KETO & LOW-CARB FOR BEGINNERS

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I believe my calling is to help people learn to overcome bad habits. I’ve overcome a few bad habits myself; one of which I am still working on, and have been for over three years now.

Eating sweets is a bad habit that is hard to break because sugar is more addictive than cocaine. It is labeled as “food,” so our minds tend to think it is okay to eat it.

I was normally thin despite this lifelong bad habit, so it didn’t really bother me until I developed health issues and gained a lot of weight as a result. As my weight and health issues increased, pain increased.

When my Rheumatologist suggested that I may be allergic to sugar, I was blown away. I had never heard of such an allergy.

I went home and began to research this oddball thing she had said to me. Low and below, I had all the symptoms of having a sugar allergy!

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We are what we eat.

If we eat foods that cause inflammation, pain is what our bodies will produce. On the other hand, we can eat anti-inflammatory foods and it will help to create a peaceful environment in our bodies.

The moment I realized I don’t just consume sugar, it consumes me, was the moment my life changed.

I was able to eat sugar my entire life, all the way up until I was about 40 years old.  

As we age our metabolism changes. Our bodies tend to slow down. We have to make adjustments in our diet and exercise routines in order to stay healthy.

Instead of feeling bad for what I have to give up, I have learned to be glad for the knowledge I am gaining.

We all have things we need to work on and bad habits we need to break. While I eat 100% more healthy now, I still prefer sweets.

Just being honest.

After three years of creating new dietary habits & making lifestyle changes, I still want the junk food. UGH!

Even though this is frustrating, I don’t kick myself for it. There’s no guilt or shame here.

It’s a learning process and as long as I’m fighting to win, that is what matters.

The conclusion I have come to is, we only get one chance to live in this body and I don’t want to blow it.

We need to protect and nourish our bodies, but we also need to enjoy our lives. Life is all about balance.

We should eat the cake occasionally, not daily.

We should have rest days where we are lazy occasionally, but not daily.

Life is about balance.

We need to learn to enjoy the little things in life without allowing that pleasure to turn into a bad habit.

With that being said, I’ve done my research and I want to use all of that knowledge to help you eat better as well.

Will you join me on my journey to a healthier lifestyle?

Here’s a great way for you to get started on your own low-carb or keto plan…

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GETTING STARTED

Dr. Berg has a lot of videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni5-3x6ofjc) that helped me learn about what the keto diet is.

When I want something to read, I normally refer to THE CARB MANAGER APP website (https://www.carbmanager.com/articles), It is one of the most accurate sites I’ve found.

Many online articles have inaccurate information, so don’t believe everything you read from random Google searches or ads that pop up.

When I first started doing keto, I found a lot of misleading information and unhealthy recipes that are not even keto at all.

People will place the word “keto” in their article headline to get attention, even when the author knows very little about what keto is.

I also found that a lot of store-bought keto products are not really keto friendly. Be sure to read labels and ingredients. Anything that has a high carb count is NOT keto.

Some items labeled “keto” have a lot of unhealthy sweeteners in them, so beware.

Keto is all about eating HEALTHY.

This doesn’t include a lot of sweeteners, unless they are organic like Monk Fruit and Stevia.

WHAT IS THE KETO DIET?

Keto is actually quite simple. It is a very restricted low-carb diet. The purpose of restricting the carbs is to get into a state called ketosis. This is where your body burns ketones for energy rather than carbs.

Your body actually prefers to burn carbs for energy, but it can also run on good fats and healthy protein. This metabolic state called ketosis is proven to boost energy levels, produce weight loss, and many other health benefits.

ARE ALL CARBS BAD?

There is a difference between good carbs and bad.

Simple carbs (refined sugar carbs) cause your blood sugar to spike and cause junk food cravings.

Complex carbs (such as beans & whole grains) convert to sugar more slowly, but nevertheless convert to sugar in your body.

Too much of good carbs turn to body fat and increase sugar spikes, so restricting all of them is necessary on keto. On low-carb you can have a small amount of these.

GETTING RID OF JUNK FOOD CRAVINGS 

The only way I know of to get rid of carb cravings is to STOP EATING CARBS.

The best way I’ve found to reduce carb cravings in the beginning of a low-carb diet is to fast food for at least three days, by having only one meal per day.

By the fourth day, you should be ready to restrict your carbs down to 50 grams per day.

If you don’t want to fast, you can begin at 75 grams per day (low-carb) and work your way down slowly.

In order to not get the keto flu, you need to restrict your carbs slowly. I use the Carb Manager App to help me keep up with what I eat.

This tool will be a lifesaver when you are new to the diet. It is amazing how many carbs we eat without giving it a second thought and our daily limit can creep up fairly quickly.

Keto is very restrictive and removes many veggies from your diet, which I feel are good to eat a little bit of. That’s why I prefer doing low-carb.

I suggest if you have a hard time with the keto diet, do it temporarily until you lose the weight. Then switch to low-carb to help you maintain. This is called “maintenance mode.”

Keto works for weight loss but is very hard to maintain. If you want to see fast weight loss results, keto is definitely the way to go.

I lost 48 pounds in 2018 doing the keto diet. Admittedly, intermittent fasting and getting back in the gym for light workouts helped me to burn the fat faster.

I didn’t maintain the weight loss because I didn’t fully understand how much this has to be a lifestyle change, not a diet.

This was 2018. These photos were taken about 8 months apart. You can find my story featured on Dr. Berg’s website.

Once I switched to low-carb, I started having “cheat days” more often. BIG MISTAKE!

Even though I was on low-carb the majority of the time, all of the weight came back and now I’m having to start over.

My point is, if your body has a tendency to pack on the pounds, this HAS to be a lifestyle change (not a temporary change), in order for it to work.

SPORADIC FASTING

You will see it called “Intermittent Fasting” online.

Keto works much better if you fast.

Intermittent fasting is just simply going without food for a certain amount of time.

If you are doing keto correctly, you will not have to go hungry during your fast! All of the good fats and protein will keep you full.

I do well with cycling; meaning that I eat between certain hours such as 12-6pm. I then change it up on a regular basis so that my metabolism doesn’t get used to the change.

For example, I may eat from 10-4 one day and then 3-7 the next. I do whatever fits into my schedule and lifestyle needs at the time.

Your metabolism may be better than mine (Lord, I hope so!), so you may not have to change yours up as often. Everyone is different. You have to adjust your diet to your body’s individual needs.

WHAT TO EAT ON KETO

Keto has very restricted food choices but if you’re a meat lover, you’re on board for an easier and more enjoyable diet! Much like the Atkins diet, you can have almost any meat.

I am almost a vegetarian and don’t really like meat. I eat chicken, fish, and occasional red meat like steak, but other than that I prefer veggies.

I was raised to believe that ALL veggies are good, but the truth is, some of them are not even healthy to eat.

Potatoes, for example, turn into sugar when they’re digested. Starchy vegetables should be avoided completely on keto. On low-carb, you can have tiny amounts of them.

Essentially, to be on keto you need to restrict your carbs to 50 grams or less per day, depending on many factors such as your body type, exercise routine, and lifestyle. The ideal amount is 20 grams per day for most people.

Lower your carb intake slowly until you reach 20 grams per day, or whatever your target is. Typically, the lower your carb intake, the faster you will lose weight.  

If you want to read more about what keto is and how to get started, I suggest reading this article by Dr. Berg. If you want to read more about low-carb, this is a great resource.

Hopefully, this article has given you the tools you need to get started on your low-carb journey. Hit me up and let me know how it’s going. I would love to hear from you!

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