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Beginners guide to Keto diet

  • Published at 06:31 pm July 9th, 2019
keto
Photos : Bigstock

Food recipes

With the availability of the internet, there is plenty of misleading information flying around about how to lose weight. Whether you rely on those long articles titled “How to lose weight in 10 days” or the cheeky videos teaching you food hacks to try at home, chances are, these are just fails waiting to waste your time and energy. Having the proper knowledge about what kind of diet or food habit may work best to help you lose weight is crucial before making these changes to your lifestyle. Therefore, when I stumbled upon the magical diet that everyone was talking about, the keto diet, I had to do some research before moulding it to match my needs.

I have been following the keto diet for about 2 months now. Although it hasn’t been an easy ride, the results are as astonishing as they are encouraging. The ketogenic (or keto) diet is relatively simple: it is a very low-carb, high-fat diet, which basically shifts the body’s metabolism away from carbs and towards fat and ketones. What I found most difficult about the diet was the unavailability of food items in the country which could be used to substitute the carbohydrates I, so painfully, had to give up. But after months of research, trial and error, and quick thinking, I found alternatives that allow me to still enjoy the food I love, without having to compromise with the diet itself.

For those who are willing to give this diet a shot, here are some things that you need to know:

In order to understand keto diet, we need to understand what is ketosis? Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. If you have any health problem such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, then please consult your doctor before starting this diet.

Understand what you are doing. When there is will, there is always a way. Working out is certainly a good method, but you need to lower your calorie intake, as 80 percent of weight loss is based on diet, and 20 percent on workout. Keto diet helps you lose body fat and gain muscles, as protein intake is relatively high. Last but not the least believe in yourself. 

Dos:

•    Keep carb intake under 20 grams

•    Eat less calories than the body burns. An average male burns around 2200 to 2500 calories, and an average woman burns around 1800 to 2000 calories. (Use a carb manager app on your phone to find out the amount of calories intake necessary, and the carb content of any items you eat) 

•    Drink lots of water. Carbohydrate holds water in your body and when you restrict carbs, they are excreted, which means you retain less water.

Tip: Take a jug full of water, put sliced limes, ginger, mint leaves and green tea in it (you don't need to throw the used herbs away and put fresh herbs every time you refill the jug. These herbs will be edible for 12 hours at normal temperature)

•    Eat leafy and fresh vegetables, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, cheese, almonds (as snacks, up to 5 to 6 pieces per day)

Don’ts: 

•    Absolutely no carb based food.

Example: Wheat, rice, lentils, chickpeas, potatoes, fruits (use the carb manager app to guide you). Daily 20 grams of carbs will be provided by the vegetables

•    No sugar at all. This includes fruits such as bananas, apples or mangoes. Eating vegetables will cover all the nutrients that you usually get from fruits.

I have lost over 28 pounds since I started the diet two months ago. I have walked for about 2.5km around once a week. Like I mentioned earlier, the problem I am facing with this diet is finding food that is ketogenic. So I keep a can of almonds with me to control myself. I love desserts, but almost all desserts have carbs. So I mix Stevia natural sweetener with yogurt, and it tastes quite good.

Almond flour roti:

I crave for bread (roti) alot. So what I do is make almond and coconut flour roti. The recipe below is a modified version of the recipe found on the internet.

Ingredients:

•    6 tbsp almond flour

•    2 tbsp coconut powder

•    1 tbsp psyllium husk

•    1 tbsp sesame/chia seeds (optional)

•    1/2 tbsp baking powder

•    1 whole egg

•    1 tbsp butter/ coconut oil

•    6 tbsp water

•    0.5 tsp salt

Directions:

At first, mix all the dry ingredients together. Then, pour water, egg and butter, and mix. If it feels too soft, then add a teaspoon of psyllium husk, as it will soak up the water and make it firm. If it feels too dry or does not turn into a dough, then add some more water to adjust. Once the dough is made, divide it into 8 small dough balls. You can either use roti maker (my preference) or roll the dough as our mothers do it.

Keto pizza:

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 eggs

1 tsp sesame seeds

1 tsp Italian herbs (optional)

For the toppings:

1 cup tomato sauce (boil the tomatoes, peel off the skin, blend and you have your sauce)

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (don't buy shredded mozzarella, as it has corn flour so they don't stick to each other; buy solid mozzarella and grate it yourself)

Other toppings of your choice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line parchment paper inside a 9-inch round pie pan. You should cut the parchment paper into a circle that fits and completely covers the bottom of your pie pan, with a little extra leftover on two opposite sides so that you will be able to grip the parchment paper to easily remove the pizza crust later.

In a food processor, add all the crust ingredients. Pulse several times until the ingredients are completely blended together. Pour the wet mixture into your pie dish. Using a spatula, spread the mixture evenly across the bottom. Place into the middle section of your oven and bake for about 20 minutes until all of the crust is a light brown. When you touch the crust, it should be pretty firm.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Let the crust cool for a few minutes and carefully remove out of pan by gripping the leftover parchment paper edges. Take off the parchment paper and place crust directly onto a pizza stone dusted with cornmeal. You can also bake your pizza back in the pie pan, but the crust will stay much softer. If you do bake it back in the pie pan, you don't need to remove pizza crust or parchment paper. Spread tomato sauce across the crust, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges untouched. Spread cheese on top of tomato sauce. Add any other toppings at this time.

Place pizza back into the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. If you are making a plain cheese pizza, turn to low broil for about 30 seconds, which will brown the cheese bubbles.

The original recipe can be found at https://kirbiecravings.com/flourless-cheese-crust-pizza/