Aloha and welcome back to part 3 of the Keto Diet Masterclass. During part two we had a good look at both the benefits as well as the potential side effects involved with the ketogenic diet. Considering you’re back for more, you must be anxious to get started- and I want to make sure you’re off to a SUPER strong start- that means, nailing your percentages, eating the right fats and cashing in on the serious keto benefits coming your way.
And that’s exactly what part 3 is designed to do- to walk you through the steps necessary to effectively implement the ketogenic diet. So enough of the introduction, let’s get right into the material.
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Establishing a well-formulated ketogenic diet may not be as complicated as you’re anticipating. The health and growth of the human body relies on three macronutrients: fat, protein and carbohydrates.
It’s likely you’re already accustomed to eating all three in ascending order. If so, you’ll simply need to reevaluate your current distribution and reprogram your body to consume its macros in descending order.
What does that even mean?
It means, if you’re like most, you’re accustomed to consuming tremendous amounts of carbs and very modest amounts of fat. And the first step in shifting to a ketogenic diet is to reprioritize your macros.
So what does that look like?
This is a basic breakdown of your macros on the ketogenic diet:
70-80% of your dietary intake should be derived from fat.
10-20% of your dietary intake should be derived from protein.
5-10% of your dietary intake should be derived from carbohydrates.
So how do you know if you’re consuming the appropriate percentages?
As we know, in order to lose weight you want to consume fewer calories than you burn. Total caloric need takes into account: sex, age, BMR, activity level as well as rate of digestion and absorption. Calculating appropriate caloric needs can be a bit tedious and unnecessarily complicated. However, not to worry, I have two easy solutions to offer you.
2 ways of Calculating Appropriate Caloric Needs:
- Free Dieting Calorie Calculator
- Multiply your current weight (in pounds) by 10 if you’re a female and 11 if you’re a male.
The first is a website entitled FreeDieting.com, this website makes it really easy to input your information, click a button and receive an appropriate caloric goal for weight loss or weight maintenance.
The second option, though not as accurate will do the trick as well.
Once you’ve determined your caloric needs, you can then use the following equation to determine appropriate macros percentages.As a 150lb, 37 year old female, I’ve approximated that 1,500 calories a day should sufficiently shred my midsection. Now that I know 1,500 is my target number, it’s simply a matter of plugging in the numbers.
Now I know you may be thinking…
16 grams of carbs a day?! There are 27 grams of carbohydrates in my favorite IPA. 🙁
Yes, I know. it may be time to grieve some losses my friend. Unless you’re accustomed to drinking Michalob Ultra, beer is pretty much outta the question while on keto, at least for the weight loss period. The good news is, once you’ve met your target weight, the ketogenic diet can be easily converted into a much more manageable and forgiving experience.
In the meantime, understand that the ketogenic diet as with any other weight loss plan out there is a restrictive experience. There will be all sorts of foods that are essentially off-limits. Initially, your diet will likely feel limited and boring. But don’t be discouraged. Keeping it simple at first can be the key to success.
Once you’ve mastered your macros you can begin experimenting with all sorts of variations and keto-friendly recipes. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For now, let’s begin by laying out some ground rules. The following is a list of 3 basic ketogenic guidelines.
3 Basic Ketogenic Guidelines
- Eliminate sugar and starch from your diet.
- Consume moderate amounts of protein.
- Include healthy fats at every meal.
Let me walk you through each guideline one by one.
Keto guideline #1: Eliminate sugar and starch from your diet.
Well, let’s be honest. Guideline number one is a fully loaded guideline and clearly the most difficult guideline to adhere to, and that’s exactly why we’re starting with it. As we mentioned back in part 1 of this 3-part series, the ketogenic diet is truly a sugar elimination diet. And kicking sugar is no easy feat. It’s SO challenging in fact that I spent a year developing a comprehensive program breaking down the steps necessary to effectively eliminate sugar from your diet, for good.
If the thought of going cold turkey on sugar and starch is absolutely crippling, you may want to consider easing into the ketogenic diet. My signature program, Breaking up with Sugar is designed to do just that. Breaking up with Sugar is a comprehensive 30-day sugar elimination diet complete with sustainable guidelines, meal plans and grocery lists. Click here if you’re interested in learning more.
Now you may be thinking…
Wait! What about my 16g of carbs per day?
Does that mean that I can have a handful of french fries or a small bag of potato chips? Or how about a couple of Oreo cookies?
Well, I will admit you’ve uncovered a common loophole. When I first began receiving keto inquiries I found that many people were blowing their carb count on one hardly-worth-it daily cheat. And that’s because we tend to think of carbs as pastries, pastas, rice and bread, not as fruits and veggies. Blowing your carb count on nutrient void starches will not only slow the ketogenic adaptation, it will also compromise your health.
In order to effectively implement the ketogenic diet your carb count should be reserved for veggies.
What you’ll quickly discover is that carbohydrates are hiding in EVERYTHING. Avocado, onions, celery, garlic, even coffee has carbs. Let’s have a quick look at some keto appropriate carbs.
3 Basic Veggie Guidelines
- Green leafys are best
- Choose alkaline over acidic
- Avoid/limit starchy veggies
Let’s break these guidelines down a bit further.
Veggie guideline #1: Green leafys are best
As a general rule of thumb, the greener the leaf, the healthier it is for you. So no, iceberg lettuce is not going to cut it. Here is a list of some choice green leafys along with an acclaimed health benefit.
- Collard greens – lowers cholesterol
- Spinach – suppresses appetite
- Arugula – anti-cancer + anti-diabetic
- Swiss chard – antioxidant rich
- Dandelion – purifies blood
- Kale – reduces risk of heart disease
- Red leaf lettuce – strengthens bones
- Watercress – anti-aging
- Turnip greens – reduces risk of osteoporosis
Veggie guideline #2: Choose alkaline over acidic
Alkaline and acidic are terms associated with pH balance. How the body reacts to certain foods is what determines whether foods are alkaline-forming or acid-forming. Research shows that diets consisting of highly alkaline foods result in an increase in alkalinity, which helps protect healthy cells and balance essential mineral levels. Therefore, I recommend turning the following list of alkaline vegetables into dietary staples.
- Herbs, such as basil, mint, parsley and cilantro
- And Sea Vegetables such as wakame, kelp and Spirulina
Now keep in mind there are all sorts of veggies I made no mention of. This certainly doesn’t mean that they’re off the menu, I just didn’t want to keep you here all day with my ‘best of veggies’ lists. Moving on.
Veggie Guideline number 3: Avoid or Limit Starchy Veggies
Starchy vegetables are complex carbohydrates. And although complex carbs are said to prolong satiation and diminish sugary cravings, they do in fact break down in the body as sugar and therefore affect ketosis.
The following is a list of vegetables to avoid or consume in extremely small quantities.
- Potatoes such as sweet, white and Okinawan
- And zucchini
Keto guideline #2: Consume moderate amounts of protein.
Quick forewarning: Protein can be easily overdone on the ketogenic diet because most of us have been programmed to consume far more protein than need be on a daily basis. My guess is, for most of you the central focus of your plate is on the exciting piece, the steak, the burger, even the filet of fish, not the veggies nor the olive oil drizzled over the top.
Keep in mind, unless you’re taking your swoll self to the gym for 2 hour sweat sessions per day you don’t need any more than a palm-sized piece of protein with each meal.
So which protein choices are best on the ketogenic diet?
I’ve broken this down into 3 potential sub-categories: conscious carnivores, pescatarians and veggies.
Protein for the Conscious Carnivores
- Chicken, all parts- including the skin, thighs legs and breasts
- Eggs, including the yolk
- Beef- especially nice marbleized cuts such as ribeyes or strip steaks
- Animal organs such as liver, heart and kidneys
- Pork such as chops, bacon and sausage
- And Whole fat cheese
Protein for the Pescatarians
- Mahi mahi
Plant-based protein for the Veggies
- Macadamia nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds ectera.
Food labels are especially important when it comes to animal products. Why? Because not only have our commercial farms gotten WAY outta control in terms of animal cruelty; they’re also contaminating the meat with all sorts of harmful hormones and antibiotics.
Now I could certainly drag you down the rabbit hole on this topic and I absolutely do within my program Breaking up with Sugar. But for the purposes of this masterclass I’m simply going to provide you with a simple list of guidelines to follow when purchasing animal products.
The following is a list of 4 Guidelines to ensure you’re purchasing high-quality meat.
4 Guidelines to Purchasing Quality Meat
- Organic is better for the animal and better for you
- Reach for pasture-raised poultry and eggs
- Consume grass-fed beef, goat, lamb and bison
- Purchase nitrate, hormone and antibiotic free meat
Number one. Organic is better for the animal and better for you. Right now, the most federally regulated label on your food, in terms of upholding specific government requirements, is the U.S. Department of Agriculture Organic seal.
Number two. Reach for organic, pasture-raised poultry and eggs. Free range can be a bit deceiving, in fact the label can be used as long as the animal has some access to the outdoors each day, even if just for a few minutes. It does not mean that the animal ever actually went outdoors to roam freely. Pasture raised holds higher standards than free-range.
Number three. Consume grass-fed beef, goat, lamb and bison. For the record beef, goat, lamb and bison are all designed to eat grass, not corn or other animal byproducts.
And number four. Be sure to purchase nitrate, hormone and antibiotic free meat. Antibiotics wreak havoc like little atomic bombs on the body. We don’t need anymore of that garbage being pumped into our system because honestly the extent of the ramifications has yet to be determined. And I don’t know about you but I’m not keen on the idea of becoming a test subject. Alright, alright I promised not to drag you down the rabbit hole. So let’s move on.
Keto guideline #3: Include healthy fats at every meal.
By now I’m sure you’ve fully grasped the concept that if the body is not fueling off starch and sugar it will effectively feast off of fat. But that’s exactly where you could go wrong. Many ketogenic diet plans play up the fact that the ketogenic diet is basically a fat feast. Meaning as long as you’re tossing out the bun you can have a greasy burger topped off with American cheese and Helman’s mayonnaise. Or a wedge salad sprinkled with heaps of bleu cheese crumbles and chopped bacon. Or deep fried hot wings dipped in Hidden Valley Ranch.
Here’s the deal. You can absolutely maintain ketosis and shred weight by consuming any of the meals I listed above. In fact, I’ve even put them to the test on my cheat days. The only problem is, there’s nothing healthy about it. Yes, you’ll continue to lose weight but you’ll also continue to clog your arteries and raise your cholesterol. Which in turn increases your risk for Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes, amongst other conditions. So the key is, you must feast on the right fats.
So what are the right fats?
The following is a list of the ten best sources for healthy fat. The last four options have been marked with an asterisk, as there is heavy debate as to whether or not they are the best options for dietary fat.
10 Best Sources for Fat:
- Oils + Lards
- Sea Vegetables
- Sustainably Sourced Fish and Seafood
- Organic, pasture-raised eggs*
- Organic, raw dairy products*
- Grass fed meat*
- Organic animal organs*
As for quality oils and lards we’re talking…
- Beef tallow
- Cocoa butter
- Coconut oil
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Ghee butter
- Grass-fed whole butter
- Pork lard
- Duck fat
- MCT oil
- Avocado mayonaise
- And sustainably sourced Palm Kernel oil
But what about the wrong fats- those fats that will clog your arteries and raise your bad cholesterol?
The following is a list of 3 fats to avoid at all costs.
3 fats to avoid at all costs:
- Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (aka trans fats)
- Margarine, pseudo-butter spreads and sprays
- Vegetable shortening
Number one: Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils aka trans fats
I’m sure you’re familiar with the term trans fat but let’s take a closer look at what it actually is. There are two types of trans fats found in foods: naturally-occurring and artificial trans fats. Naturally occurring trans fats are produced in the gut of some animals and may appear in small amounts within some meat products as well as their by-products.
What we should be far more concerned about are artificial trans fats.
Artificial Trans Fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils in order to make them more solid. The primary dietary source for trans fats in processed food is “partially hydrogenated oils.”
And just so we’re clear, in November 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in human food.
Here’s the problem though, marketing has become clever in hiding trans fats. In fact, many products avoid the term “partially hydrogenated oils” altogether, instead they’ll simply use the name of the specific oil or fat derivative. So lets identify some of the most commonly used trans fats.
6 Most Commonly used Trans Fats
You can make a safe bet that the majority of vegetable oils undergo hydrogenation or partial hydrogenation. This includes oils such as canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil and vegetable oil.
Moving on to number two. The second fat you should avoid at all costs is Margarine. This includes pseudo-butter spreads and sprays.
By now, you’re probably aware that margarine is not the healthier option. But, buttery spreads and sprays can be deceiving. Just because they’re marketed as an olive or coconut oil spray or spread, they may not be healthy for you. I’ve noticed many brands package with promises of healthy oils such as olive or coconut but are then cut with a hydrogenated oil such as canola, or sunflower. Read the label before wasting your hard earned money.
Finally, the third fat you should avoid at all costs is vegetable shortening. Now vegetable shortening is tricky, especially if you’re super into baking. Palm kernel oil may be your best alternative. Just be conscientious and purchase sustainably sourced products due to the ecological ramifications of palm kernel oil.
That about wraps up the macros portion of our how-to. But of course, there’s more. Beyond consuming the right fats, proteins and carbs, how do you know you’re eating the appropriate amounts?
Don’t worry, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve…
3 Ways of Tracking Macros
I’m sure you saw this one coming. Yet another series of solutions. The first way you could go about tracking your macros is to download the Keto Diet Tracker App.
The keto diet tracker app is by far my favorite tracking device. It provides you with nutritional information that’s catered specifically to the ketogenic diet. You can easily find any food item by name or barcode. You have the option to include or exclude net carbs. Plus, it highlights food items in red that are not ketogenic friendly. The biggest downfall with this app is that it’s only compatible with Apple products.
My second suggestion, especially if you’re pro PC would be to download the app My Fitness Pal. My fitness Pal is a free app available to MAC as well as PC products. It’s designed to count calories and track diet. It helps identify hidden sugar, quantify macros and sends you warnings when you’re close to reaching your daily limit.
If you’re old school and prefer to write everything by hand, that’s ok too. I often prefer this method because it can be easier to jot down numbers on the go. The only issue with this method is that it does require you to have knowledge of dietary counts. This is where one of the Apps can really come in handy.
Let me explain what I mean by this. I took the time to write a list of food products I commonly consume. I then utilized My Fitness Pal to look up specific counts in each Macro category. This works especially well if you tend to eat the same things day after day.
If none of these approaches appeal to you, or if you’d prefer to have a menu plan created to fit your individual needs you’re welcome to contact me directly at email@example.com.
Alright friends, we’re just nearly reaching the end of our Keto Diet Masterclass. Now I realize there is still SO much to cover and we’re basically just skimming the surface. In an effort answer some of your lingering questions I’ve compiled 5 more tips to ensure your success.
The following is a list of 6 Tips to Keto Success:
6 Tips to Keto Success
- Foster the habit of reading labels.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Limit dairy intake.
- Limit fruit
- Focus on what you CAN have rather than what you CAN’T
- Allow yourself a cheat day (if need be).
First, foster the habit of reading labels. Retrain yourself to examine carb and sugar counts rather than calories. Also, keep an eye out for harmful trans fats such as vegetable, corn or canola oil.
Second, limit alcohol consumption. We’re all well aware of the harmful effects alcohol has on the body. Yet somehow even when we wake up telling ourselves that will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN it always does. Just keep in mind alcohol goes hand in hand with sugar and unless you’re drinking straight spirits or unadulterated red wine you’re likely consuming an obscene amount of sugar with your fix.
Third, limit dairy intake. Dairy is a fully loaded topic. One that I’ve devoted an entire lesson to within my signature program, Breaking up with Sugar. Just know that Dairy contains lactose, which is essentially milk sugar. Depending on which ketogenic program you’re following you’ll receive mixed reviews on whether or not dairy is an acceptable component of the ketogenic diet. In my option it’s best limited or reserved for an acceptable cheat.
Fourth, limit fruit. Fruit is acceptable in limited quantities and varietals. Beware that most fruit contains high amount of sugar and carbs. Some keto-friendly fruits include: avocados, tomatoes, berries, lemon and lime.
Fifth, focus on what you can have rather than what you can’t. I would suggest investing in a ketogenic cookbook and getting your ass in the kitchen!
And finally, allow yourself a cheat day if need be. Remember, a healthy diet isn’t about denial and depravation. It’s about balance and optimal performance.
And that’s exactly what I’m all about- balance, sustainability and consistency. If you feel like you could use more help in any of these areas or if you’re simply in search of an accountability partner there’s a good chance I can help you. If you’re interested in learning more check out the Work with Me link at my official site: MuseandMe.com
I sincerely hope you found tremendous value in this 3-Part Series, as that makes all my hard work absolutely worthwhile. Don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any further questions or concerns.
Best of luck to you along your health and wellness journey! With much aloha.
xo, Coach Katie