The number one question we get asked is how do you start the Keto Diet. When we first started the diet, I watched YouTube videos, researched online, watched documentaries. Needless to say I did a lot of research, if you find yourself with the time, I would say that this would be very beneficial to understanding in depth, the Keto diet and it’s benefits. But we understand, with so much information out there it can be overwhelming and with busy schedules it leaves little time to do research. Well, we are here to help! Sit back, relax and get ready for your crash course.
First thing first is that the Keto diet is less of a diet and more of a sustainable lifestyle. Some of the most inaccurate information out there states that it is not, but I can simply tell you that is not true. While it may seem impossible to limit your carbohydrate intake so significantly and maintain that for an extended period of time, it is not. I used to be the girl that ordered a carb heavy meal every meal. If a meal came with potatoes and vegetables, I would ask for double potatoes. If I can do it, you can do it! After a while your body stops craving carbs and if you give in and have carb heavy meal later on down the road, you will find that they just don’t have the novelty that they used to. To me, they just don’t taste as good and I wonder why I ever really liked them so much.
Out of all the diets in the world, why Keto? Well the benefits of this diet/lifestyle are literally amazing! Weight loss if definitely not the only benefit of Keto. You will find yourself with increased energy, alertness, better sleep patterns and a better attitude. Not only that, the Keto lifestyle has been said have positive effects on diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact Keto started out as a way to help treat epilepsy.
So what exactly is the Keto diet? Well, simply put the Keto diet is a very low carb, high fat and moderate protein diet. Following this diet causes your to go into a state of Ketosis, which burns your fat stores as a source of energy rather than glucose. Your body is much more efficient at burning fat than glucose.
The next question you may be asking yourself is well how many calories, grams of fat, carbs and protein can I have a day. Generally speaking, your intake should break down something like this fat (75%), carbs (5%) and protein (20%). While this is a good baseline, you should consider using a “macro calculator” to drill down your specific intake. The calculator takes into account your height, weight, age, physical activity level, how much you want to lose and by when. Here are two good ones: Keto Calculator and Keto Calculator.
At least initially, I suggest that you keep close track of your intake. I started a food journal to help track my macros. MyFitnessPal is a good resource for this, but I suggest you enter your own nutritional information as what is available is not always accurate. Tracking your intake is in essence a learning tool, it will help you to get an understanding of how many calories, grams of fat, carbs and protein are in the foods you like to eat. After a while you will just know and tracking is less critical, but if you find it works well for you to have that structure then by all means continue.
The term NET carbs is important. Net carbs are the calculation of carbohyrates minus fiber and sugar alcohols. So for example, this food item has 15 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of sugar alcohols. This item has 5 net carbs. Net carbs are what you should use when you are tracking your carb intake.
So what foods can I eat? In general you want to eat things that are high in fat and low in carbs. Some examples are meat and fatty fish, cheese, eggs, butter and cream, nuts, avocados and low carb vegetables (leafy greens, cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers, celery, etc).
And what foods should you stay away from? In general anything high in carbs and sugar. Some examples are fruit, grains and starches, beans and root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc) and sugary foods (soda, ice cream, cake, etc).
I heard about intermittent fasting, what is that? Intermittent fasting can assist in boosting weight loss. Simply put you eat all of your meals during a period of time, while fasting the remainder of the day. So let’s day you do an 8/16 fast. During your 8 hour eating period, you take in all of your meals staying within your macros of course. The remaining 16 hours you fast. You can choose any combination of eating and fasting hours, or not fast at all. It is really whatever works for you and your body.
Strict Keto (Keto Basics or Clean Keto), Lazy Keto and Dirty Keto, what is the difference? Strict Keto has many rules, Lazy Keto is monitoring carbs but not really anything else, Dirty Keto you still track all macros, but include foods that are limited on the Strict Keto diet. Strict Keto says you should stay under 20 net carbs per day. It also suggests that you stay away from high carb foods, processed foods, trans-fats, refined vegetable oils and all added sugars. Your carb intake should come from mostly green leafy vegetables. Lazy Keto monitors carbs only and doesn’t worry about the other macros, you can essentially eat what you want as long as your stay within your daily carb count. Dirty Keto is a mix of both, you track all macros but can eat whatever you want as long as it fits within your macros.
I hope this was helpful. Keep in mind I am not a nutritionist and all of this information was gathered through my own research. I highly suggest that you do your own and consult your doctor before starting any diet. Keto worked for us, and changed our life, it may just work for you.
If you have any additional questions please leave them in the comments below and we will do our best to answer them for you!
And if you need some more Keto inspiration check out these blog posts:
- Weight Loss: Background and the Keto Diet
- Weight Loss: Progress Makes Perfect
- Weight Loss: It’s a Journey
- Weight Loss: Keto Favorites!
- Weight Loss: Update! (Angie)
- Weight Loss: What We Eat in a Day
- Weight Loss: I Hit a Plateau (Angie)
- Weight Loss: Diary of a Fat Girl
- Weight Loss: Progress Makes Perfect Pt. 2