Though the keto diet has been around for quite some time, it's popularity has definitely increased significantly in recent years. From people sharing their results on social media to the release of countless new keto-recipe cookbooks, you might be wondering if the diet is worth trying out. The keto eating plan is all about minimizing your carbs and upping healthy fats for your body to use as energy. However, keto can have harmful effects if it's not done correctly. To lose weight while also staying healthy, Naturopath Natasha Turned shared her suggestions and meal alternatives when taking on the keto diet!
After about 2-7 days of following the eating routine of the keto diet, your body will go into ketosis. This happens when your body doesn't have enough carbs for your cells to use as energy, so it makes ketones or organic compounds to replace missing carbs. It can be easy to go overboard when it comes to carbs but if you're filling your diet with fat, you might have less of a craving for junk food. That being said, this method doesn't do much to preserve your energy. High-fat levels can increase the risk of inflammation or fatty liver disease. Completely removing carbohydrates might seem like the perfect solution, it can lead to fatigue, depression, sleep disorders and more.
While entering ketosis is the ideal goal for those beginning the keto diet, ensure that your body is ready. Having your body tap into stored fat for fuel is healthier than having it exist on the fat from your diet. To keep your body in ketosis from your fast overnight, start your day with a fat and starchy carb-free breakfast.
A frittata made with bacon, spinach and cream might seem like a relatively healthy option but it contains way too much fat. Both cream and bacon can increase the risk of heart disease over time while the egg yolks contribute even more added fats. Most frittatas are made with 2-3 eggs which aren't enough protein to preserve metabolism and muscle mass. A better alternative is to opt for a fat-free meal that isn't lacking in flavour. Keep in mind that you should consume at least two cups of cooked vegetables twice a day. Incorporating more veggies into your breakfast is a great starting point! Fibre and protein are also important to add to your daily breakfast.
With Natasha's approach to ketosis, you don't lose water or muscle - only fat. The high veggie and protein intake is a key aspect of her plan. When it comes to lunch meals, opt for something protein-rich and anti-inflammatory with a choice of lean protein and the removal of harmful fats. Organic ground chicken or textured vegetable protein are great alternatives to the protein that you currently have in your diet. Small adjustments, such as incorporating manchego cheese, can go a long way. Not only is it high in nutrients but it also contains less fat than other cheeses.
Many keto diets suggest a smoothie as a snack using coconut, avocado and nut butter as a base. The issue with many keto smoothie recipes is that they often require three times the amount of fat than is recommended for one meal and small amounts of protein. Instead, make a low-fat, low-carb and nutrient-rich smoothie! You can use protein powder, fruit and a scoop of meal replacement to take on the go for an afternoon snack.
The goal of phase two is to begin reintroducing food as quickly as possible while staying in ketosis. Based on your exercise habits and your body's response to the addition of starchy carbs and fats, you can use your judgement to adjust your diet. You can also test your ketons and weight each morning to double-check whether or not you're in ketosis. Adding one serving of fat and a daily exercise routine will earn you one cheat meal per week to eat whatever you want as an evening meal!