Everything About The Ketogenic Diet & 3-DAY Plan To Get You Started
Even before I started 8wonder.xyz, I had been dealing with the ketogenic diet for many years. My thesis was also about it. The ketogenic diet is perfect. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation circulating on the internet in particular.
That is why I have summarized the most important basics about the ketogenic diet for you here.
You will find answers to all those questions:
- What is the ketogenic diet?
- What is ketosis?
- What are ketone bodies?
- Is Ketosis a Diet?
- What are the benefits of the ketogenic diet?
- How many carbohydrates can I eat with “Keto”?
- How much protein can I eat with “Keto”?
- How much fat should I eat with “Keto”?
- Which foods can I eat with “Keto”?
- 3 Day Plan For Fast Ketosis
- How can I measure ketosis?
- Is Ketosis Ketoacidosis?
- Where can I find a nutrition plan for the ketogenic diet?
- Where can I find recipes for the ketogenic diet?
- Experience with the ketogenic diet
WHAT IS THE KETOGENIC DIET?
A ketogenic diet is a special form of a reduced-carbohydrate (low-carb) diet. This form of nutrition is defined by the fact that special molecules are created in the body: the ketone bodies.
Definition of a ketogenic diet: A ketogenic diet is defined as ketone bodies formed through this diet. It is “ketogenic” – “keto N-body gen erierend.”
Crucial criteria for a ketogenic diet:
- Very low carbohydrate diet
- Insulin release minimal
- Fat burning greatly increased
- Liver produces ketone bodies from fatty acids
WHAT IS KETOSIS?
Ketosis is the metabolic state in which there is an increased amount of ketone bodies in the blood.
Definition of ketosis: A metabolic state in which the ketone bodies’ concentration in the blood is higher than normal.
This ketone concentration in the blood is known as ketosis:
- <0.2 mmol / l no ketosis (= normal value)
- 0.2-0.5 mmol / l of light ketosis
- 0.5-3.0 mmol / l ketosis (achievable through a ketogenic diet)
- 3.0-6.0 mmol / l ketosis (achievable through a strict ketogenic diet, fasting, or the addition of MCT oil)
You can read in-depth about the definition of ketone bodies in this article.
WHAT ARE KETONE BODIES?
Ketone bodies are special molecules. They arise in the liver from fatty acids and serve as energy carriers. The brain, muscles, and other tissues can break down the ketone bodies and generate energy from them.
The three ketone bodies are:
The ketone body acetone is exhaled through the breath. The other two ketone bodies serve as an energy source and can be converted into one another.
Ketone bodies are water-soluble and can therefore be transported particularly well through the blood. They can cross the blood-brain barrier via special transporter channels and are thus absorbed into the brain, where they supply energy.
In this video, you can learn about how modern science finally discovered a diet that can strip off body fat like clockwork, while still allowing you to eat tasty meals like ribeye steak with roasted garlic and butter! 😉
IS KETOSIS A DIET?
“Ketosis” in itself is not a diet. It is “just” a metabolic state in which more ketone bodies are in the blood than normal. The “ketogenic diet” or “ketogenic diet” is, of course, a diet. The word “diet” means nothing else than “diet.” Diet is not always a weight loss regimen.
There may also be medical diets. For example, the ketogenic diet is used to treat childhood epilepsy. The ketogenic diet was developed for exactly this purpose over 100 years ago.
Even if the word “diet” doesn’t always mean “weight loss regimen,”: One advantage of the ketogenic diet is that it is very easy to lose weight.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE KETOGENIC DIET?
The ketogenic diet has numerous benefits. By avoiding many carbohydrates, the metabolism is changed. The body learns to use fat and ketone bodies as sources of energy instead of carbohydrates and sugar.
Insulin levels are very low, which is why fat cells release fatty acids very readily. These fatty acids can then be burned directly by the muscles or converted into ketone bodies in the liver.
Benefits of the ketogenic diet:
- Slight blood sugar fluctuations
- Consistently low insulin levels
- High fat burning
- Improved fat metabolism
- Improved endurance performance
- Ketone bodies as an energy source for the brain
- Less cravings
- Increased feeling of satiety
- Less concentration fluctuations
These are just a few of the benefits of the ketogenic diet. It supports a decrease but also increased well-being via various mechanisms. The ketogenic diet can be anti-inflammatory, which can help improve a puffy face and blemishes.
Ketone bodies can have a neuroprotective effect in the brain – i.e., protect nerve cells – and thus positively affect the course of individual diseases.
We’ll go into more detail about the mechanisms behind these benefits in individual articles.
HOW MANY CARBOHYDRATES CAN I EAT WITH “KETO”?
The amount of carbohydrates that are allowed in a ketogenic diet is individual. Even if it is often claimed, the amount of carbohydrates does not define a ketogenic diet. One often reads, “Keto, that is less than 20 g of carbohydrates” or “Keto, that is less than 5% carbohydrates”.
While it is true that you have to lower your carbohydrate intake, that alone is not the definition of the ketogenic diet but a means to an end. It’s a rough rule of thumb that can be very helpful in everyday life, but it is not set in stone.
A diet can also be ketogenic with 30 g of carbohydrates or 50 g of carbohydrates – as long as it individually stimulates the production of ketone bodies for you.
A good start is to limit the amount of carbohydrates to 30 g per day and split this 30 grams over 3 meals. For example, 6 g in the morning, 12 g at noon, and 12 g in the evening.
HOW MUCH PROTEIN CAN I EAT WITH “KETO”?
A ketogenic diet is definitely not a high protein diet. A ketogenic diet cannot be compared to a low carb, high protein diet.
During digestion, protein is broken down into its individual components – the amino acids. These amino acids are then incorporated into the body’s own structures, for example, into the muscles. If more amino acids are absorbed than the body needs, they are metabolized and “burned” into energy.
To do this, amino acids are first converted into glucose – sugar! In this way, excess protein also increases blood sugar and insulin levels and prevents ketosis.
15-20% protein in your diet is a good guideline – depending on how sporty you are, how high your overall energy requirement is, and whether you want to lose weight.
You shouldn’t go below 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) eat a 300 g turkey steak with every meal like a bodybuilder.
HOW MUCH FAT SHOULD I EAT WITH “KETO”?
Fat is your main source of energy in a ketogenic diet. It is often claimed that more fat leads to more ketosis and higher fat burning and that the more fat in your diet you lose weight even better. Not quite.
Ketosis arises from the fact that you only consume a small amount of carbohydrates and moderate protein. The body can either absorb the fat through food or remove it from your fat cells.
“So I can just do without fat altogether and only consume the necessary amount of carbohydrates and protein and lose weight EVEN faster?” No, it’s not that simple.
Let’s say you eat 30 g of carbohydrates per day, and let’s say you have a total energy requirement of 2000 kcal. If you now eat 15% protein, that’s 75 g per day. 30 g of carbohydrates and 75 g of protein add up to 420 kcal. Really little.
To avoid slipping into a harmful calorie deficit, you need to consume high-quality fats with every meal – more than you may be used to. To get to 2000 kcal, you would have to consume 1580 kcal in the form of fat, i.e., 175 g per day.
Fat is an important basis for your hormone production and essential for the brain to notice that you are well supplied with energy. If you were to eat 1200, 1000, or fewer calories per day, this would signal your brain that there was a famine, and it would reduce your metabolism. Even though you eat less, you lose weight worse.
Especially at the beginning of the change, the release of fatty acids from the body’s own fat reserves is very slow. Free fatty acids are necessary to build up stable ketosis because fatty acids are the starting material for ketone bodies. That is why your ketosis benefits, especially at the beginning, from the fatty acids that you take in from outside with food.
These are also partially converted into ketone bodies in the liver, and your body can train the production and processing of ketone bodies before your own fat burning is fully started.
WHICH FOODS CAN I EAT WITH “KETO”?
In a healthy ketogenic diet, vegetables should play a major role. In particular, green vegetables are so low in carbohydrates that you can eat large amounts here without affecting your ketosis.
You should avoid root vegetables in a ketogenic diet because of their high carbohydrate content. Red and yellow vegetables like peppers and carrots should be consumed in moderation. In addition to vegetables, of course, you need a certain amount of protein. This promotes satiety and is crucial for maintaining the muscles.
High-quality protein from animal sources is ideal – eggs, fish, meat. For stable ketosis, it is helpful to avoid dairy products at the beginning, as these cause higher insulin release than fish or meat. When it comes to fish or meat, go for fatty varieties because the fat will be your main source of energy.
High-quality fatty acids from coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, butter (lard) – from pasture milk or nuts (especially macadamias) are ideal.
As a vegetarian, you should pay particular attention to the quality of dairy products. Goat milk products are often better tolerated than cow milk products. Always reach for the full-fat varieties and pay attention to the amount of carbohydrates. Pure milk or light yogurt contain relatively high amounts of carbohydrates – so you can quickly reach 30 g per day.
Therefore, it is advisable to forego it directly and prefer to consume the permitted carbohydrates in the form of vegetables.
As a vegan, you should use high-quality protein powders without additives. For example, almond protein, pumpkin seed protein, or hemp protein are suitable. Even if we generally advise against soy products, fermented soy products are a way of getting enough protein as a vegan.
Fermented soy products (e.g., tempeh or natto) do not have the same negative properties as unfermented soy products (tofu, tofu wiener…).
You should see fruit as nature’s sweet treat and only consume it in moderation. All types of berries fit best in a ketogenic diet.
Not suitable for a ketogenic diet:
- Cereals (pasta, oatmeal, pizza, bread…)
- Sugary drinks
- Juices and spritzers
3 DAY PLAN FOR FAST KETOSIS
For a super quick entry into ketosis, you can stick to this plan:
Day 1: Empty your carbohydrate stores
- Radically cut carbohydrate sources (fruit, pasta, juices…)
- On the plate: 2/3 green vegetables, 1/3 high-quality protein source, 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
- In the evening: 60 minutes of strength training until exhaustion
Day 2: build ketone bodies
- Morning: 60 minutes of endurance training, moderate
- Breakfast: 3 eggs, 20 g pasture butter, 200 g cucumber, 1 tbsp MCT oil
- Lunch/dinner: 2/3 green vegetables, 1/3 high-quality protein source, 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
Day 3: Increase ketosis
- In the morning: butter coffee with 20 g pasture butter, 1 tablespoon MCT oil
- 4-5 hours break between meals
- Lunch/dinner: 2/3 green vegetables, 1/3 high-quality protein source, 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
HOW CAN I MEASURE KETOSIS?
First, it is advisable to measure your ketosis to get a good sense of what ketosis feels like. If you have already been in ketosis for a few months, you will notice when you are “in” even without measurement.
There are 3 methods for classic measurement:
- Measurement of ketone bodies in the urine
- Measurement of ketone bodies in the blood
- Measurement of ketone bodies in the breath
The measurement in urine is the cheapest because the test strips are not very expensive in the pharmacy. However, only those ketone bodies that the body has excreted are detected in the urine. The better the body can use ketone bodies for energy; the fewer ketone bodies are excreted in the urine.
As the keto-adaptation increases, the concentration in the urine decreases.
The blood concentration measurement is more reliable and always gives an exact picture of how high the ketone body concentration actually is. So I recommend a blood ketone meter that works like a blood glucose meter. There are combination devices for blood sugar and blood ketone concentrations with special test strips for ketosis measurement.
Advanced users and those interested in a long-term, regular measurement of ketosis can use a breath ketone meter: A device that measures acetone concentration in the breath and can thus draw conclusions about the blood ketone body concentration. Because of the high initial cost, it is definitely a device for advanced use.
Tip: If you use Ketostix, you can cut the test strips in half lengthways and take twice as many measurements for the same money.
IS KETOSIS KETOACIDOSIS?
When studying medicine or nutritional science, ketosis is only mentioned in passing. Most people only discuss ketoacidosis. As a result, many experts equate both. Healthy (physiological) ketosis is by no means the same as ketoacidosis.
In healthy people with a functioning pancreas and normal insulin secretion, ketone bodies always attract a little insulin. Higher insulin levels result in ketone bodies being excreted in the urine. In this way, the insulin keeps the ketone body concentration within a healthy range.
Only when this natural regulatory mechanism no longer works can the values rise sharply. This risk exists with type I diabetes and alcoholism – and not just with a ketogenic diet.
Type I diabetics must always pay attention to the correct ratio of sugar or carbohydrate consumption and insulin administration in order to avoid harmful hypoglycemia and the development of ketoacidosis.
If you have your values and the insulin dose under control, you can also follow a ketogenic diet as a type I diabetic.
Ketoacidosis is present at this concentration of ketone bodies in the blood:
15-25 mmol / l ketoacidosis (not possible in healthy people, only in type I diabetes and alcoholism)
WHERE CAN I FIND A NUTRITION PLAN FOR THE KETOGENIC DIET?
8Wonder founder Rachel has been dealing with ketogenic nutrition for 8 years and has been offering nutrition programs since 2015 that are tailored to personal needs. A team of nutritionists now supports all participants.
WHERE CAN I FIND RECIPES FOR THE KETOGENIC DIET?
On 8wonder.xyz, you will find numerous tasty ideas in the Keto recipes category. Over time, you will learn very easily how to transform your favorite dishes with ease. It is often sufficient to replace the carbohydrate side dish with vegetables.
How about, for example, vegetable pasta or lasagna with zucchini platters? Burgers also work wonderfully without buns. You can even recreate sweet sins with keto-compatible ingredients.
You can find even more ideas in the book “KETO DIET PLAN.” Watch the presentation video and download the FREE keto recipes book here. It contains “tons” of low carb recipes, 1/3 of which is suitable for a strict ketogenic diet with a maximum of 30 g of carbohydrates per day.
EXPERIENCE WITH THE KETOGENIC DIET
Have you already tried the ketogenic diet and have been in ketosis for some time? We look forward to your experiences. Subscribe to our newsletter.