Have you ever noticed how people have the curious ability to take something simple and make it horrendously complicated?
Nowhere is this propensity more pronounced than when it comes to the area of weight loss.
There have been more books written about losing body fat than any other subject – and yet, here we are, drowning in a sea of obesity.
Talk about information overload!
For the majority of people, the mass of confusing and contradictory advice leads to frustration and immobilization.
Over recent years, a shining light has re-emerged amid the plethora of fat loss scams, celeb diet fads and kooky weight loss breakthroughs.
It is the ketogenic diet.
Yet, inevitably, the keto diet has quickly been swamped in a mass of information and complication that leaves people scratching their heads – and then giving up.
The aim of this article is to strip away the fat, both literally and metaphorically, to provide you with the actionable essentials of living the Keto way.
Each part of this article will focus on a key area of Keto implementation, culminating in a simple Cheat Sheet that you can print out and stick on your fridge as a roadmap to success.
The final part is where the rubber hits the road with your 19-Day Keto Meal Plan, complete with original sumptuous recipes.
So, let’s go keto!
1. Keto Clarity
The word ketosis (pronounced key-toes-sis) is a metabolic state that occurs when you follow a very low carb, high fat and moderate protein diet.
It causes your body to switch over from using glucose (from the carbs) as its primary fuel source to using ketones, which are produced when the body burns fat.
Ketones are used as an alternative source of fuel when glucose is not available.
In the process, you body changes from being a sugar burner to being a fat burner.
When you are ‘in ketosis’ your body is using fat as its main source of energy.
Getting into the state of ketosis takes different amounts of time for different people.
A lot depends on their current lifestyle and dietary habits.
People who generally follow a clean diet can flip into ketosis in a few days, whereas people who have been used to eating a lot of processed sugar foods may take weeks to get there.
Being in ketosis is a perfectly normal metabolic state.
It is, in fact, the body’s preferred fuel source.
As an example of the superiority of ketones over glucose s a fuel source, consider the Inuit people of northern Alaska…
In 1879, Frederick Schwatka, a US Army lieutenant, doctor and lawyer, embarked on an Arctic expedition to look for records left by two Royal Navy ships that were lost in 1845.
Schwatka began his journal in April 1879 with eighteen people, including several Inuit families, enough stored food for them for one month and ample mounts of bunting equipment.
He quickly learned that, after a period of adaptation, consuming an Inuit diet with plenty of animal fat would sustain him, even during hours of strenuous walking.
This was one of the first understandings of keto-adaptation.
Today, the process of switching from a sugar burning to a fat-burning state is known as the Schwatka Imperative.
Ketones bodies are actually the preferred energy source of the heart and can be used as efficiently as glucose by the brain.
There is now a growing body of research supporting the beneficial effects of being in ketosis on aging, inflammation, metabolism, cognition and athletic performance.
Yet, those health benefits are not the main reason that most people want to get into ketosis.
They do it to lose body fat.
Ketosis is a fantastic way to lose fat.
In fact, the production of ketones is actually a by-product of fat burning.
The energy you produce in ketosis comes from both the fat that is stored on your body and the fat that you consume in your diet.
Compare this to a high carb diet where the food you eat gets stored as fat!
What Keto Can Do for You
- Naturally control hunger
- Effortless weight control
- Mental clarity
- Better sleep
- Normalized metabolic function
- Stabilized blood sugar
- Restored insulin sensitivity
- Lower inflammation levels
- Lowered blood pressure
- Endless energy
- Increased sex drive
- Improved immune system
- Better exercise recovery
2. Essentials Beginner Cheat Sheet
Having clearly established the ‘why’ of keto, its time to move into the ‘how’.
In this part, we’ll provide you with the 3 essential steps that allow you to fully customize your ketogenic to ensure that it meets your unique requirements.
Follow this game plan and you’ll be able to effortlessly ease your way into keto in less than a week.
Step One: Calculate Your Daily Caloric Requirement
The keto diet is based on macronutrient ratios.
However, to be able to apply those ratios, we need what our daily caloric goal is.
There are a number of formulations for working out your daily caloric requirement.
Among the most accurate is the Mifflin-St Jeor formula.
Use the following calorie calculator to work out your daily caloric requirement.
Now, record your daily caloric total on the printable Cheat Sheet at the end of this article.
Now that you are armed with your total daily caloric requirement, you re now able to plug in your macronutrient numbers to find out how many fats carbs and proteins you need to be eating each day.
On the standard Ketogenic diet, you will be consuming 75% fats, 20% protein and 5% carbs.
Let’s plug these numbers into our two examples to see what we end up with.
We’ll start with our 30-year old guy who is consuming 1,815 calories per day…
FAT consumption = 1,815 x 75% = 1361 calories from fat
PROTEIN = 1,815 x 20% = 363 calories from protein
CARBOHYDRATES = 1,815 x 5% = 91 calories from carbohydrates
Our 30-year old lady who is consuming 1,815 calories per day’s number look like this…
FAT consumption = 1,560 x 75% = 1170 calories from fat
PROTEIN = 1,560 x 20% = 312 calories from protein
CARBOHYDRATES = 1,560 x 5% = 78 calories from carbohydrates
Work out your own numbers here…
FAT consumption = _______ x 75% = 1170 calories from fat
PROTEIN = _______ x 20% = 312 calories from protein
CARBOHYDRATES = _______ x 5% = 78 calories from carbohydrates
Now we can drill down deeper to work out how many grams of each macro your need to be eating.
There are 9 grams of FAT per calorie.
There are 4 grams of PROTEIN per calorie.
There re 4 grams of CARBOHYDRATE per calorie.
Going back to our example guy, his macro grams look like this…
Fat = 1361 divided by 9 = grams
Protein = 363 divided by 4 = grams
Carbohydrates = 91 divided by 4 = grams
Here is what it is like for our 30-year old woman:
Fat = 1170 divided by 9 = 130 grams
Protein = 312 divided by 4 = 78 grams
Carbohydrates = 78 divided by 4 = 19.5 grams
Now work out your Macro numbers then fill them in on the Cheat Sheet at the end of the article.
Fat = ______ divided by 9 = ___ grams
Protein = ______ divided by 4 = ___ grams
Carbohydrates = ______ divided by 4 = ___ grams
You now know what your macro goals are.
While you don’t have to count calories on the keto diet, you will want to get your head around what your macro targets look like in terms of real food and portion sizes.
Using a quality App like myfitnesspal over the first couple of weeks of your keto experience will help you to gauge your long term portion control.
Step Two: The Pantry Make-Over
Your next step is to expunge your home of carb-laden foods.
Start with grain foods – they are the ones that will cause the quickest blood sugar surge.
Then clear out the packaged freezer meals, pasta, rice, sugary drinks, candy and cereals.
This is where you have to get ruthless.
If you re serious about your weight loss journey, you need to honestly and thoroughly complete this step.
It doesn’t matter how strong your willpower is – of you keep carb foods in your home, you will find a way to get them into your body.
And when you do that, you will be pulling yourself out of ketosis.
From now on, processed carbohydrate foods DO NOT APPLY to you.
Once you have cleared the carbs out of your home, it will be time to start replacing them with better, healthier keto-friendly foods.
In our Cheat Sheet at the end of this article, you will find a handy replacement guide that you can carry with you to the grocery store.
Step Three: Meal Prep
Starting out on a new way of eating can be a daunting prospect.
One way that we’ve found to make it a whole lot easier to negotiate your way first that first week is to have a set meal plan to follow.
That way you don’t have to think about what is coming up to your next meal – it has all been carefully laid out for you.
At the end of this article, we provide you with just such a plan.
The next step to success over that first week is to actually prepare your meals in advance.
Meal prep is a great idea for everyone, but it’s especially advantageous when you’re starting down a new nutritional path.
It means you don’t have to think about how to prepare your next meal – you simply grab it out of the freezer.
If you plan to start your Keto eating pattern on a Monday, spend a couple of hours on Sunday preparing your meals.
Making enough for two or three portions to provide multiple meals throughout the week.
Then place each meal in a sealed container and store it in the fridge ready to pull out and heat up when you need it.
Keto Beginner Cheat Sheet
3. Keto Replacement Grocery Cheat Sheet
4. Start Your Keto Diet
Finally, we’re going to provide you with a roadmap for your first 19-Days on Keto.
The meal plan provided here is has a wide range of recipes to choose from.
We recommend that you spend a couple of hours reading over the meal plan guide and recipes so that you can plan out what you’ll be eating.