Where do I start? What can I eat? For me personally, I found that when I first started off, I found it easier to stay with the simple meal plan, instead of trying to make the most complicated recipes in the book. It is also easier to get into ketosis when you stick to the basics.
Do Not Eat:
Grains – wheat, pasta, rice, cereal, etc.
Sugar – cane sugar, coconut sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
Starchy Vegetables – potato, sweet potato, corn, etc
Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc.
Vegetables – spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
Nuts and seeds – almonds, macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
Fruit – berries (raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic index berries)
Sweeteners – stevia, xylitol, etc
Other fats – avocado, olives, coconut oil, etc
For the first few weeks I kept it simple and easy. I tried to stick to basic meals in order to make it easier to get the fat/protein/carb ratio correct.
You still have to log your food (I use My Fitness Pal) and you still have to add fat to each of the meals as required, to make sure that your ratio is correct. I normally look at my ratio for the day at night and if I see that I need more fat, I will have a fat bomb. If I am okay with the whole fat/protein/carb ratio, I will have a piece of cheese. It is all about the ratio at the end of the day.
As you get more mature in your food choices, you can start trying out more complex recipes. Remember that when you use a recipe, you have to still work out your ratios. The easiest way to do this is by adding the recipe to your collection in My Fitness Pal and work out your macros that way. You can also switch over to intermittent fasting (I will tell you all about it in my next post).
I would recommend that you start with the easy recipes and just get right into the basics of the diet before you move forward to the more complex recipes. I have Keto in 28, which is really a great book. The recipes are nice and easy to make and they are delicious!
It is easy to be discouraged if you look at that recipe with all of its 20 ingredients and you have to work out the ratios and it all just seems to be very complicated. Don’t make it difficult on yourself. Ease into the way of eating.
Remember, you have to change your whole mindset about what you’ve always been told about fat. Fat is not bad.
In fact, if you focus on the good fats (olives, salmon, eggs, avocado, etc) and eat less of the “bad” fats (cheese for example), you will raise your good cholesterol and significantly lower your bad cholesterol. If you avoid fats altogether, you lower your good cholesterol as well, which is not healthy. Add those healthy fats to your meals to ensure the 70% fat intake.
And then I have to tell you about the biggest secret as to why this diet is such a success. You are not hungry!!! How many of you have been on a diet where you feel like you are starving? How did that work out for you? I tried it, and I lost weight, but it was never sustainable. I was just always feeling hungry and always looking for something to eat. With the ketogenic diet, the foods you eat are filling and you never feel hungry. The first few days, don’t look at the calorie intake to much. If you feel hungry, eat something on the snack list (a spoon of peanut butter is my favorite). You are not in ketosis yet, and during this transition phase, when your body is still burning glucose, you will feel hungry at times. But make sure you eat the correct food. Once you have depleted your body of glucose and get into ketosis, you feel less hungry and you will notice that after eating a relatively small meal of fat and protein with very low carbs (in the form of above-ground veggies), you won’t feel hungry for hours. I won’t recommend that you try intermittent fasting in the first few weeks. Once you are fully in ketosis and realise that you are not hungry all the time, skipping breakfast will come almost naturally.