Starting Keto? There are twists and turns along the way, but most people do well their two weeks aiming at three targets:
1. Eliminate all carbs and sugar - even fruit in the early stages
2. Eat above-ground, crunchy, low-carb vegetables - there's a list of about 3 dozen at the end of this article. After a few months or weeks, you can add higher carb vegetables like carrots and pumpkin, but you will have to monitor your ketones to know how this affects you.
3. Supplement your fat - Once your body has been in ketosis long enough, you can get by on the the naturally occurring fats in fish, meat, and dairy, but a good fat supplement ("fat bomb") can help you function and feel better, in the early stages especially. I make my own fat bombs at home and eat two every morning, and when I run out of those I take a tablespoon of coconut oil twice in the morning. If you can't handle that, break it up into twice a day. See below for my standard fat bomb recipe.
Add extra olive oil to your salad, extra butter to your vegetables, cook with extra olive oil, and consider either a commercially made fat bomb such as Keto Cups or FBombs.
Nuts ad nut butters are also good sources of fat and protein - macadamia, almond, pecan, and pumpkin seed. I favor pumpkin because they also support your testosterone. 💪🏼
4. Measure your ketones by pricking your finger and testing your blood - I have seen first hand that both urine testing strips and breath meters are inaccurate and can cause tremendous confusion. Testing your blood is reliable.
One client who used the breath meter struggled for months and finally gave up on keto because her readings hovered around the the minimum ketone level of 0.5 mmol.
We switched to a ketone blood meter. After one day of fasting to get her back into ketosis she registered at 3.3 mmol! That's higher than most keto athletes!! Her body was doing keto just fine - the breath monitor was telling her that she was very low or out of ketosis altogether. She hasn't had a problem since.
I use the Keto Mojo meter
5. Avoid the "keto flu" by getting extra salt and taking a magnesium supplement -
During the first couple weeks of keto, some people can experience fatigue, brain fog, nausea, they can get achey, sometimes a slightly elevated heart rate, and increased urination, or constipation. This is due to the loss of electrolytes in your body on the keto diet. Your body needs time to adjust, but until that happens you'll just feel better if you take a magnesium supplement and drink a couple cups of broth. Store bought broth is fine.
I myself never experienced aches or mental confusion, but I did get very tired and had mild nausea. I also had an elevated heart rate at night, just in the first 2 weeks. A magnesium supplement and two cups of store-bought chicken broth stopped all of that.
I used these for two weeks and then stopped.
--> I recommend you start with one can of any kind of broth per day. Drink half a can AM, and the other half PM.
This will help to restore sodium and potassium which we often loose when eliminating carbs and switching to ketosis, and should help you lessen or avoid the keto flu symptoms.
--> If that doesn't help your symptoms within 1 day, add a magnesium supplement.
Taking large doses of potassium and magnesium long term can be dangerous for the heart and kidneys. To avoid taking a too large a dose, follow the instructions on the bottle.
To avoid taking magnesium for too long, limit your intake to 1 or 2 weeks. This should keep you within safe guidelines.
Vegetables - very low carb, keto friendly
lettuce - all varieties
Baba's Choco Fat Bomb Recipe:
[ stolen from https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2018/07/23/fat-bombs-recipe-keto/ ]
1/2 cup cocoa
net carb 8
1 cup almond butter (skip if allergic to nuts)
net carbs 24
1/2 cup coconut oil
stevia to taste = 0 cal
mix, pour into an ice tray
net carb 32
Ice tray = 18 fat bombs
net carb 1.78