Those of you who follow me on any social media account in existence have, for the last two month, been subjected to my keto journey. I think for my first post about it I promised to not become one of those annoying keto people then promptly became a very annoying keto person. VERY. ANNOYING. I’m sorry.
The question I seem to be getting most often is “How did you start?” And I get that because there is SO MUCH information out there about keto that it can become very overwhelming very quickly.
When I first started my BFF pointed me to this subreddit. She has been doing keto for awhile and had told me several times how much better her stomach was doing with dairy. It was so hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that you could eat MORE dairy and MORE meat and have LESS tummy issues.
Then I decided one day after a particularly bad SIBO attack that cutting carbs NEEDED to happen. So I spent he next few days reading everything I could find on google and jumped in feet first.
And it’s been life changing. My stomach took about two weeks to adjust, it was rough. I got the keto flu, it was rough. But then all the pieces fell into place and I’ve been doing AMAZING. My stomach issues are about 85% better and a major happy side effect is that as of this morning I’ve lost 19.2 pounds in the last two months.
So! Where should you start? First find what your keto macros should be by using any of the keto calculators out there.
- Keto in a Nutshell from the Keto Subreddit was GREAT. It’s a very easy to read account of the why/how of keto.
Also, the subreddit in general has been a great source of information and motivation.
- You will have questions though and I found answers to most of them from Perfect Keto. What are ketones?! What is ketosis?! They do a great job of answering all of that.
- I got these keto test strips for around $8.00. I still have about half of them left two months in. I tested A LOT at first but now I usually just test first thing in the morning, when I get home from work, and sometimes before bed.
- I also have the subscription for MyFitnessPal ($50.00 annual fee) because it lets you see information at the macronutrient level daily and per meal. You don’t NEED this but I like that it’s available.
- There’s a lot of information out there about the keto flu but overwhelmingly what I read was that the best way to combat it was to HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE. Most people swear by Powerade Zero but it definitely upset my stomach so I ended up getting some Xtend BCAAs in strawberry kiwi ($20.00 for the tub of 30 servings) and they were really helpful. I’m about to order some more because I drink one 12-16 ounce glass a day now. The BCAAs and Tylenol were enough to keep the keto headache mostly at bay for the 3-4 days I had them in the beginning.
BUT WHAT DO I EAT!?
Well, ALL THE THINGS! Here are some things:
- Meat: chicken, pork loin, bacon, salmon, turkey, canned tuna, and sometimes beef
- Vegetables: spinach, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, cauliflower rice, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, zucchini, green beans, lettuce, cabbage, celery, cucmber
- Snacks: dry salami, prosciutto, sliced gouda, sliced havarti, hard boiled eggs, cheddar cheese, avocados (SO MANY AVOCADOS), strawberries, raspberries
- Other: Eggs, heavy whipping cream (in everything! I make whipped cream, I add it to coffee, I use it to make pan sauces, ALL THE THINGS), salad dressings such as ranch or blue cheese dressing (I know a lot of keto fans prefer ranch, I’m a blue cheese fan), I get a small tub of jalapeno artichoke dip, natural no sugar added peanut butter, almond flour (I use this to make 90 second keto bread twice a week or so), avocado oil, olive oil, butter, artificial sweetener (I have tried both Erythritol and SweetLeaf Stevia and I prefer the stevia), ChocZero 50% Dark Chocolate Squares, and unsweetened bakers chocolate to shave onto my whipped cream and berries for dessert.
There are literally THOUSANDS of meal ideas on Pinterest and my favorite website for recipes so far has been KetoConnect. They also have a YouTube channel to show how most recipes are made and full days of eating Keto. There are so many keto YouTube videos so when I want some meal ideas I search “full day keto”.
My keto macros are: 1770 calories, 20 NET carbs, 88 grams of protein, 149 grams of fat.
Some people on keto go by total carbs but most go by net carbs. To get net carbs you take total carbs – fiber – sugar alcohol = NET carbs.
So an avocado has 12 carbs and 10 grams of fiber.
2 NET carbs
I eat at least one a day. High fat foods like avocados keep me full for quite awhile. This is a very common day of eating for me. I didn’t hit my fat goal but I still had more fat than protein and only 15 carbs so I’m completely happy with that. You don’t have to be PERFECT for keto, you just need to be aware of your macros. My three main goals for the day are:
- Stay under 20-25 carbs. (I aim for 20 but don’t worry unless I’m at more than 25)
- Try to get as close as possible to that fat macro.
- Keep my fat grams more than protein.
If I’m eating out I just get a bunless burger with a side of veggies, or a salad with meat (LOVE taco salad), or fish and veggies. So far there hasn’t been anywhere that I haven’t been able to stick to keto. I’m not shy about asking for substitutions at all, most places don’t mind.
I have had two cheat times. Once when I was in Washington for 6 days, last weekend I had a cheat day where I allowed myself to cheat for breakfast and dinner, and in two weeks I’m going to Mexico and will likely cheat there too. It hasn’t really slowed down the weight loss at all. You can see the two spikes were both cheat times and within a week I was back to the pre-cheat weight!
WHEW! That is a lot. I think I’ll stop here for now. I really hope this helps out. If you have any questions feel free to comment or message me on Facebook or Twitter and I am more than happy to answer them. I have been SO HAPPY with how great I feel, how much better my blood pressure is, how HAPPY by tummy is and I’m not going to complain at all about dropping almost 20 pounds! I plan on adding some of my favorite recipes as blog posts soon!