How to start keto

How To Start The Ketogenic Diet

Nick Diet Mantra 7 Comments

Do you believe that you can lose weight without exercising or by keto diet?

Is it possible to build muscle while on a low-carb diet?

Can you feel healthy and fit while consuming fats?

Welcome to the world of keto diet!

By now you might have heard about the keto diet, but if you haven’t, I’ll explain below in simple terms.

The keto diet is solely focused on enabling the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates, or protein for its energy.

What Is a Keto Diet?

Keto diet is aimed at changing your primary fuel. The diet encourages your body to seek alternative energy sources, instead of glucose.

Typically, in the traditional diet, the body converts carbohydrates into glucose to give you energy.

However, for the ketogenic diet, you will reduce your carbohydrate intake, and this forces your body to look for alternative sources of fuel.

Instead of relying on glucose, your body will start processing and burning ketones.

In general, a keto diet requires that you increase your fat intake and lower your carbs intake.

The ketogenic diet is rather high in fat ( that’s 75% of your daily calories intake) and below 5% in carbohydrates.

While on keto diet your carbs intake will be lowered, your body will be forced to burn fat instead of glucose for energy.

And this will put you into a metabolic state known as ketosis — this is when the body uses ketones for energy.


Ketones are derived from fats and are constant energy sources. Meaning, without glucose, your sugar levels will remain stable.

The good thing, you won’t experience those uncomfortable energy crashes and distracting cravings.

To enter ketosis, the body usually takes between 3 days to one week.

Once in ketosis, your system will be using fat for fuel, rather than carbs. And this includes stored body fats and the fats you eat.

Is Ketogenic Diet Safe?

The thing with the ketogenic diet is, it can be safe as a short term solution.

However, it comes with some health concerns.

This diet is not recommended for the long-term.

Reason being, by omitting the carbohydrate-containing foods, you will not enjoy the healthy nutritional benefits of food choices such as fruit, whole grains, starchy veggies, and legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and beans.

Typically, carbs are the preferred energy source for our nervous system, brain, kidneys as well as red blood cells.

Also, carbohydrates carry essential vitamins and minerals such as folate, calcium, iron, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium and dietary fibres.

Keep in mind that omitting carbs in your diet without consulting a doctor could be dangerous and you might risk your health in creating deficiencies in the long-term.

For instance, you’d like to lose some weight, by burning fat may seem like a solution, but realize that it carries with it some risks.

It might not be an effective long-term solution. Note that a keto diet is best as a short-term solution for long-term health issues.

Keto Diet Carbs Per Day

Since the keto diet is deficient on carbs, moderate in proteins, and high in fats, then your nutrient intake needs to be around 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fats.

Ideally, it is recommended that your daily meals include net carbs of between 20-30g – but for best overall results, try to keep your carbohydrates consumption and glucose levels lower.

If you opt to do keto for weight loss, it’s advisable that you monitor both your net carbs and total carbs intake.

Also, remember always to consume proteins as needed with fats portions to fill the remainder of the day’s calories intake.

How Keto Diet Works?

Typically, your body will try to use carbohydrates for fuel since they are easily broken down into glucose. However, this doesn’t imply that the body functions well using this fuel.

The body favours running on healthy fats since they are longer lasting, cause less inflammation, and the fuel can easily be stored on your body.

To allow for storage, Carbohydrates are turned into fat which is stored and only gets used when there are no carbohydrates available.

Benefits Of Ketogenic Diet

There are many benefits you’ll get when on keto. Most people can benefit from having low-carb and high-fat diet risk-free. Below, we’ll look at a list of benefits you will get from a keto diet

1. Improved Heart Health

When followed in a healthy manner, the ketogenic diet (which views avocados as healthy fat than that of pork rinds), can reduce cholesterol. This, in turn, will improve your heart’s health. One study established that HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels increased significantly in people on the keto diet. Also, the LDL (“bad”) cholesterol was reduced significantly.

2. Helps Lose weight

It’s a lot easier for the body to turn carbs into fuel than fat. With this in mind, a ketogenic diet could help quicken weight loss. And unlike other foods, the keto diet won’t leave you hungry as it is protein-rich.

In 13 random controlled trials, a meta-analysis revealed five outcomes with significant weight loss results from following a ketogenic diet.

3. Protects Brain Functioning

Further research is needed into brain function on a keto diet. However, some studies show that the ketogenic diet has neuroprotective benefits.

And these could help prevent or treat conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and several sleep disorders.

One study also found that children on a keto diet had improved cognitive functions and alertness.

4. May Help Lower Risks Of Certain Cancers

Of late, the ketogenic diet has been investigated to learn more about how it could help prevent or treat specific cancers.

One study showed that the keto diet could be a complementary treatment to radiation and chemotherapy for cancer patients.

The reasoning behind this is because keto could create more oxidative stress to the cancer cells than on normal cells.

Other theories indicate that since the keto diet lowers high sugar levels, it might help with insulin complications, which may be linked to certain cancers.

5. Reduces Acne

Many different factors cause acne, and one could be related to blood sugar levels and diet.

By eating foods high with refined and processed carbohydrates, you could be altering your gut bacteria and this could cause your blood sugar to fluctuate dramatically. This, in turn, influences your skin’s health.

Therefore, by lowering your carb consumption, it’s no surprise that keto might improve a few cases of acne.

6. Reduces Seizures

The combination of low carbs, proteins, and high fat changes how the body utilizes energy, hence causing ketosis.

Ketosis is the state of having high ketone molecule levels in the blood.

Ketosis might lead to reduced seizures in epileptic patients though more research is required on the effectiveness of ketosis.It, however, seems to work effectively on children with focal seizures.

Are you still with me?

Lets now look at what to eat and some food ideas when on keto…

What To Eat On Keto?

When starting a keto diet, it is essential that you plan. This means you’ll have a possible diet plan ready for you.

Also, note that how fast you want to reach a ketogenic state will be determined by what you consume

Hence, the more restraint you have in your carbohydrates intake (under 15g a day), the quicker you’ll enter ketosis.

Also, consider keeping your carbs low and consuming mostly nuts, veggies, and dairy.

Note:Avoid eating refined carbohydrates like wheat (cereals, pasta, bread), starch (legumes, potatoes,) or fruit. The only exception to fruit are berries, avocado, and star fruit which should be eaten in moderation.

Also Read: Slow carb diet and its benefits.

Keto Diet Breakfast Ideas

To help you curb the mid-morning cravings, consider having breakfast that is a good source of healthy fats and proteins. It should keep you feeling full.

Here are some suggestions for your keto-friendly breakfast.

1.Sausage and Eggs to Go

This food option is convenient, delicious, and the best part! It’s portable for Primal breakfast.

You can prepare your breakfast ahead, and it reheats well. And this is difficult to do when you have other egg recipes. Enjoy your meal plan or try with yellow mustard.

This recipe can also be used as a base for numerous variations. For instance, sauteing onions and mushrooms or ham and bell peppers, then adding these into whisked eggs.

2.Bacon Pancakes

Bacon pancakes are moist, fluffy, and salty with a hint of sweetness. These may be served with a dollop of sour cream, a drizzle of maple syrup, or some hot sauce.

The ingredients for the pancakes recipe are coconut flour, bacon, unsalted butter, egg whites, Gelatin, Chives

3.Chia Pudding

Coconut milk and chia seeds pair up well for a Paleo-friendly pudding which can be great for breakfast. It’s rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3s, plus this sweet pudding can be made ahead thus saving you time.

Additionally, it’ll offer you high fiber content and help de-bloat you.

The recipe is rather easy, mix all the ingredients the previous night, then keep it in the fridge. A simple and convenient treat for the next day.

4.Cream Cheese Pancakes

These make an excellent keto diet and are suitable for people who prefer gluten-free meals. This is because they don’t contain any flour or grains.

The list of ingredients for this keto pancake recipe is quite short: eggs, cream cheese, your preferred sweetener – and perhaps a touch of cinnamon.

5.Avocado, Bacon, Egg, and Tomato Salad

This salad gets more flavor and protein, an added salty, smoky seasoning from the bacon.

The avocado and egg add lots of healthy fats, so oil is not necessary here. But you could try adding a spoonful of mayo for variety.

Another version to this is by adding a squirt of lemon which can help heighten the flavour. It’ll also help lighten and brighten the salad.

And now let’s look at some dinner recipes when on keto, shall we?

Keto Lunch Ideas For Work

For your keto midday meal, be sure to pack one that has healthy fats and is full of flavor. So, to ensure you have the tastiest meal possible, you should pack your food with care.

And with the right meal prep approach, your keto lunch will certainly taste perfectly fresh. Below are some keto lunch ideas ideal for work.

1.Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps

Spread tuna salad onto romaine lettuce leaves for a crunchy and creamy meal. Pair it with some salty snacks — you could try with an extra portion of pickles.

This wraps will offer you net carbs of 9 grams.

Suggestions: Pack the salad with almonds, pickles, Cubed cheddar cheese

2.Turkey-Cheddar Roll-Ups

Layer thinly-sliced turkey in the tortilla for these simple cheese wraps. You could try switching up the cheeses during the week — you could use dill Havarti, cheddar, provolone.

These roll-ups offer you net carbs of 13 grams

Suggestions: Pack the roll-ups with blueberries, 1/2 avocado, almonds, cucumber slices

3.Zoodles and Meatballs

This is a straightforward version of spaghetti and meatballs but keto-friendly diet. Swap in zoodles and go for the pre-cooked meatballs.

This meal offers you net carbs of 8 grams.

Suggestions: Pack Zoodles tossed with olive oil and some lemon juice, Babybel cheese, cubed cheddar cheese, and roasted almonds

4.Chicken Sausage

For a keto-friendly lunch, go for the pre-cooked chicken sausages which are fast and an easy choice. These come in a variety of flavors (Italian herb and spicy andouille). So, why not try new types within the week?

These sausages will offer you net carbs of 8 grams

Suggestions: Pack these with radishes, guacamole, French onion dip, and almonds

5.Pepperoni Picnic Box

You could pretend to dine al fresco and pack up some veggies, meats, and cheese. Plus, you’ll remove the excuses of having French onion dip during lunchtime right?

These sausages will offer you net carbs of 7 grams

Suggestions: Pack up some celery sticks, pepperoni slices, cubed cheddar cheese, 1/2 avocado, for net carbs of 7 grams

Keto Diet Dinner Recipes

These recipes are simple and will take you about 30 minutes or less to prepare, how great is that! Let’s jump right in!

1. 20-Minute Low Carb Turkey and Peppers

This easy-to-make skillet meal depends on spices, herbs, and the pepper’s natural sweetness for flavor.

There’s enough of it that you can have it on its own, no grains necessary.

To make this meal keto, you can make your marinara sauce or if you opt to buy, ensure that it doesn’t have added sugars.

2. Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Parmesan

To make this meal keto, you can make your marinara sauce or if you opt to buy, ensure that it doesn’t have added sugars.

This recipe makes the process of stuffing anything so simple, that you’ll be choosing to use it for an easy dinner.

3. Shredded Chicken Chili

This fast, bean-free bowl has plenty to offer you, thanks to its tomato base, lots of chicken and a spicy touch from jalapeños. It’s rich with some cream cheese added in.

To help reduce the cooking time, why not cook and shred the chicken beforehand (shredding chicken is time-consuming)?

4. Taco Stuffed Avocados

For this recipe, the topping for tacos is used as the base for cheese and spicy beef mixture( does a switcheroo here).

The avocado will offer you a low-carb alternative to tortillas, and also makes for a fun presentation.

5. Beef and Broccoli Bowls With Sunshine Sauce

When it comes to flavour, this recipe has its own thing going. Rather than use sugary seasoning, the sauce relies on coconut aminos, bone broth, and the sunflower seed butter.

This makes it a great meal filled with many keto favourites.

Keto Diet Before And After

Naturally, our bodies burn sugar (glucose ) as a primary source of fuel. So, when you eat less of it, limiting your overall sugar and carb intake (sugars are another form of carbs), the body is forced to switch metabolism – using up stored fat as an alternative to glucose.

Sometimes, this could occur though on a lower scale when you fast, skip a meal, or when you sleep for a longer time.

And since there are no carbs in the system, your body will start releasing fatty acids from the stored fat.

These are then broken down in the liver. This leads to the production of ketones, which are used to power up your body.

For any diet to work, discipline and fighting temptation from particular foods is essential.

Suggestion:Befor you get started on the keto diet, do some research to learn more about the foods you should eat and those to avoid altogether.

Also, keep in mind that ketogenic diets can help in weight loss, but only for a short-term. However, more research is still needed to identify the long-term effects of this diet. For this reason, it is recommended that you avoid keeping too long on this diet.

To get the most from the keto diet, be sure to choose healthy fat sources such as olive and coconut oil, avocado, fats from nuts, and fish. Also, try to include small amounts of saturated animal fats in your meals. And if you decide to use animal products – it’s advisable that you go for organic or grass-fed products.

Keto Diet Side Effects And Possible Remedies

Remember that not everyone experiences these side-effects. Also, the effects will vary from person to person. Here’s a look at possible side effects of keto when you start on this health journey.

And without further ado, let’s dive in!

1. Leg Cramps

Leg cramps are quite common when starting on a ketogenic diet. This usually occurs at night or in the morning. But it’s a minor issue. This is also a sign that the body lacks minerals, and specifically magnesium.

To help curb this, add salt to your meals and drink lots of fluid. Doing so will help get rid of the issue and lower loss of magnesium. When the problem persists, try taking magnesium supplements to supplement your diet.

2. Constipation

Constipation is commonly caused by dehydration. And a simple solution would be to increase your water intake. Try taking close to a gallon each day.

Also ensuring the vegetables have the right amount of fiber will help. Having good quality fiber content from non-starchy veggies can help solve this problem.

And when that doesn’t work, taking a probiotic or psyllium husk powder does the trick.

Research to learn more about the foods you should eat and those to avoid altogether.

3. Heart Palpitations

As you transition on keto, you might notice your heart beating both harder and faster. That’s pretty common, so don’t be alarmed.

When the problem persists, ensure to drink lots of fluids and eat enough salt.

Usually, this is enough to eliminate the issue right away. Then again, if the symptom persists, you might benefit by taking a potassium supplement once per day.

4. Decreased Physical Performance

While on the new diet, you might notice some limitations on your physical performance.

The good news! This is your body trying to adapt to using fat. Once your body adjusts to using fat for fuel, your strength, as well as endurance, will level up to standard.

If you still notice some problems with your performance, try taking in carbs ahead of a workout (cycling carbs).

5. Indigestion problems

In general, switching to a ketogenic helps eliminate heartburn and indigestion. So, remember that there are people who will see increased attacks as they embark on this health journey.

When you experience such problems, it is advisable that you limit how much fat you consume; gradually increasing the amount you eat daily throughout two weeks.

6.Increased Cholesterol

Often, many studies signal an elevation of cholesterol when doing the low- carb, keto diet.

Generally, higher cholesterol is due to an increase in good cholesterol (HDL ) – thus decreasing the risk of having heart disease.

You might also notice an increase in your triglyceride count, though that’s equally frequent in individuals on the weight loss journey.

Such improvements will eventually subside as your weight loss process normalizes.

Then again, you’ll have a small group of people having increased LDL cholesterol. Such increases in levels are generally excellent – but harder to test.

The only dangers of LDL cholesterol could be from the density and size, which on keto have shown to be quite healthy.

7. Cravings For Sugar

One thing you’ll get in the long-run from keto diet is decreased cravings for sugar as well as other unhealthy substances.

But before you get to that point, you might first experience stronger cravings for carbs as your body (system) transitions.

This might last anywhere from a day to two going to about three weeks. But don’t give in!

Your body will thank you for it, plus you’ll get the most with reduced and mostly eradicated cravings.

8. Smelly Breath

Few people may experience the smelly breadth of acetone due to eating a very low-carb diet.

Acetone is among the ketone bodies produced during ketosis. It characteristically has a fruity smell mistakable for nail polish remover.

And it’s also a sign that your body has entered ketosis, is converting lots of fats to ketone molecules for energy. And that’s great news!

Those who have noticed the acetone smell on their body or breath (not everyone experiences this) report that it usually goes away within one to weeks as your body adjusts to ketosis.

9. Frequent Urination

As the body starts burning the stored fats in the liver and muscles, that’s from either day one or two after starting on a keto diet; you’ll release lots of water in the process.

Additionally, your kidneys will begin eliminating excess sodium as the circulating insulin levels decrease.

A significant sign for this you may notice is that you are peeing more often all through the day. So don’t worry.

This downside of ketosis will take care of itself as soon as the body makes the shift and is not burning through extra glycogen. Hang in there!

10. Flu-Like Symptoms

In the first two to four days after starting a keto diet, you might experience the flu-like symptoms. This common side effect is referred to “ketosis flu” or the “induction flu.”

The reason being, it imitates symptoms of actual flu. When you have ketosis flu, it means you will experience: Lack of motivation or Tiredness, headaches, Lethargy, irritability, confusion or brain fog.

Though these symptoms tend to go away within several days completely, they are entirely avoidable. But only when you increase your salt consumption and stay very hydrated (noticing a pattern here?). Like always, make sure to eat enough fat.

Keto Diet Results: What To Expect If You Try The Ketogenic Diet

When starting on a new diet, regardless of the kind, you are likely to experience some side-effects. And this is no different for the keto diet. This diet is a representation of a significant shift in how you look at the foods you consume and how your body generates and uses energy. With this in mind, it’s therefore, natural to have some reaction.

Although most of the immediate side-effects may be unpleasant, they do wear out once the body adjusts to the new diet. Since side-effects are usually short-lived, you will soon get back to normal immediately after. And from there on you will notice the well-being and weight loss. Something to keep you motivated, right?

Currently, more and more people seem to be talking about the keto diet. So then, if you’re considering ways to enhance your health by making changes to your diet, hopefully, you have picked some useful insights on what to expect as you start on your new diet.

There are many benefits that a ketogenic diet offers, and this out-weighs the side-effects.

First things first, once you get through your early few days on keto, you are more likely to find the following weeks and months much easier for you.

For this diet to work for you, you’ll need great preparation and patience!

To help your body adjust easily;

Keep your diet strict and straightforward. Those people who usually get better results often further restrict their carb consumption.

When possible keep your carbs intake lower for the first month of your keto diet. And by eliminating excess sweets and those artificial sweeteners (such as diet soda), you’ll be keeping it strict.

Doing so will dramatically lessen your sugar cravings.

Supplement electrolytes and drink lots of water. Most problems tend to come from lack of electrolytes or dehydration.

So, as you start a keto diet (and after the menu), ensure you drink lots of water, take multivitamins and salt your foods.

But when you still experience issues, try taking only electrolyte supplements.

Above all, track what you are eating. It’s very easy to over-eat carbs especially when they’re well hidden in nearly all the foods you select.

Therefore, following what you consume helps you control your consumption of carbs and helps keep you accountable.

Final Thoughts

If you’re considering starting the ketogenic diet, it’s advisable that you be extra careful and consult your doctor.

And especially if you have a heart condition, are diabetic or have hypoglycemia.

Consider how your way of life fits in such a restrictive diet plan. Also, look at foods you’re prepared to forgo temporarily (such as having the same meals as the rest of the family).

This can help you determine whether keto is what you need.

Comments 7

  1. Interesting,, I am so interested in learning different weight loss techniques…
    I’m new to diet,, please share with me any quick and easy techniques that you know..

    1. Post

      Hi Kate, Thanks for your comment. Keep coming back to our blog for new posts every week.
      This will keep your inspiration up for sure.

  2. I currently do the HCG diet but I am considering doing keto between rounds. Thank you for your informative article. Is there anything a person could do to avoid the keto flu? I have heard a couple of friends talk about it during the first few days.

    1. Post

      Hi Tams,

      Drink a lot of water and stay hydrated. Its the salt content in your body which you should maintain to avoid any flu-like symptoms when you follow the keto diet.Hope it helps

  3. Hello ,

    I saw your tweets and thought I will check your website. Have to say it looks really nice!
    I’m also interested in this topic and have recently started my journey as a young entrepreneur.

    I have subscribed to your newsletter. 🙂

    1. Post

      Thanks Jan, for your subscription. You will surely love upcoming topics.

  4. Pingback: Keto Diet or Atkin’s Diet? Which one is for you… – Daymantra

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