Home / The Ketogenic Diet: A Beginner’s Complete & Detailed Guide to Keto

The Ketogenic Diet: A Beginner’s Complete & Detailed Guide to Keto

Robin HamiltonWhat if we told you that you can eat cheese, red meat, add heavy cream to your coffee and still lose weight?

Yes, there is such a diet that wants you to eat fat and protein.

Yes, there are restrictions when it comes to the ketogenic diet, but the incredible weight loss results speak for themselves.

What is the keto diet?

It seems to be the miraculous lifestyle change that helps to shed fat, build more muscle, solve your health problems, and make you smarter. Now you can be smart and beautiful at the same time! Interested?

Go keto with our quick start keto diet plan for beginners! we promise to answer all your questions on ketones, keto flu, ketosis, and even a keto diet food list.

Don’t hesitate; the sooner you read the article, the sooner you embark on a healthy-happy-you mission!

What Is Keto Diet?

The keto diet or ketogenic diet is also known as a low-carb diet and a low-carb high-fat diet (LHCF). In short, on a diet, your body doesn’t run on carbs any longer (since you restrict them a lot) but it starts to break down fat for fuel instead.

When you enter ketosis, your body starts using the fat and producing ketones, which give you energy, help you lose weight, and many other benefits that you can find below.

When your body runs out of glucose (carbs) for energy, it turns to fat. Ketones appear as a product of this process.

They are used as fuel for your body and your brain. According to this study, ketones can even suppress appetite!

There are three types of ketones:

  • Acetoacetate
  • Beta-hydroxybutyrate or BHB in short
  • Acetone

Your body produces them on its own on the keto diet during fasting or in case of high levels of fat intake. Another way to boost your ketone levels is to supplement on exogenous ketones, but more on that a little later or long term.

Ketosis- What is it All About? / Keto Diet Guide / Guidelines

Your body can enter ketosis when your body runs out of glucose. Normally, sugar comes from carbs but when you eliminate carbs, you’re also eliminating the options for your body to process it.

Anyway, you deprive your body of sugar by:

Eating the Keto way: since the keto diet shopping list has to be planned carefully, you boost the fat intake and limit foods that could be converted into sugar.

Fasting: this is a popular thing among keto dieters. There are a few different ways of how to approach fasting. You can either eat nothing for a few days or stick to intermittent fasting, where you eat only during a certain time. You can also skip meals or even ration your meal plans.

Why fasting?

Because your body will burn the glucose first and then switch to fat, producing ketones in the process.

Some additional tips on how to get into ketosis include:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Commit to regular workouts
  • Stay away from snacks when you’re not hungry
  • Limit your moderate protein intake

How do I know I’m in Ketosis?

Cooked keto meal on a plate

The easiest way to know is to test your blood, your urine or your breath for ketone levels. The breath seems to be the least popular method of the three.

You can test your blood ketone levels with a blood ketone meter. This method requires a blood sample but it’s very accurate. Not everyone is thrilled about the blood sample though so many people prefer the third option instead.

Test ketone levels in urine with ketone testing strips. This method is quite reliable. The only thing you need to do is to pee on the strip and match the color of the strip with the color on the bottle. That’s how you determine the urine ketone levels.

There are three different levels of blood ketones:

  • The normal ketone levels are below 0.6 mmol/L (millimoles per liter)
  • The moderate range of blood ketone levels are between 0.6 to 1.5 mmol/L
  • High ketone levels are from 1.6 to 3.0 mmol/L

Anything higher than 3.0mmol/L is considered too high. In that case, you should get medical attention immediately.

Apart from measuring the ketone levels, here are a few more symptoms to show you that you’ve reached ketosis: dry mouth, increased thirst, loss of appetite, weight loss, bad keto breath, and increased energy and focus.

Can You Drink Coffee on Keto?

We get it. You’re on the diet and you’re really looking forward to having a cup of coffee on the reg. Well, you may be in luck. Although coffee is not a part of the diet, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good cup of joe on the diet. If you are very disciplined with your diet, you could enjoy a full cup of coffee with a ketogenic diet,” said Lauren Simonette, RDN, director of nutrition at UCLA Health. However, the dose needs to be limited, and you need to be certain you’re getting plenty of fiber from whole foods in order to avoid cravings and keep things feeling low-carb.

And, if you do suffer from any digestive issues, it’s even better to have fiber-heavy foods such as berries, whole grains, or lean proteins to prevent symptoms, Simonette added. If you’re thinking of getting back to drinking coffee, you’ll want to make sure your coffee habit won’t mess up your low-carb diet. Coffee contains plenty of carbs and even less fiber than normal. The ketogenic diet takes the place of your normal carb-loading breakfast, afternoon snack, and dinner. To stay on track, you need to make sure you’re eating protein and healthy fats with every meal and cutting out carbs entirely after lunch without side effects.

Does Keto Hurt Your Liver?

In case you are a keto fanatic or just curious about it, you might be wondering if it’s healthy or not. Unfortunately, keto is no utopia. The whole eating plan pushes your body to burn fat in your liver, and we know what that leads to – liver malfunction. As we noted before, your liver is responsible for breaking down fats so that your body can use them for energy. If it’s overloaded with ketones, it can damage your liver. Your liver can hold up well for long periods of time, but if your liver is unable to handle the number of ketones that you are burning, it can break down. And in most cases, liver failure is the result.

You can also get sick from keto if you aren’t careful since it’s been shown to cause headaches, fatigue, and weakness. That’s not a good thing The best way to avoid keto-related liver damage is to follow the rules of keto. You are not allowed to eat any carbs at all during the first week of a keto diet. That includes fruits, vegetables, dairy, beans, and meat. No bread. No grains. No fruits. No vegetables. Your favorite foods are strictly off-limits for the first three days. I promise that if you don’t feel good in the.

Understanding the Dreadful Keto Flu

Once you start with the keto supplements & food plan (meal plan), the omega 3 & the low carb diet, you might experience something very similar to the flu, also known as the keto flu.

While this flu doesn’t affect everyone the same way, here’s a list of symptoms, just in case:

  • Nausea, dizziness, and sore muscles
  • Brain fog, poor concentration, and focus
  • Cramping and stomach pains
  • Insomnia, irritability

Benefits of Keto Diet

A diet can have incredible health benefits for your general wellbeing, brain function, and weight loss. Many of these benefits come as a result of carefully planned meals, where you focus on real, nutrient-dense foods, and healthy fats.

Overall, these are the benefits of the keto diet:

  • Help with weight loss (according to many online claims and studies such as this one)
  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Reduced blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels
  • Improved physical performance and endurance
  • Mental clarity, focus, and improved brain function
  • Suppressed hunger and increased energy levels
  • Potential aid in acne, says this study

Keto Diet Food List / Keto Diet For Dummies

A diet requires careful planning if you want to eat clean and stick to the schedule. After all, entering ketosis will depend on what you eat. The fewer carbs you eat, the faster you enter ketosis. Ketosis delivers a bunch of health benefits besides just burning fat.

Food to Avoid:

  • Bread and pasta
  • Sugar (maple, agave syrup…)
  • Fruit (oranges, bananas…)
  • Beans and legumes (lentils, peas…)
  • Potatoes, yams…
  • Grains (corn, cereal, wheat…)
  • Any processed and high carb foods, junk food

Foods to Eat:

  • Meats (chicken, beef, pork, fish…)
  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard…)
  • Dairy and eggs (heavy cream, grass-fed butter, cheese…)
  • Nuts and seeds (walnuts, sunflower seeds, macadamias…)
  • Fruits (berries and avocado – a great fit for many keto recipes)
  • Healthy fats (coconut oil, avocado oil, MCT oil…)
  • Keto-friendly snack bars
  • Olive oil

For a more thorough list of keto-approved foods, have a look at this list. A lot of keto dieters supplement protein powders and multivitamins & minerals.

Keto Diet Rules

One of the most important components of following the keto diet is to know what the rules are. Of course, it’s essential to know the “goals” you set, but it’s also critical to know how you should be applying these rules in practice since you’ll likely be facing challenges that are not always quite clear at first. Since a ketogenic diet involves restricting carbohydrates to the barest minimum and consuming enough fats to fill the nutritional gap, you’re essentially all out of carbs. Foods that can be used for dietary purposes (beyond starchy vegetables and fruit) include eggs, seafood, and lean meat.

That said, you can eat some carbohydrates if you want, but this should be a small portion of your daily food intake. If you were to eat a carbohydrate-heavy meal, you’d be consuming 50 grams or more of carbs, which is above the recommended limit. Even if you can eat some carbohydrates, though, you should keep the proportion of your food intake to fats high. It should be at least 40% of your diet, and ideally more. The science behind this rule has to do with consuming the right amounts of the right kinds of fats, as this will ultimately impact your health in the long run.

What Are the Basic Rules of Keto Diet?

When we start a new diet regime, most people have just one question in mind: What are the basic rules? It is hard to believe that many people out there have no idea. Well, you are not alone. Most of us are like you and want to know the exact rules. But before you get an answer, it is necessary that you have to be aware of what the ketogenic diet actually is. So, here are the basic rules of the keto diet and it explains the basics of the diet program.

Basic Principles of Keto Diet Now that we have a better understanding of what the keto diet is all about, let us look at the basic principles. Basically, this diet is all about burning fat. When you eat fewer carbs you start burning them at a faster rate than your body can make them. That is why you are very likely to lose weight. So, what does it mean that you have to eat fewer carbs? In the keto diet, you need to cut carbs from your daily intake. This means that you should be consuming no more than 50 grams of carbs per day.

Keto Diet Supplements

For a quick way to get into ketosis, you can supplement with exogenous ketones:

  • Ketone salts (the most popular form of exogenous ketone supplements. The BHB ketones are bound to a salt, usually potassium, calcium, sodium, or magnesium. These are also referred to as BHB salts or Ketone mineral salts)
  • Ketone esters (these are raw BHB ketones. They don’t come with any compounds or salts. The body is able to use these more quickly than the salts, but the taste is horrible and they can cause gastric distress in many cases)
  • MCT oil powder (can help you boost the ketone levels, but it works slower than the first two supplements. It also doesn’t boost the blood ketone levels directly)
  • Raspberry ketones (these aren’t real ketone supplements; they have nothing to do with ketosis)

According to this study, exogenous ketones are “a viable and practical alternative to dietary strategies to achieve ketosis.” What’s more, consuming them can suppress appetite.

A word of caution: exogenous ketone supplements can taste horribly. There are some that claim to taste great, there are others who don’t lie about the flavor.

In any case, these supplementations can be pricey, but they’ve become popular because they make the whole getting-into-ketosis procedure much easier, even after a cheat day.

Tips on Keto Diet for Beginners / How to Do

  • Your breath will smell funny until your body adapts to the new diet
  • Drink water and electrolytes if you have headaches
  • Track your food and progress; that will give you additional motivation and boost
  • Cheat days happen- eating carbs isn’t the end of the world
  • Find keto supplements that can help with your weight loss process
  • On average you should reach ketosis with a restricted limit of net carbs from 20 to 40 grams daily
  • Stick to 1 gram of protein per kg of your body weight a day (0.45 grams per pound)
  • Use this keto diet calculator to calculate the exact amount of fat, carbs, the protein on a daily basis
  • Even if you do keto for a short time, you can still learn a lot about how your body works and what it needs to be healthy and strong
  • According to the Ketogenic Bible, Keto is not advised for carnitine deficiency, pregnancy, kidney failure, type 1 diabetes, pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, and impaired liver function, among others.
  • Make it easy on yourself by tracking your carbs, fat, and protein using a food-tracking app like MyFitnessPal and My Macros+. This will make it easy to set goals based on fat and carb intake instead of worrying about calories.

I hope you enjoyed the beginner’s guide to keto.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Golden Rules of Keto?

The ketogenic diet, or keto, is characterized by specific principles known as the golden rules of keto. These rules are designed to guide individuals in achieving and maintaining a state of ketosis, where the body utilizes fat as its primary fuel source. The golden rules of keto include the following:

  • Low carbohydrate intake: Restricting carbohydrate consumption is crucial in order to induce ketosis. Typically, the daily carbohydrate intake is limited to 20-50 grams, primarily from non-starchy vegetables and minimal amounts from other sources.
  • High-fat intake: To compensate for reduced carbohydrates, the keto diet emphasizes high-fat intake, providing the body with energy. Healthy sources of fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and oils are encouraged.
  • Moderate protein consumption: Protein intake should be moderate, as excessive protein can be converted into glucose, potentially hindering ketosis. Consuming adequate protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass and overall health.
  • Adequate hydration: Staying hydrated is important on the keto diet, as water loss can occur due to the diuretic effect of reduced carbohydrate intake. Drinking enough water helps maintain electrolyte balance and supports overall well-being.
  • Monitoring ketone levels: Measuring ketone levels through urine, blood, or breath tests can provide insights into the body’s state of ketosis. Tracking ketones can help individuals adjust their diet and ensure they are staying within the desired range.
  • Patience and adaptation: It may take time for the body to adapt to using ketones as its primary energy source. Patience is key, as individuals may experience initial symptoms such as the “keto flu” before their body fully adjusts to ketosis.

It is important to note that individual needs may vary, and consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian is recommended before starting the keto diet to ensure it is appropriate for specific health conditions and goals.

How Do Beginners Start a Ketogenic Diet?

For beginners looking to start a ketogenic diet, it is important to approach the transition with proper planning and understanding. Here are some steps to get started:

  • Educate yourself: Learn about the basic principles of the ketogenic diet, including its macronutrient composition and the concept of ketosis. Understand the foods that are allowed and those that should be restricted.
  • Set goals: Determine your health and weight loss goals, and establish a realistic timeline for achieving them. This will help provide focus and motivation throughout the process.
  • Calculate macronutrient ratios: Calculate the appropriate macronutrient ratios for your individual needs. Typically, a keto diet consists of approximately 70-75% fat, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates.
  • Plan your meals: Create a meal plan that includes keto-friendly foods rich in healthy fats, moderate protein, and low-carb vegetables. Consider using resources such as keto cookbooks or online recipe websites for inspiration.
  • Gradually reduce carbohydrate intake: Rather than abruptly cutting off all carbohydrates, gradually reduce your carbohydrate intake over a few days. This can help minimize potential side effects such as the “keto flu.”
  • Stay hydrated and manage electrolytes: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and replenish electrolytes, as the keto diet can have a diuretic effect. Consider incorporating foods rich in sodium, potassium, and magnesium, or use electrolyte supplements if needed.
  • Track your progress: Keep a food diary or use a tracking app to monitor your daily macronutrient intake. This will help you stay on track and identify any adjustments that may be necessary.

Remember, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before starting a ketogenic diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications. They can provide personalized guidance and ensure that the diet is suitable for your specific needs.

How to Eat Keto for Dummies?

“Eating keto” refers to following a ketogenic diet, a low-carbohydrate, high-fat eating plan designed to induce a metabolic state called ketosis. Here’s a simplified guide on how to eat keto:

  1. Understand the Basics: Keto focuses on drastically reducing carbohydrate intake while increasing fat consumption. Carbs are limited to 20-50 grams per day, depending on individual goals and tolerance.
  2. Choose Keto-Friendly Foods:
    • Proteins: Opt for sources like meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. Avoid processed meats with added sugars or fillers.
    • Fats: Embrace healthy fats from sources like avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
    • Low-Carb Vegetables: Consume non-starchy veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower.
    • Dairy: Select full-fat, unprocessed dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and butter.
    • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds can be keto-friendly snacks.
  3. Monitor Carb Intake: Keep track of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) to stay within your daily limit.
  4. Moderate Protein: While protein is essential, excessive intake can hinder ketosis. Consume a moderate amount based on your activity level and goals.
  5. Healthy Fats: Prioritize healthy fats over trans fats and processed oils. Cook with olive oil, coconut oil, or butter.
  6. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, a common side effect of the keto diet.
  7. Meal Planning: Plan meals to ensure they align with your carb and fat targets. Consider using apps or websites for tracking.
  8. Ketosis: Ketosis occurs when your body shifts from burning glucose for energy to using stored fat. It may take a few days to a week to enter ketosis.
  9. Keto Flu: Some people experience flu-like symptoms when starting keto due to electrolyte imbalances. Stay hydrated and consider supplements.
  10. Consult a Professional: If you have underlying health conditions or are unsure about keto, consult a healthcare provider or registered dietitian.
  11. Long-Term Approach: Keto can be challenging to maintain long-term. Consider your goals and whether keto is sustainable for you.
  12. Exercise: Incorporate regular physical activity to support your overall health and fitness goals.

Remember that individual responses to keto can vary, and it’s essential to prioritize nutrient-dense foods and consult with a healthcare professional when making significant dietary changes. Eating keto for dummies involves simplifying the concept while being mindful of its potential effects on your body and overall well-being.

What is Forbidden in the Keto Diet?

Avoidance of certain food groups is a fundamental principle of the ketogenic (keto) diet, aimed at inducing a state of ketosis wherein the body predominantly burns fat for fuel. Primarily, foods high in carbohydrates are strictly forbidden on this dietary regimen. This includes starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn, as well as grains like rice, wheat, and oats. Additionally, all forms of sugar are to be avoided, whether natural or processed, as they spike blood glucose levels and inhibit the metabolic shift towards ketosis.

Fruits, despite their nutritional value, are generally off-limits due to their high sugar content. This includes most tropical fruits such as bananas, mangos, and pineapples, as well as commonly consumed fruits like apples and grapes. However, small portions of low-carb fruits such as berries (e.g., strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) may be incorporated into the diet in moderation.

Legumes, a significant source of carbohydrates and often regarded as a staple in many diets, are restricted on the keto plan. This includes beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas, as they contain notable amounts of starch and sugars.

Processed foods, particularly those labeled as low-fat or diet products, are discouraged on the ketogenic diet. These often contain hidden sugars and unhealthy fats, which can hinder ketosis and undermine the overall health objectives of the diet.

Certain vegetables, despite their nutrient density, may also be restricted due to their carbohydrate content. Root vegetables like carrots, beets, and parsnips, as well as high-carb options such as onions and garlic, should be consumed in moderation or avoided altogether.

Lastly, alcoholic beverages are generally discouraged on the keto diet, as they can disrupt the metabolic processes necessary for ketosis. However, occasional consumption of dry wines or spirits in moderation may be permissible for some individuals, as long as they are mindful of their carbohydrate intake and overall dietary adherence.