Posts in Basics of Keto
Three Steps Forward...Two Steps Back
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I often get private messages or emails from people who are beyond frustrated because the first couple of weeks on Keto went so well and then they stall out.

To these people I just want to say...KEEP GOING!  You are doing a great job and you need to give yourself some credit!  

You've made it through Keto Flu.  
You're getting closer to becoming fat adapted.  
The cravings are going away.  
You've done the hard part! 

I'm here to tell you...KEEP GOING!

Since my last post, I hit my long time goal of 150 pounds.  This is a goal I've had for as long as I can remember...at least for the last 16 years since my first son was born. It has always been an unattainable goal that I set for myself.  Every diet I tried, I set that goal KNOWING I'd never hit it. I'm not really sure exactly what triggered in my brain this time, but seeing constant progress on Keto really kept me motivated.

Was I always losing?  Uhhh...no.  As a matter of fact, I often found myself dropping three pounds and then gaining two back.  A constant shuffle between pounds.

 Three pounds down...two pounds up has been my trend for a while. As long as the trend continues down, THAT is what is important.

Three pounds down...two pounds up has been my trend for a while. As long as the trend continues down, THAT is what is important.

I'm here to tell you that you are NOT a slave to your scale!

If you are just starting out with Keto, take pictures.  Measure yourself.  As mortifying as those numbers will be, you will wish you had them later! I promise you! The least important measurement is that scale number.  

The scale may be the most common method used for measuring weight loss, but I am here to tell you that there WILL be weeks that the number doesn't move, or it moves the wrong way.  It is those weeks/months that you will want to be able to compare your body measurements or pictures.  If you don't notice a difference, show them to someone you trust!  If you are sticking to the plan, there WILL be a difference!

And even if after all of that you still don't notice a difference...KEEP GOING. Eventually the scale will move, the inches will drop, and the clothes will sag.  You'll be farther along this time next year if you keep with it then you will be if you give up.

This is a complete lifestyle change.  Not a quick fix. You CAN do this.

Let's Keep it Keto!

Stephanie

Total Carbs vs. Net Carbs

I often get the question from people who are new to Keto the difference between counting total carbs and counting net carbs. 

This is a topic that is widely debated in Keto circles, so for a lot of people it’s up to personal preference.  People who want to be a bit stricter for health purposes find that counting TOTAL carbs works best for them.

However, if you are new to Keto, I highly suggest you start off by counting Net Carbs.  The reason is simple.  

You need to know exactly what you are putting in your body.  By counting Net Carbs, you are actively paying attention to the amount of Dietary Fiber, Sugar, and Sugar Alcohols that you put into your body. This is an important aspect to Keto that you really need to pay attention to when you first start out.

A lot of companies sneak sugars into their foods for flavor purposes and if you don’t know what to look for, it can be very confusing.  They may call it something different besides sugar, or you may have a sugar alcohol that isn’t keto at all!  Xylitol, Erithrytol, and Stevia are all Keto friendly.  Maltodextrin, Sucralose, and anything glucose related are NOT.  Educate yourself on the difference and pay attention to the keto friendly ones when you consume them.  Sometimes even though they don’t kick one person out of ketosis, they may have a different effect on you.

For me, it is a personal preference that I count Net Carbs and keep those under 20 grams of carbs per day. I try to only use Stevia in my recipes. 

So, how do you calculate Net Carbs?  

It’s so easy!!  All it takes is some simple math!  I know…math is a bad word for some, but seriously…so easy.

You take the total carbs on the nutrition facts label and subtract the dietary fiber.

Voila! You have net carbs!

There are a couple of instances in which you’ll need to do a bit more math.  If the item you’re eating has any sugar alcohols in it, then you will need to subtract half of that number.  NOTE: If you buy something from a store that advertises how many net carbs it contains, be aware that they subtract ALL sugar alcohols.  This is also debated in Keto circles as to how to subtract these.

Personally, I choose to subtract half because that way I can make sure not to go over my carb intake in other areas.  Keto baked goods and treats are not something you want to overeat.  They’re typically higher in carbs anyway, and I’d prefer to use those carbs in my vegetables.

 Calculating net carbs is easy!  Subtract any dietary grams of fiber from the total grams of carbs and you have your net grams of carbs!

Calculating net carbs is easy!  Subtract any dietary grams of fiber from the total grams of carbs and you have your net grams of carbs!

It's that simple!  Still have questions?  Leave me a comment and I'll be happy to answer!

Until then, let's keep it keto!

Stephanie

Motivational Monday: Stronger than your cravings
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How many times have you started and stopped a diet?  Take a second and think about it.  Once? Twice?  Ten Times? Who are we kidding?  If you’re like me, you’ve started a diet and stopped it more times than you can count.

I want to start offering some motivation to all of us out there who are taking the one millionth try to get their nutrition in order.

Guess what?

It doesn’t matter how many times you have fallen off the wagon.  What matters is that you get up, dust yourself off and keep going.

While it’s easy to READ this, it’s much more difficult to apply it.  Why must dieting be so hard?

Dieting is hard because we are training our bodies to go against what we’ve been doing for decades.  We’ve taught our bodies to crave sugars and carbs, so of course its going to be hard to train our bodies differently.  But…if you can make it through a month of hard, it becomes so much easier.

On our Facebook page, so many ask about replacing sweets.  I try and encourage everyone to not try and replace sweets for cravings within the first month of Keto.  The reason is, you’re not retraining your body this way.  You’re simply placating an addiction instead of overcoming it.

If I can offer you any encouragement it’s this…you are stronger than your cravings.

Think of the hardest thing you’ve gone through.  You made it through.  If you can make it through THAT, your cravings are nothing. 

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So…I’m not going to just offer motivation without giving you some things to arm yourself with in the war against cravings.

 

1.     Get all of the junk food out of your house.  By keeping the junk food in your house, you’re bound to cave at least once.  It’s much harder to cave to your cravings if you don’t have those temptations sitting in your pantry.

If you’re like me and have kids who still eat carbs, then that may be a bit more difficult.  Something I did was to keep all of my food in the fridge.  The good part of eating Keto is you’re eating lots of fresh veggies and meats so I didn’t go into our pantry hardly at all.  When I did it was to get pork rinds or almonds, both of which I kept in a basket of JUST my Keto foods.  I’d fill my evening meal with fat so that I wasn’t hungry.  I quickly realized my nightly grazing was out of boredom…not hunger.

2.     Arm yourself with options.  I always make sure to have some flavored waters or almonds on hand.  Many cravings can be lessened just by eating something else.  For example, if I am craving chocolate, I’ll eat almonds…if I want something crunchy, then I’ll eat some pork rinds.  Also, lots and lots of water.  Most of the time we crave foods when we’re dehydrated.  Another great substitute for chocolate cravings is avocado.  Upping your fats will keep you full, therefore not hungry.

3.     Brush your teeth.  This may seem really simple and silly, but who wants to eat after you brush your teeth?  Please note that if you are HUNGRY, eat something!  There are plenty of foods you CAN eat, why be hungry? 

 

I hope this helps.  The first week or two of Keto (or any diet really) can be very difficult adapting.  Why not make it easier on yourself? Leave me a comment and tell us what you struggled with when you first started Keto?  What got you through the cravings?  How do you deal with them now?

 

You are stronger than your cravings. 

 

So let’s keep it Keto!

 

Stephanie

What Can I Eat?
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As a mom of three boys, this question is often thrown around my house. As soon as they come home from school, “What’s to eat?” After soccer practice, “What’s to eat?”  When their friends come over, well, you get the idea.

Since starting Keto, I now get this question from just about everyone.  After getting complimented on how much weight I’ve lost, their next question is asking how I do it.  Once I explain that I did it through a lot of work by cutting out carbs and exercising, I get that scoff of “Oh I could never do that.” Or, “I’m terrible at dieting…I am always hungry.”

Except, with keto, I’m rarely hungry.  This has probably been the most food inclusive “diet” I’ve ever been on, and I’ve been on a lot.

So that brings me to this post! What’s to Eat?

Well, there are lots of things to eat with Keto!!

MEATS!

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The key to eating meat on the Keto diet is to remember that FAT IS GOOD! A nice marbled ribeye is not only delicious, but SO GOOD FOR YOU! Enjoy that night out with your significant other by enjoying a nice juicy steak without the potato! We all know that’s just there to fill you up anyway.  Enjoy that steak!

You can enjoy just about any meat with Keto! Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Veal!  Some of my favorite snacks when I need something on the go are pepperoni or summer sausage! And EGGS!!  While not a meat, they’re packed with protein and are a great asset to the Keto diet!

FISH AND SEAFOOD!

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We are HUGE seafood lovers in my house.  Thankfully living in Florida we get to enjoy some of the tastiest seafood on the east coast! Eating Keto means we don’t have to miss out on some delicious salmon or giant crab legs (and we get to enjoy the clarified butter with it)! Not only is seafood good for you, but you get some super healthy fats in the process.

Enjoy a nice salmon steak, some shrimp or scallops, or even a nice, juicy lobster tail! Just a small word of caution if you’re buying things frozen or prepackaged.  Always, ALWAYS check the nutritional information.  Some seafood may be overly processed and may contain fillers which means hidden carbs!

VEGETABLES!

 

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As soon as I mention that you shouldn’t eat carrots or potatoes on Keto, I get a total side eye and a lecture about how you need vegetables in order to get nutrients and any diet that cuts out vegetables isn’t good for you.  Whooooaaaa…hold your horses.

In fact, it is INCREDIBLY important for you to eat your veggies while on the Keto diet. The few carbs that you eat every day should be made up of these nutritious veggies, as with everything else, in moderation.

While eating any veggies that grow underground are considered non-Keto foods (carrots, onions, potatoes, and corn…yes, I know it grows on a stalk, but still a no-no), here is a list of the plethora of veggies that ARE ok!

Salad Greens – my rule, if it’s green…EAT IT!
Artichokes
Arugula
Asparagus
Bok choi
Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts
Bamboo shoots
Bean Sprouts
Cabbage (all varieties)
Cauliflower
Celery
Celery Root
Chard
Chives
Cucumber
Eggplant
Endive
Green Beans
Greens: Collards, Mustard, Turnip, etc
Jicama
Kale
Lettuce: again…if it’s green…
Mushrooms
Okra (not fried…sadly…but I’m sure you could find a keto friendly recipe!)
Parsley
Pepper
Pumpkin
Snow Peas
Spinach
Sprouts
Sugar Snap Peas
Summer Squash
Radicchio
Radishes
Scallions (spring onion)
Tomatoes
Turnip
Watercress
Zucchini

How is THAT for a list of what you CAN eat!! As I mentioned before, just make sure you’re watching portions and carb count so that you’re not eating them in other ways!  Best way to get your daily allotment of carbs is through vegetables!

To get even more bang for your buck so to speak, is to enjoy some of these fattier vegetables: black or green olives (don’t overdo these…max of 6 per day) and/or avocado!

CHEESE!

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Who doesn’t love cheese?  Cheeses are a great way to get your daily fat intake up.  Swiss, Cheddar, Brie, Mozzarella, Gruyere, Goat, and so many others, are fantastic ways of getting some fat into your diet.  This fat will help make you feel more full throughout the day!

Keep in mind that if you had dairy issues prior to Keto, they may still be an issue now.  Also, some people who find themselves at a stall for a few weeks to a month will try to eliminate dairy from their diet in order to break that stall.

Along with cheeses, creams including heavy whipping cream and sour cream are also ok.  Avoid half and half as well as condensed or evaporated milk.

 

Stay tuned for another post that will include what snacks and fruits are ok!  I hope you enjoyed this! What is your favorite Keto food right now?

Keeping it Keto,

Steph

Eat This List
So, What is Keto?

The Ketogenic Diet (or as others like to call it, Keto) is a low carb, high fat way of eating that causes your body to enter a state of Ketosis. When we eat a diet full of carbs and sugar, our body metabolizes glucose to energy. In the Keto diet, your body metabolizes ketones which leads to your body using fat stores as its main source of energy.

Once you have been in ketosis for a bit, your body becomes fat adapted. This means that your body is fulling functioning from fat stores in your body or through fat that you eat in your foods. Your liver also converts that fat to ketones which then fuel your brain.

Keto Facts

  • An effective way to lose weight and to reduce risk of common diet related diseases. “The low-carb group lost significantly more weight (about 3 times as much).”
  • Can be used to lower cholesterol in obese patients. “The low-carb group lost significantly more (2.3 times as much) weight and had significant decreases in Triglycerides and Non-HDL cholesterol.”
  • Ideal for those looking to control their Type 2 Diabetes. “Diabetes medications were either reduced or eliminated in 95.2% of the LC group, compared to 62% in the low-glycemic group.”
  • Incredibly successful for those looking to reduce abdominal obesity. “The low-carb group lost more weight. Triglycerides, HDL, C-Reactive Protein, Insulin, Insulin Sensitivity and Blood Pressure improved in both groups.”
  • Reduces obesity even in adolescents. “The low-carb group lost more weight and had greater decreases in BMI than the low-fat group.”
  • Easy to stick to! “…it seems clear from these studies that low-carb diets are at the very least NOT harder to stick to than other diets.”
  • Not just another fad diet. “These studies are scientific evidence, as good as it gets, that low-carb is much more effective than the low-fat diet that is still being recommended all over the world.”

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/23-studies-on-low-carb-and-low-fat-diets

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16652223

 

So What’s Next?

Keto is a simple diet to follow! While there are several different ketogenic diet methods, the most common is the Standard Keto Diet or SKD.

The main point of Keto is to get your body into ketosis. You do this by strictly limiting your diet by avoiding carbs and sugars. Instead of counting calories, macros are what are important!

Low Carbohydrates: 5% of your daily food intake. In SKD, that means no more than 20 net carbs (I’ll explain the net carbs in a bit)

Moderate Protein: 20-35% of your daily food intake.

High Fat: 60-75% of your daily food intake.

 

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Tracking your Macros

The first step in tracking your macros is to know how to calculate Net Carbs.

Total Carbs – Dietary Fiber = Net Carbs

Some rules apply if you’re eating something with Sugar Alcohols, but we’ll discuss that in another post.

 

The best way to track your macros is to use a diet tracker app. Personally, I use My Fitness Pal, but there are several others out there.  Play around with them until you find one that works for you.  Just make sure you notice that many of them do NOT calculate Net Carbs.  You will have to track those on your own.

Finally, set yourself up for success by getting an accountability buddy.  Whether you and your spouse or your best friend are doing this together, or you are doing it alone, success comes in knowing people are there to answer questions and keep you encouraged!

 

Let's Keep it Keto,

Stephanie