A simple Keto for Dummies guide including a keto glossary. You probably have heard about Keto and the great health and weight loss result people of all ages are getting by following this great plan.
Curious about how to get on board with this diet and get similar results?
Keto requires skill in calculating and tracking macros and sticking to specific types of foods. Many people feel overwhelmed about what steps they need to take to begin this beneficial diet plan.
In this keto diet summary I’m going to help you overcome all these keto obstacles (and more).
Quick Start Guide to Keto Diet
With any diet, you’re going to want to follow the “rules” – right? If you’re not eating the recommended way, then technically you’re not following the diet.
Lucky for you, it’s not too hard to follow Keto, and we’re going to guide you along the way, so you’ll reach ketosis (the goal!) quickly!
So, to reach your goal of ketosis, we’re going to break down what you need to be eating and how much.
Keto is essentially a low carb, high fat and moderate protein diet.
When eating this way, your body goes into Ketosis. This allows your body to produce ketones, which is essentially what your body uses for fuel.
If you’re following a standard diet with a lot of carbs, you will NEVER get into ketosis. Ketosis requires high fat, low carb.
We will go into more about ketosis in the next chapter.
For now, let’s go into a little more details about what you should be eating….
How-To Follow your Correct Macros (aka macronutrients):
This term is essentially defined as your daily intake of carbs, fat, and proteins.
For each meal you want to be within this keto ratio:
- 60-75% of calories from fat
- 15-30% calories from protein
- 5-10% calories from net carbs.
- To start, you could keep your daily net carbs (total carbs without fiber) down to less than 50 grams a day… but, preferably 20-30 grams.
- Do what you can in the beginning and slowly lower your grams each day if you need to. To be sure you’re eating what you should, use a keto diet calculator.
In this chapter, I will go into more detail about ketosis, what it is, what the benefits are and how to get into ketosis.
Let’s dive in….
Ketosis is when your body goes into fat-burning mode. This is awesome right??? Isn’t it everyone’s goal to burn fat?! Anyways, normally our bodies function off of burning carbs/sugar.
This is because our diets usually consist of lots of carbs – – carbs are practically in everything… bread, pasta, crackers, beans, rice, fruits and some are even in veggies.
- What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a natural process our bodies go through daily in order to provide us with energy from ketones when sugar and carbs aren’t available.
When the body requires more energy but can’t burn sugar and carbs as fuel, it increases ketone levels, thus putting it in the metabolic state of ketosis.
So, with following a low carb or keto diet you’re not eating many carbs and you’re eating a lot of fat.
Therefore your body begins to look for a different source of fuel to burn, so since you’re eating high fat it then burns fat instead.
- Benefits of Ketosis?
The #1 reason why dieters want to enter a state of ketosis is that this is when the fat will begin melting off.
While the ketogenic diet is most commonly used for weight loss, there are also other benefits of ketosis.
For example, some scientists believe ketones provide fuel for the brain while protecting it from degeneration.
There are even some studies which have found a link between a ketogenic diet and the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia.
Diabetics also benefit from ketosis, as a keto diet is the healthiest way to reduce and control glycemic levels.
- How To Get In Ketosis
In order to get into ketosis the keto for dummies way, you’re obviously going to need to limit your carb intake and eliminate sugar from your diet.
If trying to achieve ketosis, it’s best to limit yourself to no more than 20 carbs a day.
However, this can vary depending on your health, so you’ll want to consult with your physician before starting a keto diet if you’re breastfeeding, a diabetic, etc.
- Wondering how you can tell if you’re in ketosis?
Most keto diet pros claim your urine will have a distinct odor and your breath may be a bit funky.
You can also use ketone strips to test levels using urine test strips or use a blood glucose monitor.
- How long does it take to enter ketosis?
Of course – everyone is different. Anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks is what experts say… but it really does vary from person to person.
All our bodies perform differently. Just hang in there. Stick to low carb and high fat and you will reach ketosis in no time!
So, now you know that keto is low carb, high fat, and moderate protein. So what does that mean? What can you eat?
It’s simple and we’ve created an extensive food list here.
You can even print it out to put on your fridge if you wanted. Generally, people on keto eat meats, eggs and high-fat foods like cheese, avocados, olives, oils and nuts/seeds. You will want to avoid anything filled with carbs. For example no grains, no beans, little to no fruit (low carb fruit is okay in moderation if it fits within your carbs for the current day), no bread, no pasta, no store-bought desserts. Keep in mind that there are lots of recipes out there that are keto-friendly – keto-friendly bread, keto-friendly dessert, keto-friendly pasta, etc.
So, don’t feel like you will be completely missing out on your favorite foods!
Again – I suggest our food list here: EXTENSIVE KETO FOOD LIST
I know how important it is to know what to eat and how to eat it. Therefore, I created a sample meal plan. In it, you will find breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas for one week.
Following a meal plan can help you keep on track and not stray away from the plan. This is especially true if you do meal prep ahead of time for the week. This means you would shop, chop and cook up the food before the start of the week, then make single-serving meals to eat throughout the week. You won’t make any excuses if you already had your food prepared and ready to go! You will definitely succeed following a meal plan with meal prep ahead of time.
Below is an easy low carb meal prep sample menu:
The rumors are true – The keto flu is real!
So, what is the keto flu? Also known as the “carb flu”, the keto flu is your body’s natural reaction to the process needed to achieve ketosis. When beginning a keto diet, your body is just learning how to adapt in order to burn fat instead of burning glucose. This can cause you to feel sick, hence the name “keto flu”.
Are you on a keto diet and think you might be experiencing a bit of keto flu? Here’s what you should look for and how you can cure it.
You are probably going through the motions of a keto flu if you feel any of the following:
- easily fatigued
- brain fog
- an upset stomach
- Outrageous Sugar cravings
Your body is undergoing changes as it’s being starved of carbohydrates and replenished with fats, so this is natural.
But don’t cave. You’ll get through this phase and begin burning fat like it’s nobody’s business.
- Hydrate + Add a Pinch of Salt to Your Water: The reason why you feel sick is that your body is being “flushed”, which can result in dehydration. This is why it’s important to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! You may even want to add a pinch of salt to a glass of water before drinking it, as sodium helps the body retain water.
- Get More Sodium, Potassium and Magnesium: These three essential electrolytes are often depleted when beginning a keto diet, so it’s recommended you eat foods that are rich in minerals and/or take a daily supplement. You can also drink electrolyte water or pickle juice.
- Go to bed early/take naps: While hydrating and filling up on electrolytes are the best ways to cure keto flu the keto for dummies way, you also want to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and finding ways to naturally relieve stress. The keto flu will soon pass and your body will become a fat-burning machine!
Eating more fats means you’re more likely to get into ketosis. Keep in mind that this goes hand-in-hand with eating very few carbs!!! You’ll want to stick to both points for ultimate results. But, the question is – why does high-fat help you lose weight?
You might have always thought high fat would make you gain weight. Right? That’s what we’ve always been taught for as long as I can remember. Fatty foods = fat on your thighs! But, this is just false.
Sure, eating really disgusting fatty fried foods from the county fair or fast food is NOT the way to go all the time. Especially if you’re eating fried high CARB foods. That’s where the problem lies usually – carbs. French fries and donuts fall into the bad-for-you and NOT KETO friendly fatty foods. Instead, opt for healthy fats.
Have you heard of Fat Bombs?
Fat bombs are the best! They are bite-sized snacks made mostly of healthy fats (coconut cream, nut butter, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, etc) along with keto-friendly flavorings. There are tons of ideas out there for fat bombs. You can go sweet or you can go savory with them. Click the link below for a complete guide on how to make them which includes a few tasty recipes. They will save you when you need a little snack, they are easy to make and they are a perfect way to get more fat into your diet.
Sweets and desserts are on a lot of peoples minds. They are something that a lot of us crave. This is natural. But it’s also kind of annoying when you’ve just begun a new low carb keto diet. The cool thing is, you can still have sweets on a keto diet.
Yes, that’s right! I said it! It just has to be sugar-free. So literally no sugar. So, how do you do this? You opt for sugar-free sweeteners.
Some favorite options include stevia and monk fruit. To learn more, check out our Keto Sweeteners Guide here.
It’s pretty cool the options out there these days when it comes to sugar-free sweeteners. You can use these to make your favorite sweet treats: Cakes, muffins, cookies, cake pops or whatever you desire, really. You can also use sugar-free sweeteners in veggie smoothies, in your plain unsweetened yogurt or wherever your heart desires. For example, I sometimes like to add a tsp of stevia to my smoothies. I add some cucumber, kale and a few carrot sticks – blend with some stevia and a bit of water to get it going and I have a tasty smoothie! If your sugar tooth is craving something sweet.
If you’re all about being plant-based, vegetarian or vegan – don’t sweat it. You can still follow a keto diet. The truth is, you just need to stay within the low carb, high-fat parameters. Meat eaters and vegetarians/vegans can both follow a low carb and high-fat diet. With a little adjustment to the diet, you can still get into ketosis as a vegetarian or vegan.
Many people who are vegetarian or vegan follow a keto diet. And they still achieve the results they’re looking for. Check out MeatFreeKeto.com for example. She’s created a whole business around this topic. To go keto on a vegan or vegetarian diet, you would just eat plants. It’s that simple. If you’re worried about protein – keep in mind that plants provide protein, too!
Just remember: stay away from starchy or high carb plants (fruits, beans, grains, etc). These will only keep you out of ketosis and therefore the whole purpose for keto is thwarted. You might find this type of diet plan hard and/or restrictive, but it’s doable! Get creative and you will succeed!
Get our 1 Week Vegetarian Keto Diet Meal Plan here: An amazing 1 Week Vegetarian Keto Diet Meal Plan
Being on any diet plan or fitness routine or whatever, there is always acronyms or words you don’t know. In keto, for example, you’ll see HFLC, SAD, AS, or PCOS… and you’re probably thinking what the heck is that?? Well, stop stressing – here is a simple guide to follow and know the most popular acronyms and terms you’ll find while following a Keto Diet.
- AS – Artificial Sweetener
- BF% – Body Fat Percentage
- BG – Blood Glucose
- BPC – Bulletproof Coffee
- CAL – Calories
- CKD – Cyclical Keto Diet (great for those who do high-intensity workouts)
- CW – Current Weight
- Fat Bomb – High Fat Snack
- GI – Glycemic Index
- GW – Goal Weight
- HF – High Fat
- HF – Hormone Free
- HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training
- HW – Highest Weight
- HWC – Heavy Whipping Cream
- IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- IF – Intermittent Fasting
- IR – Insulin Resistance
- KFD – Keto for Dummies
- Lazy Keto – in general, this means you’re not really keeping track of all macros
- LBM – Lean Body Mass
- LCHF – Low Carb High Fat
- LC – Low Carb
- Macros – aka macronutrients: Carbs, Fats and Proteins
- MCT – Medium Chain Triglycerides, a healthy oil usually made from Coconuts
- NC – Net Carbs
- NSV – Non-Scale Victory
- PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- RDA – recommended daily allowance
- SAD – Standard American Diet
- SA – Sugar Alcohols
- SF – Sugar-Free
- Shark Week – Menstruation
- SKD – Standard Keto Diet
- SW – Starting Weight
- T1D – Type 1 Diabetes
- T2D – Type 2 Diabetes
- WOE – Way of Eating
- WOL – Way of Living
- This keto for dummies guide is for those who like to keep things simple and easy.
- No need to complicate things, just keep it simple and you can still reach your goals. Complications only lead to frustration and lack of motivation.
To enjoy further the Keto Lifestyle/Journey, we would be glad to FOLLOW us at Pinterest with a lot of activities where the Keto beginners are getting fruitful information about Keto/Low-carb recipes, Meal Plans and facilitating with Keto Guide from basics as well.
Not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Before making any major lifestyle changes, be sure to consult with your doctor to see if these changes are right for you.