If you’ve seen or heard something about the ketogenic diet, you may be wondering what it is. You’re not alone — plenty of people are becoming interested in this exciting diet and have plenty of questions about it! That’s why we’ve compiled the most commonly asked questions out there and have provided simple, easy-to-understand answers.
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What Is the Ketogenic Diet (or Keto Diet) ?
The ketogenic diet focuses on very low daily carb and high fat intake, with moderate protein intake. These are referred to as the “macros“. This diet has been used in the medical field to address several medical conditions, such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s, depression, among many others — clearly this diet is beneficial in multiple ways. The body burns fats and fatty acids versus carbohydrates, making the body enter into a state of ketosis, which is desirable for this diet. Essentially, you want your body to burn fat rather than carbs, helping you shed pounds and feel fantastic!
Are Calories Important with This Diet?
In short, yes. That being said, calories are not the main focus of this diet, but you should still be aware of them. At the end of the day, losing weight is all about calories, so keeping track of them is important for your weight loss goals. Keeping track of your macros is essential for success with this diet.
The fats and proteins keep you full and energized, but if you are adding exercise with this diet, it’s a good idea to keep track of calories — it all depends on the person and his or her personal health goals. It’s quite simple to track your daily calorie intake and macro ratios using MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal is a free app and is quite fun and easy to use.
Will I Lose Weight?
Yes! How much weight you lose depends on you and how strictly you follow the diet — adding exercise and being diligent with your diet will obviously speed up the weight loss process. If you don’t want to commit to a full exercise routine, just starting this diet is a great step toward losing weight.
Read more about exercising on a ketogenic diet here.
What Can I Eat?
There are actually plenty of delicious recipes you can eat while on the ketogenic diet. The main foods to stay away from are carbohydrates (rice, pasta, breads, highly processed foods, sugars). What you need to be aware of is the net carb amount for each of the foods you are eating — even foods that aren’t obviously a carbohydrate do have carbs in them.
There will be some days that it is simply impossible to avoid carbs, and that’s why you’re allowed up to 30 grams of net carbs per day. Many vegetables have carbs, but you don’t want to completely cut those out of your diet.
Can I Drink Alcohol on the Ketogenic Diet?
While you can certainly drink alcohol on this diet, there are certain drinks you should stay away from. Many drinks contain carbohydrates (wine, beer, and cocktails, to be specific). Your safest option for drinking would be clear liquor. One of our favorites is Three Olives Cherry Vodka with club soda.
What Happens If I Stop Losing Weight?
Don’t worry; this happens to most people who start a diet. Eventually, weight loss plateaus, and it feels like you aren’t making any more positive gains toward your weight loss goals. Don’t give up! There are plenty of things you can do to jump-start your weight loss again.
A common suggestion is to increase your fat intake, and being part of the ketogenic diet, this should be a fairly simple step to take! However, you must account for the increased caloric intake and adjust your workout accordingly.
Another common suggestion is to cut out dairy products, all sugar and alcohol, and if you’re feeling particularly committed to your diet, cut out all gluten. This may limit your eating options, but it will definitely help if you find that your weight loss has halted.
The Bottom Line
The ketogenic diet is a fantastic way to take control of your health again. By eliminating carbohydrates and increasing fat intake, your body becomes a fat-burning machine with highly stable blood sugar levels! This, along with exercise, is the perfect way to achieve your health goals, and possibly reverse some medical conditions.