Before you start The Ketogenic Diet let’s review briefly the foods that we eat that are the answer to our goals.
We need to eat 70-75% Fat from fish oils, especially Omega 3,healthy monounsaturated fats, healthy saturated fats.
Approximately 15-20% of our daily diet from eggs, fish, chicken, and meats. I recommend you avoid nuts and dairy at least the first month following my keto program and possibly longer depending on your goals.
Approximately 5% or less than 20g per day from salad veggies, non-starchy vegetables, spices and herbs.
The goal is to get into ketosis, to balance our appetite hormones and to melt fat at a rate of 1 to 3 lbs per week, knowing that in the first week we may lose 4-5 lbs through eliminating fluids.
It usually it takes 2 to 5 days getting to ketosis producing minor amounts of ketones, but for some people it might take 4 weeks for that to happen, especially if you are carbohydrates sensitive and insulin resistant, or you have type 2 diabetes, or are severely overweight. You should always consult your primary car doctor before starting a new diet and exercise program.
Sometimes some people may need to lower their carb intake to only 10 grams per day in order to enter ketosis. For most of us however ketosis becomes real around days 2 to 5 and in order to know that’s for sure is by the test and verify the ketones in your urine everyday. You can stay in ketosis as long as you want and the only way to fall out if you don’t eat enough fats, you eat too much protein, or too many carbs. It’s important to keep an eye on your Ketone levels and adjust foods accordingly but if you stick with your diet, in time you will not even have to count carbs anymore you will know exactly how much you need.
Ultimately if you fall out of ketosis either on purpose or by accident, for any reason, don’t bring yourself down or feel bad about it because you’re usually only 12 hours away from reentering ketosis if that is your choice. Remember that intermittent fasting, like for example eating dinner at 6 in the evening and not eating anything until lunch time the next day will put you in ketosis to start with so you are on the right track.
Here’s a simple example of a 3 -course meal you can eat any day, with the purpose of reducing the 3 meals to 2 or even one in time.
I recommend no snacking.
Following my recommended program, you will not need snacks anyway because the meals are very satisfying and you will get enough nutrients this way, but if you experience any cravings, adding another table spoon of olive oil to your salad or your veggies will help.
Breakfast: Two to three eggs with 2 tablespoons of grassfed butter, or 1 tablespoon of grass fed butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. You can even add a few slices of avocado and one tablespoon of avocado oil.
Lunch: a salad with dressing made out of three parts extra virgin olive oil and 1-2 parts apple cider vinegar. You can add onion juice garlic blended avocado and other herbs and spices if you want. One serving of 3-6 oz. of protein like tuna with eggs and celery and an onion or chicken salad with avocado oil mayo.
Dinner: you can have steamed or grilled vegetables with two tablespoons of butter or olive oil or one tablespoon of each with 3-6 oz. of steak, shrimp, chicken or fish.
You will need to drink at least 80-100 oz. water or more before or after your food. The water is not meant to do anything else but hydrate you, it’s not supposed to keep you from being hungry because that’s what the food it’s for.
I recommend alkaline spring water or filtered water.
Be careful with other beverages especially if they have sugar or sweeteners. Snacks and beverages are the main two things that would knock people out of ketosis by accident. In general stay away from sugar, agave nectar, any liquid syrups, honey, and all artificial sweeteners.
Know about supplements. I am not a big fan of vitamin and mineral supplements, but in ketosis until your body gets balanced carb number sometimes it might be necessary to take magnesium supplements. In my research, I discovered, half of the u.s. population has the Magnesium deficit. Also vitamin D is often necessary to supplement especially if you’re over 50 years old after menopause and in that case you may need multivitamins.
Before you start any type of diet including the keto diet its best to check with your physician or your dietitian and do all your blood test, ask for in that sleep aids panel so you know exactly where you start.
I learned this the hard way – you can improve your results by working out: 20 to 30 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week of high intensity interval training, like bike treadmill elliptical or even weightlifting. I chose walking – 30 minutes per day at least 5 days a week first thing in the morning to burn off my glycogen stores. With all this together there are people who are burning one pound of fat per day.
Now if you are over 40 years old I would recommend getting a stress test or in heart test before starting any high intensity training make sure that that is okay for you. If you are in the position in which HIIT training it’s too much to start with, make a goal of walking 20 to 30 minutes a day for the beginning until you get your respiratory endurance high enough where you can do treadmill or elliptical or bicycle workouts.
How do you know you’re in Ketosis?
For the first month use the urine test strips but beyond. Even if you’re not checking your Ketone levels you will know if you are in ketosis you’re burning fat if you have no hunger or cravings, your weight is visibly going down and you have more clarity energy and more focus.
Just remember if you get hungry during the day that it’s usually a sign that you are not getting enough fat. So adjust your meals and increase the fat intake.
A common question for the keto diet is can I eat any bread at all?
The answer is that apart from a few specialty breads such a seed bread which boast about 1 gram of carbs per slice, avoid all breads at least in the beginning. For now eliminate the grains bread, pasta, starches, potatoes, corn, rice, oats, and cereals. Because a single cup of pasta for example has 44 grams of carbs which is more than enough to get you out of ketosis for the entire day. A single slice of whole wheat bread typically has 20 grams of carbs which is your limit for the day. So it’s really up to you.
Keep in mind that stress is a factor that can bump you out of ketosis as well. People who are stressed have increased cortisol, which countries are adrenaline and cause the blood sugar levels to increase as well. So if you are stressed things that are fun, go to yoga, exercise, meditate, take a break from the stressful stimuli.
Also remember that you do not have to eat 3 meals a day. It as much as you need in three meals being the max. I will cover how much to eat and when in more detail under Intermittent Fasting posts.