There is a LOT of confusion on the internet about what the Keto diet really is. People get into those giant Facebook groups and ask what it is, how do you start? Of course, those groups get 100 of those posts a day so people start getting snarky with their responses. It is true that it's easily available information on the internet. Google is your friend. I've been doing it for 14 months now - currently taking a couple of weeks off for the holidays - otherwise known as Christmas. The fact of the matter is, if you follow the diet closely, you will lose weight. But, it's a strict diet. No rice, no potatoes, no pasta, no bread. Sugars goes bye bye. Processed foods as well. Low carb - 20 grams per day or less is the way you get into ketosis - which is where your liver releases ketones to burn fat for energy. If you don't track your carbs - everything you eat including condiments, you are likely to fail and proclaim: "This diet doesn't work!". It works only if you are determined to strictly follow the diet and get the idea of cheating out of your brain for quite a while. Much of what we eat is all in our heads, you just need to retrain your mind and that takes time.
Keto can be a pretty expensive proposition. A lot of meat. A lot of ingredients for the recipes that you very likely do not have in your cupboards. People give up on it because they say they can't afford it. Well that's not totally true. You can use hamburger meat and chicken thighs and such, but you might get tired of that after a while. You can go without all the special recipes - but if you want any variety at all, you will undoubtedly start looking up keto this and that. There is keto bread, keto chocolate, keto ice cream, even versions of keto pasta. There is cauliflower rice and radishes cooked with a beef roast in a crock pot that come somewhat close to real potatoes - tho admittedly there is no real substitute for potatoes. But, if you searched the internet and found this blog, then you are at least interested in what it can do for you. If your obese or extremely overweight, you can expect to lose 10 to 25 pounds in the first month.
Below, I came across this nicely populated list of the foods you can eat. You start keto by eating very low carbs, some meat and lots of fat - tho fat in great quantities isn't necessary and you are far better off eating healthy fats. You don't have to give up all vegetables, but you have to track the carbs in them to keep within your daily limit. Many people swear by the Carb Manager app. You just input into it everything you eat and it gives you a running total for any given day. You are far better off prepping meals in advance if you are on a limited schedule. I know people that cook their food for the entire week in advance and put each meal into plastic containers. They spend a whole day doing that, but they don't have to worry about it during the week. I have done the same. Actually, since I'm a truck driver, I do a lot of prepping - I'll make as many days worth of food in advance as I expect to be out on the road. Truck stop is part and parcel of what made me heavy and over weight, I had to be disciplined enough to stop eating that food. There is an important point to note, however, that you can eat at restaurants, but you need to look up what you can eat in advance. Whatever restaurant you are going to, just google Keto - and add the name of the restaurant after it and a good amount of links will pop up with lists of what you can and can't eat. You usually have to ask them to leave certain things out. Such as having a hamburger - leave off the bun and any sauces.
Anyway, read the list below, look up keto recipes - you can literally just google "keto recipes" and a host of sites will appear - but dive into it head first, don't look back and give it time to start working.
Read this thoroughly:
If you are a keto newbie- This should help pretty much all you need to know.. FREE... copy and paste to help other newbies.
- Meats: ZERO CARBS
• Beef- Ground beef, Steak, Ribs, and Roasts
• Pork- Chops, Ribs, BACON, Loins, sausage
• Chicken/ Turkey- Thighs w/ skin or wings are the best because breasts are high in protein. However, you CAN eat breasts, just have to eat more fat to compensate.
• Fish- Tuna, Salmon, Cod, Haddock, etc.
• Shrimp/ Lobster- Go crazy, use lots of butter!
-Cheese: MOST are no carb, almost all are low carb
• Mozerella & Cheddar- Buy in bulk, they freeze well and are insanely versatile!
• Colby jack, pepper jack, monterrey jack
• Taco style, Mexican style
• Parmesan, Asiago
• Ricotta- Freezes well, very versatile
• Cottage cheese- Good to throw in your lunch with berries, usually around 4-8g of Carbs per serving
• Cream Cheese- Freezes very well, this is one of the things that I always glance at whenever I go to the store, and always buy a bunch of if it's under 75 cents per 8oz.
- Vegetables: No potatoes! Get your carbs from above ground veggies!!!
• Leafy greens- Spinach, Spring mix, Kale, Romaine
• Zucchini- Great for a noodle substitute!
• Avacado- Awesome source of natural fat!
• Brussels sprouts
• Spaghetti Squash- Versatile, makes a great spaghetti substitute and is even great for making hash browns!!
• Peppers- Jalepeño, banana, green/ red/ yellow/ orange bell
• Broccoli- Great with cheese, steamed or just raw!
• Asparagus- Awesome roasted or sautéed with bacon and garlic!
• Cauliflower- AWESOME potato substitute!!
• Celery- Great with cream cheese or all natural peanut butter!
• Pickles (Read nutrition labels, watch for sugar and carbs)
• Green beans- Awesome sautéed in bacon grease with garlic, (watch portion size, though).
• Onions- Red, yellow: use somewhat sparingly, to taste
- Fruits: Most are a no-no, especially bananas, oranges and grapes.
• Lemon/ Limes- Adds great flavor!
- Nuts (grams of Carbs per 100 grams, or 3.5 oz)
• Pecans/ Brazil (4g)
• Macadamia (5g)
• Hazelnut/ Walnut/ Peanut (7g)
• Pine (9g)
• Almond (10g)
• Pistachio (18g)
• Cashew (27g)
- Oils/ Fats
• Coconut Oil
• Butter: Kerry Gold is best but just make sure it's REAL butter and not a spread or margarine
• Olive Oil
• Bacon/ sausage grease
• MCT oil- easily ordered online/ in specialty stores
-Dressings/ Condiments/ Fats
• Ranch, Blue cheese, Cesar, Thousand Island, Balsamic- Watch carbs/ sugar, but there's tons of brands, so you can find one you love!
• Mayo- Natural/ organic is best, but I use Hellmann's all the time.
• "NO SUGAR ADDED" Ketchup or sugar free ketchup
• G. Hughes brand sugar free BBQ sauce
• Yellow/ Spicy Brown Mustard
• Soy sauce
• Hot sauce
- Liquids: Use as base for sauces/ soups
• Heavy Whipping Cream (HWC)
• Broths/ Stocks: Stay away from reduced fat. Bone broth is awesome!
• Slim Jims/ jerky (watch carbs)
• Homemade cheese its/ tortilla chips
• Pork rinds (0 carbs, very versatile. Can be used as breading, nacho substitute or even sprinkled with cinnamon & stevia and eaten like cereal with Almond milk and tastes like cinnamon toast crunch!)
• WATER- Lots of it!
• Crystal Light- Tons of options and very convenient!
• Coffee- Add a Tablespoon of coconut oil or MCT oil, Stevia/erythritol, heavy whipping cream and vanilla, pumpkin extract or Cocoa powder & peppermint extract *BOOM* Homemade creamer!
- Alcoholic Beverages
• Beers (grams of carbs per 12 oz serving)
▪ Bud Select 55 (1.9)
▪ MGD 64 (2.4)
▪ Rolling Rock Green Light (2.4)
▪ Michelob Ultra (2.6)
▪ Bud Select (3.1)
▪ Beck's Premier Light (3.2)
▪ Natural Light (3.2)
▪ Michelob Ultra Amber (3.7)
▪ Coors Light (5)
▪ Amsterdam Light (5)
▪ Bud Light (6.6)
• Vodka: Whipped Vodka & flavored water or pineapple Pinnacle with crystal light are a couple of my favorites!
• Whiskey shot (0g carbs)
• Brandy shot (0g carbs)
• Dry Martini (0g carbs)
• Tequila shot (0g carbs)
• Champagne (~1g per serving)
• Dry wine (~2g per serving)
• Stevia drops (0g)
• Erythritol (0g)
• Truvía (0g)
• Monkfruit (0g)
- Other common Ingredients I use
• Almond flour
• Spices: Garlic powder, onion powder
- Dont forget your electrolytes, they are needed daily.
• A good form of electrolytes is:
• Powerade zero
• Pickle juice
• Pink Himalayan salt added to your food
- Strict keto - counts all macros, does not eat processed foods.
- Lazy keto - doesn’t track all macros, still eats processed foods, as long as they are on plan
- Macros are a break down of the calories you intake for the day.
- Carbs are a limit - try not to go over your carb limit. 20 NET CARBS!
- Fat is a lever - you don’t have to meet your fat macro, it’s simply there to help you get full.
- Protein is a goal- try your best to reach your protein goal.
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