So you’re trying to figure out how to take advantage of the ketogenic diet for beginners.
Everybody is talking about the keto diet. It’s got you wondering if it’s a fad or the real deal.
Spoiler alert. It’s REAL!
This post will explain how you can use it to lose weight, help with type 2 diabetes.
More on that stuff later.
We know you are asking, what is the keto diet?
First let’s find out what the heck Keto is. We can actually answer two questions in one shot.
What does the word “Keto” Mean?
Well, keto comes from the word ketogenic diet. It’s when the body produces “ketones” from very small fueled molecules. When your blood sugar or (glucose) supply is short the body reacts. It uses ketones as an alternative for fueling the body.
If you eat a small amount of carbs that get broken down into blood sugar fast, ketones are produced.
So, where are ketones produced? From fat in the liver. They get used as fuel all over your body including the brain.
Did you know that the brain requires a massive amount of energy daily to function? Glucose or ketones is what powers it. That big thinking organ can’t run directly on fat.
It’s a bit bougie…LOL
Now you know the brain runs on ketones and NOT fat.
The question now is where does the fat go?
Glad you asked.
When you start a ketogenic diet the rest of the body is programmed to run almost exclusively on fat.
Yup, you guessed it.
Your insulin levels plummet increasing fat burning rapidly. The body has a key to unlock stored fat burning it off FAST!
Weight loss SOLVED!
You will begin losing weight without pills or exercise, plus you will have a ton of energy. How cool is that?
So, here is the bullet point answer to what is the keto diet.
- Small amounts of carbohydrates
- Production of ketones in the liver
- Burning of fat for body fuel
- Low blood sugar (glucose) supply
What Is Ketosis?
The simple answer.
While on the keto diet your body will produce ketones. When that happens you are in ketosis.
What about the complicated answer?
Okay, you asked.
A raised level of ketone bodies from the metabolic state of body tissues. A direct result from a ketogenic diet very low in carbohydrates.
Whew, that’s over!
Now back to simple explanations and sentences.
Did you know there is a FAST way to get into ketosis? To get there, most people just start fasting.
Yup, not eating anything.
I don’t care who you are. You can only starve the body for so long before it backfires on you.
That’s why the keto diet is so cool. Not only do you get to eat, but it can carry on indefinitely. The diet results in ketosis which has all the good stuff from fasting. Mainly the weight loss.
Eat good and still lose weight? Yup!
Understanding The Ketogenic Diet For Beginners
To get the most out of dieting the keto way there are things you need to know. Our job is to make it all easy for you.
The 4 Ketogenic Diet Types
- Standard Keto Diet (SKD) – Consuming a standard ratio of 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs. Better known as the low carb diet that’s high in fat.
- Targeted Keto Diet (TKD) – Simple add carbs in your workout routine. For advanced dieters.
- Cyclical Keto Diet (CKD) – Requires frequent refeeding of carbs. Usually a schedule of 2 high carb days and 5 ketogenic days.
- High Protein Keto Diet – Comparable to the standard ketogenic. Protein consumption is a bit higher. Follows a ration of 60 percent fat, 35 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs.
We see that big think bubble over your head.
You want to know which dietary plan is the best, right?
We could write some crap about you choosing what’s right for you…BORING!
Here is what you need to hear.
The high protein and the STANDARD ketogenic diet have been studied throughly. Out of those two SKD is the most used.
That’s it. Uncomplicated.
How Can I Track My Ketone Levels?
You can use our high quality keto strips for urine to do that.
They are accurate and can tell you what you need to know within seconds.
Not minutes. SECONDS!
Monitoring your health and ketosis state accurately can’t get much easier.
Just pee on a strip and you’re done.
10 Wonderful Health Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
- Alzheimer’s disease – A reduction in Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Plus, the slowing down of the progression.
- Cancer – Tumor growth is slowed down in cancer patients who start a ketogenic diet. Cancer cells need glucose for fermentation. Glucose is scarce in ketosis which is bad news for cancer cells.
- Acne – Nasty pimples can be helped from lower insulin levels and less sugar eating intake.
- High Energy Levels – Your insulin levels rarely spike out of control when you are in ketosis. The Keto diet maintains the levels leading to more energy from meals eaten.
- Heart disease – Body fat, blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, and blood sugar are all bettered by the Keto diet. These are major factors in many heart failure cases.
- Epilepsy – Good for children who experience epileptic seizures. Research has shown Keto can cause major reductions in epilepsy episodes.
- Parkinson’s disease – Improved symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is on record in a case study.
- Blood Sugar Management – Type II diabetes is caused when there is an insulin resistance in the body. This resistance causes high blood sugar levels which can cause damage in many areas in the body. The ketogenic diet lowers blood sugar levels. This can aid in correcting or lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
- Mental Health – Ketones are created on the Keto diet which is a main source of fuel for your brain. This constant high level of brain food keep it firing at a high level.
- Brain injuries – Animal case studies have been done. Data shows a reduction of concussions and brain injuries from keto.
What Foods Should I Eat?
Here is a great keto diet grocery list of foods you should eat for your new diet. Remember, the name of the game is to get into ketosis.
A lot of these items are flat out delicious.
- Cheese – Get some unprocessed cheeses. (Mozzarella, cream, goat, cheddar or blue cheese)
- Seeds & Nuts – All nuts are NOT equal. Grab the walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.
- Avocados – Yes, guacamole is good to eat. Fresh whole ones are great too.
- Eggs – Not any egg from a chicken. Search for omega-3 whole ones or pastured.
- Low Carbohydrate Vegetables – Peppers, onions, most of your plant based green veggies, and tomatoes.
- Fatty Fishes – Tuna, salmon, trout, and mackerel.
- Butter & Creams – Try and get grass fed.
- Meats – A staple in this diet if you are a meat eater. Go for red meat, sausage, bacon, steak, ham, turkey, and chicken 🙂
- The Healthy Oils – There are only 3. Avocado oil, coconut oil, and of course extra virgin olive oil.
- Condiments – Try to only use healthy herbs and spices. Work with salt in low amounts.
This is a quick list to get you started on eating right. What about the bad foods?
Huh? You mean there are bad things to keep off my plate. Yes!
What Foods Should I Avoid?
Quick Tip: Foods that are high in carbs should have a limiter on them. There should be a reduction or flat out elimination of the foods below. Getting into ketosis will be hard if you continue to indulge in these items.
- Fruit – If it’s not strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries cut them. Unless you are eating small portions of larger fruits.
- Beans & Legumes – No peas, lentils, chickpeas or kidney beans. All beans to be honest.
- Grains or Starches – This means cutting out cereal, rice, pasta. Kill wheat based products.
- Underground Root Vegetables – Sweet potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, parsnip, potatoes, beetroot, etc.
- High Sugar Foods – Smoothies, cake, cookies, ice cream, candy, soda, maple syrup, brown and white sugar, etc.
- Alcohol – Really? YES! The high carb content would easily throw you out of ketosis. Definitely will keep you from getting in. Avoid Rum, Cosmos, Margaritas, Vodka & Orange Juice, Gin & Tonic, Wine Coolers, and many beers. If you gotta have some drink Whiskey, Brandy or Champagne in moderation.
- Diet & Low Fat Products – This stuff is very processed. Most of the time they are high in carbs.
- Bad Condiments – There are some boys out there. Ketchup, tomato paste, BBQ sauce, jam, maple syrup, and pesto.
6 Healthy Snacks To Eat On Keto Diet
Sometimes you get hungry and you just need to grab something quick to snack on.
What the heck do I go for?
- Cold Cuts
- Macadamia, Brazil & Pecan Nuts
Top 10 Ketogenic Diet for Beginners Questions
We are sure you have a great deal of questions about this wonderful low carb diet. There was a lot thrown at you on this page.
We have compiled a list of the top ketogenic diet questions. These aren’t some random silly things either.
Make sure you read this section. If you are serious about getting into ketosis these answers will help you.
The most common FAQ’s
1. Why do I feel sick with headaches, constipation, and nausea?
You are experiencing what is known as the keto flu. Your body is just adapting to the ketogenic diet. Congrats, it’s working!
2. Why does my breathe stink?
That’s called keto breathe. The releasing of ketones and acetone when in ketosis causes that unusual smell. There is also an increase in ammonia production. The good news is it doesn’t happen to everybody. The other awesome news is it doesn’t last forever. The body adapts after a couple of weeks. Good luck on your date though. Better carry PUR gum..lol
3. Can I gain muscle on keto?
Yes. It’s obviously slower than the traditional carb diets, but you can still beef up.
4. Are carbs cut out of my life forever?
No. There is a ratio above on this page. 5 percent carbs is where you want to be on the diet plan. some people eat some carbs on special occasions, but they immediately return to the plan. Once you get going you will have an idea for your ketosis state. Especially if you are tracking it using our Keto Urine Strips.
5. How much protein can I eat?
Stay around 20% on your intake. You don’t want to spike insulin levels by eating too much protein. This will lower your ketones and throw you out of ketosis.
6. Why does my urine smell fruity?
Fruity smelling urine is kinda funny. You can relax though. That smell is coming from the excretion of food you ate during ketosis.
QUICK NOTE: You would rather smell that than the smell of your urine after eating a plate of asparagus. LOL
7. Is Ketosis dangerous to my health?
No. Ketosis is natural and a clean healthy way of eating. You may be thinking of ketoacidosis. That’s the monster that builds acid in your blood. It’s dangerous. With that said, the keto diet plan is not the same 🙂
8. Why am I experiencing weakness and fatigue?
More than likely you are not in full ketosis yet. Your use of fats and ketones may be off as well. For a simple fix try lowering your carb intake. (See ratios above)
9. Will I lose my muscle tone or mass?
Let’s be honest. Being on any diet will have the potential of losing some muscle. That’s normal stuff. Remember you are still bringing in about 20% protein intake and burning off fat. Lifting some weights on keto should keep you muscle tone stable.
10. How do I know I’m in ketosis?
There are some signs that will surely let you know when you are in. Let’s go ahead and list them real quick.
- Weight loss
- Increased ketones in blood
- Ketones in urine
- Suppressed appetite
- Energy increase
- Digestive issues
- Bad breathe
We wanted to publish this list because it’s all normal. Most of things will pass in a couple of weeks. It’s just your body getting acclimated to the switch of using ketones and fat for fuel.
This is our ketogenic diet for beginners playbook sorta speak. There are many more things about this dietary plan, but these are the basics that will surely get you going.
We look forward to seeing the new you. Make sure you send us a keto diet before and after photo for our success stories. We would love to publish it and support you on your journey.
Sources and references:
NCBI | Wikipedia | MayoClinic | TheDiabetesCouncil
Elena Daisley is a licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientist (MT, ASCP certified) with over 10 years of experience in the medical field. She holds bachelor’s degrees in both Biology and Laboratory Science from the University of Central Florida. Elena enjoys helping others on their journey to healthier living.