We all know, cutting down on food and exercising more helps you lose weight, but sometimes you can feel like it’s a slow process, or that you have hit a wall. One diet that claims to be a great way to drastically lose weight, is the keto diet. The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares some similarities with Atkins. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. Cutting carbs from your diet makes your body go into a state of Ketosis, this tricks your metabolism into burning more fat.
Is Ketosis Safe?
Cutting out carbs or at least reducing the amount to a minimum (grains, pasta, potatoes), and concentrating on eating foods like eggs can turn your metabolism into a fat burning machine, through the process Ketosis. There may be risks due to quick weight loss, so if it’s something you are interested in trying then make sure you read up on its potential risks.
Everyone knows that food is your main energy source, and the nutrients in our food supply you with fat, protein and carbs. We are like animals as once we have finished our meal our bodies begin the breakdown of what we’ve eaten. This begins with the carbs, then the fat and finally the protein. This is where Ketosis comes in. This is the state your body will go into when it finds there are no carbs to break down for energy, so it will begin on the fat. Ketosis shifts your metabolism to rely on fat for energy over carbs. Your body will then burn the fat at a higher rate.
The Atkins diet was a version of Ketosis reducing your intake of carbs to no more than 50grams a day.
Ketosis – The Facts
Scarily I didn’t realise how many foods actually contain carbs. A medium pear contains around 26grams and even nuts and non-starchy veg all contain small amounts of carbs. But you need to increase your protein intake to at least 20% of your daily calorie intake. Another way to achieve Ketosis is to fast, although not for days on end! The current trend of intermittent fasting, eating for 8 hours and fasting for 16, thus burning more stored fat for fuel.
How Do I Know If I Am In Ketosis?
It can take only 2 days to go into a state of Ketosis but it normally kicks in after about 3/4 days of reducing or cutting out carbs. The physical signs and symptoms of ketosis include:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Increased energy, though energy may be decreased in the first few weeks on the diet
- Fruity smelling breath (halitosis)
How Do I Check My Ketone Level Without Going To The Doctors?
You can pick up a ketone urine test from Amazon – normal blood levels are under 0.6 millimoles per litre.
The Keto Diet
The Ketogenic Diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that focuses on replacing the carbs with healthy fats. This forces the body into Ketosis for weight loss, with the total elimination of processed foods. Around 75% of your calories come from fat, 20% from protein and 5% from carbs. There are some foods that can be eaten as much as you want.
With this diet, about 75 % of your daily calories come from fat, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbohydrates. Certain foods can be eaten freely on this diet, whereas other foods need to be limited or avoided completely.
Foods you can eat on Ketogenic Diet
- Meat, including beef, lamb, pork, poultry, fish, and seafood
- Healthy oils, such as olive, avocado, or coconut oil
Obviously, any diet where you are cutting out a large food source is something you need to be careful with. A high protein diet can increase bad cholesterol and, in the worst case, increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. There have also not been any long-term studies on the ketogenic diet.
Easy Ketogenic Diet Recipes
Easy salmon cakes
- Two 5 oz pouch of pink salmon (or cans, drained well)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup finely ground pork rinds (optional, but helps)
- 1/2 jalapeno finely chopped
- 2 tbsp sarayo (or plain mayo)
- 2 tbsp finely diced red onion
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 tbsp cilantro
- 1-2 tbsp avocado oil (to thin)
- 1-2 tsp Water, to desired thickness
- Juice of half lemon
- Salt, pepper to taste
- In large bowl mix salmon, egg, jalapeno, sarayo, red onion, ground pork rinds and seasoning
- Form patties with mixture (4 large or 5-6 small)
- In non-stick pan, drizzle oil and cook patties over medium heat 4-5 minutes until each side is golden brown and crisp
For the sauce
- Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth
- Serve salmon cakes hot with avocado sauce and extra drizzle of sarayo
Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice
- 1 small head of cauliflower riced
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/4 cup onion chopped
- 1lb uncooked chicken breast, cubed
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or liquid aminos, divided
- 2 cups broccoli cut into small florets
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 stalk green onion sliced
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Remove core and leaves from cauliflower. Cut into florets and place into food processor. Pulse until rice-like texture, set aside in large bowl.
- In frying pan over medium heat, place coconut oil. When melted, add onion to pan and sauté until fragrant.
- Add chicken to skillet and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sauté chicken until cooked through and golden
- Pour sriracha and half of soy sauce into pan to coat chicken.
- Add broccoli and water to pan and cover. Allow to steam for about 5-7 minutes, until it begins to soften
- Place cauliflower rice in pan, sprinkle with a little salt and add remaining soy sauce.
- Gently stir so cauliflower rice is coated. Continue cooking for about 15-20 minutes until broccoli is fork tender and cauliflower rice is soft
- Push the cauliflower rice and veggies to the edges of the pan leaving a hole in the centre. Crack the egg open in the centre of the pan. Let it fry, breaking the yolk apart with a fork.
- Once the egg is completely cooked, gently mix it in with the cauliflower rice.
- Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
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