How to start a Keto Diet – A guide for beginners

how to start a keto diet

Why should you start a keto diet?

Yeah.. That´s a good question.. Why should you start a keto diet?

A ketogenic or keto diet is one of the most discussed weight loss strategies at the moment.

Not only can you lose weight effectively but will also improve your well-being in many ways following a keto plan. 

Keto reduces your stress levels, helps with digestion related problems, it´s a good sleep aid, gives you more energy, makes your skin look good… and list just keeps going on!

Keto seems to be one of the fastest ways to reach your weight loss goal.

And what is the best part of this diet?

The fact that you can enjoy good tasting foods and have your tummy full with every meal. 

What is a keto diet?

What is a keto diet? Simply put it’s a diet that includes max 20 grams of carbohydrates daily.

It also includes a moderate amount of protein and most of the daily energy comes from fat. 

A keto diet have a major effect on your body´s hormones. It will balance them and provide you an effective weapon to fight against obesity.

Let me explain why..

Everytime you eat you spike your blood sugar. At the same time our pancreas releases insulin hormone to lower your blood sugar down.

More you eat carbs, more you spike your blood sugar and insulin.

It´s good to know that insulin is a fat storing hormone.

As long as you have it in your blood you cannot burn fat.

The best way to burn fat and lose weight is to lower your insulin levels. This can be done with keto diet and intermittent fasting.

This article focus on keto diet. I will provide you more information about intermittent fasting in other post.

a guide to start a keto diet

A healthy keto diet

You should be aware that there are a lot of differences in between keto diets.

Basically, you can get in ketosis only by lowering your carbs to max 20 gr a day.

You can you sausages, fast food burger patties (without bun) and drink diet sodas all day long and you might get some results with this tactic.

This is what called “dirty keto” and I never recommend you to do that.

Even you it works for some when it comes to losing weight I can guarantee you it´s not healthy in a long run.

I am a certified keto coach by Dr.Berg and I advise you to follow his Healthy Keto Diet.

It will give you a good and healthy start on your keto journey.

When your body is healthy and feeling well, your body will start losing weight naturally.

A healthy keto diet is a little different than most of the keto diets. It will allow you to eat more vegetables in a daily basis.

I (mostly) use Dr.Berg´s guidelines in my coaching. All my clients will start their keto diet following a basic healthy keto diet plan.

Since I offer personal keto coaching I can make personalized changes on my clients plans if needed. This is the biggest benefit you can receive when you buy personal coaching.

Sometimes less is more 

When it comes to starting a new diet many of us can think that we need to do everything at once (I must admit that I used to think like this myself too).

But keto is much more than just a diet. It is a lifestyle.

I would not recommend you to start it just to lose some weight and think that you will get back to your old eating habits when you reach your goal. 

If you want to stay at your goal weight and feel good, you need to stick with this eating plan.

Otherwise you will end up in the same situation where you were when you first started. 

So the key for success is to start learning new habits and integrate them into your daily life. You don’t have to cut down all your carbs immediately, if you feel like it is too hard to do.

If you take it slow you can avoid something called keto flu that might damage your new diet. 

Keto flu

If you eat a lot of carbohydrates every day your body is used to using sugar as fuel.

When you cut down your carbs and your body will start using fat as its energy source you might get withdrawal symptoms from carbohydrates.

These symptoms are sometimes called keto flu. Keto flu can decrease your motivation to stick on your new diet and it might be beneficial to some to avoid it.  

Some common keto flu symptoms are headache, fatigue, and flu like symptoms. Even if these symptoms are annoying they are not dangerous but a sign that there are big changes going on inside your body.

How long these symptoms last varies between people. It can be anything in between a few days to few weeks. 

 

What is the best way for you?

You are the best person to answer this question!

If you know that going through bad keto flu will make you discouraged to continue this diet you should consider to start slowly.

Give yourself time and remember there is no hurry. You are about to make a huge life change here.

When it happens little by little it will most likely become a part of your life that you will commit to in a long run. 

You most likely ended up reading this blog post because you are interested in starting a keto diet.

You just don’t know how.

I will give you 3 steps to follow to start your keto journey by reducing carbohydrates one step at time.

You can choose your own speed and make your own schedule when it is a good time for you to proceed forward. 

If you already avoid processed foods you can jump over step 1.

And if your diet is now low carb and you want to get in ketosis just start from step 3.

Following these 3 steps in your own comfortable phase will give you the keys for the successful life change.

the best way to start a keto diet

3 steps to ketosis

  1. Cut down sugar, grains and processed foods

Your first step is to stop eating sugar, grains or any processed foods.

Avoid eating any sugar, pasta, bread, biscuits, pancakes, cereals and other grain products. Replace them with things like sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, quinoa and fruits.

Focus on eating real foods. Food that doesn’t come in a can or boxes. Don’t buy anything that you can just heat up in the microwave. 

Start cooking your own foods. Add vegetables in your every meal and gradually increase the amount up to 500 grams a day. 

If you need help to add vegetables in your diet, I give you tips here.

  1. Start cutting down carbohydrates

Stop eating high carbohydrate foods. Cut down sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, quinoa and fruits from your diet. 

You can still eat carbohydrates from berries, nuts and vegetables (excluding potatoes and sweet potatoes).

Make sure you get good natural fats and protein in every meal. 

You don’t have to count carbohydrates from your meals. While you make these changes you will end up to have a quite low carb diet naturally. 

  1. Cut down carbs even more to get into ketosis

A low carb diet will become a keto diet when you cut down your daily carbohydrate intake to less than 20 grams.

Some people can handle more carbs and they might go into ketosis even if they consume 50 grams of carbs each day. 

In this step you might want to start counting your carbohydrate intake. When you focus on eating non starchy vegetables you will end up eating very little carbs naturally.  

Make sure your meals consist of protein, fat and plenty of non starchy vegetables.

If adding vegetables to your diet seems to be hard, read my tips to do so HERE.

You also can consume some “higher” carb vegetables such as carrots and pumpkin (excluding starchy potatoes and sweet potatoes) just make sure that amounts will stay small.

What should you take into consideration before starting a keto diet? 

I encourage you to do your research before you  start a keto diet.

If you have a condition that requires medication  or you are not sure if keto diet is suitable for you always ask your doctor’s opinion. 

Note that the internet is full of instructions on how to start low carb and keto diets.

Some of them are better than others. Pay attention from where you get your information. 

(You might be in a situation where you don’t feel like looking for the right information yourself. Or maybe you simply don’t have time to do so.

In this case I recommend you to buy this service from a certified keto coach. 

A certified keto coach will provide you reliable and professional help.

I wish you good luck on your journey to start a keto diet.

I know you got this : )

With love, Sari

Thanks for reading. 

If you like this article and think that it might be useful for someone you know please feel free to share.

References:

Dr.Berg. 2018. Dr. Berg’s Healthy Ketogenic Diet Basics: START HERE.

Dr. Berg’s Healthy Ketogenic Diet Basics: START HERE – YouTube

Heikkilä, A. 2019. Antti Heikkilä´s Health Club (Antti Heikkilän terveysklubi). Toxic keto (Toksinen keto). https://www.anttiheikkila.com/blogi/toksinen-keto/

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