“Keto” comes from “ketogenic” (ketogenic, in Spanish). Surely, at least, it sounds like you. And it is that ketogenic diets have become very fashionable under the claim of losing fat quickly and effectively. Will it be true?
Technically, the goal of keto diets is to get into a state of ketosis . What is ketosis? The phase in which the body has exhausted its sugar reserves and begins to resort to fat reserves.
That of burning excess fat sounds wonderful, right? Perhaps, but to get there you have to make certain sacrifices and know their counterparts. We explain what they are: everything about the keto diet.
What is the keto diet?
As you can imagine, this type of diet cannot be prolonged over time. Specialists advise doing it for 7-14 days . And not just because it’s not very bearable, but because it’s not healthy/balanced. That is, it cannot become a habit.
From Loveyourself , the website of Núria Monfulleda, a doctor specializing in nutrition and dietetics, they summarize the objective of the keto diet. It is about getting our body used to using energy from fats and proteins.
Because our body may be wise, but it is also very comfortable. And instead of drawing the energy it needs from fat, it uses what is closest to hand, usually blood glycogen (glucose).
If we follow a diet rich in carbohydrates, our body will have them in abundance to use them and not burn fat. If we don’t give it sugars, it will be forced to get energy from somewhere else: from fat and protein. But be careful, because burning excessive protein is not healthy either, we would lose muscle mass.
How is the keto diet done?
Before doing this or any other diet not based on mere common sense, we recommend you get a medical checkup and see a specialist .
Otherwise, you will put your health at risk and will probably fall into a spiral of frustration and suffering.
Depending on your way of life and your physical conditions, the nutritionist will calculate your caloric needs.
Since the keto diet is about losing weight, not gaining muscle mass, it will reduce the total calories by about 300 kcal , according to Loveyourself.
From there, a diet should be made with the following proportions of daily nutrients:
- 60% healthy fats: avocado, nuts, olive oil, olives…
- 30-35% protein: tuna, salmon, chicken, ham, eggs, some cheeses such as goat cheese or Parmesan…
- 5-10% carbs: mushrooms and vegetables like spinach, lettuce, and asparagus. Also fruits like tomatoes (yes, it’s a fruit).
Obviously, other carbohydrates are excluded : bread, refined flour, pastries, sweets, sugary drinks, alcohol… And worst of all for some: fruit is also excluded, with some exceptions.
Let’s see the expanded list of foods allowed on the keto diet.
Also Read: Diet According To Nutritional Requirements
What can you eat on the keto diet?
- Eggs: essential. You can make tortillas from anything on the list.
- Sausages: Serrano ham, from York, turkey, lacon, jerky, foie gras. Also other less healthy ones such as salami, fuet, chorizo, black pudding…
- Cheese: they are not worth all. Yes they are worth: parmesan, cottage cheese, gruyère… Dairy derivatives are prohibited: milk, yogurt, custard. In substitution, you can consume soy or almond milk. Be careful with soy if you have thyroid disorders (it is contraindicated).
- Meats: all kinds of meats can be consumed, although trying to avoid the fattest ones (lamb and pork).
- Fish: fatty such as grilled or smoked salmon, grilled or canned tuna, mackerel, bonito, swordfish, sardines, herring, anchovies, caviar… Also white such as hake, monkfish, sea bass, cod, trout and sea bream.
- Seafood: squid, cuttlefish, octopus, cockles, mussels, oysters, scallops, clams, prawns, prawns, lobsters and lobster.
- Vegetables: Vegetables contain carbohydrates, so you have to eat them very sparingly while you’re following this diet. These are the ones that enter: lettuce, spinach, watercress, escarole, endives, artichokes, onion, carrot, tomato, cucumber, mushrooms, asparagus, pepper, chard, celery, white and wild asparagus.
- Nuts: almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, coquitos…
- Fruits: coconut, avocado and tomato.
- Appetizers: olives (of any kind).
- Dressings: lemon, lime juice, wine vinegar.
- Seeds: pumpkin pipes, sunflower, sesame seeds, chia, flax.
Extra virgin olive oil in moderation. Preferable before butter or margarine.
Benefits of the keto diet
Continuing with the information provided by Núria Monfulleda and her team, these are the benefits of the keto diet:
- It deflates you: we will begin to expel that excess water, by forcing the body to use the glycogen it has as a reserve (these are the carbohydrate molecules that come standard with three water molecules). As you can imagine, this excess liquid has to be expelled somewhere… in other words, you are going to urinate more than usual. Also keep in mind the importance of staying hydrated. The less water you drink, the more fluids you will retain.
- It makes you lose fat: if you do the diet right, you will lose a percentage of your body fat. Obviously, this will influence not only what you eat, but also what you spend.
- It doesn’t require you to go hungry: if you like the foods you can consume, following this diet doesn’t have to be an ordeal. On the other hand, fats are more satiating than other types of food.
You teach your body to burn fat as a priority: the objective of this diet is to “tame our body” so that it begins to use fat as a source of energy and not the easy resource of sugars. This will require scheduling several keto periods throughout the year, specialists say.
If you’ve followed keto to the letter, day 1 after the diet will be legendary . You can eat what you want without any remorse. It’s the reward for hard work. Of course, if you are preparing for a competition, obviously, you will not be able to give yourself this whim.
Drawbacks of the keto diet
Like any rigorous diet, the keto diet has certain drawbacks. These are the main ones:
You will pass the “keto flu”: some call this the general fatigue that the body feels when it runs out of sugar reserves. This usually happens on the third or fourth day of the diet.
Physical and mental fatigue will probably be joined by voracious hunger. This is nothing more than the signals that our body sends us to replenish sugar reserves. It is important that we do not fall into the temptation and force our metabolism to extract the energy it needs from fat deposits. It will take longer to “start” but once started, fat metabolism is much more efficient.
After this moment, your well-being and energy will return quickly.
Cheats are not worth it!: prizes or days off are not valid on this diet. If you don’t follow the guidelines to the letter, especially with regard to carbohydrates, the body will leave ketosis and you will have to start from scratch.
Your performance in the gym will drop: but only temporarily.
You can have constipation: it’s normal, since you’re consuming less fiber.
If you spend time, you will lose muscle mass. That is totally counterproductive to your health. Also, the lower your muscle mass, the greater your tendency to gain weight.
Also Read: Diet Key In Cardiovascular Diseases