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How to do a keto diet and lose weight

To follow a ketogenic diet, you should eliminate all the foods rich in carbohydrates, such as bread and rice, and increase the consumption of foods rich in healthy fats, while keeping a good amount of protein in your diet. This diet should be guided by a dietitian, so it can be a good diet to lose weight because, the body starts to use the fat it has stored as a source of energy instead of the carbohydrates that come from your diet.

This type of diet is mainly indicated for those who want to control and prevent seizures and epilepsy crisis. However, it is also used to accelerate weight loss and, in some cases, for the treatment of cancer, since the cancerous cells feed mainly of carbohydrates, which is the nutrient withdrawn from the ketogenic diet.

It is important that this diet is done with the supervision and guidance of a dietitian, as it is necessary to make a complete nutritional assessment to know if it is possible or not.

How to do a keto diet and lose weight

How does it work

The ketogenic diet consists in drastically reducing carbohydrates. Your daily intake of carbohydrates should only represent about 10 to 15% of your daily calories. However, this amount may vary according to the health status, length of diet and goals of each person.

To compensate for the reduced carbohydrates, there should be a large increase in fat consumption, represented by foods such as avocado, coconut, seeds, sour cream, olive oil, peanuts, nuts, walnuts and almonds. In addition, protein should also increase to about 20% of daily calories, meat, chicken or fish must be eaten for lunch and dinner, and egg and cheese should be included in snacks.

When you start this diet, the body goes through a period of adaptation that can last from a few days to a few weeks, in which the body adapts to produce energy through fat rather than carbohydrates. Therefore, it is possible that symptoms such as excessive tiredness, lethargy and headache may develop in the first few days, but eventually this will improve when the body is adapted.

Another ketogenic diet is the low carb diet the main difference being that the ketogenic diet has a much higher carbohydrate restriction.

Allowed and forbidden foods

The following table lists the foods that can and cannot be eaten in the ketogenic diet.

Allowed Forbidden
Meat, chicken, eggs and fish

Rice, noodles, corn, cereals, oats and cornstarch

Olive oil, coconut oil, butter and  lardBeans, soy, peas, chickpeas and lentils
Sour cream, cheese, coconut milk and almond milkWheat flour, bread, salty toast in general
Peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, peanut butter, almond butter

English Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Yam, Manioc

Fruits like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, olives, avocado or coconut

Cakes, candies, cookies, chocolate, ice cream, chocolate

Vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cucumber, onion, zucchini, cauliflower, asparagus, red chicory, cabbage, kale, celery or sweet pepper

Refined Sugar, Brown Sugar

Seeds like flax, chia, sunflowerChocolate powder, milk
-Alcoholic beverages

In this type of diet, when you eat a processed food it is very important to see the nutritional information to check if it contains carbohydrates and how much, so as not to exceed the amount that was calculated for each day.

Ketogenic diet menu

The following table provides an example of a complete 3-day menu of the ketogenic diet:

MealDay 1Day 2Day 3
BreakfastFried eggs in butter + Mozzarella cheeseomelet made with 2 eggs and stuffing of vegetables + 1 glass of strawberry juice with 1 tablespoon of flax seeds

1 avocado vitamin with almond milk and 1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds

Morning snackAlmonds + 3 Slices of avocado

Strawberry Vitamin with Coconut Milk + 5 Walnuts

10 raspberries + 1 tablespoon of peanut butter

Lunch/Dinner

Salmon accompanied by asparagus + avocado + olive oil

Vegetable salad with lettuce, onion and chicken + 5 cashews + olive oil + parmesan

Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles and Parmesan Cheese

Afternoon snack

10 cashews + 2 tablespoons coconut chips + 10 strawberries

Fried eggs in butter + curd cheese

Scrambled eggs with oregano and grated Parmesan

It is important to remember that the ketogenic diet must be prescribed by a professional nutritionist, and follow-up is necessary to prevent problems such as low blood sugar and increased cholesterol levels.

Cyclic ketogenic diet

The cyclic ketogenic diet can help you maintain the weight lost and provides energy for physical exercise.

A cyclic ketogenic diet consists in following the diet for 5 consecutive days, and then doing a 2 day pause, in which you are allowed to consume foods with carbohydrates, such as bread, rice and pasta. However, foods like sweets, ice creams, cakes and other sugar-rich products should continue off your diet.

Cautions

The ketogenic diet is not indicated for people over 65, children and adolescents, pregnant women and breastfeeding women. It also needs to be avoided by people at increased risk of ketoacidosis, such as type 1 diabetics, uncontrolled type 2 diabetics, people with low weight or a history of liver disease, kidney disease or cardiovascular changes such as strokes. It is also not suitable for people with gallbladder stones or those taking cortisone-based medication.

In these cases, the ketogenic diet should be authorized by the physician and followed up with a nutritionist.


Bibliografia

  • SANYAI Kalra et al. The Ketogenic Diet. US Endocrinology. 2. 14; 62-64, 2018
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