The ketogenic diet is like “love goes through the stomach,” as the saying goes. It’s the same with loving yourself and finding your way to a good body image. And hand on heart: Everyone has already tried a diet and after a few days disappointedly pushed aside the salad bowl, still hungry, and went into old behavior patterns. Since more and more people want to eat more consciously, there are numerous possibilities and variations on how to eat and just as many misconceptions about how to eat. At the latest since fitness and “mental health” have become more and more popular in the social media, one form of nutrition in particular has crystallized: the ketogenic diet. This form of nutrition is an extreme version of the so-called “low carb” diet. The difference is that the main focus is on covering the daily calorie requirement exclusively through proteins and especially through fats, while completely avoiding carbohydrates. Low carb” becomes “no carb”!
The term “diet” is misleading here. Nowadays, this wording is almost exclusively associated with the goal of weight loss. However, it is much more than that. The original meaning of this word is translated as “way of life/ lifestyle”. And that is exactly what it is! By changing your diet plan, you construct a new lifestyle and you will quickly notice how much the “Ketogenic Diet” diet affects your body and, most importantly, your mind. And all this despite full plates and without the feeling that a “sniff at the lettuce leaf” might have been too much already.
How does that work?
It goes off inside of you!
By changing your diet plan, you strive to reach a state called ketosis. This is an alternative metabolic state in which, unlike the usual state, the energy is obtained less from the glucose supplied by carbohydrates, but from the body’s own fats in the form of ketone bodies. However, your body only enters this mode when your glucose stores have been used up and, as it were, emptied. You can achieve this by reducing your carbohydrate intake to a minimum and eating only 20g-50g of carbohydrates daily. From there on, the body uses the body’s own fat reserves to get energy. Because there is hardly any glucose in the blood, the insulin level in the blood remains much more constant and fat burning is not hindered
Listen to your body
You should keep in mind in your mission that your body needs a few days to get used to the Ketogenic Diet and the new way of working. Passing headaches or slight dizziness during your body’s adaptation period are quite normal. You should still listen to your body and not overload it in the first week and plan your days accordingly a little quieter. After 1-2 weeks your body should have adjusted to the new mode and you can start your day at full speed again. If the aforementioned side effects have not subsided by then, you should contact a doctor and find out whether your body can cope with this form of dietary change or whether an alternative would be better. Not every body reacts the same, so listen to yourself!
The right foods
Basic requirement to rock your ketogenic diet is – you guessed it – the right choice of food. To make sure you’re not completely on the fence and can add variety to your plate, we’ve put together a few tips on which foods are good sources of fat and protein. This should help you stay on the ball and not give up if you run out of ideas after a while. That way, you won’t lose the fun of cooking and can let off steam in a variety of ways at the stove.
Fat is nice!
For a long time, fats have been portrayed as something bad in connection with healthy eating and downright demonized as fatteners. But there’s one thing you can be sure of: Fat is nice! At least if you eat the right fats. Through the restructured diet plan, fat becomes your main source of energy. Accordingly, you should make sure that you choose your fat sources carefully and of high quality. Particularly suitable are those fats that have a natural origin and consist of unsaturated fatty acids. These help your body to build body cells and provide you with a lot of energy that lasts long and gives you a longer feeling of satiety. Particularly good suppliers for this are:
- Oily fish such as salmon, herring, and trout
- Nuts (especially walnuts, macadamia and almonds)
- Olive and coconut oil
- Greek yogurt
- Eggs (especially the yolk)
Another essential building block in your new diet plan is protein, or the already highly praised protein. The majority of your muscles consists of protein and these are kept alive by proteins. The sufficient intake of proteins therefore has the purpose that you do not lose your muscle mass during your diet and that your internal body processes are not disturbed or even hindered. Foods that are particularly rich in protein are actually already the foods already listed with fat. However, in order to direct your focus also to less fat-rich food, many low-carbohydrate vegetables are still recommended.
- Kidney beans
Snacking on the ketogenic diet
Since the ketogenic diet is inevitably accompanied by a renunciation of sugar due to the renunciation of carbohydrates, sooner or later you will have a craving for a “little sin”. All kinds of sweets and also fruits (fructose) are unfortunately taboo during your diet and therefore it is somewhat difficult to satisfy these cravings. You might be surprised to learn that you can eat chocolate. In any case, you should make sure that it is dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 80%. The bar is very rich in fat and enormously low in carbohydrates, so that you still remain in the state of ketosis with a few pieces. Thus, the chocolate is significantly less sweet than you are used to, but this is a suitable means to trick the inner pig dog. Protein shakes with e.g. chocolate flavor can also help here, if you pay attention to which protein powder you use. Often the head plays us to want to have a thing particularly urgently. In fact, however, it can be quickly satisfied with something else that matches the appearance of the idea.
By switching your energy source from glucose to your body’s own fat, you will gradually reduce your body fat percentage and feel freer and literally lighter too. Your body will be less bloated due to the easily digestible foods and feel less fatigued after a big meal. You can start the day relaxed and full of energy and also feel super comfortable in your skin.
The change not only benefits your appearance and demeanor, but also your mind. Ketosis gives your brain a much more consistent energy supply, which also lasts much longer than the glucose energy from sugar, which is quickly available but also quickly fades away. The change improves your ability to concentrate and in many cases also improves the condition of people who suffer from migraines. Studies even show that the ketogenic diet is an effective therapy for epilepsy patients.
The most difficult thing about no matter what diet is certainly to persevere. To keep you going, we have a few more suggestions to help you reach your goal and keep the ketogenic diet going.
“Together it tastes best”!
The most common reason you lose interest in something is because you have no one to share your joy or frustration with. Try to motivate someone to make a similar change. This does not necessarily have to be the “Ketogenic Diet” mission you have chosen, but it does you good to exchange ideas and to see that you are not alone. Above all, sharing with others does one thing: motivate you! You can also cook together and exchange new ideas and suggestions, because food tastes much better that way, doesn’t it?
So that it doesn’t become monotonous for you and you don’t get bored, you should always refresh your diet and try out new dishes. Various theme-oriented cookbooks are particularly suitable for this. This will allow you to approach your meals in a much more structured way and give you a good feeling when you go grocery shopping. You’re sure to come up with your own creations quickly, too, and you’ll be able to let off steam creatively at the cooking pot. And always remember: no chef has fallen from the sky yet!
To avoid the temptation of breaking your ketogenic diet, food boxes can be a great solution. In them, you can easily take pre-cooked food to work, to the park, or for a long train ride. This way you don’t run the risk of going to the next fast food place if you get hungry, but you can eat your meal with a clear conscience.