Are you looking to start the Keto Diet? In order to make sure that you get the most out of the diet, first you need to make sure you’re doing it correctly by using my Keto Diet Guide for Beginners. It can be frustrating and even dangerous to cut corners on the ketogenic diet. So, I’ve listed some tips, programs and a meal plan to help you build good habits from the beginning!
How To Get Started On Keto
As I mentioned in one of my previous articles How Healthy is The Keto Diet the ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet that trains your body to burn fat for energy instead of glucose. This is the reason that many people use it for rapid weight loss.
In order to get started on keto you must first understand what the diet is and how it will work for you. Since this diet requires you to keep track of your carbohydrate intake, I highly suggest getting a food journal or app that can record what you’ve eaten. Studies show that, to get your body into the required metabolic state called ketosis, you will have to consume under 50 net carbs per day. Net carbs are the amount of carbohydrates that are actually absorbed by the body. If the food that you are purchasing doesn’t explicitly state the amount of net carbs it contains you can calculate this for yourself! Just subtract the fiber from the total number of carbs and sugar alcohols (if any).
Overall, the average person should consume between 20-35 grams of carbohydrates while on the ketogenic diet. Tracking your calories is also a good way to make sure that you are maintaining a healthy balance for effective weight loss!
Because the ketogenic diet requires you to exclude this food group, your body may start to feel the effects of this change for a day or two. This is what many call the “keto-flu.” In a nutshell, when your body shifts from burning glucose to burning fats, you may begin to feel flu-like symptoms such as headache, fatigue, mental fogginess and so on. Although this is temporary, it is helpful to prepare by drinking lots of water, replenishing your body with sodium, potassium, and magnesium, and making sure you are eating enough fat.
I also highly recommend one of the programs in my list below for the Best Keto Meal Programs for Beginners.
6 Best Keto Meal Programs for Beginners
If you want some assistance with Keto meal delivery programs, I’m providing my list of the 6 Best Keto Meal Programs for Beginners.
PlateJoy-PlateJoy makes healthy eating easy in 2 steps: Take our lifestyle quiz to help us get to know your tastes, health goals and time constraints. Then receive custom meal plans to simplify your life.
Trifecta-Keep your appetite in check with a low carb meal plan. The keto diet promotes weight loss with healthy fats, grass-fed meats, and wild-caught seafood. Trifecta gives you the food, the advice, and the community support you need to achieve your goals. We do the meal planning, shopping, and cooking, so you can focus on everything else.
Snap Kitchen-One meal delivery service for all your needs. Our chefs & dietitians bring you fresh high-quality meals so you can feel your best! Enjoy healthy paleo, keto, high protein, and low carb meals right to your door.
Sun Basket-Organic produce, clean ingredients, and delicious recipes delivered weekly. Paleo, Lean & Clean, Gluten Free, Vegan, and more.
Freshly-Freshly delivers chef-cooked and nutritionist-designed meals that are made with real, whole foods, and no artificial preservatives or sweeteners. Customers choose from a rotating weekly menu of 30+ meals that are ready to heat and eat in 3 minutes.
Purple Carrot-Purple Carrot started with just a seed of an idea in 2014: encourage people to eat more plants for their health and the health of the planet. Today, it is leading the charge for people to adopt a plant-based lifestyle.
How To Know You’re In Ketosis
For the ketogenic diet to start working, your body must first enter ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state caused by the lack of sugar from carbs. During this time, your body starts to produce ketones, which are created in the liver as your body turns fat into energy. Differing from one person to another, it can somewhere between a day to about a week and a half to get into a constant state of ketosis.
So how do you know you’re in ketosis? Try this Keto testing kit to see if you’re in ketosis:
You can purchase a blood or breath ketone tracking meter as well as urine strips in order to see when your body enters ketosis. Otherwise, your body will give you some signs as well. Along with the symptoms of the “keto flu” you also may experience a dry mouth or the feeling of increased thirst. Coupled with this is increased urination for the first few days. This is because keto rids your body of excess water, therefore, this is actually a good sign you’ve begun ketosis. Make sure to keep yourself well-hydrated from the beginning so your symptoms don’t worsen. Another telling sign of ketosis is reduced hunger. Part of what makes keto effective for weight loss is the fact that it takes away your hunger, reducing your calorie intake. This is why it is important to keep track of your calories so you are consuming the correct amount that your body needs. You can keep track with this Keto Diet Journal here.
Initially, you may also experience some digestive issues, such as constipation or diarrhea, as well as insomnia. However, both of these issue are temporary and will be replaced with increased energy and focus once your body fully adapts to the diet. Weight loss is also a good sign that you are in or headed toward ketosis! Making sure that you are eating the right foods while on this diet can help you to guarantee you will begin to see changes in your body.
Check out my article here on the uses of MCT Oil
7 Day Keto Diet Meal Plan
I wanted to help you get started in planning your meals to make sure you always have a good list of choices as you get started on the keto diet. Remember: you can tailor any meal plan you find to fit your specific needs in terms of calorie and carbohydrate count! Here are a couple keto-friendly recipes that I found to help you get into ketosis:
- Breakfast: Egg scramble with cheese and sausage
- Lunch: Keto Egg Salad
- Dinner: Keto Meatloaf Minis with Green Bean Mushroom Saute
- Breakfast: Keto bacon or pepper egg bites
- Lunch: Low-carb cauliflower mac and cheese
- Dinner: Lemon garlic chicken with sauteed broccoli
- Breakfast: Spinach and mushroom omelet
- Lunch: Taco stuffed avocados
- Dinner: Grilled Salmon with crispy oven roasted brussel sprouts
- Breakfast: Egg scramble with cheese and apple gate bacon
- Lunch: Keto broccoli salad
- Dinner: Low-carb Bacon cheeseburger casserole
- Breakfast: Baked avocado or bell pepper egg boats
- Lunch: Keto BLT Cheese or Low-Carb Tortilla Wrap
- Dinner: Tuscan Butter Shrimp with Steamed Spinach
- Breakfast: Greek Yogurt with keto granola
- Lunch: Cobb salad with hard boiled eggs, cheese, and turkey
- Dinner: Cauliflower Chicken Curry
- Breakfast: Keto (Almond Flour) Pancakes
- Lunch: Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Dinner: Garlic butter baked salmon and asparagus
Check out my keto dessert recipe for Chia Seed Pudding
Remember to always consult a doctor when choosing a new diet
I have attached links above to some of my personal keto diet recipes! Along with these meal plan options and recipes, you can find great food and snack options that are specifically made for keto at the grocery store. Just make sure to check the nutrition facts before you buy them to make sure they fit the needs of your particular diet.
- Kale Chips
- Nuts and Cheese
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Celery or Mini Sweet Peppers paired with Herb Cream Cheese
- Veggie Sticks with Nut Butter
- Pork Rinds
- Beef Jerky
As long as you are making sure to check the net carbs and record your meals, you will start to become more comfortable and aware of diet choices that are good for keto! I hope my Keto Diet Guide for Beginners is a helpful tool for you to get started.
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8 thoughts on “Keto Diet Guide for Beginners”
I am so pleased that I came across this article. At the beginning of 2021, I needed to change my diet and bring in exercise to my life. So far they are both working, but I do feel a bit weaker than I’d like. I think I might have reduced my diet too much. I eat fruit, veg and a lot of protein.
But, I have heard of the Keto diet and maybe I need to look into this to make me a bit healthier and not as weak.
The foods on each day do sound delicious, so I think I would enjoy this diet a lot more than my current one. So, I will let you know if I do start on this and how I am getting on with it.
Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.
All the best,
@Tom the Keto Diet is very popular and I’ve heard success stories from many people. Let me know if you get started. Best wishes!
Oh my gosh I wish I found this article 6 months ago. I tried the keto diet, well, my version of the keto diet, and although I saw results I stumbled all the way through it. Your article has all the greatest tips that would have been so easy for me to do when I started and I learned so much more from this. Your post really hit all the high points that will definite give others success.
Many people will surely benefit from this article! Thanks so much!
@James thank you for stopping by and let me know if you decide to try it.
I must admit last year I tried my version of keto but had no clue what I was doing and the complete lack of energy I experienced forced me to give it up.
After reading your article I think I was way too restrictive on my intake of all foods not just carbs and that may have been my problem.
What are your thoughts?
I am not sure if I am ready to give it another go but if I do I will certainly reference your site which I have bookmarked.
@Deb I haven’t done many diets but I’ve heard this does work. Maybe if you ease into it? Start slow and each day give up some small amounts of carbs and sugar. I also think the meal delivery is helpful to get started. I’m going to be adding more recipes too. My recipes are very basic and healthy. Keep me posted!
Thanks for your excellent article on KETO for beginners. With the many tools you provide, you really set up anyone for success.
A couple of years ago I followed a KETO diet for 6 months. I wasn’t doing it to lose weight. My weight was fine. I did want to experience some of the other benefits of the lifestyle, and I did.
After I got through a mild case of the “KETO flu” I had a noticeable increase in mental focus and energy. I liked that a lot. I also got to eat some healthy, high fat foods that I would have only in small doses with a ‘normal’ diet.
After about 5 months on KETO I began to lose muscle and strength. Somehow, I wasn’t getting the amount of protein right. Too much protein and it could turn to sugar. Too little and the lack of protein synthesis would lead to muscle loss.
Here’s my point for sharing this. If I had used, even one, of the tools you make available in this article, I believe I would have had success and not experienced loss in muscle and strength.
If someone wants to start a ketogenic diet, they should read your article and choose from one or more of the helpful sites you provide!
@Glenn THANK YOU for your insight and sharing your experience.