Keto Diet for Beginners

Is there a keto diet for beginners?  Where do you start?  How do you start?  There’s so much to learn. If you’re new to the Keto Diet you may be asking those questions and more.  And that makes perfect sense because you want to get off on the right foot, right?  So, if you want to improve your overall health and you’re looking for a sensible way to eat that won’t leave you hungry, maybe Keto is for you.

Obviously, you’ve heard of the keto diet, but you have a lot of unanswered questions.  And research on the internet can be overwhelming. I get that. There is SO much information out there! Whew!! It would be better if you could find everything you needed in one place. And… you have.  That’s my goal – to help you get all the information you need easily so you can get going.

Lucky for you, I love working with people who are just beginning the keto diet. And I love your questions. So, let’s start at the beginning, as they say!

Keto Beginners

What Is a Keto Diet?

Keto is simply short for ketogenic. A keto diet is considered a very low carb diet (VLCD). Mostly the diet is centered around eating a good deal of fat, a moderate amount of protein and very few carbs. In this combination your body produces ketones as fuel for your brain and your body instead of depending on glucose from carbohydrates for fuel. It’s a different way to fuel your body and it is advantageous in many ways.

We know that if you eat lots of carbs and sugar, your body will produce insulin to keep your blood glucose in check. And we know if you continually eat too many carbs, then the insulin will have to store the extra energy into fat cells. As a result, you will gain body fat. But if you don’t eat a whole lot of carbs, your body will love using the fat you eat for energy, and it will also dip into the fat you’ve stored. You become a fat burning machine! Your brain and body use the ketones efficiently for fuel and you reap many health benefits from the process! It’s awesome!

A keto diet promotes eating real, whole foods. It’s that simple.  You eat meat, fish, chicken, eggs, cheese, some nuts, seeds, and non-starchy vegetables.  You stop eating unhealthy processed foods and carby things like breads and pasta. Yes… it’s that simple.

Isn’t It Just Cutting Calories?

The keto diet for beginners is not just about cutting calories… not at all. Generally speaking, you can eat more calories on a keto diet yet lose body fat. The best feature of a keto diet is how much satiety it produces. By that I mean you become full on what you eat so you’re not hungry between meals. Heck, you may even forget to eat some days!

This is very different than the Standard American Diet (SAD), where you eat foods that spike your blood sugar. But what goes up must come down and when your blood sugar comes crashing down a couple of hours later, you’re famished again.

But a diet higher in fat and protein, like in the keto diet, doesn’t cause that big sugar spike, so it doesn’t come crashing down.   As a result, you don’t end up “hangry” between meals. I don’t know about you but when I’m hungry I get very cranky and anxious and miserable. My hubby is much happier with the ketogenic version of his wife! Ahem!

Isn’t It a Bit Complicated?

It’s not really complicated. Basically, you’re taking away sugar and carbohydrate-rich foods and adding more fat and protein instead.

Rather than having pasta and meat sauce, you could have spaghetti squash with the meat sauce and a drizzle of olive oil and some extra Parmesan cheese! Think bacon and eggs for breakfast instead of cereal and fruit juice. With a breakfast like that, lunch will come and go before you get a hunger pang!

Do I Have To Track My Food?

You will need to keep track of your macronutrients, at least in the beginning. And thankfully there are a lot of free apps available that can help you with that. Of your total daily calorie consumption your macronutrients need to be 70-75% fat, 20-25% protein and 5-10% carbohydrates. In due time you’ll be able to look at your meal and know you’re in the right range.  But to start… keep track.

Side Effects?

In starting a keto diet for beginners you will probably experience mild side effects. I’ll discuss those in a separate article, but they're not serious. The most problematic side effect is called “keto flu”. You may feel a little run down, tired, and perhaps get a headache. Oh, and you’ll pee a lot. But that just indicates that your body is switching from running on glucose to running on fat. After a few days you’ll be feeling normal again but with more energy and less brain fog! Yeah!  If you'd like to learn more about the pros and cons and if the keto diet works, have a peek at this article.

Dining Out

It’s not a big deal to join your friends and family for a nice restaurant meal.  It’s actually quite straight forward.  Skip the breadbasket, and ask for a salad instead of potatoes, then order a piece of meat and some roasted veggies on the side. Going for fast food?  Order the cheeseburger without the bun and hold the condiments. I’ll usually order 2 beef patties with extra cheese, no buns, no ketchup or relish, but with extra mayonnaise. And a big yes to the garlic pickle slice!

Do You Need Professional Help to Get Started?

You can certainly start a keto diet on your own. Millions of people have done so and with great success. But it can seem like a huge challenge for some people and if that’s the case for you, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting the help of a certified coach.

I’ve coached many men and women, and I used a coach myself when I was just starting out. It made the transition simple and comfortable because I had a great guide. If you feel you could benefit from a coach’s help, I’m here to provide guidance and support. And I can even help you set up tailor made food plans as well.

We know there is no single diet to suit everyone. Everyone is different with their own likes and dislikes. And not everyone needs to be very low carb.  That’s because some people can tolerate more carbs than others. However, there are others who have to eat nearly all meat and fat and avoid carbs altogether.  A coach, like me, who specializes in therapeutic carbohydrate restriction, can help with getting off on the right foot. Learn more about my services here.

Is A Keto Diet For Beginners Worth The Effort?

The keto diet is about much more than just losing weight. It can also help reduce many common health risks such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and stroke, just to name a few.

And a keto diet is about way more than fitting into your old high school jeans. We need to look at the keto diet for beginners as a whole package, not just weight loss. What does that look like?  It means making a commitment to yourself. It's reaching health goals and maintaining your wellbeing. It's doing things like adding a little bit of regular physical activities, getting good sleep, and practicing some mindfulness techniques.  Even adding just one of these changes along with tweaking what you eat will provide you a more balanced lifestyle. In simple terms… it’s about taking good care of yourself.

Some folks need a little help on their journey to wellness.  If that’s you, I'm more than happy to help you. You can learn more about my services here.

Whichever way you decide to proceed, a keto diet is definitely worth exploring.

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