In a world that is preoccupied with losing weight, high-protein and low-carb diets always grab people’s attention. The Atkins, South Beach, and Paleo diet plans are some of the more popular ones.
In some cases, people also refer to these as ketogenic or “keto” diets. But a true ketogenic diet plan focuses more on fats and less on proteins and carbs.
To be more specific, a true ketogenic diet requires up to 90% of one’s calorie needs to come from fats. True ketogenic diets are special diet plans designed for patients with epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
However, recent evidence shows that this type of diet can also be a good way to lose weight for fitness buffs. If you’re interested in adhering to this type of weight loss diet, then here are 3 tips to help you prepare.
1. Learn the Types and Compositions of Keto Diets
There are at least four types of ketogenic diets that you have to understand. Each of these has its own carb-fat composition and may have a specific indication. It is important to understand these types, so you can choose which one will suit your needs.
Standard Keto Diet
This is the archetypal ketogenic diet that puts emphasis on fats more than anything else. Hence, the usual composition of macronutrients in such a diet is 5% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 75% fats.
There are also those that modify the protein and fat content, increasing the fat to 80% and reducing the protein to 15%. Observe this macronutrient composition every meal, every day.
Cyclical Keto Diet
In this type of ketogenic diet, you are going to observe 5 days of the Standard Keto Diet. The remaining 2 days will require a modification of the carbohydrate content, increasing it to about 50% carbohydrates.
At the same time, the remaining 2 days will require a reduction in the fat composition to about 20% while increasing the protein content to 30%.
Targeted Keto Diet
Bodybuilders and athletes that observe a ketogenic diet often adhere to a targeted keto diet. This gives versatility to the individual by allowing him to add carbohydrates to his meal whenever he trains or works out. The increase in carbohydrates is important to provide readily-available fuel for the muscles.
High-Protein Keto Diet
In this type of keto diet, the carbohydrate content remains at 5%. There is an increase in protein content, however, from 20% to 35%. At the same time, the fat composition gets reduced from 70% to 60%.
2. Know What Fats You Should Eat
Since a ketogenic diet puts emphasis on fats, it is crucial to understand the types of fats that you can choose. Although the diet calls for increased fat consumption, know that there are two general types of fats.
One is good for you while the other can increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases. We are referring to unsaturated and saturated fats.
Saturated fats can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. You can still eat saturated fats, but you should always limit these. You may lose weight, but often at the expense of developing heart diseases.
It is for this reason that the fat composition of your keto diet should include more of the healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These can help you lose weight without increasing your risk of other health conditions.
3. Focus on Limiting Carbohydrates
Know that the keto diet does not call for the total elimination of carbohydrates from the diet. The maximum amount of carbs you can consume every day is 5% of your caloric needs.
For example, if your daily energy requirement is 2,500 calories, then 125 calories will come from carbohydrates. This is equivalent to about 31.25 grams of carbs.
Having said that, you may want to be choosy about the carbs that you include in your diet. Go for nutrient-dense but low-calorie carbohydrates like vegetable greens, zucchinis, cauliflowers, broccolis, and mushrooms. The same is true with fruits. Go for berries as these are nutrient-dense, but are low in calories.
Ketogenic diets are not for everyone. This is one thing you have to understand. Focusing more on fats in the diet can have significant implications for your overall health. That is why it is best to consult with your physician to determine if this is right for you.