If you’ve been around the internet a while, you know there’s always the next new thing in weight loss and dieting. The current program everyone is trying is the ketogenic diet, aka the keto diet plan. Here are some easy tips to start the keto diet for beginners. It’s really not as complicated or as restrictive as you might think once you’re armed with the keto diet food list and keto diet recipes.
First off- let’s be clear. I’m no doctor or medical professional… or even very good at losing weight.
Always check with your doctor first before you start any big changes in diet or exercise.
(Figure we should make that crystal clear!)
So why am I talking about this?
Because I’m a wife, mom, woman in her 40s who’s battling aging/high blood pressure/blood sugar issues/whacked out thyroid- and losing weight is going to be a positive step in correcting some of these issues.
And I figure someone out there might find themselves nodding along with that description and need a little help trying to start this ketogenic lifestyle.
If you find a little of yourself up there- or just want to know more about this way of eating (WOE in shorthand) then you’ve come to the right place.
The Keto Diet for Beginners
These tips for the Keto Diet for Beginners are going to make our new diet easier than ever to manage.
The ketogenic diet craze has taken over the nation, for good reason.
This is a simple eating style that often produces fast results, and when you see results quickly, it helps with motivation. At least it sure does with me!
If you have a large amount of weight to lose (raises hand), that can be a huge bonus to any diet.
Keto does work, and the tips below make it simple to follow.
This list of keto diet for beginners tips come from years of experience with low carb diets and health programs like the Atkins 40 plan.
While the ketogenic diet is much more strict than other low carb diets, it is all about making the most of your body and using existing fat for fuel. This is the key component of this plan.
There are many studies out there for and against the diet, but with proper guidance, it can be done safely and create great results.
Before you start the keto diet plan visit your doctor
Before you start any dietary changes, you need to have a checkup with your physician.
This is especially important on the ketogenic diet as your body will go through some pretty drastic changes if you are strict.
Ask for complete blood work, especially in regard to your cholesterol levels.
While many find this diet plan helps drop those numbers, some do not. I can only report on how it helped me: and my numbers went down across the board.
It is important to have a good clean baseline, to begin with for future comparison.
Hey- let’s be safe out there! Losing weight doesn’t help you or your family or your employer if it’s not done the right way.
So we’re all about safety here.
Losing weight on the keto diet is a great way to get healthier, but if it is causing other health issues down the road, it may be worth reconsidering.
What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is a low carb way of eating that focuses on fats and proteins in your diet.
It’s very low-carb, lower even than an Atkins diet. But it focuses on high-fat foods and a big reduction in carbohydrates.
This fat loading puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis (aka, keto).
And when this happens: watch out! Your body becomes an effective engine for using fat as fuel, which in turn helps you lose weight.
1. Keto Diet for Beginners: Track your macros regularly on the keto diet
Macros are how you track the percentage of each food group you are eating. Kind of like tracking calories, but a bit less invasive. The main things you will be watching for on a keto diet for beginners is your protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake.
The average macros will fit into this range:
- 60-70% Fats
- 15-30% Protein
- 5-10% Carbohydrates
To calculate your macros, the keto calculator is a great place to turn. This gives a great estimation of what you need to get to ketosis which is the goal of this diet plan.
You’ll also want to invest in a tracking app or system.
Overall, the use of My Fitness Pal is the most popular option, but you can also purchase a fitness journal or use a spreadsheet to track your daily intake.
My friend Kimberly just updated a post about her recent success with a loose keto diet plan and tracking via My Fitness Pal. You can read about her experience here.
2. Prepare your pantry for the Keto Diet Plan
Most will say a true ketogenic diet will consist of less than 30 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Gasp. That’s not a lot, guys!
And this includes all things like vegetables and fruits.
Very quickly you will realize that there is a limited list of vegetables that are lower in carbohydrates.
Also, while cheese is popular on the diet, milk by itself is not due to higher sugar and carbohydrate levels.
It isn’t just about dropping cakes and cookies, but changing how you look at food.
Prepare your pantry with high protein foods that are low in carbohydrates.
Things like meat, cheese, bacon, eggs, and nuts are always a hit.
Below is a shortlist of suggestions for your pantry & fridge that fall into the lower carbohydrate rule of the keto diet for beginners.
Beginner Keto Diet Food List
- Fats: Avocado, coconut, nuts, seeds, nut butter, eggs, and hard cheeses
- Meats: Ground beef, steak, pork chops, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, some bacon, some sausage, sugar-free luncheon meats, beef jerky, tuna, and salmon
- Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, green beans, pickles, and asparagus
- Fruits: Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries
- Other: Swerve Sugar Substitute, Almond Flour, Coconut Flour, Kerrygold Butter, Tofu, and Unsweetened Almond Milk
While bacon and eggs are definitely popular on the ketogenic diet and should be on your keto diet food list every time you head to the grocery store, you do not have to eat these every day.
There are tons of leaner options that provide you with healthy fats and high protein.
Focus on limiting the carbohydrates and fueling your body with healthy fats, high protein foods, and some dark leafy green vegetables.
Also a small note: eating off a keto diet food list like I’ve given above can get expensive. Not as expensive as eating at McDonald’s every day- and certainly better for you and tastier, too!
But still… be prepared to spend a bit at the grocery store on the keto diet plan.
3. Have supplies on hand for the keto flu
One of the worst parts of starting out on a keto diet is the keto flu.
This is a short period of time early in your diet where your body begins going through ketosis and starts feeling sick.
You’ll often have some nausea, vomiting, and general lethargy.
To make this easier to manage, make sure to stay hydrated well, and keep plenty of electrolytes on hand.
I personally don’t get keto flu too badly. I do suffer from lethargy and tiredness on day 2 and day 3 of my keto diet plan for beginners, so I nap more than usual.
But after that, I’m ALL good!
During the keto flu, lots of bone broth, water, and sugar-free electrolyte drinks are a must.
Make sure you are staying hydrated and eat as close to plan as possible.
It will disappear in just a few days and you’ll start feeling amazing.
Seriously- I feel great once my body is fully in ketosis!
4. Keto Diet plan for beginners: Stay on track with sensible substitutes
One of the ways most stay on track with the keto diet for beginners is to create substitutes for their favorite things.
Instead of a flour and sugar-laden cake, they may create a mug cake that uses alternative ingredients.
Instead of pancakes from IHOP, try these delicious almond keto pancakes instead.
Instead of traditional crackers, they will combine eggs, cheese, and almond flour.
These are excellent choices for getting rid of cravings, but you also need to consider adding a ton of these to your daily routine.
Snacks in moderation are great, but with any dietary change, you do need to look at the big picture.
Focus on meals that satisfy you for longer, and use these substitutions and things like fat bombs only a few times a week instead of daily.
Get Fast Results with a Keto Diet Plan for Beginners
Everyone wants fast results in weight loss, and a ketogenic diet can produce that.
Follow your macros, combat the keto flu, and track diligently to see the fastest results.
Remember you will see larger losses in the first weeks of any diet plan, and then it will taper off to a more natural 1-3 pounds per week.
This is the best way to lose weight and keep it off in a healthy manner.
Good luck and let me know if this keto diet plan for beginners helped you on your path to wellness!
Keto Diet Recipes
I’ve included some of my favorite keto diet recipes for you to check out. This is a fairly new way of eating to me, so I’m learning how to adapt and create meals that work for me.
I’ll be sure to add more keto diet recipes as I continue on this journey, so please check back for more!
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)