turned out that the abundance of fats in the diet and the rejection of carbohydrates have a positive effect on the whole body as a whole. And although this diet has not yet been approved by the world association of nutritionists, to this day it helps to effectively fight excess weight for those who have already lost all hope of losing weight.

Types of keto diet

There are several diet options:
  • classical 
This type of diet is suitable for those who want to quickly get rid of excess weight. Most often it is chosen by beginners and people with low physical activity. The essence of the diet is high fat intake (70% of total calories), moderate protein intake (20%) and minimal carbohydrate intake (only 10%).
  • cyclic
In this version of the diet, it is allowed to consume more carbohydrates, but on strictly defined days. For example, for 5 days you should eat according to the classic keto diet, and the remaining 2 days you should add more carbohydrates to the diet (up to 500 g). This technique allows you to replenish glycogen stores and speed up metabolism.
  • target
The target diet is to saturate the body with an additional portion of "simple" carbohydrates (20-30 g). It will be relevant at high physical exertion, when more energy is needed. Therefore, it is perfect for bodybuilders and athletes.
  • High Protein
The diet involves the use of an increased amount of proteins (up to 35%), the maximum - fats (60%) and the minimum - carbohydrates (5%). Often used by athletes who need to build muscle mass. It gives excellent results, the main thing is not to overdo it with proteins, which can interrupt the state of ketosis.
  • limiting
No more than 12 g of carbohydrates are allowed per day. Most often, this type of diet is used in medical institutions and is carried out under the strict supervision of a physician.

Rules and features of the keto diet

To get the maximum benefit and effect from the diet, it is important to learn how to enter and exit it correctly. You can not immediately start eating fats after a long use of numerous bakery products and sweets. This is a lot of stress for the body. To minimize it, you should change to fat gradually, simply reducing the amount of carbohydrates consumed every day.
Before starting a diet, you should correctly calculate your KBJU. This will allow you to understand how many calories and nutrients the body needs for normal functioning. Based on this, you can make a correct and balanced diet. Below we will tell you how to correctly calculate KBJU.
Having decided on this power system, you must adhere to the following rules:
  1. Drink enough clean water. The fact is that when changing the diet, side effects can appear: digestive problems, headache, irritability. Water helps to cope with them, or at least reduce their manifestations.
  2. Limit excessive salt intake, which can lead to dehydration.
  3. Reduce alcohol consumption. Ideally, eliminate it from the diet altogether.
  4. Add some carbohydrates on days when increased physical activity is expected.
  5. Eat strictly according to the menu, avoiding the feeling of hunger. Otherwise, failures will follow, which will reduce all the efforts spent to nothing.

To obtain the desired effect, it is enough to follow a diet for 3-4 weeks. And it is recommended to return to it no more than 2 times a year. Unfortunately, it is not suitable for permanent use.

Who is the keto diet for?

The fat diet is suitable for anyone who:

  • wants to get rid of excess weight;
  • want to improve their health;
  • wants to build muscle mass;
  • does not want to waste time on long workouts in the gym;
  • does not want to feel hungry.

Of course, like any other diet, the ketogenic diet has its limitations. This diet is not recommended for people with:

  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • diseases of the cardiovascular system;
  • liver disease;
  • chronic diseases;
  • high cholesterol;
  • during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

It should be understood that an unbalanced diet can harm a weakened body. Therefore, in the presence of one of the listed diseases, it is strongly recommended to undergo a full examination and consult with your doctor. And in the future - follow the diet only under his strict control.

Benefit and harm

Benefit and harm

The main advantage of the ketogenic diet is that, unlike conventional carbohydrate diets, it is very satisfying. 3 meals are enough, without any snacks, to always stay full.
The fact is that fat saturates for a much longer period of time than carbohydrates. Therefore, after a “fatty” meal, the feeling of hunger does not arise for a very long time.
In addition to high saturation, the ketogenic diet has many other advantages:
  • Improves mood due to the absence of constant jumps in blood sugar;
  • Clean skin without inflammation and rashes;
  • No spikes in blood sugar;
  • There is no feeling of hunger - fat saturates much better and for a longer period, compared to carbohydrates.

The effect of taking an increased level of fat is observed already during the first week. If after a few weeks of such nutrition there are no results, then you should seek help from nutritionists.

It is worth paying attention to the fact that this nutrition system can harm the body. For example, if the rules of entry, exit and the diet process itself were not followed. Or the diet was practiced by a person who has contraindications to it. That is why before the start it is so important to go through all the examinations and consult a doctor.

Of course, you should also consult a doctor if, after a few days of the diet, your health has worsened. But it should be remembered that some signs are a completely normal reaction of the body in a state of ketosis:

  • The smell of acetone;
  • Decreased feelings of hunger and appetite;
  • Violation of the digestive tract;
  • Frequent urination;
  • Strong thirst;
  • Headache;
  • Prostration;
  • Insomnia;
  • Irritability.

All of the above symptoms are the so-called keto flu. It occurs with a change in diet and usually lasts for several days. To get rid of the flu as quickly as possible, you should drink at least 2 liters of fluid daily, reduce physical activity, and consume more MCT oils.

Keto diet for weight loss

Practice shows that the keto diet is a great way to lose weight for those who have struggled with excess weight for years and could not win over it. With its help, you can quickly and comfortably lose fat - without any feeling of hunger or loss of muscle mass. This is true for athletes and people with a high level of physical activity.

The most important thing is that the fat will go away safely for the body, and the lost weight will not return. This is due to the lack of stress that usually appears with traditional diets. And stress is the quick return of all the lost kilograms and even in excess.

The almost complete exclusion of fat from the diet does not allow the body to use the incoming substances as usual. Fats are no longer stored “in reserve”, and carbohydrates are no longer spent as the main energy. The absence of carbohydrates leads to a decrease in appetite, and obtaining energy from fats leads to an increase in metabolism.

Due to the high saturation of fats and the absence of sharp jumps in sugar due to the injection of carbohydrates, losing weight feels complete comfort. He can continue to eat delicious meals, not be afraid of breakdowns and at the same time get rid of excess weight.

Keto diet for beginners

This nutrition system is not as complicated as it seems to beginners. You can figure out all the steps yourself. Or just follow the step-by-step diagram:

  1. Consult a doctor, undergo an examination and take tests;
  2. Calculate KBJU - total calories, amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates;
  3. Purchase the products necessary for a fat diet;
  4. Make a list of your favorite dishes to create a diet for a week or use a ready-made menu;
  5. Start a keto diet. Do not forget that you need to enter it gradually!

Beginners should remember that entering a fat diet should be gradual, gradually removing all prohibited foods from the diet, and adding more permitted ones. A sharp transition to the keto regimen will contribute to the manifestation of chronic diseases and deterioration of well-being. So you have to be careful here.

Keto diet for women and men

Are there significant differences between this diet for men and women? In general, there is practically no difference, except for the amount of calories that you need to spend to lose weight - the so-called KBJU. It must be calculated individually, based on the age, height, level of physical activity of a person.

A little lower we have placed 2 popular formulas for calculating KBJU. The meanings of the formulas are different for male and female. So be careful with your calculations.

Often, the daily calorie intake can differ by 1.5 or even 2 times (we are talking about professional athletes). So, if a person performs hard physical work or is engaged in strength training, his diet should be made more high-calorie. But those who lead a sedentary lifestyle do not need such calories.

In terms of food, both men and women can consume the same foods. But men should eat more saturated fats, which are essential for testosterone production. It is he who affects the growth of muscle mass and overall male health.

Increased consumption of saturated fat by women will lead to an increase in fat gain. Therefore, they are advised to emphasize the consumption of vegetable rather than animal fats, and give preference to eggs, fish, chicken, dairy products, legumes and soy.

When compiling both a female and a male diet, it is worth starting from the culinary preferences of a particular person. Also, a fat diet involves an easy replacement of one product with another, taking into account personal intolerance to individual components of dishes.

How to calculate KBJU

How to calculate KBJU

KBJU is the ratio of calories, proteins, fats, carbohydrates entering the body. The health and weight of a person depends on the correct balance of these substances. Knowing the daily calorie intake and the BJU ratio, you can easily control your eating behavior and keep your figure in shape.

In order to correctly calculate your KBJU rate, you should use one of the online calculators or follow one of the popular formulas. Below is the most famous Harris-Benedict formula.

Harris-Benedict Formula

To begin with, let's calculate the basic number of calories that the body spends to maintain all systems at rest:

  • For women  = 655.1 + 9.563 x WEIGHT + 1.85 x HEIGHT - 4.676 x AGE.
  • For men  = 66.5 + 13.75 x WEIGHT + 5.003 x HEIGHT - 6.775 x AGE.

The amount obtained above must be multiplied by the activity coefficient:

  • 1.2 - sedentary lifestyle; 
  • 1.375 - minimum loads;
  • 1.55 - training 3-5 times a week;
  • 1.725 - high physical activity during the week;
  • 1.9 - the load of a professional athlete.

As a result, you will get the daily calorie intake, which is necessary to maintain weight. To start the process of losing weight, it is recommended to reduce the resulting amount by 10-15%. Thus, weight loss will occur as comfortably as possible and without the slightest stress for the body.

On average, the amount of daily calories can be 1500-1800 calories. But it all depends on age, height, and also the human activity coefficient (KA). The higher the activity, the greater the amount of KBJU will be.

We calculate the norm of BJU

When calculating calories, it is important to remember that you need to try to gain not only the resulting calorie intake, but also maintain a balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the diet.

Calculating the balance is quite simple. To do this, you need to know how many calories are contained in each of the elements:

  • In 1 g of proteins - 4 calories;
  • In 1 g of carbohydrates - 4 calories;
  • There are 9 calories in 1 g of fat.

Now you should take the daily calorie intake and distribute how many elements it should contain, starting from the selected percentage of the elements of a particular diet.

We calculate the rate of a particular element according to the formula: total daily calorie intake x percentage: calorie content of 1 g of an individual element.

For example, let's take a classic fat diet with a ratio of 70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carbohydrates. Let's say our norm was 2000 calories per day.

As a result, every day you need to consume:

  • 155 g of fat  \u003d 2000 kcal x 0.7: 9 kcal
  • 100 g of protein  \u003d 2000 kcal x 0.2: 4 kcal
  • 50 g of carbohydrates  \u003d 2000 kcal x 0.1: 4 kcal.

What products can and cannot

What products can and cannot

Based on the fact that during the keto diet the main emphasis should be on fats, practically eliminating carbohydrates, lists of allowed and prohibited foods were able to form.

So, on a fat diet, you can safely afford:

  • Meat and offal;
  • Seafood and fish;
  • Eggs;
  • High-fat dairy products (cheese, sour cream, butter);
  • Seeds and nuts;
  • Low-carb vegetables (cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, avocados, olives);
  • Berries and low-carb fruits (apples);
  • Coconut, olive oil, avocado oil;
  • Mushrooms and greens;
  • Seasonings: pepper, salt, spices and spices;
  • From drinks are allowed: tea, black coffee and coffee with milk / cream. It is worth consuming more clean water.

Foods to be excluded from your diet:

  • Cereals with a high starch content (rice, wheat, barley);
  • Flour and confectionery products;
  • Starchy vegetables (carrots, potatoes, corn, beets);
  • Fruits high in carbohydrates (pears, grapes, bananas);
  • legumes;
  • Sugar in its purest form;
  • Sweet juices and soda;
  • Low-fat and diet foods;
  • Sauces and other additives containing sugar and unhealthy fats;
  • Alcohol.

Keto diet while fasting

Particular attention should be paid to the ketogenic diet during fasting. Since any fast implies the rejection of animal fats, you will have to exclude them from your diet for this time:

  • Meat and offal;
  • Bird;
  • Fish and seafood;
  • Eggs.

What can replace animal fats in fasting:

  • Nuts and seeds;
  • mushrooms;
  • Tofu and soy;
  • Vegetables - broccoli and cauliflower;
  • Vegetable oils. 

Of course, making a diet based on vegetable fats is not easy. And keeping it is even harder. But if you give up animal fats for a while, you can stay on a keto diet and not violate the rules of holy fasting.

Keto Diet Recipes

The ketogenic diet is a varied and tasty diet that is sure to please even the most demanding gourmet. And this is easy to verify - just cook dishes according to our recipes:

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