Ketosis is a state where your body changes its fuel source from carbs to fats.
Most of us are used to eating carbs like rice, pasta, bread, beans, potatoes, and fruit.
Yes, fruit counts as a carb since our body breaks it down to glucose (aka sugar) and uses that as a fuel source to provide us energy.
Aren’t fats bad for me?
Nope! Not on a keto diet. Instead of carbs that produce glucose, we eat fat to produce ketones. Ketones are a longer lasting source of energy. An excess of ketones can put your body into the fat burning stage of ketosis!
Think it sounds crazy? Actually it’s not. Our body was designed to store fat as a survival mechanism. When carb food sources were scarce our body fueled itself by BURNING FAT and creating ketones to energize us!
How much fat, protein, and carbs do I eat?
75% or more of our daily calories will come from fat, 20% protein or less, and 5% carbs or less. Less than 20g of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) a day is recommended.
Do I need to track macros or count calories?
No, when you follow the meal plan you DO NOT NEED to track your calories or macros. Everything is calculated for you. Although it is not necessary, you can use a food tracker such as MyFitnessPal to track. Regarding calories, as long as you eat intuitively and stop when you’re full… your body will regulate itself.
IMPORTANT: ELECTROLYTES ARE ESSENTIAL
It is critical to get electrolytes on keto. I repeat it is CRITICAL. This is because on keto you’re flushing out a lot of stored water and electrolytes that your body is used to.
A lack of electrolytes can lead you to feel low energy, have a headache, dizziness and seem brain fogged throughout much of the day. We call this the keto flu and it could especially happen on the first few days on keto. The good news is that this is COMPLETELY avoidable by following these steps:
1. Drink half your body weight in oz of water a day
2. Get in your electrolytes (5-7g sodium, 300-500 mg magnesium, 1-3.5g potassium) through food, Himalayan salt, and supplementation.
3. Supplement with an exogenous ketone and electrolyte drinks.. It’ll help you transition into ketosis smoother. As well as MCT Powder which is highly beneficial in helping your body produce ketones quicker.
If you experience any keto flu symptoms just follow the steps above and they should go away within a day or two!
What are the do’s and don’ts of the Keto diet?
Eat This: Fats
– Things like high-fat dairy products—cheese, heavy whipping cream, butter—all fair game.
– Fatty meats are great too. That’s right, I want you to have bacon, sausage, and fatty ground beef. It’ll actually help you get better ketogenic results.
– Nuts and seeds are great too. Macadamia, almonds, and sunflower seeds are a few of my favorites.
– Heck, even just adding a couple tablespoons of oil can help you get the right fats in the right amounts. Olive, avocado, or coconut all work great.
– And don’t just eat your veggies, enjoy them with plenty of delicious buttery goodness on top.
-As for sweeteners you are allowed to use stevia, erythritol, and monk fruit (Lo Han / Luo Han)
Don’t Eat This: Carbs
– Speaking of veggies. Some vegetables should actually be completely avoided: anything starchy, like potatoes, corn, and peas. Other things, like carrots and green beans should be limited for the full fat-burning benefits of ketosis.
– Keeping keto with carbs also means ditching wheat and other grains, rice, pasta, bread, cookies, chips, cereal, and juices/sodas that are packed with sugar. A small misstep can actually keep you from crushing it with ketosis.
-It’s very important to avoid bad aritificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, agave syrup, sucralose (splenda), equal, and aspartame.
How long does it take to get into ketosis?
When you stick to this meal plan most people take 2-3 days to produce enough ketones to be considered in a state of ketosis. Although, some may take 5-7 days.
How do I even know if I’m in ketosis?
There are three main test methods: breath, blood, or urine.
I have always just used the ketone test strips that you pee on. They are by no means an exact measuring method but are the simplest and cheapest way to give you a rough estimate of your ketone levels. Here’s the ones I use and recommend.
The blood test is by far the most accurate! But also the most expensive. I recommend using a Precision Xtra for blood testing.
I have never personally used the breath test. Although it is a fairly reliable method.
Approved Keto Foods
- Beef (fatty cuts)
- Fish (fatty cuts)
- Whole Eggs
- Bacon (no added sugar)
- Pork (fattier cuts)
- Sausage & Chorizo (containing ONLY meat and spices. No Fillers)
- Other Meat: Bison, Venison, Duck, Turkey, Lamb, etc. (fatty cuts)
VEGETABLES (OK in moderation)
- Brussel Sprouts
- Green Beans
- Mini Peppers
- Bell Peppers
NUTS / SEEDS
- Macadamia Nuts
- Brazil Nuts
- Almonds & Butter (OK in moderation)
- Walnuts (OK in moderation)
- Hazelnuts (OK in moderation)
- Peanuts & Butter (OK in moderation)
- Sunflower Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Almond / Coconut milk (30 cal per serving range, unsweetened)
- Olive Oil
- Avocados & Avocado Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Coconut Cream/Butter
- MCT Powder
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Butter / Ghee
- Cocoa Butter
- Cheese (High Fat)
- Cream Cheese
- Full Fat Cottage Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- High Fat Greek Yogurt
ELECTROLYTES & FLUIDS
- Pink Himalayan Salt or Real Salt
- LOTS of Water
- Exogenous Ketones
- Sweetened drinks (with keto approved sweeteners)Foods To Avoid On A Keto Diet
- ALL Fruit
- Potatoes / Sweet Potatoes
- Grains: Wheat, Rice, pasta, bread, cookies, chips, cereal, crackers
- Juices/sodas that are packed with sugar
- Anything with sugar or “hidden sugars”
- Processed Foods that include “Hidden Sugars”
- Any carbs
Some Hidden Sugars
Be aware that companies love to sneak sugars into their foods using ingredients that sound harmless or directly by using a scientific name that people may not have ever heard before. Don’t fall for their trap. The following list encompasses all the different names for sugar that might end up on a food label. Educate yourself and avoid sugar in any form. Use keto approved sweeteners instead.
Do Your Best To Avoid
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Acesulfame – K
- Nutra – Sweet
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Agave Nectar
- Coconut Nectar
- Coconut Sugar
- Date Sugar
- (Evaporated) Cane Juice
- Fruit Juice
- Syrup (maple, malt, refiners, rice, date)
- Rice Malt (Extract)
- (Sweet) Sorghum
Scientific Names for Sugar You Should Be Aware Of
Sweeteners To Use On A Keto Diet
- Monk Fruit Powder (Lo Han / Luo Han)
Use in Moderation:
- Yacon Syrup Powder
Keto Diet FAQ
What is the keto flu and how do I prevent it?
The idea (and sound) of the keto flu freaks most people out.
Honestly, I reacted the same way at first. …yeah, I kinda hate the flu.
But the “keto flu” is actually a good thing.
For one, it’s not the actual flu. *sigh of relief* By now, you’re already on the tail end of it. And, most importantly, it means you’re doing the right stuff…
There are two big shifts you’ll feel as your body switches from using carbs to fat for fuel. The first is what people have nicknamed the keto flu. You might experience lower energy, brain fog, fatigue, and the like. You can completely prevent this. In order to do so you need to get in adequate water
and electrolytes (5-8g pink or real salt, 300-500mg Magnesium, 1-3.5g Potassium).
But it won’t be long before you hit the second shift… Becoming Fat-Adapted
Simply put, becoming fat (or keto) adapted means your body has become the fat-burning machine I’ve been telling you about. You’re using fats more efficiently, you’re better at processing ketones for fuel, and you’re left with boost in energy and mental clarity.
Being fat-adapted is one of the biggest benefits of a keto diet. And the better you stick to your meal plan, the sooner it’ll happen.
Why is it so important to read food labels on keto?
A lot of people think that they don’t need to pay close attention to food labels because they’re following the meal plan and keeping to a keto menu.
This is a problem.
You could be killing ketosis without even realizing it.
Even if you’re sticking to the right high-fat foods, different brands can have huge differences in fat content and added sugars. Especially when I’m shopping for cheese, bacon, and sausage, I’m shocked by how much added sugar and extra carbs can be hidden in different brands.
The short of it? Read. Your. Food. Labels.
It takes two seconds and can make all the difference.
How much water should I be drinking daily?
A good guideline is this: Have half your bodyweight (lbs) in ounces of water per day. (For example, a 130lb woman should drink roughly 65 oz each day.)
Drinking enough water will help you with recovery, improve performance, and help your body properly function. And it’s especially important during The 3-Week Ketogenic Diet because you want to be firing on all cylinders.
But you can’t just guzzle gallon after gallon of water. There’s another piece to the puzzle:
Electrolytes. (Think: sodium, magnesium, and potassium.)
A lot of people get stuck focusing on drinking enough water and completely neglect electrolytes.
This is a problem no matter who you are, but especially for anyone on a keto diet.
As our bodies shift from carb to fat-based fuel, fluid and electrolyte levels and balance also shift.
Your body produces less electrolytes on keto and when these levels are low it can lead to the keto flu. So if you want to avoid that and maximize your energy while optimizing your results, you need
to do both…
1. Drink your water
2. Get your electrolytes
Well, I’ve got a way to hit both birds with one stone. Remember the exogenous ketones that are going to help you keep yourself in ketosis and burn fat like a machine? Well, those ketones will also help replenish much-needed electrolytes as well.
Better hydration. Improved electrolyte balance. And pure ketogenic fuel.
Come to think of it, that sounds more like three birds…
Hit three birds with one exogenous ketone stone.
What are some tips to make keto meal prep easy?
Meal prep doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it shouldn’t be. And I’m about to show you how to make it as easy as possible.
First off, I can’t stress how important meal prep is. It can honestly make the difference between mediocre results and a jaw-dropping transformation.
Follow this step-by-step meal prep to make sure it makes, instead of breaks, your progress:
Step One: Start Simple
You don’t want to over complicate your meal prep. The more complicated is, the harder it’ll be. But
I see a lot of people make the same mistake—they bite off more than they can chew and go from zero prep to all of the prep overnight. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Instead, start simple and prep the meal that’s hardest for you to eat. (I’ve found that’s usually breakfast or lunch for most people.)
Step Two: Gradually Build Up
Once meal prep starts to become habitual, start prepping more meals. But ease into that throttle.
Again, you don’t want to over complicate the process. Your success is directly related to how simple you make your plan.
After step one, simply add another meal to your prep. (If you started off with breakfast in step one, that means you’ll start meal prep for either lunch or dinner.)
What are some simple keto snacks for on the go?
For most people, they snack a lot less on a keto diet. That’s because your body has switched off of quick and fleeting carb-based energy to steady fuel from fat. But it’s always good to be prepared
with my favorite on-the-go keto snacks…
– Cheese (string or sliced)
– Vienna sausage
– Spam (not my first choice haha)
– Canned sardines
– Nuts (I like macadamia and almonds)
– Jerky (just be wary about added sugar)
– Nut butter
With snacks, it’s always better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them. Stock your kitchen and set yourself up for success.
What do I order when I eat out with friends?
The key, as with anything keto, is to eliminate as many carbs as possible. So go for that nice fatty burger—just keep it protein-style and ditch the bun.
Replace those carbs with keto-friendly things like cheese, avocado, bacon, butter—gah, I’m getting hungry just writing that list. (Wanna meet up for a double-bacon avocado cheeseburgers later?)
If you go for a salad, be careful with the dressing. A lot of dressings are sneaky and have added sugars, which is a problem for us keto dieters. That’s why I recommend substituting most dressings for simple oil (olive or avocado) and vinegar.
And if you’re in a pinch, bring help.
Remember all those awesome keto snacks we talked about the other day?
They’re a great backup plan for the social keto.
So, in review:
1. Order full-fat, full-flavor foods.
2. Replace carbs with keto-friendly substitutes.
3. Keep dressings deliciously simple.
4. When needed, bring backup.
How do I make sure I get adequate vitamins and minerals on keto?
Most of the nutrients in your meal plan come from—you guessed it… veggies. I mean, sure, you’ll get some from things like meat and dairy too, but the bulk of your vitamins and minerals come
from the veggies you eat.
There’s a problem, though.
Nobody eats perfectly. Nobody. Inevitably, there are gaps in our nutrition (if not gaping holes), and we’re short on much-needed vitamins and minerals.
Especially when you’re working out, your body needs those nutrients to properly function, boost recovery, promote health, and prevent illness.
So how do we fill in the unavoidable gaps of our imperfect eating? Simple, with supplements.
This is actually what they’re meant to do—supplement a healthy diet to make sure your body has everything it needs for optimal function. Don’t think of supplements as a way to replace your eating, but to support it.
– Daily Multivitamin (I like Standard Process, Life Extension, Source Naturals, and Alive)
– Vitamin C
– Vitamin D
– Vitamin E (Full spectrum E is a must-have. MRM Complete E is an inexpensive option)
– Fish Oil or Omega 3
– Probiotic (I’ve noticed a huge difference for digestion and help with leaning out)
No, I’m not going to require you get all of these. But your body might. And the better you treat your body, the better it’ll treat you in return. (Aka, you’ll look and feel better.) Supplements are a small
price to pay for feeling and looking your best.
Biggest Keto Mistakes
Mistake #1: Starving Yourself With Low Calories
Done right, a ketogenic diet will turn your body into a fat-burning machine.
Pretty literally, actually. The goal is to enter what’s called ketosis, which means your body starts to rely on
burning fat for fuel instead of carbs.
Part of the beauty of a ketogenic diet is that you don’t need to starve yourself to get results.
Part of the problem with ketogenic dieters is that they don’t realize that fact.
Traditional dieting is contingent on cutting calorie after calorie to lose weight. And, as I’m sure you know, that can totally work. But I’m also sure you know how miserable it can be. Low-calorie,
starvation diets are no fun. And most of us are stuck in a calorie-cutting mindset.
With a keto diet, things are a little different—in all kinds of delicious ways.
Remember, the goal is to flip your body’s switch from relying on carbs to burning fat-based fuel.
To do that, you need to feed it that fuel. Translation: You need to eat enough food (especially dietary fat) to fuel your workouts, fat loss, and ketosis.
Starving yourself simply won’t do.
Finding the right balance in a ketogenic diet can be tricky. Like we’ve already talked about, you’ve got to eat enough to fuel your results. But you can’t eat too much either. After all, you’re here to
drop pounds, shed fat, and lose inches.
Eat too much and you’ll gain weight.
Starve yourself and you’ll miss out on the full fat-burning benefits of a keto diet.
Get your eating just right and you’ll see amazing results without starving yourself on low-calorie misery.
Best part? I’ve already done that for you.
Your ticket to avoiding Mistake #1 is easy—just follow the meal plan.
Mistake #2: Suffering Through Low-Carb
Let’s be real for a second, a ketogenic diet relies on lowering carbohydrate consumption. That’s just a fact. In order to flip the fat-burning switch and rely on fat-based ketone energy, you have to eat fewer carbs.
But a lot of people poorly approach cutting carbs for ketosis.
You can’t just cut carbs and expect ketogenic magic. You have to do it the right way to get the full benefit. (More on that later.)
For one, low-carb diets are hard without entering ketosis. Your body’s craving carb-based energy that it’s not getting and you suffer the consequences: you’re exhausted, foggy-brained, and
As if that’s not enough, you won’t get results either—no matter how hard you cut carbs. It’s like insult to injury, right?
Ketogenic diets require the right balance and ratios of the three macronutrients—protein, carbs, and fat—(macros for short). If you’re not properly following a ketogenic diet, you simply can’t get ketogenic results.
To do it the right way, you’ve got to do more than merely cut carbs. You’ve got to get your fat and protein consumption dialed in as well.
Without enough fat, you’ll limit your body’s ability to thrive in ketosis and become a fat-burning machine. Most people don’t eat nearly enough fat on a ketogenic diet. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered so that won’t be you.
Protein is especially tricky.
A lot of people follow conventional dieting advice, have too much protein, and ruin ketosis through a process called gluconeogenesis. To get nerdy for a second, this process takes place in the liver and essentially uses excess protein to generate the glucose your body’s craving for carb-based
Normally, this wouldn’t be much of an issue. But it’s problematic when you’re trying to keep yourself in ketosis and reap all the amazing fat-burning benefits that brings. That extra glucose
will kill ketosis, neutralize the would-be benefits, and leave you frustrated with minimal progress.
But you don’t have to worry about that, because…
Keeping carbs low doesn’t mean you have to suffer.
Eating the right amounts of the right macros (fat and protein) ensures that you won’t. Get enough fat and you’ll crush ketosis. Eat the right amount of protein and you’ll avoid keto-killing gluconeogenesis.
Do BOTH and you’ll unlock your fat-burning potential without low-carb suffering along the way.
Again, it all comes down to following your meal plan. That’s the critical piece to getting the results you want without starving or suffering through low-calorie and low-carb diets.
That’s at least where it starts.
The more ketones flowing in your blood the more likely you are to experience the improved fat burning and brain performance benefits of ketosis.
However, getting in all the right foods and electrolytes the body requires to function optimally on keto can be tough!
Even harder? Keeping yourself in ketosis.
When we consume carbohydrates our bodies break it down into glucose—a carb-based fuel the body can use for energy. When we consume fat our bodies break it down into ketones. The main one is Beta Hydroxybutyrate or BHB (a fat-based fuel the body can use for long lasting energy). This is just one reason why supplementing with exogenous ketones is very helpful.
Exogenous is really just science-speak for ketones you consume rather than create in your liver. (Fun fact: ketones your liver creates are ENDOgenous).
Assuming you’re following a solid keto meal plan, you’ve got endogenous ketones on lockdown. Your meal plan makes sure you eat the right foods, in the right amounts, at the right times so you’ve got a steady stream of fat-based fuel from food.
At that point, you’re poised to supercharge your success by adding exogenous ketones.
Think of exogenous ketones like an instant supply of PURE energy.
Energy that goes to fueling all of these amazing benefits during your keto journey:
* Facilitates a quick switch that puts you into a fat burning state of ketosis (in less than 60 min).
* Boosts your energy, your focus, and your mental clarity by providing ketone fuel.
* Replenishes your essential electrolytes (especially those hard to get in food).
* Reduces your chance of getting keto flu symptoms (brain fog, low energy, etc).
* Trains your body to produce natural ketones and controls appetite.
* Helps you stay in ketosis even when you make mistakes. (Nutrition labels are tricky)
When you turn your body into a ketogenic, fat-burning machine, giving it more of the fuel it needs you will reap amazing benefits.