Eating a healthy, balanced diet these days can be an almost impossible task. People are getting busier, trying to cram as much as they can into their day, and this can lead to sacrifices in certain areas of their lives. UNfirtunately, one of the easiest aspects of life to take for granted and overlook is the diet.

Often, we forget to eat entirely, and when we do manage to stop for a few precious moments to refuel, we tend to choose the quickest, most convenient items. These are usually the ones with little in the way of utrients. Eventually, most of us decide to try to break that cycle, but by then it’s almost too late.

It’s hard, I know. There are a lot of options out there, some good, most not so good. All it takes is one question. Where do I start? I’m going to suggest a style of eating that is one of the more popular options, mostly due to the fact that it doesn’t require eating fewer calories, but instead changing where thw bulk of those calories come from. That style of eating is known as a ketogenic diet.

The purpose of this article is to show how a ketogenic diet can help to achieve a healthy lifestyle. To begin, we need to look at a few things: 

  • What is “keto”? 
  • What is a keto eating plan? 
  • What are keto friendly foods?
  • What does a keto menu look like?

Like any lifestyle change, switching to a keto diet can be a challenge, especially for the first few days. However, if followed correctly, you can start to see and feel significant improvements in your body.

What is keto?

Better known as Ketosis, it occurs when the body doesn’t have enough glucose for energy, so it begins to break down fat stores instead. This leads to a build-up of acid called ketones. A beneficial side effect of this is that those whose bodies are in a state of ketosis tend to lose bodyweight and fat faster than with a more traditional diet, while not really sacrificing any meals or calories.

The goal of a keto diet is to promote this metabolic process through the consumption of fats as opposed to carbohydrates, which become sugar when digested.

What is a keto eating plan?

An optimal eating plan when on a keto diet consists of several small meals throughout the day that are high in fat and contain very few to no carbohydrates.  These meals should contain enough calories to keep from feeling hunger before the next meal. Up to seventy percent of these calories should come from fat, with the remaining thirty percent from a mix of protein and non-starchy vegetables. Eating up to six times per day is recommended in order to keep the body feeling satiated as well as reduce the desire to snack.

What are keto friendly foods? 

For a food to be recognized as being keto friendly, it only has to fit a few criteria. 

It needs to contain little to no carbohydrates or sugars, natural or otherwise. This means that baked goods are out. Also, most root vegetables, and pretty much all fruit can’t be consumed either, due to their high concentration of sugar.

Another factor is fat. Not all foods need to be high in fat, but any that fall close to the 70/30 ratio are going to be more beneficial in a ketogenic diet.

By default, processed foods should be avoided at all costs because even though they may claim to be healthy, they contain many ingredients, making it hard to properly monitor what you’re eating. Plus they tend to be too high in calories, even by keto standards.

Here’s a brief list of keto friendly foods:

  • Grass fed meats
  • Wild caught fish
  • Healthy fats such as coconut oil, butter, tallow, etc.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as Swiss chard or spinach
  • Cruciferous vegetables like kale
  • Avocado

What does a keto menu look like?

This is where you can really keep your diet plan interesting. A keto menu looks very similar to a normal menu; it just omits the starches. This forces you to get creative, finding tasty new alternative s to starchy side dishes.  For example, instead of rice or potatoes try:

  • Vegetable “pasta”
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Fried eggplant or other squashes

Hopefully this brief look at a keto diet helps prove that changing your lifestyle and eating healthier doesn’t have to be hard. Keto diets are some of the easiest plans to stick to, because they encourage eating most of the same delicious foods, just without the carbs and sugars, and that’s never a bad thing.