Jun, 5th 2018 3:45 am, Article Recommended by Dr. J. Smith
There are a lot of great resources about the keto diet online, including our beginners guide. Since this diet has become very popular in recent years, unfortunately some books and programs of low quality have also appeared (and some of them even contain incorrect andmisleading information that you should avoid).
The following books and programs below are recommended by hundreds of members of our community and have helped many beginners achieve amazing results with the keto diet.
These books are written by keto experts who can help you succeed in a way that is quick, healthy and sustainable.
Q. Im So Overwhelmed By The Information, How Do I Get Started?
The best place to get started if youre interested in the ketogenic diet is to first take a look at the fats you can incorporate, such as avocado, olive oil, or cacao butter. You could also take a look at more of an animal-based fat like grass-fed tallow or pasteurized lard or, if you are not too sensitive to butter, grass-fed butter is a really good option.
The second part is protein, that means, looking for more high-fat proteins, such as pork shoulders, brisket, chicken thighs, etc
Another third tip is snacking. Really important if youre a snacker and you are just starting your Ketogenic diet youll probably need some form of snacks. Some of the best snacks for beginners include celery, nuts and nut-based hummus, cucumber. If you have more of a sweet-tooth, dark unsweetened chocolate is a great option, as is coconut or almond butter or even peanut butter.
If youre totally confused and still not sure how to fully include a keto diet into your lifestyle, follow a 30-day plan in order to better guide you on the initial stages of your new diet. Check Our Keto Begining and 30-Day Plan here!
Q. Do You Have Meal Plans That Beginners Can Follow? I Dont Have Time and Im Horrible At Meal Planning Or Figuring Out The Right Foods To Eat!
There are several meals plans available online and even services that offer personalized plans for YOU. At the end of the day, there are so many resources available online so, if you need help, you will surely find it! You can also check this Balanced Keto Weekly Meal Plans here!
Q. Is Ketosis Safe For Your Body? How Long Should A Person Follow A Keto Diet For?
Ketosis is safe as it simply enhances fat-burning processes that are completely normal in our body. There is no time-limit for a person to follow a keto diet for, although a lot of people do like to follow this diet cyclically, meaning, increasing the amount of carbohydrates while on vacation.
Q. Does The High-Fat Part Of Keto Clog Your Arteries?
Basically, fat within your blood travels as lipoproteins, along with cholesterol, proteins, and phospholipids. In order for an artery to be clogged, there needs to be a small tear in its inner wall first. These tears can be due to stress, smoking, a highly-processed diet, etc. In order for the walls to be repaired and thus prevent clogging, Vitamin E must be used. Vitamin E, being a fat-soluble vitamin, requires fat in order to be available for your body to use. Therefore, the consumption of fat can help your arteries self-heal and thus prevent clogging.
Q. How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis?
It takes roughly 24 hour hours after your last ingestion of carbohydrates to begin producing ketone bodies, since thats about how long it takes to burn through the majority of your ingested carbohydrates and glycogen stores.
If you have been eating a diet based on carbohydrates for many years, it may take up to 48 hours or more to get into ketosis after completely abstaining from carbs.
Q. Whats The Difference Between Being In Ketosis, And Being Keto-adapted (Or Fat Adapted)?
Ketosis begins basically as soon as youre depleted of glycogen stores, and are using ketones as your primary fuel. Its a fairly simple biological process, its automatic, and its fast.
But all of our tissues dont adapt that quickly. The switching of fuel sources can be a little bit jarring for our muscles and our brain, and while they use fats and ketones for fuel, they arent yet efficient at it. This lag can also contribute to the lethargy and brain fog that some people get in the keto-flu.
This is an adaptation period, where were essentially re-training our muscles and our brain to use fat as the primary fuel source instead of glucose. This adaptation can take a couple of weeks to a couple of months. As a hallmark of being keto-adapted and not just in ketosis, the skeletal muscles are able to burn fat directly for fuel, and the brain relies on the higher volume of ketones in the blood as its main source of energy.
The transition is rougher for some people than others, though its worth it to KCKO, or Keep Calm and Keto On. Once youre keto-adapted, weight loss becomes easier, your body feels like it moves more smoothly, your energy levels and appetite are easily regulated, and your thoughts are clear and fast. Performance in the gym also begins to improve at this stage, since it sometimes suffers during the adaptation period.
Related: Signs You Are Fat Adapted
Q. How Can I Tell If Im In Ketosis?
The best, easiest, and cheapest way to know you are in ketosis is to track your food and eat less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. Since its possible to have some wiggle room in your daily carb allowance based on your personal biology, activity level, etc, there are ways you can measure your level of ketosis.
You can use the Ketone Test Strips to test your ketone level. These are strips that use urine to measure excreted ketones. These are inexpensive and popular, but unfortunately highly inaccurate. They only measure the level of ketones that are excreted as waste, and not used by the body. They show that youre producing ketones, but not necessarily using them for energy.
The two ways that are more reliable, but more expensive, are breath tests and blood tests. These tests can tell you if your body is producing AND using ketones for energy, as well as the levels of ketones that you have in your body for use.
Often people who are getting into ketosis will notice a smell on their breath that has a hint of acetone in it. This is called keto breath, and is a good sign that you are in ketosis. This is what the breath tests are measuring. (Not the smell, but the molecules in the expelled air.)
Related: Signs that You Are in Ketosis
Q. Is It Normal To Feel Nauseous And Not Have Much Of An Appetite Towards The End Of The First Week Of Being On Keto?
Totally normal. And it all relates to the previously mentioned gallbladder and all the adjustments the body must make while being on Keto. Another cause is going too hard on the fat, too quickly. If you are feeling like this, the use of apple cider vinegar can tremendously help alleviate the symptoms described.
Q. What is Keto Flu and How To Deal With It?
The Keto Flu are the basic symptoms such as upset stomach, fatigue, headaches, nausea etc.. that some people (not everyone) will experience in the first few days of Keto Diet. Its the sign that the body is adapting to burning ketones instead of glucose.
Related: The Keto Flu Symptoms And Relief
Q. What Can I Expect In The First Week Or Two After Beginning A Ketogenic Diet?
Within the first 3 to 5 days of strictly avoiding carbohydrates (and not dramatically overeating on keto-approved foods) youll notice a larger volume of water loss, especially first thing in the morning. Glycogen is stored alongside water in the body, so as the glycogen gets burned, the water is released.
Youll get a few good whooshes of weight loss this way. While yes, it is just water weight, its still excess weight that you dont need to be carrying around. You still get to count it as weight lost, and you might even notice that you feel less bloated and even a little slimmer.
Following this, weight loss will be a series of plateaus and drops. Its rarely steady, though it can be. Trust the process. Two pounds per week is considered the most you should shoot for, and even half a pound per week is a success. Sometimes the scale might even go up, but if youre consistent, it will go back down, and even further next time.
Electrolytes are a big deal on the keto diet, since the lost water carries with it some of our stored minerals. When we have a mild loss of electrolytes, we can be grumpy, tired, lethargic, headachy, and even have body pains.
Many people also experience cramping, notably in the feet and legs. Because of this, youll want to consume extra electrolytes any time you are on a ketogenic plan. People who suffer with these symptoms refer to them as the Keto-Flu, and while it isnt like the real flu, the symptoms can knock you down until you get your electrolytes back in balance.
The electrolyte minerals are sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, and you need all four. Sports drinks are full of sugars, and only have low amounts of these minerals, so its best to avoid them. Instead, focus on vegetables that contain high amounts of these minerals, and make sure to salt your food to taste. You can also make an electrolyte drink that contains all of these minerals. Lite Salt or No Salt is available in the grocery store as a salt substitute, and contains potassium. Magnesium and calcium powders are available in health food stores and online.
Some people also experience a change in bathroom habits. Moving your bowels can be difficult with a dramatic change in diet, and can be helped by choosing specific foods over others. Cheese is well known to stop up the works, so reducing cheese can help. Making sure to include plenty of fibrous vegetables can also keep things moving, so make sure to get lots of leafy greens, celery, and other veggies. In addition, make sure to drink enough water. Water not only keeps you hydrated, but also helps keep the bowels moving.
Q. Why Is Weight Loss So Varied And Unpredictable?
Many books could be written on this very subject, and undoubtedly they have been. There are many answers, and they all depend on context. Lots of variables impact how well, and how consistently we lose weight. How much sleep do we get each night, and how restful is that sleep? What micronutrients are we not getting enough of? How much water are we drinking? How much are we exercising?
This is one reason why tracking your food intake should be a priority. There are apps like Cronometer, MyFitnessPal, and LoseIt! that allow you to record all your foods for the day, and each has a large database of fresh foods, packaged foods, and restaurant meals, plus you can enter in your own recipes. This way you can know exactly what macro- and micro-nutrients youre getting, with no guess work.
This also enables you to see what you were eating prior to a woosh of weight loss, or a stall, or even a gain. You can see possible triggers for these events, like having extra vegetables, or having too many nuts and cheeses. It also lets you see if you may have sensitivities. If you try a week without dairy but keep your calories the same, for example, you may or may not notice a spontaneous drop in weight.
Related: What to Expect from Your Weight Loss Journey on the Keto Diet
Q. What Is The Best Ways To Bust A Plateau?
Once you have been on Keto for a while, you may notice you suddenly stop losing weight, also known as the plateau.
The first tip to get back to losing weight is to boost the amount of calories you are consuming. Say youre eating 1200 calories per day. Overtime, your body down-regulates so it just needs about 1000 calories per day to maintain basal function. Therefore, the amount of calories that used to help you lose weight is now only helping you maintain your current weight. So, by boosting your calories, you are actually boosting your metabolism and you may even notice some weight loss in the days after your caloric increase.
The second tip is to carb-up, meaning to eat high fat, low carb all day, and at night basically eat all carbs, no fat. Carbs like sweet potatoes, plantains, and grains, are some of the prefered foods when practicing carb-up. The reason why the carb-up practice can be helpful is because, once you are fat-adapted, your body burns carbohydrates first, and then goes into the fat-burning mode but, once you increase the amount of carbs eaten, your bodys ability to better burn fat is increased. To sum up carb-up: helps you go from fat-adapted back to the fat-burning mode.
The third tip is revising your macros: protein, carbs, and fat. Perhaps your current ratio is just not working for you anymore and small change can sometimes lead to a huge difference.
The fourth tip is to try a 24-hour fast. The goal of this practice is to rewire your metabolism and thus help you escape the dreaded plateau phase.
Read More: Why Weight Loss is NOT a Linear Process
Q. What Is A Good Way To Add Fat Without Going Over The Protein?
Oils are a great way to increase your fat consumption without increasing your protein intake.
Q. What Will Happen If You Dont Eat Enough Fat?
You will probably not feel fully satisfied after each meal, and therefore be hungry. If you feel hungrier throughout the day, increasing the amount of fat consumed per day can be extremely helpful.
Q. What Other Healthy Fats Can I Eat If I Am Allergic To Coconut Oil?
If you are allergic to coconut oil, you may try to add to your diet: lard, tallow, avocado oil, olive oil, butter, etc You can basically have any of the other fats traditionally used in a keto diet.
Q. Do I Still Have To Count Calories?
Keto is awesome, but it isnt magic. This way of eating helps us to bend the rules of how much we feel like were eating, so we can feel fuller for longer, but we still have to eat less than we burn if we want to lose weight.
In most cases, a 20% calorie deficit is the right balance between managing hunger and being able to lose excess body fat. There are several online calculators you can use so you dont have to do the math yourself. If you eat 80% of the calories allotted, youll be at a 20% deficit, which will allow you to burn more of your own body fat.
Q. Okay, If I Can Stay Under 20g Carbs Per Day, Is It Still Really Important To Count Calories And Fat?
Not necessarily. It ultimately depends on you. SOme people may thrive by regularly counting calories, while others see counting calories as something boring. The key here, if you do not want to count calories, is to structure your plate in order to guarantee you are consuming enough fat. Just make sure that in every meal you are eating no more than a palm-full of protein, try to increase the amount of fat in your diet, and try to decrease the amount of carbohydrates.
Q. How Many Meals Should I Eat In A Day?
Although when you first start your keto diet, you can eat whenever you feel hungry, most people decrease the number of eaten meals in a day to 2 meals.
Q. Do I Need To Weigh My Food In Order To Be Successful With Keto Diet?
Some people like to weigh their food when they first transition from a normal diet to a ketogenic diet, in order to have a fuller understanding of the amount of carbohydrates that they consume, although this can be used just in the beginning as a guide. But ultimately no, you do not have to weigh your food in order to be successful with a keto diet.
Q. Can You Drink Alcohol On The Ketogenic Diet?
Yes, you can drink alcohol on keto, but there are a couple of catches. The first thing to watch out for is, obviously, the carbohydrates in your drink of choice. If youre choosing clear liquor, it tends to have a low amount of carbs, but it still has some. Your mixers also may have carbs in them, so choosing something like tonic water over a soda will keep you within your limits. Beer, cider, wine, and other bottled alcoholic drinks tend to be high in sugars, so you might just want to avoid them.
Most alcoholic beverages dont list the ingredients or nutritional information on the label, so be prepared and check your favorite drinks online so you know your limits beforehand. Most apps and trackers list many types of alcohol in their database, and this is the easiest way to be sure of what youre drinking. Be warned, when youre in ketosis your alcohol tolerance will go down, so you might not want to drink as much as you might be used to.
Alcohol also tends to interrupt ketosis, since your liver will burn it preferentially before anything else. Your body treats alcohol like a toxin and like a fuel source, so your body will use it before it uses foods or the calories stored in your fat cells. While it wont necessarily knock you out of ketosis, it does pause it until the alcohol is cleared from your system.
Q. How Impactful Is Drinking Low Carb Liquor If Youre Trying To Lose Weight?
Basically, when you have alcohol in your body, the first thing that will be burnt is the alcohol. Only then, can your body begin to burn carbohydrates, and ultimately move on to fat-burning mode. By consuming small amounts of alcohol, the alcohol will be burnt quite fast and then move on to burning carbohydrates. The biggest tip here is to only include alcohol in your diet once your body is fully adapted to a high-fat diet.
Q. What Are Your Thoughts On Intermittent Fasting Combined With Keto Way of Eating (WOE)?
Intermittent Fasting (IF) can be great as long as its not a forced fast! Fasting and Keto are a great amalgamation and from the moment you start your keto diet, you will notice you are less hungry throughout the day and more likely to fast.
Q. Is Keto Related To Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is something many people do to control appetite and calorie intake, and its common in the keto world. Its more common for men to find success with intermittent fasting, or IF, than for women, but its an extra tool you can try to see if it works for you.
IF is choosing a smaller window of time during the day to consume your daily allowance of calories, and using the rest of the time to fast, or not eat anything. During the fasting period, you can still have beverages, provided they contain no calories. Most people choose a 6 or 8 hour window to eat in, and usually do this by skipping breakfast to only have lunch and dinner.
One of the secrets of getting into ketosis faster is by fasting, since this helps burn off stored glycogen, so trying intermittent fasting can help you on your way. While it isnt necessary to be on a ketogenic diet, doing IF while on a ketogenic diet can be very helpful. Most people who do IF dont even think about food until late in the morning because it becomes natural to wait until later to eat.
There are two major ways fasting is beneficial for overall health. First, it gives the body a break from digestion. Digestion is a surprisingly stressful activity, and if there is a longer period of time where your body can focus on simply using the nutrients its been given already without having to handle more, digestion tends to improve, as well as energy levels.
The second way is called autophagy, and it goes hand in hand with letting your body rest from digestion. Autophagy is the process that cells use to remove waste, including malfunctioning parts of cells, or even whole cells that are not functioning correctly and cant be healed. If you have read much about cancer, this may sound like its connected, and it is. Regularly allowing cells to be in a state of autophagy makes them more efficient and keeps them from growing into a malignant state. It also helps them to live longer, which translates to a longer, healthier life for you.
If youd like to try intermittent fasting, its best to start by gradually decreasing your feeding window. Start with not eating for a 12 hour stretch, including the time that youre sleeping. For example, you could stop eating at 8 in the evening, then have breakfast at 8 in the morning. Ultimately, youll want to be mostly done with digestion by the time you go to bed, and not be hungry until late morning, so for most people a feeding window of 10am to 6pm would be a good goal.
Some people feel best with breakfast and lunch, but no dinner, so if skipping breakfast doesnt make you feel great, you can try skipping dinner instead. Remember that IF isnt for everyone, so if you find yourself feeling worse instead of energized and clear headed, put this tactic to the side, since it isnt a necessary part of a keto diet.
Q. What Is The Difference Between Ketogenic Diet And Regular Low Carb Diet?
A ketogenic diet is a low carb high-fat diet where we are using fat as fuel from our body as well as the fat that were eating in order to go into the desired fat-burning mode. So the big difference between a ketogenic diet and a low-carb diet is that:
Ketogenic diet means youre eating low carb, high fat; Low carb diet could be low carb low fat, low carb high protein, etc
So the magic behind a ketogenic diet is eating enough fat in order to switch into fat-burning mode.
Q. How Does A Keto Diet Compare To Atkins, LCHF, Low Carb, Paleo, Etc?
The hallmark of a ketogenic diet is being in ketosis for extended periods of time, and is achieved by carbohydrate restriction. While there isnt a strict prohibition of artificial sweeteners, grains, and manufactured foods, there is a strong preference in the community to lean towards natural, whole foods. Keto is for overall health, and weight loss is a welcome side effect for many people.
The Atkins diet, on the other hand, is solely focused on weight loss. There is no restriction on artificial sweeteners or manufactured foods, as long as the foods consumed fit the Atkins prescribed ratios. There are four phases to the Atkins diet. The first phase is the most strict, designed to get you into ketosis. The second phase is a tolerance testing phase, where you add more foods to see how many grams of carbohydrate you can still eat and lose weight. The third phase is more generous with carbs, and the fourth phase is the most generous, and its in either the third or fourth phase that most people find a good maintenance level.
LCHF is a plan that is very similar to an Atkins approach, but the focus is placed on the higher ingestion of fats, and a perpetual restriction of carbohydrates to less than 20 grams per day, and in some cases nearly 0 grams a day are consumed. There is no specific restriction of artificial or manufactured foods, only that the fat is kept higher, around 70%-85% of the diet.
Some people just cut out the bulk of carbohydrates from major sources like breads, pastas, and sodas, and these people are on a Low Carbohydrate plan. There isnt anything particularly strict about it, its more about being mindful of overall carb intake, often without tracking. This can be a good place to test the waters of a keto diet, though many people on this kind of plan never get into ketosis without further restriction.
Paleo and keto can overlap, though there are some major differences in the core of each way of eating. The Paleo diet focuses on whole, natural foods that would have been available as food to our paleolithic ancestors. If it could have been hunted or foraged, then it would have been eaten. Some people on a Paleo plan also focus on what would have been growing in season, and in a certain region of the world for their genetic ancestors. Carbs are overall allowed in a Paleo plan, but they would come from whole foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruits, honey, and other unprocessed sources.
Q. Can Vegetarians And Vegans Have A Ketogenic Diet?
In theory, you can be a vegan or vegetarian AND be on a ketogenic diet, but its a pretty big challenge. Often, those who focus primarily on plant foods are eating a larger amount of carbohydrates, either from breads, pastas, potatoes, and other starches, or from fruits, smoothies, and other sweet foods.
Its possible to rely heavily on vegetables and vegan foods that have very low levels of carbohydrates, though there would have to be a heavy focus on additional fats like coconut oil and various nuts.
The biggest challenge with vegan and vegetarian diets is getting enough protein. These diets are traditionally lower in protein anyway, since they exclude the concentrated proteins in animal flesh. These individuals may want to include plant-based protein powders and shakes. Be wary of the ingredients, since these powders may contain various sugars that arent compatible with a ketogenic diet.
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Keto Diet For Beginners: The Complete Guide | Keto Vale