Basics of Following a Keto Diet
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I LOVE the way I feel when I am following a keto diet plan. I first discovered the keto diet/lifestyle when my dad introduced me to Mark Sisson’s book “The Keto Reset Diet.” I read his book “The Primal Blueprint” years ago and absolutely loved it. This book is very similar except it made a lot more sense to me. I highly recommend it. He also has tons of awesome content on his blog Mark’s Daily Apple.
What is Keto
Keto is basically a state of metabolic efficiancy that allows you to kick your carbohydrate dependency by reprogramming your genes to burn energy your body already has stored (body fat.) You get to this point very quickly by obtaining roughly 75% of your calories from fat, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbohydrates.
Since a fat gram has 9 calories and proteins/carbohydrates each have 4 calories, you eat a lower volume of food than on other diets, but the foods you are eating have a greater satiety. More satiety = more full. Following a keto diet will ensure your body gets plenty of nutrient dense food without needing to eat large quantities since foods with a higher saturated fat content are healthy and more satisfying.
But doesn’t eating fat make you fat?
No, not if you are eating the right fats. You need to make sure that your fat is coming from a source with saturated fats such as coconut or olives. TRANS FATS ARE SUPER SUPER BAD AND UNHEALTHY! “Vegetable” oils, for example, are a source of trans fats. You must stay away from industrial oils as well as grains and sugars. Watch this youtube video on why vegetable oils are so bad for you. It will probably change your life.
While following a keto diet I get a lot of my healthy fats from coconut oil, (real) butter, avocado oil, olives, and animal fats (beef, steak, bacon, etc.) To read about more sources of healthy fats, read this blog post.
Tip: most people eating keto strive to consume less than 25-50 carbohydrates per day. This does NOT mean that you get to eat a twinkie. It means that when you add up the tiny carbs in your salad dressing, any nuts you eat, or nut butters etc, those carbs should be less than 25-50 grams. By trying to eat 0 carbs, you will most likely still eat around 25 grams.
Vegetables are carbs too, but veggies are high in fiber. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be broken down by the body. Carbs are broken down into sugar molecules that increase your insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that works to keep your blood sugar under control. Since fiber can’t be broken down by our bodies, it simply passes through the digestive tract undigested. That is why people say that you don’t have to count veggies in your carb count. VEGETABLES ARE VERY GOOD!! EAT AS MANY AS YOU CAN!
Using an app like MyFitnessPal is so absolutely helpful, especially in the beginning of following a keto diet as you learn how to meet your daily calories with foods with a higher saturated fat content. In the app you have the option to change your macros to meet the 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carb ratios.
Here is a really awesome, very detailed website called Perfect Keto that I found to help you on your keto journey.
I find that I lose the most weight when I follow a keto diet on an intermittent fasting schedule.
I know that intermittent fasting sounds scary and many people think it must be unhealthy. The truth is, it’s not at all unhealthy for most people. It is simply eating at designated times or waiting to eat until you feel hungry.
Have you ever noticed that in movies or tv shows from the 50’s and 60’s that everyone is thin? Think “Leave it to Beaver.” They still eat pasta, they still eat cookies and sandwiches. But you’ll also notice that they eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. They don’t eat snacks all day and they certainly don’t sit in front of the tv all night stuffing their faces.
The body needs time to digest and then time to work on healing the body in other ways. If you are constantly eating (every couple hours) your body doesn’t have the time to heal itself. Here is a great article if you want to read more about intermittent fasting.
The intermittent fasting schedule that I follow is quite simple. I eat at 9:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 5:30 pm unless I am not hungry at those times. After I have been following a keto diet for a few weeks, I am less hungry and quite often will skip breakfast because I am simply not hungry!
At night when I get the munchies, (out of habit, not hunger) I will drink a big glass of ice water, chew gum or have a cup of tea.
I feel amazing!
When I combine keto and clean eating with intermittent fasting, I drop weight really quickly and feel amazing. There’s no brain fog, no food cravings, and no sugar crashes. My skin looks good, my eyes are clear, and I sleep well at night. I feel like a new person after the first week.
I try to follow a keto diet as often as I can. I am human, and I often will get off track with my diet and slip into bad habits. When that happens though, I simply start again and know that I will feel so much better within a week.