The keto diet in detail, and the keto meal schedule for 7 days
The keto diet is a diet high in fat, medium in protein and low in carbohydrates. According to many recent research and studies, this type of diet has great health benefits.
In particular, the keto diet has gained a lot of popularity as a way to lose weight in recent years.
Below is a comprehensive definition of the keto diet in detail, in addition to proper meal planning .. and the foods that should be avoided. Highlighting its health benefits and some potential side effects.
What is the keto diet?
Despite the popularity of the keto diet recently, it has been around for a very long time, as it has been used for long periods as a treatment for some diseases.
And according to what was published by the Harvard Medical School, its first appearance was in the early years of the last century, when doctors recommended it as a treatment for some medical conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy.
But these days, following the keto diet for weight loss is the most prominent trend for most people.
So how does the keto diet help you lose weight?
The keto diet depends on reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat daily in return for increasing the proportion of healthy fats. This puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
When this happens, the body becomes more efficient at burning body fat and using it as an energy source instead of carbohydrates.
Your body also converts these fats into ketones, which are substances made by your liver. It is used to supply the brain with energy.
As a result, a significant decrease in blood sugar and insulin levels occurs. This, along with increased ketones, has been proven by many studies to have significant health benefits.
Types of keto diet
If you are planning to follow the keto diet for slimming, there is more than one type, each of which focuses on small changes in the proportion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates in your daily diet. Types of keto diet include:
1- Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): It is a diet low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and high in fat. It usually contains 70% fat, 20% protein and only 10% carbohydrates.
2- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): This diet includes periods of high-carb refeeding, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.
3- Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): This diet is intended for athletes as it allows adding more carbohydrates before and immediately after training.
4- High-protein ketogenic diet: Similar to a standard keto diet, but it contains more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein, 5% carbs.
It's worth noting that only standard, high-protein ketogenic diets have been studied extensively. Cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets are one of the more advanced approaches and are primarily used by bodybuilders or athletes.
So the information in this article mostly applies to the standard keto diet (SKD), but in general many of the principles apply to other types as well.
How does the keto diet work?
The main idea of following the keto diet is to get your body into a state of ketosis. This happens when you drastically reduce your consumption of carbohydrates, which limits your body's supply of glucose (sugar), which is the main source of energy for cells.
Following the keto diet is the most effective way to get into ketosis. Reliable studies suggest that this is done by limiting carbohydrate consumption to about 20 to 50 grams per day and replacing it with foods rich in healthy fats, such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts and healthy oils.
It's also worth noting that you should reduce your protein intake because, as some research has noted, protein can be converted into glucose if eaten in large amounts, which can slow your transition into ketosis.
How long does it take to get into ketosis?
If you follow a standard keto diet correctly for a week, the body will enter the ketogenic state. Some symptoms may indicate that you are in ketosis, including increased thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, and decreased hunger or appetite.
Some blood and urine tests are also available that can help determine if you have gone into ketosis by measuring the amount of ketones your body is producing.
How does the keto diet help you lose weight?
There is strong scientific evidence that the keto diet can help with weight loss. Some studies have suggested that eating a keto diet may be more effective than a diet high in carbohydrates and low in fat, even when eating the same number of calories.
For example, in one study, people following a keto diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those following a low-calorie, low-fat diet. Their triglyceride and cholesterol levels also improved.
But the most prominent feature of the keto diet is that it may lead to a decrease in appetite and reduced food intake. This is very important especially if you don't like counting calories. The data suggests that a ketogenic diet may be a good option. You can cut out some foods and you don't have to keep track of calories.
However, keep in mind that you have to check labels and keep track of total grams of carbohydrates each day, which requires attention to food choices.
Easy Keto Diet Meals
As we mentioned, the goal of eating keto diet meals is to reduce the amount of carbohydrates to reach the ketogenic state. The amount of daily carbohydrates that each person needs to reach this point may vary. For example, some people may need 20 grams per day, while others can reach ketosis when eating larger amounts around 50 grams per day.
But in general, the fewer carbohydrates you eat, the better. Fats should also replace the majority of cut-down carbohydrates and provide approximately 75% of your total calories.
Also, proteins should account for about 10-30% of energy needs, while carbohydrates are usually limited to 5%.
Keto diet meals you should focus on
The following foods provide adequate amounts of healthy fats and protein while being low in carbohydrates:
Eggs: Eating the whole egg is the best option.
Poultry: such as chicken and turkey.
Fatty fish: salmon, herring, wild mackerel.
Meat: beef, camel, and grass-fed goat.
Full-fat dairy: yogurt, butter, and cream.
Full fat cheese: cheddar, mozzarella, and goat cheese.
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, peanuts and flaxseeds.
Nut Butter: Natural Peanut, Almond and Cashew Butter.
Oils rich in healthy fats: Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut butter, and sesame oil.
Avocado: A whole avocado can be added to almost any meal or snack.
Non-starchy vegetables: broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, and peppers.
Seasonings: salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, fresh herbs and spices.
Foods to avoid when following the keto diet
It is necessary to avoid or reduce carbohydrate-rich foods as much as possible, and these are the most prominent examples.
Bread and baked goods: White bread, whole-wheat bread, crackers, and cake.
Sweets and sugary foods: sugar, ice cream, and coconut sugar.
Sweetened drinks: soft drinks, juices, and sweetened tea.
Pasta: spaghetti and noodles.
Cereals and grain products: wheat, rice, oats, breakfast cereals and tortillas.
Starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, corn, peas, and pumpkin.
Beans and legumes: black beans, chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans.
Fruit: citrus fruits, grapes, bananas, and pineapples.
High-carb sauces: BBQ sauce, sugary salad dressings, and dipping sauces.
Note: Although carbs should be restricted, low-glycemic fruits like berries can be enjoyed in limited quantities as long as you keep eating a large portion of your keto diet.
Keto diet meal schedule for a week
This diet provides planning of keto diet meals for an entire week. It is also characterized by limiting the amount of carbohydrates to be less than 50 grams per day.
Breakfast: Two eggs fried in butter served with a plate of sauteed vegetables.
Lunch: A burger without bun with cheese and avocado with a small plate of tomato and lettuce salad.
Dinner: Chicken pieces with green beans.
Breakfast: Omelette with mushrooms, broccoli and peppers.
Lunch: tuna salad with celery and tomatoes.
Dinner: Cheese tacos with salsa.
Breakfast: bell peppers stuffed with cheese and eggs.
Lunch: arugula salad with boiled eggs, a piece of chicken, and an avocado.
Dinner: Grilled salmon with spinach sautéed in coconut oil.
Breakfast: Full-fat yogurt topped with granola.
Lunch: Steak with cauliflower with cheese and sauce.
Dinner: lamb steak with broccoli and cheese.
Breakfast: 2 eggs fried in butter with avocado.
Lunch: grilled salmon with green leafy vegetables and tomatoes
Dinner: chicken breast with mashed cauliflower and green beans.
Breakfast: Omelette with mushrooms, broccoli and peppers.
Lunch: Beef tacos with sliced bell peppers.
Dinner: steak with butter and garlic with mushrooms.
Breakfast: Full-fat yogurt with peanut butter, a cup of cocoa powder, and a small plate of berries.
Lunch: salmon burger without bun, topped with vegetables.
Dinner: Grilled chicken with cream sauce and sauteed broccoli It's important to eat the right number of calories based on your activity level, weight loss goal, age and gender.
If you're not sure how many calories you should be eating, check out this article to learn how to calculate your calorie needs.
Also, the Fitness and Agility Calorie Calculator “in this link” may help you determine the amount of calories you need daily.
The health benefits of the keto diet
In addition to losing weight, there are many benefits that a keto diet brings, including the following:-
1- Treat or avoid diabetes and prediabetes: A ketogenic diet can help you lose excess fat, which is closely linked to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
One study also reports that the ketogenic diet improves insulin sensitivity by a whopping 75%. Another study of 349 people with type 2 diabetes found that those who followed the keto diet lost about (11.9 kg) in two years. Furthermore, they also noted an improvement in blood sugar management, and a decrease in the use of certain diabetes medications.
2- A potential treatment for some types of cancer: The ketogenic diet is currently being researched as an additional treatment for cancer, as it may help slow tumor growth. Based on what was mentioned in several reliable sources. (1, 2).
3- Getting rid of acne: Several different reasons may cause acne and in many cases may be related to diet and blood sugar in some people. There is a suspicion that a diet rich in processed and refined carbohydrates may alter the balance of gut bacteria and cause a marked rise in blood sugar, both of which can cause acne.
On the other hand, according to a 2012 study, I noticed that by reducing carbohydrate intake, a keto diet could reduce acne symptoms in some people.
4. Improve Brain Health: Some studies, such as a recent review published in 2019, suggest that ketones that the body makes during a keto diet can strengthen and protect the brain and neurons. For the same reasons, scientists have noted that this may help prevent common diseases such as Alzheimer's.
Possible side effects of the keto diet
Although the keto diet is usually safe for most healthy people, there may be some initial side effects as your body adjusts.
There is some anecdotal evidence of these effects which is often referred to as the keto flu “source” and based on reports from some, it usually goes away within a few days.
They may include the following symptoms, depending on the description of people who have tried the keto diet:-
Poor energy and mental function.
Decreased athletic performance during training.
How do you start following the Keto Diet for weight loss?
It may seem difficult at first especially with carbohydrates being restricted to just 20 or 50 grams per day, but there are some great tricks that can help you to make things easier and they include the following.
1- Start by reading the labels carefully and identifying the proportions of carbohydrates and natural fibers in each product.
2- Planning meals in advance “or following a specific keto diet like the one listed in this article” or creating your own keto diet may be a very useful step to help you succeed in this matter.
3- Bring easy-to-carry Keto Diet meals with you if you're late outside. In fact, there are great snacks and keto snacks like cheese, almonds, walnuts, almost all nuts, and dark chocolate.
4- When eating outside, it is preferable to choose restaurants that serve keto diet meals and drinks. And if you do not find it, most restaurants offer fish and burger dishes without bread, and eggs and cheese dishes are easy keto meals that you can benefit from.
5- Returning to the possible side effects that we mentioned above, there are also some tips that you may reduce, such as.
To reduce the problem of reduced athletic performance, if you go to the gym to lose weight, you can try a regular low-carb diet for the first few weeks. So your body gets used to burning more fat before you completely eliminate carbohydrates.
The keto diet can also alter the water and mineral balance in your body, so adding extra salt to your meals or taking mineral supplements may help. Talk to your doctor about your nutritional needs.
6- Important: The keto diet usually helps you lose weight without severely restricting calories. So you can initially eat until full without avoiding restricting calories too much.
Frequently asked questions about the keto diet
1- Are there risks to staying on the keto diet for long periods?
Yes, based on what was mentioned in several important sources, following the keto diet for long periods may cause some health risks such as:
Low protein in the blood
Increased fat in the liver
Deficiency in some nutrients that you get from foods rich in carbohydrates.
More research is being done to determine the long-term safety of the keto diet. But in any case, keep your doctor informed of your eating plan to guide your choices.
2- Can I eat carbohydrates again?
yes. However, it is important to significantly reduce your carbohydrate intake at first. After the first two to three months, you can eat carbohydrates only on special occasions.
3- Does the keto diet cause muscle loss?
Any weight loss diet may have negative effects on losing muscle because it restricts the amount of calories that enter your body. This article may help you build muscle and burn body fat at the same time.
4- What is the appropriate amount of protein in the keto diet?
Protein should be in moderation, as eating too much can lead to higher insulin levels and lower ketones. About 35% of the total calories is the maximum.
5- Is the keto diet completely safe?
Most sources and studies indicate that ketosis is completely safe for most people, but as with any diet, you should always consult a doctor and find out what suits your personal needs from all the available options.