Beginner’s Guide to Starting
the Ketogenic Lifestyle
Condensed and Basic Guide
The first two weeks of the Ketogenic Diet requires a little bit of learning. For some it’s steep learning curve, but before long everyone will be Keto Experts and helping each other. Until then, we may need a little bit of help. To make everything a bit easier, this is what we should focus on in these first a couple of weeks.
TIP: please keep eating simple. Use basic ingredients and combinations until we’re sure we know what we’re doing. This will bring short and long term success.
Calories do matter. However, in the first two weeks our biggest goal is to learn what we should and should not eat and making sure we adhere to that. Eat when you’re hungry. It usually takes less than a week to break carb and sugar addiction and get the appetite under control. There are many important reasons for needing to do this.
Electrolytes matter a lot. As we deplete our body of excess carbs, water also goes with that depletion. Make sure to drink adequate water with pink himalayan salt, nusalt, and take a magnesium supplement. Feeling tired, dizzy, weak, pain, etc are usual signs of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
This is where we start:
- Learning what kinds of foods we should and should not consume. (what to avoid is down at the bottom)
- Calculate your own macros to know how many calories, carbs, proteins, and fats you need daily. Calculator
- Learning how to log foods into a software like cronometer.com or myfitnesspal.com
- Learning how to balance the food we should eat into the right proportions.
- Fats & Oils:
- Cooking: Pure Butter, Pure Ghee, Coconut Oil, and Olive Oil
- For mixing in foods & beverages: MCT oil
- Meats: chicken, beef, goat
- Seafood (fish, shrimp, etc)
- Bell Peppers (use green variety and sparingly)
- Tomatoes (use sparingly)
- Onions (use sparingly)
- Egg Plant (use sparingly)
Dairy and Misc Additions:
Cream: We add full fat cream/whipping cream to our coffee and tea. This can be homemade or from a carton. It must be unsweetened; please make sure because both sweetened and unsweetened are available in the store.
Yogurt: We use greek yogurt and not regular homemade or store bought. To make greek yogurt, just strain it over night letting the water/whey drain out.
Almond Milk: We are permitted to use Almond Milk, and it goes great as a base for a smoothie. It is high in calcium and low in calories and carbs.
Sour Cream: We may consume sour cream as long as no other sugary or impermissible ingredients are added.
Cheese: Hard cheeses are best. Look for cheese that has little to no carbs.
Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise that has no sugar and vegetable/soy oils is difficult to find. We definitely cannot have mayo with sugar in it. The best thing is if you make your own mayo at home, which is very simple to do.
Spices: Spice your food with most spices. Just ensure there is no sugar or other additives.
Ketchup: Usually ketchup has a lot of added sugars. In some parts of the world sugar free/no sugar ketchup is available. Use only that variety or skip ketchup.
Salad Dressing: It is the best practice if you make your own salad dressing. Usually the dressings available in the grocery store are high in sugars and contain a lot of other unhealthy ingredients.
- Stevia. One of the most common sugar substitutions used on the market today. Incredibly sweet with no glycemic impact. The liquid form is preferred.
- Sucralose. A very easy, but very sweet substitution to sugar that has a lot of misinformation around it. Many people confuse this with Splenda, but sucralose is the pure sweetener. Liquid versions are preferred.
- Erythritol. This is a great sugar substitution that has 0 glycemic impact. It’s special because it passes through our bodies undigested, and is excreted without absorbing the carbs.
- Monk fruit. This is a less common sweetener and usually used in combination with others. While somewhat rare, if you can find it, it makes a great balanced sweetener.
- Various blends. There are numerous brands on the market that combine these sweeteners in their ratios. Be careful and read the ingredients.
Beverages: Coffee, tea, diet soda (being careful about the sweetener used), and almond milk.
Broth: Broth is very health and is made from roasting or simply boiling a whole chicken or meat with bones for a long time on low heat. It is extremely good for health and is energizing. Drinking this throughout the day can help one feel better and help to curb false hunger.
Medicines: Medicines sometimes has a lot of sugar in them, especially cough syrups. Find unsweetened medicines if medicine is needed.
Vitamins: We recommend a good multivitamin to ensure your get your micronutrients: vitamins and minerals. A lot of people don’t know which foods are very nutrient dense, so in the meantime, it’s better to supplement with a vitamin to make sure. Oddly enough, people are usually malnourished before they join the ketogenic lifestyle.
Better To Avoid:
In the beginning of the Keto Journey, it’s not recommended to eat a few things until we get going smoothly.
Fruits: sweet things like fruits. The fruits that will be allowed later are like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. These fruits tend not to spike the glucose as much as others like apples and oranges for example. However in the beginning it’ll make the transition easier if fruits are avoided.
Flours: Almond and Coconut flours are permitted, but it’s not recommended in the beginning.
Nuts: while almonds, walnuts, pecans, and macadamias for example are allowed on Keto. Try to avoid them for a few weeks. The reason is because they are very easy to over eat, have quite a lot of carbs. It might be harder to balance our macros with the vegetables if we eat too many nuts and seeds.
Peppers & Chilies: These have a lot of carbs, which you can use elsewhere better in your food. Be very careful with these. If you use bellpeppers use the green ones as they have less carbs. Some chili peppers have 3 to 4 carbs each!
- No sugar
- No rice
- No flour (no brown, no white etc)
- No breads or products made from breads
- No potatoes (not white and not sweet)
- No cornflour
- No plain yogurt (use max a tablespoon of greek yogurt in a day)
- No sugary drinks of any kind.
- No fruits. (later berries are acceptable)
- No lentils, dals, or beans
- No sugary vegetables like carrots and corn.
- No other root vegetables.