You have probably heard about the Keto diet and how it has so many people following it and losing weight. Does the keto diet really work? And more importantly, HOW does the keto diet work? Look no further than this simple guide.
I am here to tell you that it 100% WORKS. And I’m not even trying to sell you anything, just my experience.
17kgs, 2 months. That is how much I shed on my first round of the Keto Diet. I worked my way down to my pre-pregnancy weight in the time frame I set myself.
For years I have struggled with my weight. I have been on every diet under the sun and downloaded hundreds of meal plans, determined to make steamed chicken and broccoli my staples.
And you know what? It just doesn’t work…
Yes, strict calorie counting and flavour deprivation (mixed with copious amounts of cardio) may work for some, but for me? It just isn’t sustainable.
I will follow these plans for a few days and then have a crash and indulge in days’ worth of sugar and carbs. This would usually send me into a cycle of guilt which would lead to emotional eating, more guilt, more eating… you get the jist.
But Keto has been different! As much as it is labelled a ‘restrictive’ diet, for me it doesn’t feel like this.
This is because Keto is not a diet, it is a Way of Eating (WOE).
Now, I could sit here and tell you exactly what to eat and when. I could try and sell you my meal plan and exercise regime but that would not be an honest use of my time.
The secret with Keto is learning to make it work for you!
Using the resources I will give you here, (which I have used myself and which I receive no monetary gain from sharing) I do believe that you too can eat your way to a better, healthier and happier body.
What is the Keto Diet?
Keto (Ketogenic) eating is based on a very low carb, high fat and sufficient protein diet.
When you eat in accordance with the food pyramid, carbs and sugars are what our bodies burn first for fuel. Remove the complex carbohydrates and sugars from your system and once your liver flushes out excess glucose and water, you are left with a body which has become a fat burning machine! “AKA fat-adapted”.
It sounds too good to be true, but thousands of people rave about their results. Fast results.
Is the Keto Diet Sustainable?
I’ll admit I fell back into old habits during a trip to Bali.
Entering into my second round of Keto, I lost the 3kgs I put back on after stopping Keto. This was all the motivation I needed to keep going.
And it is important to note that I did not stop keto and remain on a semi-healthy diet. No.
I ate my way through Bali (hello nasi-goreng) and had been on a slippery slope of donuts and bread since.
I noticed how horrible my tummy and body felt having gone back to my old unhealthy lifestyle and so I decided to get back on the wagon.
If you are sitting here thinking you could have written the above yourself, that you are stuck in a rut and don’t know where to start? Right here is a good a place as any.
How Do I Start Keto?
Figuring out your calories and macros for a keto diet.
Calorie counting has been around since the 80’s. But so has the “Low-Fat” craze.
If you learn one thing from this post it is that FAT IS NOT THE ENEMY, COMPLEX CARBS ARE!!
FAT IS NOT THE ENEMY, COMPLEX CARBS ARE
I used the below link to work out how many calories, carbs, protein and fats I need to reach my goal weight.
It’s a free platform to do your calculations.
Now if you need a kickstart plan there is always the option to purchase the meal-plan at the end. I didn’t but this is up to you.
Hopefully with the information I am about to give you, you will never have to spend money on dieting again.
An outline of a good keto diet is
- Carbs – 5%
- Protein – 20%
- Fat – 75%
At first it will feel VERY strange eating so many high fat foods, you will question whether you will put on weight in this wild pursuit to lose weight (hey, that’s what happened to me on weight-loss shakes). But I promise you that if you give it a go, you will never look back.
Once you change your mindset from the traditional ‘low-fat’ mentality, you will succeed.
Take this quiz to find out your calories and macros
What Foods Can I Eat on A Ketogenic Diet?
Next you need to have a good idea of what is and what isn’t allowed in this WOE.
Together with Sarah from Veale_Kitchen we have come up with this fabulous Keto Cheat Sheet for you to download and stick on your fridge!
So, you see, just as much as Keto is ‘restrictive’ there are SO MANY delicious foods you can eat!
What Is the Difference Between Strict Keto and Lazy / Dirty Keto?
You may have heard about different types of keto, the difference is quite simple.
There are 2 types of Keto.
Strict – eating nutrient rich diet, no processed foods and most carbs some from low carb vegetables; and
Lazy/Dirty –monitoring the net carb intake, but no tracking of other macros and not concerned about the ingredients, seen as less ‘healthy’.
I do have to say that my own diet sits somewhere in between.
Some days I am all about the fresh salmon and avocado cream sauce with leafy greens.
And other days I’m wrapping cheese sticks in salami. Or getting a McDonald’s Cheese Burger without the bun.
The factors that are the same in both types of keto are the following, lazy keto is more of a relaxed approach to these, essentially without calorie or carb ‘counting’.
Carbs are a limit
Try not to go over your carb limit. Around 20 net carbs is your absolute max but somewhere about 5-10g is your sweet spot.
Fat is a lever
You don’t have to hit your fat macro every day. In fact, not hitting it will likely cause a calorie deficit which will help in weight loss on its own. Eat as much fat to satiate you and get rid of hunger.
Protein is a goal, and a limit
Excessive amounts of protein can cause a glucose response similar to carbs, causing you to stall in weight loss. You still need it to rebuild and maintain muscle so not meeting the daily goal can be negative too.
How Do I Count Macros?
It is a lot of information to start with. I recommend you download this app:
Or a similar macro tracker to ensure you stay on point. You will be surprised with how many carbs things have that you would think were high in carbs. It pays to check everything into your app before eating it to make sure you don’t accidentally fall off the wagon.
Can I have Sweets on Keto?
You may be thinking but what about my sweet tooth?
While refined sugar is a no go. There are heaps of artificial and natural sweeteners that you can use to substitute.
These are listed in the cheat sheet above as well as detailed in a perfect write up on this by Sarah from Veale Kitchen on Facebook
I also recommend you follow her Instagram @Veale_Kitchen for amazing keto and low carb recipes.
What Is Keto Flu?
This is the name coined for the process your body goes through getting into ketosis. Symptoms can be lethargy, headaches, irritability and flu like symptoms such as a runny nose and body aches.
My first round of keto I was fine, but I got it bad the second time. Headaches, the runs and a general feeling of hating life.
Just think of it as a body cleanse/detox. Your body is using up all the left-over carbs and getting ready to be a fat-burning powerhouse.
For me it lasted 2 weeks but it can be only a few days.
During this time, it is super important to keep your water and electrolyte intake up and to not give into the cravings of carbs. Once you get through this it will be worth it!
The Keto Diet can seem complicated at first. There are a lot of things to learn and consider.
If you have been yo-yoing with your weight or tried and tested all sorts of crash diets, liquid diets and starvation diets with little to no permanent results, then this may be the last-ditch effort you are looking for.
4 months on I have lost a total of 30kgs, I am now proudly 10kgs below my pre-pregnancy weight! Something I would never have thought to have achieved in under 12 months.
And, it is important to note that I have done this purely by changing my WAY OF EATING. I have not been able to go to the gym in the last 5 months due to Lockdown enforcement in my state. And yet I have had the biggest weight loss in my life, just by changing my food to the Keto diet.
And the weight is not the only thing that has improved…
I have more energy than ever! I have more time and patience for my son, my libido is at an all-time high and I have so much brain clarity!!
Plus, I’m having a great time in the kitchen making new foods and I’m barely even hungry.
Thinking of starting keto?
Support is super important when you are making a huge change in your life. I am so lucky to be on this journey with my sister-in-law at the moment.
Social media is great for this! Especially when you may or may not be in a lockdown situation right now.
If you think you may need some motivation and support, don’t forget to check out these fabulous resources:
Keto Facebook Groups to Join
Keto Instagram Pages to Follow
If you prefer physical books to read, Check out these Keto Books
Good luck on your keto journey! Don’t forget to come and ask any keto questions you may have in the comments below, or head over to my contact page and send me a private message!