A ketogenic diet is high in fat, moderate in animal protein, and low in carbohydrates. Classic Keto is keeping your macros at 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. “Lazy Keto” is keeping your carbohydrates under 20 grams per day and not tracking other macros.
Eat generous amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil, butter, or ghee. Beef tallow, lard, and duck fat are great for cooking as they have high smoke points. Extra-virgin olive oil, avocado, and macadamia oil are also good fats to use in salads and drizzle over food. Adjusting to a high fat diet can be hard on digestion. Herbal bitters are a great way to incraese bile from the liver and improve digestion. As an added bonus, bitter flavors can help curb a sweets craving.
Eat moderate amounts of animal protein. This includes red meat, poultry, pork, eggs, organs (liver, heart), fish, and shellfish. Aim for fattier cuts of meat where possible; all meals with protein should contain added fat as well. Be careful about sugars in cured meats like bacon, salami, and jerky.
Enjoy fairly free amounts of fresh or frozen green, leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, or arugula. Eat moderate amounts of cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage). Limit nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers) and berries (raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries) to small amounts. Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes should be avoided completely on keto.
Eat small amounts of nuts and seeds. Aim to eat nuts high in omega-3 and low in omega-6 like macadamia nuts.
Pair the foods you eat with added fats to keep hunger down. You can make these fat bombs to curb hunger and sugar cravings.
Cut out all grains (wheat, corn, rice, cereal, oats.) and sugar (added sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup) from your diet. This includes, but is not limited to soda, juice, sports drinks, candy, chocolate, bread, pasta, cereal, cakes, pastries, oats, muesli, and quinoa.
Try to limit your intake to only high-fat dairy like hard cheese, heavy cream, butter, and mayonnaise. Eat less soft cheese and half n’ half to keep carb counts down. Too much dairy intake can lead to slower weight loss, so try to create balanced meals that don’t heavily rely on dairy.
It’s common to experience the “keto flu” when transitioning to a ketogenic diet. Drink plenty of water and supplement electrolytes. Consider drinking bone broth as it’s filled with micronutrients that will make you feel much better. Most side effects are caused by dehydration or lack of electrolytes, so supplementing with Sole and/or electrolyte/mneral substitutes like Concentrace Mineral Drops or Ultimate Electrolyte Powder can be helpful.
Make sure that you read nutrition labels and ingredient lists. There are tons of products out there with hidden carbs and sugar inside. Be especially careful with “low-carb” products that are not using good sweeteners. You can deduct fiber and sugar alcohols from carb counts.
Adding in light exercise after meals or during the day is always beneficial. If you already work out, be sure not to over-exercise. Many people undereat when exercising; make sure that you’re feeding your body enough energy.
If you feel low energy or aren’t seeing the results you expect, consider adding more fat to your diet and consuming less protein and carbs. Many people find it easy to increase their fat intake by drinking keto coffee or a matcha latté in the morning. Reducing dairy and nut intake can also sometimes help with slow weight loss.
If you don’t consume organ meat, consider supplementing. This can help with micronutrient deficiencies, which can lead to lethargy and problems focusing. Increasing the amount of leafy green vegetables you consume can also help.
Keto is not zero alcohol, although it is important to be mindful because people find they process alcohol differently in ketosis and feel it much quicker. You can still have clear spirits (like tequila with soda water and lime), some dry wine, and some beer. Here is more information.