The ketogenic diet can be very intimidating. There are restrictions on how many grams of carbohydrates that you can eat each day. There are foods that have too many carbohydrates. You will get knocked out of ketosis for eating too much protein, you will go out of ketosis for too many carbohydrates. Gluconeogenesis will occur and what the heck is that anyway? Are you going to be able to stay in ketosis? It is enough to make your head spin.
Getting started with the keto diet for weight loss doesn’t have to be frustrating. You don’t have to be good at measuring every ounce of food and tracking each and every carbohydrate in order to have success with the ketogenic diet. You just have to keep in mind some guidelines and then the ketogenic diet becomes simple. As you progress with it, it becomes easier and easier because gradually you stop craving snacks. You can focus on making quality ketogenic meals and eating foods that really nourish you.
Creating Your Keto Diet Food Plan
The best place start the keto diet for weight loss is by getting a list of ketogenic “approved” foods and discovering which ones that you actually enjoy eating. I would print one out and highlight the ketogenic foods that I like and can already make a dish out of the ingredients. For most people, this is going to be something like eggs and bacon. Then they may get stuck because they love having a hamburger for lunch, but can they really have one without the ketchup and the bun? Focus on what you like, not what you can’t have.
The general guidelines for your keto diet food plan are going to be that you can eat lots of leafy vegetables, celery, spinach, lettuce, kale. You can have unlimited amounts of fats, including butter, coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, and heavy whipping cream. You can have some non-starchy cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, onions, and cauliflower. Finally, you can forget about fruits unless they are berries. Berries are lower in carbohydrates, so you will be able to incorporate some of them into your diet.
Once you have figured out which foods that you enjoy eating, you are going to create some ketogenic meal plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some great ideas for ketogenic breakfasts include a crustless spinach and mushroom quiche, scrambled eggs, bacon, kefir smoothies and berries and cream. You’ll find a way to make it through breakfast with some foods that you enjoy.
Lunch doesn’t have to be difficult. However, it may be easiest just to grab a salad and add a protein to it, such as grilled chicken, tuna fish, salmon, boiled eggs or deviled eggs. Since I pack my lunch for work, I almost always pack a salad with a protein. I tend to dress my salad simply with olive oil and vinegar, and salt and pepper. However, there are a wide variety of low carbohydrate salad dressings that are available to you. Just check the nutrition label and make sure you aren’t adding too much! Another great idea for lunch on the go are lettuce wraps. You can wrap up your favorite sandwich fillings in lettuce and enjoy!
Dinner can be a combination of many wonderful things. I tend to like making a stir fry with chicken and chopped vegetables, but you can also modify your family’s favorites and make them ketogenic. I modified our chili recipe to replace the high carbohydrate beans with eggplant and other low carbohydrate veggies. It was still tasty, but it was missing the high amount of carbohydrates.
If you are struggling with dinner ideas, you can pick out an ingredient from a list of ketogenic foods that you enjoy and type in “ketogenic beef recipes.” Google and pinterest can give you a lot of ketogenic dinner ideas.
Calculating Macros For Keto Diet Weight Loss
The easiest macro to calculate is going to be your carbohydrate number. It should be between 20-50 carbohydrates. The protein grams that you will eat and the fat grams that you will take in are going to vary from person to person based on your body size and weight. Myfitnesspal is an app that many keto dieters use to calculate and track how much protein, carbohydrate and fat they are eating on a daily basis.
You do not need to be calculating every gram to start the keto diet for weight loss. It is essential to calculate every gram of fat and carbohydrate if your goal is to stop seizures, but for weight loss, focusing on reducing that carbohydrate number to around 20 grams per day is going to be your main goal.
My sister was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 3. I asked her how on earth did she keep track of all the carbohydrates that she ate. She gave me the simplest answer. I just knew what I could have at any time of the day and ate that most of the time. The other times, I would eat small amounts of things that had moderate amounts of carbohydrates and avoid things that had high amounts of carbohydrates.
Printing out a copy of a ketogenic food list and highlighting the free foods that you love will help you get started with your own ketogenic diet meal plan. Having an idea of what you will eat for the week will lead you to having more success with the ketogenic diet for weight loss overall. I’ve tried a variety of diets from Autoimmune Paleo to raw vegan and finally the ketogenic diet. The key to success is always having a plan and an idea of what you are going to be eating for the week. The thing I love about the ketogenic diet over the other diets that I have tried is that I feel full almost all of the time. After I get past the first few days, I don’t have cravings for snack or junk food.
Realistic Weight Loss for the Keto Diet
Some people think that because they are doing the ketogenic diet, the weight is going to fall off like it did for their friends and family. However, you can ruin your weight loss on the ketogenic diet if you increase your calorie intake too high from fats and eat too many carbohydrates. Your calorie intake should remain about the same on the ketogenic diet. For adults that is going to be about 2000 calories per day. Most of those calories are going to come from fat, so you aren’t going to feel much hunger. You can expect to lose about a pound or two per week on the ketogenic diet.
Some of the other health benefits that you can expect from the ketogenic diet in addition to weight loss are a decrease in inflammation in your body and increased energy. Your insulin levels even out and blood sugar levels improve. Since the main driver of high triglycerides is carbohydrate intake, when people cut carbohydrates, they have a tendency to have a reduction in triglycerides. Your blood pressure tends to go down as well. The ketogenic diet also improves neurological conditions such as epilepsy and alzheimer’s. This is due to the fact that the brain has the ability to utilize ketones, which are formed when the carbohydrate intake is low or during times of starvation.