March 19, 2018
in Diet

Everything you need to know about a Keto Diet

There are always going to be new theories and new diets for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle that come around in this modern age, the Keto diet for instance. This surprising diet sounds pretty outrageous but it is mostly out of ignorance. Here at Chefdine, I strive to find the easiest and most simplified ways of ensuring you know what you are getting yourself into.

Some diets require a specialist and doctor’s recommendations. What I like to do is rid you of all the medical jargon and help you figure out how exactly you can go about prepping your meals according to your preferred dietary needs. You can also get a personal chef to help with all the hard work for you.


The Keto Diet is a low carb high-fat diet.  Also known as ketogenic, low carb and low carb high-fat diet. Once the body has been starved of carbs, it will produce ketones in the liver to use as energy. Carbs come from the breakdown of insulin into glucose.

Ketosis is a natural process for survival where food intake is reduced due to the reduction of total carb intake. Ketones are produced when fats are broken down in the liver after a starvation of carbohydrates in the body.


  • Weight loss – the body breaks down fat to use as energy and this drops down the insulin resistance levels in the body.
  • Increased energy levels – ketones are the most effective and most reliable molecule to use as fuel. It also gives you mental focus since there are low spikes in blood sugar hence improving concentration.
  • Control body sugar – the types of foods you can eat in a Keto Diet reduces the amount of sugar intake.
  • Epilepsy – a Keto Diet is now one of the most widely used therapies in treating epilepsy in children and adults. It helps you reduce the medication and returns excellent control to the person.
  • It also has profound benefits in diseases such as cancer, cholesterol levels, hypertension and acne.

What's on a Keto Diet?

The most important thing to remember in starting this diet is to plan ahead. Most people come up with the advice of diving right in, but as a chef, I know the different preparations that must be considered in buying foods, prepping them and storing them.

The more restrictive the carbohydrates, the faster the ketosis process. This means you rid yourself of refined carbohydrates, starch, tubers, grains and most fruits.

Instead, you should eat meats, leafy greens (get ready to make kale a best friend from now on), above ground vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, high-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, sweeteners, moderation of fruits such as avocados and berries, coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing and saturated fats.

Keto diet is high in fat 70% of your diet, moderate in proteins 25% and low in carbs 5%. You need to keep track of your total carbs in a day and the net carbs in a meal.

There are many things you can still eat in a Keto Diet, you just have to ensure the fat levels are pretty high. For instance, you can eat steak topped with a knob of butter and a side of spinach that is sautéed in olive oil. More often than not, a half a cup of vegetables a meal is enough.

Once again, meal plans will come in handy when you are beginning the Keto diet.

Tips Before Starting

Before you begin on this diet, you need to understand the main macronutrients that exist in most meals: fats, proteins and carbs. It is possible to have a delicious meal without adding the starch we are so used to; without having the potatoes that give us the short term pleasure.

We have talked about having fats in your diet, things like coconut and olive oil. Question is, how would you go about this? How do you combine these oils in your diet? There are many ways of doing this. You can drizzle these oils on your salads, slather them on your veggies and meats or if you prefer, you can snack on the things that contain these oils such as olives themselves. Having a salad that has been drizzled with coconut oil, has condiments like olives and macadamia nuts… that definitely sounds appetizing.

You have to know you need to decrease the portion of the meals. There is a delicate balance that exists between the macronutrients and ensuring you keep it is the only way you can get the results you desire. Remember that cheat days can hamper your progress by up to a week. You need to be strong and ensure you stick to your diet.

The only way to prevent the temptation of cheat days is to be satisfied with what you eat. Make a meal plan, research, know your preferences and know how you can fit them into your diet. It is the only way you can make the diet work.

At first, your shopping list will be long since you are starting over. It is like a new beginning and with it, comes new products and produces. Ensure you buy the items prior to needing them.

Before you begin this diet, you need to spend time cleaning out the kitchen pantry. This is where you rid yourself of the do not eat foods we have mentioned above and find new staples. Foods such as seafood, cheese, butter, eggs and cream are the new welcome guests to stay in your pantry. Don’t forget to add things like coconut flour, almond flour and liquid stevia.

The carbohydrates should be restricted to below 35g. However, most people presume that since the carbohydrate levels are low, the protein intake should be very high. Your proteins should also be restricted since too much protein level will lower the ketosis process and ketones level in the body.

Another thing that people fret about is the fat levels. Despite the fact that it sounds pretty outrageous, you need to stop worrying about the fat levels. You need to eat enough. It is usually pretty obvious that no weight is usually lost through starvation.

As with all diets, it is important to remain hydrated. Make soups, drink a gallon of water a day. The consistent intake of water will regulate the many vital bodily functions you require in your day to day life. Subsequently, water intake also controls the hunger levels and helps you keep to your schedule.

Another thing that most people are misconceived about the Keto diet is that it is ok to snack. There are obviously going to be times when you feel hungry between meals and you can nibble on fruits and nuts. However, snacking leads to fewer insulin spikes and this stalls or slows down the ketosis process.

You should also ensure you add exercise so that in the end, you get the most out of the diet. Sleep is also pretty important. Having enough rest lets the body recuperate.

You need to be vigilant and read the ingredients of all the products you buy. Some products usually claim to be carb free or have low carb content but they have a higher carb content than the special label states. Research will never do you wrong.

How to know you are in Ketosis

There are some side effects that come with depriving yourself of carbohydrates. These side effects, commonly known as the keto-flu happen to a lot of people.

  • Increased urination
  • Dry mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Reduced hunger and increased energy

The body has to adjust to the necessary changes that are occurring as the ketosis process begins.

The trick with starting a keto diet is simplicity. Do not complicate your life with all the different recipes that will have you moving heaven and earth to get to make a meal you will eat once. It’s not really worth it.

Make breakfast quick, easy and tasty. I mean who doesn’t like bacon and eggs? Lunch, in relation to meal plans, can be the leftovers from the night before. For the first two weeks, it is advisable to refrain from dessert while your body adjusts to the diet. After that, go free on the high-fat dairy, have a cheese platter and lather that almond flour cake with heavy cream and simply make love to it.

Before I conclude, there is a little secret known as the keto-proof coffee. This coffee is made up of coconut oil, butter and heavy cream. Before you frown at the ingredients, hear me out. They do not taste as bad as they sound. Start making it slowly. Take your time while drinking it. It can work well with tea also. Add sweeteners and spices such as cinnamon.


When we think about fasting, most people confuse it with starvation. Intermittent fasting is ensuring that you have finished your meals in a specific time. Eat from 7am to 7pm and fast till the next day. This gives the body enough time to break down the ketones.

If you still have questions about the Keto diet, do not hesitate to contact our personal chefs who can help you make the perfect meal plan to accommodate your needs, timings and cravings.

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