The Ultimate Guide To The Keto Diet: For Beginners
*updated June 2019.
Are you wanting to lose weight just in time for beach season? Or are you tired of feeling bloated and sluggish? The keto diet is a great way to better yourself all around. Lose weight quickly and effectively by starting the keto diet in just a few simple steps. It’s easy and a simple diet to follow when you are a beginner and just starting out. It’s also cheap to start!
The keto diet ( not the same diet as the other low carb diets floating around) is a low carb, high fat, and moderate protein diet. Now I know what you’re probably thinking, “how the heck will eating fat help me lose weight?” Healthy fats are in fact very good for you and are full of brain power. Avocado’s and macadamia nuts (Use my link here to get my personal favorite food scale) are perfect keto friendly snacks to munch on.
It’s very important to remember the difference between healthy fats and “bad” fats while on the keto diet. Try to eat the all-natural peanut butter instead of the other sugar filled options. Maintaining the keto diet is a great tool for optimal weight loss, increasing mental stamina, increased energy, and no mid-day brain fog.
Keto has been proven to help reduce risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. On the keto diet, your body enters a metabolic state called ketosis. Ketones are then used for energy instead of your body using glucose. Ketones come from fat and are a much more steady source of energy than glucose, which comes from carbohydrates. If you’re wanting to easily start the keto diet, keep reading for easy to remember keto tips to getting started.
Testing for Ketosis
Ketosis may occur anywhere from 3 to 5 days after changing your diet, depending on your body and water intake. Once your body enters ketosis, you’ll be using fat for energy instead of carbs.
Testing your body to see if you are finally in ketosis is fun and exciting, and sometimes discouraging.
If it’s been a few weeks and you still haven’t entered ketosis, don’t get discouraged and want to quit. Your body will get there; for now, keep drinking more water! A few ways to see if you have entered ketosis- by smell of your breath and urine (from elevated levels of ketones), urine test strips, or my personal favorite, the Keto Mojo . The Keto Mojo is the quickest and most accurate way of testing for ketosis.
Of course, if you’re on a budget like I was at first, ketone strips are the next best thing and are inexpensive. It will tell you which level of ketones in your urine. Usually the darker the better. Any change to the strip color indicates that you are in ketosis.
Listen to your body as it will tell you when you’ve entered ketosis. You may experience waking up at 4am ready to deep clean your house before your first sip of coffee. Just a heads up on that one, by the way. As your body continues to be “fat adapted”, you’ll find that your hunger decreases and you’re eating to fuel your body.
Net carbs are the total carbs (minus dietary fiber and sugar alcohols.) Since our bodies aren’t able to turn fiber and sugar alcohol into glucose they don’t generally raise blood sugar. Net-carbs are a good thing because they prevent your body from going into starvation mode.
Long-Term Benefits of Keto
Lose more weight and body fat
Have better levels of good cholesterol
Have reduced blood sugar and insulin resistance
Experience a decrease in appetite
Have reduced triglyceride levels
Have significant reductions in blood pressure
Day-to-Day Benefits of Keto
Lose body fat quickly
Consistent energy levels during the day
Stay fuller longer after meals longer
What is the Keto Flu?
The keto flu happens when sodium and electrolyte levels are low and flu-like symptoms are produced. Keep an eye out for these symptoms:
Body aches (Drink pickle juice)
When you’re eating keto your body doesn’t retain water like it used to, so sodium and other important electrolytes get flushed out quickly. You need to replenish these or you will feel like dog sh*t– it can even lead to more serious health complications like heart palpitations, panic attacks, and other scary things. Salted bone broth/stock is a fantastic way to replenish those electrolytes while on the ketogenic diet. In addition, you should supplement potassium and magnesium to avoid lightheadedness, cramps, headaches, etc
Don’t get confused though, because the keto flu is not actually the flu. It’s called the keto flu because the symptoms are very similar but it is not contagious. Keto flu is your body’s way of going through a carb and sugar detox.
When I jumped on the keto bandwagon, I used added ketones. It’s a little pricey but in my opinion, it was worth every penny and helped me speed past the awful keto flu experience (again) and into ketosis. Plus, it is very delicious and doesn’t taste chalky. Switch up your meal plans by adding more bacon or sandwich meats to your meals.
If you’re wondering how to prevent the keto flu from happening, the best way to avoid or simply end the keto flu naturally is to add more sodium and electrolytes to your diet. Adding more salt to your food
Drinking bone broth (chicken or beef)
Mio H2O flavor enhancers
Salty foods like bacon, high fatty foods like avocados and natural peanut butter
All Sugary Things Must Go!
Throw away all refined sugar, fruit juices, desserts, fountain drinks, milk chocolate, pastries, candy bars, etc. Also-breads, rice, cereal, pasta, corn, flour, etc must also leave your pantries. Sad, I know. But eventually you won’t miss them. Girl, the breakup is for the best.
Read Nutrition Labels
Finally, it’s always a good idea to read your nutrition labels. There are hidden carbs and hidden sugars that will kick your body out of ketosis. If you’re unsure of a specific ingredient or simply can’t pronounce it, put it back.
Remember, the hardest part of the keto diet is getting started. I hope these little tips help you along your weight loss journey.