What is the keto diet: benefits and harms for fatter lovers

what kind of meat you can eat on a keto diet

Almost all men and women dream of becoming the owner of a beautiful, fit, slender body. Fashion trends dictate their own laws, offering hundreds of methods to lose weight and dry the body. Often these miracle cures, ways to lose extra pounds turn out to be a dummy, unworthy of attention. However, there are many effective options, one of which is the keto diet for weight loss, tested by many on their own experience.

What is the keto diet: the history and essence of a low-carb diet

In pursuit of harmony, we are sometimes ready for the most radical measures, depleting our body, bringing it to anorexia, which is extremely dangerous to health. Others exhaust themselves with power loads, but still cannot achieve a toned body. This is because it is better to act in a comprehensive manner, combining proper nutrition and moderate physical activity. One of the progressive nutrition systems is ketogenic, which will be discussed in our article.

The keto diet (also called ketogenic or ketone) is an extremely low-carb type of diet. At the same time, the diet is dominated by fats, as well as a moderate amount of protein (s).

A Brief View of History

In the early twenties of the 20th century, doctors faced a serious problem - the treatment of epileptic seizures was ineffective. Against the background of the usual way of life, the patients had seizures regularly. Then nutritionists developed a completely new nutritional system that helped to stop symptoms, reducing crises to a minimum. Over time, it became clear that along with the seizures, excess subcutaneous fat began to melt.

actress who starred in the movie about the keto diet

Ten to fifteen years later, anticonvulsive drugs have emerged to help epileptics control seizures. But a cardiologist in the United States, Robert Atkins, invented the weight loss diet based on previous work. True, in its version there were carbohydrates and proteins were not infringed, which prevented the body from remaining in a state of ketosis, on which the entire harmonious system of the modern keto diet is based.

In the late nineties, American filmmaker Jim Abrahams decided to share the story of his son's struggle with epilepsy. Due to intolerance to certain drugs, as well as "side effects" from them, the boy could not take the prescribed drugs. The ketogenic diet helped to find a way out, about which Jim shot the notorious film called "Do No Harm" with Meryl Streep in the title role. So the keto diet went beyond a purely medical phenomenon and became public.

The essence of the keto diet: state of ketosis

Where did the frenzied popularity of such a power system come from, why does it really work? Usually our body gets its energy "fuel" from carbohydrates, converting them into glucose. It also feeds the neurons of the brain. However, when there is a shortage of this product, the body begins to look for alternative methods of nutrition, using fat cells.

Research has shown that the ketogenic diet suppresses the body's production of the hormone ghrelin. It is he who is responsible for the feeling of hunger. With a well-chosen diet of this type of food, you will stop suffering from the constant craving for something to eat. This is such a nice side effect of ketosis.

When our body stops consuming carbohydrates as its sole source of energy, it turns to the very stores of fat that it was saving up for a rainy day. They are processed by the liver, breaking down into glycerin and fatty acids. They subsequently form ketone bodies that nourish the body and brain.

how to achieve ketosis by eating meat

The process is called metabolic ketosis. It comes about on the seventh day of the diet. Then the body stops the process of processing glucose (glycolysis), using reserves from muscles, liver and other tissues, while simultaneously activating lipolysis - the qualitative breakdown of fats.

The peculiarity of this type of nutrition is that you can lose weight by burning your own fat reserves. After all, carbohydrate replenishment does not occur. At the same time, protein tissues remain intact. That is, such a diet is well suited both simply for losing weight and for those who are involved in sports that require special endurance (heavy weights, marathon, triathlon).

Keto Diet Varieties

The main characteristic of a ketogenic diet is a varied diet, depending on the capabilities of your body. There are three main types of diet.

  1. Standard.This is the most affordable type of diet, when carbohydrates are gradually reduced to an exceptional minimum. It is suitable for anyone involved in sports or fitness. The main principle here will be the rejection of the so-called refeeds (days on which the use of carbohydrates is permissible). It is highly effective and has a constant amount of calories.
  2. Targeted or targeted.In this type, "loading" days are acceptable, when eating foods saturated with carbohydrates is acceptable. For example, in order to remove drowsiness or fatigue during intense training, for example, before a competition.
  3. Loop. This option is considered the most advanced, not available to everyone. With such a diet, you need to independently determine when it is time to replenish the supply of carbohydrates, which are needed, for example, with intense training or depletion of the body. This implies a return to ketosis when the balance is restored.

Nutritionists recommend starting a diet with a standard one, but if you feel unwell, switch to more gentle regimes.

Stages of adaptation of the organism: pros and cons

Pros and Cons of Eating Fish on a Keto Diet

Due to the different genetic characteristics, each person has an individual "journey" to ketosis. Some can come to it within three to four days and it is no problem not to leave it for a month, while others cannot achieve a result in a week. There is no need to worry and go to extremes, giving up the case halfway through. The main thing is to understand what is happening in the body, where to start a keto diet and how to deal with negativity.

What Happens to the Body: Major Phases and the Keto Flu

Getting your body into ketosis will take a difficult path with many changes.

Phase One: Glycogen Depletion

The first stage occurs at the sixth - twenty-fourth hour from the beginning of ketogenic nutrition. The body is still actively feeding on glucose, in abundance left over from previous meals. Due to the lack of injected carbohydrates, the level of insulin decreases, therefore, there is abundant urination. This is because sodium and water are dumped as unnecessary ballast. Some people experience moderate dehydration, with all its "charms", in the form of dizziness, fatigue, irritability.

Phase Two: Gluconeogenesis

When carbohydrate stores are depleted, the body enters the second phase, which can last from two to ten to fourteen days on a keto diet. There comes a period of gluconeogenesis, when the liver, and sometimes the kidneys, begin to turn non-saccharide compounds (amino acids, glycerin, lactate) as fuel. When glycogen is low, muscles are the first source of energy.

During the second phase, the body loses so much sodium as well as water that many begin to experience strange flu-like symptoms. You may experience an unreasonable headache, fatigue, you want to lie down and do nothing. Often there is dizziness, joint aches, nausea, weakness. Don't worry, these symptoms have nothing to do with viral diseases or colds. Below are guidelines for how to easily enter the metabolic state of ketosis.

Phase three: ketosis in person

This period can occur on the third - fourteenth day from the beginning of the ketogenic diet. In most cases, it is reached no later than the tenth day, but it all depends on the lifestyle, genetic characteristics.

Indications and Benefits

swimming while on a keto diet

There are many advantages to using such a power system. Everyone will find their own benefits. The medical indications for switching to a keto diet are also varied. It is necessary to dwell on these points in more detail.

  • As a source of energy, the body uses its own subcutaneous fat, as well as deposits on internal organs. Therefore, there is an effect of urgently-fast weight loss.
  • Due to the low-carb type of food you eat, your body can lower your blood sugar by itself. This is a good prevention of diabetes and is also used in its treatment.
  • The ketones produced by the liver become good food for the brain. Some people go on a keto diet to boost their mental performance, increase concentration, and improve mental focus. According to recent studies, the fatty foods consumed also have a beneficial effect on the brain.
  • The relationship between excess weight and high blood pressure is undeniable. Therefore, losing excess body fat, at the same time it is possible to normalize it.
  • In a state of ketosis, the feeling of hunger is significantly reduced, and fatty foods saturate better, for a longer time.
  • The condition of the skin is significantly improved by lowering the level of subcutaneous fat. It has a beneficial effect on the elimination of acne and acne.

Much has been said and written about the benefits of this nutritional system for people with epilepsy. We only note that with the minimum use of medications, it is easier to control seizures, and their number decreases.

Harm of the keto diet for health: contraindications

contraindications to following the keto diet for weight loss

Remember that no matter how good a keto diet may seem, it may not work. There are a number of contraindications that you need to be aware of.

  • The first drawback is considered by many to be the long period of entering ketosis. For some, it can last up to ten days, while for others, the body does not rebuild at all. Then exhaustion can set in.
  • The keto diet does not include cereals, breads, fruits, potatoes and other fiber-rich foods. Due to its deficiency, gastrointestinal disturbances may occur. In diseases of this type, this food is strictly contraindicated.
  • With type 1 diabetes, you shouldn't eat a ketogenic diet either.
  • Diseases of the liver, kidneys, cholecystitis, will become an obstacle to the use of such a diet.
  • Keto nutrition is also not recommended for cardiovascular diseases.

In any case, before starting a diet, you should definitely consult with your doctor. He will prescribe tests, tests, studies that will show you for sure whether you can use a low-carb diet or it is better to give up this idea right away.

The Difficult Keto Diet: A List of Allowed and Prohibited Foods

Any food system excludes certain foods for the sake of consuming others. For example, the paleo diet includes only what the caveman could get himself. So do's and don'ts on the keto diet.

Featured Products List

recommended meat on a keto diet
  • Organic red meat: lamb, beef, pork, game, poultry with skin.
  • Lard, lard.
  • Heavy cream, butter, ghee butter.
  • River and sea fish of more fatty varieties (salmon, sardines, flounder, trout, tuna), seafood (shrimps, shellfish, crabs, lobsters).
  • Eggs.
  • Vegetable oils are best consumed raw: flaxseed, sesame, olive, coconut, macadamia and avocado oils.
  • All green vegetables.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Some types of legumes: asparagus (green) beans, peanuts.
  • Mushrooms of different varieties (forest and cultivated by humans).
  • Greens.
  • Dairy and lactic acid products (cottage cheese, kefir, fermented baked milk, yogurt).

Forbidden to consume

While following a keto diet, you should not consume any form of hydrogenated or at least partially hydrogenated oils. They provoke jumps in cholesterol, spur inflammation, and increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

prohibited foods on the keto diet
  • Sugar as the main sweetener and in any food.
  • Refined, frozen vegetable oils.
  • Bread, pastries, pastries, any flour products.
  • Skimmed, condensed or whole milk.
  • Vermicelli, pasta, spaghetti, lasagna.
  • Cookies, gingerbread, desserts, cakes, sweets.
  • Rice, quinoa.
  • Fruits and dried fruits.
  • Any cereals.
  • Jams, preserves, mousses, puddings.
  • Powdered and sweetened drinks, soda.
  • Imitation of crab meat, sticks.
  • Absolutely all semi-finished products in any form.
  • Sausages, including salami, pepperoni, some jerky.
  • Sweet dairy and lactic acid products.
  • Starch, as well as starchy vegetables (potatoes, beets, corn).
  • Products containing sorbitol or fructose.
  • Legumes.
  • Honey and dishes containing it.
  • Packaged store and home juices.

Do's and Don'ts

recommended drinks on the keto diet for weight loss

The list of permitted drinks is quite wide, and it includes even light alcohol, but in extremely moderate doses.

  • Pure water.
  • Water with lemon or cucumber.
  • Bone broth.
  • Green and black tea.
  • Coffee without additives or with heavy cream.
  • Unsweetened hemp or almond milk.
  • Champagne brut, whiskey, dry martini, dry white wine (in small quantities).

At the same time, in no case should you drink juices, fresh juices, beer, energy drinks and anything else that contains carbohydrates.

When you want something sweeter

Using any, even the most "safe" sweeteners, you do not let your body wean from such a tempting offer. However, in some exceptional cases, it is permissible to use a few popular substances, such as stevia, xylitol or erythritol. The main thing here is not to overdo it and not get out of ketosis, otherwise all previous efforts will go to waste.

The rules of the keto diet: tips for getting in and out, side effects

Main postulates

The diet of this diet is based on the principle of absorbing as much fat as possible, while limiting carbohydrates to the extreme, as we said. However, not everyone can comfortably enter such an unusual regime. Therefore, experts give advice on what to do, where to start and what rules to follow. Let's summarize everything we've learned so far.

is it ok to eat green asparagus on a keto diet
  • Pay attention to carbohydrates by avoiding carbohydrates if possible. After all, they not only provide an excessive amount of energy that the body is not able to process, but can even disrupt metabolism, cause various diseases.
  • Choosing vegetables for a keto diet doesn't mean switching to potatoes and carrots. In no case should they be. It is better to forget all the starchy gifts of vegetable gardens and orchards once and for all. It is worth giving preference to green vegetables growing above the ground.
  • Eating healthy fats shouldn't be limited to butter and meat. Take advantage of all opportunities, for example, by consuming more oily fish, seafood, avocados, olives, and more.
  • Fans of the keto diet mostly learn to cook themselves, which is undoubtedly a plus. Due to food preferences, going to a cafe or restaurant will be difficult, because it is not a fact that the menu there will be adjusted for you. In addition, you may not even guess at all about the quality and composition of some dishes. Such a trifle can "knock" out of ketosis for a week, which will make you have to make efforts again. Cook at home so you can be sure everything is in order.
  • During the keto diet, use various vitamin complexes, dietary supplements, fermented foods. This will help your digestive tract, as well as the entire body, to get the missing portion of substances, macro- and microelements, vitamins and others.
  • Water is the basis of life. You need to drink it always, everywhere and a lot, especially on such a difficult diet as ketogenic. If it is difficult to learn how to do this, set yourself a "reminder" and drink 100-200 grams every hour.

For some on the keto diet, the very idea of fasting is unacceptable. However, the intermittent system is quite accessible to everyone. This means that on the chosen day, you assign yourself a corridor at eight to ten o'clock, when you do not take any food at all, but only water. This system will allow you to burn fat even better.

Tips Before Starting A Ketogenic Diet

exercise during the keto diet

Many people are interested in the question of how to enter the mode so that it smoothes and is minimal. First, you need to correctly calculate the optimal calorie content for the keto diet. This is done based on individual indicators: height, weight, gender, activity, lifestyle. Mostly, you will have to maintain the correct balance of BJU: 70% quality fats, 20% protein, only 10% carbohydrates.

  • Start with water. Drink at least two liters at first. Ideally, the amount of water absorbed per day should be 2. 7 liters for women and 3. 7 for men.
  • To replenish the loss of sodium, you need to consume about half or a whole teaspoon of regular table salt per day.
  • Do not forget to replenish stocks of magnesium, potassium, otherwise it will not take long to get unpleasant consequences.
  • Skip strength training at first and switch to aerobics or yoga.

Meditation can significantly reduce stress, which will help you quickly adapt to the new menu. Look inside yourself, set realistic goals, contemplate your body and spirit, then everything will definitely work out.

Correct exit

The ketone diet is a special nutritional system. It so happened historically that some nationalities, for example, the Far North, live in this mode all their lives from generation to generation. However, some, having gone through drying or simply losing weight, improving their health or achieving other goals, want to return to their usual way of life.

Exit ketoration is best done gradually, not abruptly. The body needs to be given time to reorganize back to carbohydrate nutrition, to start the glycolysis process. Therefore, it is best to introduce carbohydrate products one by one without much fanaticism. For example, start with a slice of bread a day, half a grapefruit, and an apple. This will help you not feel any discomfort.

Keto Diet Results: Side Effects and Expert Opinion

weight loss results on a ketogenic diet

Usually those who have tried the keto diet, talking about rapid weight loss, drying. Their bodies become more toned, the remnants of unnecessary fat under the skin melt without a trace, making the muscles more prominent and beautiful. The work of all body systems is getting better, metabolism is normalized, skin, hair, nails become healthier.

However, it happens that some side effects appear, like the one described at the very beginning of the article. But if the absence of hunger can be considered a plus, then the smell of acetone from the mouth is hardly. If this happens in the first week or two, there is nothing to worry about. If the process is delayed, then it's time to run to the doctor.

Expert Reviews


“I consider a balanced diet to be the most correct. I consider keto nutrition to be extreme, suitable only for athletes who are trying to lose fat as much as possible before competitions, as well as for models before shows. After all, the body is under stress, completely rebuilding itself to a different type of nutrition. However, for some medical reasons, such a diet can be a real salvation for a person. I believe that the keto diet should be carried out under the strict supervision of a real specialist. "

Fitness Trainer

“This type of nutrition is not the best for regular intensive training. The diet turns out to be completely unbalanced, the body receives few vitamins, minerals and other "benefits". Keto food is suitable only for those who have moderate physical activity, and prefer quiet sports, over power ones. "