Are you ready to learn how to start a keto diet, the right way? Ready to kickoff into high fat & low carb, burn fat for fuel and feel AMAZING?
Most likely adjusting your current diet to reflect a ketogenic one will be a bit of a radical change. After all, going keto means completely changing your body’s fuel from using carbohydrates to using fats. So, where do you begin – how do you even start a big change like this?
If you’re like me, and you’re a TYPE A personality, then you probably want a DETAILED plan of action-a specific list of what to eat and what to avoid, precise numbers of the foods you should eat each day, and instructions on how to go about measuring that you’re actually doing it right. You want to be SURE that you ARE in fact reaping ALL the amazing benefits of your ketogenic diet to their fullest.
If you’re a type B personality though, then you’re probably thinking the opposite. You’ll just simply start eating keto –cut down on carbs, add healthy fats, and hone in on the diet as you go. This method, can work for some people. You will most likely lose some weight, and you may feel better, which is still good! Any positive change to your health is still a WIN…. however, you might reach a weight loss plateau quickly. You could notice yourself feeling more tired than you thought you would. You might even GAIN weight instead of lose it ????! Those are common problems that can occur for keto newbies, and they usually happen when you’reNOT getting the right proportions of macronutrients, eating the right amounts of foods, getting the right overall nutrients! You can prevent these mistakes with a bit of reading, and a little preparation.????
Perhaps you’re a little of both of these examples. In ANY case, this ULTIMATE guide on how to start a keto diet covers EVERYTHING you could possibly need to know. These 17 steps are guaranteed to set you up for SUCCESS ???? on your keto journey!
Before we dive in, I have TWO important considerations for you:
First things first, you should consult with your physician before you start a ketogenic diet to ensure there’s no conflicts with your current health conditions, just in case.
Second, when you start a ketogenic diet, I URGE YOU to consider a commitment to go ALL IN….for at very least 3 full weeks. That means 3 FULL WEEKS with NO CHEATING. Not one day, not one meal, not even ONE single bite of a food that is not keto friendly. NO. CHEATING.
Why? … Because you most likely won’t see the benefits of keto in the first few days. In fact, the first few days are the HARDEST, especially if you’ve been a major CARBIVORE your whole life, like I was. If you want to experience the things that make this diet SO incredibly worth it- MORE energy, weight loss, better mood, a reduction or ELIMINATION of carb cravings, etc-then your body NEEDS TO HAVE A CHANCE to successfully switch it’s primary fuel source from Carbohydrates to Fats first. Then, you need to have time to adjust to it which does take a bit of time.
Cheating, although it may briefly satisfy a craving, will only mean you restart the clock for this transitional, adjustment phase. Even just a few bites of bread could mean your body defaults back to using carbs as it’s fuel source, which means you’ll need to start ALL.OVER.AGAIN.
Just 3 weeks (that’s only 21 days!) is all it takes to ensure you’re seeing the
???? benefits and you’ve sufficiently broken your carbohydrate dependency.
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HOW TO START A KETO DIET (SUCCESFULLY!) – 17 STEPS:
If you want to start a Keto Diet, RIGHT, the first step is arming yourself with information! Do you know what Ketosis is? If not, then we need to CHANGE THAT!
Ketosis IS what dramatically separates a ketogenic diet from other diets. Ketosis means that you’re using Ketones (from fats) for fuel instead of Glucose (from carbs) to give your body and cells energy to function. It’s the magic behind keto.
Having at least a basic understanding of what ketosis means metabolically for your body and what happens when you eat primarily CARBS vs primarily FATS, can certainly have an affect on your success. Knowing WHY you crave carbs when you eat carbs, can motivate you to push through the carb cravings that occur when you first start a keto diet.
Knowledge IS power.
If you don’t know the basics of what a keto diet is and how the keto diet really works then jump over to read WHAT IS KETO before continuing on.
If you want a more in depth look at the keto diet, then I would highly recommend the book, Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore. It’s extremely informative, motivating, and an overall great read to help you understand the Ketogenic Diet better.____________________________________________________________________________________
Get OVER Your Fat Fear.
You need to leave behind any fat fear you have, BEFORE you start your keto diet.
What is fat fear? Simply put, it’s the false belief that fats are bad for you. That tiny voice in your head that has told you to pick the non-fat option over the full fat one. It’s the remnants of a very old and misguided low fat campaign that made us think that FAT should NOT be a part of ‘healthy’ diet.
This irrational fear all stems from back in the 1950’s. This is when a man named, Ancel Keys, demonized saturated fats with a few studies suggesting that saturated fat soley was to blame for cardiovascular disease. These studies did NOT have proper scientific back up and unfortunately were the catalyst for a half century long campaign towards eating low fat for our “health”. “Saturated Fats give you cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure,” they said. “Avoid saturated fats at all cost to lower your cholesterol and your risk of heart attack,” they told us. “Eating Fat, will make you FAT,” they preached….
Heading the advice of the USDA, we avoided eating saturated fats. We also replaced saturated fats with VEGETABLE OILS like Soybean oil, Margarine, and Crisco (????…CRINGE) because we were told they were “better” for us. Big food manufacturers jumped in on the movement and removed natural fats from their foods instead pouring excessive amounts of sugar into their low fat products and adding vegetable oils.
Only recently have we realized the hefty consequences eating this way has had as we now have more cases of obesity, diabetes, and a number of other illnesses than EVER before!
A few years ago, in a report released in 2016, it was discovered that those few studies in the 1950’s that pointed the cardiovascular disease blame to Fats and off sugars were influenced BY the sugar industry. Ancel Key’s research WAS actually FUNDED BY the Sugar Research Foundation (the trade association for the sugar industry). See the issue here?
The TRUTH is, we need fats in our foods. Fats help us to absorb vital vitamins and minerals. They’re needed to build cell membranes and the sheaths around surrounding nerves. Fats are vital for blood clotting and regulating inflammation, and they are an EXCELLENT source of energy.
There has FINALLY has been a growing number of research studies that have shown that fats are not to blame for cardiovascular disease, but most people still struggle overcoming their fear of fat. This is partly because the USDA has not updated their Diet Recommendations yet , but mainly because of time. That’s nearly 60 years of collective psyche that will take some serious time to undo.
I personally struggled the first 2-3 weeks on a keto diet overcoming my own fat fear. I grew up amid the low fat advocacy movement. We ate margarine- loads of it- and everything was low fat like milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. I was always under the impression that if you don’t eat fat, you won’t get fat before I started Keto. So, I felt subconscious ‘guilt’ eating all the fats at first… I had to do my own extensive research to finally rid myself of the fear and understand how truly misguided it was in the first place. It’s actually sugars, that I should have been afraid of!
To be successful on a keto diet, you HAVE to overcome your fear of fats; You will be eating LOTS of fats.
If you have any lingering fat fear before you start keto, you should read the NY Times Best Seller, THE BIG FAT SURPISE: Why Butter Meat and Cheese Belong In A Healthy Diet by Nina Tiecholz.
The Big Fat Surprise
Nina, a science journalist, author, and researcher, extensively reviews Ancel’s flawed research and all the health problems it’s resulted in today. It’s truly EYE OPENING, and will complete change your view of fats. You can also visit Nina Ticholz’s blog for more info.____________________________________________________________________________________
Getting into ketosis, what the keto diet is characterized by, is an important piece in the first phase of your ketogenic diet! So, How do you get into Ketosis?
Ketosis is achieved BY restricting your carbohydrate intake!!
Carbs (glucose) have been your body’s primary and preferred source of fuel which you’ve been providing through foods. Once you remove that source of fuel (stop eating carbs), your body will first use as much of the stored glucose (aka glycogen) it can use. Once you run out of available glycogen, then your body will start producing a secondary fuel source-KETONES- which is done by breaking down fats!
It takes time for your glycogen stores to be depleted to where you start needing to produce ketones; thus, the time it takes to get into ketosis can VARY in length of time from person to person.
Getting into Ketosis can take anywhere from 1 -7 days, depending on your body, your exercise routine, how much glycogen you have stored, and exactly how many carbs you are still refueling with, etc.
That being said, if you’re not jazzed about potentially waiting up to the 7 full days to get into a decent state of ketosis, then there are ways to speed ketosis along.
Here’s how to kickstart ketosis:
- Do a Single FAST – Fasting means that you refrain from eating or drinking ANYTHING with calories, with the exception of tea, water (add salt for electrolytes and drink TONS OF WATER), or black coffee for 24-48 hours. This is the FASTest (pun intended ???????? ) way to get ketones produced quickly.
- Do a Fat Fast- Eat ONLY fats for 24-48 hours. No proteins and no carbs.
- Do MORE physical activity to deplete stored glycogen quicker.
- Limit carbs as much as you can handle, increase your fats as much as you can (obviously without overfilling yourself!) while making sure you’re keeping protein low. If you can eat just 5-10 g net carbs the first few days, it will still help speedup ketosis. This is an easy middleground, in my opinion. It’s less limiting, yet will still get you into ketosis faster than just doing a standard keto diet plan of 20 G net carbs daily. ????
Prepare For Keto Flu.
The first few days depriving yourself of what’s been your body’s main source of fuel for YOUR WHOLE LIFE (except infancy because believe or not breastfed babies have been shown to be in ketosis), will probably NOT be a total breeze, honestly.
When getting into a state of ketosis, you WON’T feel like a million bucks (yet); you’ll actually feel like you’re coming down with a case of the flu! You will have what’s called…….. the KETO FLU!
The keto “flu” is basically a period of CARB WITHDRAWAL. People get the keto flu to varying degrees (mild to severe). The severity depends on your standard consumption level of carbohydrates, your inherent metabolic flexibility (how quick and easy your body can switch fuel sources) and whether or not you’re actively mitigating the symptoms .
Sounds kind of like a prolonged hangover, am I right?
My personal experience with starting keto and with the keto flu was a ROUGH one, as I was a serious carbivore before I went keto:
Day 1— overall, not bad. I felt hungry with a few cravings, but that’s it (I was still running on stored glucose!).
Day 2 and Day 3– the peak of my misery. I had what felt like an INSATIABLE hunger, with cravings for ANYTHING with carbs. I gobbled whole avacados and coconut oil in attempt to satisfy my ever-increasing desire to shove my face into a giant bowl full of sugar or pasta. I felt mildly brain dead, and I felt super shaky with a constant dull headache. I was consistently SWEATING and lethargic. I was legitimately going through a “WITHDRAWAL”. You might think I’m being dramatic, but the struggle. WAS. REAL. ……
Day 4– much better. I woke up with more energy & less brain fog. Started thinking- Okay, I can do this! I felt increasingly better as the hours went on.
Day 7- HALLEJULAH. I woke up feel AMAZING with LOADS of energy, a totally clear mind, and no more aches and pains in back like usual. I felt like there was NOTHING, that I couldn’t tackle (as I imagined myself able to rescue a runaway bus full of people from falling off a bridge, superwoman style).
I am not sharing the uncomfortable truth of my keto flu story to scare you; I want to PREPARE you. There are lots actions you can take to actively mitigate the symptoms of keto flu – which is what I should have done instead of suffering through it.
Minimize Keto Flu Symptoms By:
- Staying Hydrated- Ketosis results in losing extract fluids quickly (you’ll notice water weight being lost almost immediately!) Aim to drink at least 80-100 fl ozs each day if you’re female, and 90-110 fl ozs if you’re male. Even if your keto flu is mild, this is a NECESSITY!
- Drinking your ELECTROLYTES- this is the MOST IMPORTANT thing, aside from just staying hydrated, you can do. You can drink water with salt in it, Bone Broth, or drink one of these keto- friendly electrolyte mixes from Amazon: Dr. Berg’s, Kiss My Keto, or Keto Vitals. I personally love Dr. Berg’s electrolyte mix simply because the flavor is my favorite. It’s a little spendier but does last you a LONG time! ????
- Supplementing with vitamins – Take supplements to replace electrolytes. You specifically need Potassium , Magnesium, and Sodium when you start a keto diet. You will not only want to take these to help kick keto flu, but also to take regularly throughout your keto diet. NATURAL CALM is my FAVORITE all around supplement to take. It’s a triple whammy with adequate daily amounts of Magnesium , Potassium, and Calcium plus it’s super easy to mix into water each day (no pills to swallow = MEGA BONUS). Magnesium helps with muscle cramping, sleep (take before bed!), headache reduction, and even constipation (sorry to say but this happens on keto!). For extra sodium in your diet just add extra table salt to your meals, or add to a cup of water each day (mmm a delicous cup that tastes like the ocean????) .
Calcium and Vitamin C may also fill nutritional gaps on a keto diet, but aren’t necessary at start of keto.
- Getting Enough Sleep- Aim for 8 hours.
- Doing some light exercise- If the gym isn’t your thing, try going for a walk, a short hike, or taking your dog around the neighborhood each day! You will probably feel tired when you have the keto flu, but if you push yourself to do at least some light exercise, you will feel better! It’s also a great distraction from carb cravings 🙂 .
- Eating more fat – MCT oil is an excellent way to add fats into your keto diet, will give you energy, and is tasteless! Add it to coffee, tea or a green smoothie.
- Doing what you can to speed up ketosis –the quicker your body starts making ketones, the quicker it will adapt to using them, and the SOONER your symptoms will disappear.
Learn What You Can And Can’t Eat.
It would be impossible for me to list EVERYTHING out that you can and can’t eat, but we can look at some of the most common food do’s and don’ts to get you started on keto!
First, when choosing meats, eggs, and dairy products, you should be eating Organic, Grass Fed, Free Range or Cage Free products if possible! Believe it or not, not all fats are created equal in these products! Grass-fed/organic/pasture raised animal products have more Omega 3s (very good for you and heart healthy). Grain-fed/caged/non-organic animal meats, dairy, and eggs have a high level of Omega 6s (too much is bad for you and cause inflammation). If you do, for any reason (perhaps for cost purposes?), eat meats that are NOT grassfed, then you should look for LEAN cuts. That way, you can avoid eating too many Omega 6s and just get your fats from other healthier sources instead.
|Foods||What You CAN Eat||What You CAN'T Eat|
|Grains & Flours||Almond Flour, Coconut Flour, Psyllium Husk, Lupin Flour, Flax Meal, Hazelnut Flour, Glucomannan , Oat Fiber, Protein Powder, Collagen Powder||Bread, Rice, Noodles, Crackers, Cereal, Oats or Oatmeal, Flour Tortillas, Corn Tortillas, Whole Wheat Flour, Cornmeal, Quinoa, Cous Cous, Pretzels, Whole Wheat, Corn, Flour, Bagels or Pitas, Granola, Popcorn, Barley, Millet, Buckwheat|
|Vegetables||Spinach, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Bok Choy, Celery, Asparagus, Arugula, Mushrooms, Lettuce, Zucchini, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Kale, Green beans, Tomatoes, Pumpkins, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Bell Peppers, Onion, Artichokes, Olives, Celery, Daikon Radishes, Jicama, Shallots, Garlic||Potatoes, Yams, Parsnips, Turnips, Beets, Carrots|
|Legumes||Tofu, Edamame||Black Beans, Kidney Beans, Pinto Beans, Lima Beans, Peas, Lentils|
|Fruits||Avacado, Blackberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Lemon, Lime, Rhubarb, Coconut, Olives||Bananas, Apples, Oranges, Grapes, Peaches, Melons, Pineapple, Cherries, Pears, Grapefruit, Mango, Kiwi|
|Dairy||Soft and Hard Cheeses, Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream, Butter, Cream Cheese, Mascarpone, Heavy Cream, Half & Half (twice as much carbs as heavy cream though), Creme Fraiche, Some Greek Yogurts (plain)||Yogurt, Milk (regular dairy milk)|
|Meats, Fish, Eggs, & Poultry||Bacon, Pork, Steaks, Beef, Turkey, Hamburger Patties, Chicken, Liver, Lamb, pepperoni, Salami, Organic Deli Meat, Fish and Salmon, Shrimp, Lobster, Crab, Scallops, Oysters, Eggs, Bacon & Sausage & Ham (lookout for added sugars though), Eggs||Sugar Coated Meats, Jerky (unless no sugar), Breaded Meats|
|Fats & Oils||Ghee, Coconut Oil, Avacado Oil, Olive Oil, Lard, Tallow, Grassfed Butter, Macadamia Oil, MCT Oil||TRANS FATS (????), Margarine, Canola Oil, Soybean Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Peanut Oil, Safflower Oil, Sunflower Oil, Corn Oil, Crisco|
|Nuts & Seeds||Macadamia Nuts, Almonds, Walnuts, Pine Nuts, Nut Butters (without added sugar), Brazil Nuts, Pecans, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Chia seeds, Flax seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Hemp Hearts||Cashews and Pistachios|
|Sweets & Sugars||Erythritol (granular, powdered, or "brown"), Monkfruit, Stevia, Allulose, Xylitol, Yacon Syrup||Sugar, Honey, Maple Syrup, Agave Nectar, Aspartame, Splenda, Corn Syrup, Jam, Turbinado Sugar, Coconut Sugar, Malitol & Isomalt (most people can't, but they affect people differently)|
|Alcohols||Clear Liquor or Pure Spirits, Mixed Drinks (with sugar-free sodas or soda water), Wine, Low-Carb Beer (ie. Michelob Ultra), Trulys, White Claws.||Regular or Craft Beer, Champagne, Sugary Cocktails, Dessert Wines, Sparkling Wines, Margaritas, Mimosas, Sweetened Liquors (ie. Peppermint Schnopps or Fireball), Wine Coolers|
|Sauces & Condiments||Vinegars, Hot Sauce, Sriracha, Mayo (soybean oil free), Ketchup (sugar-free), Mustard, Dijon Mustard, Salad Dressings (without sugar or soybean oil), Pesto, Chimichurri, Horseradish, Coconut Aminos, Liquid Aminos or Gluten-Free Soy Sauce, Worcester Sauce, BBQ sauce (sugar-free), Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, Alfredo Sauce (without flour), Guacamole, Salsa, Aioli, Bernaise, Hollondaise, Spices||Regular Ketchup, Sweetened BBQ sauce, Salad Dressings (with sugars or soybean oil), Soy Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, Mayo made with Soybean Oil, Hoisin Sauce, Sweet & Sour Sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce|
*** Don’t be discouraged by this list of ‘no’ foods, as these are no’s to the ‘regular versions’. There is a keto-friendly substitute for literally EVERYTHING above (including breads and pastas, rice, and condiments). You just have to make these foods yourself or buy a specialty (sugarfree or low carb) product ????____________________________________________________________________________________
Know How To Read Nutrition Labels.
Whether you’re cleansing your pantry of non-keto friendly foods, shopping for new foods at the grocery store, or calculating the amounts of macro in your new keto dinners, you’re going to NEED TO KNOW how to READ nutritional information. Guessing how much is in what foods is not the best practice when you start keto a diet if you want to consistently stay in ketosis.
As you should know by now, the nutritional values you will need to focus on are the fats, proteins, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, carbohydrates.
Thankfully, all packaged foods are labeled with NUTRITION LABELS that lay most of this information out for you. The Fats and Proteins numbers you need to know are pretty straight forward- you will just need to know the total grams of each in the foods you eat – EASY PEASY! We’re going to come back to How much of each of these you should be eating in the next FEW sections though- so hold that thought.
Carbohydrate nutritional info, however, is NOT as straightforward, because you’re not going to be tracking the TOTAL Carbohydrates; you’re going to need to know the total NET Carbohydrates. And NET Carbohyrdates are NOT specifically listed out on your nutrition labels (???? dangit).
So, you need to know how to CALCULATE NET CARBS.
Don’t worry though, you don’t need to know calculus to do this; it’s just a little subtraction!
What are Net Carbohydrates? Net carbohydrates are the important carbs that are left AFTER you’ve subtracted Fiber and Sugar Alcohols, which are the carbs that DON’T affect your blood sugar like other carbs do. Fiber and sugar alcohols are processed differently by your liver, don’t turn immediately into glucose and thus, they won’t affect your ketosis!
You can track overall Carbs instead, but I wouldn’t recommend it, because you do want to keep fiber in your diet. Fiber is GOOD FOR YOU and it’s okay to eat on keto- so no need to avoid it! Keeping Fibers in your diet is good for gut health, weight loss, lowering blood sugar, preventing constipation, and even reducing cholesterol!
We just need to do some basic math, to calculate your NET carbohydrate intakes….. Here’s how to do that.
Total Carbohydrates – Fiber – Sugar Alcohols (if any) = TOTAL NET CARBS
Let’s practice this on a real nutrition label, from KetoVale. When reading labels like this, you will want to look at the grams (not percentages)next to each row of nutrients. For net carbs look in the red box, carb section.
Total Carbs (19 Grams) – Fiber (2g) – Sugar Alcohol (15 g) = 2 GRAMS OF NET CARBS in each serving, which in this case happens to be one whole bar (as listed at the top of the label under serving size).
19-2-15 = 2 See, it’s a piece a cake.????
Don’t neglect to pay attention to serving sizes listed on nutrition labels as well; this is also VERY important. Some products list the serving size as REALLY small (smaller than you would actually eat in one sitting), so that may make it appear to have lower carbs, fats and proteins than the amount you’re actually eating.
You ALSO NEED TO BE AWARE THAT the regulations for ingredients (in the U.S. at least) state that nutritional facts BELOW .5 grams per serving size, DO NOT have to be listed on a nutrition label!????. Let me explain that further.
Let’s use heavy whipping cream as an example (a STAPLE in my household). Most Heavy Whipping Cream containers list 0 total carbs with a serving size of 1 TBSP. If you google the carbs for 1 cup of heavy cream you’ll find that it actually has almost 7 GRAMS of carbohydrates (there’s no fiber or sugar alcohols to subtract, so that’s straight net carbs). Google is not mistaken. So HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN??? This happens because 1 TBSP is a TINY amount; it’s the equivalent of 1/16th of a cup. 1 Cup ( which actually has 7 carbs) divided by 16 (for the 16 tbsp in a cup) = .43 grams of carbs per Tablespoon. The Food Administration allows them to list anything below .5 grams as 0 as it’s considered a negligible amount.
Is this going to make or break your ketosis? No, probably not. It IS a fairly negligible amount. But, if you’re like me, and CANNOT enjoy JUST ONE little tablespoon of whipped cream (made sugar free of course!) at a time, then it could make or break your net carb limits for the day.
To keep this from screwing up your ketosis, just know that ALL DAIRY products have carbs, in trace amounts. Look to our good friend Google, by searching for larger serving sizes of your dairy products if you’re eating larger portions than are listed.
For more info, read my posts Are you Eating Hidden Carbs? and THERE’S CARBS IN YOUR DAIRY PRODUCTS.____________________________________________________________________________________
Calculate Your Macros.
Whether you’re a Type A (and love numbers), or you’re a Type B (and hate numbers) personality, you DO NEED TO calculate your macros. The only way to actually be ON a true KETO DIET, is to be in a state of ketosis. If you’re not in ketosis, then you’re actually just on a low carb diet (which is NOT the same). Calculating how much of each of the macronutrients (Fat, Protein, and Carbs) is the best way to get an idea/guideline of what you need to eat in a day to remain in ketosis.
There’s tons of “calculators” you can find online to get your macronutrient profile. I’m pretty sure I have tried EVERY single keto macrocalculator out there. One day, I’ll make my own for FATKITCHEN, but until then, I’ll guide you through the one I’ve found to be the MOST accurate and easiest to use for a beginner.
Follow these steps to get the EXACT MACROS, tailored PERFECTLY to you, that will help you reach your keto goals.
1. Go to Ruled.Me’s Keto Macro Calculator.
2. Choose Your Unit of Preference – Metric or Imperial
4. Fill In Your Personal Info (Until You Reach Body Fat Percentage)
4. Enter Your Body Fat %
- If you don’t know your body fat % then look at these visual body fat images to help you estimate your percentage. If you can use calipers or a DEXA machine to get your body fat %, you’ll have a little more precise results, but estimating works just fine too ????.
5. Choose Your Activity Level (Based On Your Average)
6. Choose Your Calorie Deficit Based On Your Weight Loss Goals You can select to lose weight (a calorie deficit), maintain your current weight (no calorie change), or gain muscle (a calorie surplus). See below for percentage amounts suggested for each.
- If you’re trying to lose weight: Most people should choose anywhere from 0 to 20% to stay at a successful, healthy level of weight loss. Up to a 30 % calorie deficit can be used for special circumstances.
- significant weight loss*= 20% calorie deficit. This would be for an estimated 2 lbs of weight lost per week (lbs of loss may vary based on your starting weight).
- moderate weight loss = 10% calorie deficit.
- minor amount of weight loss = 5% calorie deficit. This would be if you have just a few lbs you’d like to lose over a longer period of time.
- 100 Lbs + Of Weight Loss = 30% calorie deficit. This amount of calorie deficit should only be used if you have a VERY large amount of weight to lose, mean you have a 100 lbs or more of desired weight loss. Use this high of a calorie deficit with caution*.
*If you meet this criteria you can set your calorie deficit at -30 safely; however, know this is a big change and may be quite challenging. It means you’ll be eating 30% LESS calories than your body requires for it’s current daily energy needs. Use with caution, and if you find it to be too challenging, then just go back and re-calculate with a 20% deficit instead (which is much more manageable)!
- If you’re not doing keto for weight loss, and you are happy with your weight on the scale, then you will choose maintain weight. Or, if you have already lost weight on keto, but now want to recalculate macros to stay at your current weight, then you want to choose the maintain weight option. There is no percentage to enter for this category.
- If you’re trying to gain weight (muscle weight gains), then you will want to choose 5-10% calorie surplus. This should only be done if you want your weight on the scale to go UP, not down, and are following a very intense and regular, heavy weight lifting plan. If you’re just trying to transform some fat into muscle (gain lean muscle), or tone and shape your body then a calorie surplus is NOT for you.
7. Enter your protein ratio:
This ratio is the protein grams you’ll be eating per lb of lean body mass that you have ( if you don’t know what per lb of body mass means, don’t worry you don’t need to know– just follow below)
- If you’re regularly in the gym doing weight lifting (more than 1-2 days a week) or intense, muscle-building, long duration cardio sessions, then enter 1.0 grams.
- If you workout non-regularly, doing either light cardio or do occassional light weight lifting, then enter .8 grams.
- If you don’t do ANY exercising at all, then enter .68, since you won’t need extra protein.
- If you’re doing highly intense, or extended amounts of muscle building ( and eating a calorie surplus to account for that), or you are doing a high intensity fat loss cut or workout program that includes strength training 5-7 days per week, then you may want to enter between 1.0-1.2 grams . (*because these activities may benefit from a slightly higher ratio of protein to prevent muscle loss or support muscle growth)
8. Click CALCULATE to get your macros profile in both grams and percentages. SCREENSHOT THESE NUMBERS. Memorize these numbers. Praise these numbers. These numbers will guide you into ketosis, help you maintain ketosis, and ensure you reach your weight loss goals. These are the most important numbers when you’re learning how to start a keto diet!!
As you lose weight and your body fat % changes, you will need to periodically go back and re-calculate your macronutrient profile. I’d recommend re-visiting the calculator once a month if you’re losing a significant amount of weight each month.____________________________________________________________________________________
Eat The Right Amount Of Foods.
What do your macrocalculator results MEAN? Your total macro amounts should be YOUR guide to HOW MUCH and WHAT you choose to eat each day to be on a truly ketogenic diet and to maintain your desired level of weight loss. Let’s break down each result!
Total Calories (Kcals): This calculation is based on your body, your level of physical activity, and your weight loss goals. It’s the overall number of calories needed to MAINTAIN your current weight MINUS the calories you need to SKIP out on to lose you’re desired amount of weight (which we calculated in a % on macrocalculator slider bar) .
If you’re number seems small, that is BECAUSE of how much weight you want to lose or because of low amount of physical activity. You don’t have to eat that low of calories, but know that you will not lose weight as quickly. Just one pound of fat lost is the equivalent of a 3500 calories burned. That means if you were to do a crazy 3500 calorie burning workout, you’d lose one pound of fat. Skip eating 3500 calories worth of food- lose one pound. No matter what kind of diet you’re on- it takes 3500 calories gone or burned to lose 1 lb . Plain and simple- this is fact.
Don’t be alarmed if it seems low though! You will find that you can eat WAY LESS Calories on a high fat, low carb diet than you normally would, because fats are super satiating and very filling. There are days where don’t even want to eat lunch because I at such a heartily high fat breakfast, that I’m full for hours. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much less you can eat and feel satisfied for longer on this diet.
Protein (Grams): This is the total number of grams of protein you should shoot for each day. This number is slightly flexible. Don’t stress if you go over a bit, but still watch carefully. Eating too much protein, just means you feel more full from protein and might have less room to eat your energy providing fats for the day, and it could affect your ketosis. You certainly want to make sure you’re not eating too little of protein too, because not getting enough protein can cause negative side effects like hormone imbalance, hair loss, and tiredness.
Fat (Grams): This number is your guide for the total grams of fat you should be consuming each day; it’s the most flexible. It won’t affect your ketosis if you go over, but it can slow down your weight loss efforts. You might think this number is hard to hit, especially when you’re first starting a keto diet, since it’s much more fat than you’re probably used to. Two pieces of bacon only has 6-7 grams of fat, and you’ll probably be eating somewhere between 100-200 grams of FAT a DAY, so you’ll have to work to find ways to add extra fats into your diet. You can certainly eat less than your fat macros suggest IF YOU’RE FULL on fats. Listen to your body, and don’t FORCE yourself to eat more fats if you’re super full. If you’re not full, then you just need to mindful of filling up on things that are NOT adding to your fat grams for the day, because that can throw off your macros.
Net Carbs (Grams): You already know what net carbs are. 20 grams of net carbs are a maximum, but you can ALWAYS eat less than 20 grams of net carbs per day. As time goes on and you get well adapted to burning fat for fuel (usually 3+months), you may be able to increase the number of net carbs you can eat and remain in ketosis.
Here’s some tips on how to meet your fat macros on a keto diet____________________________________________________________________________________
Track What You’re Eating.
Do you have to just commit what you eat to memory once you start eating keto and hope your math is on point all day? Absolutely not! There’s TONS of mobile and desktop apps out there to easily track what you’re eating each day!
My Three Favorites Keto Macro Tracking Apps are:
#1. The Keto Diet App (my favorite and what I use today)-
There’s a cost associated now to using this but well worth it because Martina has pre-loaded TONS of foods in this excellent app. You can scan the barcode on products for a super quick upload, search through the THOUSANDS of pre-loaded foods, or manually enter the macros of as you go. It displays the percentages achieved toward your daily goals, and how many grams grams you have left to go to meet them. If you use this app – make sure to MANUALLY ‘Edit your goals’ to the macros you’ve already calculated, AND turn on the ‘count NET CARBS’ button. Her App does have a macrocalculator built in, but it doesn’t allow you to calculate specifically based off the amount of protein, so I prefer to calculate on perfectketo, and enter those numbers in manually to this app. The downside to his app is that it does not subtract sugar alcohols for you. You have to manually or mentally do that.
#2: My Fitness Pal:
This is a great app, owned by Under Armour. It has hundreds of thousands of foods pre-loaded into it. In addition, it allows you to both download via mobile app and desktop app and will sync data between the two, as well as allowing you to sync it to your fitbit for exercise tracking. You have to pay 10$ a month though, to play with your macros if you need to change them. Major downside – it does NOT have an option to track NET Carbs.
#3: Carb Manager:
This app is good because it will do what you need it to and is free. You can also track net carbs. In terms of display it will break down your daily macro intakes into pie chart, shows you remaining grams per day towards your goal, and will turn red when you’ve gone over your macros. Has lots of pre-populated foods, but not everything so you might have to manually enter every once in a while your food. With the premium version at 3-4$ per month you can take a picture of your food use image recognition to help you track each entry quicker.____________________________________________________________________________________
There’s lots of ways to tell if your hard work is paying off and gauge whether you’re actually in ketosis or not.
You can always go by how you’re feeling (the free method). Are you losing weight? Do you have funky breath (yes- this IS an odd side effect of ketosis)? Do you feel super energized when you wake up? Do you notice yourself feeling less hungry when you don’t eat? Do you feel more focused? Are you thirstier than usual? These are all signs of being in ketosis!
If you’re the type of person who needs to actually KNOW for sure whether you’re in ketosis or not (that would be ME), there’s thankfully tools you can use to test your ketone levels accurately! I do STRONGLY recommend testing yourself if you’re serious about your ketogenic diet! Testing yourself will ENSURE you’re maximizing your keto benefits, confirm that you’re not accidentally eating too many hidden carbs, and give you an actual measurement that tells you that you’re doing everything right.
More importantly , a tester is just a tool that can help you hone in further on your diet and maximize the benefits, ESPECIALLY if you’re doing keto for theraupatic reasons (it’s really a MUST if you’re doing keto for medical reasons)! How can you improve and optimize something that you don’t measure???
Click the underlined link to find these products on Amazon if that’s easiest for you.
Blood Glucose/Ketone Meter- These are a bit of an investment but WELL worth it. I still use mine to this day, very often actually. You prick your finger with the tiniest automatic needle, touch the blood drop to the strip, and VOILA! You’re very accurate LEVEL of blood ketones (optimal levels for ketosis = between .5 mmol up to 4.0 mmol) will tell you ARE in fact in ketosis & what level of ketosis you’re in! This tester also shows your blood glucose levels, (which you’ll need know once you’ve been keto for a longer period of time or if you are trying to lower blood glucose levels)! You can buy the additional blood glucose strips that work with this tester too. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the KETO MOJO, especially if I’ve eaten something questionably keto (at a restaurant or something) because I can test a few hours after and make sure I didn’t get kicked out of ketosis! It’s never failed me! Keto MOJO is ALSO offering a 15% discount to my followers if you order direct from their site! Click this 15% banner to apply the discount (automatically applied at checkout!).
Ketone Urine Strips – Most affordable, however, they aren’t always accurate. These strips are only testing the extra ketones your producing and not using (since you’re peeing them out). They yield inaccurate results if you’ve drank too much water (they’ll be diluted and show less ketones than you are actually producing ???? ). But, if you’re on a budget and just want to know if you are producing some ketones in the beginning- this can do the trick at a very low cost. Testing first thing in the morning will be best to prevent diluted results caused by drinking too much water.
Ketone Breathalyzer – A ketone breath analyzer could be an in between option price wise, but I’ve heard it’s not as accurate as the ketone blood meter, or even the test strips. I’ve personally never tried one so…. I’m not sure if this is a recommendable product or not, but it’s an option you could look into. Since I don’t personally use one and don’t know of a brand I can stand behind, I don’t have a link to one to share-sorry!
Here’s an in depth guide on how to use your KETO MOJO!____________________________________________________________________________________
Meal Plan And Grocery Shop.
Yep- THERE’S STILL MORE IN THIS ULTIMATE GUIDE ON HOW TO START KETO. Hang in there, you’re ALMOST on the path to ketogenic success. ????
Next, is MEAL PLANNING and grocery shopping. You non-planners are going to hate this, but I have to say it! Planning at minimum a few meals a week to cook is going to DRAMATICALLY help you stay on track, ESPECIALLY for those first 3 weeks! You don’t want to get home from work on a Tuesday night- with no keto friendly food in the fridge, no recipes planned, a rumbling belly, a grocery store that seems WAY TO FAR away, and Jack In The Box summoning you to it’s drive thru.
To make meal planning and shopping easier:
- Plan your week’s meals on Sunday.
You’ll set yourself up for a GREAT week, when you can plan a few dinners to cook throughout the week on SUNDAY afternoon (before the week starts). If you have time to actually make/meal prep lunches, you can cook five days worth of one meal ahead of time!
- DOUBLE your recipes when cooking dinner for lunch the next day.
I’m a BIG BIG BIG fan of the motto:
Cook Once, Eat TWICE …..Meaning? EVERY SINGLE dinner I make, I cook double the servings and eat leftovers the next day for lunch. It really isn’t ANY extra effort to double the serving size of a recipe and the ingredients (besides some math). 🙂 This is ideal, if you don’t have time to meal prep before the work week for lunches.
- Start with cooking EASY keto meals:
Take a look at my “Easy Kickstart Keto” pinterest boards for some ideas of the EASY, satisfying, Keto recipes, that anybody can make. They will make meal planning simple for your first few weeks. I have an easy keto kickstart board for breakfast, dinners, desserts, and breads!
- Use Pinterest:
Pinterest is going to be your best friend when looking for keto friendly recipes quickly. Use the search term KETO. Type anything using keto as your search phrase….. keto chicken, keto dinner , keto steak, Keto Veggies etc. to get nearly endless amounts of options, for whatever you’re craving! You can also use “low carb” as a search term but those recipes aren’t always guaranteed to have low enough net carbs for keto (so you have to look at their nutritional info closer). Look to Keto Food Bloggers- There’s tons of purely KETO recipes being added here on FATKITCHEN’S Recipe Index. In addition, I’m a particular fan of all the recipes from these other great keto food bloggers:
- Think about signing up for a keto-friendly, grassfed meats delivery service:
You can get healthy grassfed, organic, free-range meats delivered STRAIGHT to your doorstep every month(or every other month if you prefer) if you sign up with BUTCHER BOX. OMG- life saver ???? Great option if you don’t have a Costco or a local butcher with grassfed, organic meats nearby.
- Get keto foods in bulk at COSTCO: My Costco DOES have organic chicken, salmon, Kielbasa, etc. there! Plus tons of other keto goodies. See my GUIDE TO SHOPPING KETO AT COSTCO.
- Consider Signing up for a grocery delivery service:
Instacart is the BEST food delivery service for all your groceries (including perishables!) This is not an affiliate link, I’m just a BIG Fan of them. With the click of a button, you can have all your necessary dinner ingredients set on your doorstep within 1-2 hours ???? . It’s AMAZING. They even do health food stores (like whole foods) that deliver tons of keto specific products! This has saved me a number of times, because NOBODY enjoys grocery shop with a tantrum-prone two year old during rush hour– am I right?!
- Order Amazon Prime for Non-Perishables:
Now days, nearly EVERYONE seems to be apart of the amazon prime program already 😉 So, USE it ! Two day, free delivery for all your Keto non-perishable items? YAS! I use Amazon account for SO MANY things-my sugar-free condiments, sweeteners, baking “flours”, chocolate bars, pancake mixes, protein powders-literally ANYTHING that isn’t refrigerated, I get on Amazon. They even sell some keto products (like Anthony’s Erythritol sweetener and almond flour) in BULK bags for cheaper bulk prices ON AMAZON amd then I don’t even have to go to the store???? !! The downside is the boxes (my husband’s favorite part ???? ) , but at least they make great makeshift ‘houses’ and ‘spaceships’ for my two year old.
Try Bulletproof Coffee.
Maybe you’ve heard of bulletproof coffee, or maybe you haven’t. Regardless, it’s definitely worth exploring and trying once you start your ketogenic diet.
What’s a bulletproof coffee? It’s just a name (branded by the makers of Bulletproof MCT OIL) for a specific method of making coffee with added fats. A bulletproof coffee can have some variations, but most include a coffee (or espresso base) with the addition of healthy fats (MCT Oil, Ghee, or Coconut Oil), heavy cream (or coconut cream), your favorite sweetener if desired- BLENDING it all up into frothy and creamy delight. Blending it, is KEY, as the blending is what emulsifies the fats to create a smooth drink and a delicious foam on top.
I always get asked if I “drink that bulletproof coffee stuff” when people find out I’m on a keto diet. The answer is YES!!! Bulletproof coffee is my favorite way to enjoy my morning (or afternoon) cup of jo. When I first started keto, I struggled with missing my favorite coffee drink with coconut cream flavored (loaded with sugar) International delight creamer until this deliciously energizing beverage took it’s place and now I’m HOOKED.
Not only is it delicious, but it’s a REALLY great way to meet your fat intake goals AND fuel your day with healthy fats to burn first thing in the morning. Pair it with some bacon and eggs to get your macro proportions on point and energize you for HOURS, or add some protein powder and make your coffee a meal on the go.
Check out exactly how I make my own version of “bulletproof coffee”, which I call my FAT CUP OF JO.____________________________________________________________________________________
Plan For Cravings.
No matter how determined you are to not give in to your old sugar loving cravings when you begin keto , there will most definitely be at least a time or two where your sweet tooth will haunt your dreams at night. Whether it be on day 1, day 20, or EVERYDAY in between – you WILL find yourself with THE CRAVING.
You can’t have the traditional treats you used to get. You won’t be able to drive to plaid pantry at Midnight when ALL OF THE SUDDEN the craving hits, your mouth is watering, and you decide you’d actually be willing to cut off your right ARM if it meant you could bite into a King Size Twix bar at that moment (real story).
It happens to the best of us. You can prevent potential keto derailment if you:
PLAN ACCORDINGLY FOR SWEET CRAVINGS.
Luckily, there’s a ton of great natural sweeteners out there that won’t affect your ketosis and loads of keto dessert recipes without real sugar in them. There’s even pre-made treats that are keto friendly too you can have on hand! I have been pleasantly surprised with how DELICIOUS sugar-free desserts can BE, which says a lot as I consider myself a connoisseur of sweets treats.
The best Sugar-Free sweeteners that won’t mess with your ketosis to consider having on hand (click to find on amazon!):
Erythritol (MY TOP CHOICE) – It tastes and bakes JUST LIKE SUGAR. Comes in powdered & granular versions or brown ‘sugar’, and you can buy in bulk bags on amazon too in many different brands (I’ve linked my faves). I use ALL three of these different forms of erythritol regularly in various sweet recipes, sometimes together, sometimes separate based on what I’m making. 0 net carbs!
Monkfruit Sweetener – another alternative to sugar that bakes pretty similar to sugar. Also 0 net carbs
Stevia– Most people either love or hate stevia. It’s concentrated and extra sweet, so you don’t need much at all and comes in powdered form or concentrated liquid drops. I don’t mind it in my coffee or non-baked goodies (like peanut butter cups), but, personally, I am NOT a fan of it in my baked goods since I think it has a bit of an aftertaste. 0 net carbs for Stevia 🙂 You can find packet mixes, called TRUVIA, which are erythritol and stevia mixed- so convenient! I really love to use those in my coffee since they’re an EASY and perfectly sweet combo, and I carry them in my purse for coffees on the go!
Allulose – If you’re going to make anything with a gooey texture (think caramel, syrup, butterscotch, sauces or sugar free ‘corn syrup’ kind of a texture ) Allulose is a MUST. It’s the best sugar-free sweetener I’ve found with little to no ‘sugar’ crystallization after being cooled. It’s truly a must have in my Gooey Salted Caramel, Pecan Sticky Buns, Asian Caramelized Pork, Sweet and Sour Sauce, Pecan pie, and Homemade Maple Syrup recipes for a smooth texture just like real sugar. Also, it’s 0 net carbs too.
For other keto sweetener or more info read my GUIDE TO KETO FRIENDLY SWEETENERS
I carry my favorite pre-made sweet treat, Lily’s Chocolate Bars, in the creamy milk flavor in my purse AT ALL TIMES (for real though) for emergencies. Go to a movie with your significant other and watch, longingly as they eat a whole box of milk duds while you’re drooling all over yourself? Easy fix, just bust out your sugar-free Lily’s chocolate bar from your purse or your pocket! It works every time ????____________________________________________________________________________________
Purchase Keto Starter Necessities.
There’s a keto friendly substitute you can make for literally EVERYTHING – I’ve EVEN made BREAD, PASTA, AND CORN TORTILLAS (and they were actually GOOD too).
There’s a few specialty staples that you’ll need to cook and bake at home whn you start keto.. You don’t need to buy EVERY keto product under the sun when you first start out; you can build your keto pantry up slowly as you go 😉
These are what I’d suggest as the pantry items and ingredients you will want to invest in in the beginning though, as they are the basics of most of the keto recipes!
Keto Starter Necessities are (click the links to ship TODAY from amazon!):
- Almond Flour – Finely ground almond flour is my favorite flour replacement. You should know that different brands have different net carbs (Took some research for me to figure that out at first). I highly recommend ANTHONY’s brand as it’s the LOWEST net carbs I’ve found per ¼ cup (plus it can be bought in BIG bags ????). It’s only 2 g net carbs per 1/4 cup! Another option is the costco brand of almond flour is the same macros! If you buy it in 4lb bags from the amazon link above, they come out to be about the same price!
- Coconut Flour – Anthony’s brand is another winner here too. The 4lb bag on Amazon is the best bang for your buck I’ve found! I am personally not a fan of the flavor of coconut flour on it’s own in recipes, but it works great in small amounts mixed with almond flour to help it all hold together! Most of mine, and other blogger’s recipes use a combination of both in a majority of baked goods for the best texture and flavor.
- Erythritol – Just trust me- you will need this sweetener ( as I’ve mentioned already!). Swerve is my favorite brand of erythritol, and they sell them in two packs of both granular AND Powdered on amazon as linked above. You WILL want both kinds for different things, even to start out. Powdered works best for anything you don’t a super smooth texture (like whipped cream!), so it’s important to have on hand ! The “brown sugar” erythritol is good to have too (used in my famous BEST Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies and Butterscotch Blondies recipes), but I’d put it below the other two kinds of erythritol in importance, if you can’t afford all three at once). Or if you want to buy in bulk for cheaper, you can buy other brands, like So Nourished, granular erythritol or So Nourished powdered erythritol.
- Coconut Oil – healthy fats – great for cooking because of it’s higher smoke point. 🙂 make sure you get it unflavored, if you don’t want coconut flavored foods when cooking with it.
- Ghee – Clarified Butter is one of the my favorite fats to cook with because it has a high smoke point ( so it’s safe to saute with!), and that nice buttery flavor.
- Avacado Oil & Avacado Oil Spray – My favorite brand is the chosen foods brand of both of these products. It has a 500 degree smokepoint, so also very safe for sauteing and cooking with and it’s pretty much flavorless! . Both the oil and the spray are MUST haves! The spray should replace any and all cooking sprays you’ve ever used. I use mine EVERY day.
Some other necessities you will want to purchase ahead of time:
- SugarFree Ketchup and Soybean-Free Mayo– These are MUST HAVES Staples for me.
- Lily’s Chocolate Baking Chips and Lily’s chocolate bars– you can THANK ME LATER for this one. If you’re going to get one between the two, go for the chocolate bar. You can chop it up into chunks to use instead of the chocolate chips if needed in most recipes!
- MaraNatha’s Creamy Peanut Butter – Lowest Carb Peanut Butter around!
- Sugar Free Maple Syrup – Only 1 gram of net carbs per two tbsp of this delicious syrup! A must have for keto pancakes or waffles!!
- Keto Salad Dressings – Soybean oil free salad dressings aren’t the easiest to find at the grocery store! Primal Kitchen Brand salad dressings you can find on amazon is made with all natural, organic ingredients, low carb, no sugar and are soybean oil FREE! They make Ranch, Ceaser, Honey Dijon or Greek, Italian and Balsamic, and a few others!
- Sugar-less Chicken Broth or Beef Broth
There are some readily available products out there for your convenience that are KETO FRIENDLY and might be helpful in starting out – like protein bars, bagels, cake mixes, cookies, or pancake mixes, etc… Check out my keto Keto Pantry for all the necessities and extras to make your life easier!____________________________________________________________________________________
Be Prepared For Eating Out On Keto.
You don’t have to worry about always cooking your own food when you start a keto diet; you can definitely STILL eat out at restaurants on keto. Most restaurants have a low carb option or at least can make one! It’s always a safe bet to get a steak or with just veggies – just nix potatoes or French fries that come with it, ask for extra veggies, ask for butter on top or even better blue cheese! Most places have a burger option that works too- sans the bun, add bacon and go ketchup free (unless you bring your own sugarfree ketchup like I do!). Look for a protein dish and just get a side of veggies, or get a salad – no croutons and ask for olive oil as your dressing or use ranch or blue cheese .
If you’re still not sure what to order at a restaurant in the beginning, then don’t be afraid to tell your waiter that you can’t EAT SUGAR, STARCH, OR GLUTEN. I’ve used this tactic SO many times. Aside from feeling tidbit high maintenance and having to withstand the inevitable eye rolls from my husband, this makes it easy to find something, and every restaurant has or can make a keto safe meal!
Although eating at fast food restaurants is not ideal since they’re usually not using grass fed meats and healthy fats, you can still dine there in a pinch without worrying about ruining your ketosis!
Top Keto Friendly Fast Food choices:
Chipotle: Salad Bowl with cheese, tomato salsa, meat (barbacoa beef is my jam here), sour cream, guacamole – can add fajita veggies.
Chic Fil A: 8 Piece Grilled Nugget Meal with a side salad with ranch (no croutons) or a Grilled Chicken Sandwich without the bun.
Mcdonalds: Bunless Double Bacon Cheeseburger and No Ketchup (or with for 5 g net carbs extra) or bunless Big Mac ( big mac sauce is 3 g net carbs per Tbsp) or Bunless Breakfast Sausage Mcmuffin with cheese ( I get two and use the sausages as buns????) .
Jimmy Johns: Make ANY sandwich an UNWHICH (which is wrapped in lettuce instead of bread) SO GOOD. My favorite is the italian unwhich-add mayo, extra lettuc wrap, and extra oil. YUMMMMMM.
Subway: Grilled chicken salad, add bacon, add your veggies and extra cheese if you want! Use olive oil or ranch dressing on it! Or make any a BLT or a BMT into a salad!
In N Out: Double Cheeseburger Protein Style with or without the spread (spread adds 4 g carbs), make it animal style too for only a few extra carbs.____________________________________________________________________________________
Do NOT Plan Cheat Days.
We’re finally getting closer to learning everything about how to start keto…and I can’t forget to give my two cents about … CHEAT DAYS….
Whenever people on Keto tell me that they find keto ‘really hard, because they miss carbs so much,’ I always ask them if they’re strict keto or not, and how long they’ve been doing it.
EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. the response I hear is that they aren’t that strict and have carbs every once in a while (maybe one-two times a week) since the beginning “just because it’s so hard”. And EVERY time, I have explain to them – that when you cheat on keto (eat too many carbs), you CONTINUE TO KEEP CRAVING carbs because your body NEVER has a proper chance to switch over to burning fat as your primary fuel . Your body is STILL relying on carbohydrates for fuel, when you eat them. As soon as you jump back into keto after, and the carb tank gets low again, then the body kicks into carb cravings mode again becuase it’s telling you to REFUEL.
You have to CONTINUALLY eat less than 20 grams of net carbs a day FOR MORE THAN just a few days to STOP craving carbs. Really it takes about 3 weeks or more to stop the cravings. Having cheat days is a vicious cycle because you are ALWAYS going back and forth between being a carb burner for energy and trying to switch over to using fats for fuel. This basically means you’re GETTING the continuous keto flu and are effectively preventing yourself from ever getting fully into a steady state of ketosis.
Do NOT plan carb cheat days. Do NOT pass go. Do not collect 200$.
If you have an accidental cheat day down the road, that’s okay ( it won’t kill you), but it’s completely different to plan one. It’s just setting yourself for failure and will start the clock over in terms of RIDDING yourself of your carb cravings and feeling amazing on a consistent basis.
I have been keto for so long, that I wouldn’t eat a bowl of pasta (gluten pasta that is) if you PAID me to. I don’t even come close to wanting one. It’s the most unappetizing thing to me now. The cravings for carbs are 100% GONE.
Stop Eating Carbs to Stop craving them. Okay, end of Rant.________________________________________________________________________
Know About Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent fasting is something you want to know about when you start a keto diet! It pairs with keto like peanut butter goes does with jelly – perfectly matched. What’s Intermittent fasting (I.F.)? It is just intentionally fasting for a period of time, or going a specified number of hours without ANY calories (12 hr minimum -24 hours) .
Your body produces a higher amount of ketones to supply you with energy during a fast, since it’s not getting energy from foods. How do you get these ketones? You use your own body fat instead of the fats in food to make the ketones to give you energy. Enter ULTRA FAT BURNING MODE.
It goes great with keto, because your body is already used to running on fats for fuel, and you’ll find it’s much easier to go longer periods of time without foods, without any loss of performance or focus. In fact, you probably will feel REALLY REALLY good at the end of a fast because you’re running on super high amounts of ketones!
Intermittent fasting is a GREAT Tool to have in your future pocket on keto. I would NOT recommend fasting during keto for at LEAST the first 3-4 weeks, unless it’s your first day going keto and you’re just trying to speed up getting into ketosis Or, if you accidentally cheated and kicked yourself out of ketosis- then you can do a 12-24 hour fast to speed up getting back into ketosis. I say you should wait to try fasting at first, only because the first few weeks are already an adjustment period, and it will likely be easier for you to not throw in another variable you’re not used to. Trying to adapt to not eating for extended periods of time on a regular basis plus changing your diet completely both at the same time, could put you in a position of wanting to throw in the towel too early – it’s BIG changes, all at one.
A successful keto TRANSITION, is what we’re after for now; so, hold on to the idea of intermittent fasting, until at least a few weeks into your new lifestyle. After that, intermittent fasting is SUPER rewarding and an excellent way to melt fat off your body. Plus, it’s actually really easy- because it doesn’t require ANYTHING but a little self control and timing (since you’re just drinking water during that time)!
Now, having read this short (short? HA????!) guide, you should be FULLY prepared to successfully start your keto diet. If you have any remaining questions, please DO leave me a comment or send me an email! ????
My overall main pointers here: STICK WITH YOUR DIET (no cheating for 3 weeks) , don’t give up too soon- it gets easier as time goes on, make the effort to do a little planning and tracking, and remember your electrolytes/vitamins. YOU GOT THIS????!
Want More specifics or tips on maintaing your Keto Diet? Check out my Keto Tips Tricks, and Troubleshooting:
If you’re Ready to start cooking up KETO Foods in your own kitchen? Check out all of our Keto Recipes !