The Ketogenic diet is simply being on a low-carb menu. The premise of this diet is to get more calories from protein and fat and much less from carbohydrate. This basically means you have to increase your intake of foods rich in fat, take in moderate amounts of protein and very importantly reduce your carb intake. The keto diet is primarily aimed at weight loss, however, beyond this, the diet has been known to control certain medical conditions. Most of the foods that are recommended in a keto diet help in fighting medical abnormalities like diabetes, heart diseases, epilepsy, cancer, etc.
Therefore, in the process to lose some body fat, you are also preventing or managing certain ailments.
The ketogenic diet is strict and so many people find it difficult adhering to its rules, however, it is not impossible to be on a keto diet and basically, all you need is discipline and willpower. To go through this diet, you have to put some factors into consideration. There is nothing as important as planning your meals when on a keto diet; knowing how many servings to prepare, meal structure (three square meals or two meals). Meal prepping helps you save time, money and also increases the chances of going through with the diet and in the long run achieving results.
How to Plan Your Meals
As stated before, meal planning is a major step to beginning your keto diet and there are three quick and easy steps to it.
- Make a Timetable
Even when on a regular diet, the question and uncertainty of what to eat pops up from time to time and its worse when one is on a keto diet. Nevertheless, in order to avoid such hassle, the best decision is to plan your meals ahead. This can be done by outlining your meal plan for a week or two; that is drawing up a timetable of what you would eat as breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a whole week. This way, you are not constantly thinking of what to eat and instead channel such energy towards preparing your meals.
- Make a Shopping List
Nothing beats writing down what you intend buying before shopping and you could go further and add estimated price tags to each item on your list. This saves time; as you know what you want and would not need to spend a needless amount of time going through stalls for what to buy, it saves money; having a shopping list helps you spend on a budget, it controls your spending and unnecessary purchases and also with a shopping list the possibility of forgetting an item is lessened. Therefore, drawing up a timetable, make a shopping list and shop. Enjoy yourself while you do so.
- Cook Your Meals
This is seemingly the difficult part, notwithstanding, you would get better with time. Having compiled your shopping list, done the shopping, the next step is to prepare your food. There are various keto recipes in different cookbooks today that you could use in aiding your keto journey, also google is at your fingertips and numerous tips and recipes can be found on it. Make use of these aids to ease your process and make it more bearable.
Types of Keto Diet
There are different reasons why people go on this diet, the popular one being to lose body fat. So, depending on your body goal and activity level you would need to follow the type that would produce the most fulfilling result. There are basically four types of a keto diet and they all serve specific purposes.
- Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD)
This is the most common dietary keto approach and those who follow this type primarily aim to lose weight. This diet is very low in carbs, moderate in protein and high in fat. This particular diet also helps with medical conditions related to inflammation and depression and it is best for those who do a little or moderate amount of exercises.
To follow the SKD, the principles are, consume 5% carbs, 20% protein and 75% fat.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD)
This diet is mostly followed by those who have intense workout routines and seek to improve their performance. This diet revolves around you eating your carbs around your workout periods. The intention is to moderately maintain muscle glycogen. The basic rules for this diet are, consume 5% of high digestible carbs and should be done at least 30mins before a workout, 20% protein and 75% fat.
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD)
This is an approach that is primarily adopted by people who perform advanced and high-intensity exercises like athletes. The aim of this diet is to reduce muscle glycogen. To follow the CKD, you would have to rotate between consuming a strict high-fat, low-carb ketogenic meal plan and a higher carb intake. If you are on this diet you need to follow the schedule of consuming 5% carb every day for a period of five days, and after, for a period of two days consume 10% or more than 100 grams of carbs. At the end of this two-day carb consumption, go back to consuming 5% of carbs.
- High Protein Ketogenic Diet (HPKD)
As the name implies is for those in need of more protein. Therefore, those on this type of keto diet, increase their protein intake from the regular 20% to 30%, consume 5% carbs and 65% protein. Most people find this type of dietary approach easier because it gives them leeway to eat more protein and less fat than the standard keto diet.
In summary, as a beginner, the keto diet might seem complicated but articles like this are basically written to help you have an understanding of what the diet is all about and what suits you in order to achieve your goal. Considering how regimented the keto diet is, it is not out of place to talk to a nutritionist or dietician in order to get a full grasp of meal plans and modifications if possible.