Keto Basics

It’s that time again—it’s keto January! I know, it’s better than Christmas! Half kidding of course. I have found whenever I start talking about diets and cutting out carbs eyes start to glaze over. I truly am excited for the diet change, the holidays got me feeling all kinds of ready for keto! I have noticed: weight gain, bad skin, low energy, mood swings, etc. I find when I do Keto I plan meals more which gets me excited about cooking, I eat the foods I know my body likes, I feel better and I look better. Another bonus, it can be more cost effective as you typically eat out less on keto (or any diet) and if you’re planning your meals you generally aren’t letting any food go to waste.

I started off planning for the month with a few different calendars, a monthly calendar and a weekly calendar. I use the monthly calendar to plan out family dinners; on the day where I cook I just write what we will be having. On the weekly calendar I am more in-depth and will plan out breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for each day of the week. Having these two calendars filled out, or roughly filled out, makes it easier to plan my grocery list for the week.

Let’s go over the different kinds of keto and then I’ll talk about what I do and what has worked for me and my fiancé.

Strict Keto

When you hear people talking about counting macros, they are doing strict keto. This is not for the weak hearted. You have to be diligent and ruthless to do strict keto. It’s also not advisable to just jump into it, you need to work yourself into eating so few carbs. Strict keto is broken down like this, for your daily diet you want to be consuming 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs. This for me, is a bit too much; I know myself and if I attempted this, it would last maybe two days. I don’t like being to strict about a lot of things and my diet is no exception.

Cyclical keto

This is when you would follow a strict keto diet for 5-6 days and then 1-2 days you would do a high carb diet. This doesn’t make too much sense to me because each week you would work towards ketosis and then you would kick yourself right out of it.

Targeted keto

Here you would eat a strict keto diet but you would plan your carb intake around your workouts. So if you are allowed 5% carbs for the day you would use that amount either before, during or after your workout.

What I do is more of a beginner keto. I only eat keto recommended food, I’ve upped my intake of protein and good fats and I try and stay at 20 grams of carbs per day. For most people 20 grams of carbs per day is just enough to kick start ketosis and to start weight loss. This for me is perfect: I see results, I feel great and I don’t drive myself crazy figuring out my daily macros and making myself stick to a strict diet plan.

How do you know if you’re in ketosis?

When you first start to enter ketosis you will begin to notice some common discomforting systems known as the “keto flu.” These systems do go away, so stay strong!

Systems include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Brain fog
  • Headaches

If you are experiencing any of these systems you may need to incorporate an electrolyte replacement. I usually have some kind of zero sugar sports drink in my fridge. Right now I am loving Gatorade Zero in the flavor Glacier Cherry! After symptoms subside you should feel the desired effects of ketosis: weight loss, appetite suppression, increased focus and energy levels.

What do you eat on keto?

You want to increase your intake of fatty meats, fish and eggs. You also need to up your intake of good fats! Good fats include, coconut oil, avocado, olive oil and grass fed butter. You can have non starchy vegetables, night shade vegetables and other low carb veggies, full fat dairy, nuts seeds and berries.

Keto food pyramid

How does being on a keto diet burn fat and help you loose weight?

When you eat a typical diet including carbohydrates and sugars your body is using that as it’s form of fuel. This is what you are burning for energy. When you stop eating high amounts of carbs and switch to using healthy fats and oils as your form of fuel your body realizes it needs to use fat as fuel, you will then begin to use and burn your stored fat as fuel. As a result you loose weight, have more energy and are hungry less often.

As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned for keto recipes!

– D

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