But what if in order to lose weight, you have to eat fat and completely abandon fruits and whole grains? It sounds strange, but it makes sense. Read on to find out what a keto diet is and how it works.
Now nutritionists offer many different types of nutrition. Maybe you already heard this fashionable word “keto” or even thought about switching to it. But it is important to understand that any food may not be suitable, it may turn out to be ineffective in a particular case. And before you sharply change your diet, you should find out all the available information. We have prepared a detailed guide to the keto diet: menu features, benefits, and contraindications.
What is a keto diet
Keto-nutrition involves reducing carbohydrates to a minimum in order to normalize metabolism and begin losing weight. Based on this, other types of nutrition can be added to the keto-type, the main purpose of which is to control carbohydrates: carbohydrate-free nutrition, Paleo and Ducane diets. After refusing carbohydrates, the body ceases to receive energy from glucose and draws it from free fatty acids. As a result, fat literally burns out, but you do not need to count calories.
There are also disadvantages to such nutrition. The most important thing: you can’t eat like this for more than a couple of months, the body will begin to lack minerals and vitamins, cholesterol will grow. There are not as many foods in the keto diet as we would like. And also such nutrition can provoke not the most pleasant bad breath. But in general, this is a good food option, because even for the recommended six to ten weeks, you can lose enough excess weight.
What is not allowed
The main goal of a keto diet is to cause ketosis in the body. This is a process in which ketone bodies are actively being produced and fat is burned due to a lack of carbohydrates, as well as due to interval starvation. It is important not only to reduce the level of glucose in the blood as much as possible, but also to maintain this state for a day, or rather two. In order for the diet to benefit, it will not be enough to reduce carbohydrates in the diet, you need to stop eating them completely.
So products with a high and medium glycemic index will have to be excluded. And this is not only all kinds of pastries, sweets and flour products like pasta. Potatoes, corn, peas, and other starchy foods are also banned. You can’t eat cereals. Semolina, oatmeal, wheat cereal is strictly prohibited. And, what is most unpleasant, you can’t eat almost any fruit on keto, that is, you can’t even indulge yourself with healthy treats. Of course, you cannot drink sweet drinks. Coffee and tea are possible but without sugar and other additives.
On a keto diet, however, you can safely eat fatty foods. Any kind of meat, fish and seafood, eggs are not only possible but also need to be consumed in sufficient quantities. Also dairy and dairy products, including butter and hard cheeses. Milk is also possible, but not too much.
Salads of any green vegetables seasoned with vegetable oil with herbs and seeds are a great example of the right keto dish. You can eat mushrooms, nuts, fruits with a low starch content, for example, tomato, pumpkin, avocado. Of the goodies – berries, but do not abuse. At lunch, you can afford a glass of weak alcohol.
In general, anything that does not contribute to an increase in blood glucose is possible. An approximate menu on a keto diet may look like this: for breakfast, fried eggs with bacon, for lunch meat with a side dish of legumes or mushrooms, for dinner fish and vegetables. You can have a snack during the day with a handful of nuts, a slice of cheese, a glass of kefir or natural cottage cheese.
Cyclic keto diet: what is the difference
Athletes often resort to cyclic keto nutrition. This type of diet not only allows you to lose excess weight but also helps to build steel muscles. They become stronger, larger in size, look much more prominent. This happens because of the hormonal background changes: growth hormones are produced much more actively.
Cyclic differs from the usual keto-diet in that you do not need to eat exclusively fats and proteins all week. Monday-Thursday is the days of a strict keto diet, on Friday and Saturday you can afford enough carbohydrates, and Sunday is a transitional day. If, in addition to such a diet, you choose a good training plan, you can achieve stunning results.
Disadvantages of Keto Nutrition
Keto-diet has several disadvantages and can even harm the body. But the reason for this is not the complete absence of carbohydrates. Our body does not need them so badly as to be unable to function normally. And the human brain is quite capable of working on ketone bodies. But the use of a large number of animal products significantly affects blood cholesterol. Its level increases if you constantly eat meat and dairy products. And the fact that there are few vegetables and fruits in the keto menu leads to a lack of fiber, and this affects digestion badly. And finally, vitamins – most of them we get from plant foods.
A lack of carbohydrates for the first time on a keto diet, however, can cause a general deterioration. Dizziness, trouble concentrating, blurred consciousness are not ruled out. Already during the first week, problems with cognitive abilities disappear, but in the case of severe nervous strain can return. And with this type of nutrition, due to the active processing of ketone bodies, a person smells bad breath of acetone from his mouth, and this can cause significant discomfort. You can deal with this by drinking at least two liters of water per day, which may not be suitable for everyone.
Indications and contraindications
Such a diet should be resorted only to those people who are 100% sure that they can survive without carbohydrates and know what this or that product consists of. Also, keto-nutrition is indicated for diseases such as diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, as it significantly improves the patient’s condition.
Those who do not understand proteins, fats and carbohydrates should not start losing weight with a keto diet. It is strictly contraindicated for people suffering from metabolic and digestive disorders, pregnant women. In a word, think carefully about whether you need a keto diet. This is effective, but not the easiest way, and not everyone can withstand such nutrition.
If you have never sat on a carbohydrate-free diet and the phrase “glycemic index” is not clear to you, it’s better not to rush, but study the basics of proper nutrition and the principles of calculating proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It is possible that you will not have to limit yourself so much and it will be enough to refuse harmful food: sweet, flour, fast food.
If you are well versed in the composition of products and have already tried different types of nutrition, and such disadvantages as bad breath, decreased performance and serious limitations do not scare you, then try keto. At least in order to draw your conclusions whether it suits you.