Back when I was 70 lbs heavier, I was struggling with losing weight. I had been trying for a very long time, I was somewhat successful a few times, but I would always end back where I started. Everything changed when I started learning about the Ketogenic Diet. That is why I decided to create this in depth ketogenic diet for beginners guide.

This diet helped me lose 70 lbs and keep it off on the long term, and I am confident it can do the same for you!

The ketogenic diet isn’t that complicated once you get through the basic concepts behind it. In this guide, you will learn all about the benefits and best practices of the ketogenic diet. By the end of this guide, you will become capable of burning fat with extreme efficiency and you will be well on your way to your target weight.

You only have to keep an open mind, and become committed to this diet. I highly recommend you join my e-mail list, this way you will be receiving weekly e-mails that will remind you of your goals. Having your goals in mind and being reminded of them can make all the difference! You will also receive a ton of free bonuses. Sign up bellow!

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

The keto diet is a low-carb diet that promotes the efficient consumption of fat as fuel, causing ketones to form (which is a sign that your body is actually burning fat instead of carbs).

Our bodies normally use carbohydrates as fuel first since it is easier to break-down, only after consuming the carbohydrates (in form of glucose) our bodies will then start breaking down fat.

A ketogenic diet mainly involves following a high-fat, low-carb and protein-rich diet regimen. It was originally formulated to address and control epilepsy condition in children. The diet pushes the body to burn fats instead of carbohydrates. Carbs are typically converted into glucose and is usually our main source of energy.

To put it simply:

Imagine your body has two fuel tanks, one of them composed of carbohydrates and the other of body fat. In order for your body to start depleting your body fat fuel tank it has to first deplete the carbohydrate fuel tank.

That is what low-carb diets do to our bodies, the ketogenic diet is one of the most efficient diets when it comes to burning fat.

On the ketogenic diet you will be consuming mostly fats, protein and fibers. Your carbohydrate intake will be very small (lower than 30 grams, to put in perspective that would be the equivalent of less than 3 slices of bread).

Essentially you will be switching your carb intake for healthy fats intake. Healthy fats include, vegetable fat and animal fat, mainly unprocessed natural fats.

In conclusion, you will eat fat instead of carbs to burn more fat!

The ranges of macro-nutrients on a Standard Ketogenic diet are as follow:

  • 60-75% of calories from fat
  • 15-30% of calories from protein
  • 5-10% of calories from carbs

In order for you to find your target caloric intake and macro nutrient intake I recommend you use this online calculator.

There are different types of ketogenic diets as well:

  • Standard ketogenic diet or SKD is a very low-carb regimen with moderate protein and high-fat intake. The breakdown is usually 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein and 5 percent carbs.
  • Vegan ketogenic diet is a variant that practices veganism or consumption of only low-carb vegetables. As opposed to the traditional Ketogenic diet that encourages intake of animal fats, the vegan Ketogenic diet urges a higher fat-to-carb macronutrient proportion. Learn more about the vegan ketogenic diet here.
  • Targeted ketogenic diet or the (TKD) promotes higher carb intake in between work-outs. This helps in targeting specific parts of the body while increasing the person’s metabolic rate as well.
  • Cyclical ketogenic diet or (CKD) mainly involves a specific period of higher-carb eating cycle. For instance, the practitioner would first indulge in 5 ketogenic diet days, to be succeeded by a 2-day high-carb diet.
  • High-protein ketogenic diet is pretty much the same as the standard ketogenic diet, but it also allocates a higher portion for protein. The breakdown is at 60 percent fat, 35 percent protein and 5 percent carbs.

The most widely practiced variant is the standard or SKD (which is the most recommended keto diet to get started with), while the rest of the types are typically utilized by specific sets of people such as, athletes and bodybuilders who are into high-discipline diet regimens.

Ketogenic Diet Today

Today the Ketogenic diet is primarily known as a low-carb diet and is practiced by many people to help promote good health and weight loss. There’s a lot of excited buzz about its benefits and plenty of different programs are now available for people to follow— from food planning to observing a 2-week or 30-day meal plan program, it is much easier for people to really follow this particular diet regimen.

Some high-profile celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Adriana Lima, Megan Fox and LeBron James have all given this diet a try, and all of them talk highly of the benefits that it can provide.

This ketogenic diet for beginners guide will cover everything there is to know about the standard ketogenic diet. Next, I’ll debunk some of the myths of this low-carb diet.

Eating fat to burn fat can be a counter-intuitive concept to beginners and, it can create a few misconceptions about the ketogenic diet.

5 Debunked Myths About The Ketogenic Diet

1.The Ketogenic Diet Can Make You Fat

The truth: Any diet can make you fat if followed improperly. You have to understand how your body manages it’s energy through calories in order to know whether or not you will gain or lose weight.

The ketogenic diet will only make you fat if you constantly go over your caloric limits, in order to lose weight you will need to create a caloric deficit. One pound of fat is about 3500 calories, if your metabolic rate is 1600 calories, and you create a 350 caloric deficit (your Net caloric intake would be 1250 calories daily, through a mix of diet and exercising), that means you would burn approximately 1 lb of fat (3500 calories) every 10 days (10 x 350 caloric deficit).

What happens in the keto diet is that you will burn more fat instead of carbs. So, if you have been struggling to lose body fat even though you have been dieting and exercising, it could be a symptom of a high-carb diet.

2. So I’ll Just Eat Tons Of Fat to Burn Fat?

No. You will be switching carbohydrates for healthy fats, your caloric intake will remain the same. You will be eating more fat than usual, but not tons and tons of it.

3. You Can’t Eat Too Much Protein On The Keto Diet

Glucogenesis (GNG for short) is the process of transforming protein into glucose, and this happens naturally on our bodies. However, GNG cannot be disruptive to a low-carb diet like the ketogenic.

Once your body starts to use ketones as a primary fuel source, it will make up all the glucose needs from the protein that you eat. You will most likely NOT get out of a ketogenic state by eating too much protein.

4. Low Carb Isn’t Sustainable Long Term

Although it can be hard the first week to stay off carbs due to their addictive nature, staying in a low carb diet can be manageable long term.

Personally I cycle my diet, I will follow it for 2 weeks and then take a break for 2 or 3 days eating the carbs I want to. But it is important to always have a level of restraint when it comes to breaking your keto cycle. If you consume too many calories and too much carbs during these “cheat days” you will most likely have trouble getting back into ketosis.

I recommend shorter cycles only after you reach your target weight, for maintenance.

5. High Fat Diets Can Clog Your Arteries And Give You Heart Disease

False. This is the biggest myth about low-carb diets. The truth is, that according to studies, low-carb diets can actually improve your heart condition, given the fact that you will be burning fat and not storing it.

Here is a study on how low-carb diets can improve cardiovascular health.

And again, on a keto diet you will be consuming mostly healthy fats, which are scientifically proved to improve your heart’s health.

Now that I have debunked some of the most common myths about the ketogenic diet. To continue this keto diet for beginners guide, let me get into the benefits of this diet.

The Benefits of The Keto Diet

Following a ketogenic diet can help you shed fat and fight disease. In this section of the ultimate ketogenic diet guide, I’ll share with you the main benefits and some unexpected benefits of this diet.

I’m writing this based on scientific facts and my personal experience, you read more about it here.

  • Targeted Weight Loss

With the Keto Diet you will be burning mostly fat instead of carbs, that means your body fat will lower instead of you just burning energy. If you have been struggling to get your body fat down, even with exercising and following a diet, the ketogenic diet can be the solution for you!

  • Lower Appetite

We don’t realize how addictive carbs can be until we cut them off our diets. The constant craving for carbs increases our appetites and results in binge eating. This can make following diets really complicated depending on how addicted you have become to carbs. Some say sugar is more addictive than drugs.

On a ketogenic diet your body will become used to the lack of carbs and you won’t feel the need to binge.

Here is a study featured on forbes about carb addiction.

  • Anti-Inflammatory

The Keto diet is anti-inflammatory. One of the most noticeable characteristics about this diet is how fast we seem to lean up in the first week or two. Because we retain less water and our bodies de-bloat, you will start looking a lot leaner on the first couple of weeks.

But, this goes beyond looks. Your organs will also de-bloat and this can help your body function better and make you feel healthier too.

  • Healthier Organs

Low-carb diets in general are very effective at reducing abdominal fat and visceral fat (which is the fat stored around our organs). This happens simply because of the effectiveness which these diets have to burn fat instead of glucose.

The low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet will cause more fat loss than low-fat diets, and most of this fat is coming from the abdominal cavity.

Over time the burn of these targeted areas will result in reduced heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

This is why there is a lot of recommendation for the ketogenic diet for the ones looking to get healthier and leaner.

  • Lower Blood Sugar

Carbs are broken down into simple sugars inside our bodies (mostly glucose). And when this glucose enter our blood stream it will elevate our blood sugar levels, which can be toxic. Our body will respond with insulin, the hormone that will transform the glucose into stored energy.

Some people become insulin resistant, which means their bodies won’t detect the insulin and the blood sugar level won’t go down. This leads to diseases like type 2 diabetes.

The solution to this is to cut carbs from your diet, this way your body won’t be needing insulin. This is the best way to lower blood sugar and insulin in your body. And also, treat type 2 diabetes, since you can lower your needs for medication with a diet like the ketogenic diet.

  • Clearer Thinking

Our brain can work on glucose, but it can also work on ketones. One side effect of eating mostly processed foods is something called “brain fog”. It happens when the amonia levels in your brain goes up, when this happens, everything inside your brain goes “muffled”.

Ketosis increases the production of a neurotransmitter called GABA. It is the counterbalance to this side effect, and you will also be consuming less processed foods in the ketogenic diet. These two factors promote enhanced cognitive function.

You can lern more about the effects of ketosis on the brain here.

Now that you know some of the health benefits of the keto diet, it is time to become aware of a possible negative experience called the keto flu.

Keto Flu

What is the keto flu? Some people (not everyone) who begins a low-carb diet can experience something called the keto flu (or induction flu). This can happen in the first few days whilst the body adapts to burning ketones instead of glucose. The keto flu can make you feel sick with the following basic symptoms:

  • Sleepiness
  • Upset Stomach
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Brain Fog
  • Fatigue

This is an unpleasant experience, luckily I didn’t go through it personally, so I recommend you read more about it here. Don’t worry, the keto flu is temporary, most cases will last from a day to a week. And, there are things you can do to combat the symptoms, including:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Consume electrolytes (sodium, magnesium and potassium)
  • Eat more fat

Although unpleasant, the keto flu is easily manageable.

This keto diet guide wouldn’t be complete without a food list. But, I’ll first be explaining what types of food you should consume or avoid.

What Do You Eat On A Ketogenic Diet?

In order to follow the ketogenic diet you will need to consume the following foods:

  • Non-processed animal products (meats and fats)
  • Low-Starch Vegetables
  • Dairy
  • Healthy Fats

For a complete grocery list check out my Ultimate Ketogenic Diet Grocery List.

And, you will have to avoid:

  • Carbs (flour based items)
  • Sugars
  • Most Fruits
  • High Starch Vegetables (like potatoes)

Although the ketogenic diet may seem strict, there are tons of adapted recipes, like the keto chocolate cake.

How To Get Started With The Ketogenic Diet For Beginners

Now that you know what the ketogenic diet is and how it can benefit you. It is time to get started! In order to get started with the keto diet, there are two possible ways to proceed…

You can either:

  1. Start by yourself utilizing free online resources like my blog and other blogs (I’ll list some great blogs about the ketogenic diet in the resources section) or…
  2. Utilize a diet program tailored for beginners, I recommend: http://www.projectfitnessmastery.com/Ketodietprogram . This program includes a beginners guide, a 30-day meal plan, weekly shopping lists, recipes and a 2,200 member community that can aid you with your diet.

If you want to proceed by yourself… I’ll share with you how to get started bellow.

 

Step 1: Finding Your Macros and Tracing Your Goal

Again, I’ll direct you to this online calculator. Utilize it to discover your BMR (base metabolic rate, the amount of calories your body will consume without any added exercises). You can use the “daily energy expenditure” to sort of guess how many calories you consume with exercise, but I suggest you focus on the BMR and track your exercise and calories with an app like MyFitnessPal (Android | iOS).

Then, proceed by adding how many grams of carbs you want to consume daily. Remember, for a ketogenic diet try to stay bellow 30 grams.

You will also choose how many grams of protein to intake, protein will help you maintain or gain muscle mass. And remember, GNG (glucogenesis) will most likely not affect your ketogenic state, so don’t worry about adding more protein than the recommended amount.

After choosing your protein, you will choose how much deficit you want to add to your caloric intake. I recommend to start with 20% and to not surpass 40% (40 is still extreme), the higher your deficit the more weight you will lose (in a shorter time frame), but your diet will also become harder.

When everything is setup, this calculator has the feature to forecast your weight-loss, it will trace your weight-loss through time (based on the data you just input). But, it is considering the fact that you will stay on your diet the whole time, and follow the caloric and macro-nutrient intakes you just setup.

Step 2: How To Get Into Ketosis

Now that you have all your targets setup, it is time to actually get your body into ketosis. Getting into ketosis will depend on your glucose reserves, the faster you deplete them the quicker you will get into ketosis…

Depleting your glucose reserves can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week or more (it depends on how many carbs and sugars you have been consuming). When I first got into the ketogenic diet it took me 5 days.

So, in order to get into ketosis, do at least some light-moderate exercise and stay away from carbs, follow my Ultimate Ketogenic Grocery List.

Intermittent fasting can help make the process quicker, but it isn’t necessary. Just stay away from carbs, and start following your macros and caloric intake.

In order to know you are in ketosis I highly recommend you buy some Keto Strips from Amazon, and test yourself daily until you get into ketosis and then once every three days.

You will feel thristier when you are in ketosis, so remember to keep yourself hydrated.

Step 3: Common Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

  • Not tracking your macros and calories

Not tracking your macros and caloric intake can lead to you getting nowhere. If you don’t like to track or plan your meals, try to track them for a few weeks and then pay a lot of attention when having your meals, try to get as close as you can, you don’t have to follow it exactly. Just avoid to eat too much and also avoid to consume carbs.

  • Accidental carbs

Some unexpected foods have carbs added to them. For example, some brand of bacon have added sugars for flavoring, so pay attention to the nutritional information behind the packages. And remember that fibers are non digestible carbs, so you can subtract them from the total carbs in order to find the Net Carbs of the food you want to consume.

  • Eating out on keto

If you eat out a lot, the keto diet can become an issue. Download my free ebook in order to find out the best way to stay on ketosis even when eating out.

  • Binge eating carbs

Once again, carbs are addictive. Staying away from them can be a challenge, try to plan your meals ahead and lock up the carbs in your house. Once you start to get into ketosis, you won’t feel enticed by them. However, every now and again you will have cravings, so I recommend you either find a ketogenic replacement recipe, or cycle your diet. You can follow your keto diet for 6 days and have one day where you eat carbs (but stay within your caloric limit), have in mind this can delay your progress.

Ketogenic Diet For Beginners Conclusion

If you want to lose fat efficiently the best way to get started is with keto diet. There are many benefits to this diet and plenty of information online.

If You Want To Learn More About The Scientific Details Of The Ketogenic Diet, Watch This Video:

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