For anyone who takes the time to look into different diet trends, it’s reasonable to assume that you’ve come across the keto diet before. This diet plan gained popularity within the recent years, and many people claim that it was the first diet they tried that didn’t starve them out while they lost all the weight they had carried for many years.

What is it about the keto diet that allows people to feel satisfied with the food that they eat but still maintain the capability to lose all the stubborn fat and unwanted weight that they struggle with? In this article, we will look at what the Keto diet is, whether it’s right for you, and how to create the perfect keto diet plan to help you get started.

What Is The Keto Diet?

Before we jump into how and why the keto diet is such a popular method for losing weight, we should look at what “keto” actually means. It’s important to understand that people use two forms of fuel that helps your body work. These two fuel sources are:

  • ​Sugar
  • ​Fats

Sugars could range from anything to the white granules you find on your kitchen table to the sugars found in fruits and drinks as well as things like bread, pasta, rice, and other foods high in carbohydrates. People's bodies primarily take on sugar and use it as a direct source of energy.

The other fuel is fat, which can be found in eggs, meat, avocados, nuts, olive oil and so on. When you’re looking at the keto diet, you’re restricting sugars in your diet so that your body has to rely on fats in your body to function correctly. Even your brain does this, and studies have shown that your mind relies on healthy fats to make new neural connections.

When your body has burned through all the sugar that it’s consumed, fat is taken to the liver and converted into molecules known as ketones which go directly to the brain to fuel it. This process is known as ketogenic which is where the name for the keto diet came from.

Being fueled by fats puts the body in a state known as ketosis which enables your body to burn fat all the time even without exercise, even while you sleep. We enter a state of ketosis when we fast, but because fasting cannot last forever, you can use the keto diet to get the same benefits without having to starve yourself in the process.

You’ll be able to enjoy having a lot of energy and many people find that they have increased mental clarity and stable blood sugar levels after they started the keto diet.

Any desire for hunger dissolves, eating when it’s needed but they do not feel the need to snack and their calorie restrictions are no longer a problem. After a time, you will also realize that you won’t crave the sugary sweets that you couldn’t keep your hands off of at one point.

Another important fact about the keto diet is that it’s not a new concept. The ideas that keto thrives on are the same things you’ve likely heard many times throughout your life.

  • ​Keep your carb intake low
  • ​Stick to a gluten-free diet plan
  • ​Avoid sugars, processed foods and candy

Like the Paleo diet and the Atkins diet, Keto works on a similar idea: Sticking to foods that our ancestors would’ve had easy access to. How does this apply to your meal plans though?

​Determining What You Can ( And Can’t) Eat While On The Keto Diet

appetizer close up delicious

Photo by Anthony Leong from Pexels

Generally speaking, anything that provides fewer carbs and sugars in your diet plans is a good start for developing your keto diet. Since your body will be switching to fats as a fuel source, providing high-fat foods to eat like avocados and nuts will be better for you than eating something that’s high in saturated fats.

Items that are good to include in your diet are foods like:

  • ​Meat
  • ​Cheese - real, not “American”
  • ​Eggs
  • ​Fish/Seafood
  • ​Butter
  • ​Olive oil
  • ​Nuts
  • ​Vegetables that grow above ground

The less net carbohydrates your food options have, the better. Remember, to stay in ketosis; you need to keep your carb count low, which is under 50 grams of carbs a day, even better if you’re sticking to under 20 grams. To put that into perspective, an eight ounce can of soda has 30 grams of carbs in it so learning to curb that desire may be challenging at first.

Foods that you should avoid are foods in which have higher carbs, foods like these are as follows:

  • ​Beer
  • ​Cooked rice
  • ​Fruit
  • ​Potatoes
  • ​Pasta
  • ​Bread
  • ​Soda
  • ​Juices
  • ​Candy

​It’s not to say that you can’t have these things every once in a while, but the idea is to severely limit your carbs so that your body will process fats easier. You may feel sluggish after having something that you should avoid, and generally, these feelings don’t benefit us, just as much as these items don’t help our bodies.

Types Of Ketogenic Diets

Woman Measuring Her Waist

Photo by from Pexels

​​​​​The standard ketogenic diet is essentially everything that we covered earlier in the article. It’s the bare basics that stand with low carbs, and high fats will keep your body running efficiently while burning off stubborn fat. Many people will follow the standard ketogenic diet to meet their goals.

Standard Ketogenic Diet or SKD

The standard ketogenic diet is essentially everything that we covered earlier in the article. It’s the bare basics that stand with low carbs, and high fats will keep your body running efficiently while burning off stubborn fat. Many people will follow the standard ketogenic diet to meet their goals.

Targeted Ketogenic Diet ( TKD)

This form of the keto diet is a little varied from the standard, and its diet plan is designed to help induce ketosis with the use of carbs by eating them at specific timeframes. One of the reasons that people choose to follow this form of diet plan is thanks to the fact that people feel like they have a lack of strength while supporting a ketogenic lifestyle.

This fact is especially true while exercising, so this diet plan provided an alternative and became implemented in a way that benefited people who remained active regularly. With targeted keto, you’ll consume an additional 25-50 grams of carbohydrates before you exercise which elevates your blood sugar levels to carry you through the workout while keeping you in ketosis.

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD)

People who take on ketogenic dieting may find it easier to get started by using cyclical keto dieting as an introduction or some people use it to maintain their lifestyles, finding it a right balance between their old diets and the keto diet. This method frequently gets referred to as carb cycling, and it may be the way to go depending on the person.

You would start most of the week following the standard keto diet plan as you would usually to keep your body in a ketosis state, however, unlike following the standard ketosis plan, one day out of the week you would eat clean carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, squash, rice, and fruits to keep your body balanced.

That one day a week, instead of restricting your carbs to 20 grams a day, you’ll be able to have up to 150 grams of carbs for that day. That doesn’t mean you can eat anything you want, however, you should still restrict the kind of carbs going into your body to avoid failing to keep up on your diet.

In the end, carb cycling benefits your brain, joints and your body for people who struggle to keep up with standard ketosis dieting.

The Keto-Flu

​Just about anyone who starts the keto diet may realize that they’re experiencing rather dramatic symptoms around two to three days after they’ve begun. While this affectionately gets referred to the “keto-flu,” it is not, in fact, sickness or disease and it’s certainly not contagious.

Your body does not take to change well, that’s how humans work, so when you start forcing it to utilize the fats in your body as an energy source instead of the average intake of sugar that your body expects, it tends to rebel and make you feel miserable during that time.

Thankfully, the symptoms only last some days but dealing with these problems carry the potential to be alarming.

Most of the time, people experience symptoms such as:

  • ​Fatigue
  • ​Sugar cravings
  • ​Irritability
  • ​Muscle cramps
  • ​Headaches
  • ​Nausea

These symptoms are typical, and they don’t start there. Thankfully they will pass, and these symptoms can be avoided entirely if you’re aware of the issue before it gets to be that point. Drinking a full glass of water with half a teaspoon in it will help ease headaches, nausea, and lethargy easily, symptoms will typically subside within 30 minutes.

Increasing your fat intake will also help your symptoms not be so severe while you’re transitioning. Restrict your activities, transitioning slower, and taking care of your body are all great ways to prevent the keto-flu from slowing you down.

Featured Image: Photo by Jer Chung from Pexels