If you are looking to lose weight, the ketogenic diet is an alternative with its risks and benefits, this low-carbohydrate diet and with a menu focused on the consumption of natural fats and proteins that help to reach the optimal state of ketosis, is presented as an alternative to others similar like the Atkins.
The amount of kilos that can be lost with the ketogenic diet depends on how overweight you are and following the plan to the letter so that the results are optimal.
But, contrary to what it may seem when looking at the list of allowed foods that are appetizing, it is a very hard weight loss plan because it is totally forbidden to try sugars and consume hydrated carbon, being important to drink a lot of water daily.
Description of the ketogenic diet
The ketogenic diet is a weight loss plan in which the proportion of carbohydrates is significantly reduced in order to promote fat oxidation that leads to the formation of ketone bodies. Thus, these compounds are used in an alternative way by the brain as a source of energy in the absence of glucose.
The proportion of carbohydrates in a ketogenic diet is usually well below the recommended total calories, and generally provides around 10% or less of the energy in the form of carbohydrates, there are different types of plans, including those that only allow fruits and vegetables in controlled amounts, while others completely eliminate carbohydrates.
There is also the ketogenic diet based on fasting as a vehicle to promote the formation of ketone bodies that must then be sustained to achieve weight loss at the expense of significant fat oxidation.
How to do the ketogenic diet
A term coined by Russell M. Wilder in 1921, the main objective of the ketogenic diet is to generate the formation of ketone bodies, therefore being a plan similar to that followed on a fast. This objective can be achieved through an insufficient intake of food or by a restriction of those that are rich in carbohydrates and are replaced by the consumption of foods rich in protein or fat.
The ketogenic diet, in all its variants , should only be carried out under medical supervision and for a limited time with menus that include a medium percentage of proteins combined with foods with natural fat (butter, coconut oil, olive oil, pork fat, cream) and a low level of carbohydrates.
Before talking about how the ketogenic diet is done, it is necessary to know how the combination of foods that make up each menu works and above all to understand that glucose, the simplest molecule to convert and use as energy, is always the one chosen by the body before the rest of the existing options.
By using glucose as the main source of energy, the body stores fat as a reserve and the more carbohydrates are consumed, the higher blood glucose rises. If more proteins and natural fats are consumed, the body adapts and changes its way of obtaining energy, instead of using glucose, it uses the body’s fat as a source of energy, generating weight loss.
To do a ketogenic diet it is necessary to plan the daily menu taking into account that most of the dishes should be composed of natural fats, proteins and a low amount of foods that provide carbohydrates. Between main meals and as a snack it is allowed to eat a little cheese or a handful of almonds.
It is important to remember that not all fats are the same. Thus, natural fats such as olive, coconut or avocado oil provide health benefits while the “trans fats” found in hamburger meat, margarine and all fried food, should be avoided as they are harmful. to health.
What to eat on the ketogenic diet
What is ketosis?
The body uses ingested carbohydrates to generate glucose for energy, and when not enough carbohydrates are consumed to meet the body’s daily glucose needs, the body will use stored fat to generate more glucose for energy.
In this way, the incomplete degradation of fatty acids will generate ketones in the body and this will lead to the desired state of ketosis. In short, in the absence of carbohydrate consumption, the body will begin to consume glucose and stored fat, causing weight to be lost gradually but constantly.
The 30-day ketogenic diet to lose weight is based on the principle that certain foods should not be combined, to get the body into ketosis and burn fat more quickly, it includes a list of allowed and prohibited foods that must be respected.
With the ketogenic diet, it is not necessary to worry about counting calories since fats and proteins have a great power of satiety for long periods of time, but for those who practice sports it is necessary to be alert because the burning of calories is greater and it is necessary eat enough to have energy.
With this list of foods it is possible to organize the weekly menu, keeping in mind that the 30-day ketogenic diet must be divided into stages.
First stage from day 1 to 10
- Meats of all kinds and sausages (not in sandwiches, not with bread).
- Fish (Preferably: salmon, tuna, cod, sardines).
- Cheeses of all kinds.
- Green leafy vegetables.
- Tomato but only ½ per day.
- Low fat yogurt.
- Mayonnaise (Avoid the one with added carbohydrates and prefer the sugar-free version).
- Golf sauce.
- Lemon juice.
- Gluten cookies.
- Diet gelatin.
- Peanut or groundnut.
- Diet drinks.
- Coffee or tea.
Important Note :
In the 5 to day they started making the diet one day you can eat all you want, this trick is important as it allows a day without restrictions because it is considered that the body has already been used to hydrate combine and other foods, anxiety decreases and you begin to lose weight more quickly.
Second stage from day 11 to day 20
To the foods allowed in the first stage are added:
- ½ liter of low-fat milk.
- Assorted raw or cooked vegetables.
- Fruits limited to 2 oranges or 2 peaches or 1 apple or 6 plums or 1 cup of raspberries per day.
Third stage from day 21 to day 30
In this third and last stage, the following are added:
- Whole wheat noodles.
- 1 diet dessert per day.
Walnuts or almonds can be consumed since they have a lower level of carbohydrates, but only a small handful per day since they contain a high level of Omega 6.
Black pepper, cloves, dill, ginger, mint, oregano, rosemary, parsley, cumin, coriander seeds, thyme and turmeric can be used to flavor foods.
Ketogenic diet prohibited foods
During the time that the ketogenic diet is carried out the following foods are prohibited:
- Whole milk
- Common pasta.
- Starches (potatoes, legumes, etc).
- Nothing that has a lot of carbohydrates.
It is important that after 30 days of the ketogenic diet it does not repeat itself for another equal period. It will be necessary to let a month pass if you want to lose more kilos and be careful not to commit excesses so as not to regain the lost weight, adding some physical activity such as walking, thus avoiding a sedentary life.
It is very common that, as with any diet to lose weight, a “plateau” period occurs, a period in which weight loss stops, there are numerous reasons for this to occur and in that case there are several methods that help to follow losing kilos such as varying eating patterns and eliminating certain foods that form habit.
Thus, for example, you can eliminate some dairy products, increase your fat intake a little more and reduce your carbohydrate intake to a minimum until you lose weight again.
How long does it take to get into ketosis?
A ketogenic diet takes time for the body to adjust and enter a state known as ketosis and it depends on the physical condition of each person, their physical activity load and the current diet that the person was on until starting the new eating plan.
However, the quickest way to achieve ketosis is to exercise before eating breakfast, restrict or limit your carbohydrate intake to 20g or less per day, and control the amount of water you consume.
Sample menus for each stage of the ketogenic diet
Menu first stage of the ketogenic diet
- 1 cup of green tea.
- 2 scrambled eggs
- 1 slice of ham and cheese.
- 1 handful of green olives.
- grilled fish.
- 2 boiled eggs.
- 1 natural yogurt.
- 1 cup of green tea.
- 1 handful of almonds.
- lemon and rosemary chicken.
- 1 small serving of fresh lettuce and spinach salad.
Menu second stage of the ketogenic diet
- 1 ketogenic shake.
- 1 scrambled egg
- 1 small tomato
- tuna burger.
- 1 cup of chard with light white sauce.
- plain yogurt with a handful of fruits.
- 1 cup of green tea.
- 1 handful of green olives.
- 1 serving of zucchini lasagna.
- 1 cup of grated carrot.
Third stage menu
- 1 cup of coffee with milk.
- 1 serving of scrambled eggs with cheese and ham.
- 1 small fruit.
- 1 slice of cheese.
- 1 serving of lettuce and arugula salad.
- 1 portion of whole wheat spaghetti a la caprese.
- 1 natural yogurt.
- 1 piece of cheese.
- Chicken or fish casserole and vegetables.
- 1 gelatina diet.
Variants of the ketogenic diet
There are different versions of the ketogenic diet, including some famous ones like the Atkins or the Pronokal Method . In the case of the Atkins Diet, it is considered the most popular ketogenic diet, therefore there is a lot of information about it and also countless recipes with the foods allowed in your meal plan.
The Pronokal Diet is a more complex method since it combines the ketogenic diet with the protein diet and reinforced with the consumption of products from the brand itself.
There is also the Siken Diet , a weight loss method similar to that of Pronokal, with the same combinations but offers different customizable weight loss plans, always combined with the ketogenic diet.
On the other hand, there is the cyclical ketogenic diet, but it is not recommended for those looking for a weight loss plan since it is more beneficial for those who practice bodybuilding and need a special nap while they are working their muscles through intense physical training routines.
With the cyclical ketogenic diet method, a regular ketogenic diet is followed for a period of time that is usually five days and then goes to a stage called “carb-up” for a period of time that will not exceed two days. With this plan it is essentially possible to replenish the gluconen storage to do the training during the rest of the week.
Contraindications of the ketogenic diet
Most weight loss diets have some contraindications and in the case of ketogenic it is no different, for that reason it is recommended to always do it under medical supervision.
It is also necessary to highlight that being a poorly balanced diet in the contribution of nutrients to the body should not be done for more than a month, otherwise it can affect health with complications such as kidney, liver and hypertension problems.
Likewise, the ketogenic diet is not advisable in people who suffer from liver or heart problems since there have been cases of development of arrhythmias, proving with some studies that there may also be a decrease in attention span and lack of speed to process visual information of quick way.
Advantages and disadvantages of the ketogenic diet
Just as every diet to lose weight has its contraindications, there are also advantages and disadvantages that must be taken into account before starting the ketogenic diet.
Advantages of the ketogenic diet for weight loss
- It is effective for weight loss.
- It helps to improve the lipid profile as it reduces the levels of triglycerides, cholesterol. total and slightly increases HDL cholesterol.
- It encourages the absence of hunger and therefore allows you to lose weight because the satiating power of its food is greater than that of other diets.
- Fat is lost but muscle mass is sustained.
Disadvantages of the ketogenic diet for weight loss
Although the ketogenic diet for weight loss has benefits, it is also necessary to analyze its disadvantages and among them the most important are:
- Low intake of vitamins.
- Low contribution of minerals.
- Low fiber intake.
- Possibility of suffering from bad breath due to the low production of ketone bodies.
To avoid suffering these unwanted effects of the ketogenic diet, it is possible to resort to nutritional supplements that help cover nutrient deficiencies and avoid the problem of constipation that can appear due to low fiber intake.
Ketogenic diet recipes
Having specially created recipes for the ketogenic diet makes it easier to follow the eating plan. It’s even possible to convert high-carb recipes into preparation that help you get into ketosis without sacrificing taste.
Low Carb Rosemary Lemon Chicken
This recipe is very simple and quick to prepare and it is extremely tasty, it can be prepared and frozen in portions to use during the week.
- 1 whole chicken.
- juice of 1 lemon.
- 1 lemon cut into slices.
- 1 onion.
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups of chicken broth.
- olive oil.
In a bowl, place the lemon juice and lemon slices together with the rosemary, mix well, place everything inside the chicken, seasoning on the outside with salt and pepper.
In a large saucepan, place a little olive oil and brown the chicken on both sides, always stirring so that it does not stick.
Add the onions, garlic, and chicken broth to the chicken.
Cook for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes with the pan covered.
Baked Fish with Mustard
The ketogenic diet allows you to eat fish but it is advisable to prepare it in a healthy way, so here we share a simple recipe to prepare whole fish only seasoned with salt, pepper, mustard and a little soy sauce.
- 600 grams of fish.
- soy sauce.
- olive oil.
- 1 onion cut into slices.
Place the fish on aluminum paper, season with salt and pepper and spread with the mustard, a drizzle of olive oil and soy sauce, in addition to distributing the sliced onion.
Wrap the fish with the aluminum foil and place on a platter, cooking in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Beef cubes with vegetable garnish
These veal-garnished beef cubes are super easy to make and delicious, combining beef, some veggies, and mozzarella cheese.
- 40 grams of red pepper.
- 60 grams of spinach.
- 25 grams of veal.
- 30 grams of aioli sauce.
- virgin olive oil.
- 50 grs of mozzarella.
Dice the bell pepper and beef and spread them with a little aioli sauce.
Put a little olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the meat and pepper there for about 5 minutes.
Remove and place in a source accompanied by the garnish that is very simple to prepare since it is only necessary to mix the rest of the ingredients of the recipe except the mozzarella that is added on top previously grated together with a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper .
As the ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates and high in protein, it is important to prepare simple and good-tasting preparations such as shakes or smoothies that provide the body with ketogenic benefits.
Because this diet is very restrictive, it is important to start creativity and make preparations such as shakes or smoothies that provide ketogenic benefits to the body.
- 1 glass of 200 cc natural yogurt.
- 1 egg white.
- 1 teaspoon of low-fat white cheese.
- 1 small peach without skin and without stone.
- Sweetener to taste.
Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until obtaining a homogeneous and smooth mixture.
Serve very cold.
Ketogenic Diet Video
Below we share a video that explains the ketosis process and how it influences when it comes to obtaining a gradual weight loss during a month, while it is advisable to do the ketogenic diet.
After knowing what ketosis is and how it works in the body, it is easier to understand why the ketogenic diet helps you lose weight progressively and constantly. Despite the fact that the ketogenic diet for weight loss has its advantages and disadvantages, it is a plan that meets the expectations of those who want to lose weight and do it effectively.
However, the recommendation is that to follow the ketogenic diet you must have medical control since it is a food plan restricted in vitamins, minerals and low presence of fiber.
For those who want to obtain results in a short time, the ketogenic diet to lose weight can meet your expectations, but if what you are looking for is to change your lifestyle and eating habits, the option that nutritionists recommend is a plan that allows you to achieve greater long-term effectiveness, the best will be a balanced and personalized diet in which there is no lack of nutrients.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the ketogenic diet for weight loss can only be done for a limited time (30 days maximum) because it is a weight loss plan rich in protein and fat but low in fiber.
Being restrictive, weight loss is always at the expense of the lack of supply of essential nutrients that the body needs for normal development, so it is always advisable to consult a doctor.
Sources and References
- Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Córdoba. Cordova. Spain
Ketogenic Diets: Basics and Efficacy for Weight Loss
- Dr Manuel Oviedo Guide to Vitamins
The Ketogenic Diet Step by Step: A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide
- Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Córdoba, Córdoba. Spain
Ketogenic diets: additional benefits to weight loss and unfounded side effects Joaquín Pérez-Guisado