You have decided to give the Ketogenic Diet a try. Where to start?
Disclaimer: If you are under a physician’s care for any disease or on any medication, be sure to check with your physician before changing your diet. This post is to share my experience and inspire those who read it to do their own research to determine if this diet will work for them.
The basics of this diet are:
Consume high fat (good fats like avocado, coconut oil, animal)
Consume moderate protein (eggs, dark chicken with skin, fatty beef, pork)
Consume 20 – 30 grams of good carbs ( cabbage, Brussel sprouts, salad, etc)
Eat a maximum of 3 times per day with NO SNACKING
If you can skip a meal especially one before or after sleep, you will incorporate intermittent fasting
Slowly decrease your eating window so you have longer times without eating.
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5 Simple Breakfasts for Getting You into Ketosis
There are tons of keto breakfasts that involve a little planning and cooking and vary from waffles to enchiladas, muffins and frittatas. You can find recipes in a search simply enough, but to get you started with little time and prep. Here are some simple ones that require little time, skill or special products. The goal here is to get you started!
- 2 – 3 Eggs and 3 – 6 slices of Bacon
- 2 – 3 Sausage Patties and Omelette with cheese, heavy cream and chopped peppers
- Hamburger Patti with sliced Avocado
- 4 – 5 Canadian Bacon slices spread with Cream Cheese (add herbs) and roll
- Grilled Steak (any will do) topped with butter and eggs
5 Simple Lunches for Getting You into Ketosis
- Egg Salad made with mayo, mustard, pickles or relish. If you need a crunch or something to spread the salad on, use celery or a lettuce wrap. I like to add a little hot sauce to mine as well.
- 4 -5 Deviled Eggs with bacon and jalapeño. A small side salad with cucumber and low carb dressing.
- Turkey, Bacon, Tomato with mayo and mustard wrapped in Lettuce
- Chicken Salad made with mayo, walnuts, celery and brown mustard
- Chef’s Salad with Eggs, Bacon, Ham, Turkey, Cheese and low carb dressing.
5 Simple Dinners for Getting You into Ketosis
- Grilled or Fried Chicken Thighs ( season with herbs as desired) and fried Cabbage with Bacon
- Grilled or Fried Ribeye with roasted Brussel Sprouts drizzled with avocado oil
- Pulled Pork with low carb BBQ sauce and green beans cooked with onion and bacon
- Brats with sauerkraut, brown spicy mustard and coleslaw (use a mix, mayo, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, if you need sweet, use a sugar alternative)
- Bone in Wings with Buffalo sauce and ranch and a side salad with veggies, cheese and low carb dressing
What Can I Drink on a Ketogenic Diet?
- Water is always good for you
- Sparkling Waters with no sugars
- Coffee…no sugar
- Tea…no sugar
- If you must, and I must at least now, you can drink the unhealthy diet drinks made with unhealthy artificial sweeteners
Can I Drink Alcohol?
Alcohol is not recommended because depending on what you are drinking it likely contains sugar.
What about Vodka or some hard liquors that do not contain carbs?
Again, alcohol is not recommended. It can flip you out of ketosis just because it requires priority in the liver to metabolize. However, I have had Bloody Mary’s and wine throughout my time on the diet without ill effect. I don’t drink it daily and I rarely would have more than one glass at a time.
If you enjoy social drinking, check out the new infused vodkas, the new Corona Premier and other low carb options that are making their way into the market based on the increased desire for low carb alcoholic beverages.
When consuming alcohol, be conscious of how it affects you the day after and your weight. Once you get further into the diet, you may want to do a blood test before and after consuming alcohol or other things that may affect your blood sugar.
Supplements and Side Effects
People at times complain about Keto Flu which simply put is feeling sluggish and having headaches. This is sort of withdrawal symptoms from sugar. By the way, this should only last 3 – 5 days and if you replace lost electrolytes you may see it improve quickly.
Sugar has been proven to be as if not more addictive than cocaine, so this is a real withdrawal. Take it easy, add some electrolytes through a sugar free gatorade or supplements (preferred).
Cramping may occur if you are not getting enough magnesium.
Carbohydrates cause our bodies to hold quite a bit of water which is why when we cut them out there is often a 7 lb weight loss within the first two weeks. It’s water weight. Along with that water leaves magnesium and other electrolytes. Taking a magnesium supplement before bedtime or a bath in Epsom salts will help alleviate those symptoms. Carry around some pink Himalayan Salt and suck on some if a spasm occurs. Sea Salts and Himalayan Salts have minerals in them that our table salt does not. So start using the mineral rich salts instead.
Lots of other supplements are helpful but I will put them in another post so this one is not too long.
How Do I Know If I Am In Ketosis
If you cut out sugar and bad carbs as noted above for three days, you will have stepped over into ketosis. You may know this because you are suffering from Keto Flu.
Purchase some urine keto strips from any drug store or pharmacy department of your local shop. These strips will not show any change if you do not have ketones in your urine. They will begin to show a change once you are “spilling” ketones. This means you have extra ketones in your blood and it is spilling out in your urine.
Use these strips when you get up in the morning and through out the day up to 8 times. Any more than that won’t really be that helpful. It will be an indication to you that you are in ketosis, staying in ketosis or falling out of it and you can adjust your food.
As you continue on the diet, I would highly recommend investing in a blood glucose and ketone reader so you can get an accurate measure of how your body is responding.
How Much Can I Eat?
Since we are just starting out, I recommend eating until satisfied. Once you get into ketosis, your hunger will decrease.
It will become important to really start paying attention to your hunger and allowing yourself to skip a meal now and then if you really aren’t hungry.
Once you begin to get into ketosis and see some weight loss results, you may want to start looking at portions or measuring macros. (I know I haven’t said anything about this yet. At this point, it really isn’t a priority)
Success Starts Here
Be sure to weigh yourself.
Journal what and when you eat.
Add to the journal any changes you are noting for good or bad.
Awareness of your journey to health will be more successful when you have concrete measurements from energy levels, symptoms that you are used to experiencing after you eat or with a disease.
Don’t weigh daily. Honestly once a week should be sufficient. Weigh in the am before consuming anything.
Measure weekly as well.
Do I Have to Exercise?
You do not!!
You will lose weight and get healthy without exercising. However, there are a lot of benefits that come from daily walks outside in the sun to a favorite sport. So as you get to feeling more energy consider adding a morning walk and getting into some tennis, bicycling, or pickle ball ….whatever floats your boat.
My favorite besides walking is Pilates on a Reformer. Purchase a reformer and subscribe to a YouTube channel to exercise at home or sign up at a local Pilates Studio with reformers. Beware of places that offer Pilates on a mat, it is a waste of time and money.
This is the Reformer I own. I know it is expensive. But I took private lessons for 3 years and at $85 per lesson, this seemed like a great investment. You can add foot boards, and other accessories to really turn it into a complete gym.
There you have it! Start today. Let me know if you have questions and please let me know if you have success.
If you haven’t read my first Keto Post check it out Lose Weight For Good
Look for more posts about keto coming soon!
See You Soon, Debbie
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