How to Get Started (for beginners)
I tried keto in 2016, I gained weight and felt so sick. Little did I know I wasn't doing keto. I don't actually know what I was doing but it wasn't keto. It was a processed meat and cheese diet and I was not mindful of the quality of food I was putting in my body. I definitely didn't feel too good! I quit keto after a week and gaining 2 pounds.
Fast forward to 2021 where I was diagnosed with a fatty liver, reactive hypoglycemia and a long list of other health issues. I felt like I checked off every list of symptoms at the doctors office... I felt the worse I had my entire adult life and I knew something needed to change.
Here's what I was going through before starting keto:
- Brain fog
- Memory issues
- Slurring words
- Constantly starving regardless of how much I would eat
- Cravings carbs all the time
- Couldn't fall asleep at night or stay asleep
- Painful joints especially in my hands
- Painful acne, burning face
- Couldn't lose weight in a calorie deficit
- Depression (especially at night)
And that's not even all...
I dedicated my life for weeks watching videos, reading books and listening to podcasts on doing a healthy ketogenic diet the right way. Lots of fresh vegetables, moderate amounts of protein and healthy fats. I started at 192 pounds in September 2021 and just 3 months later I was down to 165 pounds and all of my symptoms were nearly gone! The best part is I was always fully satisfied after eating and have zero cravings :) I just recently hit my lowest weight of 143 pounds and I can truly say this is the easiest I have ever lost weight in my life.
Here's how I got started:
- Committed to a ketogenic diet, under 50g of carbs from keto foods per day. Research every day. Knowledge is power and the world will try to knock you down. This is essential for staying on track!
- Moved to the clean keto menu one and focused on making super yummy delicious foods and desserts such as cheddar biscuits, pumpkin muffins, pizza etc. The weight loss wasn't much but it allowed me to get fat adapted and stabilize my blood sugar which was a huge step for me. I aimed for a 12 hour eating window including overnight. Example; stop eating at 8PM and start eating again at 8AM.
- Practiced with dairy free keto to see if taking out dairy would make a difference for me. I didn't notice a big difference at this time and I absolutely love cheese so added it back in.
- Moved to strict clean keto where I focused on the reduction of carbohydrates in the form of almonds and most veggies and also shortened my eating window to 16 hours fasting, 8 hours eating.
- Graduated to one meal a day where I consume my personal macronutrients (carbs, fat, protein) in a 2 hour eating window, OMAD. 30 days.
At the moment I am experimenting with finally reintroducing all fresh fruits and veggies in small amounts and keeping my blood sugar stable while doing so. For the last year I kept trying to add in more fruits and veggies but my blood sugar would spike too high and I would crash afterward. This is typical for having insulin resistance and once you heal from it, you can slowly start adding them back in again in healthy amounts. Start slowly and move up from there at your bodies pace.
The number one thing that you have to understand before starting is your WHY. This is not a quick fix. Doing a ketogenic diet is done for health reasons and that should be your focus. A stable blood sugar for a stable mind and body.
I never recommend doing dirty keto or consuming processed keto snacks. These are known to raise your blood sugar and take you out of ketosis which will for sure stall your results and contribute to you not feeling your best. I did however have keto approved cheat days where I consumed keto snacks and things but never on a daily basis.
The next thing is taking your vitamins and minerals. It is extremely important on keto especially to take your daily vitamins and electrolytes. Make sure your vitamins are not synthetic and your body is able to actually use them. My list is here.
Next, educate yourself on what it is that you're doing. If you don't understand exactly what's happening inside your body, you won't be set up for long term success. Read, watch and listen. Resources here.
Understand why too many carbs at once are causing the blood sugar issues, understand why calories aren't the whole picture, the importance of hormones and your long term health. It matters exponentially more than that number on the scale. If you reach your goal weight but you're exhausted, can't sleep, losing your hair, covered in acne, have depression and anxiety - then what was it all for anyways? You won't feel the confidence of a thinner, healthier body if you don't feel good on the inside.
Get a blood sugar monitor. This will explain exactly the food that is making you stall or making you not feel your best. Click here.
Comment below if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer!
*I am not a doctor, this is not medical advice. I am sharing my experience. Always consult your doctor before beginning any program.