Are you thinking about giving the ketogenic diet a try just in time for summer?
If so, that’s a great first step toward getting serious about losing weight. The ketogenic diet can be a little confusing, and a bit overwhelming at first. So, here’s a short, step-by-step ketogenic diet for beginners guide.
What You’ll Need Before Starting the Keto Diet
1. Sugar-free mints (the diet makes your breath smell bad…it’s because of a process called ketosis).
2. A rubber band for your wrist. Giving up sugar isn’t as easy as you think. No cussing and no cheating, especially during the first two weeks. It takes about two weeks, after all, for ketosis to kick in and for the pounds to start coming off. You’ll have to snap that rubber band if thoughts to cheat or swear come into your head.
3. A book on how the diet works. It’s complicated. You’re going to want an easy reference to flip through. Check out the library or Amazon.
4. A swimsuit two sizes smaller than the one you have now. OK, we can’t promise that. Everyone is different.
5. And, the work of sticking to the diet—and exercising, too—is up to you.
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
It’s actually pretty simple. You starve your body of carbohydrates, and so it has no choice but to begin burning the sugars stored in fat for fuel. This is called ketosis.
Ever wonder how the body keeps going even when people don’t give it sugar for days at a time? In theory, a person wouldn’t have any energy if they deprived the body of sugar. But that’s not the case.
Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: What Foods to Buy and What to Avoid
Before going out shopping for keto diet foods, you will want to plan out your meals in advance. It’s important to choose keto-friendly foods that you enjoy so that you will stick to the diet.
Among foods on the keto diet that you can eat: Eggs, bacon, chicken, wild-caught cold-water fish, some dairy products (butter and fatty cheeses are fine!), legumes, nuts, vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and zucchini, fruits including avocados and berries.
Among foods you should say goodbye to forever: Sugary drinks, anything boxed or bagged and loaded with preservatives, processed candies, breads, and pastries.
The Keto Diet: Fact vs. Fiction
Fact: The keto diet is not a fad or a Johnny-come-lately weight-loss gimmick. In fact, the keto diet has been around since the 1920s. It originally was suggested for children who suffer from epileptic seizures, and still is used for that purpose.
But now we know it also helps manage many other chronic diseases as well, including diabetes and metabolic syndrome. The keto diet’s discovery as a weight-loss tool, while much celebrated as of late, really is secondary to its success at saving and improving lives in other ways, too.
“One of the most studied strategies in the recent years for weight loss is the ketogenic diet,” an Italian researcher explains in a paper published in the journal International Journal of Research and Public Health. “Many studies have shown this kind of nutritional approach has a solid physiological and biochemical basis and is able to induce effective weight loss along with improvement in several cardiovascular risk parameters.”
Fiction: The keto diet only is proven to work for a few months at the most and may not be safe long term. The truth is, the keto diet has been studied in long-term clinical trials among obese people.
In a paper published in Experimental and Clinical Cardiology, Kuwaiti researchers showed that over the course of a year, the keto diet “significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index of the patients.”
Not only that, but among the group of 83 obese men and women in the study, triglycerides went down, good cholesterol (HDL) went up, bad cholesterol (LDL) went down, and blood sugar levels decreased.
These all are indicators of lives being saved.