It’s been a while since some celebrities, like the basketball player Lebron James and the personality Jack Osbourne have been using more than one artifice to lose weight in a short period of time: the ketogenic diet, which promises to eliminate 5 kilos within 30 days.

But, after all: why is it that this diet plan is able to eliminate calories in such a short period?  “The ketogenic diet consists in the minimum ingestion of carbs, moderate consumption of protein and fat as the main source of energy”, explains Samanta Brito, a nutritionist at Estima Nutrição, in São Paulo.

According to what the specialist has told me, the ingestion of fat on the diet should be of 75%, proteins 20% and carbs 5%. That’s exactly because we’re consuming little carbs that we see fast weight loss.

“The real intention of this diet is that, with the scarcity of carbohydrates, the organism uses the fat coming from your meals as well as from your fatty tissues as a source of energy. This way, there’s the increase of fat acids and ketone bodies”, Samanta points.

ketogenic-food-pyramidThe first step to start this kind of meal plan is fasting. Ana Clara Visconti, a nutritionist, explains that during fasting periods the storage of glucose starts being consumed, and fats, therefore, start being burned.

Inside your Organism

When there’s a restriction of carbohydrates in our organisms, there’s a resulting decrease of the glycemic levels, which, in turn, leads to the release of glucagon, a hormone that promotes the breakdown of glycogen present in the liver to be used as source of energy. When all the glycogen is used up, our organism starts searching for energy in the lipids, both from our meals and our fatty tissues.

Right when fats start being used as the main source of energy, if the person is in a positive caloric balance (ingesting fewer calories than their daily recommendation), that will cause the burn of the storage, that is, the organism will start using the fat from the fatty tissues to get energy, leading to the decrease of our body fat.

Other Diets and their Differences

Maybe you’re thinking this is one more low-carb diet. But there are some differences between diets with low amounts of carbs and the ketogenic one.

“The low-carb diets do not prohibit carbohydrate altogether, however, it is controlled in terms of amounts and meals. The Dunkan diet is based on the consumption of animal protein but restricts the consumption of fats and some legumes and vegetables at some stages.

diet-imgNow the ketogenic diet consists of fat as its main source of energy, moderate consumption of proteins, and nearly zero consumption of carbohydrates, coming from just a few legumes” says Daniela Lasman, a nutritionist.

Who Should and Shouldn’t Do This Diet

Because this is quite a restrictive meal plan, some people should see their physical doctor before start: especially those who are overweight or obese.  After all, people facing the mentioned conditions do really need specific psychological and physical care.

quem pode e quem nao pode“That’s why, in this case, first of all, a dietary re-education is essential, as well as working out and professional supervision. After learning about how one should eat as well as the amounts that should be consumed, it may be possible to think about restricting nutrients and calories”, Samantha adds.

Plus, the excessive reduction of carbohydrates can lead to the urge of eating great amounts of it, due to the shortage of serotonin (the organism needs carbs to take these hormones to the brain) and the dramatic drop of glycemia, which can lead to a rewarding system, the person may feel actually hungrier and more inclined to eating carbs.

But don’t stress. After a couple exams and medical evaluations, your professional doctor will instruct you on how to follow this diet in a healthy way.

Specific Groups

Not only men who are overweight that should do a medical consultation before starting the ketogenic diet. People who have pre-existing kidney problems should not go on this diet without the help of a professional, due to the chances of overloading their kidneys because of the increased ketone bodies.

“Because it could also increase fatigue and headaches (due to the release of the ketone bodies, leading to nausea and sickness), men who depend on their concentration in order to work may also face difficulties”, Daniela alerts.

different types of salt (pink, sea, black, and with spices)It’s important to be aware that this kind of discomfort happen because of the lack of carbohydrates, since the restriction of this nutrient causes what we call fasting natriuresis, which is when our kidney starts expelling more sodium, leading to a deficiency of this mineral. So it’s important that you replace sodium throughout the diet period (don’t be afraid to add salt to your meals).

What You can Eat

keto-diet-plan-coverCheck out the list of nutrients available to you during the ketogenic diet: (Click to Shop my list on Amazon Fresh)

Don’ts

Now take a look at what you’re not supposed to eat:

  • Pasta
  • Bread and cookies
  • Cereals like rice, wheat, corn, oat, etc.
  • Grain legumes, like beans, soy, chickpea, lentil and pea
  • Honey
  • Milk
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruits that contain high levels of sugar, like watermelon, mango, banana, grape and pineapple.
  • Legumes that contain high levels of sugar like carrot and beet.
  • Tubercles like potato
  • Roots like manioc and sweet potato
  • Sweet foods
  • Sugar in general
  • Industrialized foods
  • Fast food
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Supplements, medications and toothpaste that contain sugar.

How to get to Ketosis?

In order to get to the stage of the ketosis process safely, some points should be taken into consideration. Starting from carbs. Watch out and never ever exceed its daily limit.

paleogrubs.comBut, at the same time, you shouldn’t go without the carbs, after all, its lack (even if you consider its content in fibers) could lead to more serious problems than those mentioned.

Another very important issue is the proteins. Just because you have reduced carbs drastically it doesn’t mean you can replace them with proteins. On the contrary. Pay attention to their ideal amounts and do not exceed that.

In case you do, consequences include stomach discomfort, higher sugar levels (which is what we want the least when on a ketogenic diet). Excessive protein in our organism is quickly turned into glucose – just like carbs.

And, lastly, another relevant point: fats. Do eat their recommended amount, since they’ll make it possible for you to hang tough because they contribute to satiation as well as they are a great source of energy, help regulate hormones and prevent high levels of insulin in our organism.

ketosis
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Other than all this, there are also the strips that show if you have got to the ketogenic stage, which I consider an easy and efficient way of getting to the finest point of the diet.

How about the Workout?

Exercising may remain as usual, no worries. The only thing to observe, though, is that it shouldn’t be as intense. Some researchers show that intensive training is not successful in this case, since the body needs energy from carbohydrates really fast. However, long-lasting activities are highly recommended, since the organism creates great resistance.

Therefore, in case you want to keep your weight training, do not take too much weight, just try to do it for longer periods (reduce the weights but include more exercises).

Some will say the ketogenic diet contributes to the reduction of lean mass, since the body will try to get energy from the protein when there isn’t enough carbs. This theory is indeed correct, however, if you make sure to consume the right amount of proteins from meals combined with the abundance of ketone bodies in your blood stream (produced by the absence of carbs), the body won’t need to break the proteins of the muscles into amino acids in order to produce glucose, avoiding, in turn, the catabolism of lean mass.

He’s Done it

Ketogenic before and afterMarcos de Andrade, the founder of Royal Fashionist, decided to go on the ketogenic diet and has talked to me about his experience with it.  Take a look:

“It’s been 30 days since I’ve been on this diet and I’ve lost over 5 kilos. I’ve noticed that with the weight, on other diets, I also lost volume. I would look thin. Now, with the ketogenic diet this is totally different. It seems that only fat is eliminated and so the muscles are really noticeable.

Another important point to highlight is energy: I feel really great and peppy, not to mention that low carb diets also have to be low fat and so no one can go much further with that kind of diet. I liked this diet a lot and really recommend it.

The first three days were a bit hard because of the abstention from carbs and sugar, but that was it. After that, you feel really energetic and, in my case, I started working out much more intensively. It’s really worthwhile.”   

The Meal Plans

Of course I have asked the experts to recommend a few options of meal plans of the ketogenic diet. Check this out:

Samanta Brito:

Day 1:

BREAKFAST

3 boiled eggs or an omelet

50 grams of ham and 50 grams of mozarella

5 units of cashew nut

MORNING SNACK

100 grams of tuna with a green-leaf salad

LUNCH

2 grilled top-sirloin steaks

1 plate with mixed leaves and vegetables.

3 tbsp of olive oil to dress the salad

AFTERNOON SNACK

5 broken walnuts

8 strawberries and 3 spoons of heavy cream

1 cup of tea

DINNER

2 grilled chicken fillets

3 boiled eggs or an omelet

1 plate with mixed leaves and vegetables.

3 tbsp of olive oil to dress the salad

Day 2:

BREAKFAST

1 glass (300ml) of green juice: blend 1 leaf of organic kale with fresh mint, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 slice of ginger and 1/2 apple

2 scrambled eggs with 1 tbsp of ghee (clarified butter)

1 cup of black coffee blended with 1 tbsp of coconut oil or vegetable milk (coconut, Brazil nut, cashew nut)

MORNING SNACK (in case you go hungry)

1 handful (20 grams) of oilseeds (Brazil nit, cashew nut, almond, walnut)

LUNCH

1 cutlet (150 grams) of salmon or chicken (legs and leg quarters), preferably drizzled with extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil

AFTERNOON SNACK

1 unit of low carb fruit (low GI): Apple, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry

DINNER

1 grilled fillet (150 grams) of beef (sirloin and top-sirloin

 

Day 3:

BREAKFAST

1 cup (200Ml) of hibiscus tea with cinnamon and ginger

3 free-range eggs scrambled with coconut oil Seasoning to taste

MORNING SNACK

1 small portion of oilseeds (cashew nuts, peanuts, walnuts, almonds)

LUNCH

Roast salmon (250 grams)

Green leaf salad to your heart’s content

5 units of ghee butter braised asparagus

AFTERNOON SNACK

½ avocado with chia

1 cup (200ml) of green tea with ginger

DINNER

1 grilled chicken fillet (200 grams)

1 portion of braised broccoli with garlic in the coconut oil (1 saucer)

Green leaf salad to your heart’s content, seasoned with apple balsamic vinegar + 1 tsp. olive oil

SUPPER

1 cup (200ml) of horsetail tea

 

Daniela Lasman

Day 1:

BREAKFAST

Omelet, boiled or scrambled eggs

Coconut butter or oil

Tea or coffee

MORNING SNACK

Nut mix with goji berries or cranberries

LUNCH

Vegetables: Legumes and/or raw, cooked, steamed or braised vegetables

Dressing: mostly olive oil. You can add seasoning (examples: pepper, turmeric, ginger powder, cinnamon) and herbs (preferably fresh) to taste

Proteins: Beef, chicken, fish or egg

 

AFTERNOON SNACK

Hydrolyzed whey protein diluted in natural coconut and strawberry water

DINNER

Vegetables: Legumes and/or raw, cooked, steamed or braised vegetables

Dressing: mostly olive oil. You can add seasoning (exs: pepper, turmeric, ginger powder, cinnamon) and herbs (preferably fresh) to taste

Proteins: Beef, chicken, fish or egg

 

SUPPER

Nut mix with goji berries or cranberries

Day 2:

BREAKFAST

Avocado vitamin with vegetable milk (almond, for instance), red berries and chia

Tea or coffee

MORNING SNACK

Slices of cheese (examples: Ricotta, buffalo) with olive oil and herbs to taste

LUNCH

Vegetables: Legumes and/or raw, cooked, steamed or braised vegetables

Dressing: mostly olive oil. You can add seasoning (examples: pepper, turmeric, ginger powder, cinnamon) and herbs (preferably fresh) to taste

Proteins: Beef, chicken, fish or egg

AFTERNOON SNACK

Pancakes of egg whites stuffed with cheese (examples: Ricotta or buffalo)

DINNER

Vegetables: Legumes and/or raw, cooked, steamed or braised vegetables

Dressing: mostly olive oil. You can add seasoning (examples: pepper, turmeric, ginger powder, cinnamon) and herbs (preferably fresh) to taste

Proteins: Beef, chicken, fish or egg

SUPPER

Slices of cheese (examples: Ricotta, buffalo) with olive oil and herbs to taste

 

Day 3:

BREAKFAST

Omelet, boiled or scrambled eggs

Coconut butter or oil

Tea or coffee

MORNING SNACK

Avocado and lemon drops

LUNCH

Vegetables: Legumes and/or raw, cooked, steamed or braised vegetables

Dressing: mostly olive oil. You can add seasoning (exs: pepper, turmeric, ginger powder, cinnamon) and herbs (preferably fresh) to taste

Proteins: Beef, chicken, fish or egg

AFTERNOON SNACK

Vegetable sticks seasoned with olive oil, herbs, cheese (parmesan, half-cured, ricotta, buffalo)

DINNER

Vegetables: Legumes and/or raw, cooked, steamed or braised vegetables

Dressing: mostly olive oil. You can add seasoning (exs: pepper, turmeric, ginger powder, cinnamon) and herbs (preferably fresh) to taste

Proteins: Beef, chicken, fish or egg

SUPPER

Avocado and lemon drops

Conclusion

b093760b2e5d4b8464e1dfc5c21a84f6That’s it guys, remember that everything depends on your lifestyle and what works best for you. We are not here to say that the Ketogenic diet is the “best diet” and the only one that works. We are here to give you ideas and tips for you to live a healthy lifestyle.

Have you tried this diet before? Let me know with a comment below about your experience with this diet.


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