There are several approaches to the ketogenic diet. As you’re about to find out, some methods are better than others depending on past experience and fitness level.
All of the the variations explained in this article will still focus on a low carb, high fat protocol but as you’re about to find out, carbohydrates can be introduced at certain times.
In this Keto Beginners Series, you’re going to discover which type of ketogenic diet is best for you.
Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD)
The SKD is the most common ketogenic diet perfect for beginners. If you are new to keto and dieting in general, this is the best place to start.
The standard ketogenic diet is for anyone who wants to lose body fat or improve overall health and mental well-being. It’s also great for anyone looking to improve metabolic disease such as type 2 diabetes or obesity.
Macros on the standard ketogenic diet include:
Most people who aren’t actively exercising and live a fairly sedentary lifestyle won’t need to alter their ketogenic diet at all. This is the perfect ketogenic protocol to follow as a beginner.
Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD)
The TKD is designed for people who exercise often and have experience with the ketogenic diet. Many athletes like to incorporate the TKD because it gives them extra fuel to grow muscle, increase strength, and improve overall athletic performance.
It is considered an advanced approach for people at the intermediate level of fitness and dieting.
To start the targeted ketogenic diet:
The goal of TKD is to consume just enough quick carbohydrates pre-workout to give you the extra boost of energy you need for your exercise. When done correctly, you should enter ketosis soon after your workout since you’re using up those quick carbs during exercise.
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD)
The CKD is the most advanced ketogenic dieting protocol. It’s considered a step above from the TKD because it requires more careful planning.
You should only consider the cyclical ketogenic diet if you have already successfully adopted a targeted ketogenic diet and want to take it a step further.
Here’s how the cyclical ketogenic diet works:
The purpose of these carb-ups is to fill your glycogen levels to fuel your muscles throughout the week. Additionally, eating larger amounts of healthy carbohydrates during these days will help regulate your hormones and thyroid functioning.
It’s crucial to keep fat low during the CKD days because eating high in fats and carbs is a recipe for weight gain. Yes, that means you can’t just pig out on junk food!
High Protein Ketogenic Diet (HPKD)
This version of keto is less common in the ketogenic community. It’s designed for people who want to lose excess body fat while still maintaining a good body composition.
Having higher protein to fat ratio will help you build muscle while using your own stored body fat for energy, instead of using dietary fat for fuel.
The HPKD is simple:
Choose the Ketogenic Diet Type That Suits Your Goals Best
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced ketogenic dieter, there’s a protocol that should suit your needs perfectly.
If you’re just starting out, the standard ketogenic diet is the perfect place to start.
But if you’re an athlete, someone who wants to build more muscle, or simply take your ketogenic diet to the next level, the HPKD, TKD, or CKD is your best bet.
Fats make up more than 65% of the ketogenic diet. But many beginners make the mistake of assuming they can eat any fatty food source as long as it doesn’t contain any carbohydrates.
But the truth is, not all fats are created equal.
In fact, many fats used in restaurants, fast food chains, and in processed foods at the food market contain unhealthy fats that can cause more harm than good to your health.
Luckily, we’ve created an extremely useful list you can refer to when you’re shopping for healthy ketogenic-friendly fatty foods.
In this Keto Beginners Series, you’ll learn everything you need to know the difference between good fats and bad fats.
What are Good Fats to Eat on Keto?
There are a few types of fats that should make up the majority of your calories on keto.
Healthy fat sources to eat on keto include saturated fats, monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs).
Sticking to foods that contain the fats mentioned above is the best way to approach your ketogenic diet when creating your low carb, high fat meal plan.
Monounsaturated fats have been proven to improve insulin sensitivity, decrease the risk of heart disease, and even lower blood pressure.
Polyunsaturated fats should be consumed with a little more caution. When PUFAs are heated, they can form harmful compounds such as free radicals which have been shown to increase inflammation in the body. This means you should never use PUFAs for cooking and these fats should always be eaten cold.
But what about saturated fats? Aren’t they unhealthy?
New Studies Debunk the Saturated Fats Debacle
For decades we were taught that saturated fats - from foods like red meat - were bad for your health. But new research shows the complete opposite[*].
Saturated fats are actually good for you and come with a host of benefits. They include:
Best Fats to Consume on Keto
Here is a list of our recommended, healthy fat sources to eat in large amounts on keto:
Healthy saturated fats include:
Healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) include:
Healthy polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) include:
Note: Naturally-occurring trans fats including grass-fed animal foods and grass-fed dairy products like butter are perfectly fine to consume.
Unhealthy Fats to Avoid at All Costs On Keto
Now that you understand the good fats to consume, let’s quickly go over fat sources you should avoid at all costs.
Unhealthy fat sources to avoid include processed trans fats and vegetable oils. In fact, some trans fats are banned by some health departments like the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).
Trans fats are typically used as a cheap substitute for natural oils. This means you must be very careful when purchasing packaged foods that may contain processed trans fats. Additionally, many restaurants will use processed trans fats to fry their foods so try to be extremely cautious when you’re going out to eat.
Research shows that processed trans fats are linked to metabolic disease like obesity and type 2 diabetes, inflammation, cancer, and heart disease[*][*].
These fats contain large amounts of omega-6 which can increase the risk of developing blood clots and has also been linked to cancer.
Avoid consuming these unhealthy fat sources at all costs:
Stick to Natural Fatty Sources at the Right Ratio
Now that you understand the difference between good fats and bad fats on keto, you can make much better decisions when it comes to planning out your meals for the week.
As long as you stick to the natural fatty sources listed above, you’ll start experiencing the benefits of ketosis and reach your weight loss goals without worrying about it ruining your health in the long run.
Intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet work extremely well together, especially when it comes to overall weight loss and increased energy.
In fact, combining these two protocols have synergistic effects that produce results greater than if you were to follow one of the two separately. A quick browse on the internet and you’ll quickly realize that many people are seeing dramatic results by incorporating fasting into their ketogenic lifestyle.
In this Keto Beginner Series, we’re going to talk about what intermittent fasting is and why it should be included in your low carb, high fat diet.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting (also known as IF) simply involves eating between time restraints. This means you will have certain “eating windows” followed by periods of time where you don’t eat or drink anything that contains calories.
For example, following a 16 hour fasting protocol, if you decide to have your last meal at 8PM, you won’t eat anything that has calories until 12PM the next day.
The 16:8 intermittent fasting protocol is the most common because it is the easiest to incorporate into your diet regimen. As mentioned above, this means you will fast for 16 hours followed by an 8 hour eating window.
Ketosis While Fasting
Fasting while on the ketogenic diet helps you enter ketosis faster because you’re depleting any glucose stores you may have accumulated from carb consumption.
Ketosis allows your body to be more efficient during your fasting periods which makes the ketogenic diet the preferred eating method in conjunction to IF.
People who eat a normal high-carb diet may experience various negative symptoms such as crazy hunger pangs because their body isn’t used to being in a fasted state.
Fasting Without Keto is Not Sustainable
There’s a reason why fasting and keto are often paired together. And it’s because ketosis is also known as mimicking a “fasted state”.
When you follow a high carb diet and attempt to incorporate intermittent fasting, you’ll experience unstable blood sugar. It will rise and fall drastically throughout the day since you’re consuming large amounts of carbohydrates in a shortened eating window.
Fasting on a high-carb diet results in:
Benefits of Fasting on the Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is known as a “fasting-mimicking” diet because your body undergoes similar beneficial mechanisms that occur while you’re in a fasted state.
Here are three major advantages to fasting on keto:
Improved Weight Loss
When you’re in ketosis, your body is already used to using fats for energy. If weight loss is your goal, fasting on keto will help you burn more body fat while consuming less calories.
Ketones have the profound ability to suppress hunger by regulating your body’s hunger hormone, ghrelin. This helps you kick cravings and makes fasting much easier to stick to.
Although you’re technically “breaking” your fast when you eat a low carb, high fat meal, eating keto foods keeps you in a fasted state.
Since keto is known as a “fasting-mimicking” diet, you’ll still experience all the health benefits of a fasted state while at the same time providing your body with essential vitamins and minerals.
Improved Mental Cognition
Attempting to fast on a high carb diet will often lead to fatigue and brain fog due to the drastic swings in blood sugar.
Running on ketones is the preferred fuel source for the brain. When you’re in ketosis while fasted, you’ll experience sustained focus and mental clarity without the crash that comes with high carb diets.
Intermittent Fasting with the Ketogenic Diet Will Supercharge Your Results
It’s important to note that fasting on the ketogenic diet isn’t required to see results. But, when these two methods are used together, you’ll be surprised at how much faster you’ll reach your health and fitness goals.
Adopting a ketogenic diet along with intermittent fasting is one of the quickest ways to reach your weight loss goals and experience the benefits that come with the low carb, high fat lifestyle!
The ketogenic diet has garnered the attention of the nutrition space due to its profound ability to shift your metabolism into a fat-burning mode.
When you follow a properly formulated keto diet, your body begins burning ketones for energy instead of glucose from carbohydrates.
This fat-burning mode is also known as ketosis.
If you’re a beginner, this article we’ll teach you everything you need to know about ketosis.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body burns fat - both dietary and stored body fat - for energy.
This occurs when there is little to no glucose left in your body. Glucose is the main fuel source that comes from carbohydrates. When you restrict carbs from your diet and increase healthy fats, your body seeks out other sources of energy.
Eventually it will turn to fat stores and break them down to produce ketones.
Once ketones are formed in your body, you can finally use it for energy.
To get into ketosis, you need to consume less than 50g of carbohydrates per day. This means you must remove grains, potatoes, fruits, and other high-carbohydrate food sources.
How Do You Know When You’re In Ketosis?
The most effective way to find out if you’re in ketosis is by using a blood glucose meter. While this may be the most accurate method, it’s also the most expensive.
Testing with urine strips cost must less but it’s nowhere near as effective as a blood glucose meter. This is because when your body gets used to using ketones for energy, it excretes less ketones through urine, which often gives inaccurate results from the strips.
You can also determine whether or not you’re in ketosis by how you feel. Once you’re in ketosis, you’ll notice that you get hungry less often, you have more energy, and experience mental clarity.
You may also notice that you’re frequenting the bathroom more often and your breath may have a metallic taste to it. These are two tell-tale signs that you’re in ketosis.
Benefits of Ketosis
The ketogenic diet was initially used back in the early 1900’s to help treat seizures that epileptic children experienced. Many studies have proven keto to be a remarkable treatment for this disorder[*][*][*].
Science and anecdotal reports are now proving that there are several other health benefits that come with being in ketosis.
Ketosis is a Fantastic Weight Loss Tool
The ketogenic diet is highly supported by science. Many studies have found that the ketogenic diet leads to much greater weight loss compared to low-fat diets[*][*].
People who are in ketosis benefit from satiety effects and feel less hungry throughout the day, which both contribute to faster weight loss.
Additionally, ketosis primes your metabolism to burn fat. This means your body will burn more stored body fat compared to any other diet even if calorie intake is the same.
Ketosis Improves Brain Function
When you burn ketones for energy, you’ll soon realize that brain fog diminishes and your mood is lifted. Research has proven that the brain actually prefers ketones as an energy source compared to glucose[*][*].
Being in ketosis will help you gain mental clarity, improve your mood, and even help you focus for longer periods of time.
Ketosis Improves Athletic Performance
Many elite marathon runners are now using the ketogenic diet as a tool to improve exercise performance. During long runs, many athletes would crash mid-run because their glucose stores were fully depleted.
But when you’re in ketosis, your body can harness its own stored body fat for energy.
Picture it like this: Carbohydrates can only store up to ~2,000 calories in the body for energy. But when you run on ketones, you’re tapping into an energy source of up to ~40,000 that can be used for fuel without stopping.
Ketosis is the Preferred Energy Source For Your Body
Science is finally catching up to the benefits of the being in a state of ketosis. From the profound weight loss benefits, to the mental clarity, it’s no wonder that the ketogenic diet has become the most popular eating protocol.
As long as you follow a properly formulated ketogenic diet, being in a state of ketosis will help you reach your health and fitness goals in no time!
The ketogenic diet can be an extremely simple and effective nutrition regimen once you’ve gotten the basics down.
It requires you to have a general understanding of nutrition, specifically macronutrients.
To achieve the full benefits of keto, you must restrict certain macros while increasing others.
If you are a complete beginner, this article will get you up to speed on what macronutrients are and which ones to avoid to successfully incorporate a ketogenic lifestyle.
But first, it’s important that you understand what macros are in the first place.
What are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are molecules our bodies use to create energy. They are found in all foods in different amounts, which are measured by grams.
The three main macronutrients all foods are comprised of are:
Calculate Your Macros for Weight Loss
Before we go into the macronutrient ratio for the ketogenic diet, it’s important that you understand how weight loss works, no matter what nutrition protocol you’re following.
To lose weight, your body must burn more calories per day than you are eating. This is also known as being in a calorie deficit.
For example: If your body needs 2,100 calories to maintain your current weight, consuming 1,900 calories per day will result in steady weight loss.
If you’re trying to lose weight, setting your deficit at 10% to 20% of your caloric maintenance is a great place to start.
What are the Macros on the Ketogenic Diet?
A successfully formulated ketogenic diet consists of low carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high fat intake.
This means you must keep carbohydrates down to a minimum while consuming healthy fats and proteins for the bulk of your diet.
The standard ketogenic diet macronutrient ratio is as follows:
With the ratios above, you will now use these percentages and allocate them based on your calorie allowance goal.
This is the fastest way to enter ketosis and lose weight because you aren’t leaving anything up for guessing. Instead, you’re following a calculated approach to help your body burn fats for energy and lose weight long term.
Let’s quickly go over each macronutrient and how they should be approached on keto:
For most people on keto, carbohydrates should stay under 50g of total carbohydrates or under 30g of net carbohydrates.
Net carbohydrates = total carbohydrates - fiber - sugar alcohol
How to calculate: If your total calorie allowance is 2,000, 10% of carbs means you should only consume 50g per day. This is calculated by multiplying 10% by 2,000 = 200. Then divide 200 by 4 because there are 4 calories per gram of carb.
Protein should come mostly from animal meats and whole food sources.
How to calculate: If your total calorie allowance is 2,000, 25% of protein means you should consume 125g of protein. This is calculated by multiplying 25% by 2,000 = 500. Then divide 500 by 4 because there are 4 calories per gram of protein.
Fats should make up the majority of your macronutrient breakdown on the ketogenic diet. It’s important that you consume healthy sources of fat and avoid vegetable oils or processed fats at all costs.
How to calculate: If your total calorie allowance is 2,000, 70% of fats means you should consume 155g of fats. This is calculated by multiplying 70% by 2,000 = 1,400. Then divide 1,400 by 9 because there are 9 calories per gram of protein.
Note: If you want to gain weight and build muscle on keto, increasing your fat intake should be your priority.
How to Calculate Macros on Carb Manager
Tracking the amount of macros you consume is extremely simple on Carb Manager.
First set your specific goals and let the app calculate your recommended macro ratio.
Once you're on the homepage, simply press the "+" sign at the top right of the app, search for the food you just ate, and you'll be presented with the exact macronutrient breakdown.
Counting Macros is the Fastest Route to Success on Keto
Once you gain a better understand on your own individual macronutrient breakdown, you’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll start to hit your goals.
Additionally, counting your macronutrients on keto will allow you to enter ketosis (and stay there) much faster. Remember, becoming a fat-burner means you need to deplete your body of any carbs.
Counting your macros is the fastest way to see results because you’re measuring everything you eat.
One of the biggest struggles for people when they first start the low carb, high fat lifestyle is maintaining a high level of athleticism.
Individuals who lift heavy weights, train at high intensities, or need to perform at their best during competition may feel like their workouts are suffering on the ketogenic diet.
But does this mean people who live an active lifestyle can’t benefit from the ketogenic diet? Not at all!
In fact, the targeted ketogenic diet is the preferred method for people who want to build muscle or increase their overall athletic performance.
What is the Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD)?
The targeted ketogenic diet is a low carb, high fat eating protocol similar to the standard ketogenic diet. But the difference is, carbohydrates are consumed a few minutes before exercise and/or after exercise.
A TKD gives your body the necessary glucose it needs to lift heavier weights and exercise for longer periods of time.
Even though ketones are more efficient as an energy source for overall brain and body function, some exercises require glucose from carbohydrates to achieve peak performance. This allows your body to benefit from a quick supply of fast-acting carbohydrates.
On the days you aren’t working out, you are encouraged to stick to the standard ketogenic diet (with minimal carbohydrates).
Who Should Incorporate the Targeted Ketogenic Diet?
Following a targeted ketogenic diet isn’t suited for everyone. In fact, if you are a beginner to keto, it’s advised to stick to the standard ketogenic diet to ensure that you are priming your metabolism to run on fats as its main source of energy.
The targeted ketogenic diet is suitable for:
The targeted ketogenic diet is not recommended:
Benefits of the Targeted Ketogenic Diet
Most athletes have found that the targeted ketogenic diet is highly effective when it comes to overall exercise performance.
The targeted ketogenic diet allows you to perform exercises at a high level.
Studies have shown that carbohydrates consumed pre-workout help increase performance short term but no research has been conducted on the effects of it in the long run[*][*].
This is because muscles need glucose to fuel anaerobic training. When you provide your muscles with the glucose it needs through a TKD, they’ll function better to power through exercises.
When the muscles used during anaerobic activity don’t have glucose, your strength and endurance will become hindered during exercises that require extreme exertion for 15 seconds to three minutes.
Endurance athletes and regular exercisers can benefit from the TKD when performing any activities that last an hour or longer. Research has demonstrated that supplementing with carbohydrates before long endurance exercise like competing in a half marathon can improve overall performance[*].
Consuming carbs right before working out helps you build more muscle[*]. While high insulin levels is not the goal on keto, having elevated insulin around your workout can help you build muscle. This is because higher insulin levels before exercise induces an anabolic effect which promote muscle growth.
Bottom line: If you’re an athlete or someone looking to build muscle, the targeted ketogenic diet is a great way to do so. Otherwise, it’s best to stick to a standard ketogenic diet.
Will the Targeted Ketogenic Diet Kick Me Out of Ketosis?
In order to enter a state of ketosis, you must restrict carbohydrates to ensure that your body starts burning fats for energy. With that said, some carbs before or after exercise will not ruin your ketosis efforts.
The goal of TKD is to ensure that you are using the carbs you just ingested to fuel your workout. When done correctly, your body will burn through the glucose storages and you should re-enter ketosis soon after.
Many people will find that they get knocked out of ketosis for a few hours after exercise because of the increased insulin levels.
Fortunately, working out will increase your insulin sensitivity which means less insulin will be needed to take care of the 25-50g of carbs that you consume on a targeted ketogenic diet. Cell membrane proteins known as glucose transporters are also more active as a result of working out.
The combination between these two functions will ensure that the carbs you consume will be used for energy and enter ketosis soon after exercise.
What to Eat on the Targeted Ketogenic Diet
On the days you’re working out, you will consume 15-50g of carbohydrates 30 minutes before your workout.
Many keto experts suggest eating simple, fast-acting easily-digestible carbohydrates such as high-glycemic foods. These foods include candy, white bread, gummy bears, and gatorade.
The most popular carbs to consume are dextrose and glucose dominant sources. To get the purest form, consider supplementing with dextrose tablets or glucose gel packets before your workout.
Make sure you avoid fructose because it will go directly into replenishing liver glycogen. The goal is to replenish muscle, not liver glycogen.
It’s important not to eat any fats around your workout when you consume these quick carbohydrates. Fats will slow down the digestion of carbs which will make the TKD approach less effective.
How Do I Start the Targeted Ketogenic Diet?
If you are relatively experienced with keto, adopting the targeted ketogenic diet can be very simple.
Here is a quick summary of the key points you’ll need to follow to successfully improve your exercise performance with the TKD:
One of the only downfalls to the ketogenic diet is the lack of overall athletic performance. Fortunately, the TKD approach will help you reach all of your exercise goals while still benefiting from a fat-burning state.
There are many skeptics to the ketogenic diet because it goes completely against all of the nutritional beliefs we have been taught. After all, consuming a healthy portion of carbohydrates was always encouraged for a “well-balanced diet”.
But thanks to modern science, we have discovered that following a low carb, high fat lifestyle may just be the most effective weight loss regimen known to man. In this article, we’re going to dive deep into why following a ketogenic diet can help you drop fat faster than ever.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, high fat diet that was initially prescribed to children with epilepsy back in the 1920s. But it wasn’t until the past couple decades did scientists start researching the weight loss and mental clarity benefits that come with restricting carbohydrates.
Successfully following a keto diet means you must eliminate most carbohydrates from your diet and replace it with healthy fats and protein. Studies have proven that saturated fats and dietary fats in general are not the culprit for weight gain or heart disease. In fact, they are actually healthy for you (when consumed from the right sources)[*].
How Does Keto Work?
There are two main energy sources that your body can run on, glucose (from carbohydrates) or ketones (from fats).
The only way to use ketones as a fuel source is by restricting carbohydrates and increasing healthy fat intake. By doing so, you enter a fat burning mode also known as a state of ketosis. This is because glucose takes priority for energy if there are carbohydrates present in your body. When you remove carbs, you use fats -- both dietary and stored body fat -- for energy instead.
Ketones are molecules that can supply the brain and body. In fact, your body prefers this fuel source over glucose. Not only do you receive the benefits of weight loss by becoming a fat-burner, but you’ll begin to experience mental clarity and improved mood.
The ketogenic diet also decreases insulin levels. High insulin levels contribute to weight gain and certain metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Aren’t Fats Bad for Your Health?
There is a common misconception that eating fats make you fat and unhealthy. However, advice from nutritionists and researchers in the past failed to mention that there are good fats and bad fats.
Additionally, we were conditioned to think that saturated fats cause heart disease. Recent studies have debunked this and have demonstrated that saturated fats are actually healthy for you[*].
In fact, our bodies actually prefer to run on fats rather than carbohydrates. It’s been shown to improve your mitochondria, produces more energy, and supplies the brain with a more efficient energy source.
Good fats to consume on keto include saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as:
Conversely, unhealthy fats such as vegetable oils and certain polyunsaturated fats can increase the risk of heart disease, harm your gut health, and increase LDL “bad” cholesterol.
Avoid consuming unhealthy vegetable oils including:
Studies Prove that Keto is the Most Effective Weight Loss Diet
Scientific literature has proven that adopting a ketogenic lifestyle is the most effective weight loss diet.
One randomized control study looked into the effects of keto in conjunction to a Crossfit training routine to see determine its efficacy. The results found that the participants who followed a ketogenic diet experienced a significant decrease in body fat percentage, body weight, and overall fat mass compared to the group who consumed carbohydrates[*].
Following a low carb, high fat lifestyle helps you preserve muscle mass and improve various markers of metabolic disease such as inflammation, high blood pressure, and obesity[*][*][*][*].
5 Reasons Why Keto is the Best Diet for Weight Loss
There are various mechanisms that occur in the body when you enter a state of ketosis, all of which allow you to burn fat more efficiently and lose weight faster. Here’s why the keto diet is the most effective weight loss protocol:
#1) Appetite Suppression
Think back to a time where you tried to a diet that requires an extreme calorie restriction. Chances are, you felt very hungry and ended up binge eating soon after.
The ketogenic diet is proven to help you feel satiated because it positively alters your hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin[*].
#2) Higher Protein Intake
A standard ketogenic diet is higher in protein compared to the standard American diet. Against popular opinion in the keto community, higher protein intake is actually good for you and will help you lose weight.
There’s a common fallacy that eating too much protein on keto will knock them out of a fat burning state. Some people believe this is due to excess protein turning into sugar -- kicking them out of ketosis -- through a process called gluconeogenesis (GNG).
But the truth is, GNG is an important metabolic pathway of the body. There are some organ function that can only survive off glucose. GNG will not ruin your ketogenic diet goals.
Protein is known as the most filling macro out of the three (protein, carbohydrates, fats). Higher protein consumption will help you stay fuller for longer periods of time[*].
#3) Preserves Muscle Mass
Being in a state of ketosis prevents your body from breaking down muscle for energy. When compared to standard, carbohydrate-heavy diets, the ketogenic diet provides muscle sparing effects when calories are under maintenance[*].
#4) Improved Fat Burning Abilities
When you restrict carbohydrates and increase your fat intake, you’re priming your metabolism to rely on fats for energy. This means your body uses both dietary and stored body fat as a fuel source, which makes losing weight much easier.
#5) Keto Increases Your Energy Levels
Think back to the times where you ate a high carb meal. Sure you may have had energy for one or two hours, but it typically leads to extreme burnout and hunger shortly afterwards. This occurs because your spiking your body’s blood sugar which causes extreme tiredness.
Conversely, ketones provide more ATP (energy) molecules per calorie. So when you’ve become keto-adapted, you’ll begin to experience sustained energy levels throughout the day without any crashes.
The Ketogenic Diet Will Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals Faster Than Any Other Regimen Out There
The ketogenic diet is one of the most widely studied nutrition protocols for a reason, because it works and it’s our body’s preferred way of eating.
While other diets may help you lose weight, it usually comes with negative consequences. Calorie restriction diets can lead to excessive binge eating shortly afterwards whereas other diets don’t have tasty foods.
Thankfully, science is finally proving to us that a low carb, high fat lifestyle isn’t just the most effective weight loss regimen, but it’s also the best diet for overall health.
By Jessica L.
It won’t be long before the leaves begin to change color and pumpkin-everything takes over! With changing seasons, from warm to cool, comes a new set of produce you’ll see readily available in grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Late summer to early autumn brings us more flavorful above-ground vegetables, spicy peppers, and the arrival of some root vegetables.
Unfortunately, the keto diet excludes some of these iconic fall foods from our plates, but that’s okay! There are many ways to enjoy what this transitional season has to offer without ruining states of ketosis.
Listed below are three selections of seasonal produce: foods that are perfect for the keto diet, foods that are okay in moderation, and foods that should be avoided. If you’re not sure what to do with some of these ingredients, check out the Carb Manager Premium Recipes for suggestions, nutritional info, and delicious flavor combinations.
Here are a mix of late summer and early fall veggies that you can jive with! Once you’ve portioned your fat and protein you’ll eat in a meal, you can fill up any remaining hunger with the produce listed below. You’ll find a lot of Vitamin A, C, K, and Folate in this list. These are great vitamins and nutrients for fighting off the cold-weather flu!
Okay In Moderation
Listed below are vegetables, berries, and nuts that can be consumed in occasional, small portions. Nuts will be your healthiest option, since most nuts are still very nutrient-dense. This means you can get a full nutritional serving from consuming a small amount, such as B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Nuts also have varying degrees of healthy oils!
These are the foods that should be avoided at all times. They are high in carbohydrates, especially sugar. Unfortunately, you may have to skip out on the apple pie at Thanksgiving, but there are plenty of dessert alternatives that you can still enjoy on the Keto diet! Check out the Dessert section in the Carb Manager Premium Recipes for ideas.
Hopefully this handy guide can help you explore the possibilities of your keto diet and find creative ways to enjoy what late summer and early autumn have to offer. Sound off in the comments below, and let the Carb Manager community know what your favorite keto seasonal foods are!
As always, the Carb Manager team is available to answer questions or provide cooking tips. You are welcome to ask our team in the comments of specific recipes as well, and we will be happy to help!
by Priscilla Chamessian
When the weather gets warmer and Summer rolls around, you can bet that your local farmers market, grocery store, and vegetable garden will be filled with zucchini. Zucchini squash is a favorite in the Keto community as a low carb vegetable that is incredibly versatile. Roasted, steamed, and spiralized are just a few ways enjoy these tasty veggies! Aside from its chameleon abilities, zucchini is also very nutritious and a great addition to any Keto lifestyle.
One cup (124g) of chopped zucchini has 4 grams of carbohydrates and a little over 1 gram of dietary fiber. The unassuming and versatile vegetable is a great source of vitamin B6, which is helpful for healthy skin, digestion, sleep and more! Zucchini provides good sources of other B vitamins, like riboflavin and folate. In addition to B vitamins, a cup of zucchini provides 325mg of potassium, which is about the same amount of potassium as a small banana! This is extremely important as many well known sources of potassium are not Keto, and potassium is critical for heart function, electrolyte balance, and muscle function. Last but certainly not least, zucchini is a vitamin C powerhouse! One cup provides 35% of your daily need of vitamin C, assisting with immunity and more.
Now that we know zucchini is basically a Keto superfood, what are the best ways to enjoy zucchini in meals? We’ve compiled some of our favorite and most popular zucchini recipes below. When selecting zucchini for your meals, look for small to medium-sized squashes, about 4-8 inches in length. Small to moderate sized zucchini will have fewer seeds and typically be less watery. Look for zucchini that are firm and have no dents or soft spots, especially at the ends. If you have zucchini plants in your garden, be vigilant about checking each day for new squashes and picking them prior to getting too large. If you end up with a monster zucchini, no worries! These zucchinis taste best if you scrape out the seeds and cube up the remaining flesh to use in recipes.
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1. Low Carb Chicken Alfredo Zoodles
The Keto lifestyle may cut out pasta made from grains, but we promise you won’t miss pasta once you try making zucchini noodles, or “zoodles.” Zoodles are a cinch to make with any type of vegetable spiralizer! When paired with the homemade alfredo sauce, you get a rich and extremely Keto-friendly dish!
2. Keto Zucchini Rolls
In addition to your typical zucchini pasta, you can also slice zucchini into long thin strips to make lasagna or rollatini. These zucchini rolls are filled with a rich and flavorful tomato pork mixture and then baked. Top them with some mozzarella cheese and broil and you’ll forget about regular manicotti and lasagna.
3. Keto Zucchini Stuffed with Lamb
If you want to use zucchini in a more hearty way, you can core out small to medium-sized zucchinis and stuff them. This Middle Eastern-inspired dish pairs ground lamb with tomatoes, herbs and spices in a tender and delicious zucchini boat.
4. Zucchini Fritters
If you have a grater, you can make delicious snacks like these zucchini fritters! Combining zucchini with some cheese and almond flour ensure they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
5. Parmesan Zucchini Fries
Last but certainly not least, zucchini can be used in place of potatoes to make delicious zucchini fries! These fries are coated in a delicious parmesan mixture and baked for a crispy outside and tender inside.
By Jessica Lewandowski
If you have ever been around anyone on a diet before (which you have), you have probably heard the term “cheat day.” When you close your eyes, what do you imagine a cheat day to look like? For most of us, images of calorie-loaded foods like pizza, takeout, and sweets flash behind our eyelids. As appealing as those images are, you’ve probably questioned yourself if a cheat day is worth risking your ketogenic diet.
To put it quite simply: no matter what diet you take part in, “cheat days” are a flat out no-no. Don’t move on to a different article in disappointment just yet! There are plenty of ways to treat yourself while on a keto diet. Let’s go over a brief explanation of why cheat days don’t work on a keto diet and the other ways your can indulge.
Ketosis is Consistent
To put your body in a state of ketosis, you have to remove unhealthy carbohydrates from your diet. This way, instead of your body using sugar for energy, it will use the fats you consume. Instead of fat being stored in your body, that fat will power you through the day, resulting in weight loss. When you “cheat” on your diet, and eat foods with more carbohydrates than normal, you more or less sabotage all the work you’ve been putting into your keto diet. Your body will naturally choose the sugars you consume for energy first. Where does all the fat go then? It gets stored in all those areas you’re trying to lose weight in. This leads to bloating, sluggishness, and sometimes even headaches. So much for enjoying a cheat day, right?
Why We Cheat
The main reason so many people indulge on cheat days is because they are starving their bodies of certain foods they crave during most days of the week. While someone may look happy while biting down into something they shouldn’t on a Sunday, they’re doing more harm than good. Instead of using a cheat day to reward yourself, try reshaping your mindset. Don’t make yourself miserable by limiting the foods you like. This way, you aren’t battling cravings by the end of the week and you can focus on keeping your ketogenic diet consistent. Check out the CarbManager Recipes and Premium Recipes for a variety of ketogenic dessert options. Read on in the CarbManager Blog as well for tips on how to enjoy tasty treats like chocolate, baked goods, and fruit!
Eat to Your Heart’s Desire
You may be surprised at how innovative keto dieters can be! You don’t need a cheat day to enjoy ketogenic pizza, pasta, and burgers. Whatever your taste buds may be tempted towards, there is a keto substitution for it that won’t ruin all your hard work!
The key to avoiding cheat days is to make sure you’re satisfying what your body wants to eat while still following the guidelines of the ketogenic diet. Whether you are craving something sweet, salty, or in between, CarbManager can help you choose the right foods that will keep your happy and healthy.
Carb Manager is the easiest and most powerful way to count carbs and live the low carb life. In this blog, we've invited experts on LCHF to contribute their views on everything low carb.