Ketogenic diet, you read all about it and pumped up and all ready to start it! But you don’t know how to start, we will help you with the perfect plan!
Your goal is to lose that stubborn extra weight, you are tired of hearing about the health risks of obesity, you love life and want to enjoy it a little bit more, but you have tried countless times and every time you start losing those pounds you hit a dead-end and start eating junk again!
You watch the biggest loser and know you can beat them all and win the grand prize, but only if you lose the first few pounds!
And you heard about the ketogenic diet, it seems promising, many friends have followed it and seem to be losing weight and gaining health!
So, You want to try it, but have one problem: how to start the ketogenic diet?
Remember as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Dietlife will help you set the plan, we will tell you how to start, how to prepare your meals and how to manage all your ups and downs in this amazing journey.
Before you start the ketogenic diet plan:
Read, Read, Read:
Before you start your planning, you have to do your homework! yup, you have to go back in time to high school and remember how you had to finish your assignments! You should read everything you need to know about the ketogenic diet before starting it! After all, what works for me may not work for you!
You should read everything about the ketogenic diet, the concept behind it, its history, its physiology, what to eat, what not to eat, its side effects, its health risks, the expected outcomes, literally everything!
If you feel overwhelmed with all the available data, you can read all about the ketogenic diet in this article.
Speak with your physician or endocrinologist:
Not everyone is eligible for the ketogenic diet, it has its health risks and you may be one of the few who could get harmed from this diet! To follow this or any other diet program, you must first go through a health scan, some blood works, and a few tests to rule out any rare conditions or contraindications that may interfere with your ketogenic diet plan or affect your health.
Who is absolutely ineligible for the ketogenic diet?anyone who :
- is Diabetic, especially type 1.
- has any existing liver or kidney disease.
- suffers of any cardiac or respiratory disease.
- has irregular menses, or on hormonal replacement therapy.
- is pregnant or suffered from gestational diabetes when you were pregnant.
- has any eating disorder.
- is younger than 18 years old.
Who is relatively eligible for the ketogenic diet?
Some people have conditions that require their doctor’s approval before starting following any diet, especially the ketogenic diet.
If you suffer any of the following, please ask your doctor’s permission first
- Diabetes type 2.
- if you take any medication that could be affected by the ketogenic diet.
- fragility or weakness.
- If you are prediabetic or have pre-liver failure symptoms.
- Serious mental health issues.
- If you have a fever (now or intermittent).
- Recovering from a serious surgery (wait till the end of your convalescent period).
- If you are breastfeeding (wait till you wean your baby).
- Gallstones or hypercholesterolemia.
Cut your carbs gradually:
Before jumping headfirst into the keto diet, you have to wean yourself off carbs first!
There is a keto-flu stage (learn more here about its symptoms) if you start ketogenic diet overnight!
To avoid feeling dizzy and some annoying muscle cramps, all you have to do is gradually cut your carbs over a course of 2-4 weeks. Reduce your carbs intake by 10-30 gm per week.
Plan your meals:
We know a ketogenic diet is easy, it’s all about cutting carbs and adding more fats to your daily meals.
But you have to know about what you can or can’t eat in your new ketogenic diet plan to avoid any side effects or unexpected failure.
If ketogenic diet says you can eat seafood as much as you can, it doesn’t mean you should! You may be allergic to seafood or simply dislike it. So, you have to seek alternatives before starting planning.
You read you did your homework, you were cleared by your doctor, you cut your carbs, you are now ready to start planning for your ketogenic diet journey.
Setting the Goal:
You can’t plan something without determining its ultimate goal!
- Is your goal mere weight loss? If yes, how many pounds? What is your ideal weight?
- How do you want to lose them? All through ketogenic diet? or just the first few pounds?
- Is your goal to eat healthier?
- Is your goal to treat a certain disorder? Like epilepsy? or avoid complications of another disease like diabetes type 2? Or PCOS?
- Want to improve your overall health?
- Is your goal to prevent cardiac problems?
- Or is your goal to stop acne breakthroughs?
You need to set a start point, something that could be measured, so you can follow through with your target.
For example your:
- Starting weight.
- Complete blood picture, cholesterol and triglycerides level.
- Endurance and strength.
- Blood sugars.
- Hormonal profile.
Compare these numbers on a weekly or biweekly basis to know if you are on the right track or not!
Prepare your meals:
Get a planner, divide it into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
Add meals accordingly, whether it is a 7 or 14- or 28-days plan.
Now you know exactly what will you eat every day, so no surprises here!
What to eat and what not in ketogenic diet? Find them here!
Try to choose ingredients that you already like, if you love eggs then indulge in eggs, if you are a meat person add more meat to your daily meal plan and so on.
Go grocery shopping:
Pay a visit to your nearest grocery store, start shopping according to your meal plans!
Always chose the healthier version of what you need.
- Organic eggs over non-organic ones.
- Fresh veggies over frozen ones (if possible)
- Grass-fed meat over frozen ones.
- Coconut milk instead of dairy milk (if you like its taste)
This will help you create a healthier lifestyle later and maintain your ideal weight as long as possible.
If you have a weak spot for pizza, then don’t pass by dominoes’ pizza!
If you have a weak spot for pasta, don’t go to an all you can eat contest in your favorite Italian restaurant!
It will be hard at first, and as they say ” if there is will, there is a way”
Watch out for keto-flu symptoms:
If you didn’t cut on your carbs gradually as advised earlier, then you may suffer any of the following symptoms:
- Mental fogginess
These symptoms could be annoying for some, to overcome them drink lots of water and add more Himalayan salt to your meals. If they remain persistent then stop the ketogenic diet and visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Ketogenic diet plan:
Dietlife is making things a little bit easier by helping out with a 7 days meal prep plan to help you kick off your keto diet journey. It is just a sample plan, feel free to adjust it to your taste but always focus on 75% fats, 20% proteins, and less than 5% carbs!
- Breakfast: two hard-boiled eggs drizzled with Himalayan pink salt and black pepper, with sautéed veggies.
- Lunch: grass-fed burger wrapped in lettuce topped with organic cheese and mushrooms with a side salad.
- Dinner: pork chops with asparagus that was sautéed in coconut oil.
- Snack: mixed nuts.
- Breakfast: Greek yogurt with a cinnamon sprinkle and few berries.
- Lunch: tuna salad.
- Dinner: roasted chicken with rich creamy sauce and roasted broccoli and brussels sprouts.
- Snack: celery with cheesy dips
- Breakfast: stuffed bell peppers with minced meat and melted cheese.
- Lunch: avocado salad (find the recipe here)
- Dinner: grilled salmon with asparagus (use olive or coconut oil).
- Snack: bulletproof coffee.
- Breakfast: full-fat yogurt with chopped nuts.
- Lunch: homemade rib-eye steak with grilled veggies.
- Dinner: chicken Caesar salad with creamy Caesar dressing
- Snack: cookies made with almond flour. ( where to buy almond flour)
- Breakfast: egg muffins with chopped bell peppers and broccoli with extra turkey slices.
- Lunch: meatballs with cauliflower rice (find the recipe here).
- Dinner: pork chops with sautéed spinach.
- Snack: kale chips
- Breakfast: chia pudding with coconut and walnuts.
- Lunch: Cobb salad: made of greens, hardboiled eggs, turkey and roast beef slices.
- Dinner: avocado cocoa mousse (find keto-friendly desserts here)
- Snack: Macadamia nuts
- Breakfast: sunny side up eggs with cauliflower toast.
- Lunch: Bunless salmon burgers with pesto sauce.
- Dinner: chicken curry.
- Snack: berries with whipped cream.
Dietlife takeaway message:
- Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein, no carbs diet. it is somehow extreme for some to follow. So before starting it make sure you follow the plan!
- This plan includes lots of reading about ketogenic diet, some blood works and clearance from your doctor that you can go through with this diet.
- When you are ready to start ketogenic diet, have your meals prepared, go shopping accordingly and always cook with good fats!
- In this diet the myth of ” fats will make you fat” is busted.
- Watch out for any keto-flu symptoms as they may affect your daily routine.
- When you are near your target weight, consult with your doctor about the best next step to maintain your weight and wean from the ketosis state.
- After all, this is not a lifestyle diet like being a vegetarian, keto diet cannot be followed for more than 3-6 months. Your body still needs a balanced nutritious healthy lifestyle.
- Yancy WS Jr1, Foy M, Chalecki AM, Vernon MC, Westman EC. A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2005 Dec 1; 2:34.
- Davis BC, Jamshed H, Peterson CM, et al. An Intensive Lifestyle Intervention to Treat Type 2 Diabetes in the Republic of the Marshall Islands: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. Front Nutr. 2019; 6:79. Published 2019 Jun 5. doi:10.3389/fnut.2019.00079.
- Durkalec-Michalski K, Nowaczyk PM, Siedzik K. Effect of a four-week ketogenic diet on exercise metabolism in CrossFit-trained athletes. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2019;16(1):16. Published 2019 Apr 5. DOI:10.1186/s12970-019-0284-9.
- Paoli A, Rubini A, Volek JS, Grimaldi KA. Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets [published correction appears in Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 May;68(5):641]. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013;67(8):789–796. DOI:10.1038/ejcn.2013.116.