What is a Ketogenic diet?
What are the benefits of a Keto diet?
When you are trying to lose weight, maintaining a calorie deficit is primal, which is extremely hard and boring for any foodie. That’s why it is very difficult to stick to a low calorie diet and many people often drop out without achieving the desired results. So, when someone told me that eating my favourite food item is possible without affecting my diet, not only that but part of my diet could be based on such foods, they had my attention.
What is a Ketogenic diet ?
This form of diet is an old school method to maintain high muscle mass while cutting fat and is called Ketogenic Diet. It had only resurfaced recently but old school body builders like Arnold and Lou Ferrigno were using this diet for their bodybuilding competitions preparation back in the 70’s.
Keto diet uses high fat
High protein and low to no carbohydrates for its function. The carbs are replaced by higher levels of protein and bumping up fat intake. Since the body does not receive its primary energy provider (carbs), it turns towards the already stored fat reserves in the body. Hence, the energy deficit does not cause you to loose any muscle mass as the protein levels are considerably high, while effectively cutting fat.
Since fat is a calorie dense macronutrient, the Ketogenic is an extremely filling diet and you won’t feel urges to go off your diet, hence doubling its efficiency.
It is not only a very raw approach to dieting, it is also clinically proven that it is the best way. One research indicated towards the supremacy of the keto diet to other diets, proving that it is thrice as efficient than others for weight loss.
If you are diabetic,
Keto is the best way to go about weight loss. It lowers your blood sugar level, your insulin levels and if it seems to you have always been fat, it alters your metabolic rate. By that, I mean it would be very hard for you to gain that weight again, that is, if you don’t start eating like a complete hog after your weight loss.
95.2% of diabetic patients don’t go back on their medication after a successful keto diet.
What can/can’t I eat on Keto?
Since an Indian diet is predominantly based on carbs, Rice, Chapatis and Potatoes, it is very hard to start a keto diet here. You need alter your lifestyle to a certain degree to attain the results that Ketosyis provides and for many people, it’s a lot of sacrifice. But, trust me, it is well worth it.
To get your body in a ketatonic state, all of the items mentioned above go right out of the window.
Your diet would now be based on Chicken, Red Meat, Eggs, Yogurt, Paneer and other types of cheese. The vegetable oil used in cooking (Refined) also needs to go. Cook your food in Butter or Better, GHEE. When in the mood of a snack or something light, avoid chips or any other processed food. Use dry fruits and Channa instead. Other things that you shouldn’t eat are:-
Sweets (Obviously), Alcohol, Fruits (High Sugar Content) and Other high carb vegetables.
Also, avoid aerated drinks as much as possible. Drink full-cream milk instead, which is also really delicious and a litre of this is filling enough for most people.
It is very difficult to start the Keto diet in the beginning, but once you have started it, going back to junk could be tough as Keto meals are very filling and tasty by themselves. However,a simple Ketogenic diet is really, really expensive. So, if you are a student and cannot afford (or manage to get) all the meat and stuff, don’t worry. There are a few things you can alter in this diet.
For example, Tofu is a expensive and easily affordable product that is high in protein and can be used to replace chicken. If you can’t get red meat, use paneer, the water that is left after churning paneer out of milk, yogurt and boiled daal. This provides enough fat and protein to fill you up. Also, you can use supplements here. Whey protein and Creatine taken with meals should suit you best.
There is only one important thing to maintain a Ketogenic diet:
Don’t consume Bread. That means your oven bread, Roti or any other similar produce. But if you consume 15-20 Rotis per day, don’t get overboard in the initial weeks. Reduce your carbohydrate intake in small steps and gradually eliminate it from your diet.
If you don’t do this and take Keto to extremes right from the beginning, you would see negative effects very quickly.
There is a thing called ‘Keto Flu’ and generally people with high dependency on carbs face it in the initial stages of the Ketogenic diet. Keto flu is accompanied by poor energy and mental function, increase in hunger, sleeplessness, nausea, digestive concerns and lack of energy while you exercise and workout. But these problems resolve themselves and in a couple of weeks your body would effectively transition into a ketotonic state. Do try to consume more salt and water as your body tries to recompose itself because you would be eliminating some items that have high mineral content.
Everything that is done in a balanced fashion provides the most optimal results. Hence, don’t go to hardcore with Keto. It would be wise to take one or two cheat meals once in a while. Going all out right from the first would not only be dangerous, but also unyielding.
The best thing about Keto diet is that You can eat as much Butter chicken as you like. Hence, it is a very “Eating Out” friendly method of dieting.