How does the keto diet help you lose weight?
To understand how the keto diet works, we must first what happens when we eat carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates come in two forms – simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. When you eat simple carbohydrates, (e.g sugar, sweets, soft drinks, cakes etc) your body does not need to do much work to break this down, so sugar is released straight into your bloodstream. When you eat complex carbohydrates (e.g rice, beans, oats, yams, potatoes etc) your body works a little harder to break them down. In this case, it takes longer for the body to break these down into sugar, which is released steadily into the bloodstream over a longer period of time.
What are ketones?
- Helps you lose weight rapidly
- Controls your blood sugar, if you have Type 2 Diabetes
- Increases your mental focus
- Increases your stamina and physical endurance. This is helpful if you have a physically demanding job.
- Helps control epilepsy
- Normalises your blood pressure
- Reduces heartburn
- Reverses polycystic ovaries symptoms
- Might improve your fertility
How much carbohydrates should I eat to induce ketosis?
How can I tell I’m in ketosis?
- Rapid weight loss
- Bad breath
- Increased ketones in your urine (you can use a urine strip to measure this)
- Reduced hunger
- Increased focus and energy
- Short-term fatigue in the first few days
What food can I eat on the ketogenic diet?
Even though you might not be able to eat a lot of the foods you are used to eating on the ketogenic diet, there are a lot of other foods which you can eat to replace them.
We have put together a list of suitable foods which you can eat on the ketogenic diet:
Milk contains too many sugars in the form of lactose, but aside from that most dairy foods are ideal.
- Whipping cream/Whipped cream
- Sour cream
- Unsweetened yoghurt
Eggs, Meat, and Poultry
You can eat all meats and poultry on a keto diet. Here are specific examples of what you can have:
- Goat meat
- Bush meat
Fats and Oils
While you can eat fats on a ketogenic diet, it is better to avoid industrial vegetable oils such as canola oil. Here are some healthy fat sources you can include in your diet:
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Red palm oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Tallow (Oil from boiling meat/chicken)
There are countless edible fish and here are some of the commonly available ones.
Because most fruit contains naturally-occuring sugars, you will need to be careful about the fruit you choose to eat on the ketogenic diet. Here is a list of a few:
You can eat most nuts on a ketogenic diet, but nuts like cashews and pistachios are too high in carbohydrates. As everything else though, they need to be eaten in moderation. Nuts are very energy-dense, so a handful should be enough (1 ounce/28grams)
Here are the best low-carb choices:
Seeds are also a reasonably nutritious option for keto diets. Agan, use these in moderation. A lot of these seeds are excellent additions to a breakfast smoothie
- Chia seed
- Hemp seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Shellfish and Seafood
Vegetables Suitable For Keto
Generally speaking, plants that grow above the ground tend to have a lower carb count than those that grow below the ground (which tend to store carbs underground). However, a small amount of below ground vegetables should be okay if you factor them into your total carb count.
- Butternut squash
- Cabbage (all colours)
- Bell peppers
- Green onions
Foods to avoid on the ketogenic diet
Because you need to keep your carbohydrate intake low on the ketogenic diet, you need to stay away from foods with hight carbohydrate content such as grains, starches, sugars and high-carb plant foods.
Here is a more specific list of foods you need to avoid in order to achieve ketosis:
- Cakes and Cookies
- Dried fruit (a slight amount is OK, but best avoided)
- Fruits high in fructose sugar (banana, mango, pawpaw, oranges, pineapple etc.)
- Fruit juice
- Grains (bread, oats, pasta, rice, etc.)
- Legumes (beans)
- Milk (a very small amount is OK)
- Sugary foods in general
- Sweet wines/sugary alcohol in general
- Tubers such as yams, potatoes, cassava, and sweet potatoes
And these foods are technically ‘ketogenic,’ but it’s better to avoid them for health:
- Low-carb processed foods: they may be low-carb, but they’re usually full of additives.
- Margarine (use pure butter)
- Vegetable oils (use coconut oil)
If going completely teetotal is hard for you, you are allowed to indulge in some leto-accepted alcohol from time to time.
You can have clear liquor at about 40% alcohol, as long as it is not sweet. Here are some examples:
Hope this has been an enlightening read, and please feel free to comment with any questions you might have.