Starting Keto Diet
The first week of the keto diet can be difficult. Your body has been running on glucose all your life. Now, you are telling it to run on fat. It is normal to experience some discomfort. Make the transition easy by employing a few tactics and strategies, and above all, believe in yourself!
You can ease into the keto diet by removing high-carb foods and processed food products. Lower your carbohydrate consumption to around 150 grams of whole foods per day. We call this is a low-carb diet. Use this strategy if you are not ready to fully commit or your body needs time to adjust.
Here are a few tactics for a slow transition:
- Replace sugary drinks like soda with herbal teas.
- Buy full-fat rather than fat-free products.
- Replace pasta, rice, and bread with veggies.
- Substitute carb items when eating out.
When you are ready to go keto, you need to lower carbs to around 20 to 30 grams per day. Your body will burn through its stores of blood glucose and start synthesizing ketones. We usually think of this as a "sugar crash," and you would normally be feeling "hangry" right about now. When you are eating high-quality fatty foods, however, your body will process the fat for fuel. You will be able to function normally on the ketones being made.
Here are a few examples of the staple fatty foods in my diet:
- Grass-Fed Butter
- Organic Cream
- Avocado Oil
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Nitrate-Free Bacon
- Fatty Meats
- Free-Range Eggs
- Fish Oil & Krill Oil
- Nuts & Seeds
At anytime, you can remove carbs from your diet to drop your blood glucose to get into ketosis. Personally, I made the transition in about two days over the weekend. It was not difficult at all! I had been eating a clean and whole foods diet up until that point, so the transition was easy. If you are already eating a pretty good diet or you are not afraid of a little discomfort, I recommend making the transition quickly.
Here are a few tactics for a quick transition:
- Use a full weekend for your body to adjust.
- Have a set meal plan for the first week.
- Remove all the carbs and processed foods from your house.
- Do light exercises to burn through your body’s glucose.
- Drink more water and consume mineral salts.
- If you don’t make the transition on the first try, your body probably needs more time to adjust. Keep your carbohydrates low and try again.
Once you have been in ketosis for a while, the transition in and out is seamless. The mental feeling is clear and focused. People often report working for hours without worrying about eating. When you are no longer focused on maintaining blood sugar by eating carbs, you have the whole day to do other things. Your entire relationship to food is changed.
It’s important to mention protein. Typically, people keep protein intake to around 15% to 20% of their diets. Eating too much protein can knock you out of ketosis; however, it does not have the same effects as carbohydrates. You should not treat protein the same way you would treat carbs. To make it easy, just eat high-quality protein with mostly fat. Keep the protein in a lower proportion to the fats.
Here are a few examples of fatty proteins:
- Nitrate-Free Bacon
- Nuts & Seeds
- Fatty cuts of meats
- Eggs, cheese, & dairy
Often people find themselves at a loss for how to cook and eat fatty foods. Should we just eat a stick of butter? You can do that, but there is a better alternative. We created this website to show people the diversity and range of a new keto cuisine. Look through our recipes for ideas. Remember this: combining high fatty foods with leafy greens and veggies is a potent nutritional combination.
Here are a few meal ideas:
- Sautéed greens in butter and bacon
- Fresh salad greens with oil dressings and cheese
- Stir-fried veggies with greens and pork belly
- Collard greens pasta with a cream sauce and toasted nuts
- Bone broth soup with herbs and greens
- Egg omelet with sautéed greens and cream cheese
I have a few final words of encouragement. I understand it can be difficult when starting something new like a diet or lifestyle. People can face their most difficult demons. I want you to know, it gets easier. There will be goods days and bad days. Be kind to yourself. No one is perfect. I commend you just for showing up. That takes courage.
I leave you with my personal mantra. In difficult times, you will find me reciting these words like a prayer. It is a poem that I wrote to overcome adversity. You may also find it useful.
You are stronger than you feel
You are wiser than you know
You have everything you need
Believe in yourself