If you constantly read about the keto diet, you may well want to try it. A 28-day keto diet may be just what you need. It is a short enough time frame and, in 4 weeks, you can decide whether you want to follow it long term or not. And when you try different diets from time to time in an effort to lose weight, surely the keto diet also deserves a trial. After all, many celebrities are clearly endorsing it and have lost weight on it.
What Is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is not exactly new. It was originally formulated in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy in children. It has undergone a great deal of change since that time. In its present form, it is a diet that focuses primarily on carbohydrate restriction instead of omitting other high-calorie foods like fats, among others.
In fact, you are actually encouraged to have high-fat, low-carbohydrate foods. These have greater satiety value and prevent sugar spikes associated with carbohydrates that are converted to sugar in the body.
When you are on a keto diet, the body cannot use carbohydrates for fuel because you don’t eat enough of them, and it turns to fat. When the body enters a state of ketosis, it uses fat instead of sugar, and this is what leads to weight loss.
The keto diet for beginners can be quite simple to understand. Depending on the kind of keto diet you follow, your carbohydrate intake is restricted to between 5% and 10%. The fats comprise 70% to 75% of your diet, and the rest will be made up of proteins.
Most foods are a combination of carbs, proteins, and fats. Unless you have pure oil or any other form of fat, you will eat foods that are highly fatty and often have protein. Restricting your intake of carbs means that there are many so-called “normal” foods that you will have to avoid.
What Foods You Should and Shouldn’t Have on the 28-Day Keto Diet
Let us discuss what foods are allowed and what foods you should avoid on the keto diet. After all, that is the mainstay of this diet, and before you follow the 28-day period, you should know this.
Foods you can have:
- Meat – all kinds of meat are allowed, but it is better if you have grass-fed meat, which has higher nutritional values. You can also have white meats like turkey and chicken. These can be lightly cooked, but avoid using any carbohydrates in their cooking as this will increase the total carb intake. So a meat and potato combination is a no-no.
- Seafood – sardines, cod, salmon, mackerel, tuna, barramundi, shrimp, crab, and mussels are preferred seafood. It is important not to use carbs (like breadcrumbs) in cooking them. Seafood that is poached, steamed, grilled or fried, or added to casseroles are some options.
- Dairy – opt for high-fat cheeses in restricted quantities. The same goes for yogurt and cottage cheese. You can get calcium from dairy products, but ensure that you are within your allowed carbohydrate intake when you take any dairy. However, you can include butter and cream in your foods, so that is a bonus.
- Eggs – a good source of protein. And you can have them fried and in omelets and scrambled with cream, among other variations. They are low in carbs, in any case.
- Vegetables – leafy greens are not only good for health and are high in antioxidants, but they are also low in carbs. Zucchini, kale, broccoli, cucumber, and vegetables that have high water content are generally safe to gorge on. Make sure you don’t go over your daily carb limit and consider a high-quality multivitamin to cover all your micronutrient needs.
- Fruits – you can include small quantities of berries and avocado in your daily keto-friendly diet.
- Nuts and seeds – pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds are good to have. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, and macadamia can also be eaten as long as you include them in your carbohydrate and protein allowances.
- Oils and fats – while there is no restriction in including different ones in your diet, do opt for natural ones in favor of highly refined and processed oils and fats.
- Drinks – you can have plain water, unsweetened tea, and coffee without any restrictions.
Foods you should avoid on the keto diet:
- Milk, including low-fat cottage cheese and other cheeses that are low-fat
- Fruit juices
- Sweetened beverages
- Sweet wines and liqueurs
- Maple syrup
- High fructose corn syrup
- Glucose and energy drinks
- Grains and cereals, including their flours and products that are made using cereals
- Legumes and beans
- Dense vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, yucca, parsnips, carrots, corn, peas, and beans
- Fresh fruits and dry fruits
- Highly processed meats
- Sweets, candies, desserts, cakes, puddings, and pies, even if you get sugar-free ones
- Ice cream, frozen desserts, and gelato
- Sauces, salad dressings, and dips
Basically, you should avoid any foods that contain sugar, grains, or starch.
What Is a Typical Daily Menu for the Keto Diet?
When you are practicing keto, you have to cut out or restrict carbs. And if you are normally eating a lot of cereals and bread, you may find the change a bit difficult to make. However, you will not feel hungry, thanks to the high satiety value of keto foods.
Here are some meal plans for the keto diet for beginners:
- Eggs cooked in your favorite way, with leafy green vegetables
- Eggs with bacon or sausages
- Ham and eggs
- Keto granola with high-fat yogurt
- Keto bread with avocado, cheese, and tomato
- Smoothie made with keto-friendly foods like almonds, chia seeds, nut butter, and greens
- Savory muffins made with almond or coconut flour, eggs, and cheese with added vegetables
- Burger without the bun with salad
- Salad with greens, some cheese, tomatoes, and avocado
- Grilled fish with a green salad
- Chicken casserole with lots of green vegetables
- Cauliflower rice with a stew or curry
- Zucchini noodles with stir-fried vegetables and shrimp
- Salad with eggs, chicken or turkey, and some cheese
- Pork chop with salad or vegetables
- Grilled or roasted chicken with broccoli and mushrooms
- Soup or stew made with seafood and vegetables
- Steak with cauliflower mash and other vegetables
- Baked or poached fish with butter and almonds
- Beef casserole or satay with a side of vegetables
- Meatloaf with buttery mushroom and pepper sauce
You can make up your own meals from the foods to eat, ensuring that you keep your carbs under the limit and restrict your protein intake. You can also include snacks from the permitted foods. You can also vary your lunch and dinner meals over 28 days.
Intermittent Fasting and Keto Diet: Can You Combine Them?
Perhaps you are already following one diet and wondering if you can combine intermittent fasting and keto. It is not difficult to do, especially if you are comfortable with one plan. When you practice intermittent fasting, you can adopt the keto diet for your eating times instead of eating a normal diet.
Keto and intermittent fasting results can be surprisingly encouraging. You can lose more weight and reach ketosis faster. And when you burn more fat, you are encouraged to stay on a diet. Since intermittent fasting is a time-based eating schedule, you can actually combine it with any other diet.
When you see the keto and intermittent fasting success that you can achieve, you will be thrilled that you are following two popular diets and with the subsequent weight loss. What’s more, you can see the results when you follow the 28-day keto diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much weight can you lose in a month on keto?
Keto is not a miracle diet. You will lose weight in the safe range of one to two pounds a week. In a month, you can expect to lose up to 4–10 pounds.
How to break a fast on keto?
Whatever you do, don’t start your eating times with a heavy meal. So you can break your fast with a liquid-like bone broth or a light liquid and then move on to your breakfast.
Does bulletproof coffee break a fast?
Because bulletproof coffee has calories, it breaks the fast. If you don’t want to break your fast, you can have black, unsweetened coffee.
What alcohol can you drink on keto?
Rum, vodka, gin, tequila, and whisky do not contain a lot of carbs, so they can be consumed (in limited quantities) when you are on keto. Avoid wines and beers that have high sugar content.
How long does it take to see results on keto?
You may lose weight in the first week of keto, but this will be water weight. For sustained weight loss, it can take up to 30–90 days to show results. Of course, if you follow keto and intermittent fasting together, you will achieve weight loss faster.
You just need to try a 28-day keto diet and see the results for yourself.