The ketogenic diet has so many health benefits and the research supporting this is just growing and growing. The ketogenic diet has been shown to be an effective long and short term weight loss solution, it reverses type two diabetes, is having amazing success treating many people with Alzheimers and it reduces the risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
How to Start the Keto Diet in 5 Easy Steps
Getting started on the ketogenic diet is overwhelming for first timers. So I have broken down how to start the keto diet in to 5 easy steps for you to follow.
1) Stop Eating Sugar
Sugar is the foundation of disease in our modern society. It is a big call, but I am going to make it. Sugar is inflammatory and addictive. Sugar raises your insulin levels in your blood, and this has ongoing, lasting consequences for your health.
When your insulin levels are chronically high, you retain salt and water, and in the high state of inflammation, you will gain weight, and your risk of all illnesses increases.
To quit sugar is simply that. Stop eating it.
Sugar is in so many things that you will be surprised about. It is in your bread, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, beets, pickles, peanut butter (why??)
Read the packets, if it has anything that sounds like a sugar, it is probably sugar. Coconut sugar, agave nectar, rice syrup, molasses, maltodextrin these will all raise your blood sugars and insulin levels, and they have got to go.
Fruit is also full of sugar, especially modern varieties of fruit! Small volumes of berries are ok on occasion, but generally you want to skip the fruit as well.
2) Stop Eating Grains and Starchy Foods
Next on the list are all the things that your body will simply convert straight to glucose. Now it doesn’t matter if these are “slow release’ or “low GI” or whatever, grains and starchy foods raise your blood sugars and your insulin levels.
Grains – corn, wheat, barley, rye and oats – are all very inflammatory and are best avoided in life in general.
Other starchy foods like sweet potato, potato, yams, rice, quinoa, cous cous, bread, pasta (even gluten free!), tapioca, taro and most vegetables that grow under the ground are considered starchy. These foods will also spike your insulin, and should be avoided on the keto diet.
3) Eat Vegetables that grow Above the Ground
Most vegetables that grow above the ground are considered fine on the ketogenic diet. Leafy greens are the best. They are full of potassium and other essential nutrients. Try to have at least 2-3 cups of leafy greens each day.
Other vegetables that you can have in lesser volumes are tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, turnips, radishes, and carrots.
4) Eat your Protein
Ideally you will be getting about 100g of protein per day. As no food is 100% protein, you will need to be eating about 300-400g of protein foods per day, these can include meat, fish, eggs, hard cheese, cream cheese and nuts.
With the cheese, cream cheese and nuts, you need to watch the carb content, as these are very easy to over eat and they are not zero carb options like meat or fish.
5) Eat Good Fat
The ketogenic diet is based on the idea that we should be using fat not sugar as our fuel source. To do this effectively 60-80% of your calories should be coming from fat.
These fats should be naturally occurring fats like ghee, butter, tallow, dripping, lard, olive oil and coconut oil, as well as foods like avocados, fish, eggs and meat.
Avoid all the highly processed oils – peanut, canola, soy and corn as well as trans fats in margarine and commercially fried foods – these oils are not only very inflammatory, but your body doesn’t know how to use them well as fuel.
Eat enough fat that you can go from one meal to another without being hungry and needing a snack. As your body adjusts to burning fat as fuel you will find that you can eat slightly less fat and your body will access your body’s own stores of fat and the weight loss will really begin.
The closer you are to your ideal weight, the more fat you will have to incorporate in to your diet to stay satisfied. Trust the process and follow your hunger cues.
That is it! How to start your journey on to the ketogenic diet really is that easy! Go here for a list of foods you can eat to print off for your fridge.
If you are interested in being guided through the ketogenic lifestyle check out our Keto Kickstarter, or if you want some real accountability with Real Results, join our next Simply Ketogenic Life Bootcamp.