This is for those of you who have not yet joined me on my keto journey.
Maybe you have tried it in the past and thought it wasn’t for you, maybe you know about it but have never given it a try, or perhaps you aren’t even sure what keto is!
Now is your chance to take the first step to losing fat and maintaining a more manageable weight by kick-starting your keto journey with me! Reducing carbs from our diets can be tricky, but consuming healthy fats helps our bodies to become highly efficient at burning fat, thus eliminating excess weight and leaving us feeling lighter and less congested. This process of heightened metabolism is called ketosis, and is the basis of the ‘ketogenic diet.’
The main component of the ketogenic diet involves reducing the consumption of carbohydrates. It’s important to be able to identify the sources of these carbohydrates before you consume them, and also to correctly identify and provide your body with the vital nutrients to ensure continued healthy functioning.
Keto advocates a high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate diet. The general rule of thumb being 60-75% of calories from fat, 15-30% of calories from protein, and. 5-10% of calories from carbs.
Limiting breads, pasta, and other highly concentrated carbohydrate sources might be an obvious move to cut carbs, but the following is a list of some carb-filled foods that you may or may not have been aware are actually sources of carbohydrates, too:
Split pea soup
Sugar-free treats – (many ‘sugar-free’ treats are actually high in carbohydrates instead, replacing the short-term energy boost of sugar with slow-release forms.)
The following list is of significantly healthier foods which are also high in carbs – though this is generally the ‘good’ form:
If you’re not already in the habit of reading labels, then make today the day you begin! Scan for carbohydrates and sugars, protein, and fat, and start removing the unwanted carbohydrates from your diet. The key is to replace them with healthy fats and proteins, and to do so in a way which is macro-nutrient friendly.
One of the most important things to eliminate when you begin keto is ADDED SUGAR (this does not necessarily apply to the sugars that occur naturally in food, like fructose found in fruit and lactose found in milk).
You will be surprised at all the hidden places you will find SUGARS once you start reading labels, and just to warn you, food manufacturers are sneaky and the hide sugar in various forms so you don’t know how much you are adding to your daily intake.
Luckily, a new food label is now being rolled out in the US and it now includes a line that says “Added sugar” so that you can determine the difference. Keep an eye out for this new label and you will find that it much easier to cut your daily carb intake.
For a bit of fun — next time you are in the grocery store, pick up a carton of regular whole milk and and carton of chocolate milk. You will likely see that there are significantly MORE grams of sugar in the chocolate milk, the difference between the two numbers is the difference between the NATURALLY occurring sugars (from lactose) and the ADDED sugars (from the yummy chocolate). This applies to products too, like yogurt, tomato based pasta sauces, and even organic fruit juice!!!!
Choose more protein or fat in exchange for carby meals. Add in foods such as:
Dark Meat Poultry with the skin on
Eggs contain less than 1 gram of carbs each, with 6 grams of healthy fat. Eggs are the perfect source of healthy fat which you can base a ketogenic meal around! As a bonus, eggs have been shown to trigger hormones which contribute to the feeling of fullness lasting longer, and can therefore help to maintain a stable blood-sugar level while reducing overall calorie intake over a 24 hour period.
Contrary to what we were told several decades ago, the egg’s yolk is NOT something we should be avoiding! In fact, this is the area which contains the highest nutritional benefit, and therefore is the most important part to consume.
TIP FOR BEGINNERS — For keto meal planning, I like to choose foods with more grams of fat than protein (and if I can find 2 times the fat compared to protein, even better!) If the ratio is not quite right you can always increase the fat by adding a couple extra tablespoons of mayo, butter or olive oil to the meal.
Non-starchy vegetables are high in nutrients and vitamins. They also usually have high levels of fiber, which helps digestion and means the ‘heavy’ feeling of consuming too many carbs is reduced. Examples of this kind of high-nutrient, low-carb vegetables include:
Avocados are one of the best foods for endless ketogenic benefits. They are high in healthy fat, protein, and low in carbs. 100 grams of avocado (about one half) contains 9 grams of carbs. 7 of these grams are fibrous, so you’re actually left with 2 grams of net carbs and the rest in healthy fats and fiber!
They are also high in potassium, which has been suggested as a helpful mineral during transition from a standard diet towards a ketogenic one. Avocados also help to balance out cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Check out my pinterest board, Avo-Crazy, to view a ton of my favorite ways to enjoy this versatile fruit.
The keto diet was never meant as a ‘quick fix’ diet. Followed correctly, this high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb diet is sustainable over a long period of time, though many may believe otherwise. As you’re transitioning to a keto diet with this challenge, it’s important to pay attention to your energy levels, mood fluctuations, and your body’s response to the diet.
That being said, there are ways to make the ketogenic diet even more sustainable and enjoyable as you continue to adjust. Simply lowering your consumption of carbohydrates will not be enough if you don’t ensure you’re increasing your nutrient intake.
‘Healthy’ keto dieters ensure their nutrients are sourced elsewhere – adequate protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. ‘Lazy’ keto dieters pretty much just eliminate the obvious carb sources – starchy breads, potatoes, rice, pasta, etc – without replacing the nutrients they provide in other areas.
As you can imagine, this might provide desired results in the area of weight loss, but very little in overall health-boosting qualities this diet can provide.
If you have any questions or want to know more, I encourage you to leave a comment or message me on Facebook and I will be happy to offer you support! If you’d like to get started today, you can also check out the replay below of a webinar I did earlier this year called Master Your Metabolism.