Author: Michael P. Agee

‘I did a perfect day of keto exercise and diet. This is what happened’

For starters, I wasn’t left starving for a single second.

There’s a clear definition between people who love their food and those who LOVE their food. The first group like to obsess over how delicious their Buddha bowls and green smoothies are, and occasionally ‘treat’ themselves to a’naughty’ square of dark chocolate after dinner. And the latter group? Carb-lovers, the dessert-obsessed, snack-oramas, those who workout to eat – basically the peeps who have 365 ‘treat yo’self’ days of the year. AKA me.

Okay, I do have to admit that I’m a healthy weight and make sure I exercise every day (#F45cult), but aside from the fact that this carefree lifestyle isn’t really helping my non-existent abs, my mindless eating habits leave me feeling incredibly bloated more often than normal, which leads to discomfort and restless nights.

I wanted to see if a change in my diet would be the solution to solving these problems, and with the Ketogenic diet being the biggest buzzword this year, I simply thought ‘why not trial it out?’

For starters, a Journal of Endocrinology study found that a Ketogenic diet paired with HIIT positively affected body composition by increasing hepatic growth hormone, which can improve strength and youthfulness. Plus, there was no way I could ever do the daunting ‘F45 8 Week Challenge’, so I thought it would be a good compromise.

But there was one big problem. I’m Asian, and what do Asians love more than anything? Carbs. Rice, noodles, dumplings, you name it – I would die for them all. And sadly the Keto diet does not agree with this mentality.

In fact, most research around the high-fat low-carb diet has identified a carbohydrate intake between 25 and 50 grams per day; equivalent to two apples or a single cup of cooked brown rice. Ummm say what?

This dramatic decrease in carbs allows the body to draw from stored fat for energy, resulting in a metabolic state known as ketosis. With this comes a reduction in excess body fat, thus helping build lean muscle mass, enhanced energy and optimal mental clarity (hello Abby Abs).

After thoroughly researching about the world of Keto, I concluded that I’d trial the diet for one day to see if I was capable of surviving it.

Following a weekend of over-indulging on stir-fried noodles and dumplings, I was mentally prepped and extremely motivated to start the week off on a good note.

Image: Juna Xu

Image: Juna XuSource:BodyAndSoul

I woke up bright and early the next morning to do my regular sweat sesh at F45 Burwood. I always make sure I exercise first thing in the morning because not only do the endorphins give me an incredible amount of energy to last me until the end of the working day, but I was also concerned that I wouldn’t have the energy to last 10 minutes of a HIIT session if I left my workout to that evening after a day of dieting.

For breakfast I fueled myself with two slices of an egg and bacon frittata I prepped the night before, and a quarter of an avo as a side. Yep, bacon is keto friendly (high in fat and protein), hallelujah. The frittata was also packed with zucchini, mushroom and broccoli for my fibre and veggie intake.

Image: Juna Xu

Image: Juna XuSource:BodyAndSoul

By 10am I was ready for my morning snack – a Bare Blends Vanilla Bean WPI shake and one boiled egg.

For lunch I tucked into a mixed leaf salad with tomatoes, haloumi and chicken breast roasted in Table of Plenty’s Spicy Dukkah. Dressing was simply a light drizzle of EVOO and a pinch of pepper.

Image: Juna Xu

Image: Juna XuSource:BodyAndSoul

I always crave for something sweet after lunch and often find myself reaching for my favourite sweet and salty popcorn, or a piece of fruit and some chocolate. But instead I opted for a handful of tamari almonds and made myself a ginger tea, which is known to help curb sugar cravings.

Surprisingly, I made it to dinnertime without a complaint. I lightly pan-fried a fillet of salmon, and then popped it in the oven to crisp up the skin. This was served with steamed asparagus, smashed avo spiced with jalapeno, and drizzled with the juice of one lime.

Image: Juna Xu

Image: Juna XuSource:BodyAndSoul

For dessert I actually “treated” myself to some dark chocolate – and boy, it tasted good.

And just like that, my Keto day was over.

As a huge foodie, I had major concerns about saying goodbye to carbs for a day, but I can confirm that all those concerns were completely unnecessary.

For starters, there was not a moment where I was hangry. I felt extremely satisfied throughout the day, and in fact, it actually might be a good idea to stick to the Keto diet during ‘that time of the month.’

I was also more regular than normal….if you know what I mean. Okay, nuff said.

Although it does sound like I snacked a lot, it was nothing compared to what I would normally nibble on unconsciously. All my food was also portion controlled, which was never a big deal to me before, and it also forced me to make use of my Sunday evening and meal-prep. FYI you can still watch Bachelor in Paradise and meal-prep at the same time.

And finally, I had the most incredible sleep that night. My tummy wasn’t uncomfortably full and I hadn’t consumed enough sugar throughout the day to keep me up all night.

What I found most difficult was that I needed to cut out all starchy carbohydrates, sugar and gluten – a huge issue for someone who would be thrilled to receive a basket of fruit, chocolate and popcorn as a birthday present.

Would I maintain it long-term? Look, I ain’t a professional athlete, #fitspo blogger, nor do I want to lose weight, so that’s a definite no. But to my amazement, I would 100 per cent aim to do it two days every week. Why? I enjoyed focusing on my health and it allowed me to be mindful about what I was putting in my body. The reduction in bloating and improvement in my sleep work as a huge incentive, and just from one day after mindful eating, I’m now conscious about my horrible snacking habits.

And after all, life’s all about balance….and dumplings.

Before considering a diet make sure you consult a healthcare professional.

This is your 7-day ketogenic diet meal plan. Plus, how the keto diet is different from Atkins.

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Weight loss: Man reveals he lost six stone fast following THIS diet plan

WEIGHT loss: A man has shared his before and after transformation after he shed six stone in just eight months following one particular diet plan.

A man who lost six stone two pounds has shared his before and after transformation pictures and revealed how he did it.

Taking to Reddit, the man, known only as his username ‘bluestic’, said he was 19, 6 foot, and lost a total of 88lbs (six stone two pounds).

He titled the post: “A moderate gym routine and a keto diet goes a long way!

His post garnered lots of comments from people wondering how he achieved his goals.

One asked: “Would you please share what a day of eating looks like?”

He responded: “I eat my first meal around 12 and I tend to make eggs and bacon with cheese as my go to.

“For snacks I eat cheese sticks, pepperoni discs, or sardines mostly, when dinner comes around I like to look up low carb keto recipes.”

He did not share further details of his gym routine.

weight loss diet plan keto before after transformation

The keto diet is a low carb and high fat diet that is smilier to the Atkins diet – except there are no complicated phases to work through, making it a little easier to follow, especially for diet beginners.

The plan is said to cause fast weight loss while allowing dieters to remain satisfied, thanks to the large amount of fat included.

The diet sends the body into a state of ketosis, when the body burns fat for energy, instead of carbohydrates.

Over 20 scientific studies have shown this diet results in high levels of weight loss.

weight loss diet plan keto before after transformation

Others who have followed the plan have shared their weight loss transformations online.

One poster ‘LeftyKreh’ explained he was 19 stone before starting his weight loss journey. But just 11 months later, he was down to just over 13 stone.

Explaining he had “dieted before” but nothing worked, LeftyKreh went on to detail what spurred him to finally lose the weight.

As well as keto, he tried intermittent fasting as part of his push to lose weight.

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What is the keto diet — and is it right for you?

The eating philosophy is getting a lot of buzz, but it may not be right for everyone.

Image: Frying pan of spaghetti with zoodles, guacamole, tomatoes and shrimps

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that sends your body into a state of ketosis, during which it uses stored fat as energy.

While the buzz seems to be heating up around the ketogenic diet, the eating philosophy isn’t new. In fact, it’s been used as a treatment for epilepsy since the 1920s and came back into the spotlight in the ‘90s when Dateline ran a segment highlighting it as a treatment option. But how did it go from epilepsy treatment to weight-loss regimen? Well, for starters, more and more celebs — including Vanessa Hudgens and Halle Berry — have recently praised its weight-loss results publicly.

So what is the ketogenic diet? It’s a high-fat, low-carb diet that sends your body into a state of ketosis, during which it uses stored fat as energy. When you eat this way — typically we’re talking less than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day — “you’ll consume an enormous amount of fat,” says Shahzadi Devje, RD, CDE, a dietitian in Toronto, Canada. In fact, by following the keto diet, about 60 to 80 percent of your daily calories will come from fat. When you restrict carbs this way and eat more fat, your body takes about 24 to 48 hours to begin producing ketones, which are created when your body metabolizes fat for energy, says Pegah Jalali, MS, RD, a clinical coordinator at the New York University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, where she counsels patients on the ketogenic diet. Normally, your body would metabolize carbohydrates as a primary source of energy.

By following the keto diet, about 60 to 80 percent of your daily calories will come from fat.

When most people hear “diet” they think calories, but on the keto diet specific caloric intake isn’t the focus. “Mostly, I encourage my patients to eat according to their appetites,” says Jalali. “Your body can be in a ketogenic state at a range of calorie levels, and individual needs fluctuate day to day depending on activity and other factors.” But you won’t want to add a latte to your morning routine or even an extra piece of fruit to your afternoon snack, if those weren’t on your meal plan, says Jalali. “If you eat a lot more, then you risk coming out of ketosis — and if you do not eat enough fat, you also risk coming out of ketosis.” Bottom line: When you follow the keto diet, you must do so to a T for it to be effective. If you introduce cheat meals or cheat days, you’d be eating a high-fat diet and bringing your body out of that fat-burning ketosis state, which could have negative health consequences.

WHAT DOES A DAY ON THE DIET LOOK LIKE?

As an example of what a day in the life of the ketogenic diet may look like, here is a sample meal plan that Jalali shares with her patients.

BREAKFAST

  • 2 eggs, cooked in 1 tablespoon of butter or ghee
  • ½ cup cooked spinach, in 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup coffee, blended with 1 tablespoon butter and a dash of cinnamon

Mid-morning snack

  • 6 macadamia nuts
  • 6 raspberries

Lunch

  • Tuna salad (4-5 ounces canned light tuna, mixed with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, ¼ cup chopped celery, ¼ cup chopped green apple, and salt and black pepper to taste), served over 1 cup Romaine lettuce
  • Salad (½ cup steamed green beans and 8-10 olives), topped with a mixture of 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ lemon, juiced

Afternoon snack

  • ½ avocado, sprinkled with 1 tablespoon hemp seeds or 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast

Dinner

  • 8-12 ounces cooked steak, in 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup cauliflower, roasted in 1 tablespoon hazelnut oil

Dessert

  • 1 ounce 90 percent dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon crunchy salted almond butter, sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon

THE PROS OF THE KETO DIET

A main benefit of the diet, and why many of its followers praise the eating plan, is weight loss. Multiple studies show promising results: In a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, obese men dropped about 14 pounds after following the diet for a month. And in a longer-term study published in Clinical Cardiology, obese adults adhering to a ketogenic diet for about six months noticed significant weight loss — on average, 32 pounds — as well as reductions in total cholesterol and increases in beneficial HDL cholesterol. A review study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition also found that the weight loss seen within the first three to six months of following the keto diet was greater than the loss from following a regular balanced eating style.

Weight loss often occurs on the keto diet because your body is utilizing fat stores for energy — and you may also notice a decreased appetite that often results from the diet. “We don’t know exactly why ketones suppress appetite,” says Jalali. “But my theory is that ketosis is the state we are in during starvation and prolonged fasting, so it might be an evolutionary response to help humans cope.” Plus, your body digests fat a lot more slowly than carbs. “Fat has a longer intestinal transit time compared with carbs,” she says. “So it will prolong that feeling of fullness, especially in between meals.”

While some say following the diet claim it is limiting at food-related social occasions, Lara Clevenger, MSH, RDN, a dietitian in Edgewater, Florida, says you can easily plan ahead. “I currently follow a ketogenic diet, and eating out is a lot easier than people think,” she says. “You can ask for a burger minus the bun and fries, plus a side of veggies. Or order a chef salad and ask for olive oil as your dressing, minus the croutons. The options are plentiful!” Clevenger says she first started the keto diet for its anti-inflammatory benefits, due to a family history of obesity, hypertension, breast cancer, diabetes and dementia. “I will stay on a ketogenic diet for the foreseeable future,” she says. “I now have two to three times more energy, I no longer have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, I am better in tune with my hunger and satiety, and I am no longer addicted to sugar. The diet has had more of an impact than I could have imagined!”

In addition to weight loss, studies show that the ketogenic diet may also be helpful in treating many other conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), acne and more.

THE CONS OF THE KETO DIET

“As with any diet, there are always pros and cons,” says Devje. If you follow the ketogenic diet, you may notice side effects such as bad breath, headaches, nausea and fatigue. The negative symptoms some experience when first starting the diet is often referred to as the “keto flu.” This feeling of tiredness is due to a drop in blood sugar that can cause lethargy, which usually passes in 24 to 48 hours, notes Jalali. You might also feel bloated or constipated — and you may feel the need to urinate more frequently, since ketosis acts as a diuretic, says Jalali.

Because the ketogenic diet is limited in terms of food groups, you’ll be at risk for nutrient deficiencies. “The diet requires a robust supplement regimen, since you can develop certain deficiencies on a ketogenic diet that can inhibit your ability to stay in ketosis,” says Jalali. “You can also develop micronutrient deficiencies that can cause hair loss, and a lot of people become constipated on a ketogenic diet.” Jalali recommends discussing the diet with both a physician and a ketogenic dietitian to work to prevent these side effects.

And if you’re following the diet for weight loss, it’s important to know that you may gain weight back when and if you go back to your normal eating habits. “A ketogenic diet is fantastic for some people, but it’s not a lifelong diet for everyone,” says Jalali, who says she sees benefits for people with chronic conditions such as epilepsy, type 2 diabetes and PCOS — but sometimes negative effects for people who go on the diet for weight loss. “A lot of patients find that when they come off the diet, they regain weight very easily,” she says. “The theory is that by being on the ketogenic diet for a prolonged period of time, their bodies become very sensitive and efficient at metabolizing carbohydrates.” Jalali notes that these patients may be able to maintain the weight loss by sticking with a low-carbohydrate diet. While more research on weight-loss maintenance after following the keto diet is needed, research shows that cycles of brief ketogenic Mediterranean diet periods, separated by longer periods of the Mediterranean diet, over one year helped obese adults maintain weight loss.

There are some groups who shouldn’t take the keto diet for a test drive. It can be dangerous for people with type 1 diabetes, as it can increase the risk for life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Even people with type 2 diabetes following a ketogenic diet should regularly test their blood sugar and ketone levels to prevent DKA. If you have kidney disease, you’d want to skip this diet because you’d need to limit your protein intake. And if you have a history of disordered eating, the diet severely limits carbs and takes a lot of control to follow — which may increase the risk of bingeing or compulsive overeating. Consult with your doctor to determine if this is the right diet for you.

WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE?

If you’re planning to follow the keto diet, consider consulting with a registered dietitian to determine the most balanced diet possible, as well as any supplements you may need to take. “Without monitoring by a licensed healthcare professional, challenges like poor bone health, gastrointestinal reflux, and changes in cholesterol levels can go unchecked,” says Julie Stefanski, RD, a registered dietitian in York, Pennsylvania. Getting a balance of nutrients on the ketogenic diet can be challenging, which is “no surprise because you’re essentially cutting out healthy whole grains, fruits and some vegetables,” says Devje.

And daily carbohydrate allowances on the keto diet will vary from person to person. “Some adults will have to consume 15 grams of net carbohydrates to stay in ketosis, whereas some professional athletes may be able to consume more than 120 grams of net carbs and be in a ketogenic state,” says Jalali. “This is another reason why it is best to work with a professional to design the diet.”

Because the keto diet is high in fat, you’ll want to make sure to incorporate more healthy fats into your eating plan. These include omega-3s, such as those found in salmon and sardines, as well as monounsaturated fats present in avocado, walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds.

We don’t have a clear picture on the long-term benefits of the keto diet for weight loss. “Although there seems to be a short-term advantage of the ketogenic diet for weight loss, the advantage seems to shrink at the one-year mark,” says Devje. “The long-term safety of the ketogenic diet is yet to be determined.”

NEXT: Why losing weight too quickly may backfire in the long run

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What to Eat and What to Avoid When on a Keto Diet?

If you have started to follow the keto diet recently, or if you are planning to avail of this diet, it is essential that you have a thorough detail of this diet.

Most individuals have a misconception that a low-carb diet constitutes to a ketogenic meal diet. But, in reality, a low carb diet and a keto meal diet is not the same. So, before coming to the topic a hand, here are few facts about the ketogenic diet should know before picking this diet-

Ketogenic meal diet facts:

  1. Ketogenic meal diet is not a low carb diet. The main purpose of this diet is to alter the body metabolism to burn fat, instead of glucose.

Without the availability of glucose, ketones will be released which will help burn fat and create energy in the body.

  1. The keto diet was mostly used as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes and cancer. Due to the body not breaking down glucose, sugar production stops. Now, sugar is the catalyst which is responsible for the growth of cancer cells, and even Type 2 diabetes. This diet inhibits sugar production and instead burns fat.
  2. This diet if not appropriately followed can result in loss of muscle mass, apatite, and even bring about lethargy. So, before following this diet, know which food is essential for you and which isn’t. Consider looking into CBD oils as this has been proven to work great with a Keto Diet. Check out this Buyer’s Guide by HerbMighty for the best CBD oil.

Most importantly, consult a dietician and make a plan which won’t impact your health negatively. Moreover, this diet mainly runs on fat, approx. 70-80% of the meal consumed on this diet is fat.

  1. The ketogenic meal began back in the 1920’s, and to date, more and more people are following it. Moving on, here is all that you need to know about the ketogenic diet meal plans:

Best foods to add to your ketogenic meal plan!

 Healthy Fats-

Healthy fats include monounsaturated fats, saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega 3 fatty acids. Fat from MTC oil, palm fruit, coconut oil, ghee, butter avocado, all has healthy fats but 0 carbs.

Proteins to eat-

Animal protein is preferred as it contains very less amount of carbs. Protein from fish, grass-fed beef, chicken and seafood is recommended.

In fact, meat with high-fat content like grass-fed beef is a prime source of food for those on a ketogenic diet. The reason is high-fat meat contains more omega 3 fatty acid and has 0 carbohydrates per 5 ounces. Additionally, egg yolks, fish like tuna, salmon are all reliable source of proteins to include in your ketogenic meal chart.

Non-Starchy vegetables and fruits!

All leafy greens, beetroots, celery, cucumber, kale, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli etc., are a good source of fibre and contain fewer carbs.

Fruits which have high-fat content like avocado, water chestnuts etc. can be a good source of healthy fats.

Condiments to use-

You can use the following seasonings with your chosen ketogenic recipes. All herbs and spices like oregano, chilli flakes, pudina dust etc. can double up as your tastemaker. Hot sauce and apple cider vinegar and unsweetened mustard can also be used for adding a tangy zest to your regular meals.

Healthy ketogenic recipes you can use for cheat meals!

  • Avocado recipes like guacamole
  • Minced meat in lettuce wraps
  • Homemade veggie salads with spicy condiments
  • Hard-boiled eggs or beef or meat jerk sticks
  • Lemon, soy and pickles and sour cream

Breakfast or evening drinks:

As, part of your keto breakfast, you can make yourself a full-filling meal of unsweetened coffee, bone broth, vegetable broth with chicken, smoothies made of strawberry, avocado or kale and spinach.

Also, chocolate smoothies and milkshakes which come from animal fats can be used for breakfast too. Now, that you have a clear concept about the type of food to consume, let’s discuss what to avoid.

Avoid eating these foods on a ketosis diet!

  • Sugar or excess glucose and sugar-based products like candy, soft drinks, and sweets are a big no when it comes to ketogenic meal charts. Additionally, fruits and veggies which have a high content of fructose, maltose, lactose and dextrose shouldn’t be a part of ketogenic meal plans.
  • Grains like oats, quinoa, and cereals are not feasible on this diet. Additionally, one must not include any form of carbs like bread, roti, rice, crackers, waffles, pancakes or even tortilla in their keto diet.
  • Alcohol, soda, sweetened fruit juice etc. are also restricted form a ketogenic meal chart

However, this diet still allows some flexibility when it comes to few non-starchy vegetables, these are as follows-

You can eat in moderation, berries like blueberry, cherry, strawberry. Again few nuts are allowed like walnuts, cashews, chestnut, groundnuts, pistachio etc. Apart from these seeds, veggies and legumes like hummus, kidney beans, yams, carrots and chickpeas are allowed.

Nut butter, melted cheese or feta and mozzarella cheese, and protein milkshakes and cocoa smoothies can be consumed occasionally when cravings come.

Moving on here are 2 solved FAQ’s to help you understand the ketogenic meal plans better-

  1. How fast can you lose weight following a ketosis diet?

A ketogenic meal plan primarily focuses on producing ketones in the body. This happens when the body doesn’t have any carbohydrates present within it. Therefore, as the body releases ketones, the metabolism works with it to burn stored fat.

Hence, depending on your body’s BMR, height age, weight and diet, the body will break down fat accordingly. However, the usual time taken by a body to reach ketosis is 2-7 days, which can result in losing up to 10 pounds a month.

  1. Should you be counting calories?

When you are losing weight it’s vital to count calories. However, the ketosis diet does not use carbs so; make a diet chart that has a good amount of protein content to keep you fuller. Also, if you are exercising, make sure that you get the adequate number of calories, or you may lose out muscle mass.

In the end, you can use keto diet for weight loss! But, for it to work, keep your resolve stronger and follow the above-mentioned guidelines and trim that waistline in a jiffy.

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