How to Effectively Implement the Ketogenic Diet
Aloha and welcome back to part 3 of the Keto Diet Masterclass. During part 2 we had a good look at both the benefits as well as the potential side effects involved with the ketogenic diet. Now that you have a clear understanding of what to expect of keto, it’s time we break down what it takes to get started.
That’s exactly what part 3 is designed to do— to walk you through the steps necessary to effectively implement the ketogenic diet. Which means, nailing your macros, eating the right fats, and holding yourself accountable. So enough of the introduction, let’s get right into the material.
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Getting Started With Keto
Establishing a well-formulated ketogenic diet may not be as complicated as you’re anticipating. The health and growth of the human body relies on three macronutrients: fat, protein and carbohydrates.
It’s likely you’re already accustomed to eating all three in ascending order. If so, you’ll simply need to reevaluate your current distribution and reprogram your body to consume its macros in descending order.
What does that even mean?
It means, if you’re like most, you’re accustomed to consuming tremendous amounts of carbs and modest amounts of fat. And the first step in shifting to a ketogenic diet is to reprioritize your macros.
What are macros?
Macros is a term that’s often thrown around in the ketogenic community. The term macros is short for macronutrients. And macronutrients are the energy-giving components of food that fuel our body. They include: carbohydrates, protein and fat.
This is a basic breakdown of your macros on the ketogenic diet:
70-80% of your dietary intake should be derived from fat. 10-20% of your dietary intake should be derived from protein. 5-10% of your dietary intake should be derived from carbohydrates.
So how do you know if you’re consuming the appropriate percentages?
As we know, in order to lose weight you want to consume fewer calories than you burn. Total caloric need takes into account: sex, age, BMR, activity level, as well as rate of digestion and absorption. Calculating appropriate caloric needs can be a bit tedious and unnecessarily complicated. However, not to worry, I have an easy solution to offer you.
My fellow fat-heads at RuledMe.com have put together an easy-to-use keto calculator. They’ve transformed the arduous process of calculating macros into a quick and painless experience. Their keto-calculator accounts for age, sex, activity levels, weight-loss goals, amongst other important factors. What’s more, unlike other many other web-based keto-calculators, their calculator provides you with informative visual guides in case you get stuck. Nice!
As a highly active 145 pound, 39 year old female, RuledMe.com has approximated that in order to slim down, I should be consuming approximately 1,499 calories per day consisting of 112 grams of protein, 108 grams of fat and 20 grams of net carbohydrates.*
*If you’re confused about net carbs, I’ve got you covered. Click here to clear up the confusion.
Now I know you may be thinking…
20 grams of carbs a day?! There are 27 grams of carbohydrates in my favorite IPA. 🙁
Yes, I know. it may be time to grieve some losses my friend. Unless you’re accustomed to drinking Michalob Ultra, beer is pretty much outta the question on keto. The good news is, once you’ve met your target weight, the ketogenic diet can be easily converted into a much more manageable and forgiving experience— which may involve an occasional IPA. 🙂
In the meantime, understand that the ketogenic diet (as with any other weight loss plan) may feel like a restrictive experience at first. There will be all sorts of foods that are essentially off-limits. Initially, your diet may feel limited and boring. But don’t be discouraged. Keeping it simple at first can be the key to success.
Once you’ve mastered your macros you can begin experimenting with all sorts of variations and keto-friendly recipes. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For now, let’s begin by laying out some ground rules. The following is a list of 3 basic ketogenic guidelines.
3 Basic Ketogenic Guidelines
Keto Guideline #1: Eliminate sugar and starch from your diet.
Well, let’s be honest. Guideline number 1 is fully loaded and clearly the most difficult guideline to master— which is why we’re starting with it. As we mentioned back in part 1, the ketogenic diet is truly a sugar elimination diet— and kicking sugar is no easy feat. It’s SO challenging in fact that I spent a year developing a comprehensive program breaking down the steps necessary to effectively eliminate sugar from your diet, for good.
If the thought of going cold turkey on sugar and starch is absolutely crippling, you may want to consider easing into the ketogenic diet. My signature program, Breaking up with Sugar is designed to do just that. Breaking up with Sugar is a comprehensive 30-day sugar elimination diet complete with sustainable guidelines, meal plans and grocery lists. Click here if you’re interested in learning more.
What Counts as Carbs?
Now you may be thinking…
Wait! What about my 20g of carbs per day? Does that mean that I can have a handful of french fries or a small bag of potato chips? Or how about a couple of Oreo cookies?
Well, I will admit you’ve uncovered a common loophole. When I first began receiving keto inquiries I found that many people were blowing their carb count on one hardly-worth-it daily cheat. And that’s because we tend to think of carbs as pastries, pastas, rice and bread, not as fruits and veggies. Blowing your carb count on nutrient void starches will not only slow the ketogenic adaptation, it will also compromise your health.
In order to effectively implement the ketogenic diet your carb count should be reserved for veggies.
What you’ll quickly discover is that carbohydrates are hiding in EVERYTHING. Avocado, onions, celery, garlic, even coffee has carbs. Let’s have a quick look at some keto-appropriate carbs.
3 Basic Veggie Guidelines
Veggie Guideline #1: Green Leafys Are Best!
As a general rule of thumb, the greener the leaf, the healthier it is for you. So no, iceberg lettuce is not going to cut it. Here is a list of some choice green leafys along with an acclaimed health benefit.
Collard greens – lowers cholesterol
Spinach – suppresses appetite
Arugula – anti-cancer + anti-diabetic
Swiss chard – antioxidant rich
Dandelion – purifies blood
Kale – reduces risk of heart disease
Red leaf lettuce – strengthens bones
Watercress – anti-aging
Turnip greens – reduces risk of osteoporosis
Veggie Guideline #2: Choose Alkaline Over Acidic
Alkaline and acidic are terms associated with pH balance. How the body reacts to certain foods is what determines whether foods are alkaline-forming or acid-forming. Research shows that diets consisting of highly alkaline foods result in an increase in alkalinity, which helps protect healthy cells and balance essential mineral levels. Therefore, I recommend turning the following list of alkaline vegetables into dietary staples.
Herbs, such as basil, mint, parsley and cilantro
And Sea Vegetables such as wakame, kelp and Spirulina
Now keep in mind there are all sorts of veggies I made no mention of. This certainly doesn’t mean that they’re off the menu, I just didn’t want to keep you here all day with my ‘best of veggies’ lists. Moving on.
Veggie Guideline #3: Avoid or Limit Starchy Veggies
Starchy vegetables are complex carbohydrates. And although complex carbs are said to prolong satiation and diminish sugary cravings, they do in fact break down in the body as sugar and therefore affect ketosis.
The following is a list of vegetables to avoid or consume in extremely small quantities.
Potatoes such as sweet, white and Okinawan
Keto Guideline #2: Consume Moderate Amounts of Protein.
Quick forewarning: Protein can be easily overdone on the ketogenic diet because most of us have been programmed to consume far more protein than need be on a daily basis. For most, the central focus of our plate is on the protein— the steak, the burger, even the filet of fish, not the veggies or the olive oil drizzled over the top.
Keep in mind, unless you’re taking your swoll self to the gym for serious sweat sessions per day you don’t need any more than a palm-sized piece of protein with each meal.
So which protein choices are best on the ketogenic diet?
I’ve broken this down into 3 potential sub-categories.
3 Categories of Ketogenic Proteins
1. Conscious Carnivores
Chicken, all parts- including the skin, thighs legs and breasts
Eggs, including the yolk
Beef- especially nice marbleized cuts such as ribeyes or strip steaks
Animal organs such as liver, heart and kidneys
Pork such as chops, bacon and sausage
And whole fat, raw cheese
3. Plant-based protein for Ketotarians
Food labels are especially important when it comes to animal products.
Because not only have our commercial farms gotten WAY outta control in terms of animal cruelty; they’re also contaminating the meat with all sorts of harmful hormones and antibiotics.
Now I could certainly drag you down the rabbit hole on this topic and I absolutely do within my program Breaking up with Sugar. But for the purposes of this masterclass I’m simply going to provide you with a simple list of guidelines to follow when purchasing animal products.
The following is a list of 4 guidelines to ensure you’re purchasing high-quality meat.
4 Guidelines to Purchasing Quality Meat
1. Organic is better for the animal and better for you
Right now, the most federally regulated label on your food, in terms of upholding specific government requirements, is the U.S. Department of Agriculture Organic seal.
2. Reach for organic, pasture-raised poultry and eggs
Free range can be a bit deceiving, in fact the label can be used as long as the animal has some access to the outdoors each day, even if just for a few minutes. It does not mean that the animal ever actually went outdoors to roam freely. Pasture raised holds higher standards than free-range.
3. Consume grass-fed beef, goat, lamb and bison
For the record beef, goat, lamb and bison are all designed to eat grass, not corn or other animal byproducts.
4. Purchase nitrate, hormone and antibiotic free meat
Antibiotics wreak havoc like little atomic bombs on the body. We don’t need anymore of that garbage being pumped into our system because honestly the extent of the ramifications has yet to be determined. And I don’t know about you but I’m not keen on the idea of becoming a test subject. Alright, alright I promised not to drag you down the rabbit hole. So let’s move on.
Keto Guideline #3: Include healthy fats at every meal.
By now I’m sure you’ve fully grasped the concept that if the body is not fueling off starch and sugar it will effectively feast off of fat. But that’s exactly where you could go wrong. Many ketogenic diet plans play up the fact that the ketogenic diet is basically a fat feast. Meaning as long as you’re tossing out the bun you can have a greasy burger topped off with American cheese and Helman’s mayonnaise. Or a wedge salad sprinkled with heaps of bleu cheese crumbles and chopped bacon. Or deep fried hot wings dipped in Hidden Valley Ranch.
Here’s the deal. You can absolutely maintain ketosis and shred weight by consuming any of the meals I listed above. In fact, I’ve even put them to the test on my cheat days. The only problem is, there’s nothing healthy about it. Yes, you’ll continue to lose weight but you’ll also continue to clog your arteries and raise your cholesterol. Which in turn increases your risk for Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes, amongst other conditions. So the key is, you must feast on the right fats.
What are the “right” fats?
The following is a list of the ten best sources for healthy fat. The last four options have been marked with an asterisk, as there is heavy debate as to whether or not they are the best options for dietary fat.
As for quality oils and lards we’re talking…
Extra-virgin olive oil
Grass-fed whole butter
And sustainably sourced Palm Kernel oil
But what about the wrong fats- those fats that will clog your arteries and raise your bad cholesterol?
3 Fats to Avoid at All Costs
1. Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils aka trans fats
I’m sure you’re familiar with the term trans fat but let’s take a closer look at what it actually is. There are two types of trans fats found in foods: naturally-occurring and artificial trans fats. Naturally occurring trans fats are produced in the gut of some animals and may appear in small amounts within some meat products as well as their by-products.
What we should be far more concerned about are artificial trans fats.
What are artificial trans fats?
Artificial Trans Fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils in order to make them more solid. The primary dietary source for trans fats in processed food is “partially hydrogenated oils.”
And just so we’re clear, in November 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in human food.
Here’s the problem though, marketing has become clever in hiding trans fats. In fact, many products avoid the term “partially hydrogenated oils” altogether, instead they’ll simply use the name of the specific oil or fat derivative. So lets identify some of the most commonly used trans fats.
6 Most Commonly used Trans Fats
You can make a safe bet that the majority of vegetable oils undergo hydrogenation or partial hydrogenation. This includes oils such as canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil and vegetable oil. Moving on to number two.
2. Margarine and pseudo-butter spreads and sprays
The second fat you should avoid at all costs is Margarine. This includes pseudo-butter spreads and sprays.
By now, you’re probably aware that margarine is not the healthier option. But, buttery spreads and sprays can be deceiving. Just because they’re marketed as an olive or coconut oil spray or spread, they may not be healthy for you. I’ve noticed many brands package with promises of healthy oils such as olive or coconut but are then cut with a hydrogenated oil such as canola, or sunflower. Read the label before wasting your hard earned money.
3. Vegetable shortening
Finally, the third fat you should avoid at all costs is vegetable shortening. Now vegetable shortening is tricky, especially if you’re a baker. Palm kernel oil may be your best alternative. Just be conscientious and purchase sustainably sourced products due to the ecological ramifications of palm kernel oil.
That about wraps up the macros portion of our how-to. But of course, there’s more. Beyond consuming the right fats, proteins and carbs, how do you know you’re eating the appropriate amounts?
Don’t worry, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve…
3 Ways of Tracking Macros
Freehand Food Journaling
1. Keto Diet Tracker App
The first way you could go about tracking your macros is to download the Keto Diet Tracker App. This app is by far my favorite tracking device. It provides you with nutritional information that’s catered specifically to the ketogenic diet. You can easily find any food item by name or barcode. Plus, you have the option to include or exclude net carbs. What’s more, it highlights food items in red that are not ketogenic friendly. The biggest downfall with this app is that it’s only compatible with Apple products.
2. My Fitness Pal App
My second suggestion (especially if you’re pro PC) would be to download the app My Fitness Pal. This is a free app available to MAC as well as PC products. It’s designed to count calories and track diet. It helps identify hidden sugar, quantify macros and sends you warnings when you’re close to reaching your daily limit.
3. Freehand Food Journaling
If you’re old school and prefer to write everything by hand, that’s okay too. I often prefer this method because it can be easier to jot down numbers on the go. The only issue with this method is that it does require you to have knowledge of dietary counts. This is where one of the electronic apps can really come in handy.
Let me explain what I mean by this. I took the time to write a list of food products I commonly consume. I then utilized My Fitness Pal to look up specific counts in each macro category. This works especially well if you tend to eat the same things day after day.
If none of these approaches appeal to you, or if you’d prefer to have a menu plan created to fit your individual needs you’re welcome to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alright friends, we’re just nearly reaching the end of our Keto Diet Masterclass. Now I realize there is still SO much to cover and we’re basically just skimming the surface. In an effort answer some of your lingering questions I’ve compiled 6 more tips ensuring your success.
6 Tips to Keto Success
1. Foster the habit of reading labels
Retrain yourself to examine carb and sugar counts rather than calories. Also, keep an eye out for harmful trans fats such as vegetable, corn or canola oil.
2. Limit alcohol consumption
We’re all well aware of the harmful effects alcohol has on the body. Yet somehow even when we wake up telling ourselves that will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN it always does. Just keep in mind alcohol goes hand in hand with sugar and unless you’re drinking straight spirits or unadulterated red wine you’re likely consuming an obscene amount of sugar with your fix.
3. Limit dairy intake
Dairy is a fully loaded topic. One that I’ve devoted an entire lesson to within my signature program, Keto Crush. Just know that Dairy contains lactose, which is essentially milk sugar. Depending on which ketogenic program you’re following you’ll receive mixed reviews on whether or not dairy is an acceptable component of the ketogenic diet. In my option, it’s best limited or reserved for an acceptable cheat.
4. Limit fruit consumption
Fruit is acceptable in limited quantities and varietals. Beware that most fruit contains high amount of sugar and carbs. Some keto-friendly fruits include: avocados, tomatoes, berries, lemon and lime.
5. Focus on what you can have rather than what you can’t
I would suggest investing in a ketogenic cookbook and getting your ass in the kitchen!
6. Allow yourself a cheat day (if need be)
Remember, a healthy diet isn’t about denial and depravation. It’s about balance and optimal performance.
And that’s exactly what I’m all about- balance, sustainability and consistency. If you feel like you could use more help in any of these areas or if you’re simply in search of an accountability partner there’s a good chance I can help you. If you’re interested in learning more check out the Work with Me link at my official site: MuseandMe.com
I sincerely hope you found tremendous value in this 3-Part Series, as that makes all my hard work absolutely worthwhile. Don’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com with any further questions or concerns.
Best of luck to you along your health and wellness journey! With much aloha.
xo, Coach Katie
Whether you’re well-versed or brand spankin’ new to keto life and looking for some help, you should check out Katie’s coaching program. Coach Katie lives keto all day, errryday. She keeps up to date on the latest science, so you don’t have to. But more importantly, she addresses your specific goals to help you achieve ultimate success on your keto journey. And it’s always better to have someone in your corner, guiding you along. So if you’re ready for total life transformation and ultimate keto success, schedule your FREE initial keto consultation today!
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Katie Rodriguez nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
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