Unless you or someone you know has epilepsy that is very hard to control, you might not know everything there is to know about a ketogenic diet. So, what is the ketogenic diet?
This diet was developed for the purpose of controlling seizures in children and adults who otherwise could not maintain a semblance of a normal life because their seizures were so frequent and so difficult to manage.
Modern medical science continues to prescribe such a diet for people with a history of complicated seizure activity, but this diet has also gone mainstream.
That said, you might be very curious as to what the diet entails, how it works in the body, and what causes the weight loss that everyone is touting as the miracle worker of the dieting crazes.
You’ll be happy to hear that it isn’t all fad diet, and there is a substantial amount of evidence backing the claims of this particular diet.
Everything you have ever wanted to know about “keto” and whether or not it is a diet you can safely do is as follows.
The Restrictions of a Keto Diet
For most guys who love their meat and fatty meat, this diet is going to seem like heaven. When it comes to dieting for men, this might be the ticket for you.
The keto diet disallows carbs like bread and potatoes but allows you to eat all of the meat and fatty meat you could want.
The idea is to switch the body over from burning sugars that come from carbs into burning fats from meat.
Eventually, your body can’t get enough fat from the meat you consume and turns to burn the fat you are carrying on your own body.
This is good news for dieters that have enough willpower to stay away from sweets and starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas and corn.
It means you can have that 14 oz. porterhouse steak the way you like it, or fatty bacon and eggs for breakfast.
Eat turkey legs at fairs and carnivals, gobble poultry and pork like it’s going extinct, and even eat exotic meats like rattlesnake and alligator if you so desire.
You still have to eat portions within reason, but you can eat them four to six times a day to rev up your body’s metabolism.
What Happens in Your Body During the Ketogenic Process
The human body is designed to burn glucose and feed brain cells with sugar. Excess carbs and sugars are converted to and stored as extra fat on your body.
The body assumes that if there is ever a period of starvation or fasting in the future, you have these fat stores to prevent the death of brain and body cells.
Of course, that only happens if you go without eating for more than two weeks, and people are highly unlikely to do that in the modern age.
Ergo, humans are wired to accumulate fat that they technically will never use. The more fat you have, the more your body signals to itself and the brain that you need to store even more.
It’s a vicious circle that doesn’t end unless you stop eating a lot of carbs.
The keto diet limits your carb consumption to just 20 carbs a day. When your body was used to eating 60 or more carbs a day (60 carbs being the recommended daily allotment by dieticians).
Then suddenly gets only a third of that amount or less, it starts burning your fat stores to get the sugar and glucose released from the fat stores. You begin burning your own fat.
Meanwhile, you aren’t starving because you are still eating. What you are eating allows the body to know that you aren’t starving.
How your body helps you
The body acknowledges that you aren’t technically starving, so it doesn’t shift into starvation mode where it stops burning fat and tries to hoard up fat.
What eventually happens is that your body is producing ketones, the byproduct of burning fat instead of burning sugars/carbs.
You can purchase a ketone testing kit that contains strips for checking your urine for ketones. The test trips will register when your body has officially moved into the ketone-burning mode.
However, your body actually needs a few weeks on the keto diet to recognize this pattern of protein consumption and lack of carbs consumption.
This is not a short fix, but once you are on it long enough, you will begin to notice a quick drop in weight. Don’t stop after you have reached your goal weight either, since coming off the keto diet has to be a slow and controlled process and not a rapid change.
You have to add carbs back into your diet very slowly or your body will flip on its fat-making switch and you’ll go right back to where you were when you started this diet.
Keto dieting for men may mean a lifelong change in the way you eat. It may mean that you choose this diet for the rest of your life.
Still, when it comes to dieting for men, this diet was practically made for the carnivore in you. Whenever someone else asks, “What is the ketogenic diet?”, you can proudly proclaim that it is the opposite of the vegan and vegetarian way of life.
You only consume meat and as much of it as you like.
Tips for Keto Dieting for Men
It helps to have some dieting tips for keto dieting for men. These tips can help you stay on the right path with this diet. Dieting for men doesn’t have to be difficult, so long as you follow these few basic keto tips.
- Your 20 carbs a day is equal to a single hamburger bun, or two slices of bread, or two glasses of 1% or skim milk. Eat a piece of toast with your meaty breakfast. Drink a glass of milk with lunch. Splitting your limited carbs between the first two meals of the day helps your body feel less hungry and forces it to tap fat stores after your nighttime meal.
- Read packaging. Some processed or packaged meats have hidden carbs! Sweetened lunchmeats, such as brown sugar or honey ham, have hidden carbs! Always read labels on your food before consuming.
- Incorporate weightlifting exercises into your daily exercise routine. Muscles burn glucose, and since you are reducing your carbs and sugars, your muscles will resort to tapping fat stores when you work out. This can speed up weight loss.
- If you screw up, don’t quit for the day. Get back on track right away. Blowing the rest of your day because you blew it in a moment of weakness will only cause you to slip off the dieting for men wagon completely.
Take your time while trying Ketogenic
It takes time for this diet to kick into gear. You can’t quit keto dieting for men because you want to or you feel discouraged.
Just keep coming back to the question, “What is the ketogenic diet?” and focus on the answer to keep yourself going.
Is the Keto Diet Safe?
Probably the second question you wanted to ask after asking “What is the ketogenic diet?” was “Is it safe?” In terms of dieting for men (and women!), this diet is quite safe.
You will still need your doctor’s permission, and the diet has to be carefully monitored to prevent you from overdoing or eating too much.
Blood levels of cholesterol and sugar, as well as hemoglobin, have to monitored regularly to prevent shifts in the body’s natural cholesterol levels and drops in blood sugar.
It helps to know in advance where your cholesterol and blood sugar levels are. Before you start keto dieting for men, be sure to have your doctor test your fasting blood sugar, A1-C, and cholesterol levels.
You should not have diabetes or exceptionally high cholesterol levels when starting any sort of stringent diet such as this.
Other than that, follow the keto diet to the letter. If you do, your body will get just enough carbs to avoid starvation mode and burn fat stores.
Six weeks to a few months after you start, ask your doctor to check your blood levels for all of the aforementioned health concerns to make sure you haven’t developed something unhealthy by being on this diet.
Most people do not develop a health problem, but only because they already did not have a health problem heading into dieting.
Ask Your Doctor, “What Is the Ketogenic Diet, and Can I Do It?”
Always ask your doctor about dieting. In this case, your doctor should have some knowledge of, and basic answers to, your asking “What is the ketogenic diet and can I do it?”.
Most doctors are aware of ketone-burning for the purpose of controlling seizures, which means that your doctor should at least understand this much.
He or she might have to investigate the “What is the ketogenic diet?” question further while you are sitting there in the office, but then he/she will have answers for you.
Age Restrictions for the Keto Diet
Yet another question you might ask after asking “What is the ketogenic diet?” is whether or not people who are really young or really old can do this diet.
Maybe you’re eighteen or nineteen and wondering if you can still do this diet. Maybe you’re over 65 and wondering if this diet is a good idea for your advanced age.
As long as you are not under 18, or in poor health with certain medical conditions that make a lack of carbs dangerous, you can do keto.
18 and under while Ketogenic
Anyone under the age of 18 should only be asking “What is the ketogenic diet?” when talking to their pediatricians about a more intense approach to losing weight as a teenager.
Only in the most extreme cases would a doctor allow a teenager or a minor without epilepsy to partake in this type of diet.
That is due to the fact that growing bodies need large amounts of carbs to function and grow.
Where older men are concerned, the decision to respond to “What is the ketogenic diet?” by allowing a patient to diet this way is based on a number of factors.
Advanced age means your body is not likely to respond to keto dieting as fast or with as good results as someone much younger.
If you suffer from anemia, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), high cholesterol, etc., you may not be able to diet the keto way.
If your doctor says it’s still okay for someone your age, it may come with several modifications to avoid worsening your current medical conditions related to aging.
What a Typical Meal or Day in a Keto Diet Looks Like
So, you want to know what is the ketogenic diet and what a typical meal looks like. Well, imagine breakfast being:
- Two eggs
- Four strips of bacon
- A cup of black coffee with no cream, no sugar and no milk
If you can’t drink your coffee black. Then you are going to have to be very methodical in measuring out one to two tablespoons of milk. But not cream, into your coffee every morning.
You also can’t add flavoured non-dairy creamer because that stuff has a ton of carbs.
Lunch while Ketogenic
Lunch looks like meat and low-carb or no-carb cheeses stacked between two low-carb slices of bread and water or other no-carb, low-carb drinks.
It’s important to note that when you consider what is the ketogenic diet with out a little something to drink, you should avoid artificial sweeteners too.
The artificial sweeteners used in most diet drinks and foods can trick your body into thinking it’s getting glucose when it isn’t.
No diet soda, no artificially or even naturally sweetened soft drinks, and no juice; those are your limited options here.
Evening meals and being Ketogenic
What is the ketogenic diet when it comes to the evening meal? Well, that typically looks like a burger with no bun unless you haven’t eaten any carbs during the day.
Otherwise, you can have steak, seafood that isn’t swimming in breading, nothing fried because of the carbs, chicken or other poultry, exotic meats, pork, etc. Pasta, rice, potatoes, corn, peas, and anything else starchy is an absolute no.
What is the ketogenic diet without a little something sweet, you might be wondering? Well, yes, it’s hard to stick to a diet if you force yourself to give up everything.
Thankfully, there are low-carb fruits eaten in small quantities that you can have. You can also forgo carbs all day and have a tiny low-carb dessert at the end of the night.
Finally, what is the ketogenic diet without alcohol? This is the sticking point for a lot of men who want to try this diet. Alcohol swings both ways on the carb spectrum. There are low-carb beers, but they aren’t as low-carb as you think.
Wine is loaded with carbs because it comes from grapes. Mixed drinks are loaded with sugars too. Reserve alcohol for once a week, and limit it to two low-carb beers at most.