The keto diet is an eating plan to help people lose weight and improve their health. A high-fat, low-carb diet forces your body into ketosis, using fat as the primary fuel source instead of glucose.
A keto diet plan can take time to navigate. Still, with the right planning and preparation, it is a rewarding way to achieve your goals. This guide menu and comprehensive food list will take the guesswork out of your first week on the keto diet.
The key is to keep your total carbohydrate intake as low as possible, focusing on non-starchy vegetables and small amounts of healthy dairy. Then, you can boost your fat intake by adding in nuts, nut kinds of butter, fatty fish, and low-carb fruit.
Ketosis is the natural process your body undergoes when it doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to produce glucose, a form of energy. It uses fat as fuel instead, turning it into ketone bodies.
Planning meals on a keto diet can be tricky. It’s especially challenging to figure out your daily macronutrient ratios. You’ll need to count protein, fats, and carbohydrates to ensure you meet your fiber goals. You’ll also need to avoid high-carb foods and beverages, such as processed foods, alcohol, sweets, sugary drinks, and most fast food.
When you eat low-carb or keto meals, your body will switch from using glucose for fuel to burning fat. This process, known as ketosis, can help you lose weight.
The first step in meal planning is identifying the foods you want to eat. Be sure to check the labels of any processed meats and alcoholic drinks to make sure they’re not too high in carbs.
Ketosis is the body’s alternate energy metabolism based on fat. The keto diet emphasizes a high fat intake of up to 75% calories to shift the body’s primary energy source from glucose to fat.
You can enjoy various meals for dinner when you’re eating on the keto diet. Still, you have to ensure they align with your macronutrient goals. To do that, you need to calculate your macronutrient ratios (the percentages of carbs, protein, and fat) in a nutrition calculator and then modify recipes accordingly. It’s important to avoid processed meat and fatty cuts of fish when you’re on the keto diet. These can be full of saturated fats that work against heart health.
Snacks are an important part of a successful keto diet. They provide you with extra energy and help you keep your blood sugar in check between meals. The trick is to make snacks that are nutrient-dense and low in carbs. That means they contain high amounts of healthy fats, moderate levels of protein, and very little in the way of carbohydrates.
Well-balanced snacks will help you stay full and avoid hunger spikes throughout the day. Keto-friendly snack foods include raw or salted nuts and seeds and no added sugar nut and seed butter (almond butter or tahini). These foods are also a good source of fiber, which can aid digestion. However, not all keto snack foods are created equal. Some have unhealthy ingredients and high sodium content, so making wise choices is important.
Planning your keto diet meals and snacks will ensure you follow a diet tailored to your goals and not missing any key nutrients. This also allows you to avoid cravings, which is important in the early stages of a keto lifestyle change.