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Keto Diet Quick Start Guide

Keto Diet Quick Start Guide


Top Three Things You Should do Before You Start the Diet

Calculate your calories and macronutrients for the ketogenic diet.

  1. There are a number of great online calculators that can help calculate your caloric intake and "Macros"
  • If you're enthusiastic about math, use the Mifflin St. Jeor equation to determine your caloric intake. When determining optimal caloric intake, make sure you are in a slight caloric deficit when starting out. Calculate 75 to 80% of your calories from fat, 15 to 20% of your calories from protein, and 5% or less of your calories from carbohydrates.
    • Example based on 75% Fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs:
      • 2000 calories
      • 167g of fat
      • 100g of protein
      • 25g of carbs (should be mostly from fiber).

Remove all food from your house that could throw you out of ketosis.

  • If the temptation to not eat carbohydrates is not in your house, you are less likely to break the diet. Instead fill your home with foods and/or snacks that will help you stay on track: jerky, avocado, pork rinds, real cheese, etc. Give away all your unopened carbohydrates to a food pantry, or homeless shelter. You’ll not only be helping yourself, but you can help others this way too.

Find a qualified Dietitian or trusted health professional that can help guide and coach you through the process.

  • Adherence and knowledge are typically the most common limitations when it comes to the ketogenic diet. Keto is not an easy thing to grasp. Trusting a qualified professional to help you, should cover both these limitations. Having someone in your corner when you hit a road block, plateau, or simply not sure what to do in your specific case, is absolutely invaluable.

How to Get into Ketosis

First, how can we define ketosis; ketosis is not simply having elevated ketone levels. Ketosis is when your body is creating and utilizing ketones in place of glucose, for most of your energy needs. Getting in a state ketosis may take you a few weeks, while for others it may take significantly longer (even months to be properly acclimated).

First step to getting closer to ketosis is to create a state where there is a lot of ketones accumulating in your blood. The simplest way to accomplish that is to follow a ketogenic diet; consume 75 to 80 percent of your calories from fat, 15 to 20 percent of your caloric intake from protein, and 5 percent or less from carbohydrates. Most, if not all, of your carbohydrates should be in the form of fiber.

We are trying to create a condition were the blood has higher levels of ketones, minimal insulin response, and minimal fluctuations of blood glucose. This condition will also lead to a slight decrease in glycogen (however, overtime, glycogen has shown to return to pre – ketosis levels).

Ideally, we are looking to mimic a fasted state, while still consuming food. Having said that, intermittent fasting is also an easy way to promote a deeper, stronger, and quicker reliance on ketones for energy. Intermittent fasting, fasting for 14 hours or more, has shown to elevate ketones, promoting a state of ketosis. Combining both fasting, and the ketogenic diet, may help to get you into ketosis at a faster rate.

Ketogenic Diet Foods

How to Maintain Ketosis

So, after a long, hard, and difficult journey, you have finally reached ketosis! Congratulations! Maintaining ketosis can be quite simple, but often times, it gets over complicated. The optimal way to maintain your state of ketosis is to minimize the elevation of insulin and blood glucose as much as possible. An elevation of either of these may knock you out of ketosis, and you’ll have to repeat the process of getting back into ketosis. Sometimes you may need to alter your macronutrient distributions over time to stay in ketosis, i.e. increasing or decreasing fat intake, protein, or carbohydrate intake. This is where a professional could help you.

You’ll want to avoid foods or drinks containing any sugar, high carbohydrates, starchy vegetables like potatoes, and shying away from most fruit (some are acceptable in small amounts like blueberries or raspberries). Instead focus on cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and other vegetables like asparagus or brussel sprouts.

Interestingly, fast digesting protein is something to avoid as well. Having such minimal carbohydrate intake, the body may turn to dietary protein to create blood glucose, which can knock you out of ketosis. If you must have fast digesting protein, consume a fat source to minimize this reliance to convert protein into glucose.

Lastly, and most importantly, make sure that you are consistently tracking your dietary intake using other apps, or even writing it down on a piece of paper. Knowledge is key. You won’t know what your dietary intake is, or If you are actually consuming most of your diet from fat, unless you are tracking your dietary intake (at the very least periodically).