Weight loss as it relates to overall health is increasingly becoming a focus for Americans. With an estimated seventy percent of men and women in the United States categorized as overweight, it is no surprise that roughly forty-five million Americans say they go on a diet each year.
Add to those statistics that the struggle to lose weight can be sabotaged by the sheer number of dietary programs that claim to offer solutions, and the questions abound. Which diet should you choose? Which diets are safe? Which diets offer the best results?
One of the more popular diets to take the country by storm is the ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet. This low carb lifestyle seems to be trending higher every day. The best way to find out if the keto diet is for you is to learn the goal of the diet, any benefits it may offer, and what eating on a keto-friendly diet involves.
What is the Keto diet?
The ketogenic, or keto, diet is a high protein, low-carb diet. This eating lifestyle is serious about limiting carbs because proponents of the diet say that is where success truly begins. Your body uses carbohydrates for fuel, and when it gets less than fifty or so grams of carbs a day, the body starts to run out of that particular form of fuel. This shortage usually causes the body to start getting its energy from its fat and protein stores instead. The process itself is called ketosis, hence the name of the diet.
The keto diet is considered by many to be primarily a short-term diet that stimulates weight loss thanks to net carb counting. This type of carb counting utilizes the equation of net carbs consumed minus fiber. Most individuals on the keto diet aim for thirty or less net carbs a day, or ten per meal. The first several months of the diet tend to yield substantial weight loss results as the body learns to burn calories as it changes fat (instead of carbs) into energy.
The Benefits of a Keto Diet
The primary and possibly most noticeable benefit of the keto diet is weight loss. While there have been a number of studies in progress regarding the effects of a keto diet on other health conditions, further research is required to find out what positive effects the diet may have.
Some individuals say they prefer enjoying keto diet approved foods without worrying about calorie counting every time they eat something. Knowing what foods are allowed and which are not, frees dieters from having to keep a running tab of the calories consumed and foods eaten.
Foods to Avoid on a Keto Diet
Since the goal of the keto diet is to drastically minimize the body’s intake of carbohydrates, many convenience foods that are high in carbohydrates will need to be avoided. The following foods should generally be eliminated if you are eating by the strict keto diet guidelines:
- Bread (loaf, rolls, etc.)
- Baked goods (cakes, cookies, pies, pastries, etc.)
- Breakfast cereals
- Most varieties of alcohol
Consuming any of the foods listed above could severely limit your initial progress on the keto diet. The body generally cannot efficiently burn calories from fat when there is an influx of carbohydrates in its system.
Foods to Enjoy on a Keto Diet
If keeping carbohydrates at a minimum on the keto diet, those following the eating plan typically can enjoy high protein foods such as meat, eggs, unprocessed cheese, avocados, butter, nuts and seeds, and some low-carb vegetables.
If you are starting the keto diet soon, some of the following foods may be a great addition to your pantry and refrigerator:
- Meat: steak, ham, sausage, bacon, turkey, chicken, tuna, salmon, mackerel, or trout
- Eggs: pastured or omega-3 whole eggs are preferred
- Cheese: the unprocessed variety only, such as cheddar, mozzarella, blue, or goat
- Butter: grass-fed options are preferred
- Nuts and Seeds: walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, or flax seeds
- Low-carb Veggies: peppers, onions, tomatoes, and most vegetables that are green in color
By sticking to keto diet approved foods, proponents of the diet say that dieters can expect a more noticeable change in a shorter timetable.
How to Make Eating Easy on the Keto Diet
As with any new lifestyle change, learning to eat on the keto diet can be a big adjustment. Without the proper time dedicated to researching the diet and learning what foods you can and cannot eat, the learning curve can feel a bit overwhelming. If you are feeling the strain of what to cook and eat for the next few weeks a meal delivery service may be the perfect solution.
A reputable gourmet meal service that offers whole, healthy foods can be a fabulous resource for those on special diets. Most of these companies tend to be local and offer completely cooked, assembled, and vacuum packed meals delivered directly to your doorstep. These meals typically require only minutes to warm up, which helps to eliminate spending hours in the kitchen preparing a meal. These prepared meals also make kitchen clean up a cinch.
Finding a meal delivery service that puts a focus on serving fine, quality meals that cater to a keto diet can make embarking on this new lifestyle much easier. Instead of spending hours researching what foods are keto diet friendly and how you can make them into a meal, a good meal service company can deliver ready to eat meals right to your home.