If you are looking for a short-term diet that will yield significant results, look no farther than the ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets rely on a natural process known as ‘ketosis’. During this process, the body burns stored fat as energy due to a lack of glucose. The burning of this stored fat can result in significant weight loss. However, it also produces ‘ketones’ or a buildup of acid that can lead to serious health concerns. Therefore, ketogenic diets are only recommended for short-term use as a way to begin weight loss and/or healthy eating habits.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into the basics of a ketogenic diet. If you’re a beginner to the ketogenic diet, our goal is to educate you at what foods are good and what foods are not when following the ketogenic plan. Keep in mind that this diet should be paired with exercise to maximize potential weight loss. If you’re struggling to meet your calorie goals and stay healthy, a different diet plan may work better for you. But if you’re ready to go low-carb and join the ketogenic movement, keep reading!
The goal: 50 grams of net carbs per day—ideally, less than 20 grams
Foods to Eat
Meat has a high protein count to keep you feeling full and to supply you with energy to function in your day-to-day life. It has a very low carb count, making it perfect for a ketogenic diet.
Fish and Seafood
Like meat, seafood is high in protein for more energy and more satisfying meals. It can also be lower in fat, making it an even healthier option.
Eggs pack a protein-powered punch to get you through your day. Boiled, scrambled, fried—they’re all good choices when prepared to ketogenic standards.
Cheese lacks a lot of carbs and can help add flavor to your dishes. Mini cheese wheels are also a great snack to get you between meals.
Broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, asparagus… The list goes on and on. If it grows above the ground, pair these veggies with your meals for added flavor and texture.
Butter, olive oil, etc is ketogenic-approved. You can use these natural fats when cooking up your meals or add a bit more flavoring to blander dishes.
Foods to Avoid
Candy and Sweets
Sugary foods often contain more carbs, which can affect how your body burns fat. It’s best to wait on that chocolate bar or donut until you have completed your ketogenic diet and can afford a small treat.
Soda and Juice
Like sweet foods, sweet beverages have high amounts of sugar and are not recommended on a ketogenic diet. Try replacing these beverages with water.
Pasta is the king of carbs and often contains significant amounts of glucose. This will result in less fat-burning, so it is a no go.
Rice is incredibly starchy and high in carbs. It is best avoided while you are trying to reach your highest fat-burning potential.
Like rice, potatoes are very high in starch. Substitute french fries with healthier options like cauliflower fries.
Beer contains a surprising amount of carbs and sugar. Again, water is the recommended beverage of choice on a ketogenic diet.
Fruit has lots of natural sugars and can be healthy in moderation, but it’s not advised on a ketogenic diet. If you do have a sweet tooth craving, a piece of fruit is a better option than candy but is best avoided.