What is it, what it does and some tips to get you started
A Keto Diet (officialy called a Ketogenic Diet) is essentially a high fat, very low carb diet that has been made very popular by its ability to help people loose weight quite quickly and effectively. This is defiantly a bit of a craze in the fitness industry at the moment for its ability to achieve results while having the ability to eat foods that people love.
In a nut shell it involves getting your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. This is achieved by the drastically reduced number of carbohydrates you intake and replacing these with good fats. When you reach this state your body becomes very good at burning fat, resulting in the weight loss stories you see everywhere at the moment.
This diet has grown in popularity because not only is it effective in helping people loose weight but the diet itself isn’t complicated and is quite easy to stick to with a variety of delicious meals you would normally think are ‘off limits’.
I have several clients who currently use the Keto Diet and a little closer to home my wife has been using the Keto diet for the last 8 months and gotten some amazing results. I sat down with them to get some tips, pointers and advice for anyone looking to start a keto diet or who wants find out more about this current craze.
So why keto over other diets currently out there?
- It is easy to stick to with a variety of foods on offer
- You don’t need to count calories in the traditional sense
- The food makes you feel full even though you are having very low carbs
- New and exciting recipes are easy to find on social media, Google or in cookbooks.
- The food is delicious and you get to keep all the creamy, fatty foods you love without the guilt
- Its easy to transition into and after a while you don’t feel like you are even dieting.
- Given the nature of the diet even dining out is easy
Summary of Foods
Here is a very brief summary of foods to avoid and foods to eat as found on Healthline.com
Foods to Avoid
Any food that is high in carbs should be limited.
Here is a list of foods that need to be reduced or eliminated on a ketogenic diet:
- Sugary foods: Soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
- Grains or starches: Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
- Fruit: All fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries.
- Beans or legumes: Peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
- Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
- Low-fat or diet products: These are highly processed and often high in carbs.
- Some condiments or sauces: These often contain sugar and unhealthy fat.
- Unhealthy fats: Limit your intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
- Alcohol: Due to their carb content, many alcoholic beverages can throw you out of ketosis.
- Sugar-free diet foods: These are often high in sugar alcohols, which can affect ketone levels in some cases. These foods also tend to be highly processed.
Foods to Eat
You should base the majority of your meals around these foods:
- Meat: Red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey.
- Fatty fish: Such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel.
- Eggs: Look for pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.
- Butter and cream: Look for grass-fed when possible.
- Cheese: Unprocessed cheese (cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella).
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Healthy oils: Primarily extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
- Avocados: Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole.
- Low-carb veggies: Most green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
- Condiments: You can use salt, pepper and various healthy herbs and spices.
Some Tips for Getting Started and keeping on track
The big draw card for a Keto diet is how easy it is to start and keep to over a period of time. So here are some tips and advice on where to start and how to keep on track.
- Start with foods you love to eat and look at how you can make them Keto friendly. A great example of this is a creamy pasta, swap out the pasta for zucchini noodles, make sure there is protein and veggies in the mix and you get all the creamy flavor you love without the carbs. Or lettuce bun burgers are another great example.
- Meal Prep, most keto friendly dishes tend to be food prep friendly from mini breakfast quiches to chicken and roast veggie lunches. So plan your week and prep as much as you can, this always helps you keep on track
- Lean on the foods you think are ‘naughty’ but are allowed in the first few weeks to ease into the diet like cheese, bacon, butter, cream etc.
Variety is key, don’t have the same meal over and over all week, this does work for some people and I am one of them but most people this will get boring and you will break the diet quiet quickly. Mix it up with grilled chicken, meatballs, steak etc.
- Snacks are key to keeping you from getting hungry there are plenty of great snacks that are keto friendly like nuts, cold meat slices, hot sticks, some yoghurts, dips and veggie sticks etc.
- For those with a sweet tooth look for some keto friendly sweet recipes weather its dark chocolate peanut butter balls or coconut and blueberry keto muffins. These are sure to help curve your sweet tooth when you need a fix.
- Jump on socials and follow some Keto accounts to get daily inspiration. The 2 most popular I have found clients use are
- The Keto Bible
- Ditch the carbs
- The Keto Bible
- Find a style of food you love and look at how it can be adapted to be keto friendly. Mexican food is a great example of this with dishes like taco bowls, burrito bowls, guacamole all being easily made keto friendly.
- Due to the high fat, low carb content of a keto diet it is also recommended to take a fibre supplement as you arnt typically getting as much fibre from your food, this can also help with bowl movements as many people report issues of constipation when on a keto diet
Some recipes to get you started
I asked my wife and clients some of their favorite keto recipes and these are below:
Finally it is important to remember that each individual is different and what might work for others might not work for you and that is ok, it is all about finding balance and what works best for your lifestyle. You should always speak to your GP or healthcare professional before starting any diet to make sure it is safe for you to do so.
I hope I have been able to answer some of your keto question, if you would like to find out more leave a comment with your questions below or hit me up on the socials.