We’ll show you not only how the keto diet works, but the benefits of doing it, and how to get started on keto.
The Keto diet has been around for about 100 years, but only recently has it really began to take off. Maybe you don’t know a whole lot about this type of diet and how it works?
In this article, we’ll answer several questions that you may already have, and even provide you with a grocery list to get you headed in the right direction.
What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet has been around as early as the 1920s but has really heated up again in the past couple of decades. It’s a low-carb diet where you’re eating foods that contain more fat along with ones that are high in protein.
By eating fewer carbs, your body resorts to using stored fat and protein for energy. This short-term diet helps people lose weight faster than most other diets out there, and is proven to help patients that have epilepsy, or certain heart and brain diseases.
What is Ketosis?
By eating fewer carbs, your body will eventually run low on blood sugar, basically putting it into a carb starvation mode. It will then shift its focus to your body fat and protein and use them for energy. This usually takes around 3 to 4 days to happen, and then you will begin to lose weight.
This process is called ketosis, and your body may experience a number of positive and negative side effects from such a drastic change in diet. Many of which will lessen in a couple of days.
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
The keto diet is fairly similar to the Atkins diet and other low-carb diets, where your carb intake is as little as 20-50 grams a day. This causes your body to burn fat. To put those numbers into perspective, a single banana has around 27 grams of carbs, so it’s important to know which foods are keto-approved, that way you don’t go over.
You also need to know that eating too much of foods that contain high levels of protein while on the diet, actually works against ketosis as well.
The best way for me to explain this diet is with this example of a fire. A fire burns in 3 different ways.
- A fire burns with kindling (small brush or branches).
- A fire burns with logs.
- A fire burns with coals.
Kindling burns really, really fast. A log burns slower… probably an hour or two. Coals burn for a long period of time.
Your body burns energy in 3 different ways also.
Carbs burn really, really fast. Protein burns at a slower rate but fat burns for a long period of time! You want to burn fat!
What are the Health Benefits of the Keto Diet?
The keto diet was originally used for people that experienced epilepsy. Today it’s particularly used for weight loss and several other benefits as well. Just a few worth mentioning include improving acne, improving overall heart health, reducing the risks of several types of cancers, help to maintain proper brain function and may possibly help to reduce seizures as well.
Ketogenic Diet Health Benefits to Get Started on Keto
How do your Fat Cells Work?
Fat cells are usually seen as a bad thing, but believe it or not, they are actually good for your overall health. You can shrink them while dieting, but they won’t ever disappear. When your body gets low on insulin because of dieting, your fat cells begin to release energy so that your body can function properly. Because of this, your fat cells will begin to shrink, allowing you to lose weight.
What are Macros?
Macros, or macronutrients, are the breakdown for the calorie content that’s in your food. The three categories of macros include fat, protein and carbohydrates.
You probably already keep a close eye on your calorie intake for each day, but it’s important to break that down even further, to see where exactly all your calories are coming from. Thus said, it’s important to keep track of your macros and not simply calories.
How do you Calculate Macros?
Calculating macros isn’t too difficult but does require a bit of math. To start off, it’s important to have a goal of how many calories you’re hoping to stay under each day. You should also keep in consideration how active you are too. Maybe you’re looking to eat around 2,000 calories? You then need to find the right ratio that works for you.
If your daily intake ratio is 40% carbs, you multiply that by 2,000 calories, and your target is to remain beneath 800 calories of carbs each day. You will then do the same for your fat and protein, in the same way, to find out where you should be.
If calculating macros is too much to worry about, there’s plenty of online macros calculators that will do the work for you, while including algorithms that are personal for each person.
New to Keto? Want to Get Started on Keto? Check out the Keto Starter Guide!
The Keto Starter Guide is an amazing resource as you get started on your keto/low carb journey. This guide has everything you need to get started in 9 simple video lessons and also includes workbooks with step by step instructions for beginners.
- What’s a macro and why do I count them?
- How do I find the best recipes?
- What is ketosis and how do I get my body there?
- What fruits are allowed on a ketogenic diet?
- Will I get “Keto Flu” and what do I do about it?
How Do I Know How Much Fat, Protein, and Carbs to Consume?
To be fairly honest, every person is different from this question, however, the recommended macronutrient ratio is 45 to 60% carbohydrate, 20 to 35% fat, and the rest of the calories should be coming from protein.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is also another popular dieting tool that’s proven to help people lose weight. This type of weight loss isn’t focused on what you eat, but when you eat. You’re narrowing the window of opportunity for when you eat, which helps reduce the number of calories you’re eating each day (as long as you don’t binge eat).
There are 6 popular intermittent fasting methods, some working better for others depending on the lifestyle of each individual. To find out more, check out the different intermittent methods to get you started.
What Should I Buy On my First Shopping Trip to Get Started on Keto?
When you’re heading to the grocery store, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind so that you don’t make easy mistakes.
It’s important to stay away from processed foods and limit the amount of packaged foods that you buy. Even though certain products may suggest low-carb, it’s a good idea to stay away from them.
Buying whole foods also keep you eating foods that only have one ingredient, instead of multiple ingredients that are unhealthy. For example, you do this when you buy vegetables, fruit, meat, and nuts.
Eating fruit isn’t necessarily keto-friendly, but it’s okay to eat them in moderation every once in a while. You’ll also need to avoid food products that contain sugar, artificial sweeteners and grains. Check out this keto shopping list that can give you more insight and get started on keto.
This list is something I did when I went to the store for the first time. These foods that I list are just recommendations and certainly not the full list of allowed foods. These were just the easiest for me to start with.
- Almond butter
- Cheese (Cheddar, Colby, Feta, Mozzarella, Blue cheese, Provolone, Ricotta, and so many others)
- Coconut Cream
- Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
- Cream Cheese
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Olive Oil
- Sour Cream
- Brussel Sprouts
- Snow Peas
- Spaghetti Squash
Grab the printable version of this Keto Grocery Store Shopping List here.
The keto diet has helped so many people to lose weight, by simply following a few guidelines and knowing just the basics. Have you tried several other diets that simply haven’t worked for you? If you have a successful keto story, we’d love to hear from you.
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Here are some of my favorite easy keto recipes for beginners to get started on keto:
- Simple Keto-Friendly Pancakes with sugar-free syrup.
- Eggs and sausage or bacon for breakfast with a side of avocado.
- Salads for lunch (lettuce, chicken/turkey with tomatoes, cheese and avocado and full-fat ranch dressing)
- I also keep a package of fully cooked grilled turkey or chicken strips in my refrigerator for the week just in case time gets away from me and I need something already cooked! I’ve been known to heat that up with cheese on top and serve it with a side of avocado too. Yummy!
- Bacon Cheeseburger soup (is a family favorite)
- Baked Brussel Sprouts Casserole (my family doesn’t like Brussel Sprouts but they LOVE this recipe)
- Dinners are usually a meat with cheese or a salad with a fluffy keto biscuit on the side.
- My favorite snack idea is the Parmesan cheese wisps made by Cello. You can find them at Costco or you can order them here on Amazon. Best Snack EVER! I can only eat about 15 at a time which is one serving before it fills me up. They are so tasty too!
- Dessert idea…Keto Ice cream! Need I say more!?!?
- I tend to also mix a few frozen blueberries or frozen strawberries with heavy cream if I need to up my fat numbers for the day. Mix those ingredients together and it tastes just like ice cream! What a treat!
- Another way to help up your fat numbers for the day is to have what they call fat bombs. We make some of our own fat bombs and you can find the recipes here.
These are just a few ideas to help get you started. Stay tuned for many more.
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