Ok, so you're thinking of starting Keto.
But now you're wondering... what will you actually be eating?
Is it all fat bombs and bacon? Will your coworkers or friends be asking what on earth you brought for lunch? Will you ever be able to have dessert? What does a day of Keto foods really look like?
Actually, putting together a week of Keto meals is way easier than you may think! And with a little prep, you can absolutely recreate your favorite high-carb meals with key ingredient switches to make them Keto-approved.
Seriously… I am not a talented chef, and I have easily recreated Keto-friendly bread, pizza, chimichangas, pancakes, and SO MANY DESSERTS. I wasn’t even a big dessert person before Keto. Now I eat a dessert almost every day.
KETO FOOD GROUPS
Let's take a look at some of the basic foods you'll be eating on Keto:
So. Much. Good. Food.
Of course, this list is not 100% comprehensive... but it's a good guide to help you visualize what you'll be eating to get your body into Ketosis.
Once you've stocked your kitchen with some of the foods from above, you can start planning your meals.
Macronutrients (or Macros) refer to the grams of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat that make up your daily intake of food.
Getting your macros in balance is the key to starting Keto. I recommend tracking your macros with the app MyFitnessPal - check out my Step-by-Step Guide to Using (and Loving) MyFitnessPal if you're wondering how to get started.
First and foremost, a Keto diet means that you aim to consume 20 net carbs or less per day.
“Net carbs” are total carbs minus total fiber.
This is the fundamental building block of the Keto diet -- without it, nothing else is very important. So your very first step should be to start tracking your daily carb intake.
The Keto Diet is often described as a “high fat, low carb, moderate protein” diet, and this is mostly true.
The goal is for you to eat enough protein to maintain your lean body mass (your muscles). If you eat too little protein, your body will break down your muscles for fuel instead of burning fat for fuel, which we don’t want! We want our body burning as much fat as possible.
But you don’t want to eat too much protein, or your body will store it, meaning you’ll have to burn off later.
Good news: by eating popular Keto foods (meats, eggs, etc), you should have very little problem getting the correct amount of protein each day. This is why most people don’t pay much attention to their protein intake while on the Keto diet… it tends to work itself out.
And finally, the fat.
There’s a misconception about how much fat you have to eat on the Keto diet. Is fat important? Absolutely! Will you be eating more fat that before your Keto diet? Probably!
But do you need to be drinking two cups of Bulletproof Coffee every morning and scarfing down three fat bombs at night? Probably not.
You may have heard that the Keto Diet will turn your body into a “fat-burning machine.” This is true… in the sense that your body is a machine and the point of the Keto diet is to train your body to burn fat for fuel.
However, some people misinterpret this statement to mean that fat doesn’t count, that you can just eat as much fat as you want and your body will burn it all up. This is not the case.
Your body is going to burn whatever it needs for energy, and if there’s anything leftover, it will store it for later in your fat cells.
On the other hand, if you eat less fat than your body needs for its energy needs, then it will have to pull energy from your stored fat.
If your goal is to lose weight, then you want your body to be pulling energy from your stored fat.
Don’t worry, this does not mean that you are going to be hungry! The great thing about fat is that it is very filling. And more importantly, when you lower your carb intake, you reduce your insulin spikes
BEATING THE "SUGAR CRASH"
When you eat a lot of carbs in one sitting, your insulin spikes to regulate the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. The more carbs you eat, the more your insulin overreacts. The more your insulin overreacts, the greater your "sugar crash" will be, and the more tired/hungry you'll feel just a few hours after eating. Sound familiar?
But when you're eating Keto, meaning a high fat-intake and reducing your insulin spikes, you’re going to feel full and satisfied from eating awesome meals! Your body is going to burn through the fat you’re consuming, and then it’s going to pull extra fuel from your stored fat, causing you to lose weight.
No starving yourself. No sugar crashes. No feeling bloated and heavy after eating. Just increased energy and weight loss.
A DAY OF EATING KETO
So you have the basics of the Keto food groups. But how does it look when it all comes together?
To illustrate, here’s what a few balanced Keto days look like for me:
Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee (coffee mixed with 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, a ½ tablespoon of heavy whipping cream, ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract)
Lunch: 3 eggs scrambled with heavy whipping cream and mozzarella cheese, 3 slices of bacon, and a 90-Second Microwave Muffin
Dinner: Oven-baked salmon with basil-pesto butter
Believe me. I was not hungry at any point during this day.
Here's a sampling from a different day:
Breakfast: Double-chocolate muffin and almond-milk latte.
Lunch: Salad with feta, hemp seeds, and Whole Foods Goddess dressing. 2 eggs and 2 slices of bacon.
Dinner: Baked chimichanga with a 3-ingredient low-carb tortilla, pulled chicken, sour cream, guacamole, and shredded cheese.
And just for fun, here's one more!
Breakfast: Peanut Butter smoothie bowl with sliced strawberries and chocolate-covered almonds.
Lunch: Arugula, parmesan, avocado, italian vinaigrette salad.
Snack: Pork Rind “chilaquiles” with shredded mozzarella, 2 fried eggs, and Cholula.
Dinner: Deep-dish pizza with pepperoni, italian sausage, pizza sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, and ricotta.
As you can see, I like to start my days light and end with a larger meal. You might choose to do the opposite. That’s the beauty of Keto -- you can tailor it to fit YOUR lifestyle!
READY TO GET STARTED?
Want to eat delicious food, never feel hungry, and start feeling healthier?
Pop over to the Keto Quick-Start Guide to see exactly how you can jump into the Damn Good Keto lifestyle!