What is a Keto Diet Plan?A keto diet is a meal that consists of less than 50g of total carbs per day. The sources of calories in a keto diet are mainly fat and protein. Ketogenic diets create a carbohydrate deficiency in your body so that your body burns fat to meet the energy requirements. As a result, the body enters a state of ketosis, i.e the ketone levels of your body go up. This helps in reducing the total fat percentage in your body and flatten your stomach without exercise.
Will Keto reduce belly fat?
This low-carb diet will turn your body into a fat-burning machine. It creates a metabolic state in your body that significantly burns down the carbohydrate content of your body. Your body then starts deriving energy from fat rather than carbs which is a great belly fat reducing mechanism. Do you know the best part about such high-fat diets? Unlike low-fat diets, this diet does not make you feel hungry all the time.
How much weight can you lose on keto in a month?
This varies from person to person depending on their body type and weight loss goals. A lot of factors like your age, your current weight level, activity level, the fat percentage of your body, your existing metabolism levels, energy levels, etc. determine how much weight you lose in a month. However, if you stick consistently with your diet plan, you can lose about 10-12 pounds in a month. On average, three pounds a week is a sustainable goal.
Who should not do a ketogenic diet?
You should never impulsively go for a diet just because it is in trend and overhyped. You need to analyze first if the particular diet suits your body and fat loss goals.
These five categories of people should never even think about going for a keto diet:
- Pregnant woman: A pregnant woman always needs to ensure that there is no kind of nutrient deficiency in her body. Such restrictive diets with reduced carb intake are not suitable for their body.
- People with digestive disorders: If you are already suffering from any kind of stomach issues like chronic constipation or irritable bowel, it is best to avoid low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets. These low-carb diets bring down the fiber intake in your body which can worsen the problem.
- People suffering from eating disorders: If you are anorexic or have bulimia or any other eating disorder, it is best to avoid keto diets. You can find it extremely difficult to limit your food intake due to constant mood swings.
- People having kidney issues: This low-carb diet plan is all about flushing out the extra fat intake from your body. This can put extra pressure on your kidney which can make your kidney condition even more serious.
- Vegans: Though vegans can go for a customized keto diet plan, it can be quite risky. Vegans already avoid dairy and animal products in their diet and further cutting down the calorie intake and energy intake can lead to serious nutrition deficiency issues.
10 steps beginners should take before trying the keto diet
- Consult your doctor or dietician before you start your diet to find out if it is suitable for your body.
- If your nutritionist permits set a starting date for your keto diet.
- Throw out all the high-carb food items from your refrigerator or pantry.
- Check out different blogs and youtube videos for tasty yet healthy keto recipes that can be easily prepared at home. Create your own customized weekly meal plan with the keto-friendly food items you love.
- Go shopping and buy all the keto-friendly ingredients, snacks, beverages, fruits, etc. you need for the whole week meal plan. Stock up as much as you can. Make sure to properly check the labels and carb content before you buy anything.
- Always prepare your meals way before in advance. Try to store them in batches in your refrigerator.
- If you are someone who gets hunger pangs now and then, divides the portions into five to six tiny meals rather than the standard breakfast, dinner, and lunch.
- Consume as many fluids and electrolyte supplements as you can. It is very common to get dehydrated or suffer from “keto flu” in the first two weeks of the diet. So it is crucial to be well hydrated all the time.
- Fill in any nutritional gaps or deficiencies that you face on this diet through natural supplements. It can be half a scoop of whey protein in your yogurt, caffeine without sugar, mineral water, MCT oil, creatines, etc.
- Don't go for high-intensity workouts in the initial weeks of the diet. Your body needs time to adjust to the new food intake pattern. Prep your body for this new diet.
What to eat on a keto diet or a low-carb diet?
- Seeds and nuts: pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Fatty fish: Mackerel, wild salmon, herring, tuna, sardines, anchovies, shrimp, etc.
- Meat: pork, bison, beef, venison, and organ meats.
- Poultry: turkey and chicken meat.
- Full-fat dairy: milk, butter, yogurt, and heavy cream.
- Full-fat cheese varieties: feta cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, gouda, goat cheese, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, brie, swiss cheese, and 1-2 tbsp cream cheese.
- Condiments: vinegar, lemon juice, spices, pepper, fresh herbs, and salt.
- Oils with healthy fat: sesame oil, coconut oil, coconut butter, avocado oil, and olive oil.
- Non-starchy veggies: Broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, and greens.
- Nut butter: almond butter, cashew butter, and natural peanut butter.
- Avocados: Toss or sizzle avocado over any meal or snack of your choice.
- Eggs: organic whole eggs and pastured eggs.
Food items to avoid on a keto diet:
- Sweetened beverages: sweetened teas, juice, sports drink, soda, etc.
- Noodles: pasta, spaghetti, etc.
- Starchy veggies: Sweet potatoes, corn, pumpkin, squash, peas, potatoes, etc.
- Beans and legumes: lentils, black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.
- Selective fruits: Bananas, citrus, pineapple, and grapes.
- Grains and grain products: Breakfast cereals, rice, tortillas, wheat, oats, etc.
- Bread varieties or baked items: Whole-wheat bread, cookies, white bread, rolls, crackers, donuts, etc.
- Sweets and sugary items: Maple syrup, candies, sugar, coconut sugar, ice cream, agave syrup, etc.
- Alcoholic beverages: sugary mixed drinks, beer, etc.
- High carb sauces: sugary salad dressings, barbecue sauce, dipping sauce, etc.
- Processed foods: Any kind of fast food item or packaged food or processed meat.
- Unhealthy fats: Vegetable or shortening oils like corn oil or canola oil, margarine, etc.
- Diet foods: Any food item with artificial preservatives and colors.
What fruits can you eat on keto?
There are so many restricted fruits that you cannot consume on a keto diet as listed above. But you still can go for some low-carb fruits like:
- Star fruit
Healthy snack options on a keto diet
Probably most of you cannot give up on your snacking habits in the first month of the diet itself. So you can keep these healthy, keto-friendly snacks handy to grab a fist of it whenever you get those hunger pangs:
- Keto sushi bites
- Hard-boiled eggs or egg devil.
- Cheese roll-ups
- High-fat dressed greens
- Peppers or celery with a dip of herbed cream cheese.
- Kale chips.
- Coconut chips.
- Cheese roll-ups.
- Keto-friendly snack bars.
- 90% dark chocolate
- A bowl of keto-friendly nuts or seeds.
- Greek yogurt with full-fat content. You can mix it with dark cocoa powder and nut butter for an enhanced taste.
- Chicken salad stuffing in raw half-sliced avocado.
- Berries dipped in whipped cream.
- Coconut milk, avocado, and cocoa smoothie.
- Parmesan chips.
- Sliced salami with olives.
- Cocoa and avocado mousse.
- Almond milk smoothie
- Vegetable muffin
- Celery stick
- Roasted turkey
Beverage options for a keto diet
Though there are only limited beverage options on a keto diet, you need to still keep yourself hydrated with these:
- Plain water: You can even add in some electrolytes for better hydration.
- Unsweetened caffeine: You can enjoy it with a scoop of heavy cream instead of sugar.
- Unsweetened green tea: You can replace your everyday evening cup of tea with this one.
- Sparkling water: This can be a great replacement for soda drinks.
Tips and tricks to stick to a keto diet
- Develop the habit of checking food labels and fat, fiber, or carb content of items before you buy them. Always keep a count of your carb intake to assess if you can fit in your favorite food items in your meals.
- Subscribe to some of the informative keto food blogs, cookbooks with keto-friendly and tasty recipes, apps and websites with ket-friendly meal ideas, etc. so that you can easily create your customized meal plan.
- Go for meal delivery services that have keto-friendly menu options or healthy frozen keto meals on days you are too worked up to cook your meals.
- If you are hanging out with your friends or family, it is best to carry your keto meal than indulging in any sort of cravings.
- Have a meal plan your way before you prepare your meal. It will save you a lot of time on your schedule.
How to eat out in restaurants and cafes when you are following a keto diet?
Just because you are on a particular diet does not mean you stop going out on dates in fancy restaurants or hanging out with your friends at cafes. Keto needs to be a part of your lifestyle. In restaurants, you can go for keto-friendly meat or fish-based options. Replace any high-carb bread or rice dishes with extra non-starchy veggies.
You can even opt for egg-based dishes like omelets, slices of bacon, deviled eggs, etc. If you are out on a date at Mexican restaurants, go for keto-friendly meat varieties tossed with salsa, sour cream, extra cheese, or even guacamole.
You can even enjoy bun-less burgers in your favorite cafes. Just ask the waiter to replace the fries with extra avocado, low-carb veggies like greens, cheese, or even eggs and bacon. Do not feel like skipping on desserts? No worries! Go for berries with cream or mixed cheese board.
Downsides of a keto diet:
No matter how great or effective a diet is, there will always be downsides to it. You are restricting your natural diet, and so there will be certain consequences. Some of them can be:
- Most common, micronutrient deficiency levels.
- Fatty liver
- Low blood protein
- Kidney stone.
- Higher cholesterol levels.
A Keto diet can be dangerous for people with type 2 diabetes with high insulin levels. Such people usually take inhibitors like sodium-glucose cotransporter and along with the keto diet can increase the acidity levels in your blood. It leads to a serious condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis.
Several established nutritional journals like the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, British Journal of Nutrition, etc. are constantly publishing research theories on keto diets and their safety for the long run.
How can you curb the side effects of a keto diet?
If you are a completely healthy person with no lifestyle diseases, a keto diet is absolutely a safe choice for you, according to the British Journal of Nutrition 2016. However, you can still show some side effects like:
- Digestion problems
- Keto flu with signs like vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.
- Sleep issues
- Unwanted hunger pangs
- Low energy and decreased mental function.
- Lower ability to exercise
If you want to minimize these symptoms to a certain extent, you can gradually lower your carbohydrate intake rather than cutting it off at once. In this way, you can slowly train your body to survive with low carbs while burning more fat.
Make sure to add a few pinches of extra salt to your meals or fluids to combat any mineral deficiency in your body occurring from ketogenic diets. You can even consult your nutritionist or doctor about your calorie intake. Cutting off too many calories in the first few weeks of the diet is not helpful.
Do ketogenic diets suppress appetite? A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets (LCDs) are often associated with appetite suppression. However, clinical review on this has never been consistent. A systematic review and meta-analysis studies show that persons on a KLCD or keto diet are usually comparatively less hungry all the time and do not feel like eating much.
But these are slight changes and not too apparent. Cochrane Database of systematic reviews and obesity reviews indicate that even obese people start feeling less hungry on a keto diet even though they are actually on a diet and are losing weight. But for this, a minimum level of ketosis has to be achieved.
Different types of ketogenic diets:
- Standard ketogenic diet: This diet has a very low carbohydrate content but high amounts of protein and fats. This diet can help in the management of type 1 diabetes or diabetes mellitus.
- Cyclical ketogenic diet: This diet has small phases of high carb in between long low-carb phases. If you want to bring control to type 1 diabetes, heart diseases, Alzheimer's, or Parkinson's diseases, this diet is highly beneficial.
- Targeted ketogenic diet: In this diet, you are allowed to consume a limited amount of carbs if you schedule them around your workouts. Any review article will tell you how good this diet is for diabetes management, females with PCOS, autism, Parkinson's disease, glycogen storage disease, metabolic syndrome, etc.
- High protein ketogenic diet: This diet is similar to the standard one but the only difference is that it includes excess protein.
A Keto Diet Meal Plan and Menu that can transform your body
Here is your complete Keto Diet Plan Week that you can customize according to your preferences and favorites:
Breakfast: Mushroom omelet or broccoli and peppers or cauliflower toast topped with avocado and cheese.
Lunch: Avocado and blue cheese or shrimp and avocado salad with tomatoes, lemon juice, fresh herbs, feta cheese drizzled with some honey, and olive oil.
Dinner: Bison steak with cheesy broccoli or garlic butter steak with mushrooms and asparagus.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with green onions and jalapenos, full-fat yogurt topped with Keto granola.
Lunch: Chicken breast with cauliflower mash and green beans or arugula salad with blue cheese, turkey, hard-boiled eggs, and avocado.
Dinner: Pork chops with non-starchy veggies or meatballs served with parmesan cheese and zucchini noodles.
Breakfast: Two eggs fried in pastured butter served with sauteed greens, avocado, and blackberries or tomatoes sprinkled with sunflower seeds.
Lunch: Macadamia nuts and tuna salad with avocado and tomatoes or cobb salad made with hard-boiled eggs, turkey, cheese, greens, and avocado.
Dinner: Roast chicken with cream sauce and sauteed broccoli or Cajun spiced chicken breast with cauliflower rice and Brussels sprout salad.
Breakfast: Full fat yogurt topped with keto-friendly granola or bell pepper stuffed with cheese and eggs.
Lunch: Caesar salad with chicken or grass-fed beef burger (no bun) with kale salad, guacamole, and tomato.
Dinner: Beef stew made with fresh herbs, mushrooms, celery, and onions with beef broth or grilled salmon with spinach sauteed in coconut oil.
Breakfast: Egg muffins with cheddar cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach or baked avocado egg boats.
Lunch: Chicken mayonnaise salad with avocado, almonds, cucumber, tomato, and onion or pesto-topped, bunless salmon burger.
Dinner: Chicken stir-fried with peppers, broccoli, and mushroom drizzled with homemade satay sauce or coconut chicken curry.
Breakfast: Keto smoothie by blending nut butter, chia seeds, protein powder, almond milk, and spinach or coconut milk chia pudding topped with walnuts and pieces of coconut.
Lunch: Spiced cauliflower soup with bacon pieces or tofu cubes or steak bowl with herbs, rice, avocado, salsa, cheese, and cauliflower.
Dinner: Pork chops with green beans sauteed in coconut oil or tuna salad with tomatoes and celery topped with a bed of greens.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs on a bed of pumpkin seeds and sauteed greens or cream cheese, eggs, and almond pancakes baked with coconut flour drizzled with butter and maple syrup or tossed with berries.
Lunch: Grilled salmon with a salad dressing of tomato and mixed leafy greens or egg and avocado salad with fresh spices and onions served in lettuce cups.
Dinner: Garlic and herb buttered shrimp with zucchini noodles or cheese shell taco cups.
Delicious and healthy keto recipes idea for vegetarians that can be easily prepared at home:
Keto cauliflower crust pizza
You can substitute flour with cauliflower to prepare the base of this super light pizza. You can add depth to the flavor of the cauliflower crust with some parmesan and personalize it with your favorite toppings.
2. Non-starch veggie keto omelette
You can spice up your otherwise bland omelet with kale, chili flakes, and grated courgette served with cherry tomatoes with a dressing of white wine vinegar to jazz it up. This one is an excellent source of proteins.
3. Crunchy veg and smoked tofu keto salad with sesame dressing
This vibrant salad recipe is a trusted source of so many micronutrients. It is quite vegan-friendly and has low-calorie content. You can toss it with some crunchy veggies or crispy golden tofu for an added texture.
4. Broccoli and blue cheese salad
You can handpick some fresh and sprouting purple broccoli and toss with some blue cheese and toasted almonds for a slight crunch. A garlic dressing is a must.
5. Grilled avocado in barbeque style
You can prepare this barbecue star with some tahini yogurt and harissa hummus.
Sticking to any diet requires constant motivation and a whole lot of consistency. We hope with our guide you can easily get started with your keto diet plan.