Originally designed to treat medication-resistant epilepsy in children, the ketogenic diet has become popular in recent years due to evidence that it can help with weight loss. Whatever the reason you are looking into a keto diet for beginners, we strongly recommend you consult a medical professional before embarking on any large-scale dietary changes.
There are a few things to consider when working out if the keto diet is right for you. You might want to look at specific types of keto, as the percentage of carbohydrates you are allowed to consume in comparison to other macronutrients can differ. You can try a vegan keto if you’re not a fan of animal-based foods. It’s also worth considering whether you’ll be able to sustain a keto diet for a period of several weeks or months. And since the goal of the diet is to trigger ketosis, you may need to try different variations and stick to it until your body has entered this metabolic state, so sustainability and motivation are important factors to think about too.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about getting started on the keto diet, including meal ideas and expert advice on how to approach it safely. You can also read out guide to keto foods: what to eat and what to avoid.
The basics of the keto diet
The keto diet is very low carbohydrate, encouraging the body to go into an alternative metabolic state known as ketosis. By cutting out most of the body’s preferred source of energy (carbohydrate) it is forced to use the body’s fat reserves. This creates something called ketones that can be used as an alternative energy source.
As mentioned, the keto diet was designed to treat medication-resistant epilepsy in children, but a review in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (opens in new tab) has indicated that it could also be beneficial in the treatment of obesity. Although, any extreme dietary changes should be taken under the supervision of a doctor or nutritional specialist, who will be able to monitor progress and any side effects you may experience.
Laura Clark, a dietician and food therapist, also says that the keto diet can be used for weight loss, but…