In a nutshell we need to determine how much carbs, fat and protein we need.
Generally, popular ketogenic resources suggest an average of 70-80% fat from total daily calories, 5-10% carbohydrate, and 10-20% protein. For a 1000-calorie diet, this translates to about 83 grams fat, 20 grams carbohydrate, and 38 grams protein.
Carbs is easy: 20 grams NET carbs MAX - you can do it!
Protein depends upon your optimal body weight: 1.2 - 2 grams of protein per one kilogram of lean body mass (or more if you’re looking to build muscle). Keto-friendly proteins include tofu and soy-based products, as well as most nuts and seeds, although some are higher in carbs than others.
Fat: The simple answer is, eat enough fat to keep you satiated. Remember, you don't have to eat all your fat - use it to satiate you but don't over consume or you'll gain weight. If you want to lose weight, then you should be a bit careful about how much fat you’re adding. Do eat enough to feel satisfied – that’s important to make it sustainable. But more than that will slow down your weight loss. You want your body to burn off body fat rather than added dietary fat. In general, I keep it to 100 grams or less.
Once you reach a normal weight, you will need to add more fat to maintain it. You’ll know when that time comes as your hunger will increase. Just follow your hunger, there’s normally no need to ever count calories.
Your body runs on fat (eggs, meat, avocado, butter, nuts etc.) OR sugar (corn, beans, rice, potatoes, bread etc.). When you remove the sugar your insulin hormone stops storing fat, as you will be using it for energy!
How do I Start? First thing to do:
Clear out all your kitchen cupboards of all the non-Keto foods.
This is essential because if you have goodies or non-Keto items stashed away in your kitchen cabinet, it will be difficult to resist them especially in the beginning. Later it will be easier to resist foods, I promise!
I will give you a list that shows which food items need to be banished and which items can stay.
I was absolutely shocked at the items that I thought we're so healthy such as sunflower oil and safflower oil, whole wheat bread, beans, etc. but they are non-Keto items.
If you have other family members living with you that are not on keto, (which was in my case), here’s what I did. I asked my husband to keep any non-Keto food in one room that I didn't access, this way it was out of sight and out of mind.
Then go grocery shopping with a list in hand of Keto items and stock up.
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose (sugar/carbs) for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body.
Starch (Corn, whole wheat, beans etc.) turns into simple sugar in your body.
If you eat sugar, you feel hungry, tired and not healthy. Your body will store that sugar as fat. Then your body is running on sugar not fat.
Essentially, you will be turned into a fat burning machine on the keto diet 24/7 even when you are sleeping. We eat almost no carbs (20 grams of NET carbs per day), your body runs out of the sugar and then it starts burning fat! If you are still consuming sugar (carbs) your fat will not be burned as the body more easily burns sugar than fat.
The great thing is, we get energy from fat!
On the ketogenic diet, when you run out of sugar/carbs, the body (your liver) converts the fat into energy molecules called Ketones; which are a great fuel for our bodies. We call this Ketosis. It's really your body being fueled by fat, not sugar.
This is a good thing! The body only runs on 2 things, sugar or fat. Nothing else.
When we derive our bodies of sugar (carbs) we burn the fat that is in our body, thereby losing weight!
The fat satiates you, so you can lose weight without being hungry!
Eat when you are hungry, you won't need to eat so often as you feel satiated. You don't even need to exercise to lose weight, although exercise is certainly important to your body, it's not a component of weight loss!
The whole point of the Keto diet, is to get into Ketosis so our bodies can burn our fat, once the sugar in our bodies is used up, we start to burn fat! Yay!
If you reduce your carbs to 5%, it usually takes 4-5 days to achieve nutritional ketosis, defined as beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) blood levels above 0.5mmol/L.
All foods can raise insulin, which leads to obesity. But there is another important contributor to high insulin levels outside of food – insulin resistance. This refers to the situation where normal insulin levels are unable to force the blood glucose into the cells. In response, the body raises insulin in a knee-jerk reaction to ‘overcome’ this resistance, and these high levels will drive obesity. But how did insulin resistance develop in the first place?
Our body follows the biologic principle of homeostasis. If exposed to any prolonged stimulus, the body quickly develops resistance.
Insulin resistance is simply a reaction to too much insulin. The body compensates by raising insulin, but that only makes things worse because higher insulin levels lead to more resistance. This is a vicious cycle.
Eating constantly does not provide the critical period of very low insulin to balance the high insulin periods. Persistently high insulin leads to insulin resistance, which leads only to higher insulin. This is the vicious cycle of weight gain that we must break with fasting.
Rules for ‘When to Eat’
Later, I'll post more of what we can enjoy on Keto!
In a nutshell, Insulin (a hormone made by the pancreas which regulates the amount of glucose in the blood) allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates for energy or to store glucose for future use (i.e. Fat on your body).
Too much Insulin creates weight gain.
We need to know about Insulin even if we aren't diabetic or struggle with low or high blood sugar levels.
Macronutrients are the main suppliers of nutrients in your body. We often shorten the name to "Macros".
Each of these macronutrients provides energy (or Nourishment) in the form of calories. The energy you get from macros:
Three different macronutrients stimulate Insulin to different degrees:
Most foods contain varying combinations of the three macronutrients and therefore raises insulin to varying degrees. For example, refined carbohydrate-rich foods like cookies have the greatest effect on raising insulin and glucose. Fat-rich foods like salmon or avocado have little effect on insulin.
This differing ability to stimulate insulin means that foods also differ in their fattening effect. Insulin-stimulating foods like glucose are more fattening than non-insulin stimulating foods like lettuce, even if you eat the same number of calories. In simple terms, 100 calories of cookies, is far more fattening than 100 calories of salmon.
Other factors decrease insulin, protecting against weight gain. New research shows Acids found in fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchee) and vinegar can lower the insulin effect of foods. (*)
Failure to lose weight is NOT YOUR FAULT!
If you have tried calorie restriction to lose weight and failed, understand this. You were expected to fail.
Let me answer how to start on the Keto Diet. I'll break it down into 5 quick steps!