SWITCHING FROM GLUCOSE TO KETONES
When starting your transition from high-carb to high-fat, first thing you have to do is, obviously, restrict your carbohydrate intake – depending on how much weight you want to lose, what is your level of activity, and how fast you want to reach your goal, you should limit your carbs to 20-50g a day. Personally, I didn’t bother with calculating net carbs but simply restricted my total carbs to 20-25g a day, and it worked fine for me. However, we are all different, so you might need to stay under 20g total carbs to see continuous progress, or you can intake even 40g a day without consequences. To learn what should be your daily carb intake, you can find many macros calculators online and they will calculate what should be your daily calorie intake, how many grams of protein, fat and carbs you are allowed to eat ever day. Except for limiting your carbohydrate intake, you want to carefully choose where your very limited amount of carbs is coming from, and that should be vegetables, nuts, dairy products and a few fruit options like avocados and berries in moderation
Next thing to keep in mind is your protein intake – too much protein can lead you to a lower level of ketosis, you can hit plateau and eventually it can even kick you out of ketosis. Again – calculate your macros and stick to those numbers.
After we have covered carbs and protein, let’s talk about fat. The amount of fat I had to intake daily was inconceivable for me at the beginning, especially because I (like majority of people) was used to low-fat foods and diets for so many years. Still, you need to eat that fat because that’s your fuel, where your energy is coming from and you will feel tired, lethargic, weak, even dizzy if you don’t eat enough fat, and after all, you will see it by yourself that your body can run on fat much longer! Now, not every fat is good fat. You want to eat healthy fats like avocados, organic butter and ghee, extra virgin olive and coconut oil, lard, and nuts and seeds (be careful, some of them are pumped with carbs!). I usually cook with lard/coconut oil/butter and I use olive oil for drizzling.
Now that you know what to eat and what not to eat, we can talk about some other very important rules that will help you reach ketosis. You want o limit your number of meals per day to the maximum of 3, meaning – NO SNACKS! Everything you eat can spikes your insulin, stops the fasting period (time when you actually lose weight!) and eventually, you will reach weight loss plateau.
As mentioned above, 3 meals should be your maximum, but you will definitely see better and faster results if you stick to 2 or even 1 meal a day (popularly called OMAD). From my own experience, I can say that 2 meals a day work just fine for me at the moment. I am satisfied with my weight loss pace, I am not hungry, but also, I am not a slave of any rules, so if there is a special event, I will not sit in the corner and be a bystander while everyone is having fun. I am simply not that kind of gal. Therefore, what I recommend everyone struggling with weight loss (keto or not) is to start intermittent fasting. There are different ways to do this, you should definitely choose what suits you best based on your daily routine and your character and stick to it. I realized that I am usually never hungry before noon (I do have a coffee in the morning, sometimes with a little bit of almond milk), and since I finish work around 5pm, I tend to eat between 5-6pm so that my last meal is at 6pm tops. I eat the same types of food (keto-friendly), same number of calories, and during fasting hours (for me – 6pm until 12pm) I drink a lot of water, some coffee, some tea rom time to time and that’s it.
Fasting or not, you should definitely drink a lot of liquids. Water, bone broth, tea, and even coffee will help you a lot when you are fasting (especially at the beginning), but even if you are not, you need to keep your body hydrated.
One last thing to add – exercising is important (keto or any other diet, or not). No matter what is your daily routine, you have to find 30 minutes a day for a quick workout. You don’t have to hit the gym every day, but you can definitely find 30 minutes during for a (power) walk! This will speed up your metabolism, regulate your blood sugar levels and do good for your weight loss.