The ketogenic diet (also called the Keto diet or low carb diet) is all about consuming a lot of fat, moderate protein, and fats and low carbs. This diet makes the body send the fats that we consume to the liver, which the latter transform it into energy to keep the body strong and active for a long time without feeling tired quickly.
But getting results in keto basically boils down to what you’re eating. So, in this guide, I’ll be walking you through the foundations of how the right diet plays a major role in keto, common keto meal mistakes that a lot of beginners make, and my list of recommended keto recipes.
Foods to Eat On a Keto Diet
While on the keto diet, most of your diet will consist of foods high in fats coupled with a measured intake of proteins and low carbohydrate intake. Some of the food categories allowed in this diet include:
1. Fats and Oil
Because these are your main sources of energy while you are on this diet, go for the types of fats and oils you enjoy. These may include:
I. Omega 3 fatty acids from fish such as tuna, shellfish, and salmon Fish supplements or krill.
II. Monounsaturated fats such as egg yolks, avocado, and butter.
III. Vegetable oils such as olive oil, coconut oil.
IV. Non-hydrogenated beef tallow, ghee, and lard.
V. Duck and chicken fat
In order to make it easier to stick to this diet, be aware of which types of fat your body can tolerate. Many people seem to have zero or very low tolerance of vegetable oils and mayo.
This may be a good thing because most of these oils are rich in omega 6 fatty acids – the kind that is bad for your body’s cholesterol levels.
In this case, work with the listed monounsaturated fats to reduce the inflammatory effect brought about by polyunsaturated fats. Nevertheless, work to balance both fats because you cannot survive on monounsaturated fats alone (You need a lot of fats and oils).
Even then, avoid hydrogenated fats such as margarine to reduce the amount of trans-fats you eat.
I. Poultry: Free-range Cornish hen, quail, goose, chicken, duck, and turkey.
II. Fish and Seafood: Cod, tuna, scrod, anchovies, mackerel, flounder, catfish, trout, mahi-mahi, halibut, sole, sardines, salmon, halibut, snapper, and calamari. Always opt for wild caught fish to avoid toxins present in commercially reared fish.
III. Grass-fed Meat: These include beef, venison, goat, and lamb. Meat from wild animals are also acceptable; however, avoid sausages and meats that come with sugary sauces and those covered in breadcrumbs. Choose the chunks of meat with more fat since they contain less protein and more fat.
IV. Pork: Boston butt, pork chops, ham pork, and loin. When choosing ham, be on the lookout for added sugar.
V. Bacon and Sausages: Preferably, you should buy these at specialty health food stores. If this is not possible, always read the labels to avoid those which contain fillers such as soy or sugars.
VI. Canned Tuna and Salmon: Canned tuna and salmon are okay to consume while you are on the keto diet. However, avoid seafood rich in fillers, breaded seafood, and fried seafood.
VII. Vegetable Protein Powders: Protein supplements such as whey protein, hemp protein, pea, and rice are acceptable.
VIII. Whole Eggs: This includes chicken eggs, and quail eggs which you can prepare through any mean desired; fried, soft or hard boiled, deviled, scrambled, or omelet style.
IX. Shellfish: Oyster, mussels, lobster, shrimp, crab (not imitation crab that contains additives), clams, scallops, and
3. Fresh Vegetables
For these foods, opt for organic ones or better yet, grow your own to avoid all pesticide toxins. Avoid starchy vegetables (corn, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, and winter squash) that are high in carbs. Instead, opt for moderate intake of sweet vegetables (squashes, peppers, tomatoes, and carrots).
Vegetables that make it to the list are:
- Collard Greens
- Onions (high in sugar; moderate intake)
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Beet Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Bamboo Shoots
- Brussels sprouts
- Bok Choy
- Celery Root
- Swiss chard
- Snow Peas
- Bean Sprouts
- Salad greens and lettuces: Romaine, Arugula, Fennel, Bok
Choy, Boston lettuce, Endive, Mache, Escarole, Sorrel,
Radicchio, Chicory Water Chestnuts
- Dill Pickles
4. Dairy Products
In any case, always go for raw milk products and if you do not have easy access to them, go for the organic ones.
- Mascarpone cheese
- Unsweetened whole milk yogurt (limit intake of this type
of yogurt because it is a little high in carbs)
- All soft and hard cheeses
- Cream cheese
- Full fat sour cream (do not forget to check for additives)
- Full fat cottage cheese
- Heavy whipping cream
- Bulletproof coffee
- Decaf Tea
- Flavored seltzer water
- Decaf coffee
- Herbal tea
- Lemon and lime juice (limit intake)
- Clear broth or bouillon
6. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts: almonds, macadamias, pecans, and walnuts are the nuts with the lowest level of carbs meaning you can consume them in small amounts. Other nuts such as chestnuts, pistachios, and cashews contain a higher amount of carbs; thus, you should carefully monitor their intake. Nuts are best soaked for some time before roasted.
Nut flours: these are necessary because while you are on this diet, it does not mean baking no longer fits into your life. Nut flours such as almond flour will suffice.
Some options include:
- Inulin and Chicory root
- Lo Han Guo
- Liquid Stevia
Here are spices allowed on the keto diet:
- Sea salt
- Chili pepper
- Cilantro or coriander seeds
- Black pepper
- Cumin seeds
- Cayenne pepper
- Mustard seeds
As you can see from the above very detailed list, keto diet is NOT a highly-restrictive dieting lifestyle, it also offers you a variety of foods to choose from; thus, you should not feel overwhelmed. However, there are foods you should avoid to achieve optimal ketosis as your body makes the switch from using glucose to synthesizing fats for ketones.
Achieving Optimal Ketosis: Foods to Avoid
If you stick to the food listed in the previous section, you do not have to worry about not achieving optimal ketosis. On the same note, as you increase intake of those foods, you should also be on the lookout for the following foods that may hinder ketosis:
I. All grains, whole meal included (rye, wheat, oats, barley, corn, millet, rice sorghum and buckwheat). Also, avoid all products made from grains; these include foods such as crackers, pasta, pizza, and cookies.
II. Refined fats and oils like sunflower, canola, grape seed, corn oil, soybean, and Trans-fats such as margarine.
III. Milk (only full-fat raw milk is acceptable). For coffee, replace milk with reasonable amounts of cream.
IV. Tropical fruits such as bananas, pineapples, mango papaya, etc., and some high carb fruit.
V. Fruit juice.
VI. Factory-farmed pork and fish.
VII. Artificial sweeteners containing Aspartame, Sucralose, Saccharine, etc.
VIII. Alcoholic sweet drinks such as beer, and sweet wine.
IX. Soy products
Now that you know what to eat and what to avoid, is there a way to guarantee faster adoption of ketosis? The answer is yes. In the next section, I’ll be sharing with you 8 practical and proven tips for getting into ketosis ‘fast’.
How to Get Into Ketosis ‘Fast’: 8 Practical Tips
It takes 48 hours to get into ketosis. To get there, you must correctly adapt the keto diet. Below are tips that should help you do just that and get your body into ketosis faster:
Tip 1: To get into ketosis faster, eat less than 20g of carbs a day.
Tip 2: Drink water, about 100 ounces per day. Drink more to lose more.
Tip 3: Purchase some Ketosis. Getting some validation that the diet is actually working will be a great motivation to keep you on a diet considering the intimidating nature of the first few days of the diet.
Tip 4: Do not panic. Be aware of the keto flu coming your way. The dizziness, the irritability, and fatigue you will be feeling on the first three days may have you experiencing mood swings; but don’t give in just yet. Reward yourself with bacon and delicious keto friendly foods as you crave for carbs and sugars. The craving will disappear as long as you’re full.
Tip 5: Consume more salt. This is really important. While on a keto diet, your body does not retain water as it normally would; hence, electrolytes like sodium quickly flush out of your body. Therefore, you need constant replenishing; otherwise, you will feel awful. As indicated earlier, opt for sea salt.
Tip 6: Never open the door to hunger. When you feel the tiniest bit of a hunger pang, immediately eat high-fat low-carb foods. The moment you get too hungry, it forms the temptation pathway. Remember: go simple. Do not over plan things because when you do, you may end up making everything strict and less fun. The keto diet is fun; keep it so.
Tip 7: Remember this is not a high protein diet. The keto diet is high fat, low carb, and moderate protein diet. Moderate is the key word here.
Tip 8: Embrace the fat. Eat fat to lose fat that is your new motto. Do not shy away from the fat because it is your ticket to a healthier you.
Common Keto Diet Mistakes You Should Avoid
Nobody is perfect, and no diet is perfect. As you adopt this diet for good health and weight loss, you are bound to make several mistakes. This is normal. The best way to avoid, or minimize the effects of mistakes is by learning and preparing for common mistakes. Below is a list of common keto diet mistakes dieters make:
I. Eating Too Many Carbs.
There is no exact definition of what ‘low carb’ means. Some would say it is simply anything under 100 to 150 grams a day simply because they get amazing results with this range.
However, this may be excessive if your aim is to have plenty of ketones in your bloodstream. Most keto dieters go for under 50-grams of carbs per day to get into optimal ketosis. Anything beyond that is termed as excessive.
II. Eating Too Much Protein
Remember that the keto diet is all about protein moderation.
As you adopt a keto diet, you need patience: patience to get into ketosis and patience to adapt to ketosis. Understand that previously, your body’s main source of energy was carbs. Now, it has to adapt to a new source of energy, fats. The body requires time to do this, therefore, be patient.
IV. Obsessing Over The Scale
The number on your weigh scale should not determine your keto diet success. Let this be the least of your worries. Just live life and enjoy your diet. Weight loss will happen; do yourself a favor and keep away from that scale.
V. Not Eating Enough Fats
The unrestricted consumption of fats may seem excessive. However, the keto diet is a high-fat diet. Just trust keto and enjoy the fat. However, you should eat the right kind of fats, preferably monounsaturated and saturated fats.
VI. Eating Processed Keto Foods
When you are on a keto diet, always think about it this way. The intention is to eat natural ingredients and not foods that come in wrappers such as Atkins bars and Quest bars.
Although you can occasionally eat these, the idea is for a large portion of your diet (we are talking about 70-80% of your entire diet) to consist of natural ingredients.
VII. Being After A Quick Fix
If this is your aim, do not start the diet. The Keto diet is more of a lifestyle change than a short-term diet plan. Dropping a few pounds and then going back to your normal bad eating habits will be a waste of time.
Half-heartedly adopting the keto diet could be the worst thing you could do to yourself because you are just wasting time.
If you are not all in, you will not survive through the temporary effects that come with adopting the diet. Decide on what you want and think of everything you will gain by going keto to keep you motivated.
What kind of keto recipes do you want to try out?
BREAKFAST KETO RECIPES
Here are some great keto recipes for breakfast
LUNCH KETO RECIPES
Delicious keto recipes to give you some good energy boost for the day without feeling too full or lethargic during the afternoon.
DINNER KETO RECIPES
Reward yourself for a hard day’s work with some tasty dinner recipes.
DRINK KETO RECIPES
Need a refreshing drink at any point during the day ? These keto recipes have got you covered?
The keto diet is an extremely low carb diet that replaces carbohydrates with fat and protein. It is a great way to see results fast to lose weight and become a healthier version of yourself. By creating a meal plan and following keto recipes, you can expect to lose weight in a short period of time.
With that being said, you will not see results overnight. It will take a couple of weeks to really see a noticeable difference. Don’t get discouraged in the meantime. Instead, keep focused on your results and don’t give up. If you stick to a keto diet strictly, you are going to see results eventually.
Additionally, make sure that you listen to your body. It may be helpful to consult your doctor first. The point of the keto diet is to help you become the healthiest version of yourself. Don’t do anything that pushes your body to its extreme.
Instead, practice healthy eating habits and mentalities by using the keto diet. By doing this, you can transform both your mind and body to become the healthiest version of yourself possible
PS: If you enjoyed this guide, then you may definitely want to take a look at my FREE beginner’s keto training guide called the Bullet Proof Keto Diet. It’s chock-full of very practical advice and wisdom for needed for you to succeed on your keto journey