I recently feel into a New Years Eve resolution funnel. By that I mean, an ad came across my Facebook feed around January 1st. This guy was sitting on Jay Leno’s couch and he was over weight.
Pictures of a much slimmer him were playing in the background. What is this madness and what happened to this dude, I thought to myself.
The “fat” guy went on to explain how the pictures were a version of him just six MONTHS prior. Frustrated and overwhelmed with his patients (he’s a dietitian) inability to lose weight, he intentionally gained over 70 lbs in six months.
The kicker, he lost that weight in the following six months!
At one point he described bending down to clip his toenails and having to come up for air because of his excess weight. I was could totally relate. I was in!
Knowing that feeling for too long, I jumped in head long and now I’m here to share my how “this is simple” if you can understand it stance.
It’s so simple once you figure out the basics I decided to call this post Ketogenic Diet for Dummies. After losing 20 pounds in the first four weeks I was a believer in the science.
Let’s start there first.
What is Keto or Ketosis
In a nutshell this diet is a low carb, high fat moderate protein diet. When you start to eat Keto you are training your body to use fat as it’s fuel source rather than sugar.
When you have reached this metabolical state successfully you are in ketosis.
Note: if you create a food plan that creates a calorie deficit your body’s excess fat literally becomes it’s meal! (A caloric deficit is a shortage in the amount of calories consumed verses the amount of calories needed for “maintenance” of current body weight.)
Understanding How the Ketogenic Diet Works
Your body typically runs on sugar for energy. When you cut sugars out of your diet it takes about a week for your body to start producing ketones.
Ketones are made by your liver and are present in everyone.
You produce ketones when you don’t have enough insulin in your body to turn sugar/glucose into energy.
Your body begins to seek another fuel source and switches to fat.
Urine strips work to help determine if you are indeed in ketosis.
Note: these are only accurate in the beginning. When you are transitioning, you are losing water weight. Ketones expel water. This will be the majority of your initial weight loss. Durning the first few weeks ketones will be carried out of your body through your urine; once you are “fat adapted” you will need to switch to a ketone blood meter.
In about a month and a half, if you stick with it, your body will become fat adapted.
This would look something like eating a consistent diet of cheeses, fatty meats (e.g., full fat hamburger, bacon, ham, etc.), fish and chicken with skin, nuts and so on.
Depending on your tolerance, you can have 20g of carbs per day, all they way to 100g. 20g is the bar where the ketogenic diet is concerned; as I say in Tip #2 below, take it easy on yourself when first starting out!
Things should get much easier when you successfully reach this stage. Here are some tips to get you through the transition!
Ketogenic Diet for Dummies – Tip #1:
Stay hydrated! There is a real thing called the keto flu and you’re bound to get it while you are trying to get your feet under you during your fuel switch (going from burning sugar/glucose to durning fat for energy).
Drinking plenty of fluids will help combat nausea, headaches and brain fog. I also made LOTS of Ketorade;
Sign up below for the recipe (and tricks not to get bloated) and other keto friendly posts – it’s free!
Should you find yourself drowning in a slew of mucus or some other type of sinus infections try following my 4 Remedies for Sinus Infection Relief. It is void of pills, meds and herbs!
Ketogenic Diet for Dummies – Tip #2:
Do the Best You Can with What You Understand. If you watch my video on Keto Weight Loss & Tips for No0bs you’ll see some serious boo-hooing (in case you missed it I’ve linked it below).
Frankly, health is a very tender subject for me and for many reasons. Some people just don’t know, and may never know, what it takes to be healthy/fit.
If you find yourself continually asking yourself what’s wrong with you in regards to health and fitness – you are one of those people who may feel health and fitness it out of your reach.
It is not!
I HIGHLY encourage you to Do the Best You Can with What You Understand.
After losing my father, I understand the importance of getting started even if it’s not perfect!
My father’s health, which lead to his death, is the only time I remember my him hurting me. This pain can reach through time and touch me at any time. I will never forget.
Now, I strive to take care of myself in hopes another unnecessary separation is not in my future.
Ketogenic Diet for Dummies – Tip #3:
Join a program and look Into Intermittent Fasting (IF). It sounds complicated already, right? Sometimes joining a keto program can eliminate the guess work. There are several free options out the web. I have my favorite resources and ways to optimize your keto searches.
Once upon a time I had no idea what the keto diet was. The “keto language” is strange at first.
Keeping up with the ins and outs of the ketogenic world will seem like your first trip to Starbucks.
Don’t sweat it.
You will catch on and sound as intimidating to the keto new comer as you once were at Starbucks.
Note: A good resource to help you better understand Keto is the documentary: Obesity Code.
Intermitten fasting (IF)
Wether or not you join a program, Intermitten fasting (IF) is very benefical to the keto genic diet.
Basically you eat twice a day, gradually working toward one meal a day.
I know it sounds weird; that is the reason I encourage you to read up on it. You are training your body to eat when it is hungry. The video above contains a basic Keto Bullet Proof Coffee to get you through the mornings.
NOTE: If you do decide to get on the IF ban-wagon avoid anything that might produce insulin. For example, chewing. Yes, chewing. Let’s say you pop a piece of gum in your mouth first thing. Studies have show chewing “wakes up” your pancreas and stomach and tells the body to get to work. If you want to be successful, no food or chewing in the AM – not even ice BRO.
Dr. Eric Berg has a YouTube channel with great resource videos on this which leads us to tip number four.
Ketogenic Diet for Dummies – Tip #4:
Find Some YouTube Friend AKA Reliable Resources. You want to get some good information so your efforts are not in vain. You could be doing it all wrong and all you needed was someone to explain it to you in a different way.
For example, you may be thinking about supplements. It is important to know you need four times more potassium to sodium. You may need more salt in your water to elevate fatigue. Look around.
Another great YouTub Channel is Keto Connect. I mention them in my video because, like Dr. Berg, they take out the guess work. One of my favorite videos was there blood sugar sweetener video. They ate alllll the different sugars and sweeteners and tested their blood to see how each one affect them (digestion, etc.)
The internet is a painless way to figure out what you should be putting in your mouth.
Ketogenic Diet for Dummies – Tip #5:
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel if You Don’t Have to. This is some complicated data my friends. Now, can it be simplified as you figure it out?
Sure, can’t anything!
Let’s get into what I’m talking about right here. I’m not sure about you; if trying to design a food plan that follows the keto macros combined with those said food to create a caloric deficient, an exercise program, and an intermittent fasting schedule is out of your wheel house we are on the same page. Hell, it may be the reason we’re in this obese conversation.
Long point: there are program out there that are relatively inexpensive (and free) that will eliminate the frustration that can lead to hopelessness or quitting all together.
If you can find one, like the one I mention here: Fit2Fat2Fit (not affiliated), it will alleviate some serious guess work. Please feel free to share them below too!
Ketogenic Diet for Dummies – Tip #6:
Do Meal Prep! You will make fewer mistakes if your choices are readily available. Honestly, I believe meal prep has saved my bacon more then once. If you are fasting, hunger can come on quickly.
Buy your food one day during the week (helps with overspending too) and prepare it the same day or the next day.
On the program I am on it took some adjusting to get our meals in order. I like it because it take out the guess work and frustration (and the fat bombs are delicious).
Check out our Keto On The Go recipes too!
When you get it right you will not crave many of the things you are probably eating right now. The routine of preparing your meals weekly becomes calming.
Ketogenic Diet for Dummies – BONUS:
Get a food scale. Amazon Prime (and PrimeNow) offers the an electric food scale for $11. These are great if you are trying to figure out what amounts of protein are appropriate, especially cooking for two different people (eg. male and female) and portion control. I use a food scale religiously on Sunday during meal prep.
NOTE: a good rule of thumb is 1g of protein per pound. That would look like 170g of protein for a 170 pound person. This will ensure you hold onto your muscle.
Keto Diet Tips Summed Up
Stay Hydrated. Remember, you are not retaining water on this diet. This will help ward off the keto flu too. I consume four to five 32 oz tumblers of water a day. Two: don’t let the past dictate your future. Just because you didn’t know what to do yesterday doesn’t mean you can’t figure it out for tomorrow. Do the Best You Can with What You Understand. Three: If Join a Program and/or Look Into Intermittent Fasting (IF). IF is a beneficial component to a keto diet or weight loss. I do believe it has helped me lose weight faster. Four: Find Some YouTube Friends AKA Reliable Resources. Most of what I have learned so far has been online and through Fit2Fat2Fit. There are plenty of free resources to help you out while you are figuring this out.
Keto Weight Loss & Tips for Beginners started with ….
Five: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel If You Don’t Have To. For crying out loud, you’re a better person than me if you can do it by yourself. There is no shame in following someone else’s plan. Remember, there are free plans too!
And finally, Do Meal Prep. I cannot stress this enough. This step will save your sanity, especially when you are hungry. Check out my Keto Foods on the Go.
We were very specific with our children when we started. Warning them of the dangers of low-blood sugar. Preparing our food in advance combatted some of that (and still does)!
An optional convenience: food scale. This will help you mind your portions too. We also switched to smaller plates. You’d be surprised what that does for your brain.
Please, don’t be shy! If this was helpful: subscribe, like, comment and/or share! Also, don’t forget to pick up your free recipe for Ketorade below. You’ll also get tips on how I combat Keto headaches in the morning along with other practical solutions to keep you Keto happy.
Until next time!
If you don’t want to watch the video read more about my 4 Remedies to Relieve Sinus Infections – no pills, meds or herbs here on our site!
Some links may be affiliated. Wondering what that means? Read more here.