Ketogenic Diet 101

Keto’ is one buzzword that has been doing the rounds around the interest for quite some time now. Also known as a low carb, high fat diet by practitioners, this diet has incredible health benefits. Whether you are a high-profile athlete or a common individual who wants to lose weight, this diet promises something for someone. Read on to know what exactly the ketogenic diet does, how does keto diet works, and how it supports weight loss

What is a Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It is based on the notion that by restricting carbohydrate intake which is the chief source of energy the body uses to perform various tasks, it can be forced to burn fat for fuel. This process eventually leads to weight loss

The ketogenic diet allows the body to attain a metabolic state called ketosis. During this process, the fat present in the liver is broken down into ketones which are then used to supply energy to the body. Well, this diet not only helps lose weight but also reduces blood insulin levels. It is even believed to help those struggling with cancer and Alzheimer’s

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body uses fat to generate fuel instead of carbs so as to perform various tasks. The state is responsible for maximizing fat loss. Well, the metabolic process of ketosis occurs when the body doesn’t have sufficient glucose to generate energy. When there is a dearth of glucose which is the major source of energy, the body uses burning stored fat to fuel itself. This process leads to the production of ketones that are used for energy. 

Different Types of Keto Diets

There are 4 popular types of ketogenic diets. These are:

  • Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): Low carb and high-fat diet with modern protein intake
  • Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): In this diet, you can add carbs around your physical workouts
  • Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): Includes a standard keto diet followed by high carb refeeds
  • High Protein Ketogenic Diet: This diet includes more protein than the standard keto diet

How to Follow Keto Diet?

Wondering what can you eat on keto? Before we tell you what does the keto diet consist of, you need to calculate your daily calorie intake. In a standard keto diet, one is recommended to take 5-10% carbs, 10-20% protein, and 70-80% fat from daily calorie intake. For a 2000-calorie diet, it equates to 75 grams protein, 40 grams carbs, and 165 grams fat. 

In CKD, 5-10% calories from carbs, 5-15% come from protein, and 90% come from fat. Further, in a high protein keto diet, 65% calories come from fat, 30% come from protein, and 5% come from carbs. 

Depending on your fitness goal, you should opt for a particular keto diet. For instance – if you want improved performance on the ground, you need to choose a high protein keto diet. For weight loss, the standard keto diet is a wise option to opt for.

Well, the general way to follow a ketogenic diet is to limit carb intake and fill up your plate with fatty foods like eggs, nuts, fish, etc. Make sure to eat protein in moderation so as to reach ketosis. You can also rely on intermittent fasting to enter ketosis faster. Eat foods in around 8-9 hours per day and fat for the remaining hours. Once you have entered ketosis, you may feel decreased hunger, dry mouth, increased thirst, or frequent urination.

Benefits of Keto Diet

  1. Helps with Weight loss

A ketogenic diet can help you lose weight just like low-fat diets. In fact, it can be more effective in terms of weight loss especially long-term. An 8-week long study conducted in 34 adults has shown 5 times more reduction in body fat with keto in comparison to a low-fat diet.  

  1. Reduces Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes occurs when you have impaired insulin function and high blood glucose levels. A ketogenic diet helps to eliminate excess fat which is associated with Type 2 diabetes. The diet is also known to improve insulin sensitivity thus managing the symptoms of diabetes. According to a study, following a keto diet improves insulin sensitivity by 75% eventually making a significant difference for diabetic patients. 

  1. Improves Heart Health 

A keto diet improves cholesterol levels, manages sugar levels, and controls blood pressure, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.

  1. Helps Treat Cancer

Researchers say that the keto diet can help slow down the growth of the cancerous tumor. This makes it a supplement treatment for cancer patients. 


Other Benefits of Keto Diet 

Additional benefits of the ketogenic diet include:

  • Reduction in symptoms of Alzheimer’s
  • Improvement in symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
  • Reduction in epileptic seizures
  • Can help with consequences of brain injuries

Foods to Eat in a Keto Diet

Thinking about what to eat on keto according to your age? Here is a list of recommended ketogenic diet foods for every individual: 

  • Fatty fish
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Cheese, cream, butter, and other dairy products
  • Healthy oils
  • Spices and herbs like salt and pepper
  • Low-carb vegetables

Foods to Avoid in a Keto Diet

Given below is a list of foods to avoid while following a ketogenic diet:

  • Starchy grains
  • Legumes and beans
  • Low-fat foods
  • Sugary foods and beverages
  • Fruits except for strawberries
  • Processed fats
  • Root vegetables
  • Diet foods
  • Alcohol

Keto Meal Plan & Snack Options 

Creating a weekly keto meal plan in advance can save you from the stress of thinking about what to eat and what not to. Rely on this 7-days ketogenic meal plan and snack options to enter ketosis sooner.  


Breakfast: Egg, tomato, and spinach omelet 

Lunch: Chicken salad with avocado oil and feta cheese 

Dinner: Red meat dish with asparagus 

Snack: Dark chocolate


Breakfast: Egg and vegetable muffins 

Lunch: Avocado and olive salad with shrimp 

Dinner: Salsa and cheese tacos 

Snack: Full-fat Greek yogurt parfait with chocolate and nuts


Breakfast: Chocolate smoothie with peanut butter and sliced strawberries 

Lunch: Broccoli and sesame chicken salad 

Dinner: Mixed veggies with cauliflower 

Snack: Keto-friendly snack bar


Breakfast: Cream cheese pancakes drizzled with cocoa powder

Lunch: Beetroot, tomato, and zucchini salad 

Dinner: Pork chops with vegetable salad and Parmesan cheese 

Snack: Nuts and cheese


Breakfast: Chia seed pudding topped with shredded coconut and strawberries

Lunch: Beef lettuce wraps with bell peppers and cream cheese

Dinner: Cabbage and beef stew 

Snack: Kale chips


Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with goat cheese and tomatoes

Lunch: Cobb-egg salad

Dinner: Garlic-lemon chicken thighs 

Snack: Guacamole with low-carb veggies


Breakfast: Ginger spice smoothie and hard-boiled eggs

Lunch: Zucchini noodle salad with garlic sauce

Dinner: Chicken and veggie balls with cream cheese

Snack: Olives and sliced salami

Side Effects of Keto Diet

According to researchers and propellants, certain health risks are associated with a keto diet. These are:

  • Keto flu symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation
  • Increased hunger
  • Sleep issues
  • Poor energy
  • Decreased exercise performance
  • Micronutrient deficiencies
  • Extra level fat
  • Kidney stones

A keto diet can also alter mineral and water balance in your body. In this case, it’s wise to take mineral supplements after consulting your doctor or keto diet specialist. 

Bottom Line

A ketogenic diet can be beneficial for those who are trying to shed extra weight from their body and also those who are diabetic. The diet may not be apt for those who want bulky muscles. It’s better to consult a keto professional or dietician who can devise the right keto plan for you.