With the internet brimming with the keto lifestyle and its visible benefits, you cannot resist anymore. Perhaps, your friends follow it, and you can witness first-hand results.
The thought of getting on keto seems easy from a distance and yet challenging, leaving you begging the question, how to start a keto diet?
When you start a ketogenic diet, you have to be more conscious about your macronutrient breakdown. Typically, the macronutrient breakdown for a keto diet comprises 5-10% carbs, 30-35% protein, and 55-60% fats. You should avoid sugars, fruits, grains, and tubers while on keto. The best keto foods are nuts and seeds, veggies, and dairy, etc.
Knowing what goes into making a keto diet successful and a list of ingredients to consume and avoid can go a long way. Yes, you have to give up your favorite cereals and toast for breakfast, and even forget pizza nights!
This guide will give a headstart to your keto diet journey. From how to get started to yummy recipes, we’ve rolled it out all for you!
5 Steps to Start a Keto Diet
Regardless of what crazy internet keto users tell you, simply eating keto-friendly foods won’t sail your ship. To get the most out of your keto program, you have to fine-tune macros and meal prep to align your health goals.
Fortunately, once you have the right idea, continuing your keto program won’t be much of a problem. If you follow the proper steps, you can omit typical keto diet errors and attain more benefits! Here’s how to go keto step-by-step:
Note the Nutrient Contents
You should know that counting calories and nutrients have the most significant impact on your journey to become healthy. Also, analyzing keto macros is a fundamental rule to success. If you are trying to push your body into ketogenesis, fulfilling your daily carb goal is a must.
The easiest way to track the nutrient contents is by using an online calculator. You can download a fitness app that contains an array of keto-friendly foods and their nutrient contents.
Your goal here should be to break down nutrient contents to satisfy the recommended macronutrient requirements for your body. This step will allow you to understand and maintain the macro ratio you’re consuming daily. Besides, the keto diet is very regimented.
Cut Down Carbs
Carbs are the silver-tongued devil that tricks your body into gaining weight. They typically come in the form of greasy junk foods. A low-carb will help to curb meal sizes and hunger as well.
Studies suggest that when people eat more fat and protein, they end up consuming fewer calories. Also, carbs are a roadblock to your weight loss journey.
By cutting carbs from your meals, you can eliminate excess water from the body.
It’s a fact that carbohydrates trigger elevated triglyceride levels in your body. Triglyceride level is a solid heart disease risk indication. Once you cut carbs, you will notice a dramatic reduction in triglyceride levels.
Goodbye Processed Foods
While you’re on keto, run miles away from anything that says ‘processed’ or comes out of a can. The reason to avoid processed foods is that they contain a bulk of additives and very few micronutrients.
In this way, they occupy a chunk of your calorie count and don’t fulfill the essential micronutrients for your body.
Furthermore, you should not fall into the temptation to consume processed meats. Bacon sandwiches might be your favorite dish, but we are afraid keto doesn’t allow these processed meats. Those frozen and ready-to-eat foods are high in sugar, carbs, and trans fat.
Transfer to Healthier Foods
Previously, you might have enjoyed indulging in greasy foods and glutenous loaves of bread. However, if you want to gain keto benefits, you have to say toodles to these foods. Keto emphasizes a little carb intake and a higher fat intake.
Luckily, these days many grocery shopping spots have a keto-friendly section, and so do outdoor eateries. Instead of making white flour pancakes, you can prepare some almond flour pancakes for yourself.
Likewise, ditch the glutenous pizza crust and substitute it for a cauliflower crust. If you look at it, there’s a brighter side of going keto – it is much healthier!
Make Space for Exercise
You would be hearing this for the millionth time that combining diet with a strict workout routine can bolster your health goals.
Eating less and working out more is an unsustainable and outdated way of losing weight. On the other hand, exercise plays a crucial role in ketogenesis. The best exercise styles for keto are aerobic, stability, flexibility, and anaerobic.
Exercising on a keto diet can aid the fat-burning potential of your body. During the workout, your body will use fat as the primary source of fuel, which ultimately leads to weight loss.
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
To explain how a keto diet works, let’s assume your body to be a car. In that case, glucose will be the gasoline for your body (your body breaks all consumed food into glucose for deriving energy).
However, what will be your next step if the body doesn't have any glucose left to use? Most definitely, your body can't run without gasoline! Thank god, the case is a little different from the human body.
The human body has a backup fuel – ketones.
The liver creates ketones from fat and pushes your body to enter a state known as ketosis. While on a keto diet, you have to restrict proteins and carb, which leave you consuming high fat.
Since your body does not receive enough carbs and proteins, it will use the backup fuel. It converts the fat into ketones and guesses what? You are burning fat as fuel for your body.
Benefits and Setbacks of Keto
Before you start with your keto diet, we’d love to acquaint you with its benefits and setbacks. This section divides itself into three different branches to give you a clear idea of the pros and cons of keto and more.
Potential Benefits of Keto
- Keto diet can aid in weight loss
- People don’t have to be picky about fatty foods
- Reduces symptoms of seizures and epilepsy
- A perfect diet for someone with a desk job
- It can help steer clear of cancer
- Carb restrictions in the keto diet can curb type-2 diabetes
- Ketosis can offer neuroprotective benefits
- Keto diet can positively affect skin health
- Some people might find it difficult to sustain
- It can also cause nutrient deficiency and calorie depletion
- Possible impact on heart health
- Keto diet has an increased renal risk
Minimizing Common Keto Risks
- Frequent urination is a common problem with those on a keto diet. If you are facing the same issue, make sure to track your hydration status. Moreover, you should check the color of your urine. You can avoid electrolyte imbalances by consuming low-fat foods.
- If you have a sweet tooth and you’re on keto, sugar cravings are a typical phase. You can satisfy those cravings by indulging in frozen berries or yummy nuts. Ensure that you are taking enough fiber to avoid these cravings from becoming too frequent.
- While on keto, you might wake up with ‘keto breath’ on some days. Keto might leave your mouth tasting metallic. However, this is a sign that your body has reached ketosis. You can reduce this odor by brushing frequently and having breath mints.
- ‘Keto flu' is another dangerous effect of going to the keto way. The best way to deal with this problem is by allowing your body to rest. A golden restful sleep is what will cure this dietary flu.
- You might also face sleep or insomnia-like symptoms while on keto. To avoid this risk, you should refrain from eating and exercising near your bedtime. Also, keep your room cool and do not indulge in too much phone time before snoozing.
- Keto diet adopters also experience signs of constipation. However, the easy way out of this is by increasing fiber intake. You can consume keto-friendly fibrous foods such as chia seeds, cauliflower, avocados, flaxseeds, etc.
- Many women also tend to experience menstrual cycle disruptions. If you are in the same boat, cut yourself some slack when it comes to calorie counting. Try to take high protein and high-fat foods that make you feel fuller without increasing calorie intake.
5 Tips to Start the Keto Diet
Here are some tips to get started with your keto diet:
Nutrient Tables On the Food Label
You should check out the nutrition label if you don’t plan to overeat on your keto diet. That’s not it; the nutrition table will also spill out the beans about allotted carbs to the food. Contrary to popular belief, you should not focus much on the calorie part.
The food label will also tell you the total fat content in the food. Fat content is where the food packet should shine the most. Any food labels with medium to high-fat content would work fine.
Also, if the label reads sodium, it’s a green signal to buy the food. Sodium helps to keep keto flu at bay. Finally, give a close look at the total carbohydrates. The total amount of carbs should not exceed your daily limit of 20-40g each day.
Also, go for food whose label suggests a moderate protein amount. If you want to keep it in line with your keto macro ratio, this is an important tip. Also, you can ignore the daily value percentages are nothing close to the concept of keto – so forget it!
Food Plan Is the Game Plan
So, you’ve finally planned to go keto, that’s great! It’s time you start planning your dream keto food plan. However, before you begin stocking random keto-friendly foods, it’s better to outline a food plan.
While creating a food plan, your aim should include highly nutritious foods to ramp up your energy. This way, you won't be motivated to ditch your keto diet anytime soon. You may also consider tracking net carbs, fibers, and the rest macronutrients for better results.
Become a Chef With Keto-Friendly Recipes
If you are considering becoming a keto, you also should have the time to spare for cooking. Before getting started, you should look at various cookbooks and keto websites for expert-approved yummy recipes.
Once you actively start your keto journey, you might even see yourself turning into a keto chef! You can experiment with more foods and ingredients to make your diet fat-rich and delicious. Besides, when you turn into a chef for yourself, you’ll have a better understanding of what you like and what you don’t.
Prepare Your Meal, Even At the Restaurant
Not all restaurants will present you with a keto-friendly menu. However, many eateries will happily make adjustments in their dishes to make them keto-friendly. Moreover, when you head to eat outside, make careful choices.
For instance, you can switch from soda to berry milkshakes. Instead of grabbing a chicken burger, you can settle for a lettuce burger. By making minor changes to your outside eating habits, you can enjoy your keto-friendly meals.
Bring Your Own
Wondering how to fill your belly while at a party? Being on keto, one of the most significant challenges is eating outside. Whenever you drop by your friend’s place or attend a party, you might not have any keto-friendly choice of food at all!
To get yourself out of this situation, you can carry a few snacks for yourself. Just like the ‘bring your own beer’ party trend, keto diet followers should practice ‘bring your own food.’
In that flow of hunger, you might get tempted to pick a carb-laden snack. Remember, once a carb-packed meal can put your weeks and months of a keto diet on the backseat.
7-day Sample Keto Plan
In this section, we’ve curated a full-proof 7-day meal plan for everyone who wants to go keto. The best part about this sample keto plan is that it is beginner-friendly.
- Breakfast: Egg scrambled with cheddar cheese and sautéed onions
- Mid-day Snack: Peanut butter fudge bars
- Lunch: Six-ounce deli ham, two cups mixed green veggies, five large black olives, half cup cucumber, half Hass avocado, and two tablespoons of blue cheese dressing
- Evening Snack: Two-ounce provolone cheese and ¾ medium zucchini
- Dinner: Baked catfish with herb-butter blend and broccoli
- Breakfast: Bulletproof coffee and hard-boiled eggs
- Mid-day Snack: Macadamia nuts
- Lunch: Tuna salad stuffed in tomatoes
- Evening Snack: Sliced cheese roll-ups and roast beef
- Dinner: Meatballs with zucchini noodles with a cream sauce topping
- Breakfast: Salsa-topped veggie and cheese omelet
- Mid-day Snack: Full-fat green yogurt with crushed pecans
- Lunch: Sashimi takeout with miso soup
- Evening Snack: Protein powder, almond butter, greens, and almond milk smoothie
- Dinner: Sauteed mushrooms with asparagus and roasted chicken
- Breakfast: Protein powder, almond butter, greens, and almond milk smoothie
- Mid-day Snack: Two hard-boiled eggs
- Lunch: Almond flour accompanied chicken tenders with a bed of greens and goat cheese
- Evening Snack: Cheese and bell pepper slices
- Dinner: Grilled shrimp with lemon butter sauce and asparagus
- Breakfast: A side of greens with bacon and fried eggs
- Mid-day Snack: A quarter cup of berries and a handful of walnuts
- Lunch: Lettuce bun burger topped with avocado and salad
- Evening Snack: Almond- butter-dipped celery sticks
- Dinner: Homemade peanut butter topped baked tofu with peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower rice
- Breakfast: baked eggs in avocado cups
- Mid-day Snack: Kale chips
- Lunch: Wrapped in seaweed – poached salmon avocado rolls
- Evening Snack: Meat-based bar
- Dinner: Sauteed broccolini and grilled beef kebabs along with peppers
- Breakfast: Salsa-topped eggs scrambled along with veggies
- Mid-day Snack: Dried seaweed strips with your favorite cheese
- Lunch: Salad including sardine with mayo in half avocado
- Evening Snack: Turkey jerky
- Dinner: Sauteed bok choy, broiled trout with butter
Keto-Friendly Foods and Recipes
You can’t blame the butter for what bread did! While you’re on keto, you’ve to learn to say no to plenty of foods inviting you to eat it. What’s more, with a long list of things you should avoid eating, keto will force you to hone your cooking skills.
- Meat, substitutes, and Poultry: Beef, deli meats, tempeh, tofu, sausages, poultry, pork, organ meats, lamb, game
- Seafood and Fish: Tuna, squid, anchovies, shrimp, lobster, crab, and majority of fishes
- Eggs: Scrambled, poached, omelets, fried, boiled, frittatas, or quiches
- Vegetables: Zucchini, spinach, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, green beans, kale, cabbage, broccoli, avocado, cauliflower
- Fruits: lemons, limes, all varieties of berries, coconut, melons
- Seeds and Nuts: Almonds, pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- Dairy: Cheese, milk, butter, greek yogurt, cottage cheese
Keto Seven Layer Dip Recipe
This keto-friendly seven-layer dip is an appetizer with delicious layers of olives, cheese, guacamole, tomatoes, sour cream, and meat. You can eat this keto-friendly dip with protein chips or pork rinds. Also, refrain from adding beans to this recipe to keep the carb content low.
- 1-ounce sliced olives
- 1/3 cup sliced green onions
- One ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup guacamole
- 3/4 lb ground beef
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1-ounce taco seasoning
- Step 1: In a bowl, combine sour cream with one tablespoon of taco seasoning. Set this mixture aside.
- Step 2: Take a skillet and brown the beef until the pink diminishes. You have to add the leftover taco seasoning and a quarter cup of water until the liquid reduces. Let it cool completely.
- Step 3: In a glass dish, layer each ingredient in the same order as mentioned: beef, sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes, cheese, green onions, olives. You can serve this dish with your choice of dipper or open a pack of protein chips.
Goat Cheese and Chicken Skillet – Makes a Perfect Dinner!
Chicken and cheese are probably the two most keto-friendly ingredients. Not to mention, combine them, and they taste delicious.
The best part of this recipe is that it is easy to prep and quick. Moreover, you can adjust the quantity of cheese according to your keto macro ratio.
- 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Two teaspoons olive oil
One garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup sliced fresh asparagus (1-inch pieces)
- Three tablespoons 2% milk
- Three plum tomatoes, chopped
- Hot cooked rice or pasta
- Two tablespoons herbed fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- Additional goat cheese, optional
- Step 1: In the first step, you have to toss the chicken using seasoning and salt. Take a large skillet and heat oil over medium heat. Place the chicken to sauté until it gets rids of its pink. Essentially, this step will last for 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan once done.
- Step 2: In the next and final step, you have to add asparagus to the skillet and stir and cook it over medium heat for a minute. Next, add garlic and stir it for another 30 seconds. Stir in two tablespoons of cheese, milk, and tomatoes; cook the ingredients covered over medium-high heat until the cheese starts melting. Serve this with chicken or a portion of rice. Top it with some more goat cheese if your diet allows it!
The antipasto salad packs salami, olives, pepperoni, red onion, pepperoncinis, and provolone. You can fill up your belly with this incredibly healthy and delicious keto-friendly Italian salad. Make sure to tag along with a low-carb dressing with the salad.
- 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 3/4 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
- 6 ounces diced provolone cheese
- 4 ounces drained and chopped marinated artichokes
- 1/2 cup olives
- 2 ounces diced salami
- 2 ounces pepperoni, quartered
- 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncinis
- 1/4 cup sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
You have to take a sizable shallow-sized bowl and add romaine and top with all other ingredients. You can toss it with your favorite low-carb Italian dressing (our favorite is the Olive Graden copycat dressing) and begin the feast!
Who said starting keto always has to be painful. Though it's no walk in the park, it's crucial for your physical well-being. You can have a seemingly endless thread of info on starting a keto diet and maximizing the results.
You can also stay on track by download a keto-assistance app. Alternatively, you can maintain a journal of what you eat to track your macronutrients.
A point of advice: the keto diet takes a little while to show its phenomenal benefits. However, once your body enters the state of ketosis, you’ll be delighted you took the keto route.
Now that you have a mini handbook of how to start a keto diet, what’s the hold? Stock up your kitchen, indulge in some cooking time, and get started on your keto diet to see the results you’ve longed for!
Ketosis is a natural metabolic process. This metabolic process allows your body to burn stored fat instead of glucose. As the body starts breaking stored fat, it starts building ketones in the blood. These ketones leave the body during the urine. Here are some ways to get into ketosis: - Indulge in physical activity
- Reduce carbohydrate intake
- Fast for shorter durations
- Increase the intake of healthy fats
- Consume more coconut oil
- Regulate protein intake
If you want to break the plateau and speed up the keto diet, then try to adjust your existing diet. Consuming a variety of fats and proteins can help the body to absorb the best nutrients. To speed up keto, you can also try pairing it with intermittent fasting.
Yet when taken in the correct dosage, there should be no concerns about the safety of exogenous ketone supplements.
Unlike other diet programs, it is not feasible to indulge in many cheat days while on keto. It is because consuming too many carbohydrates can hamper the ketosis state of your body. In short, carbs and junk foods can derail your body from ketosis.
It might take you days or even a whole week to come back on track. Alongside, cheat meals will also compromise your weight loss.
The keto diet has become such a buzz with health-conscious people because it has multiple health benefits. Here are some health benefits of keto:
- It can help to treat epilepsy in children.
- Some people claim that they could also control their seizures while on keto.
- It can improve type-2 diabetes
- This diet aids in safe weight loss
There’s no shortage of keto diet inspirations on the internet. However, if you are looking to lose weight, you have made a few adjustments. The good news is that your body can actively shed pounds by following a keto diet.
This calorie-reduction diet results in faster fat burn than any other diet. For short-term durations, this diet delivers unexpected results. However, you might struggle to keep the weight scale from running on the higher side in the long term.
It might take you days or even a whole week to come back on track. Alongside, cheat meals will also compromise your weight loss.