Why You Should Follow a Ketogenic Diet Menu for Weight Loss
There are so many options for diets and weight loss plans that it is difficult to determine which one is best or will work for you. Many people try new diets with high hopes that they will finally see the results that they have been looking for. The truth of the matter is that if you follow a ketogenic diet menu for weight loss it will change the way that you feel and your body will respond by shedding excess fat. You can expect to see some amazing results when you follow this incredible plan carefully, and without cheating.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
The Ketogenic diet concept was initially developed to address epileptic seizures in children that were difficult to manage. The eating plan incorporates high-fat, an appropriate amount of protein and low carbohydrates. This way of eating causes the body to run on fat (and burn it) instead of carbohydrates as most people’s bodies traditionally do.
When carbohydrates are consumed they are converted by the human body into glucose which is released into the bloodstream and used as energy. This important source of energy is required for brain function and many other important body processes. When a person stops consuming so many carbohydrates and there is an adequate supply of fat available, the body enters what is known as ketosis. When the body is in ketosis, the liver works to convert fat into fatty acids and ketones which are then utilized as the primary source of energy for the body.
Once the body starts to convert fat and use it for fuel, your body will start to shrink and change and the fat will quite literally melt from your body. If you are you wondering what the health benefits are of following a ketogenic menu for weight loss, here are some important facts:
1. Low-Carb Diets Are an Effective Way to Reduce Appetite
When you are on a “diet”, hunger is one of the major issues that you will be faced with. This is the main factor that causes people to give up on a diet plan, mainly because they feel miserable and deprived. When carbohydrates are reduced it automatically reduces appetite and the increase of protein and fat leads to the consumption of fewer calories. The structure of the ketogenic diet menu for weight loss sets a person up for success instead of failure due to the fact that they feel more satiated and are more likely to stick to the plan.
2. Low-Carb Diets are Effective for Rapid Weight Loss
People who follow a low-carb diet tend to lose a lot more weight, more quickly than those who follow a low-fat diet. This is true even when the low-fat dieters are eating fewer calories. One of the main reasons is that low-carb diets eliminate water from the body due to the lowering of insulin levels. When insulin levels are lowered, the kidneys shed excess sodium which causes quick weight loss in the first few weeks. The only reason that these types of diets fail is because a person returns to their old eating habits after they have successfully lost the excess weight. It is important to adopt this style of eating as part of a lifestyle, not a temporary measure, which will guarantee long term success.
3. Triglycerides Are Significantly Reduced with Low Carb Diets
Triglycerides are fat molecules and they are found in your blood. If you have a large concentration of these in your blood after overnight fasting (sleep), you are at an elevated risk for heart disease. One of the main factors behind high levels of triglycerides is the consumption of carbohydrates, and in particular, simple sugars such as fructose. By cutting out carbs, people can significantly reduce the triglycerides in their blood whereas low-fat diets can increase triglycerides.
4. More Fat Loss Occurs Within the Abdominal Area
Body fat is not the same all over the body. The area where the fat is stored is what determines one’s risk of disease and causes serious health threats. Fat under the skin is called subcutaneous fat and fat located in the abdominal cavity is called visceral fat. Visceral fat is what accumulates around organs and can cause a lot of health issues including insulin resistance (onset of type 2 diabetes), inflammation and metabolic disturbances such as hypothyroidism. Low carb diets address abdominal fat and reduce it effectively which can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Who is a Ketogenic Diet For?
A ketogenic diet is suitable for anyone of any age who needs to lose fat. It does not matter if you have tried every diet possible, and have regained all of the weight that you lost in the past. This type of diet will help you to achieve your goals if you are willing to follow the plan. It is difficult to stay on a diet plan, and that is why it is important to find one that keeps you feeling full and satisfied so that you are less likely to cheat and give up completely.
For most people, it is important to see results quickly and this is one diet that is going to deliver those results. It is important to look at the plan as a lifestyle change and not a temporary fix or “diet”. Following the 80/20 rule can help out once you reach your goal because it will allow you some “cheat” days or meals so that you can still enjoy the carbohydrates that you no longer eat but in moderation. Carbohydrates that were previously eliminated can also be added back into your diet plan once you have hit your goal weight.
Recommended Foods and Foods to Avoid on a Ketogenic Diet
The Ketogenic diet menu for weight loss includes many foods that you already eat and excludes some foods that you may love. Once you know which foods you can eat and which ones you should avoid, it can be simple to follow the plan and finally get the results that you are looking for.
1. Recommended Foods
- Full-Fat Dairy
- Nuts and Seed
Eat saturated fats including grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, duck fat, lard, and tallow. These are all essential in supporting bone density and a healthy immune system.
Monounsaturated fats which include nut oils, avocados, and olives which boost immunity and support vision. MCTs (Medium-chain triglycerides) including milk, coconut oil, and palm kernel oil. Polyunsaturated omega-3s which include sardines and wild salmon that are effective in preventing heart disease and reducing blood pressure.
Enjoy grass-fed and pasture raised animals including heart, liver and tongue, wild-caught seafood (high in Omega-3 acids), organic free-range eggs (high in Vitamin A and E).
Leafy dark greens including lettuce, spinach, kale and Swiss chard. Celery, asparagus, zucchini, squash, cucumber, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, onion, radishes, garlic, nori, and kombu.
Cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, goat cheese and other cheeses.
Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans, almonds and macadamia nuts.
Berries, avocados, and tomatoes
2. Foods to Avoid
- Refined Oils and Fats
- High-Carb Vegetables
Including soybean, grapeseed, corn oils, canola and sunflower oils which are all processed at high temperatures and create cell-damaging free radicals. Trans-fats such as margarine can significantly increase the risk of strokes.
Factory Farmed Seafood and Animals: These protein sources tend to have a lower amount of nutrients and are even harmful to the environment because of the processing that is required to bring them to market. Processed meats including sausage and hot dogs contain nitrates that can cause cancer.
Milk should be avoided because it contains lactose which is a form of sugar and this makes if high in carbohydrates. When milk is processed to make cheese and other types of products the sugar is consumed by bacteria and transformed into lactic acid which reduces the carb content. Low-fat dairy should be avoided due to the fact that it has been overly processed and sugar is routinely added to compensate for the loss of texture and flavor.
Avoid packaged shredded cheese because it contains potato starch to prevent it from sticking together.
These vegetables contain a high amount of starch and they include peas, parsnips, beans, corn, potatoes, yams and legumes. Most vegetables that grow in the ground should be avoided.
Chestnuts, pistachios, and cashews are all high carb nuts and should not be included on a ketogenic diet menu for weight loss.
Avoid all fruits (except the ones listed above) because they contain high amounts of sugar and carbs.
3 Day Menu Plan
Here is a ketogenic diet menu for weight loss for the first three days of your journey to better health. Try the meal plans and see how you feel after you eat. Are you satisfied? Feeling full? More energetic? The way that you feel when you eat a ketogenic diet may surprise you.
Chocolate Protein Shake
12 ounces of almond milk (unsweetened)
1 ounce of heavy table cream
½ cup of strawberries (frozen)
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
1 TBSP of cocoa powder
1 TBSP hydrolyzed gelatin powder
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until there are no lumps.
Low Carb Pizza
1 head of organic cauliflower, chopped into small chunks
1 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP butter
1.5 oz chopped white onion
¼ C water
2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp fennel seed
¼ cup parmesan cheese (grated)
1 – 14 oz can or jar of pizza sauce (choose a low carb variety)
1 pound Italian sausage with a carb count of less than 1 per oz
2 cups of shredded cheese ( blend of Romano, Parmesan, mozzarella, provolone, and asiago )
1. Preheat oven (450F). Grease an oven safe tray 17 x 11 with olive oil.
2. Use a large skillet with a lid to melt the butter, and then add the onion and cauliflower and sauté until cauliflower is mostly done.
3. Add water, cover, and steam until cauliflower is totally soft. Remove from stove top, add to a bowl to cool and set aside.
4. Add sausage to skillet and cook completely. Break into small pieces and remove to drain on a paper towel while cooling.
5. Now that the cauliflower is cooled off, measure 3 cups into a food processor and process to smooth mixtures. Add to a mixing bowl then add the eggs, mozzarella, spices and parmesan. Mix completely.
6. Use a spatula to spread the cauliflower into your prepared pan. Spread it so that the thickness has an even consistency. Bake at 450F for 20 min or until the edges are brown.
7. Chop up the sausage.
8. Pour the pizza sauce into the saucepan and add the chopped sausage. Cover the mixture and simmer it over low to med heat.
9. When the crust is done, remove it from the oven and turn the oven to broil. The oven shelf should be 4 inches from the broiler element.
10. Pour sauce/sausage mixture onto crust and spread around.
11. Cover the crust with the cheese blend and then place the pizza into the oven, broiling it until the cheese melts, and bubbles.
12. Cut into 12 slices, serve and enjoy.
2 minced garlic cloves
6 TBSP light olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP chopped parsley (fresh)
2 salmon fillets
1. Prepare the marinade by combining garlic, olive oil, spices, lemon juice, and parsley. Place the salmon fillets in the marinade and mix to cover. Refrigerate for one hour and turn the fillets every 20 min.
2. Place the salmon into a 375-degree oven, cover with marinade and foil. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes until the salmon flakes apart when poked with a fork.
One Pan Bacon and Eggs
8 slices of thick bacon
1 TBSP butter
1 peeled carrot, shred into thin strips
½ c celery (chop finely)
½ white onion (chop finely)
½ c broccoli (chop finely)
4 organic eggs
½ cup shredded cheese (your favorite cheese)
1. Chop the bacon into small pieces.
2. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add bacon and vegetables. Stir often and sauté for 20 min. Until bacon is crispy and vegetables caramelize.
3. Divide the mixture evenly and make a space in each ¼ section.
4. Add an egg to each space and continue cooking until the eggs are nearly cooked. Add cheese and cook until the cheese is melted.
Chicken, Tomato, and Bacon Salad
Cook the chicken and bacon and mix the dressing a day ahead for the tastiest salad.
1 large chicken breast (uncooked)
2 tsp steak seasoning
2 TBSP butter
5 slices bacon
Small tomato cut up into chunks
2 ounces shredded cheese
1. Sauté the chicken in butter over medium heat until completely cooked and set aside for cooling.
2. Cut bacon into small chunks and sauté over medium heat until completely crispy. Drain grease and let bacon sit on a paper towel until cooled off.
3. Create the dressing: 2 TBSP butter, 1 raw egg yolk, 2 oz mayonnaise, 2 tsp lemon juice, ½ tsp salt. Add butter to small saucepan and melt over low heat. Remove from heat, allow to cool and add egg yolk, whisking until smooth. Add in mayonnaise, salt, lemon juice and whisk.
4. Combine prepared ingredients with dressing.
Beef Shish Kabobs
1 ½ lbs steak – cut into chunks
1 bell pepper – chopped (large pieces)
1 red onion - chopped (large pieces)
1 zucchini – sliced
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried thyme
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Skewers (metal or wood)
1. Preheat grill to medium-high
2. Combine olive oil, mustard, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper
3. Add beef to marinade and stir until coated
4. Thread skewers by alternating meat and veggies
5. Season with salt and pepper
6. Grill on preheated grill, often turn until browned – about 15 min.
Stuffed Breakfast Peppers
4 bell peppers, halved and cored with seeds removed
8 beaten eggs
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1 diced onion
3 C baby spinach
1 diced tomato
½ tsp garlic powder
Precooked meat – bacon, ham or sausage
1 TBSP coconut oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Melt coconut oil in skillet and place over medium heat
3. Sauté onion (4 min) and add mushrooms and tomatoes, cook a further 2 min
4. Add spinach and cook about 1 min.
5. Season with spices
6. Divide vegetable mixture among bell peppers halves
7. Top each bell pepper with beaten eggs and add meat
8. Place peppers into the oven and bake 40 min.
4 tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
1 cucumber, chopped into large chunks;
1 bell pepper, chopped into large chunks;
1 small red onion, sliced thinly;
¾ cup Kalamata olives;
¼ c olive oil
2 TBSP vinegar (red wine)
1 TBSP lemon juice (fresh)
½ tsp oregano (dried)
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and stir until combined
2. Combine salad ingredients and drizzle dressing over the top, tossing gently
3. Serve salad topped with olives. Top with cooked chicken breast if a protein is desired.
Bacon Wrapped Pork Medallions
2 pounds pork tenderloin
8 – 10 bacon slices
Homemade BBQ sauce *
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
* Homemade BBQ sauce:
½ C apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP water
2 TBSP coconut amino
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp mustard powder
¼ tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1. Preheat grill to med-high
2. Wrap bacon around port tenderloin forming a shell and secure in place with a toothpick
3. Slice the tenderloin between every bacon strip to create many medallions wrapped in bacon
4. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper
5. Grill for 5 – 8 min per side
6. Brush with BBQ sauce and cook a further minute per side.
Following a ketogenic diet menu for weight loss does not mean having to give up on taste. The recipes included here should be enough to show that it is possible to eat well and not sacrifice taste while still losing weight. Did you enjoy this article and did it teach you something important? I wrote this to share because I feel that it is important to let people know that they do not have to eat celery sticks and Melba toast to lose weight.
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