What is the ketogenic diet?

Recent studies have shown that a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet promotes superior results for fat loss, improvements in blood lipid parameters, and increased thermogenesis in people with obesity and insulin resistance and may help resolve the metabolic blockages that can prevent fat loss.

The ketogenic diet consists of significantly reducing carbohydrate intake while increasing protein to levels necessary to maintain muscle mass with caloric ratios of approximately 50% protein, 20% low-glycemic carbohydrates, and 30% therapeutic fats.

General dietary guidelines involve avoiding carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, etc., as well as all simple carbohydrates like sugar, honey, and fruit juices.

Protein is included in every meal as it helps reduce appetite, regulate blood glucose levels and preserve lean muscle mass. Examples of protein foods are fish, chicken, turkey, meat, eggs, cheese, tofu, and tempeh. Protein drinks such as whey protein isolate or soy protein can be used. Soy protein is especially beneficial as it has been shown to stimulate thyroid hormone production, reduce fat levels and promote fat loss, due to the phytoestrogens and essential fatty acids it contains.

Adequate fat intake is also essential, as this improves fat burning in the body and reduces the synthesis of fatty acids in the body, which promotes fat loss. Optimal sources of fats are flaxseed oil, fish oil, avocado, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.

To provide balanced nutrition, vitamins, minerals and fiber and promote detoxification, it is also essential to consume 3-4 cups of low-carb vegetables or salad daily with an optional serving of fresh fruit daily.

When starting a ketogenic diet program, some discomforts such as headaches, irritability, fatigue, and hunger may be experienced during the first 2-7 days; however, after that, the diet is very easy to follow and it actually reduces appetite, carb cravings and increases energy. levels

A typical day on the ketogenic diet might look like this:

Breakfast:

Scrambled eggs or tofu with parsley, chives, spinach and tomato OR
Protein powder mixed with fresh or frozen berries

Lunch:

Salad with tuna/salmon/eggs/cottage cheese

Dinner:

Steamed or sautéed fish, chicken, turkey, tofu, or meat with low-carb vegetables

Snacks: (2-3 daily)

Protein drink OR
hard boiled egg or
handful of nuts or seeds

The ketogenic diet produces very good results when followed consistently. Long-term success is more likely if a holistic approach is taken that addresses diet, exercise, nutritional supplementation, and psychological factors, as well as any specific health challenges that are unique to the individual.

When the ideal body fat percentage is reached, the diet can be gradually adjusted to include more complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, starchy vegetables, and fruits, while avoiding all other simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, starch, as much as possible. honey and refined flours. At the same time, it is essential to ensure that protein is included in every meal.

This more relaxed type of dietary approach can be maintained indefinitely in conjunction with a regular exercise program to ensure body weight and composition remain stable.

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