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Curious to know what is a ketogenic diet (in English, “keto diet” or “ketogenic diet”) and what are the opinions on it? Do you want to know the authorized foods of the ketogenic diet?

Contrary to what one might think, the meals of the ketogenic diet are far from depressing and tasteless!

The state of ketosis offers a number of benefits in terms of weight loss. But the ketogenic diet is also controversial and should be distinguished from a low-carbohydrate diet.

 

Here is what you will discover in this article:

  • What makes the ketogenic diet so unique
  • The best ketogenic diet recipes (especially for breakfast)
  • If the ketogenic diet is dangerous for health
  • Positive and negative opinions on the ketogenic diet
  • Permitted foods and prohibited foods from the ketogenic diet
  • And much more…

What is a ketogenic diet?

Have you ever heard of the ketogenic diet? Chances are yes. We sometimes use its English name “keto diet” (ketogenic diet), the expression “ketogenic diet” or even “keto diet”. But what is the ketogenic diet, exactly?

The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate diet, consisting primarily of foods high in fat. In other words: you eat a lot of fat and reduce your carbohydrate intake to the maximum.

The ketogenic diet (keto diet) is similar to low-carb diets (the Atkins diet, for example) in many ways.

However, there is a difference between a ketogenic diet and a low-carbohydrate diet:

The low-carb diet, as the name suggests, is mainly about avoiding carbohydrates.

The ketogenic diet recommends a diet rich in lipids to stimulate fat burning. You significantly reduce your carbohydrate intake and replace them with large amounts of fat.

After a few days, the elimination of carbohydrates (the body converts carbohydrates into glucose, the main source of energy in the body) puts the body in a metabolic state called ketosis.

What is ketosis?

Ketosis is the state in which the body begins to use fat as the main source of energy. The body then becomes very efficient at burning fat in order to draw energy from it. This process lowers your insulin levels and stimulates fat burning ( source , source ).

The brain favors glucose as a source of energy. But the glucose reserves being insufficient, the body is forced to look for another source of energy.

The breakdown of fatty acids leads to the production of ketones in the liver. Ketones provide energy to the brain, so it can continue to function ( source ) .

Why follow a ketogenic diet?

Low-carbohydrate and high-fat diets have long been the subject of controversy. This type of diet was thought to increase cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease due to the high fat intake.

Fortunately, times are changing, and today, high-fat (healthy) diets are no longer frowned upon. The ketogenic diet can help you lose much more weight than a fat-free diet ( source ).

The ketogenic diet also has less obvious benefits. Eliminating (simple) carbohydrates from your diet can reduce blood sugar spikes. As the ketogenic diet is mainly composed of lipids, it also provides great satiety.

The main components of our diet are the three macronutrients.

The number of calories per gram differs from one nutrient to another:

  • Proteins: ± 4 kcal per 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: ± 4 kcal per 1 g
  • Fat: ± 9 kcal per 1 g

A simple calculation could lead you to think that you should eat as little fat as possible to lose weight. After all, they are more caloric, right? This is where the error lies! We must also consider the effect of each type of calorie.

The main effects of different calories on the body in terms of weight loss are:

  • Insulin:  hormone which, produced in excess, causes fat storage
  • Satiety: the body activates the hormones of satiety and / or inhibits the hormones of hunger

Macronutrients Insulin Satiety

Here is what the diagram above illustrates:

  • Proteins:
    • Moderate insulin production
    • Maximum satiety 
  • Fat:
    • Minimum insulin production
    • Moderate satiety
  • Carbohydrates: (important!)
    • Maximum insulin production
    • Minimum satiety

You probably understand that ingesting too many calories in the form of carbohydrates is not wise. You then produce large amounts of insulin (fat storage hormone) without being satiated.

On the other hand, proteins and lipids provide much greater satiety ( source ), so that a ketogenic diet is easier to follow over time.

Ketogenic diet and treatment of epilepsy

The benefits of the ketogenic diet are not limited to weight loss.

The ketogenic diet is also extremely effective in helping children with epilepsy to control their seizures ( source ).

About 1 in 3 children with epilepsy react poorly to the currently available antiepileptic drugs. Over 70% of these children respond well to the ketogenic diet.

For this group of children, a few weeks of ketogenic diet are enough to see results. Epileptic seizures are considerably rarer or even disappear completely.

Why do a Keto diet (ketogenic diet)?

The balance between macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) has completely disappeared from our diet. The problem is that our carbohydrate consumption has literally exploded.

A 2000 survey suggests that carbohydrates make up around 55% of Western energy intake ( source ).

If we turn to the hunter-gatherers of prehistoric times, we see that carbohydrates have never exceeded 40% of their energy intake.

Take a look at the graphs below to compare the proportions of macronutrients from hunter-gatherers and western societies:

Modern primitive man feeding

In my opinion, the authorities and the food industry have turned our food upside down. The result: obesity and type 2 diabetes are wreaking havoc. Here is a graphic representation of this upheaval:

Primitive modern food

* Originally, our diet included (almost) no processed carbohydrates. These are therefore not shown in the graph.

Why does a ketogenic diet make you lose weight?

The daily consumption of large quantities of simple sugars leads to a decrease in insulin sensitivity.

Insulin plays a major role in the storage of fat. Since the body can only store a limited amount of glucose, excess leads to an increase in fat mass.

Excluding carbohydrates from your daily diet in favor of fat-rich foods will lower your insulin levels and improve your insulin sensitivity. Your body goes into ketosis and burns fat more efficiently.

Here are the top three reasons why the ketogenic diet causes weight loss:

  1. The ketogenic diet reduces insulin production and helps control blood sugar ( sourcesource ).
  2. Eating more protein and fat leads to faster and more long-lasting satiety ( source ).
  3. Satiety caused by a diet rich in proteins and lipids makes it possible to reduce the daily calorie intake, which, in the long term, leads to weight loss ( source ).
  4. The body starts to draw energy mainly from fat, which leads to the burning of more body fat.

Another benefit of the ketogenic diet is that ketosis inhibits the secretion of ghrelin.

Ghrelin is commonly known as the “hunger hormone” because it stimulates appetite. The rate of ghrelin increases as soon as you lose weight, the body is biologically programmed to survive.

It is for these reasons that the ketogenic diet promotes weight loss and that it allows you to lose weight faster than with a low-fat diet.

Is the ketogenic diet dangerous?

ketogenic diet

Many people panic when they learn that the keto diet is made up mostly of fat.

Isn’t eating so much fat terribly unhealthy? After all, we are what we eat, right?

The reality is a little more nuanced.

  • It is very important to consume good fats when following a ketogenic diet since lipids do not constitute less than 70% of the daily caloric intake.

Omega-3 fatty acids are the best fats for health, and I recommend that you give them pride of place. One way to eat these good fats is to eat lots of oily fish. For example, salmon, tuna, herring, etc.

The ideal ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids is 1: 1.

We already consume enough omega-6, found in particular in meat. However, this is not the case for omega-3s. This is why it is advisable to consume fatty foods rich in omega-3.

It is best to avoid saturated fat as much as possible. Saturated fats are found mainly in animal products such as whole dairy products and fatty meat.

Saturated fats are not as bad for health as we have long thought. The fact is that they are often found in processed products. More recent studies, starting in 2010, have revealed that there is no link between saturated fats like butter and the risk of cardiovascular disease or premature death ( source , source ).

  • However, you should avoid trans-fatty acids, industrial in origin, and very harmful to health. They increase the risk of insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes) and cardiovascular disease ( source ).

Does the ketogenic diet have any side effects?

Although the ketogenic diet is safe for healthy people, it can cause some unwanted side effects during the period of adaptation to the diet.

This period is called ketogenic flu. It spans a few days. Here are the possible side effects:

  • Lack of energy
  • Increased appetite
  • Sleeping troubles
  • Nausea
  • Digestive disorders
  • Reduced sports performance

To minimize the side effects of the early stages of the diet, it is advisable to start with a low-carbohydrate diet. This will help your body learn how to burn more fat until your carbohydrate intake reaches 20 to 40 g per day.

A ketogenic diet can also upset the water balance and the number of minerals in your body.

Try to ingest the following amounts of minerals daily to minimize side effects.

  • 3000-4000 mg sodium
  • 1000 mg potassium
  • 300 mg magnesium

Especially during the first days of the ketogenic diet, it is important that you eat until you are full.

Don’t pay too much attention to calories. In the long run, ketosis will make you lose weight without you having to worry about observing any calorie restriction.

The benefits of a keto diet (ketogenic diet)

  • Stabilizes blood sugar level ( source )
  • Increases insulin sensitivity ( source )
  • Suppresses appetite
  • Reduces triglyceride levels ( source )
  • Reduces fat storage and stimulates their combustion ( source )
  • Improves cognitive functions
  • Reduces seizures in children with epilepsy ( source )
  • Reduces the risk of cancer ( source )
  • Slows down the dementia process (Alzheimer’s disease) ( sourcesource )
  • Reduces chronic inflammation ( source )
The ketogenic diet is an effective diet for losing weight and boosting fat burning.

4 dangers of the ketogenic diet

The keto diet, like any other slimming diet, has certain disadvantages that you should know before you start.

Danger # 1: Fatigue

You may lack energy during the first few days of the ketogenic diet. You may feel tired and listless (what’s called the ketogenic flu ).

This is not surprising since the body must adapt to this diet composed almost exclusively of lipids and proteins. It can take up to 2 weeks for your body to be able to fully draw energy from fat.

Extremely low in carbohydrates, this diet is not suitable for athletes. People who play explosive sports such as weightlifters say they suffer from poor muscle recovery when they eat little carbohydrates ( source ). Some people say they live perfectly with very little glucose, but it’s mostly people with a sedentary lifestyle.

The brain always needs a minimum of glucose to function properly. Certainly, the body is able to make glucose from lipids and proteins through glucogenesis, but it is a heavy and energy-consuming process.

The Inuit (Greenland Eskimos) do this very well, but they do not have access to fruits and vegetables because of the freezing weather.

Danger # 2: Constipation

The keto diet can cause constipation. Not everyone suffers from it, but the risk does exist. Fortunately, this is often temporary and can be remedied with good hydration, magnesium supplements, and increased salt intake (1 to 3 g per day).

Danger n ° 3: Water loss

It is true that the ketogenic diet makes you lose a lot of weight because the body is forced to burn fat to produce energy.

But besides losing fat, water loss also plays an important role.

Carbohydrates retain water in the body. Eliminating carbohydrates from your diet will, therefore, result in fluid loss. It also means that as soon as you eat carbohydrate-rich meals again, water retention will resume.

Danger # 4: Vitamin and mineral deficiency

When you’re on a ketogenic diet, you’re confined to an extremely low-carb diet. Where the rub is often the elimination of fruit, which is one of the best sources of carbohydrates.

  • A medium-sized banana provides 33 g of carbohydrates. What quickly exceed 50 g of carbohydrates per day.

Avoiding fruits and vegetables can lead to a lack of essential nutrients you need to stay healthy.

Ketogenic diet (Keto diet), reviews

Opinions on the ketogenic diet are very divided. Many people recognize that they have lost weight quickly but that it is difficult to stay on the keto diet for long periods of time.

The positive ratings often concern the absence of hunger. In principle, you can eat the food you want, as long as it is low in carbohydrates and high in fat.

No need to count your daily calories when you are on a ketogenic diet. It is a very unique slimming diet.

In addition, you lose a lot of water during the first weeks (due to the abstinence of carbohydrates), which allows you to appear thinner quickly.

The negative opinions on the Keto Diet concern the fact that eating habits have to change radically.

People who go on the ketogenic diet often experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings for fiber and sugars. Fortunately, these side effects seem to go away in the long run.

We also note that this is a particularly difficult diet to maintain for athletes. It causes fatigue and a loss of muscle strength.

It is not the ideal diet if you lead an active lifestyle. It is difficult to combine it with an intensive sports practice, such as muculation, fitness or interval training. Training without carbohydrates makes the sessions much more trying.

Ketogenic diet + list of foods for a ketogenic diet

Dieting is much easier when you know what to eat. The ketogenic diet requires consuming no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. Here are some of the foods with the lowest carbs.

The advantage of the ketogenic diet is that you don’t have to confine yourself to sad meals. If you like fish and meat, this diet is for you!

Here is a list of authorized foods from the ketogenic diet:

  • Red meat (beef, horse, burgers, bacon, sausage)
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck)
  • Fish and seafood (herring, mackerel, salmon, mussels, shrimp, tuna, trout, anchovies)
  • Dairy products (butter, all types of cheese, crème fraîche (unsweetened)
  • Fats (fish oil, linseed oil, coconut oil)
  • Nuts (cashews, almonds, hazelnuts)
  • Vegetables (asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, olives)

How to start a ketogenic diet?

To help you start your ketogenic diet, nothing more simple, just follow the recommendations presented in this article. And to accompany you, even more, you will find below recipes so that you can create a free ‘keto diet’ program.

Ketogenic menu: 9 delicious keto recipes (ketogenic)

To help you get started on your ketogenic diet, I have prepared 3 breakfast recipes, 3 lunch recipes and 3 keto dinner recipes.

What give you an idea of ​​what a day of ketogenic meals looks like. Treat yourself!

3 ketogenic diet recipes for breakfast

Breakfast # 1: Avocado and Pepper Omelet

Breakfast 1 Avocado, salsa and pepper omelet

Ingredients:

  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ minced onion
  • 1 chopped bell pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of coconut oil

Preparation:

  • Heat 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and add the eggs.
  • Add the onions and chopped peppers.
  • Garnish your omelet with the avocado.

Breakfast nº2: Peanut butter yogurt and cocoa powder

Breakfast 2 Peanut butter yogurt and cocoa powder

Ingredients:

  • 250 g sugar-free yogurt
  • ½ tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 level teaspoon cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon stevia

Preparation

  • Mix the yogurt with the peanut butter, cocoa powder, and stevia.

Breakfast 3: Eggs with cheese, salami, and fresh spinach

breakfast 3 Eggs cheese, salami and fresh spinach

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated cheese
  • 3 slices of salami
  • Fresh spinach

Preparation

  • Heat 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and add the eggs.
  • Pepper and salt to taste.
  • Add the slices of salami and grated cheese to the pan.
  • Garnish with 150 g of fresh spinach.

3 ketogenic diet recipes for lunch

Lunch # 1: Hazelnuts, celery sticks, and cream cheese

cream cheese celery sticks

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • A handful of hazelnuts
  • 6 celery sticks
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese

Preparation

Dip the celery sticks in the cream cheese and the hazelnuts and enjoy!

Lunch # 2: Beef with vegetables

lunch 2 beef with vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 200 g beef cutlet
  • 250 g frozen vegetables
  • 2 teaspoons of coconut oil

Preparation:

  • Thaw the vegetables.
  • In a pan, heat 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and brown the beef cutlet.
  • Cook the vegetables according to your taste.

Lunch 3: Tuna with vegetables

Lunch 3 Tuna with vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 125 g canned tuna in oil
  • 200 g frozen vegetables
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Preparation

  • Thaw the vegetables.
  • Cook the vegetables according to your taste.
  • Remove the tuna from the box and place it on a plate.
  • Add 2 tablespoons mayonnaise to the tuna.
  • Add the vegetables and mix well.

3 ketogenic diet recipes for dinner

Dinner # 1: Chicken with pesto, vegetables, and fresh cheese

chicken-vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 300 g chicken
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • 1 tomato
  • A sachet of sautéed vegetable
  • A bowl of cream cheese

Preparation

  • Cook the chicken and cover with pesto on both sides.
  • Cook the vegetables.
  • Cut the chicken into pieces, add the vegetables and tomatoes and mix.
  • Add fresh cheese to your taste.

Dinner # 2: Mayonnaise Minced Steaks

burgers

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 ground beef steak
  • 40 ml mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preparation

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook the minced steaks.
  • Serve with mayonnaise.

Dinner # 3: Eggs with salmon and spinach

Salmon and spinach eggs

Ingredients:

  • 450 g frozen leeks with cream
  • 400 g pink salmon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of herbs of your choice
  • ½ red pepper

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees.
  • Mix all the ingredients.
  • Pour into muffin tins, almost to the edge.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes.

Lose your extra pounds and belly fat quickly with easy-to-make slimming recipes

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