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The Keto Diet 101-How to eat fat to lose fat
If you’ve been looking for ways to lose weight quickly in the past 5 years or so, then you have probably heard of the keto diet. You literally can’t go on Youtube, watch tv, or even social media without hearing about this diet. So what’s all the fuss about? Does the keto diet really work? In this article, we are going to do a deep dive into the keto diet, and if it’s right for you. Welcome to The Keto Diet 101-How to eat fat to lose fat.
Remember that this is for informational purposes and I am not giving medical advice. Please consult your physician before starting any diet, fitness, or health protocol.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The Keto Diet or Keto diet for short is an extremely high fat, low carb, and moderate protein diet. Most keto diets follow a macro split of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% Carbohydrates. There are different versions of the ketogenic diet that follow different macronutrient splits, but this is the one I’ll be discussing today.
When I’ve discussed using this way of eating in the past with clients, they are usually shocked that you can lose weight by eating so much dietary fat. They generally ask “Won’t I get a heart attack or high cholesterol?”
This myth about dietary fat has been debunked multiple times. Here is a great study regarding this subject.
So let’s talk about what is actually happening when you start eating this way. Your body gets used to using dietary fat as its primary source of fuel.
This is called ketosis.
Your body becomes extremely efficient as using fat a fuel source, which also makes it easier for the body to burn its own body fat. This is exactly what you want when trying to lose weight.
And while the keto diet has been gaining popularity in recent years, it is nothing new. Bodybuilders have been following this diet even as far back as the 1940s.
Vince Gironda used this diet on himself and multiple bodybuilders in the 1940s-1980s.
When Vince used the diet on himself, the judges said he was too lean. Take a look at his conditioning and overall lower body fat levels here.
Now Vince and bodybuilders are more on the extreme end of fat loss, you can still use the principles of the keto diet to achieve a great body.
Benefits of the Keto Diet
The Ketogenic diet may have numerous health benefits that include:
- Improved weight loss
- Can help lower blood sugar levels
- It May helps pre-diabetics and diabetics
- Can improve cholesterol levels
- It May help clear skin
- It May help improve symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
With so many health benefits, you can understand why this diet is becoming popular once again in the health industry.
Foods to Avoid
Ice cream, cakes, candy, etc. There are, however, really good options if you do end up with a sweet tooth!
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, parsnips
Grains and Starches
Bread, rice, pastas, cereal, corn etc
All fruits except for low quantities of berries
All types of beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, etc
Anything with high sugar, or unhealthy fats (soybean, canola oil)
Processed vegetable oils, trans fatty acids, fried foods
Beer, wine, hard alcohol, mixed drinks
Sugar free foods
Most sugar free foods have chemicals and sugar alcohols that are not ideals
Food to eat
Preferably cage free, organic, pastured eggs
Bacon, chicken sausage, ham, beef, turkey, bison, etc.
Preferably Fatty fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel, and trout. Leaner cuts can also work as long as you increase fat in other areas.
Grass fed preferably
Heavy cream or half and half
Try to stick to unprocessed, grass fed, and without any binders (no pre sliced or shredded cheeses)
Nuts and seeds
Macadamia nuts, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. (keep an eye on the carb count on nuts because they can add up and kick you out of ketosis)
Whole Avocados or guacamole
Avocado oil, coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil
Low Carb Vegetables
Salads, spinach, tomatoes, onions, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus
Condiments and Spices
Homemade dressings and mayonnaise, herbs, spices, pink Himalayan sea salt
My experience with Keto
I have used the keto diet a few times in my adult life. What I love about keto is that you can use almond flour and coconut flour to make certain dishes that replace unhealthy ones.
My favorite is keto deep dish pizza. I can barely tell the difference.
The only issue I have had with doing the keto diet is the keto flu, and also maintaining it while at work.
Not every restaurant has a keto option, so it can be easy to get off track.
Work events, family holidays, and even trips to the grocery store can be a challenge. But just like any new style of eating, you can do it if you’re disciplined enough.
All things considered, all you need is a piece of lean protein, healthy fats, and a salad. Most places offer that.
For the most part, I feel awesome when doing keto.
There is one famous side effect called the keto flu that does cause some people mild discomfort.
For me personally, I did start to get a mild headache. Other people experience mild flu symptoms. Remember, you’ve stopped taking in most carbohydrates and sugar.
There is definitely withdrawal symptoms so keep that in mind if you have any symptoms.
Your body is also being depleted of electrolytes, so make sure you season your food with sea salt. Just stay strong, drink some warm chicken stock , and it should pass within a few days.
Too much of a good thing
Because fat calories are much denser than carbohydrate and protein calories, it can be easy to still overeat. The key is to still moderate your calories.
I recommend using an app like MyFitnessPal to make sure you’re not going over your calories each day.
Although you don’t need to work out to lose weight on the keto diet, it can definitely help. I like to do some weight training and mild cardio to speed up the fat loss process.
Just remember that you might lose some strength when weight training due to your muscles being depleted from glycogen.
If you do one do want to maintain your muscle during the keto diet, you can always add one bowl of white rice once a week to refill your muscles.
Keto Diet Sample Diet
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 slices bacon
- ¼ cup of cheddar cheese
- ¼ medium avocado
- Keto Coffee:
- 8 fl oz. black coffee
- 2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
Lunch -Taco Salad
- Chicken thighs
- Sour Cream
- Romaine Lettuce
- Monterey jack cheese
- ¼ cup almonds
- 1 package of string cheese
- Ribeye Steak
- Broccoli with cheese on top
Sounds pretty good right? It definitely is.
Just remember that you will start to crave starchy carbs and sugar. Part of it is physical, but I believe this is mostly a mental reaction when you don’t get something.
Keto Snacks and Supplements
Just like a famous diet, there are going to be companies that try to cash in on the craze. As someone who has tested many of these products, I can tell you that most of them are junk. While you certainly don’t need any supplements for the keto diet to work, they can help you stay on track.
I highly recommend checking out a company called Perfect Keto. They have some great snacks and supplements that encourage your body to go into Ketosis, and most importantly, stay there.