Keto Compulsion

The keto life style

lets-get-healthy

Let’s talk about keto for beginners and how to even start this optimal lifestyle.   I’ll be honest and tell you that there is a lot of information out there on keto and a lot that will contradict each other.  The Keto lifestyle had got a bad rep. from day one because when people hear “high fat” they automatically think of dripping bacon and juicy burgers, not to say you can’t have these things but the healthier way to live this lifestyle is by eating healthy fats.

 I found that out the hard way, but I’m here to tell you it does not have to be complicated. Keto in the simplest form is the best way to start in my opinion.

When starting keto the most important thing to remember, is that this is a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet.  As I discussed on my post “benefits of the keto diet” keep your macro nutrients or macros in the range of 15-20 grams of healthy carb foods, protein moderate at around 80-120 grams and healthy fats at 150-200 grams per day, this will give you a great start.  There are many apps that can help you manage your macros like MyFitnessPal and My Macros.  Or you can do it the old fashioned way with pen and paper, whatever is easier for  you.

 

The scale is not your friend

The scale is not always your friend, and I would suggest taking measurements when you start.  You can measure weekly or bi weekly as well as weigh, but I do not suggest weighing yourself daily.   Sometimes when you step on the scale and you expect to see results, just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean you haven’t achieved them.  I call these non scale victories and was surprised when I first saw this for myself.  I was a weigh myself every morning kind of girl and sometimes I still catch myself wanting to do that.  I would suggest against this because a lot of the times it is just water weight, but if you stick to a strict keto life style you will lose this water and so much more.

Carbohydrates in our body store water hence “hydrate”.  As we cut out unhealthy carbs and lower our daily intake to 20-25 grams our bodies try to hang onto these carbs longer.  Your body is still trying to use sugar for fuel, we are hard wired that way.  Unhealthy carbohydrates like grains and starches convert to sugar in your body especially when you have depleted all other sources.  As we lower our carbs we are lowering the water we hold onto.  So there is a lot happening within your body until your actually into Ketosis and burning fat for fuel.

If your wondering, how will I know when I’m in ketosis?  There are many ways, of course weight loss, focusing better and having more energy, not as hungry, feeling cold, bad breath…don’t worry too much about this one, its not as bad you think.  If your like me though you want to know for sure and there are blood ketone meters, breath meters and urine strips all to measure if your in ketosis and how far in.  In my article “understanding ketones in your body” I go into further detail with how each product works.

Another thing that happens when we cut out our sugar intake,  as we’ve discussed is that were now using our fat for fuel.  As our fat cells empty the body tries to refill them but we are using the fat so instead it fills up with water.  Once these cells are full they collapse and out comes the water weight.  The Keto term for this is the “water or fat whoosh”, when this happens you can lose anywhere from 3-7 pounds according to the scale.

Everyone is different and are bodies will respond differently.  So just because Jane Doe down the road has lost 10 pounds in a week and you have only lost three, there’s no need to panic.  Just stay the course and you will succeed in not only weight loss but so many other health benefits.

 

Don’t let the label fool you!

Label reading is of great importance.  Just because the front of a product says it is “sugar free” does NOT mean it is.  Another lesson I found out the hard way.  As I have progressed on the keto way of life, and my understanding of why this works.  I’ve realized reading nutritional information and the ingredient list is key.

Not only important but very eye opening as well.  I can not believe how many of our foods have sugar in them.  When I started I would just grab any meat thinking I was safe, then realizing that a lot of meats like bacon, hot dogs, sausages and even hams have sugar in them.  They might not be indexed on nutritional chart but check the ingredient list and see for yourself, if there isn’t any sugar on the nutritional chart but when you read the ingredient list and there is some form of sugar there.  Its usually because they are not required to put it in the nutritional chart if its under 1 gram of sugar.

keto-for-beginners
Click here to order your own

This was very frustrating to me at first until I realized there are meats that do not contain sugars, and why do meats need sugar in the first place?   Most uncured or smoked meat do not contain sugars and if you have the option of getting grass fed meat this is your best bet.  Some people buy straight from the source at local farms, then you know what you are getting.

I love the french vanilla coffee creamer, and when I saw a sugar free option that tasted great I was over joyed.  That is until I read the nutritional facts and ingredient list, where I found maltodextrin and then corn syrup on another brand.  I since then have found a great alternative that is really sugar free and tastes great in coffee and making keto desserts.   Torani Syrups and Skinny syrups really put the love of my morning coffee’s back in perspective.

For some not being able to have their coffee is  a deal breaker and I think might have been for me had I not discovered the coffee syrups.  I put mine in heavy whipping cream 1/4 cup of Torani or Skinny syrup per pint of whipping cream.  I also make keto desserts out of these two ingredients as you can whip up the cream to a thick peaky texture, you can eat it as is or put in the freezer to eat later.  Some people might add in some liquid stevia or other sweetener to taste, or some cocoa powder but really there’s a variety of combinations you can throw together to ease your sweet tooth.

One thing you will notice though as you progress on the keto lifestyle is that your taste buds will start to change and eventually you won’t crave those sweets.  A couple of times I had fallen of the keto wagon, when I tried a chocolate bar it really wasn’t that satisfying.

 

Keto-snacks
Get your keto snacks here

 

 

Undercover Sugars

Even though the nutritional info might not list sugar always check the ingredients because if there is less than 1 gram of sugar they do not have to list it as a nutritional value.  You might think that just a couple undercover sugars won’t make much of a difference but they add up quick.  Our goal is to enter ketosis and burn fat for fuel not sugar, so if your still feeding your body sugar even in small amounts it will try to utilize it.

sugar-names

 

 

Tips & Tricks I learned along the waydrink-a-lot-of-water

    • Drink lots of water
    • count full carbs not “net” carbs
    • get your rest
    • meal prep/plan meals
    • don’t focus on calories
    • prepare for munchie attacks
    • fruits are not keto friendly
    • If you experience a lot of heart burn, 1 tbsp. a day of Bragg organic apple cider vinegar is what you need.  I put mine in an 8 ounce glass of water.  If you find its not working have one in the morning and at night.  I know what your thinking…vinegar to combat heart burn.  Same thing I though but surprisingly it works.  A lot of the times when we experience heart burn we think we are too acidic when in fact we are too basic.  If you don’t believe me try it for yourself.

There are many other benefits that come with taking apple cider vinegar daily.  Such as listed in this image I got from the Bragg.com

apple-cider-vinegar
click to see full picture

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy way of life

personally I don’t like calling this keto lifestyle a “diet” because to me it is a life long commitment.  You will see why once you start reaping the benefits of the keto way of life.  I’m going to be candid with you and tell you that yes the first two weeks will be challenging but what great lifestyle change isn’t.  Once you overcome the initial shock to the body, you will feel better than you have in a long time.  I have had many hurdles in my life and have been in places I never should have been, these actions set me back health wise.  Thanks to Keto I am feeling the best I have felt in years.

There will be obstacles you will face such as sugar cravings and withdrawal symptoms, these are normal.  Some refer to this as the “keto flu”.

I realized from experience that it is just your bodies way of telling you it is been dependent on sugar and bad carbs.  Just like any dependency or addiction, you will experience withdrawals when you take it away.  Anything worth fighting for is definitely worth it, fight through whatever craving or mood swing that arises and you will be better for it.

Just remember it will pass, I found drinking plenty of water hurried the process.  Your body most likely has been taking in sugar and unhealthy carbs for a long time, it takes longer than overnight to remedy that.  Myself I really didn’t experience much in the way of “keto flu” or adverse effects.  I got the occasional mood swing, felt a little week and tired the first week.  After lots of water and getting the rest my body needed I dug my way out.

Trust the process and one of the best piece of advice I ever got was to “eat when your hungry and stop when your full”.

Food for thought

Think about how our ancestors ate years ago, before sugar was implemented unhealthy carbs or what I like to call “fillers”. We ate whole, real foods that were grown naturally without pesticides and chemicals. Obesity and many of the diseases we have today were not as prevalent as they are now.  Really the keto lifestyle isn’t much different from the way we lived 100 years ago.

Another thing to add in for beginners are the common abbreviations people are using, this one stumped me many times in the beginning and I still sometimes have to revert back to the terminology:

AS – artificial sweetener                                        BPC – bullet proof coffee                                     BG – blood glucose

LCHF – low carb high fat                                      IR – insulin resistant                                            BS – blood sugar

HWC – heavy whipping cream                            MCT – medium chain tryglyceride                      CICO – calories in, calories out

WOE – way of eating                                             SF – Sugar free                                                        IF – intermittent fasting

WOL – way of life                                                   ACV – apple cider vinegar                                     NSV – non scale vitory

SAD – standard american diet

 

 


everything-keto

46 thoughts on “Keto For Beginners – Where To Start

  1. i found it kind of difficult to find the comment part of the area , but other wise it is well organized at the beginning , but i find alot of this content is all on the same page and not seperated making it difficult to see where one ends and another begins. all in all great article though well organized and to the point.

  2. Great information! I appreciate the tips and tricks, especially the reminders to drink water and have snacks ready in advance. It’s so easy to grab a piece of fruit, but I will have to retrain myself. Thank you.

  3. I have been struggling lately to get in shape and glad that I found your site. I was in search of a good diet plan to have a healthy lifestyle and your post is all about it. I would surely get on to keto and hope it will ease my weightloss struggle!

  4. Hello Amanda, I’m glad you shared this article on keto diet.Topics like these is really important in today’s world. Obesity and overweight figures kept on rising and quite alarming, it becomes a global health concern. To be honest, I also crave for sugar- thank you for pointing out that this will pass. Your advice on reading the label is really helpful. I’ll be doing that the next time I visit the supermarket.
    Lots of information here and looking forward to read your next article.
    joyce

  5. Hi Amanda, great article, you make a bunch of overwhelming (and sometimes contradictory) information simple and understandable, you bring it back to the essence. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I’ve been hearing so much about this Keto diet, it’s time for me to give it a try. I am in for the challenge on carbs and sugar. Will definitely let you know how my progress is going.

  7. Hi Amanda! I have been trying to get into this Keto thing for a while on, on and off. I just love bread and pasta! But I am going to keep trying. One day it will stick! Thanks for the great info !

    1. Hi Stacey,

      It is a bit challenging at first and I love a piece of toast lol but after a while you won’t miss it. If after a while it’s really “eating” at you, there are plenty of recipes for making keto friendly bread. I have some recipes on my Pinterest account, you can get to that right from this site. Keep me updated with your progress and feel free to message or post any concerns you have.

  8. Awesome intro to the Keto Lifestyle. I have friends that are looking for a good “diet” and this one seems easier to sustain. Personally, this may be difficult with my love of beer. I will keep reading through and see if it can work.
    Cheers!!

    1. Thanks Nate,

      Yes please refer your friends, I have tried many diets and different lifestyles. This one seems to be the easiest to stick to, I don’t feel deprived and really I don’t miss the sweets. The beer, maybe a little but not the sweets 😉

  9. Hey Amanda, I think you have done a great job with your Keto website and with your Keto For Beginners article. It has a lot of valuable information for people who wish to pursue the Keto Diet. It was easy to read and flowed very well. You have something to be proud of. Keep up the great work!

  10. Great article, Amanda! The table related to undercover sugar is really helpful, as I haven’t heard of any term in the left column. I have a question though: can you adopt this diet even if you are not fat at all?

    1. Hey Sebastian,

      Oh of course you can, and thats why I don’t really like to refer to it as a “diet” because many people begin the keto way of life for mental clarity, or to help with inflammation…for many reasons. Its overall just a healthier way to live. Great question =)

      Amanda

  11. Hi Amanda
    Great article! I have never really understood what the whole keto thing is about before I read this article and it was like the penny just dropped. I have had a good read around your site, it’s so easy to navigate and I am going to look into this in more depth. I am particularly encouraged to do something to improve my ‘brain fog’. Sounds crazy now but it never occurred to me that this is something that could be improved by diet! Keep up the good work.

  12. After being on the Keto diet for a few months with great results last year, I fell off the wagon during the holiday season. Struggling with motivation to get back into it. The first few days are hard and then I know it will be great. Thanks for the overview again, I was having trouble remember how to get it started. Fingers crossed!

  13. Coming across this post gives me joy. I have heard a lot about the keto diet and getting a basic guide for beginners with great content is hard. The tips provided in the article will also be of great help. I hope to reap the benefits of keto diet to the best and i’m so doing the research well to find out enough before i begin my journey. Thanks for sharing. 

    1. I did write an article on the benefits of Keto, its not just for weight loss although a lot of people start for that reason.  It has many health benefits and after living this way people quickly realize the positive affects it has on them.

      Thank you for your kind comment and I wish you luck on your journey.

  14. I absolutely love this insightful article because it is full of great information. Keto lifestyle is a program for the obsessed and people looking to reduced weight and look smarter. Have seen people who engage in Keto program which they achieve result for participating in the Keto lifestyle. We can encourage people around us who tends to lose weight and look fit. This article should be passed around for people to see. Thanks

    1. Thank you for the compliment, but this lifestyle is NOT just for obese and people just wanting to lose weight.  I wrote an article on the benefits of keto, I think you might find interesting.  This lifestyle is to get healthy and be the best version of yourself you can be. 

      Taking sugars out of your diet alone can drastically improve your overall health, I also wrote an article on “Poison By Sugar“.  More people need to be aware of the poisoning affects of sugar in any form, and there are many forms of sugar.

  15. This is really cool. This is really educating. Though, it is tough in the begining to find the commitment in the part of the area, but the results at the end is the ultimate. The part of reminder to drink so much water and have little snacks in ready of advance is really great and a welcome idea to me

    1. Thank you,  I do try to inform people that way I wish I was educated when I first started.  I kind of learned by trial and error and a LOT of research.  There are so many different theory’s and opinion’s, you kind of have to find out for yourself what works best for you.

  16. Thank you so much for supporting the notion that scales are not accurate when dieting. I am 5ft11 and weigh in at 89kg and according to traditional scales and BMI indexing am obese (I am 14%) but this does not take into account muscle and fat values. I have found staying away from processed foods goes a long way in avoiding all those nice sugar substitutes that are listed in your post. Often then substitutes have been shown to be more harmful than the sugar that dieters are looking to avoid.

    I have been on the Kato Style diet for a long time and have found great benefit from this in that it supports energy levels during heavy workout sessions without the enormous crash at the end. I have found also a reduction in empty calorie storage and subsequent fat production.

    Thanks for a great article.

    Rich

    1. You are so right Richard,  

      I do believe a lot of these sugar substitutes do pose some harm to us but for someone who is trying to achieve ketosis and was a heavy sugar addict for years may need them just to transition.  

      I personally found my taste buds change after time and I don’t really like the sweet taste anymore…I guess you have to weight the pro’s and cons of both.  

      That gives me a good idea for my next article though, thank you =)

  17. The keto basics for beginners article you wrote is very professional and explicit. I am able to learn from your post that i should not allow the label fool me. Its really true that many of these products write “sugar free” but when carefully looking at the nutritional information one is likely to see even elements that can cause more side effects than sugar itself. Thanks for this eye-opening post. Hope to read more of your posts subsequently.

    1. Thats exactly it Dapoach,  many things you would think do not have any sugar content actually do and in the food industry if its less than 0.5 grams they don’t legally have to list it.  

      I wrote an article on “Poison By Sugar” you might find interesting.

  18. I understand your article to an extent though I didn’t actually comprehend all. I understood the keto diets which are high in fats, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diets.  When you say that one goes on keto or that someone is on keto,  I don’t really understand what you mean by going on keto. 

    1. Well Kenechi what I mean and thank you for pointing that out is that when we adjust our macronutrients which are protein, carbs and fats…to moderate, low and high…this will eventually put us in a state of Ketosis.  That state re trains the body to use fats for energy instead of sugar and carbohydrates.

      Please let me know if this explanation answers your question.

  19. I enjoyed reading your article on Keto diets. I can describe myself as a complete beginner as far as keto diets are concerned. Despite hearing about this trend for over 2 years now, I haven’t had a chance to actually understand how it works. This is the first time I am actually getting to understand what keto is all about. Basically, it is an attempt to supply the body with energy without resorting to carbohydrates. I don’t know how easy this change will be for me since I have always consumed large amounts of carbohydrates every single day of my life for the past 30 years. I was shocked to learn that certain meat products actually contain sugars. Since nutritionists tell us to eat lots of fruits in order to improve our health, how does this go hand in hand with a keto lifestyle? 

    I will have to try reducing my carbohydrate intake gradually for a week and see how this plays out.

    1. Hey,

      I am glad you enjoyed this article, I wouldnt say its so much of a trend rather than a life style change and you don’t have to completely eliminate carbohydrates, we just lower the amount.  Its really the sugar that has to be eliminated and yes I was also shocked and am still shocked by what I read in the ingredient lists of the food’s we buy.  

      There are even sugars in some nutrient supplements, why would they do that?

      There are also lots of recipe’s you can replace your carbs with, doesn’t mean you can’t have bread…just has to be made differently.  I have some recipe ideas at the bottom of my website===>Recipe’s

  20. Hi Amanda, this is a great article. I felt like reading a chapter from any best seller book on health. In fact, these days I’m reading a lot of books and magazine on health, so your article came to me at the right time. 

    Yes, I’m much conscious of sugar in my diet, always check it before buying anything for anyone in my family. Though I’m away from keto diet:) 

    I’ve found other useful articles in your website, so instead of reading books, I’ll be glad to take away useful points from your website. I’ve bookmarked your site. Thanks a lot for sharing this, looking forward to more of such articles. 

    1. Thank you so much!  I am glad your are finding my website useful, I read a lot on health as well.  Just eliminating sugar alone is very beneficial.  I wrote an article on “Poison By Sugar” you might find interesting.

      Be well.

  21. Hello Amanda,

    I have read your article ‘Keto for beginners – where to start’ I’m glad you shared this article on keto diet, you have done a great job with your Keto website. Topics like these is really important in today’s world. there are lot of valuable information for people who wish to follow the Keto Diet. i would love to follow this and going to share with friends. thank you so much.

    1. Thank you so much, I hope you benefit from the information I have provided and please if I have missed anything or you still have questions let me know.  I am always looking for more ideas for articles.

      Thank you and Be well.

  22. You know what,? Everytime i see a keto article, my heart skips. I remember that I really want to join you all in this keto lifestyle but I am scared to my bones about the keto flu. So, when I saw Keto-basics for beginners, where to start, my mind skipped a little bit again but I decided to read it and see if my fears can be calmed with this article and sincerely, it did. 

    I was usually worried about how to know what was keto compliant, how I would feel if I don’t see the weight go down when I weigh myself daily, if I would be motivated enough to continue. Now, I know that I don’t need to weigh myself daily as this would help me keep at it. I’m thinking bi-weekly, to give my body the opportunity to do its work without getting disturbed by my brain and emotions. I hope to start soon, and will revert to your blog to get enough motivation whenever I need it. 

    1. Hey there, I am so glad you found this beneficial.  I also did an article on “Keto Concerns”  and a big one for people is the “keto flu”, and it really shouldn’t be.  

      I have covered many topics on my website, feel free to wander around through the articles and please let me know if there is anything I haven’t covered as I am always looking for new topics.

      Be well my dear.

  23. Can the ketogenic diet be taken at any age? Are Low carb, high fat, and moderate protein food good for obese people or vice-versa? I am a diabetic, hypertensive, and above 50. Can I get cured by adapting the keto food style? The trips and tricks that you have mentioned really should help me.  I used to drink less water resulting in a kidney stone. Does Apple cider Vinegar help reduce blood glucose level?

    Thanks for your great post. 

    1. Yes most definately although if you’re thinking about children I did an article on “Keto & Kids” that would put that in perspective.  I also did an article that touches on Keto and diabetes called “The benefits of Keto” that you should read before starting this.   For someone with your health conditions it is best to discuss this choice with your Doctor first emphasizing eating good fats.

      I was hypertensive myself and was on medication, after living this lifestyle for a good month I didn’t have to take my meds anymore.

      The keto lifestyle will balance out your sugars but you should never do this without first discussing this with your Doctor.

      Always drink lots of water our bodies need it.  Apple cider vinegar helps with heart burn and you can read more of its benefits ===>Here

  24. Sometimes we just overcomplicate this keto diet thing. Seriously most of us do and because of this, we might just end up not getting the results we hope to get. Pointing that out in this post was really important.

    Also, I am also one of those that believe what the front label says. Once it says sugar-free I instantly assume that it is actually sugar-free. A lot of people fall for this and very few actually read the nutritional information and the ingredient list.

    These can actually alter the results we hope to achieve when we start keto dieting and it is imperative that we always do not neglect these little things so we really get the full benefit of keto dieting.

    1. I am glad this information was helpful to you Jay,  I am still shocked although I shouldnt be by what I find sugar in..and the different names and labels for sugars…its really scary that its all deemed healthy for consumption.

      The Countess of Low Carb calls these “sneaky sugars” and there are also “creepy carbs” that can keep us from achieving the results we want.

  25. After reading the review, I learned a lot about Keto. This is the first article I read about the keto diet. It’s really interesting to learn that it helps in body weight resistance without losing energy. I would like to try the product myself. Since I consume a low amount of sugar, I don’t think that sugar cravings will cause me much trouble. I agree that different product levels confuse us. Thank you so much for writing the Keto-related review carefully.With best compliments,Ranao.

    1. This is not a product and I’m not selling anything, its just adjusting what you eat to not include sugars and lower your carb. intake.  Thank you for taking the time.

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