Ultimate Guide: Keto Diet For Beginners
Keto diet for beginners
There’s a wealth of information out there, but we’ve put together a simple guide on what to know when starting keto and specific keto tips and tricks for beginners.
What is A Keto Diet?
What is keto?
The concept of a keto diet is fairly simple: eliminate or reduce carbohydrates and increase fats and proteins.
As the keto lifestyle has become popular, more variations of the keto diet have emerged. However, only standard and high protein keto diets have been well researched.
A standard ketogenic diet breakdown: 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs.
A high protein ketogenic diet breakdown: 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.
Want to know more? Read our blog, ‘What is a keto diet?’
What does ketosis mean?
When carbohydrates are restricted the body is forced to use fat as fuel, instead of glucose. This process is known as ketosis.
What is Ketosis?
When your body is in ketosis it will start making ketones, which are used as an alternative fuel, instead of glucose.
What causes ketosis?
When you eat 50g of carbs or less per day, your body will convert to the state of ketosis – burning fat instead of glucose for energy.
Does ketosis work?
Yes, ketosis works when you follow a keto diet for at least 2-7 days. There are ways you can tell your body is in ketosis – scroll down to find out more.
How to go into ketosis?
How long to get into ketosis?
Everyone is different, so the time it takes to go into ketosis will vary (depending on factors such as age, metabolism, physical activity) and the kind of keto diet you’re following. However, if you eat 50g of carbs or less per day, you should enter ketosis within 2-7 days.
How to quick start ketosis
There are various techniques to getting into ketosis faster, including doing more exercise, fasting for short periods (intermittent fasting), taking supplements and eating 20-50g of carbs per day.
How to tell if your body is in ketosis?
How can you tell if you're in ketosis?
You can learn how to check for ketosis with these common signs: weight loss, feeling less hungry than usual and increased focus and energy. People starting the keto diet may also notice unpleasant short term symptoms, including bad breath and various flu-like symptoms, known as ‘keto flu’.
The only way to know for certain that you’re in ketosis is to test your urine, breath or blood. You can use urine strips, a blood ketone meter with blood strips, or a breath analyser.
Can you test for ketosis with a glucose meter?
A glucose meter or blood ketone meter is a device you can use at home (along with blood strips) to test your blood ketone levels. When you’re in ketosis your blood ketone levels will be between 0.5-3 millimolar (mM) per litre.
How to tell if you're in ketosis with strips?
Within 2-7 days of being on a keto diet your body should enter the state of ketosis and start urinating ketones. So, if you’ve just started a keto diet you can check you’re in ketosis by using urine strips.
NKD Living Ketone Test Strips 120 Test Strips
Why choose a ketogenic diet?
Keto diets are hugely popular right now – and not only for weight loss. You may choose to adopt a keto diet for increased energy and mental performance, or as a way to control blood sugar. We’ll explore these keto lifestyle benefits below.
Hannah Sutter, founder of vegan keto bar brand Fattbar explains why she follows a keto diet – here.
Keto for weight loss
How to lose weight on keto
Keto weight loss is usually a side effect of being on a keto diet. When carbs are restricted, the body starts to burn fat instead of glucose. This can happen quite quickly, which is why the keto diet has become so popular. Another side effect of being on a keto diet is a reduced appetite, which can also help with weight loss.
Keto for controlling blood sugar
How does keto affect blood sugar?
Blood sugar levels, when in ketosis, tend to decrease. This is because carbohydrates turn to sugar, but as they’re restricted in the keto diet, there is less chance of blood sugar spikes.
Is keto good for blood sugar?
Yes it could be, but studies have only looked into blood sugar when in ketosis in the short term, not the long term.
Will keto lower blood sugar?
It is likely that following a keto diet will help to lower your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes you should consult a doctor before going keto and have a managed plan for stopping a keto diet. Adding carbs back in may cause blood sugar spikes and weight gain.
Keto for Energy and mental performance
Does keto give you energy?
Many people have reported two positive side effects of keto – having more energy and mental performance.
A keto energy boost and increased focus is likely to come when you’re in ketosis and the brain starts using ketones as a fuel source. Reducing or eliminating carbs also helps to control blood sugar levels – this may also help to increase clarity and focus.
Keto high energy foods
Your keto energy levels may fluctuate, especially when you first start with the diet. The key is to have low carb energy foods around, so you don’t reach for the sugary or carb-heavy foods you may usually crave.
These ingredients are great for energy:
- Oily fish
- Seeds and seed butters
- Nuts and nut butters
What can I eat on the Keto Diet?
Keto diet foods at Planet Organic
There’s so much you can eat on the keto diet and we’re proud we now stock a huge range of food and drinks that are keto-friendly.
We also have a brilliant keto drinks selection, from sparkling drinks and protein drinks to milk and energy drinks. Browse them here.
Keto diet guide
The keto diet rules are simple: reduce carbs and increase fats and proteins. That said, when you’re first starting out it might seem difficult to know what to eat, especially if you’re vegan or vegetarian. That’s why we label all our products, so you can use the dietary filters when you’re searching for food and drinks products.
Keto food guide
Looking for keto meal prep tips and ideas? Get started with two weeks of keto meal and snack ideas, complete with a grocery list here.
We also love this keto bagel recipe, perfect for breakfast or lunch.
What foods stop your body from being in ketosis?
Certain foods that are high in carbohydrates will prevent your body from going into or remaining in ketosis.
Follow these keto diet rules to help your body stay in ketosis:
- Avoid or reduce carbs (non-keto bread, pasta, biscuits)
- Avoid or reduce high carb food grains (oatmeal, wheat grains, rice, rye, corn, barley, quinoa)
- Avoid or reduce fruit, vegetables, legumes, beans, drinks that are high in fibre, glucose and carb content
Keto diet foods to avoid or reduce:
- Sweet potatoes
- Baked beans
- Fruit juices
- Energy drinks
- Protein shakes
- Low fat dairy products (butter, milk, cream, yoghurt, milkshake
What are the potential side effects and how to control them?
Keto side effects
Like any significant diet or lifestyle change, there are potential side effects of the keto diet. Therefore, remember to consult your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet, especially if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Read our article, ‘Can Women Do Keto?’ here
Keto side effects first week
The first week is when most people experience withdrawal side effects – often known as ‘keto flu’ – with symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, weakness, vomiting, nausea, sugar cravings, diarrhoea, constipation and muscle soreness. You may experience one or all of these symptoms, mildly or more severely.
However, once your body is in ketosis these side effects tend to disappear, usually in one to two weeks.
You may also experience ‘keto breath’ – which you may view as a positive sign your body is in ketosis, but your breath may have an unpleasant smell. This is because your body releases ketones by exhaling, as well as through urinating.
Keto side effects long term
Following a keto diet might be beneficial in the short term, but it could be problematic in the long term. Possible side effects include:
- Muscle mass loss – particularly if you’re prioritising fats over protein
- Risk of heart disease and diabetes – if you’re prioritising fats such as butter and bacon that may increase cholesterol levels
- Risk of weight regain – when carbs are reintroduced
Restricting many fruits, whole grains, vegetables and legumes means you may fall short of certain natural nutrients. The good news is that we have a great range of keto supplements, made from natural ingredients to support a keto diet and lifestyle.
Whatever your reason for adopting a keto diet, here at Planet Organic we’re excited to support you on your keto journey.
Check out our full keto range, stocked with more than 460 keto-specific foods, drinks and supplements to get you started.