In theory, to lose weight you just have to burn more calories than you eat, although, in practice, it is not that simple. That is why many people continue to turn to dangerous miracle diets looking for unreal magic solutions. Luckily, there are diets that we can follow like starting point to lose weight, and the keto diet may be one of them.
The ketogenic or keto diet seeks the creation of ketone bodies that stimulate fat burning through the extreme reduction of carbohydrates. This is what is known as entering ketosis: when the body runs out of energy and draws on fat stores As fuel. Therefore, it is a diet based on the intake of fat and also protein, avoiding simple or complex carbohydrates as much as possible.
We have always been told that we obtain energy from cereals, tubers and derivatives, the most traditional source of carbohydrates and that the old-fashioned food pyramid still maintains its base, despite the fact that many experts demand an update more in line with the Harvard dish.
Legumes, fruits and vegetables are also a source of carbohydrates in different proportions, without forgetting all the forms of sugar and honey. With the exception of the latter, foods rich in carbohydrates are usually part of a balanced and healthy diet, so it may shock that they are “prohibited” on a keto diet.
Although diets have become fashionable lowcarb or low in carbohydrates, both to lose weight and to define muscles or be healthier, these foods by themselves are neither fattening nor unhealthy. It is quality and general context diet and lifestyle define a healthy diet that can facilitate weight loss.
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Precautions before losing weight on a ketogenic diet
It must be remembered that this diet seeks to force a very specific state of the organism in which it enters a kind of exceptional situation. By not receiving the usual energy it needs, it draws on emergency reserves, and does not accumulate new fuel.
Ketosis also has risks and possible negative effects
Putting the body in such an extreme state can be a very radical shock at first, which can take some getting used to. What’s more, it is not without risks and possible negative side effects, such as bad breath, difficulty concentrating, a drop in athletic performance, dehydration and / or constipation, or, in extreme cases, ketoacidosis with nausea, vomiting, and fainting.
It is a diet not recommended for people with metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus or hormonal problems, eating disorders (TCA) or related to the liver, kidney or pancreas, among others. It is always advisable go to a professional to guide and advise us based on our specific needs to avoid health risks and safely achieve our goals.
It is not an adequate diet to follow in the long term, much less without supervision, since serious nutritional deficiencies in the body, as vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Why the keto diet helps you lose weight
Given the above, it is easy to answer this question: we force the body to burn fat to obtain the fuel it needs. This translates into the logical weight loss, also favoring muscle definition, where appropriate.
As our colleagues from Vitonic, the energy obtained through this system is not very efficient, so more fat is burned to get more energy; this circumstance also favors weight loss.
Fat loss is enhanced and promotes satiety
In addition, since we do not ingest “fuel” too much, we do not run the risk of accumulating that excess energy in the form of reserves. That is to say: no new fat accumulates. By minimizing carbohydrate intake too hypercaloric intake is avoided by an excess of carbohydrates. By prioritizing fats and certain proteins, the body is forced to constantly burn them.
Added to all this is the scientific evidence that this eating pattern favors a increased satiety. Meals are better controlled, avoiding hunger peaks and the risk of bingeing or eating more between meals.
How to plan a weekly keto menu
After so much theory, comes the practice and its problems: it’s not that easy plan a complete weekly menu reducing the carbohydrates in the diet as much as possible. A ketogenic diet not only avoids “notorious” carbohydrates (bread, rice, potatoes, pasta), it also has banned fruits and vegetables, vegetables, legumes and whole grains such as oats, or even quinoa.
A successful keto menu will have to be nutritionally complete to avoid deficiencies energy and essential nutrients, and, to promote the necessary adherence, it should be varied, appetizing and tasty. Monothematic routines are usually the first cause of the failure of any diet. A good one planning -Again, preferably with a professional- it will be the basis of success, avoiding improvisation that could also get us out of ketosis without realizing it.
The nutritional density of fats is very low and must be compensated with high quality protein, vegetables and some fruits that concentrate a large amount of vitamins and minerals, with the minimum of hydrates, such as avocado, blueberries, raspberries and currants. The dry or dehydrated versions are completely ruled out, also juices and smoothies.
The maximum carbohydrate limit in this diet is around 20-50 g per day, and the total distribution of macronutrients it is usually between:
- 60-80% fat.
- 20-30% protein.
- 5-10% carbohydrates.
Below we break down a complete weekly menu as an example with recipes included, which in any case should always be adapted to individual specific needs. Since the exact amount of hydrates can vary, we can consider including vegetables like zucchini, cabbages, spinach, mushrooms or arugula, in their proper proportions.
Extras, snacks, snacks and snacks
Depending on our specific needs, especially if it is difficult for us to follow this diet at first, we can add some “extras” to the basic menu, in the form of light snacking between meals, occasional snacks or as a complement to main meals.
To satisfy your sweet tooth the best option is 100% natural pure cocoa, mixing it for example with a fatty creamy ingredient, such as crushed avocado, peanut butter, cream or yogurt (always dairy in its whole version). Unsweetened chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa, preferably greater than 85%, can also be a suitable occasional treat, in moderate portions.
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