Ketogenic Diet for Beginners – A Beginner’s Experience on Keto
Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Learn about the keto diet from a beginner’s point of view. I’ve always been in a quest for long life and good health. Fitness has always been a part my life and my self-improvement mainly to be healthy for my kids, my husband, and myself. I’ve tried a variety of workouts and “diets.” The main goal is to find something sustainable and something that works for me by delivering results. When these two categories are met, then I am most likely to stick to it. It is after all, a LIFESTYLE.
Read on this ketogenic diet for beginners if you want an overview of what’s in store for you when you do decide to give it a try.
Ketogenic Diet for Beginners – A Beginner’s Experience on Keto
What is Ketogenic Diet?
In keto diet, you increase fat and reduce carb intake so your body reverts to fat for energy source. As you break down these stored fats to ketones, you release a much “cleaner” source of energy that is more efficient for the brain.
Rule of thumb for a standard ketogenic diet is 75% fats, 20% proteins, and 5% carbs. In other words, this entails a high amount of fats, moderate protein, and very little (close to none) carbohydrates.
Of course, it varies for every individual, but aim for about 20-50 grams of carbs a day and you will reach the metabolic state of ketosis with less worry about the caloric intake.
It seems like a restrictive diet for those individuals who love their potatoes and rice. For me, I’d rather live without starches than my garlic-y butter-y steak, eggs, and whipped cream. It is yet, by far, the most sustainable lifestyle I have ever tried. I do not feel restricted at all as I still get to enjoy a lot of my favorite foods like hamburgers (no buns), bacon-wrapped hotdogs, and steak-eggs-avocado breakfasts.
It’s so easy when eating out. The food choices are easy to spot on–just say “no buns,” “no rice,” “no potatoes, please.”
I know it’s deeper than that and nutritional label reading might need to get involved sometimes…but you get the giz of it–this is after all, the ketogenic diet for beginners 😉
Benefits of Ketogenic Diet
Ketosis has been historically used by medical doctors to treat patients with epileptic seizures. Other medical conditions that have shown improvements are Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s due to the benefits of ketones released to the brain.
Being in a ketogenic state also has positive effects on cancer. Cancer cells feed off from sugar. When in ketosis, our bodies are depleted with sugar and these cancer cells cannot thrive from ketones. It may not be the 100% cure for cancer, but it can definitely be a catalyst to a better health.
Other health conditions improved by ketosis are
just to name a few.
As a carb-consuming machine, our bodies retain water for every carb you consume. If you deplete carbs out of your system, your body will automatically flush out most of the water when you start the ketogenic diet. Expect a drastic drop in weight the first week as the water weight goes away. The next part of the weightloss will definitely come from burning fat as your body starts to use fats for energy instead of carbs.
Consuming high amounts of fats can make you more satiated. You’ll stay full for longer periods of time as it takes more time and energy to break down fats and protein. This in turn lessens your cravings and your “needs” to keep on snacking.
Ketogenic diet also does wonders for your energy levels (which all of us need). Under this metabolic state, you tap into your fat stores for energy source. This stream of energy provides a consistent resource contrary to the sudden spike and lowering of insulin when you consume carbs. Say bye-bye to afternoon crash!
Think of ketones as a clean energy source. It’s like providing your brain a more efficient energy reserve which results to a better cognitive performance. Clarity, focus, and memory will improve as your brain gets fed with the essential fatty acids while getting rid of free radicals.
What to Eat
The most basic rule to follow on ketogenic diet for beginners is omit carbs like bread, rice, sweets, starchy vegetables, etc. If you get rid of these, you’re for sure going to lose weight as you lose all that water retention from all the carb consumption.
There are other things included on the list but these are my staples. Use this as a basic guide to ketogenic diet for beginners:
High fat meats – bacon, pork (pork bellies and pork rinds), beef, lamb, and sausages.
Fruits – avocados, berries, coconut, olives
Fish – salmon, crab, lobster, sardines, shrimp, tuna
Nuts and seeds – almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia
Flour – almond, coconut
Drinks – coffee, teas, Bone broth, water
Fats – avocado oil, coconut oil, Olive Oil, Lard, Mayonnaise, MCT oil
Grean leafy vegetables – asparagus, bokchoy, broccoli, kale, mushrooms. Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn
Dairies – butter, eggs, ghee, heavy cream, cream cheese, sour cream
How to Get Into Ketosis
As a lifelong Western dieter, it’s not ideal to drastically change your diet. Slowly incorporating the good stuff first will “trick” you from feeling deprived.
After adding in the ketogenic-approved food groups, remove carbs/sugar and processed foods. Just like any eating lifestyle, clean out your pantry and throw out the junk.
Check this article out on how to get started in eating healthy and making better food choices–no matter what food lifestyle you’re into.
Ketogenic diet is really as simple as that! Results come quickly even as soon as the first week as I have previously mentioned. But you can always accelerate the process or surpass plateaus by doing the following:
1. Keep track of your macros. Rule of thumb is to have 75% Fat, 20% Protein, and 5% Carbohydrates. For a standard 2,000 calorie diet, that breaks down to about 167g of fat, 100g protein, and 25g carbs.
2. Add MCT oil. Medium Chain Triglycerides provides immediate energy source and provides positive effects on fat burning.
3. Caffeine is shown to increase production of ketones.
4. Intermittent Fasting on its own aids in losing weight. Coupled with ketogenic diet, it aids in tapping into the fat resource more effectively. Tip: Boost your weightloss quicker by incorporating fasted workouts and breaking your fast with fats (reserve your carbs for later).
5. Increase workout intensity. I’ve had great results starting keto without exercising. When I was adapted to the new lifestyle, I started incorporating 30-minute workouts 3-4x a week. If you need to take it up another level, had a cheat meal, or simply hit plateau, increase your intensity of your workouts.
Can’t find motivation to workout? I also have a few tips for you here. Use some or ALL of the tips I have provided to get yourself up and moving!
6. Get enough sleep and water. As with any other lifestyle, these two should be a given. No matter what you do in life, I cannot stress enough the importance of sleep and water. Sleep is when cell repair happens. You cannot reap of the energy benefits of ketosis if you counteract it with sleepless nights.
How to Know You’re in Ketosis
Besides the noticeable benefits mentioned above, here are some tools and things to look out for as signs that you are in deep ketosis.
- Urine strips and breath meters are great fun tools to use to find out if you’re in ketosis. They are not mandatory to achieve success but fun ways to do if you are eager to find out ketone levels.
- Keto breath are also indicators of ketosis. One of the ketones released is acetone which is responsible for the odor similar to nail polish remover.
- Keto Flu is experienced by most people transitioning into ketosis. These are flu-like symptoms such as nausea, muscle cramps/soreness, vomitting, headaches, and dizziness. This is normal as our bodies go into a shock as it goes from being a lifelong carbo eater to a fat-burning machine.
- Insomnia is also a common side effect but usually improves after several weeks.
- Constipation or Diarrhea. Be aware of what food groups will cause constipation or diarrhea so you can eliminate what’s causing it.
These signs usually occur during the initial stages of ketosis as your body undergoes this huge lifestyle transition. After overcoming the threshold, you’ll find these symptoms disappear and actually experience the better side of it.
Now that you have read ketogenic diet for beginners, it’s up to you to decide if you want to embark on it. Just make sure that in order to ensure its effectiveness, it should align with your values and your lifestyle.
Any “diet” will work if you use the most important ingredients — consistency and patience.
To that #ketolife!
PS: As a newbie myself, I hope to show the simplicity of this lifestyle by putting together a basic guide on ketogenic diet for beginners. It’s really not complicated at all!
PPS: Shoutout to the “king of keto” Thomas Delauer of thomasdelauer.com for providing tons of information regarding ketosis. Definitely check him out for more in-depth scientific explanations if you need further details on this lifestyle–way beyond ketogenic diet for beginners. He’s an expert!