We start by helping our patients understand the diet plan that will begin their weight loss journey.

Our focus is on a ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet plan is structured around eating less carbs and more protein. We couple this with goals that are specific to your needs so you can achieve the best results for your body. You’ll have a realistic pathway to help you lose weight in the healthiest way possible.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

Ketogenic diet plans involve consuming more protein than carbs. By giving the body less carbs, the goal is to get the body to burn fat instead.

Carbohydrates fuel your body by converting into glucose (blood sugar), which then gives your body energy. When your carbs are cut out or lowered, like with a keto diet, your liver replaces the carbs your body would normally burn with fat. So your body starts burning fat, which then converts into ketones.

Smiling young woman happy about what the scale showsKetones are the substances that your body makes when breaking down fat for energy. They are produced when you eat very few carbs and replace your carbs with protein and high-fat, low-carb foods.

What is Ketosis?

Keto diets are designed around ketosis, which is the process of making ketones. By eating a diet that’s extremely low in carbohydrates, it forces your body to switch into fat burning mode, without limiting your diet with fasting and portions like as other diets.

Because ketogenic diets force your entire body to switch its fuel supply, it makes it significantly easier to access and burn off fat stored in your body, as your body runs mostly on fat during this diet.

The result not only shows a normal increase in energy after adjusting to your new diet, but also often includes less feelings of general hunger.

Ketosis has levels that can be measured to keep you in an optimal ketosis zone. Once you start on a ketosis diet, your body can take between a few days and a few weeks to switch to start using nutritional ketones from your fat. Incidentally, if you deprive yourself of enough food, you can start to experience starvation ketosis, which is ketosis onset by not eating enough food. The key is to finding a good balance that’s good for your body. Finding your optimal level of ketosis can be found using ketone strips.

Ketone Strips

Ketone strips are used to check if you’re ketone positive, and if so, by how much. They’re easily administered with a urine test and can be used as a great way to see where you are in your diet, and how to achieve your weight loss goals.

Ketone test strips let you know exactly if you’re in ketosis.

This can be especially helpful for people who are only looking to make minor changes to their overall diet.

Ketone tests can show when you’re reaching a good balance of eating foods that are low in carbs that still conform to your individual diet.

In the early stages of keto diets, ketone strips can help you ensure that your diet is working in a quantifiable way. Seeing definitive results showing you that your body is in ketosis often proves as excellent motivation to keep up with your diet and attain your weight goals.

Calculate your body mass index (BMI) to find out your body fat based on your height and weight!

A BMI of 20 – 25 is in the healthy range. If you are overweight or obese, you could benefit from a ketogenic diet plan to help your body start burning fat.

Find Out Your BMI

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Benefits of a Keto Diet

Ketogenic diets are designed with many benefits that other low carb diets lack, in that it allows you to both increase your energy and lose and then maintain healthy weight.

Keto diets have been found to help you:

  • Lose weight from fat.

    Keto diets don’t help you lose weight at the cost of muscle loss, but rather fat loss, which is good for you, and your body.

  • Improve your physical endurance.

    Once your body switches from using carbs as fuel to using fat, your body has a much larger pool to access energy from your fat stores.

  • Reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes.

    Ketosis lowers your blood sugar levels and helps fight the negative effects of high insulin levels, which can significantly help with your diabetes.

  • Decrease food cravings.

    Low carb leads to an overall reduction in appetite after a very short time.

  • Control blood pressure.

    Reducing your carbs causes a reduction in blood pressure, which gives your body a reduced risk of many common health issues.

  • Increase mental acuity.

    Just like fat being used to energize your body during physical activity, through ketosis, your brain also has a steady stream of energy, keeping your focus longer while avoiding swings in glucose.

  • Control epilepsy.

    Keto is medically proven to reduce the effects of epilepsy, which can help many patients with epilepsy rely less on medications to control seizures, and more on diets. This also shows to have positive mood increases.

Why Ketogenic Diets Work

Ketogenic diets work because your diet promotes ketosis, which burns fat instead of carbs for energy. Limiting carbs and then decreasing your starch and sugar cravings also helps with weight loss. Minimizing your carbs means fewer calories and more weight loss. When your diet focuses on burning fats, it’s easier to attain your weight loss goals.

Why are Keto diets high in fat?

When your body switches from using carbs to give you energy bursts, and instead burns fat, you need to increase your fat intake in order to support healthy weight loss, and also to provide the right essentials for your body to stay in ketosis. Eating lots of foods that are low in carbs and low in fat is unhealthy for sustained weight loss.

tomatoes wrapped in measuring tape

What You Can Eat on a Keto Diet

While your carbohydrates are to be kept at a minimum, keto diets still allow you to eat healthy amounts of protein rich foods, and low-carb, high fat foods. This is achieved by excluding high-carbohydrate foods such as starchy fruits and vegetables, bread, pasta, grains and sugar, while increasing the consumption of foods high in fat such as lean meat, seafood, eggs, cream and butter. All meals should be consumed with plenty of water.

When you’re buying food at the grocery store, go for organic and natural options when possible. No store bought food should have more than 7 grams of total carbs. Think of it this way, if you can’t replicate how to make the food in your kitchen, you probably shouldn’t eat it (e.g. velveeta and hot dogs).

Some food that’s generally acceptable for ketogenic diets includes:

A cheese plate with parmesan, gouda, blue cheese, mozzarella and other cheeses.

Dairy

Dairy products provide the higher fat and low carbs necessary for a ketogenic diet. Choose full fat over low fat or fat free dairy products. Cheese can be included in almost any meal or snack.

Eat:

  • Cheese
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Sour Cream
  • Cottage Cheese

Avoid:

  • Whole Milk
  • Low-fat products
  • Flavored Yogurt

A meat plate with fish, steak, chicken, sausage, ham, and pork chops.

Meat

Lean meat and seafood if typically very good for ketogenic diets, due to their high protein, high fat, low carb counts. Grass fed meat is preferable to other meats, and seafood is best when caught wild.

Eat:

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Bacon
  • Deli Meats

A bowl of broccoli

Vegetables

Most vegetables are good for keto diets, and should be the source of most of your carbs daily. While it’s great to get your daily intake of vegetables, not all veggies are created equal. If you’re making a salad, include regular salad dressing over low fat dressings.

Eat:

  • Dark leafy greans (kale, spinach, etc.)
  • Broccoli
  • Green and red peppers
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Asparagus

Avoid:

  • Beans (green beans are OK)
  • Potatoes (including sweet potatoes)
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Beets
Keto egg bread, also called oopsie bread
Avocado egg and bacon snack

Ketogenic Snacking Ideas:

Don’t reach for the bag of chips in the office breakroom. There’s plenty of excellent options that will fill your appetite, taste delicious, and will keep you in ketosis.

  • Low carb diet shakes, like Atkins Shakes or EAS Carb Control, can be used for meal replacement (no shake with more than 7g of carbs)
  • Egg bread, also called Oopsie bread, can make a great bread substitute
  • Breakfast foods, including moderate amounts of avocado
  • Laughing Cow mini cheese bells
  • Crystal Light singles for water. Be careful about artificial sweeteners.
  • Crystal Light popsicles
  • Sugar-free jello with sugar-free heavy whipped cream
  • Beef jerky, cheese sticks, and deli meat (organic is best)
  • Low carb and Greek yogurt (avoid fat free and flavored yogurt)
  • A handful of nuts. Pecans, brazil nuts, or macadamia nuts are the best (avoid cashews and pistachios)

Concerned about your BMI?

If you live in the Austin area, we can help get you started on a ketogenic diet plan today. Blue Tree Health can help you lose the weight and be your healthiest self.