The Ketogenic Diet Guide for Beginners
Ketogenic Diet Guide:
- The Ketogenic Diet Guide, also called the keto diet, has been used to help people lose weight and cure health issues since the 1920s.
- For over 90 years, doctors have been prescribing the keto diet to treat epilepsy, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), cancer, and other chronic illnesses.
- It’s only been in recent years that the diet has caught on with more mainstream audiences as more information comes out about it.
- This detailed guide will give you all the information you need to know about the keto diet so you can start living your best life!
What is the keto diet?
In Ketogenic Diet Guide the keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein diet designed to put your body into a state of ketosis.
To start, you’ll cut out all carbs and sugar from your diet for two weeks before slowly reintroducing starchy foods like sweet potatoes and whole grains.
Over time, you’ll also add in healthy fats like avocados and butter. But if you’re looking for specifics on how it works, check out our guide on exactly what does keto mean?
And then take a look at these seven easy tips to get started. For even more detailed instructions, check out The 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse which breaks down day by day what you should be eating each day while on keto.
How much weight can you lose on keto?
In one study, people on a keto diet lost an average of 10 pounds in just six weeks. That’s significant because at that rate you’d lose more than 20 pounds in a year, assuming you stuck with it.
If a diet sounds too good to be true, consider what might be missing—nutrients? Fiber? The many healthy phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables?If it’s too good to be true, it probably is, says Kristen Mancinelli, RDN.
If the plan is unrealistic or if there’s not enough calories, protein, fat or carbs during the day, then the body goes into starvation mode and starts storing those nutrients, she explains.
It also increases insulin levels which causes inflammation. You’re better off eating nutrient-rich foods like dark leafy greens and veggies with fiber-rich whole grains like brown rice or quinoa.
What do you eat on keto?
If you’re just starting keto, chances are good that you have a few questions. What foods can I eat? Is sugar OK? How much should I weigh myself every day?The answer to most of these questions is yes, though it depends on your goals.
To help with your start, we gathered up and answered more than two dozen frequently asked questions about keto and how it works in our book, The Complete Guide to a Ketogenic Diet.
If you’d like an even more detailed response — plus some bonus tips — download our special bonus report below.
You’ll learn all the basics of getting started on keto, including how many carbs to aim for each day and what counts as too low. You’ll also get exclusive discounts on popular products to help make the transition easier!
What are the side effects of keto?
The keto diet is based on carbohydrate restriction, so it’s not uncommon to experience fatigue, lightheadedness, or headaches at first.
These side effects tend to go away after a few weeks and can often be minimized by making a few simple tweaks. Make sure you’re drinking enough water; otherwise, dehydration may cause headaches.
When reducing carbs in your diet, you should also make sure your body is getting enough electrolytes by eating plenty of leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables like broccoli.
If you have low blood sugar levels naturally (e.g., if you have a condition like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), talk with your doctor about whether you should add extra salt to your food or take supplements during your transition into ketosis.
Is keto right for you?
There are some people who should avoid keto, such as pregnant women and anyone with kidney disease. For everyone else, it might help to speak with a doctor or nutritionist before you get started.That said, you should know that keto is more about lifestyle than about strict dieting.
You can make small tweaks without falling off your plan—for example, by eating fewer carbs on days when you’re less active or switching between low-carb and high-carb days during larger calorie deficits.
In other words, achieving nutritional ketosis is a gradual process of getting your body used to burning fat instead of glucose and learning how that impacts how much energy your body needs at rest.
Why not just eat less calories?
It seems like an obvious answer—just eat less! But we all know it’s not that simple. First of all, let’s quickly break down how many calories you burn at rest (AKA your Basal Metabolic Rate).
It takes about one pound of fat to produce about 3500 calories worth of energy. So if you just want to lose one pound per week, which is a reasonable weight loss goal, you would need a deficit of 500 calories per day.
The other problem with eating less is that your body fights back when you reduce your calorie intake too much. If you are cutting too many calories, your metabolism will slow down and as a result you will start storing more fat than before.
If this is something that concerns you, the keto diet may be right for you. The keto diet makes it possible to cut hundreds of extra calories each day without affecting your metabolism or causing hunger pangs because the main source of food on the keto diet comes from healthy fats instead of carbs and sugar.
Don’t take our word for it though–check out our guide on what the keto diet really entails and how it can help you achieve your goals.
Frequently asked questions about keto
The keto diet can be a great way to drop some pounds fast, or reset your body. But it’s important to understand how and why it works, so you’re aware of what’s happening and what it means.
We’ve got a full rundown in our guide, but here are some of the most common questions people have about starting keto. If you want more info on keto and weight loss, check out our beginner’s guide below.
We’ve all been there before. You’re doing well with your diet, hitting your macros consistently and sticking to a solid exercise routine—and then something unexpected happens that sets you back weeks at a time.
Maybe you get sick, start traveling for work, or miss a few days at the gym. No matter what causes it, we all eventually hit that point where we need an extra push just to maintain momentum—and sometimes that comes in the form of something drastic like cutting carbs from our diets completely.
That’s where keto comes in handy!
Before we jump into this though, let’s take some time to talk about ketosis itself first—what is it? And does everyone need to go into ketosis?