What is Keto | In Plain Language

I get asked A LOT what KETO is. Many friends know of the struggle I have had to lose weight & reset my hormones so when they hear I am almost down 40lbs in 6 months they all ask how.  I’m sorry there is no easy fast fix, but my answer is Keto. Low carb, high fat way of eating. This post is to help you understand What is Keto | In Plain Language.

What is Keto | In Plain Language

I think of Keto as a way of eating & not a diet. A diet has a beginning & an end. A way of eating is my life. It is hard work, the first 2 weeks will make or break you. You need someone in your life that you can shout at when it gets bad, someone who gets it and has been there. Someone to encourage you and to yell at you to put the donut down. But once you are past the first 2 weeks, it is smooth sailing.

PLEASE MAKE SURE TO TALK WITH YOUR LICENSED MEDICAL PRACTITIONER BEFORE YOU BEFORE BEGIN ANY EATING CHANGE. This way of eating isn’t for everyone, and I am not liable for what happens to you.  You may not think breast feeding, or having epilepsy matters but it does. Hormones not working, or bad acne or digestive issues – anything – please talk with your doctor first!!!!

What is Keto | In Plain Language

So before you take the plunge and cut carbs for good, do what I did. Which was nothing.  The first 2 weeks all I did was use the free app My Fitness Pal and logged absolutely everything I put in my mouth. From water to gum to that sneak taste of icing off the beater to dinner. EVERYTHING. I also have my fitness pal synced with My FITBIT app so my exercise calories are adjusted.  At the end of 2 weeks I could not believe my eyes. I was not looking at calories out & in, I went to the nutritional part and looked at my 3 keto macros. Carbs, Fat & Protein.  I was consuming 250+ grams of carbs a day, and I was eating healthy!!  A bagel for breakfast, banana with lunch, starchy vegetables with pasta for dinner. HOLY CRAP.  To get into Ketosis one must have less then 20 grams of carbs in a 24 hour period. Man I had some research to do.

Research says that when you are in ketosis, which is your body for 2-3 days continually under the 20g carb intake your liver produces ketones and these are fat sucking machines that literally trim your waist line. When you stop giving your body easy to access fuel, which is carbs your body begins to use the stored fuel we know as fat. So being looking at your labels on the food you eat. What is the carb count & how many grams of that carb count are sugar.  There is healthy sugar & bad sugar but to get into ketosis you need to think of all sugar as bad, for a little time only. Same goes for artificial sweeteners, you will notice sugar is in a lot of items & food tastes will change so read the labels carefully.

The other macro you want to look at is fibre. I count what is called net carbs,  at the end of the day take your total carb count and subtract the fibre count. That is your net carb intake.  Fibre is not stored in the body, it is used and there fore helps reduce your carbs.

What is Keto | In Plain Language

Now, there will be the “keto police”. Yep people who think they are know it all’s on the subject and will treat you badly for misbehaving. They will actually tell you certain foods are bad and not keto and you are not in ketosis if you eat them, they will food shame you. Ignore them. I take the stand that if the food or drink I want fits into my macro goals then I will consume it.  Yes I want to eat healthy but if half a banana fits, I will eat it! So begin logging everything you put in your mouth. That includes cough medicine & vitamins.  Do this to get a handle on how you eat now.  And knowing I needed my carb count under 20 grams a day, I began slowly reducing what I ate that contained carbs. It took me almost 2 weeks to get to that magic number, but by going slowly into ketosis, I avoided keto flu. Keto flu is just that, a flu, your body is detoxing away from all the sugars and you will feel ill. But by going slowly over 2 weeks into ketosis I avoided that plague and was smooth sailing into this way of eating.

What I have found is the way of eating isn’t so much about calories. I find that sticking to my 3 macros my calorie intake is 9/10 times below my daily recommendation. Keto means tracking:

  1. Carbs ( low amounts )
  2. Fat ( high amounts )
  3. Protein ( moderate amounts )

Carbs are turned into glucose and if not immediately used for fuel will be stored for a rainy day, we don’t want that. That is how we become fat.  Eating fat is actually good, it takes the body longer to digest it so you stay fuller longer, and it takes more calories to burn it off so you are burning stored fuel to digest it. This is good.  And protein is necessary but too much protein can be bad, especially in the absence of glucose, the body will apparently turn it from protein to glucose and store it.

What is Keto | In Plain Language

So after much reading and talking with others from the #Ketofam I found my macro goals for the day. These are mine. These work for me, I have adjusted them a couple times as my body and goals have changed.  Please find the macros that work for you. 

  • Carbs – 33 grams which is 10% of my daily macro nutrients
  • Fat  – 103 grams which makes up 70% of my daily macro nutrients
  • Protein – 66 grams which is 20% of my daily macro nurtrients

You will find hitting one or 2 of these goals is easy, but getting that third one is a challenge. The one thing I have learned is I only eat when hungry, not when the clock says to. ( unless your doctor has said to eat at a certain time do that, but if your doctor approved for full keto only eat when hungry. )   Pinterest has been my go to place for recipes. Follow me  as I save tried & tested recipes & with the help of those recipes hitting 100% of my macros isn’t a challenge any more.

And the last piece of info I can give you, is you think you need xx amount of water in a day, triple that! I ended up constipated at first, my 2 litres of water was not enough. So I now drink close to 3 litres, unless I eat a lot of water green veggies as spinach or lettuce.  So drink up!! make sure your urine is pale yellow and non smelly ( unless you ate asparagus ).

Eating out isn’t a problem, My Fitness pal has most restaurants menus in it’s data base, and there is a bar code scanner as well so as you walk the aisle at the liqor store for that drink, scan away and see what fits into your macros. I also don’t cook different meals for me and others for the family. We all eat the same, who knew my kids would fall in love with spinach & fat head bread!  I even found low carb pancake recipes as well.  I just keep their macros higher as they are kids & don’t need to lose weight.

When I reach my goal for weight, I will begin carb upping, that is introducing healthy carbs back into my way of eating in small doses. That way I can maintain and move forward.

So this is keto in a nut shell. This info has helped me on this journey and got me almost down 40lbs in 6 months. Each person is different, each person will respond differently and I can’t stress it enough – talk with your doctor first! If you have questions please ask. I find having a network of fellow #ketofam members makes this journey easier on those hard days.

Thanks for reading!