What Is Keto?
Very, very, VERY simply put, it means your body is flushing out the fat in your body. The Ketogenic Diet is when you eat low carbs, moderate protein, and high fat which puts your body into a state called Ketosis. This means that your body is using fat by burning ketones for energy, rather than burning carbs/sugar. This is scientifically proven to lower your glucose count and provide many health benefits.
Clear thinking, increased energy, reduced hunger, reduced cravings are all reported positive benefits from being in ketosis.
How do you eat Keto?
Let me introduce you to a term: MACROS. Learn it. Love it. Live it. This is the defining feature of Keto. Macros are Fat, Protein, and Carbs. I’m going to stay surface science, so I’m not going in depth, but just know that when you are tracking food, you are looking at macros.
This was difficult for me to wrap my head around at first. I kept hearing about ratios and percentages, and was losing my mind about how to figure that out every day! Then, I found out that grams are where the party’s at! A wonderful admin from the KetogenicSuccess group on Facebook basically told me that for most women (MOST being the key word) we should stay under 20g of carbs, between 55-80g of protein, and then a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio of protein to fat. Whaaaaaat??
Okay, so for example, if I ate 70g of protein, I would want my fat to be between 70-140g. That means that my protein is 70g, and that my fat would be a 1:1 ratio at 70g fat and would be a 1:2 ratio at 140g fat.
Did that make sense? If not, let me know and I will try that whole mess again!
Breaking it down-
20g carbs or less
55-160g fat depending on how much protein I’ve eaten
(Now remember, I am a woman! Might come as a surprise, but it’s true! Really though, as a man, you would need to change your Macros because this wouldn’t work for you. See my link below for a helpful calculator.)
Now, I’m really going to throw you for a loop here! I also track my calories. Many, dare I say most, Keto folks don’t track calories, but I find it essential. I cannot be trusted with chicken wings and blue cheese dip. Seriously! So I am tracking everything until I get a handle on it (it being portion sizes and cravings). This way of eating is not a buffet- it’s not all-you-can-eat. That is one defining difference between it and some other low-carb diets. This is moderate protein. So I must keep an eye out on myself!
MyFitnessPal has been my rock for this! I set my macros at 18g carbs, 54g protein (though mentally I know I can go up to 80, and Fat at 129. Just know that you don’t have to meet your macros. If you are at 5g carbs for the day (you are the Queen of Low Carb andI will find a crown for you!) you do not need to eat more carbs to get to 20. If you are at 100g Fat, you do not need to eat 40 more to get to a number. The protein you want to stay in your range though and not go below for muscle maintenance.
Now, what can I eat?
I feel like this image sums it up!
Fats, fatty meats, lean meats, eggs, cheese, green veggies, some non-green veggies, nuts, and just a few a day berries. Literally, like 3 berries a day.
What can’t I eat?
This list is too extensive for me to cover, so I’m going to refer you to some other great places to find out. Just STAY AWAY from anything containing sugar. In ANY form! That will get you started as you learn. NO GRAINS! And NO STARCHY VEGGIES! And no milk! (but you can have heavy whipping cream… I know, right?!)
I’m sure I’ve forgotten something but as I get questions I hope I can update it! Also, check out the links below to get a much better, and more scientifically responsible handle of the dos and don’ts.
Love, Peace, and Keto On!