by Ashley Fern | 11:22 pm

Photo by José Ignacio Pompé on Unsplash

Although, the keto diet has started to be named a “fad diet” by many,  it’s been around for quite a while and there are many well versed doctors who support it. It is an amazing tool and can be used to shop yo stop the sugar addiction/crisis that plagues many. There are many misconceptions and myths that are being tossed around. Fortunately there are many others that give amazingly relevant information. I would like to point you in the right direction as a beginner.

So welcome to a journey of discovery about food and how it impacts your whole body and emotional health.

The way I started was by watching a ton of YouTube and other video mediums on the subject. I think this is truly what keeps me going. I’ve sorted through the fluff and want to provide you with exactly what you need right here.

I’m here to help you understand the keto basics for beginners. I want you to understand what keto can do for you and your family.

Keto Diet Overview- Basic #1

High Fat – Low Carb – Moderate Protein

The first thing to understand about the keto diet is that it’s all about keeping yourself fulfilled with high healthy fats(coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nut butters. . .), cutting out the sugar and carbs(sweet treats, bread, pasta, sweeter fruits, rice, corn, potatoes. . .) and eating a moderate level of protein(beef, eggs, chicken, pork. . .).

Experts don’t agree on everything but a basic guideline for keto beginners is to look at a ratio. Every day, you should be eating around 70% of your calories from Fat, 10% of your calories from Carbs and 20% from protein. A great way to figure this out especially with real food is to use a tracker such as My Fitness Pal.

The second thing to know is that it isn’t a one size fits all kind of diet. At first, you have to follow a very strict regimen until you become what is called fat adapted. This takes longer for some than others but as you start burning fat instead of sugar for fuel you will start to be able to adapt the diet to your life and find out what your body tells you about what it can and can’t handle.

It’s a dynamic jumping board that starts a journey of discovery about your body and its health.

So you may be confused by some terms I used in the last paragraph but I want people to understand that this is adaptable after the first stages of getting started. At the most basic level the keto diet means cutting out carbohydrates and sugar and eating a diet high in healthy fats with a moderate dose of protein.

Your normal dinner plate may look something like this…

Image by HarshLight HarshLight from San Jose, CA, USA [CC BY 2.0

Fried chicken, mashed potato, corn, and a biscuit.

In order to give you an idea of how many carbs are consumed here I have used info from myfitnesspal.com.

  • Fried Chicken 2-3oz pieces 8g Carbs, 34g Fat, 30g Protein
  • Mashed Potato 1 cup 42g Carbs, 10g Fat, 4g Protein
  • Corn 1/2 cup 11g Carbs, 1g Fat, 2g Protein
  • Biscuit 25g Carbs, 6g Fat, 3g Protein

Total Carbs 86g Carbs in one Meal

Compare this to a typical Keto Meal

Keto Chicken in Cream Sauce by Tracy @ Baking Mischief

Keto Chicken in Cream Sauce, over Cauliflour Rice with Fressh or Frozen Green Beans Smothered in Butter.

  • Chicken in Cream Sauce over Cauliflour Rice  6g Carbs, 24g Fat, 52g Protein
  • Green Beans smothered in Butter.  1g Carb, 11g Fat, 1g Protein

Total Carbs 25g.

This meals macro ratios are Fat 36%, 26%, 55%

Because chicken is often very high in Protein I would suggest rounding out this meal with a High Fat, Low Carb, Low Protein Fat bomb to help up your Fat content for satiation. Try out these Blueberry Cream Pie Fat Bombs from Forget Sugar Friday

Keto Basic #2

Eat real food that fits your budget to get started.

Many keto advocates are out there telling you what to buy and eat. Some have very strict guidelines around buying things that are organic, pasture raised, and not highly processed, all of these things are great goals to work towards. Let’s face it though that stuff can get expensive for the average American family. We are trying to make our families healthy and whole but when you are first starting the most important thing to remember is Just Eat Real Food.

Stay away from the center aisles in the grocery store and look for things that are not prepackaged and that are not high in carbs. If you are looking for some good getting started suggestions I would visit YouTube and start by watching things by people like Keto Connect and Butter Bob Briggs.

If you have a tight budget and are just getting started on your health journey watch

If you have already started your health journey and are looking for the healthiest options watch

If you want to do this as healthily as possible on a budget or on the run watch

The most important thing to remember is packaged food has almost always been processed highly and often has high carb counts. Even when the carbs are low they are often filled with substandard replacements that are just as bad if not worse for your body a plain old white cane sugar. Dextrose, Maltodextrin, Corn Starch and Modified Starches can all have a negative effect on blood sugar and alternatively on insulin which are both things we are trying to lower with a ketogenic diet.

Keto Basic #3

Read Every Nutrition Label

Another basic skill you need to learn when starting to live a ketogenic lifestyle is to read nutrition labels. You’ve all seen them they are required to be on every product. I can almost guarantee you are focusing on the wrong things. Dr Berg has a couple great videos to check out.

For an in depth guide on nutrition labels and how to read them when doing keto check out Perfect Keto.

The main thing to remember is to start out by simply informing yourself of how many carbs and sugars are in what you are eating. The second most important factor is the fat content and how high it is. Don’t forget the sneaky serving size. Small packages often have serving sizes that are even smaller.

Keto Basic #4

Know Your Goals

Many people are attracted to the ketogenic lifestyle because they hear about the weight loss benefits. This is a great starting point and can be a motivating factor for many people. The truth is massive weight loss only happens at first. Like any other way of eating weight loss rarely keeps people going forever. I would highly suggest sitting down and writing out the other benefits you can gain from changing the way you eat.

Here are a few things I personally have experienced and continue to focus on to remember why I eat this way. When life gets stressful and the sweets or comfort foods of my past just look super appealing I do two things. I remember this list and then I start listening to youtube videos and podcasts to remind myself what happens inside my body when I eat unhealthily vs. healthily.You can find my recommended youtube channels and podcasts here.

  • Increased Energy and less Brain Fog
  • Less Inflammation = Less Chronic Pain
  • Balancing my hormones
  • Decreasing my Insulin Levels
  • Getting Rid of Skin Issues
  • Better Mood
  • Loosing Inches
  • Gaining muscle without a ton of exercise

To Sum It Up

The Keto Diet basics are…

  1. High Fat 70%, Low Carb 10%, Moderate Protein 20%
  2. Eat Real Food
  3. Read Every Nutrition Label
  4. Know Your Goals

Comments

AJ

Wow! Great review and information about Keto. Me and my wife actually is into Keto diet. Well, that’s before she got pregnant. Of course, her OB didn’t allow here to do Keto since then.

I have to say, this is the only diet that we were able to stick with for a long time. It is easy because you still get to enjoy your food. What I miss is my dessert. Well, that was before. But I am still looking forward to get back in shape and go back to Keto-ing. 

Thank you for this article by the way. I like it a lot. All the best!

Aug 22.2019 | 04:27 pm

    admin

    Thank You AJ, I have to say that it is sustainable for me as well. I would encourage you to at least look into keeping your child sugar free for as long as possible. There are some great keto desserts out there you simply need to use them sparingly. Our family has one a week. We look forward to making the recipes together and to picking out the dessert we wish to try. 

    Aug 22.2019 | 04:33 pm

Chuck

Hi and thank you for this website. I like the tagline for your website because I agree that we have to stop sugar addiction. Doing keto for the whole family sounds like a great way to prevent the whole family from being addicted to sugar. Especially when you are doing it together.

that’s very interesting that your body eventually adapts to using the fat as energy. And then at that point you can have the chance to learn a lot about your body.

Aug 22.2019 | 04:30 pm

    admin

    Your Welcome Chuck. 

    Aug 22.2019 | 04:34 pm

Jay

I have to say that I am one of those that don’t even bother reading the description label of the food  l buy. It is something I definitely have to start doing to know exactly what I am putting into my body. 

Keto dieting is something I recently started to hear about and about its benefits although it has been around for a long time.

I sure have learnt a lot about keto dieting from this post and this knowledge would help me a lot during my dieting.

Aug 22.2019 | 04:38 pm

    admin

    Thanks Jay, I wish you well on your journey. I hope I can help you even more in the future let me know if you have any questions. 

    Aug 22.2019 | 04:59 pm

Monalisha

Hi. 

It was really nice to read your post, because I have started Keto Diet from last 3 months. It’s really works as you said in your post. I loose my extra weight and now I am so much fit and stronger than ago. I also recommended it for my mother. I would like to thank you for providing such a helpful post because I have known many unknown information about Keto. As I am a beginner your post helped me very much.

I will definitely share your post and thanks again.

Aug 22.2019 | 04:40 pm

    admin

    Thanks Monalisha, I am glad to help. please let me know if you have any questions.

    Aug 22.2019 | 05:00 pm

Gaurav Gaur

Hi, Ashley.
Thanks for the informative article on Keto basics for the beginners.
The mantra I learned is to balance High Fat-Low Carb-Moderate Protein. As suggested by you I will be joining my fitness pal to track the first basic.
Concentrating on the real food makes sense and should be stressed. Reading the nutritional label and setting goals are also important points which I will be keep on monitoring. My only doubt is I am 100% vegetarian and how I am going to keep up with 70-10-20 strategy?
Warm Regards,
Gaurav Gaur

Aug 22.2019 | 05:21 pm

    admin

    Hi Guarav, 

    You are very welcome. I am not a vegetarian but would like to point you in the direction of a few informative articles I’ve read about Vegetarian Keto. 

    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low

    https://draxe.com/diets/vegeta

    https://www.drberg.com/blog/th

    I hope these articles and videos help you out. I think the most important part is to supplement and get a variety of vegetable proteins in. If you don’t mind bone broth I would highly suggest using it.

    Aug 23.2019 | 12:02 am

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