The ketogenic diet has gained widespread popularity as a prolific weight loss method. “Keto,” as famously called, combines high-fat, moderate protein, and low carbs. In addition to its many benefits, this low-carb diet helps you develop healthy eating habits.
So, are you trying to maintain a keto lifestyle but struggling on deciding the best meals, as the diet is restrictive? Here, we have seven keto diet for beginners dishes which are great for weight loss. Being on a keto diet does not mean your meals have to be repetitive and boring; we’ll show you dishes that are fun and delicious but will still help you meet your weight loss goals. Read on!
What is the Keto Diet?
For most people, bread, pasta, potatoes, and other carbs make up the bulk of their daily diet. Glucose is found in these carbs and converted into energy for fuel by your body. The keto diet, replaces carbs with fats, which is then burned as an alternative energy source. This process puts your body in a metabolic state known as ketosis. Your body becomes efficient at burning fats, thus, aiding weight loss.
Your Keto Food Guide
Eating right on the keto lifestyle is tricky, as it is vital to focus on the right food items that will keep you in ketosis and help you meet your goals. The keto diet requires that 70-80% of your total calories come from fats, 15-20% from proteins, and about 5-10% made up of carbs. Still, knowing the foods to eat can get confusing, and the guide below will show you the foods to include in your diet.
Reducing carbohydrates consumption reduces the secretion of insulin in your livers. The liver then starts to convert fats into energy because of the shortage of glucose, the primary energy source in the body.
For an effective keto diet, you should keep your daily carbs intake to 20 to 50 grams, and it should make up between 5-10% of your total calories. In addition, your carbs should come from carbs from high-fiber foods, and keto-friendly fruits and vegetables.
Best Low Carbs Foods for a Keto Lifestyle
Examples of food with low carbs include:
- Brussels sprouts
Proteins build muscle cells and should be eaten in moderation. Eating too little will make your body burn muscles for fuel and reduce the number of calories burnt. Alternatively, when you consume too much protein, the body converts the excess into carbohydrates which is the opposite of what you want on a keto diet. Aim for about 20% of calories from protein sources.
The following are great protein sources:
- Oily fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines)
- Unsweetened, plain yogurt
- Greek yogurt
- Natural cheese
The goal of the ketogenic diet is to increase the intake of healthy fats, and the bulk of your calories (70 – 80%) should come from fats. Focus on taking more unsaturated fats than saturated fats and avoid any form of hydrogenated fats.
Best Sources of Healthy Fats for the Ketogenic Diet
Below are some healthy fat options:
- Olive oil
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Chia seeds
- Hemp hearts
Foods to Avoid on a Ketogenic Diet
High-carb foods, many processed foods, and unhealthy fats should be avoided during keto. Steer clear of the foods below to meet your weight loss goals:
- Grains, rice, pasta
- Juice and soda
- High-sugar fruits
- Starchy vegetables
- Hydrogenated fats
- Baked goods and sugary fats
- Legumes; beans, peanuts, lentils
- Added sugars and sweeteners
- White bread, wheat bread
- Alcoholic beverages
Keto Dishes for Weight Loss
These dishes are great in a keto diet for beginners and effective in maintaining a keto lifestyle for the best results.
- Keto Fried Rice
This keto dish is effortless to make, and it is entirely plant-based, so vegans can also enjoy it. The key part of this dish is to replace rice with the versatile cauliflower, and you won’t know the difference.
It is loaded with vegetables and seasonings that taste great. You can make cauliflower rice on your own or buy it from the store.
Keto Pumpkin soup
This creamy delight is a low-carb dish perfect in a keto diet for beginners. It is gluten-free, low carb and sugar-free, and packed with healthy fats and vitamins. Keto pumpkin soup is a versatile dish that only requires a handful of ingredients that are easy to get.
You can serve it as a first course, and also with a salad or sandwich, or even as a standalone meal. It is an excellent addition to your ketogenic diet.
Chicken can be used in many ways, and the chicken pasta dish is the perfect keto diet meal.
The dish is exciting and flavorful and made with chicken, cheese, creamy mayo, sour cream, and a homemade pesto mixture.
baked salmon in foil
Baked salmon is packed with flavor and super quick to make. It is delicious, keto-friendly, and can be presented in many ways.
This dish can be garnished with different vegetables; similarly, the salmon can be swapped for any other fish or seafood.
Broccoli Salad with Bacon
Broccoli is a keto-friendly vegetable high in fiber, low in carbs, and some protein. This keto salad has broccoli, bacon, cheese, onion, pumpkin seeds, and a sweet dressing.
Though a traditional broccoli recipe uses lots of sugar, lemon juice, and sweetened raisins, these can easily be swapped with keto-friendly ingredients.
For example, you can switch the sugar with swerve and use apple cider vinegar and sunflower seeds.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Chicken lettuce wraps are a quick and straightforward choice for a healthy and low-carb lunch or dinner.
The ground chicken in this recipe can also be replaced with pork or turkey, with bell peppers and cabbage as toppings for extra flavor.
Avocado and Eggs
Avocado and eggs go well together, and combines to make the perfect keto breakfast. This dish is filling, tasty, full of healthy fats and essential nutrients. You can also add cheese to make it more fun and tastier.
A healthy ketogenic diet combines high fat, moderate protein and low carbs. Eat more of low-carb foods and vegetables like eggs, avocados, chicken, broccoli and fish.
You should also include keto-friendly fruits like berries in your diet and avoid unhealthy fats and processed foods.
By using this article as a guide, your keto lifestyle will become a lot easier, bland meals will become a thing of the past and you will meet your weight loss goals faster.