When I was first thinking about starting the keto diet, I knew that it was something that I wanted to have a go at.
However, I was really put off by the technical side of macros. It all seemed too hard. I hope that this article will help you know how to start the keto diet plan without any stress.
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Understanding the basics of how to start the keto diet plan
Before you start your keto lifestyle, please take a moment to fully understand what the keto diet is all about.
The keto diet is when you eat low carbohydrates and high healthy fat with moderate protein.
This is slightly different to the paleo or LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) diets where carbs are still tolerated at a higher level.
The keto diet has suggested guidelines on what level of Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins you should be consuming daily.
It is important that you know where you can source healthy fats and moderate proteins from.
There is a great list of items you CAN eat on the keto diet here.
What are the benefits of eating keto?
There are some very big, life changing benefits to eating within the guidelines of the keto lifestyle.
The first biggest benefit is learning that fat is not the enemy.
Fat, from healthy fat sources is the key to health. The more I research around this, the more I find this is 100% true!
The next benefit, which most people are very keen to receive is weight loss.
Your body can use only two sources for fuel. One is fat, the other is sugar.
Once you have entered into ketosis your body will use fat as a fuel. This means that you need to stop feeding your body carbs and sugar so that it can switch into using fat.
Ketosis is the state where your body is burning fat rather than carbohydrates.
If you have weight concerns, insulin resistance, PCOS, hormone issues, gluten intolerance or any other inflammatory condition, then I would highly suggest trying the keto diet.
This is particularly true for people who would like to conceive. You can read more about how the keto diet can support fertility.
Another great benefit to following keto is that you are naturally going to cut out sugar and refined carbohydrates.
This has huge benefits to weight loss as well as health and longevity.
How much fat do I need to eat?
When I thought of fat before I started learning about the keto diet, I thought only of lard and it made me feel sick.
I have never been a big meat eater and I was worried that this would mean that I wouldn’t be able to stick to the plan.
Please do not let this hold you back. If I can do it, you can too!
Changing how you feel about fats and what you consider a fat is really important. Fats need to be of high quality and healthy. Some examples of these are:
- organic cuts of meat
- fatty fish
- olives and olive oil
- coconut oil
- dairy products
- butter or ghee
As you can see from the list above, this is a far cry from lard! These are natural, organic sources of fat that are truly beneficially to your body.
Tips on cutting out carbs
Basically you want to cut out rice, grains, potatoes, starchy vegetables, bread, etc. This is because once in your body, the carbs turn into sugar.
It can be a big adjustment cutting out carbs and it is really important to keep your fats up. This is because your body will be used to using carbs to full you up.
You will now need to use fats to feel full.
Cutting out carbs is extremely difficult without changing your current way of eating.
I say this because carbs are in everything our cultures love to eat – hot dogs, noodles, breads, and the list goes on!
I think my biggest tip to you is to not looking at cutting out carbs but looking at what you can add to your diet.
How can I actually manage all of this? How to start the keto diet plan?
Ok, take a breath. If you are like me, I was feeling pretty over-whelmed at this stage!
First thing is to understand how many macros you will be consuming.
Hold the phone – what is a macro?
A macro is basically what makes up your food. There is Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates. When you consume food, your body naturally sorts your food into macros and uses them to help your body function.
When following the keto diet you will want to use the 75/20/5 rule. 75% of your diet will be consumed as fat, 20% of your diet will be consumed as protein and 5% of your diet as carbohydrates.
Yes, you can consume a small amount of carbs.
This can get too difficult working out the macros each day independently. You will need some kind of way of measuring what you are consuming.
You can use myfitnesspal or a similar app such as Carb Manager. This allows you to enter the food you are consuming and it will use a pie chart to show you how you are tracking in terms of your goals.
Keto Meal Planning
Another great tip on how to start the keto diet is to use meal planning.
Meal planning is a way of being organized around what you will eat for the week.
There are huge benefits to organizing your meals this way.
Apart from Meal Planning what you will eat each day. Another great tool is the freezer.
The freezer is a tool of the kitchen that is very under utilized!
Did you know that you can prepare extra dinner each night and freeze them into individual meals to pull out when needed.
This is a great saving grace when you are starving and cannot be bothered cooking or don’t have time to cook.
You can also pull them out for lunches as needed.
Ordering your food online can support you understand the food you are buying!
Sometimes when I go to the grocery shop (well actually most of the time) I need to rush in and rush back out.
This doesn’t allow for me to check my food items for fats/proteins/carbs.
What I am currently doing which is working really well, is ordering online.
This allows me to spend time at a convenient time to look carefully at my foods and order only the foods that support my Keto Diet.
Plus, it means I stay within budget and avoid the candy!!
I’ve also recently discovered that Amazon has a Prime Pantry Service.
This Amazon Prime Pantry Service allows your groceries and household products to be delivered to your house.
They provide low prices and deals/coupons.
Very, very handy for us busy folk!
Some of you may get free shipping which is a huge bonus!
They also have Amazon Fresh which allows you to order all your fresh foods – including meat and vegetables!
An amazing service, delivered to your door.
I order my food online and it saves me a lot of time! It also allows me to track my shopping cart so I stay within my budget.
If you are serious about getting your health under control, optimizing your weight and regaining the energy that you wish you had, be sure to check out our Keto Kickstarter Challenge here.