The keto diet or sometimes referred to as the ketogenic diet includes high fat, moderate protein, and low carb. The idea is that the body will burn through fat instead of carbs in a process called ketosis.
(Check out more of our great insights on what to eat in our Ultimate Guide To Meal Planning Success with great tips to optimize your nutrition goals).
Though it’s sometimes dismissed as a fad diet, the keto diet has been used for decades and gained traction in the 1920s and 1930s to help treat seizure patients.
Originally, non-mainstream fasting was used as a complementary epileptic therapy.
But as new epileptic medications called anticonvulsants were developed fasting lost popularity, and was replaced by the keto diet.
Though its origins aren’t well known, keto has demonstrated promise in helping people who are trying to lose weight.
Keto for weight loss is relatively new in comparison.
While it’s not clear when it became used for weight loss, its rise came in the mid to late-1990s, where health trends at the time were dominated by low carb diets such as the Atkins diet.
Risks of a Keto Diet
Contraindications- Medications that lower blood glucose or lower blood pressure can respond poorly to a keto diet. This can result in ketoacidosis, hypoglycemia, hypotension, and worsening of insulin resistance.
Anyone with pre-existing conditions or on medication should talk to their physician before starting the keto diet or any nutrition program.
Keto Flu- A common experience when starting the keto diet that lasts a few weeks, but it should still be monitored. Your body is experiencing an imbalance in electrolytes and dehydration as it adjusts to the keto diet.
Headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea are common symptoms of the keto flu.
How to Keto Meal Plan
Meal planning is making sure that what you eat matches your health goals. Every diet and every body is different, which is why it’s important the foods you eat aren’t just healthy, they’re healthy for you. Here are some things to keep in mind when coming up with your keto meal plan ideas:
- Know your health goals. There are variations of the keto diet that exist for weight loss, a better workout, bodybuilders and athletes, and increasing protein intake. Just because something is labelled ‘keto’ doesn’t mean it will suit your particular needs.
- Calculate macronutrients. The standard keto diet for weight loss and overall improved health has a ratio of 70-80% high fat, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% low carbs. By using an online keto calculator you can find your ratio which looks at things such as your weight, age, and intended health goals.
- Customized meal plans. Doing all of that math on your own can become frustrating. Customized meal planners and keto meal plan generators can take the mystery out of keto meal plan ideas by generating foods and recipes based on the macronutrients calculation you’ve come up with.