How to start a ketogenic diet in 5 steps
Starting a ketogenic diet can be incredibly overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. My advice to you - keep it simple. Follow these 5 steps to starting your ketogenic diet.
First - what is a ketogenic diet? A keto diet is when you restrict carbohydrates low enough that your liver begins producing ketone bodies. These ketone bodies allow your body to burn fat for fuel. This process can take days and sometimes weeks, depending on how metabolically flexible you are. Once you become a "fat burner" you'll notice a spike in energy, decrease in hunger and a ton of mental clarity.
#1 - Keep carbs low. The general rule of thumb is under 20g per day, some say under 20g net carbs a day. (Net carbs = carbs - fiber, so if there's 5 carbs, 2 fiber, then there's 3 net carbs) I would suggest using an app like my fitness pal or Lose It to track your food the first few weeks so you can learn exactly what has carbohydrates in it. Maybe your beloved salad dressing or ketchup or whatever is now off limits, you'll just have to learn exactly how to keep your carbs low. I think 30-50 total carbs is probably OK, 10-30 net carbs. Stick to real food like vegetables and nuts, not pre packaged "keto" foods. Don't freak out if you go a few grams over either, just do your best and do what feels sustainable to you!
#2 - Don't be scared of fat. Fat is what is going to keep you full. Eating low fat & low carb is a recipe to be a hungry jerk. When shopping for meats, buy fattier cuts! Enjoy the ribeyes, the bacon, the sausage, chicken thighs, etc. I also suggest choosing good quality oils/butter to put with your food. Vegetable & canola aren't the greatest option, they're very inflammatory. Try sticking to coconut oil, good quality butter, avocado oil, etc. You don't have to add a ton, but just make sure what you add to your food is great quality.
#3 - Don't force a fast. As you get into the ketogenic world, a lot of people promote fasting. There's nothing wrong with fasting, in fact, I think it's great. However, when your body is still adapting to burning fat for fuel, hunger will come banging on your door and I don't think it adds that much of a benefit. Fast when it feels natural, eat when you're hungry.
#4 - Take electrolytes. Keto Vitals is a #1 seller on amazon for a reason, you guys, you don't want keto flu. Take these. TRUST ME! Click here
#5 - Eat whole foods. I said this up above but I'll say it again, ignore the packaged stuff. If it says sugar free, low carb, keto friendly on a label, doesn't necessarily mean that it is. Eat foods that don't have a label. Spinach, avocado, nuts, steak, bacon, eggs...ooh, you can eat cheese. That has a label and is totally keto friendly. You may have to cook more than you used to, but I promise that you will get used to it in no time!
If you have any questions, let us know! We're happy to help.