The primary objective of a low carb or ketogenic diet plan is to help you achieve a high metabolic state called ketosis. It’s a standard metabolic process in which your cells burn certain fragments of fats called ketones for energy. The body stops using glucose for producing energy.
According to health experts, ketosis is a very beneficial process. It helps your body survive during times when you don’t eat food. The process shows significant improvement in some health conditions, such as autism, epilepsy, cancer, Alzheimer’s and more.
These days, you can choose from a lot of ketogenic or low carb diet plans. The Atkins Diet is considered the most famous. All the low carb diet plans involve following a moderate protein, high fat and low carb diet plan.
The key difference between a ketogenic meal plan and a basic low carb meal plan is the amount of protein and carbohydrate allowed on a daily basis. Here are some basic concepts related to a ketogenic meal plan.
Track Carb Intake - A ketogenic meal plan requires you to track the carb amounts in your food, and keep carbohydrate intake between only 20 to 60 grams each day. The protein requirements are also moderate and depend on the person’s gender, height and physical activity.
Focus on Calorie Intake - The remaining calories should come from fats. These ratios make sure you go into ketosis, and your body’s starts burning ketones for fuel. If you consider the nutrient intake regarding a ketogenic meal plan, you receive about 70-75% calories from fat, 5-10% calories from carbohydrate and 20-25% calories from protein each day.
The amount of calories you consume aren't restricted. It’s important to understand that a ketogenic meal plan reduces your hunger. Thus, you don’t need to count calories. However, you need to understand that even the slightest changes in your calorie count can affect your macronutrient percentages.
Substitute Carbs - The most important concept to understand a ketogenic meal plan is to understand that the primary objective is to substitute carbs in your diet with a moderate protein and higher fat intake.
Once you have a better understanding of the basic concepts regarding a ketogenic meal plan, you need to develop one on your own. You can even seek professional help from a dietician, nutritionist or buy an eBook on the subject. Here are some effective tips to help you develop an effective ketogenic meal plan.
- Get a Carb Counter - It’s good to buy or download a carb counter to remember and learn the carbs count in each food you eat. As mentioned earlier, counting carbs is an integral part of this diet plan. You need to know how to achieve this task correctly.
- Carbohydrate Sweep - The primary objective of the diet plan is to substitute carbohydrates in your diet with protein and fats. Therefore, you should inspect your refrigerator and kitchen cupboards to remove all high carbohydrate foods which includes all kinds of complex carbs.
- Restock Your Kitchen - Once you’ve removed all high carb foods from your kitchen, you will need to restock. You need to consult a dietician to know more about some low carb foods. You can even find this information online that will guide you in the right direction.
- Plan Your Meals Accordingly - It’s important to plan your meals according to the basic concepts of a ketogenic meal plan. Considering the right food choices will help you develop an appropriate grocery list. In case you know you’re supposed to have a high carb food in the dinner, you can skip carbs in your lunch.
- Replace Your Old Habits - It’s important to replace your old habits with some new, healthy ones. For instance, if you always visit a coffee place to get a bagel, you should start making your coffee at home, and sip it with egg whites for extra protein.
- Keep Yourself Hydrated - When your carb intake gets substantially lowered, your kidneys start dumping excess water which is done because of a high carb intake. You should always drink more water and keep yourself hydrated to replace all the water that gets lost.
- Avoid Some High Carb Foods - Though you need to avoid all high carb foods, it’s important to ignore some choices completely. There are some foods that can increase your insulin and blood sugar levels. In addition to this, cereal grains, such as wheat, may be toxic for some people. You also need to consider your allergies, gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance and other such problems.
- Keep a Food Journal - A food journal can help you track your carb counts and daily food intake. You should create a journal or use an online food intake tracker. When you use a journal, you’re able to stay on track. Moreover, you also have a record of all the foods in your diet. In your journal, you can even mention how you felt about the changes in your diet, and check your progress on a daily basis.
- Consider Social Situations - While developing a ketogenic diet plan, you need to consider all the social situation you will encounter. You need to plan ahead, and device some ways to effectively handle the times when temptations might keep you off track. You don’t want to be caught off guard when someone offers a box of chocolates at the office. Similarly, chilled beer with your friends can quickly turn into a heavy snacking with nachos and potato skins.
There are many people who develop a ketogenic diet plan to lose weight. However, it’s important not to focus on the weight. There’s no need to weigh yourself every day. Your weight can easily vary because of some changes in water absorption and intake. Moreover, you can’t track fat loss accurately. Thus, fluctuations can make you go crazy.
Instead, you should just weigh yourself once a week, and focus on your overall health and fitness. It’s important to keep track of your specific body measurements. In addition to this, you need to consider the long-term health effects of a ketogenic meal plan. Over time, you will notice significant improvement in your health. Here are some ideas for great ketogenic diet recipes.