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Fat isn’t the enemy! For years and years we were told that eating fat will make you fat, and even worse, it will basically make your heart and arteries explode. We are now realizing that maybe some fats aren’t so bad and are actually a much healthier alternative to low fat/ high sugar carbs (anyone else used to think a fat free muffin with a day’s worth of sugar was the healthiest choice?).
What Exactly Is Keto?
A low carb diet, also known as a ketogenic or keto diet, is a diet in which you typically eat fewer than 50 net grams of carbs per day. (Net carbs are when you subtract the amount of fiber per serving from the amount of carbs per serving)
When you consistently eat a limited amount of carbs, your body enters ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body uses ketones (from fat) as the main source of energy instead of glucose (from carbs).
When you cut carbs and eat more fat, your body will start to use the fat consumed as well as stored body fat as its main source of energy.
The great thing about keto is that your body, when following the diet, will enter ketosis in just a couple of days which means you start losing weight immediately!
Benefits of Living Low Carb
When eating low carb or keto, most people:
–Experience more weight loss
–Have higher levels of good cholesterol (HDL) & lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL)
–Show reduced blood sugar and insulin levels
–Feel less hungry throughout the day and more satisfied with their meals
–Feel energized throughout their day
–Enhanced brain performance
–Lower risk for heart disease factors & certain types of cancer
What Can You Eat?
The keto diet isn’t very restricting either. You can really eat anything as long as you hit your macros (generally your macros will resemble 60-75% of calories from fat [or even more], 15-30% of calories from protein, and 5-10% of calories from carbs. I personally follow 20% carbs, 35% protein & 45% fat & that ratio has been working well for me – play around with your macros and find what fits you best!)
Calculate your personal macros with this helpful online calculator here! This is a great jumping off point and will help you get started. Feel free to play around with your macros as you start following the Keto diet for awhile.
Testing For Ketosis
You can test yourself to see whether you’ve entered ketosis just a few days after you’ve begun the keto diet! Just use a ketone test strip and it will tell you the level of ketone bodies in your urine. If the concentration is high enough, you’ve successfully entered ketosis! This is a great way to see if your macros are working for YOU and depending on your results, the perfect time to stay on track or lower your carbs.
My Personal Experience
I have been on the Keto diet myself (you can see my personal transformation here). Since keto, I have lost about 25lbs (65lbs in total!) and have toned up considerably. I was astonished by the changes in my stomach, thighs & face!
To start my keto diet, I scoured through tons of sites finding the right recipes. I finally broke down & bought a couple of recipe e-books from my fave keto site that have been lifesavers. All the recipes are 5 net carbs or under, actually taste amazing & are super easy to meal prep (which is a must for me) since they all only have 5 ingredients each!
You can get those e-books here:
The same blog just came out with a new keto dessert e-book too! I have only made about 10 of the recipes so far, but they are all super yummy and do not make me feel like I’m missing out on anything.
This is what a normal day (these calories are not for everyone, I personally eat around 1800 calories a day – I suggest ignoring the calories and use this as meal inspiration!) looks like with the recipes from these e-books:
KETO MEAL PLANNING SUBSCRIPTION
Another awesome Keto resource is a Healthful Pursuit. Through my Keto research, a Healthful Pursuit run by Leanne kept coming up as a must-read resource. I started out and got her Intro to the Keto Lifestyle book which had a 30-day meal plan, grocery list & more in it. I was hooked! I also just grabbed the Keto Holiday Cookbook ( I will NOT gain my usual holiday 10lbs!).
I then took a huge leap and signed up for her monthly meal planning subscription. For $8/ month I get a monthly meal plan with breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks, an extensive shopping list to compliment the meal plan & she will tailor each plan to meet your needs whether you are dairy-free, grain-free, nightshade-free, egg-free, or nut-free.
So far, the subscription is awesome. The recipes are super easy and the ingredients are stuff that I can find in my regular grocery store inexpensively. It also opened me up to keto without a ton of dairy. I asked for a modified dairy-free option because I was definitely eating way too much dairy previously. The change has been amazing! My skin looks SO MUCH BETTER & my gut health has been improving (no more bloat!).
You can sign up or learn if the meal plan is right for you here.
Have you tried keto? Let me know your experiences below!