Quick Start Guide To Keto
By Ray & Tracye Gano
What Is The Keto Diet?
The keto diet, is also known as ketogenic diet, or the low carb diet, or the LCHF diet (low carbohydrate, high fat diet)
It is a great diet, but more than that it can really turn into a long term healthy lifestyle.
Why do I say that?
There is scientific proof that it helps reduce the risk of diabetes (type 2), heart diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, inflammation (*1-6) and that’s just touching the tip of the iceberg.
There is so many more health benefits that you will discover yourself, but most noticeably, you will start feeling great, more energy, clothes don’t fit as snug as they used to, and dog gone it, you are looking great in the mirror too.
In our group and on our website, we get a lot of people asking… “where do I start?”
Where Do I Start?
Here is a quick list of things that you need to get…
1 – you need to download a keto management tracking app. The app I use is called Carb Manager
You can get it here – http://carbmanager.com
It is available on iPhone and Android.
I love this app because I can “voice log” all my foods in. I have big fingers and having to type everything in is a real pain in the rear.
I also like the fact that Carb Manager has a HUGE and I mean HUGE database of already added foods. If you are at a well-known restaurant and you speak in the dish you are having, odds are it is there in their database. No fussing with figuring carbs, fats or proteins.
Carb Manager Web Interface
My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal is a good way to track your macros and what you are consuming each day. It has a phone app that updates along with the website when you enter data from either place. My Fitness Pal syncs with the Garmin Trackers, so whatever I enter in My Fitness Pal gets auto updated to my Garmin device. My Garmin device will also auto update My Fitness Pal with whatever exercising, walking and my general calories burned. This is nice, so you can see at a glance if you need more calorie intake. There are a lot of reports and many things to track. The phone app has a nice pie chart that you can see visually how your carbs, proteins and fats ratio out.
You can set up your goas under -Settings>Goals. You can change this as needed.
This is the screen you use to enter your food, it has huge database and you can also add your own recipes with details.
How to Reach Ketosis
While you don’t need to reach ketosis as quickly as possible, many people consider ketosis as their first successful milestone on the keto journey.
I have found that over the years I am able to get in ketosis rather quickly, and once you get in the swing of this life style, you will be able to pop back into ketosis quickly as well.
SO… how do you get in ketosis fast?
1 – Restrict your carbohydrates – You can’t get into ketosis when your body still has a supply of sugar / glucose to burn. You need to cut your net carb intake to about 20g or less, give or take a few grams a day. I tell folks Carbs are you LIMIT.
2 – Restrict your protein – I tell people Protein is your GOAL. Protein is kind of tough one this diet because if you eat too much, you run the chance of throwing yourself out of ketosis. WHY? Because the body sees it isn’t getting the carbs it need (which it converts into sugar) thus it sees the protein and then takes that instead and converts those into sugar. We do not want sugar. Sugar is bad ju-ju. Sugar kicks you out of ketosis. So make sure you pay attention to those labels when you are purchasing your food.
3 -Stop worrying about fat – Fat is your LEVER. If you are hungry, eat, if you are not hungry, don’t eat. You use your fats to help satisfy the hunger and cravings. If you have had high fat, you will not be hungry. WHY? To lose your body fat while on the keto diet, it will consume the fats. By ingesting healthy fat, your body goes after that via ketones and then also goes after your body fat as well. So forget all those fake news stories about how bad fat is. It is learning what fats are good and what fats are bad.
Example – bacon, high fat fish, chicken thighs, rib eye steak, avocado, peanut butter, butter, MCT oil and the like all have good fats.
Bad fats are vegetable oil, canola oil, margarine, processed seed oil – example Grape Seed oil.
4 – Drink water – Water is a huge deal on keto. You need to consume a lot of it. BUT… you can also go overboard and drink to much and it flush your system of much needed vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. I personally drink about 70 – 80 ounces of water a day. You must stay hydrated while on the keto diet because it is a diuretic sort of diet and you will going pee a lot. Which is good, you are passing fat out of your body when you do that.
When you have flushed your system out with too much water, get some bone broth or chicken stock. I keep several boxes of it and will drink a cup or so to help put back in the much-needed electrolytes
5 – Careful with snacking – One thing you have to keep in mind is that even while eating keto you can suffer from small insulin spikes. For example, do you know that 3 Altoids have 2 grams of carbs and 2 grams of sugar? I say that because I was an Altoid freak and I love them. I was popping some in my mouth the other day and Tracye reminded me of the sugar and carbs. WOW.
If you do need to snack, look into some slices of dry salami and cheese sticks, maybe some nuts, or even make up some cheese crisps in the oven. Only take about 10 minutes and they are really good.
6 – Consider fasting – When people talk about fasting while on the keto diet, it often means intermittent fasting. What many people do is set a time where they are not going to eat any more. Now I know that this sounds hard, but if you are doing keto correctly, you should not feel hungry or have cravings. Why? Because your fat intake is higher, and it is that fat that makes you feel full and not have cravings. Tracye and I try to stop eating at 4:00PM, and hard stop at 6:00PM.
7 – Exercise – Now believe it or not, I lost 20 lbs and I did very little exercise. Now I do walk over 6000 steps day and I do climb about 14 flights of stairs. This is all just being around the house and such. If we are out shopping or going places, I get even more steps in. A simple 20-30-minute walk everyday can help regulate weight loss and your blood sugar levels. Conducting a HIIT workout can help you get in ketosis also.
Now, if you work out a lot, you may need to adjust your macros to compensate for the extra activity. Meaning that you are going to blow through your fats, protein and your vitamins and minerals. You will also be hungrier because you are burning the fats even faster. How you adjust is by telling the Keto calculator that you are upping your exercise routine and most calculators will make the proper compensations.
One other thing is that if you are working out and getting on the scale a lot, you might get disappointed. Why? Because as your body loses fat, it is going to gain muscle. Muscle is 1.5 times heavier than fat. It is better to measure yourself or better yet, do a clothes check. How are those tight jeans really fitting these days?
8 – Supplements – Supplements can help you reach ketosis quicker, but they aren’t necessary. In fact, beware of those pills and potions that say they have extra ketones and will help you reach ketosis. They are super expensive and even though they do help with ketone production, in all honesty if you just drop your carb intake to under 20 grams a day, you will be in ketosis in a day or two.
How to Know if You’re in Ketosis
There are a couple of different ways to see if you’re in ketosis.
The most common way is by using ketone test strips, you know the white strips that you pee on. NOW, these do not tell you if your body is in full blown ketosis or not. What these do is tell you that your body is producing ketones to the effect that you are peeing them out.
So, if you are losing weight and your ketone strips are showing color, odds are you are in ketosis.
Now for those who really need to know, there is a blood glucose monitors that measure ketones. These are often used by Type 1 diabetics to see if they are in diabetic acid ketosis, DKA, or diabetic acidosis or not. Being in this state while Type 1 diabetic is not a good thing and diabetic will lose weight quickly and throw their body chemistry out of whack and often end up in the emergency room. I know, my son is type 1 and we have had several visits to the ER with DKA.
These meters run about $50 to $100 a meter and usually come with about 10 strips. One strip, one test. Replacement strips are a little pricy also.
My advice, pee on a strip.
Now other ways that you can figure out that you are in ketosis are …
Increased Urination – as I mentioned above, the Keto diet is a natural diuretic, so you’ll find yourself going to the bathroom a lot. Couple that with the large amounts of water you are drinking and yes, you will be going often.
Dry Mouth -The more fluids your body is releasing, the more you may experience dry mouth. I have experienced this from time to time, especially at night I will wake up with total dry mouth. This is why I keep a water bottle next to my bed. When this happen, it is your body telling you that you need more electrolytes. Cure for that is drinking some bone broth / chicken broth or eat pickles and have a few swigs of pickle juice.
SPECIAL NOTE – if you ever have heat cramps or cramps at all, drink some pickle juice and they will go away quickly. If you are having cramps, it also means your potassium levels are down.
Bad Breath – AKA Keto Breath. Why you get this is that acetone is a ketone and when you sweat or exhale that acetone smell is excreted. In other words, your breath smells like nail polish remover.
For example, one hot days and when I am in ketosis, my baseball hat that I wear will get sweaty and will have a strong acetone smell. There are other times that I will smell it on my breath. Don’t worry, it does go away. This is usually present when you are beginning the keto diet.
Not Very Hunger and Lots of Energy – This is the most telltale sign of ketosis. WHY? Your body is now feeding off of your fats and when you have high levels of fat going in your system, you have more energy. You find that you don’t get hungry as often either, which is a plus and helps dropping the pounds even quicker
The last thing you want to do is drive yourself crazy measuring and testing your ketone levels. Once you get a handle on things, you’ll learn to see the signs that your body is giving you.
Continue Reading — Approved Food List
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