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Busting the Myth about the Keto Flu

Unless you have been living under a rock, you definitely know what is a Keto diet. Or you have at least heard people around you talking about it. It is a low-carb, high-fat diet which has become viral in the past year or so. And there is a very good reason for the popularity of the Ketosis Diet. Unlike most other diets, Keto actually lets you take tasty, high-fat food.

Yes, it is a diet that recommends you eat food that contains a lot of calories. So, it might not sound like a great idea if you want to lose weight. But the good thing is that it works. You can eat deep fried cheese and still end up losing weight. You might think how this is possible, well, the answer is science. The Keto Diet is based on a scientific process called Ketosis. When the body starts burning fat for energy instead of carbs, the process is called Ketosis.

The Ketogenic diet makes followers cut down on carbs, and eat fats instead. What this does is that it changes the metabolism of your body. Now, there is no more inflow of carbohydrates into the digestive system. At this stage, the body automatically identifies the next best source of energy – fats. So, now your body is tricked into burning fats for you. You don’t have to spend hours on the treadmill anymore.

Yes, the Keto diet seems like it is some sort of miracle solution to reduce weight. A solution that is easy to execute. Well, for the most part, it is, but there are a few things that might cause few minor difficulties. Just like any other weight loss diet, but considerably less. For one, like the other diets, portion sizes are important in a Ketosis diet. Just because you can have food that actually tastes good does not mean you can have as much of it as possible.

And then, there is the phenomenon called the Keto Flu. It is not exactly an illness as most people assume it to be. In fact, it is not harmful at all, in any way. It is referred to as flu because it causes some minor symptoms that are similar to that of flu. The symptoms include stuff like lightheadedness and a bit of fatigue. Have you tried other weight loss programs? If yes, you know that the symptoms caused by those programs are far worse when compared to keto.

For example, one of the popular diet programs out there makes people feel like they are just recovering from a terrible bout of flu. You are tired, you are malnourished, and have severe headaches. None of that stuff happens when you take up the Keto Diet. In fact, it is probably the only weight loss diet that causes little to no side effects. Perhaps, the only real thing you should be worried about while on the Ketogenic Diet is how to fight your temptations.

On the other hand, a lot of people have probably been spooked already by the Keto Flu. This is due to a number of different baseless rumors. The Keto Flu is just a natural reaction of your body caused by the change in eating patterns. There is nothing sinister about it, or nothing you have to be worried about. It hardly lasts for a day or two, and worst thing that might happen because of it is that you will crave more carbs. And not everyone who follows the Keto experiences the Keto flu. A normal healthy human being must not and will not go through this phenomenon at all. So, you can be pretty sure that the Keto Diet is completely safe.

Why does the Keto Flu occur?

Scientists have not been able to find a solid reason for people getting the Keto flu. But, most agree that it is just the body adjusting to a new source of energy. When you are into keto, your body shifts from one source of energy to another. At this stage, there are a lot of other changes that take place within the body. For example – hormonal changes. These changes happen suddenly instead of over a prolonged period of time. So, the body might find it difficult to accept it. And that is shown in the form of certain minor symptoms. All such change is perfectly natural, and these changes only make your body feel better in the long run. Think of it as your body is a child that is trying hard not to eat broccoli that’s good for its health. But your body will learn that this new diet is really good for you. So, it will accept it soon enough and all those small symptoms vanish.

As far as worrying goes, it is not at all necessary. The Keto flu is just a temporary phenomenon that will pass if you give it one or two day’s time. In fact, let us consider that the number of times you go through ketosis increases. The result is that the chances are you might not feel these symptoms the next time.

How to make the symptoms go away?

Dealing with the symptoms of the Keto Flu is pretty simple. All you have to do is follow simple steps to ensure that the so-called flu does not affect you at all.

Hydrate your body. Drink as much water as possible. The Keto Diet requires more water to digest the food. So, it is important to intake enough water so you do not get dehydrated. Drinking enough water will make sure one of the symptoms does not affect you at all.

Replenish your body with electrolytes. Since you drink more water, you might pass more urine, which in turn leads to loss of certain minerals. So, have drinks that are high in electrolytes. Drinks that are readily available in the market might help. If you are looking for something homemade, sip some broth or pickle juice.

If you are a person who does a lot of intense exercises, stop. Your body is going through a lot of changes; it is not the right time to put it through so much hard work. Reduce the intensity of your exercises or stop them altogether. This reduces the fatigue you might feel. Wait for a few days until your body completely adapts to your new diet. Most probably, you will be a lot more energetic than you were before.

7 Keto-Friendly Recipes People Are Loving on Pinterest

Your next breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and dessert are served. (and pinned!)

The ketogenic (or “keto” diet) is trending big. Developed as a way to help people control epileptic seizures, this low-carb, high-fat plan has found many more fans who say it’s the key to reaching their health and fitness goals.

People who follow a keto diet typically get 75% to 90% of their daily calories from fat, 6% to 20% from protein, and 2% to 5% from carbohydrates. Sticking to these numbers allows a person to achieve ketosis—a state in which the body uses fat as its primary fuel, as opposed to carbs. By following keto, glycogen (back-up stores of carbs) is depleted and ketosis sets in. That can lead to weight loss and a leaner physique, fans say.

RELATED: The Ketogenic Diet Is the Latest Buzzy Weight-Loss Plan—Here’s What a Day of Eating Actually Looks Like

This all sounds great, but there is a downside. Health contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass warns that the biggest risk associated with a keto diet is the potential for ketoacidosis, which occurs when excess ketones build up and blood becomes acidic and can be life-threatening. If you aren’t being monitored by a physician or dietitian, it’s important to use moderation and not cut out carbs completely from your meals.

Thinking of giving it a go? To help you get started, we’ve rounded up several tasty, keto-compliant meals you’ll love.

Breakfast Sandwich

We did a double take after seeing this breakfast sammy from Hey Keto Mama. In lieu of bread, Sam Dillard came up with the genius idea to swap sausage patties on the outside of her sandwich. With added flavor bonuses like cheese, avocado, and sriracha, you’ll want to try this one out tomorrow morning.

Cinnamon Apple Spice Muffins

If you want a sweet start to your day, whip up these cinnamon apple spice muffins from Annissa Slusher of Simply So Healthy. Though you need to keep your carb level low to stay in ketosis, the small amount of apple the recipe calls for will do the trick. If you have 30 minutes to spare, head to your kitchen and get going on these low-carb, gluten-free bites.

Zucchini Parmesan Chips

Potato chip and pretzel lovers, rejoice. Though you may need to cut down on those snacks to follow keto properly, Jennifer Garza of I Save A to Z came up with a crunchy substitute: zucchini chips. This quick, two-ingredient recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings for a savory snack. You might even forget you’re also consuming a serving of veggies.

Mac and Cheese With Pulled Pork

Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you have to compromise on flavor. For a more indulgent lunch or dinner option, Low Carb Yum’s mac and cheese with pulled pork dish will excite your taste buds while keeping your carb count low. Swap pasta with cauliflower and combine it with cheese and pork to create the ultimate keto comfort food.

Mongolian Beef Scallion and Ginger Stir-Fry

People following a Paleo, Whole30, or keto diet are obsessed with I Heart Umami’s beef scallion and ginger stir-fry. The star of the dish is a grass-fed sirloin tip, and it has no added sugar, honey, or starch. Much of the flavor comes from a special marinade that uses coconut aminos, a low-sodium, soy- and gluten-free replacement for soy sauce.

Halloumi Rainbow Salad

Vegetarian-friendly options abound on the keto diet, like the halloumi rainbow salad from The Mother Cooker. This colorful dish includes peppers, carrots, onion, tomatoes, and of course, halloumi cheese. Tossed together with olive oil, this dish is simple and satisfying.

Chocolate Ice Cream

Say hello to the dessert of your keto dreams. This no-churn keto chocolate ice cream, courtesy of Paola from Gnom Gnom, is an easy-to-make treat. By melting sweetener and cocoa into full-fat coconut milk, you’ll feel like you’re eating the real thing. If you want a little extra in your bowl, Paola recommends adding two tablespoons of vodka, brandy, or your booze of choice.

The Ketogenic Diet Is the Latest Buzzy Weight-Loss Plan—Here’s What a Day of Eating Actually Looks Like

There’s no question the ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is generating tons of buzz these days, with more than 4 million #keto posts on Instagram and counting. Though you may already know the basics of this high-fat, low-carb eating style, you may be less familiar with actual keto recipes, and what a typical day on the ketogenic diet really looks like.

Enter nutrition and fitness expert Mark Sisson and his new book, The Keto Reset Diet ($28, amazon.com), a 21-day plan to achieve ketosis—or the state in which your body is burning fat (instead of carbs) as its primary source of fuel. “Most of us only know how to burn sugar, and we have to refill the tank every couple of hours—that’s where the cravings and constant hunger come in,” Sisson explained in an interview with Health. His “reset” program is designed to relieve you of that need for a regular dose of carbs. “One of the biggest benefits of going keto is a dramatic mitigation of hunger and cravings,” he says.

That’s just one of many benefits of the ketogenic diet, according to its fans. Sisson lists a slew of other health perks, including more energy, greater clarity of thought, better sleep, a reduction in inflammation, and “a trend toward one’s ideal body composition.”

RELATED: 13 Healthy High-Fat Foods You Should Eat More

The ketogenic diet involves cutting your carbs down to 50g per day (about the amount in a bagel), which may seem daunting. But even doing it short term can have perks, says Sisson. “You don’t have to stay in ketosis forever to reap the benefits of this metabolic efficiency,” he says. “I’m not suggesting that people adopt a keto lifestyle for the rest of their days. Do it to reset your metabolism, gain the metabolic flexibility, and you can get long-term benefits.” In other words, he adds, “use it as a tool in your health and wellness arsenal.”

And the diet doesn’t have to be painful: “I want people to enjoy every bite they eat, without guilt, and to know when it’s time to stop eating and feel completely satisfied,” he says.

So what might an average day entail? Below are three sample keto recipes from Sisson’s book—for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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Katie’s Keto Granola

keto-recipe-breakfast-granola

Andrew Purcell

Makes 6 cups (serving size = ½ cup)

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup raw sunflower seeds

¼ cup coconut oil, softened

1 Tbsp. raw honey

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. Himalayan sea salt

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1 cup cacao nibs

Optional add-ins

3⁄4 cup full-fat coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk

1⁄4 cup in-season blueberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet or 3-quart casserole dish with parchment paper.
  2. If desired, roughly chop the nuts with a food processor, hand chopper, or sharp chef’s knife.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Add the nuts, sea salt, coconut akes, and cacao nibs and stir well.
  4. Transfer the granola mixture to the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway, until lightly toasted.
  5. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes, then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
  6. When ready to eat, add the add-ins of your choice.

Caesar Salad With Anchovies and Pancetta

keto-lunch

Andrew Purcell

Makes 2 side servings

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Juice from 1 large lemon, at room temperature

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

1 can (2 ounces; 56 g) anchovies packed in olive oil

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup grated Parmesan

1 tsp. butter

4 ounces diced pancetta

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce

  1. In a high-powered blender, combine the egg yolk, garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper, half the anchovies, and ¼ cup oil. Blend for 10 seconds. With the blender running, slowly pour in the remaining oil in a thin stream so the dressing emulsi es. Add in ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese and pulse a few times to combine.
  2. Melt the butter in a small skillet and sauté the pancetta until crisp.
  3. Toss the lettuce with ½ cup of the dressing. Roughly chop the remaining anchovies and place on top. Sprinkle with the crispy pancetta. Top with the remaining grated Parmesan, and additional freshly ground pepper. If desired, drizzle with more dressing.

Pan-Fried Cod with Dill Caper Sauce

keto-dinner

Andrew Purcell

Makes 6 servings

Dill caper saurce

¼ cup drained capers

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Juice from 1 small lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Fish

1½ pounds cod fillets, or any other mild white fish

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbsp. butter

2 tsp. avocado oil

Juice of ½ lemon

  1. Prepare the sauce rst, even a day or two before. Combine the capers, dill, olive oil, and lemon juice in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously. If you want to make it more of a sauce than a dressing, you can also pulse the mixture a few times in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  2. Season both sides of the sh with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and avocado oil, and heat until the butter bubbles; swirl the pan to combine. Add the sh and cook about 2 minutes, depending on thickness. Carefully ip to brown the other side and squeeze the lemon juice over the fish. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Do not overcook.
  3. Remove the fish from pan, transfer to a serving platter, and spoon 2 Tbsp. sauce over each serving.

NOTE: This sauce keeps well in the fridge, so you can make a big batch ahead of time and have this dish done in five minutes. Leftover sauce is great over roasted carrots, too.

Recipes from The Keto Reset Diet by Mark Sisson with Brad Kearns. Copyright 2017 by Mark Sisson. Reprinted by permission of Harmony books.