Ok guys, so if you've read our HOW FOOD WORKS 101 guide then you know all about how your body operates and what happens in ketosis. Now comes the fun part...
We get to put this diet into action!
Fun, a diet? Yea, I wasn't convinced either, but once I got the hang of it, it became second nature and I no longer crave the pizza and pasta and donuts that once made a lean body impossible. However, here I am a year later... lean and healthier at 30 than I was at 20.
Concerned about your heart and your cholesterol? Don't be! More on that later, but that's the first rule...
Don't Fear Fats! Because if you fear it, you're not going to eat enough of it. You're going to have a lot of people telling you that this much dietary fat is bad for your health but that's based off of some very flawed and outdated science.
Let's look at a few examples of current civilizations with very high fat low carb culture:
The Maasai Tribe of Tanzania - the people of this tribe are cattle farmers in a region that doesn't have very many carbohydrates, fresh produce and absolutely no added sugar! They live off the livestock, meaning they eat plenty of meat and saturated fat. They drink full fat raw milk by the gallons... daily. The elders of this tribe tend to die at a healthy old age, no history of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity.
The Arctic Inuit Eskimos - similar to the Maasai they eat a very high fat low carb diet. Seal and seal blubber are consumed year-round and in abundant quantities, with crops and plant based foods being scarce for much of the year due to climate. No health problems and plenty of old age.
Two cultures in opposite climates, and opposite ends of the world on high fat low carb diets (high ANIMAL fat diets) and same results... good health and low obesity rates!
BONUS Example: In a study done on centenarians (people who live to be over 100) they typically had high cholesterol. Cholesterol that, by today’s standards, would make your doctor put you on cholesterol medication, which begs the questions why do the oldest people have the highest cholesterol if cholesterol is bad for you? More on that soon!
Still not convinced? Here is a short video published by Time Magazine called The Truth About Fat
COUNTING YOUR MACROS
This is a high fat low carb diet, but a precise one, which is why it's important to count your macros.
What are macros? Macro, short for macronutrients, are the three food groups that make up your calories: Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates. The macros for this diet require specific quantities, meaning you need to count calories, they have plenty of apps for that, it's easy (I swear).
Fat Calories - minimum 70% of your daily calories should come from fat. Eat fat liberally, more is better in the beginning weeks as your body is fat adapting and this will help you get there faster. Start buying chicken thighs instead of breasts, start buying whole fat yogurt (low fat is no good) and bring on the butter. Once you are adapted just eat fats until you are satiated. Keep your protein and carbs in check but don't worry about hitting 70% percent, shoot for pleasantly comfortable.
Protein Calories - 20% - 30% of your daily caloric intake. But more specifically you want to aim for 0.6 to 1.0 grams per pound body weight per day. So, if you weigh 200 pounds that's 200 grams. However, this upper limit should be reserved for active dieters, otherwise on non-workout days you should aim for the lower end of that spectrum, as excess protein can be converted into glucose.
Carb Calories - 5% - 10% of your daily calories. Above all this is not the rule to break, carbs, particularly sugar will skyrocket your glucose and bring you back to fat storing city. More specifically you should limit this to 20g - 30g per day of net carbs.
what are net carbs?
Net Carbs are the carbs net of carb subcategories that don't affect your insulin levels. Those categories are:
Fiber - Fiber is great for you. This isn't new information and you don't need a fiber supplement, you just need a good healthy amount of green vegetables. Fiber basically passes through the body undigested like a micronutrient uber driver, just dropping little vitamins and minerals off to the party and then he's out of there.
Sugar Alcohols - these are your keto approved sweeteners like stevia and erythritol. They are keto approved because, they have very little calorie count and a negligible effect on glucose and insulin levels (like fiber). However, I wouldn't recommend these in the very beginning, give your body time to wean off the sugar.
Net Carbs = Total Carbs - Fiber - Sugar Alcohol
Easily find nutrition fact listing for foods by google searching "name of food" and nutritional data Ex. "Chicken Thigh Nutritional Data" and it will show you the macros on the right- hand side!
foods to avoid
All grains, even whole grains: wheat, rye, oats, corn, barley millet, bulgur, sorghum, rice, buckwheat, sprouted grains and quinoa. Aka bread, pasta, pizza, croissants, muffins, bagels, crackers, cookies, pastries, cakes, donuts, tortillas and that includes gluten free products!
Sweets, Sugars and Sugar Sweetened Beverages(SSB): No sweetened drinks, these above all offs have been directly linked to serious illness because you are drinking sugar and water, and lots of sugar. Sugar is the worst of the worst. No sugar. This includes soda, diet soda, milk, sports drinks, most coconut waters, fruit juice (even fresh squeezed), kombucha drinks (most of them, check the label), sweet tea and all added sugars.
Fruits and High Carb Vegetables: Now before you get skeptical, I am not saying fruit is bad for you, it has tons of vitamins and great fiber, but it's not going to help you lose weight. It's too high in sugar content. This includes: apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, pears, plums, grapes (including wine), melons, potatoes, beets, carrots, all tubers, parsnips, jicama. Not bad for you, but stop you from reaching ketosis.
Alcohol with calories: This one should be taken very lightly, but generally liquor (not including beer, wine and liquors with added sugar) doesn't have calories so it is "within your macros" and simple put it will not kick you out of ketosis, but it will absolutely delay fat loss and fat adaption. Your body views alcohol as a toxin, therefore is stops everything and focuses strictly on getting that toxic out. So beer, wine, mixed drinks and any combination of alcohol and calories will get pushed into fat storage.
Factory Farmed Meat and farm raised fish: now this is not really a keto rule but let me make my case... It's much higher in omega 6 fatty acids, we really want to focus on the omega 3 fatty acids which are found in the wild caught, grass fed and cage free meat varieties. I understand, it is more expensive, but it's worth the extra cost.
Trans Fats and Hydrogenated Oil: Same reason as the above, it's high in omega 6 and inflammatory markers. This is the oil used to make a lot of processed foods, chips, convenient store treats. This is your corn oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil, grapeseed oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and several others.
Processed Foods: We're not just trying to just lose weight, we're trying to be healthy, for the long term. Stick to whole foods and fresh vegetables. Frozen Vegetables are fine.* This also includes: most jarred sauces, ketchup, jarred and canned fruit, barbecue sauce and any other sweet or tomato based sauce, and not saying tomatoes are bad for you, I love them, but they are pretty high in sugar, which is the key aspect. Avoid added carbohydrates and general rule of thumb avoid stuff that requires a nutrition label.
* in fact some evidence suggests that frozen is actually higher in nutritional value. This is going to come with some disagreement, but consider the way you source your vegetables. If you live in a cold climate like, the north east in the winter, you're getting vegetables shipped in days after they are picked. While still healthy they have surely have nutritional value. Frozen vegetables are flash frozen minutes after being picked, retaining most of the value
Key Takeaway: The goal here is real foods. By avoiding refined carbs, sugars, factory farmed meats and processed foods you are doing your body a great service, but by going the extra mile and avoiding carbs, period, you will benefit from the amazing benefits of ketosis.
FOODS TO EAT
Meat, Poultry & Fish: Bacon, Sausage, Steak, Chicken Thigh, Salmon, all fatty meats, fatty fish (anchovy, herring, mackerel, sardine, salmon, trout), shrimp, squid, fatty cured and dried meats, jerky meats (no added sugar!)
Fat bases and oils: Lard, butter, ghee, olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, macadamia oil, hemp oil, avocado oil
Eggs and Dairy: Eggs, cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, crème fraiche, whipping cream, tzatziki sauce, fat greek yogurt (read the label for sugar), full-fat mayonnaise
Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms. Read labels, stay within your macros but if you are going over by way of green leafy vegetables don’t feel too guilty these foods are necessary. If keto is an oil change, increased micronutrients by way of green leafy vegetables is a tune up.
Nuts, Seeds and Low Carb, Natural Products (No Atkins Products): All high fat nuts like brazil nuts, macadamia, walnuts, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, peanuts, peanut butter (no added sugar), cacao powder, cacao butter, coconut, coconut milk (unsweetened), almond milk (unsweetened), pork rinds, mustard, psyllium husk, almond products, coconut flour, dark chocolate (85%+), baking powder, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, shredded coconut, chia seeds, vinegar, balsamic vinegar (go easy it has sugar), lemon juice, low carb ketchup and tomato products
Berries: Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries
Approved Artificial Sugars/Sugar Alcohols (not recommended in the beginning: stevia, erythritol, sorbitol, isomalt, xylitol
Coffee, Tea and all natural, no calorie beverage: Rule of thumb don't drink calories, unless of course its by way of added fat. Carbonated water is a good option .
Key Takeaway: Whole low carbohydrate foods. If it's high in carbs, or too much protein it will not fit within your macro goal. Stick to the list, nuts and berries in moderation and eat fats liberally.
Do i get a cheat meal?
This is the part you've all been waiting for...
So here's the thing, this is a fairly controversial within the keto community but while this will temporarily knock you out of ketosis the pros outweigh the cons. Here's why:
Simple Sanity: Some will say this is a "gateway" but I see it as a way to reward yourself after a successful week. Have those carb loaded vices and get it out of your system. Plus, this makes sticking to the diet easier, if you only have operate in 6 day increments it is much easier to manage. But no leftovers! Get them out of the house before you talk yourself into a bite, or two, or three.
The Hormonal Effect: Think of this like a jump start for your body. Sure, the negative effects of insulin will stick around for a few hours, but as long as you contain it to one overall spike (hence the one meal) your body won't fall into the fat storing cycle. But, more importantly this will boost fat burning for the next 4-6 days.
So, the rules of the cheat meal are as such:
Once per week: if you break and eat a cheat food mid week, you must start over. You get one minimum every 7 days. The smallest serving of sugar will set you off, so 7 days in between.
One meal: like mentioned above you want to keep this eating window within a 4 hour period, so a very long meal, but 4 hours is a good rule of thumb.
Workout before: This is an optimal goal, stress your muscles prior to refeeding to maximize muscle growth and minimize fat storage.
Key Takeaway: Cheat days are to your discretion. We do ours weekly, and we don't miss it. Not ever. Evidence suggests that a weekly carb refeed boosts metabolism and fat burning hormones.
CONGRATULATIONS! you are ready to start your ketogenic lifestyle
we made you an infographic
Not that you needed it, because like I said, you're a keto pro now. But, I've always wanted to make an infograpahic and this was my attempt, hope you like it...