How to START a Keto Diet! [[SAMPLE DAY OF EATING]] & The long-term mindset.

Starting any kind of diet can be super daunting and if you're anything like me, you want to be perfect from the get-go. I've started and stopped so many "diets" and fitness routines in my past and never been able to stick with them. You know why? Many reasons including taking extreme measures immediately, being too tough on myself, and most importantly - not having a long-term mindset. 

In the facebook groups I follow, I see so many people say things like, "I really want to do this, but I just don't know where to start and I'm so overwhelmed," or I even saw someone say the other day, "I feel like I'm too far gone to start this..." and that broke my heart. 

Like I mentioned before, the best thing to do is start where you are. You don't have to go to the grocery store and drop two bills to restock your whole house with "keto" products (in fact, you don't NEED anything that says the word "keto" on it at all...). You don't have to throw everything in your house away and start new. You can simply start where you are! 

If you've been eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) that means you're likely consuming meat, cheese, eggs, and the like. So, start there! Here's a little sample of what you can eat in a day to help jump start your Keto (FYI, the app I use for tracking is Carb Manager):

2 eggs, scrambled in a tsp of butter (REAL butter)
1/2 an avocado
2 slices of bacon
coffee, 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream 

(calories, 416 - protein, 20g - carb, 2g net - fat, 35g)

1/4 lb hamburger 
1 oz cheddar cheese
1/2 cup brussel sprouts cooked in 1 tbsp coconut oil and whatever spices (I used italian and garlic)
1 tbsp Kraft avocado mayo (or regular mayo... whatever you have and #ketopolice be damned)

(calories, 482 - protein, 30g - carb, 5g net - fat, 37g)

4oz sirloin steak (seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary)
1 cup broccoli (steamed) with 1 tbsp butter and salt 
2 oz cheddar cheese 

(calories, 669 - protein, 47g - carb, 8g net - fat, 48g) 

Totals: Calories, 1,567 - Protein, 97g - Net Carbs, 15g - Fat, 120g

Now, this is just a sample and it's a good idea to modify things to fit your personal macros. Macros or Macronutrients are Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fat and these can be calculated roughly for you based on your current body weight, height, level of daily activity, and amount of weight you're looking to lose. You can start by using this calculator from KetoConnect. 

Keep in mind that these calculations are not perfect - it's important to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! If you're hungry - eat. Especially in the beginning. Soon, you'll be able to understand whether you're actually hungry or if you're bored or thirsty. That's definitely one of the benefits of the #ketodiet - you really learn yourself and how you're feeling. 

Another word of caution when using these calculators -- you get the option of choosing how many pounds per week you would like to lose (up to 2lbs are the options typically). I would suggest leaving this part OUT of the calculations and, instead, if you're looking to cut - subtract NO MORE than 30% of your daily calories. 

For example: I'm 5'2" and 165 lbs (down 20 lbs since starting #keto on 11/25/2018!!) -- My BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate or Maintenance Calories) is about 1,700 calories per day. I also workout 4-5 days per week, but leave that out of my calculation as well. I'm currently cutting, and drop my calories by about 15% eating around 1,480 - 1,550 calories per day. This is SUSTAINABLE! And, sustainability is key! 

If you were to choose the "lose 2 lbs per week" option from my standpoint, the calculators will put you at about 1,100 calories or so per day and that is nearly starvation.  

1. Sustainability and Long Term mind-set: You need to start in a place that you feel satiated (eating more fat will help you) and you need to come at this "diet" as a lifestyle change. You cannot start by immediately wondering "when will I be able to cheat?" Keto is like a marriage - it will not be successful if you're cheating. 

2. Track: Tracking might seem daunting at first, but it's the best way to get into good habits and learn how things affect your body. If you stop losing weight, you can use this as a tool to understand why that might be happening. Plus - it's a great way to start to learn what has carbohydrates in it (hint - almost everything has trace carbs). 

3. Keep carbs low and forget about calories (at first): When you start out, don't worry about cutting calories. Just focus on cutting out carbs and eating until you're full so you don't have too many things going on all at once. Once you become fat-adapted (a couple of weeks) you can then think about cutting calories. 

4. Keep your electrolytes in check: Keto Flu is something that happens when we cut carbs because we lose water quicker. It's super important to supplement magnesium, sodium, and potassium by drinking things like Powerade Zero, Propel water, Zip Fizz, or Nuun tabs and/or supplementing with vitamins. 


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