So last week in Part 1 of my Keto mini-series, we talked about the science behind the ketogenic diet and what's going on in your body when you go from being a "sugar burner" to a "fat burner" and today I thought we'd talk about the nutrition side of things and some tips that can help you get into ketosis and start seeing some benefits!
Disclaimer, I am not a Doctor and I don't have any medical training I'm just sharing my health and wellness experience in the event it helps educate/inspire you.
So when you look at what you eat in a day, on the ketogenic diet generally speaking the recommendation is to have your macronutrients (fats, protein, and carbohydrates) be in the following percentages and this is what I follow as well. It's really important to track your food daily for a while until you get the hang of it (I know it sounds like a pain but trust me I fought it for a while and the first week I started tracking everything and realizing I needed more fat in my diet I got into ketosis that week so it's totally worth it!)
You can do your own research and a really good book is Dr Axe's Keto Diet and here's what I currently am following on a daily basis and this is the same ratios I used when I was training for my half marathon, so if you are really active, you can rest assured that you can follow this even with lots of activity.
- Fats - 75%
- Protein - 20%
- Carbohydrages - 5%
You can go online and calculate what that means as far as grams in a day, I use MyFitnessPal app on my phone and you can go in the "goals" section of the app and put in your info and it will show you what you need for a daily intake.
Once you have an idea of the numbers you're probably thinking "how on earth do I get that much fat in my diet daily and take out all the carbs?????" Don't worry, I gotcha!
So the first step I took was mentally giving myself some space and realizing that CARBS ARE EVERYWHERE EVEN IN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES and this was going to be a journey and I was going to give myself grace and try to make progress with every meal but also know that it would take time to get in the groove.
Ok now, let's talk food. So the easiest thing to do in my opinion is hop on Pinterest and check out some keto recipes. What I wanted to do was swap out some meals that we ate weekly and adapt them to keto so it wasn't so overwhelming. If you want to grab some ideas you can follow me on Pinterest and here's a link to my Keto Pinterest Board that will help. This cookbook by Suzanne Ryan is AWESOME!! I get some many great recipes from this book!
Once I got some dinners figured out, I logged them into MyFitnessPal app on my phone. Yes it can be a little time consuming but here's the deal - you do it once and you have all the info at your fingertips forever so it's totally worth it. Sometimes you can add recipes from websites so you don't even have to compute the ingredients so it's super quick.
Then I created a dinner meal plan for the week and plugged in dinner for the 5-6 days (we go out to eat 1-2 nights a week) in my "diary" in the MyFitnessPal app and then I took the first day and reverse engineered the data so once I had dinner in there I knew what I had left for the day for breakfast and lunch.
On Keto you generally aren't snacking much (I don't snack at all anymore) so it's super easy with less meals to worry about because you aren't as hungry!!
For me, once I learned about bulletproof coffee I had breakfast figured out and then I just needed to figure out some lunch options and make sure I was getting enough fat and if not, throw in a bulletproof coffee or matcha green tea latte or some fat bombs at the end of the day.
The key to all of this at the beginning is sitting down and doing some pre-planning. This wasn't too big of a deal for me because I generally always create a weekly menu for our dinners so I had a grocery list to go off of so it just took a bit more time to get some recipes adapted and log the info. Once you do though, you start to realize the macronutrient content of the foods and can play around with them in your day.
I don't worry if I am a bit above my protein goal for the day, I try to always hit my fat goal and I try to always stay at or under my carbohydrate goal. If you have a day where you have too many carbs, make sure to watch the fat because if you load up on fat and carbs you're going to gain weight over time.
Start slow and just try to make progress everyday! Drink half your body weight in ounces of water, you may feel a bit blah as your body craves the sugars and carbs that you aren't feeding it but just stay strong and you will feel better in a few days!
Next week I'll share some easy swaps for things you have in your pantry to adapt from your regular diet to a ketogenic diet so that recipes are super easy to whip up since you'll have the right ingredients!