Keto Beginner Guide
What is the keto diet?
In a nutshell, it is switching from using carbs or glucose for fuel to using fat for fuel. So, you are consuming 70% fat, 25% protein, 5% carbs. By eating under 20 net carbs you will go into what is called ketosis and this will give you amazing benefits. A low-carb diet means that you eat fewer carbohydrates and higher fat. This can also be called an LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) diet or a keto diet.
For decades we have been told that we are to eat whole grains and low fat to have a healthy diet. But what if the opposite is true? Studies have shown that there are no ill effects from eating a diet high in fat and low in carbs and sugars. In fact, there are great benefits from eating a diet like this, including weight loss, better health, the reversal of high blood pressure and diabetes just to name a few.
When you avoid sugar and carbs your blood sugar stabilizes and insulin levels drop as ketones in your body rise. The ketones are what your body is going to run on instead of running on glucose. It is like changing your oven from running on electric to running on gas. It still is going to run, however, it is just going to run on another fuel source.
If you think back to what people used to eat – one ingredient foods: fish, beef, broccoli, cauliflower, cream, butter, etc. It was not ingredients that you can’t even pronounce. People have gotten away from eating like they should and instead have begun eating the way all the companies and the government say we should… and it is killing us. If you take the current food pyramid and flipped it, that is how we are supposed to be eating. A lot of fat and very little carbohydrates.
How to Start:
Eat meat, fish, eggs, fats, and any vegetable that grows above the ground. Avoid sugar and processed foods. Avoid starchy foods, like bread, pasta, rice, beans, and potatoes. You can find an example shopping list of what we usually have on hand here. We also have a lot of recipes you can try and many more to come.
Eat when you are hungry, until you are satisfied, and do not eat when you are not hungry. It is that simple. In the beginning, you should eat as much fat as you need to. DO NOT eat low carb and low fat, this can be very dangerous and it is not healthy. It may result in your body eating your organs and your muscles because it has nothing else to run on.
You do not have to count calories, however, you should track your macros with apps like My Fitness Pal. You can also track your macros in My Fitness Pal on a computer if you don’t have a phone or tablet. This will tell you where you are and how to eat on this WOE (way of eating).
When you go shopping for the first time to get your keto foods, please allow extra time because you are going to have to look at all the labels. You will be surprised how many carbs and sugars a lot of foods have, especially foods you may not think would have a lot of carbs.
Many people think that you should also do IF (intermittent fasting) when you start on keto. This is completely your choice to experiment with IF or not at all. I do IF from time to time, but Michael does not want to do it at all. So, it is a choice, not a requirement. In the beginning, you should not do IF until you get fat adapted. It will make staying on this WOE much easier if you do not try to do everything all at once. I would even suggest that, if you are not already doing an exercise program before starting, you do not start it right at the beginning. Your body is going to have to adjust quite a bit as it is going from eating a SAD (standard American diet) to a keto diet. Give yourself a chance for it to catch up before adding another thing for it to adjust to. It will also make it easier to stick to if you are not, all at once, making a change to keto, doing intermittent fasting, and starting an exercise program. I think that would be overwhelming and would probably make you quit.
What to Expect:
In the beginning, you may get different side effects that are called the keto flu. Some of the side effects you MAY experience or maybe not at all are headaches, fatigue, dizziness, light nausea, irritability. You can also decrease the effects by upping your salt and electrolytes. You can do this easily by drinking bouillon or broth 1-2 times a day in the beginning and increase your water. You can get dehydrated a lot easier on keto/LCHF so up your water also. Some other side effects you may experience that are less common are leg cramps, bad breath, heart palpitations, reduced physical performance. Keep in mind that your body is transitioning from eating bad foods to eating good foods and if you do experience these side effects it does not last forever. There are a few much less common side effects also gallstones, elevated cholesterol, reduced alcohol tolerance, keto rash, hair loss, and gout. A lot of the side effects can be fixed by taking potassium and magnesium this can also be achieved by like I said before drinking broth or bouillon.
Let me be the first to congratulate you on taking your first steps toward a healthier life.
I am not a scientist, nutritionist, or doctor. If you want more information or more about the science behind the keto diet you can check out DietDoctor. This website has tons of information, we are not affiliated with this website we just think it has great information. However, we like our recipes better 😉 All the pictures on this guide are our recipes, so please check them out.