The Keto Diet Guide For Beginners
We created this guide in order to help women with their Keto Journey. Our goal is to not only give you the basics, but to help you get your body into ketosis within the first 7 days! Listed below you will find everything you need to get started on keto and most importantly it provides information on how to achieve long term success!
THE KETO DIET BASICS
WHAT IS KETO?
The keto diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. But unlike most diets, you don’t have to worry about cutting your calories. The keto diet promotes eating nutritious whole foods such as fresh meat, fish, vegetables, healthy oils and fats.
Not only does the keto diet provide women with a long term solution for weight loss, but it can help reduce or eliminate issues such as diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, stoke, epilepsy, autoimmune disease, hormonal issues, Alzheimer’s and more!
And unlike most diets, you don't have to worry about cutting your calories! The keto diet promotes eating nutritious whole foods such as fresh meat, fish, vegetables, and healthy oils and fats.
Over the years, eating a low carbohydrate diet has grown in popularity. But what many of these low carb diets fail to include is how important it is to make sure that you have a high fat intake.
Low carb diets are eating plans that typically limit the intake of carbs to below 100 grams per day. On the keto diet those limits are even stricter! Your carbs limit is less than 50 grams per day, but it's recommended that you start with 20 grams.
The most important thing to understand about keto is that this is not a fad diet, or a temporary solution to weight loss. It's actually a lifestyle plan that not only results in successful weight loss, but also promotes overall health, energy, and vitality.
The keto diet accomplishes this by eliminates junk and processed food by definition, and promoting a clean, whole food diet for better overall health and wellness.
HOW DOES KETO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?
The body has three storage depots to use as fuel:
|Carbohydrates from food|
|Stored body fat and ketones|
|Protein that is converted to glucose in the liver and used for energy|
On a regular high carb diet, carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for the body. Carbohydrates, and more specifically starches and sugars, are readily broken down into glucose in your bloodstream, giving your body its principal energy source.
At this point, your hormone insulin steps in to remove any glucose from your bloodstream as too much sugar can lead to a dangerous condition known as glycosylation.
Our bodies use insulin to convert glucose into glycogen. Some glycogen is stored inside the liver as a fuel reserve for the brain, and the rest is stored in the muscles and serves as fuel reserves for the body.
When muscle glycogen is not used through a lack of energy expenditure or exercise, it stays in your muscles.
And since the human body can only store so much glycogen (about 1800 calories worth), that's when your reserve becomes full. Then both the muscles and the liver send a signal to your body to stop insulin production. Once that happens excess glucose from dietary carbs begins to build up in your bloodstream, calling for your body to release more and more insulin in order to remove it.
When your insulin levels surge, it can eventually lead to insulin resistance. That's when your liver sends any excess glucose to be stored as body fat.
So as you continue to eat a high carb diet, glucose floods your bloodstream, your insulin levels increase, and so does the way your body stores fat.
THE VICIOUS CYCLE
High Carb Intake = High Glucose In The Blood = High Insulin = Body Fat Stores
Eventually this leads you into metabolic syndrome, which is a set of conditions caused by insulin resistance, which includes obesity, fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, as well as other metabolic issues.
While this vicious carb cycle may not occur in everyone, it tends to occur more in women who are obese. In most instances this happens either because they have a sensitivity to carbs or they do not expend the required amount of stored energy in their body.
And this is often the case and the main culprit behind women's obesity.
HOW TO QUICKLY GET INTO KETOSIS
Using carbs for fuel is exactly what the keto diet aims to avoid. It does this by greatly limiting carbs and their sources in order to give your body an alternative energy source, which is fat.
Your main source of carbs on the keto diet will be non-starchy vegetables. But even those are initially limited in the beginning because our gal is to trigger ketosis.
But wait, aren’t vegetables simple carbs?
Yes, they are but…
Non-starchy vegetables are not insulin triggers
Non-starchy vegetables are very low in carbs, making them a nutrient dense food with a very low glycemic load that supports ketosis
TESTING FOR KETOSIS
Within a few days of starting you can start testing yourself for ketosis. The easiest way to do it is to use a ketone test strip. Your doctor can also order labs to test for ketones but this way is less expensive which allows ketone testing to be done more frequently.
Testing for ketones can be a good way to ascertain if your body has reached a state of ketosis and can be psychologically comforting. However, it is important to note that ketosis can be present without showing ketones in the urine. Generally speaking, ketones will show up in your urine when your intake is at 30 grams of carbs per day or less, though this number can vary.
One of the more important functions of ketone testing is that it can help you monitor the effects of carbs on ketosis as you progress. As you lose weight and progress towards your goal, you may want to introduce more carbs to see the effect it has on your weight loss so you can find the right balance, and these ketone test strips can be really helpful on that end.
It's best to not obsess about the results if you show lower than expected readings. Remember remember that just as finding dark readings can give you mental comfort, their absence can be distressing.
As long as you are losing weight, maintaining energy and feel good, that is all that matters.
In the beginning, be sure to keep your carb count to less than 20 grams of net carbs per day, but no more than 50 grams at the absolute max.
Most of your carbs should come from non-starchy vegetables.
Green, fibrous vegetables are your best choices, although many other low carb vegetables are fine.
Always eat a carb with a protein or a fat, for example have a piece of cheese with cucumbers or salad with chicken.
Contrary to all the hype about fat, replacing sugar and carbs with healthy fats actually does result in weight loss, as has been shown by many studies.
So don’t be afraid of fats! Fat is 90% ketogenic. Remember in ketosis, fat is the main energy source for the body. It helps reduce hunger, provides key macronutrient requirements and natural fats are fine when controlling carb intake. They also have many other benefits, including providing the building blocks for several important hormones and bodily structures.
When you limit your carb intake, the body will use dietary fats and your own fat stores for energy, literally turning your body into a fat burning machine, helping you to reduce belly, thigh, and hip fat… which works really well for us women!
Note: Margarine is never advised! Aside from it not being good for you, it can also interfere with ketosis.
The best fats are monounsaturated and saturated which includes:
– MCT Oil
Always limit intake of polyunsaturated fats which include soybean oil, corn oil, and cottonseed oil. And when calculating your fat intake, please not that it will depend on your weight loss goals.
BENEFITS OF FOLLOWING THE KETO DIET
According to The CDC and The National Association Of Diabetes Digestive And Kidney Diseases:
More than 1/3 of the US adult population (35.7%) are obese
More than 1 in 20 people, or 6.3% are extremely obese
74% of men (about 3 in 4 men) are either overweight or obese
The incidence of obesity in both men and women is 36%
Many experts attribute this epidemic in large part to a steady increase over time in the intake of unhealthy carbohydrate rich foods, including table sugar, simple sugars, sweets, refined starches and processed food.
According to one major statistical review, the number of overweight and obese Americans rose from 42.3% to 66.1% from 1971 to 2011 and during this time:
The consumption of fat decreased from 44.7% to 33.6%
The consumption of carbohydrates increased from 39% to 50% from 1965 to 2011
The side effects of weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight is substantial! Obesity is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, reduced quality of life, belly fat, joint problems, autoimmune disease, and premature death.
STABILIZES BLOOD SUGARS
Since low carb eating has the ability to eliminate insulin triggers, (sugars and starches) it makes it the ideal lifestyle choice for those with pre-diabetes or those already diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Eating a low carb diet reduces the need for the body to produce insulin, which is used to break down the glucose converted from dietary carbs that are in your the blood stream.
LOWERS YOUR VISCERAL FAT
Research has shown that the keto diet can help to reduce the levels of visceral fat in your body rather than the superficial subcutaneous fat which is great news for women.
Visceral fat or belly fat is the most dangerous type of fat that is deeply embedded around major organs inside our bodies and a recent large study showed a significant correlation between waist size and reduced life expectancy in women.
HELPS YOU MAINTAIN HEALTHY BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure poses serious risks for heart disease and stroke. A low carb diet may help to maintain healthy blood pressure.
In addition to helping you maintain a healthy blood pressure, the keto diet may also…
Lower the risks for heart disease, diabetes,gallbladder disease, cancer, and stroke
Assist in treating several types of cancer and may help slow the growth of tumors
Be used to treat traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and polycystic ovary syndrome
EVALUATION MACRONUTRIENTS ON KETO
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are all macronutrients and each one of them can have differing effects on ketosis based on how they are digested and how each affects glucose levels in the blood.
Carbohydrates are 100% anti-ketogenic due to their ability to raise both glucose and insulin levels in the blood.
Proteins are 46% ketogenic and 58% anti-ketogenic because more than 50% of all protein from food is converted to glucose that raises insulin.
Fats are 90% ketogenic and only 10% anti-ketogenic representing the conversion of the glycerol portion of triglycerides to glucose. Eating fats has minimal effect on ketosis in the literal sense; it is more of an effect on how much body fat versus dietary fat is burned as fuel in the body.
STARTING YOUR NEW KETO LIFESTYLE
PREPARE YOUR HOME
To help make sure you succeed , it's important that you have the right equipment in your home and make sure you have the these basics essentials in your pantry, you’ll always be ready to make healthy, keto-friendly meals.
LET'S TALK ABOUT FAT BABY…
While fat has more calories (9 per gram versus the 4 per gram in both protein and carbs) it’s more important to understand what fat does once it's inside your body.
When you were younger, your metabolism and high activity levels probably allowed you to eat carbs and fats and maintain a healthy weight. But then of course, we you got older, your activity levels and metabolism slowed down and that's when the weight probably started to creep up.
If you are currently overweight and your diet is filled with carbs, it only makes it very difficult for your body to use that stored fat for energy because it always looks for carbs for that purpose.
Reducing your carb intake significantly promotes the body’s ability to burn fat stores for energy resulting in healthy weight loss.
And unlike carbs, fat also promotes satiety and fullness, helping to regulate your appetite so that you actually eat less.
In fact, you have to eat two times more carb calories as fat calories to reach the same level of fullness!
TYPES OF FATS
Unlike carbs, fat has little impact on blood glucose, which keeps blood sugars stable, eliminating out of control cravings and hunger that comes after eating carbs.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetables, seed and nut oils, sardines, oysters, salmon and salmon oil.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
Essential fatty acids include both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Shellfish is rich in omega-3s plus you can also get omega-6s from chicken, pork, and seeds. Ideally, you need to balance intake of both omega-3s and omega 6 fatty acids with a balanced combination of shellfish, fatty fish and nuts.
Since the target of the keto diet is to burn fat for energy consumption, these types of fats are not only acceptable… they're also required! Many studies have confirmed that consuming this type of fat, while on a low carb diet, will not raise the cholesterol or fat levels in your blood.
Trans fats, which is also known as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil or hydrogenated vegetable oil, are bad news. These types of fat can increase risk for heart disease and should always be avoided when eating a keto diet. These are typically found in fried foods, sweets, baked goods, processed snacks and food products, cookies, crackers and vegetable shortenings.
Remember, the goal of eating more fat is to provide satiety, boost your energy, increase your metabolism and support your enjoyment of food since fat make everything taste better!
It is not advisable to eat so much fat that you send your caloric intake through the roof! The following guidelines can help you get an idea of daily fat intake.
Now of course your body size will determine the portions you should eat. A larger man will eat more than smaller women will.
You can pick and choose the fat combinations as you see fit.
Daily Fat Intake Guidelines:
2 to 3 eggs
1 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
2 tablespoons of olive oil when cooking or for salad dressing
2 ounces of cheese
4 to 6 ounces of meat, chicken, seafood, or fish at each meal
½ an avocado or 10 olives
1 to 2 ounces of nuts or seeds depending on your ketotic state and as long as they do not take you out of ketosis.
Coconut oil contains ketosis-boosting MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) so having a tablespoon a day is fine especially if you want to replace another fat. You can also get a purer form of MCTs in supplement oil form.
Avoid low fat foods, including reduced fat dairy. These foods typically contain carbohydrates, and chemical compounds that have not been well studied as to risks for human health.
KETO DIET SHOPPING LIST
Below we've provided you with some healthy choices to add to your menu so that you can create endless low carb recipes from home! For our complete list of recommended keto foods click here.
Also if you want a quick blueprint you can follow? Then don't forget to sign up for your free 7 Day Keto Quick Start Guide For Women. It's filled with 7 days of step-by-step recipes that will help you get into ketosis FAST!
ZERO CARB FOODS
All Red Meat
All Fish: Shrimp, Crawfish and Crab
Pork: Includes Bacon & Ham
Fowl: Duck, Goose, Hen and Quail
Organ Meats: Tongue, Brains, Liver, Heart and Kidneys
Exotic & Game Meats: Ostrich, Venison, Caribou, Bison, Elk and Emu
Cold Cuts : (Check For Added Sugar)
SEAFOOD CARB COUNT PER SIX OUNCES
Lobster: 2 Grams
Mussels: 8 Grams
Oysters: 12 Grams
Scallops: 3 Grams
Clams: 8 Grams
Squid: 7 Grams
FATS & DRESSINGS
Butter: 0 Carbs
Mayonnaise: 0 Carbs
Oils: 0 Carbs
Blue Cheese Dressing (2 Tbsp.): 2 Grams Of Carbs
Italian Dressing (2 Tbsp.): 3 Grams Of Carbs
Cesar Dressing (2 Tbsp.): 1 Grams Of Carbs
Ranch Dressing (2 Tbsp.): 1 Grams Of Carbs
1000 Island Dressing (2 Tbsp.): 5 Grams Of Carbs
Soybeans: 6 Grams Of Carbs Per 1/2 Cup
Soy Milk: 1 Carb Per Cup
Firm Tofu: 2 Carbs For 4 Ounces
Silken Tofu: 3 Carbs Per 4 Ounces
Tempeh: 16 Carbs Per 1 Cup
Soy Nuts: 2 Carbs For ½ Ounce
NOTE: If you're currently in menopause or are perimenopausal then it's best to consult with your doctor before you eat soy.
Alfalfa Sprouts: > 1 Gram For 1 Cup
Daikon: 1 Gram Of Carbs Per ½ Cup
Endive: > 1 Gram For 1 Ounce
Escarole: > 1 Gram An Ounce
Arugula: > 1 Gram For ½ Cup Serving
Bok Choy: > 1 Gram For 1 Raw Cup
Celery: > 1 Gram For 1 Stalk
Chicory Greens: > 1 Gram For Each ½ Cup
Green Onions: > 1 Gram Per Tablespoon
Cucumber: 1 Gram For ½ Cup Of Sliced
Fennel: 4 Grams Per Cup
Iceberg Lettuce: > 1 Gram For ½ Cup Chopped
Jicama: 3 Grams For A ½ Cup Serving
Parsley: > 1 Gram Per Ounce
Bell Peppers: 2 Grams For ½ Pepper Chopped
Radicchio: > 1 Gram For ½ Cup Serving
Radishes: 1 Gram Per 10 Pieces
Romaine Lettuce: > 1 Gram Per ½ Cup
Artichoke: 4 Grams Per¼ Cup Steamed
Artichoke Hearts In Water: 2 Grams Per 1 Heart
Asparagus: 2 Grams Per 6 Spears
Bamboo Shoots: 1 Gram Per Cup
Broccoli: 1 Gram Per ½ Cup
Brussels Sprouts: 2 Grams Per ¼ Cup
Cabbage: 2 Grams Per ½ Cup
Cauliflower: 2 Grams Per Cup
Chard: 2 Grams Per ½ Cup
Collard Greens: 4 Grams Per ½ Cup
Eggplant: 2 Grams Per ½ Cup
Hearts Of Palm: > 1 Gram Per 1 Heart
Kale: 2 Grams Per ½ Cup
Mushrooms: 1 Gram Per ½ Cup
Kohlrabi: 5 Grams Per ½ Cup
Leeks: 2 Grams Per ¼ Cup
Okra: 2 Grams Per ½ Cup
Black Olives : 1 Gram For 10 Small, 5 Large Or 3 Jumbo
Onions: 3 Grams Per ¼ Cup
Pumpkin: 2 Grams Per ¼ Cup
Sauerkraut: 1 Gram For ½ Cup Without Juice
Spinach: > 1 Gram For ½ Cup Of Raw
Summer Squash: 2 Grams For ½ Cup Chopped
Tomato: 4 Grams For 1 Medium
Cherry Tomatoes: 4 Grams Per Cup
Turnips: 2 Grams For ½ Cup Of Chopped Raw
Limes: 2 Grams Per 1 Ounce
Lemons: 2 Grams Per 1 Ounce
Rhubarb: 2 Grams Per ½ Cup
Avocado: 5 Grams Each
Apricots: 5 Grams Per Fruit
Strawberries: 11 Grams Per Cup
Blackberries: 7 Grams Per Cup
Raspberries: 5 Grams Per 1 Cup
Red Grapefruit: 9 Grams For 1/2 Of Grapefruit
Note: For best results, you should introduce fruit into your keto diet slowly. Then once you're in ketosis, you can slowly begin to increase them and adjust them again once you've arrived at your weight loss goal. Make sure once you start eating fruit that you monitor their effects on your weight loss and adjust your intake as necessary. This excludes lemon and limes which you can have at anytime.
DAIRY & DAIRY SUBSTITUTES
Heavy Whipping Cream: > 1 Gram Per 1 Tablespoon
Half & Half: 1 Gram For A Tablespoon
Plain Full Fat Greek Yogurt: 9 Grams Per Cup
Full Fat Sour Cream: 2 Grams For 4 Tablespoons
Unsweetened Almond Milk: > 1 Gram For A 1 Cup Serving
Gruyère Cheese: > 1 Gram Per 1 Oz
Cheddar: > 1 Gram For A 1 Ounce Slice
Fontina: > 1 Gram Per 1 Ounce Serving
Havarti: > 1 Gram For Just 1 Ounce
Parmesan: 1 Gram Per Every Shredded Ounce
Gouda: 1 Gram Per 1 Ounce Of Gouda
Mozzarella: 1 Gram Per Every Ounce
Ricotta: 4 Grams For Half Cup
Blue Cheese: 1 Gram For 1 Ounce Of Crumbled Blue Cheese
Edam: 1 Gram For 2 Ounces
Monterey: 1 Gram For Each Ounce
Muenster: 1 Gram For Every 1 Ounce
Provolone: 1 Gram Per 1 Ounce Serving
Neufchatel: 3 Gram Per 3 Ounce Serving
NUTS & SEEDS
Whole Almonds: 1 Gram For Every 2 Tablespoons
Peanuts: 2 Grams Per 2 Tbsp.
Hazelnuts: 1 Gram Per 2 Tbsp.
Chopped Macadamia Nuts: 1 Gram For 2 Tbsps.
Chopped Pecans: 1 Gram For A 2 Tablespoon Serving
Pine Nuts: 2 Grams For 2 Tablespoons
Pistachio Nuts: 3 Grams Per Every 2 Tbsps.
Chopped Walnuts: 2 Grams For 4 Tbsps.
Pumpkin Seeds: 5 Grams Per Ounce
Sunflower Seeds (2 Tbsp.): 1.5 grams
Almond Butter: 2 Grams Per 2 Tbsps Fresh
Peanut Butter: 2 Grams For Each Tbsp.
Note: Just like with adding fruit to your keto diet, it's best to add nuts to your diet slowly. Then once you are in ketosis you can increase them and adjust the amount you eat once you reach your weight loss goal.
ZERO & LOW CARB BEVERAGES
S/F Sparkling Water
No-Calorie Flavored Seltzers
Herbal Teas: Without Barley Or Fruit Sugars
Note: Even though these drinks have zero carbs, make sure you check for artificial sweeteners because they can affect your weight loss.
Note: Most alcohol have no carbs so a small amount should not disturb your ketosis. This does not apply to ALL alcohol. Only the ones listed above.
You should only add sugar free mixers like water, club soda or diet tonic. Most wines have a low amount of carbs so you can drink them in moderation.
You should avoid drinking any drinks that contain a lot of sugar such as pina coladas, daiquiris, white russians, and margaritas.
If you drink any type of alcohol, track your weight loss progress to see if the alcohol is having any type of adverse effect on your weight loss. If your progress stalls eliminate the liquor to see if that makes a difference.
Shirataki Noodles: 0 Carbs
White Vinegar: 0 Carbs
Balsamic Vinegar: No Carbs
Red Wine Vinegar: 0 Carbs
Seasoned Rice Vinegar: 3 Grams For Each 1 Tbsp.
Soy Sauce: 1 Gram Per tTablespoon
Mustard: 0 Carbs
Unflavored Gelatin: 0 Carbs
Most Hot Sauces: 0 Carbs
Turkey or Beef Jerky (Not Teriyaki Flavor): 3 Grams Per Ounce
Kale Chips: 8 Grams Per Ounce
Coconut Flakes: 4 Grams Per Ounce
Pickles: 1 Gram Per Pickle
Flaxseed Crackers: 2 Grams Per Cracker
Hopefully this provides you with enough information you need to get started on your keto journey however if you still want to learn more, click here to order our 95 page Keto Guide For Women.
In our Keto Guide For Women has more than 95 pages of information and will walk you step by step through all the details you need to successfully master keto.
Some of the things you'll learn include:
- How to get into ketosis quickly and most importantly how to stay there
- How to determine which keto diet is right for you (yes there is more than one type of keto)
- How to use intermittent fasting to jumpstart your metabolism and get you burning fat quickly
For more details on our Keto Guide For Women click here.