Keto Is This Easy

(Running from stupidity) #1

Keto is this easy (aka Keto for beginners)

Quick Version

This is for Phase One—the starter phase. It’s still not complicated later, but this is the really easy-to-explain version which will help you no end.

  • Eat under 20g of carbs a day (usually 20g net when starting, but for some people 20g total carbs works better).

  • Don’t worry about the scale. All it tells you is weight, it tells you nothing about body composition, even the “smart” scales.

  • Eat plenty of good food—fat and protein—while adhering to 20g of carbs/day. Don’t worry too much about macros and calories EXCEPT carbs. Keep them below 20g/day. (Prioritise the animal protein [i.e., not protein powder]—always start with protein in every meal, but don’t panic about it.) Your job is to get fat-adapted, so give your body the fuel you want it to use. Also, your appetite will vary—it’ll disappear, then it’ll come roaring back. Happens to most people, don’t sweat it.


  • Keto is not a quick-fix fad diet, it is a long-term repair job on your body. This means that for many, it is not an immediate and sustained weight-loss diet. But these repairs can take months. This is because your body is healing, and it prioritises that requirement over your weigh-loss desires because it’s smart. GIVE IT TIME WHILE YOU RECOVER FROM DECADES OF CARB-CAUSED ABUSE.

  • Buy the meat you can afford—don’t stress about grass-fed, organic, etc. The worst meat is better than the best bread.

  • Fasting is a tool; nothing more, nothing less. Works for lots, not for others. Don’t let tools tell you to use it before you’re fat-adapted and it makes sense.

  • This site has a search function (magnifying glass at the top of the page) and a newbies section—use them bothl you’ll get a better variety of answers to your questions far more quickly that way. SERIOUSLY, THIS IS VERY USEFUL.[1]

That’s as difficult as it needs to be for a couple of months.

My good friend Terence (being friends with a Kiwi feels kinda dirty—but there you have it, keto makes for strange bedfellows) tells me this thing I have described above is called “dirty keto.” So yeah, do dirty keto, kids! :slight_smile:

[1]If you can’t find a useful answer after searching and reading for a while, we can help you a lot more if you tell us relevant data about yourself such as your reasons for doing keto, your weight/height/age/gender, a sample menu plan & any relevant health conditions.

Click the arrow below to get the detailed version

Expanded version

Expanded version

This is for Phase One, the starter phase, but in a bit more detail. These points are very general, and don’t take into account your specific health requirements/medical conditions. I am not a doctor, I am a (less fat, now, but still) fat old journalist. Remember that as you read these things.

  • Clear the house of carbs (if possible—not essential, but if you can, it really helps)

  • Keep carbs under 20g/day (vital to make sure you do this). Ignore percentages, 20g is the important thing. Doing this also means don’t bother with the piss strips for testing, you don’t need them. Spend the money on bacon instead. (Unless you’re like my Jewish mate, then don’t buy bacon.) Most people use 20g net when starting, but for some people 20g total carbs works better. You’ll work it out.

  • Eat plenty of real food (keto is not primarily a calorie-restricted eating system, it is a HORMONE-regulation system (insulin, primarily) so don’t worry about “eating enough” fat or protein or “eating too much” fat or protein. Your body is unlikely to let you eat too much fat or protein, trust me. And if it does, you’ll know :slight_smile: Prioritize the protein—always start with protein in every meal, but don’t panic about it.

  • Take electrolytes (or at least extra salt)! Super-important to stay feeling good! It’s VERY difficult to overdo sodium (i.e. salt), and it’s very important for using potassium properly as well.

  • Buy the meat you can afford—don’t stress about grass-fed, organic, etc.

  • This site has a search function (magnifying glass at the top of the page) and a newbies section—use them both; you’ll get a better variety of answers to your questions far more quickly that way. SERIOUSLY, THIS IS VERY USEFUL. (Also, remember that people eat this way for a wide variety of reasons, so always look at the CONTEXT of answers. Answers for Type II diabetics will differ from answers for people who are metabolically sound but wanting to lose weight.) If you can’t find a useful answer after searching and reading for a while, we can help you a lot more if you tell us relevant data about yourself, such as your reasons for doing keto, your weight/height/age/gender, a sample menu plan, & any relevant health conditions.

  • Track your food intake—this teaches you what is and isn’t sensible to eat in terms of carbs, it’s great for planning your food for the day, and the accumulated data pool helps you (and helps us help you) work out why things are strange (and at some point they probably will be). Cronometer is great for this. Data is your friend—without it, you’re guessing. However, once you’re really sorted with it all and know what you’re doing, a lot of people stop tracking.

  • When you eat is as important as what you eat. Eat enough at meals to get you to the next meal—snacks keep insulin high, and this is EXACTLY what we’re trying to combat. (Thank you Jason Fung, you awesome Canadian, you!)

  • Fasting is AWESOME, but don’t worry about it—or one meal a day or whatever—at this point. That can wait until you’re fat adapted. Getting fat adapted is your “right now” goal. Everything flows from that, and it can take a couple of months or more (sometime a lot more, but that’s pretty rare). People here will be on you about fasting being the solution to everything up to and including car repair, but that’s mostly so they can mention for the 27th time this week that they’re not eating because it’s their self-appointed superpower. Again, not eating is great, and you’re VERY likely to use it down the track, but it just one tool among many and it can wait.

  • Don’t weigh yourself. Or at least, not often. The scale is a lying bitch which tells you nothing useful. Unless you’re a data hound like me, and going up won’t do your head in and have you thinking you’re a failure. So yeah, whatever works.

  • Ketone numbers are not an arms race. If you’re in, terrific. If you’re not, time to get the carbs down, most likely, or start searching for other solutions (see above point about tracking).

  • Strongly related to the above point—ketosis is a stepping stone, really. What we are really chasing is lipolysis (fat adaptation). This takes time.

  • Educate yourself, it makes the whole thing a lot easier. That search function I mentioned? It’s insanely useful. This forum contains a WEALTH of knowledge going back a couple of years, and you will learn an INSANE amount VERY quickly by looking through it. Education is key to most things, and keto is no different. On a related note, the first twenty or so Two Keto Dudes podcasts are something you should listen to. Richard explains things very well.

  • Exercise is great, but it could be difficult early on, and it makes very little difference to weight loss—so don’t stress about it if your energy levels drop as your body changes from burning glucose to burning fat. Just ride it out.

  • Keto is simple enough. Can it get complex? Sure. But is it at the start? No. Points 1-7 above are super easy to follow and get you 90 percent of the way there. The rest is details for later on (i.e., once you’re fat adapted, pretty much).

  • Avoid seed oils (soybean oil, Canola oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower seed oil, safflower oil, corn oil, etc.), they are the devil. Stick to the fruit oils (avocado, coconut, and olive), and cook with butter, lard, tallow, or bacon grease.

  • Try to avoid snacks. Eat enough at meal time to get you through to the next meal. Or just eat another meal, instead of a snack. Not hungry enough for another meal? Not really hungry then. No need to go actually hungry (i.e. real hunger, not just “it’s 12 o’clock! Time to eat!”—clock-hunger), however. You’ll learn to distinguish real hunger from the desire to eat, and not eating just because it’s a habit will become very easy.

  • Try to just eat whole foods - don’t desperately try to recreate all your favourite carbage. It’s a path that flirts with disaster for many, and eating real foods (i.e., not out of a packet) is MUCH easier and cheaper and satisfying.

  • What works for others may not work for you. (Including these oh-so-brilliant guidelines.) And it may not work at the same rate even when it DOES work. Don’t compare yourself to others. You do you. We are all as metabolically different as we are different in looks (thank you, collective Eades). And if you’re a woman, especially an older woman, dropping weight won’t be anything like as easy as it is for a younger male #becausehormones so be cognizant of that fact.

  • Enjoy it! This is NOT a restrictive lifestyle at all. You just have to stop eating crap. And that’s a good thing for your brain and your body, so always remember that. “I will eat good things, I will not eat crap. I do this because I am a smart, newly-educated person, and a smart newly-educated person does not choose to eat crap.”

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(Marianne) #2

GREAT information; thank you! Apart from being in ketosis, how do you know when your body is fat adapted?

(b9b714e271076ca269b8) #3

Thank you.
Easy Peasy :unicorn: Mind over Matter :pray:

Did someone here start What I ate today?
Breakfast looks like this…
and so on
Without any specific guideline
For what a day looks like. I might keep making errors.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #4

Ketosis begins almost immediately after we cut our carbohydrate intake, whereas fat adaptation takes around two months, usually.

The easiest way to recognize fat-adaptation is when an athlete gets his or her performance back. During the adaptation phase, there is a noticeable drop in performance, as muscles have to switch from metabolising glucose to using ketones instead. Fat-adaptation involves switching to metabolising fatty acids, even in preference to ketones, thus saving the glucose and ketone bodies produced by the liver for those organs (such as the brain and the red blood cells) that cannot metabolise fat themselves.

In non-athletes, full fat-adaptation is accompanied by a sense of energy and well-being, possibly even a desire to begin exercise. People usually feel mentally sharper as soon as β-hydroxybutyrate starts finding its way to the brain; this is a different feeling. It’s hard to describe, but it’s usually quite recognizable. There is, unfortunatey, no real way to measure fat-adaptation, so we have to go by subjective feelings.

(Marianne) #5

THank you. I’ve taken to this quite well, however, today I felt pretty tired in the morning, nothing serious. I will just keep on keeping on.

(Kimberly) #6

Thanks for this list and then the subsequent info about fat adaptation. I’m 4 weeks in and have been told I need to do IF but then also not to judge anything until I’m fat adapted. That being said, I already feel better than when I started and am just keeping on with my next foreseeable goal being fat adaption. At that point (if and when I recognize it - I hope it’s easily recognizable :slight_smile: ) I’d like to hold steady for a bit, see how my body responds and make reasonable adjustments as needed.
All that to say, thanks for the encouragement. I’m constantly trying to learn as much as possible and the more I learn the more I’m sure this WOE is the best thing for me.
Also, any other tidbits of wisdom you may have, throw them out there!

(Running from stupidity) #7

Thus the reason the below was included :slight_smile:

Fasting is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less. Works for lots, not for others. Don’t let tools tell you to use it before you’re fat-adapted and it makes sense.

For most people (it seems) it’s like a gradual realisation rather than a definitive come to Jesus moment :slight_smile:

A sensible newbie! Be still my beating heart!


Your attitude will allow you to do this. Great stuff.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) pinned #8


Your body might even tell you when it thinks it’s time to do a fast. Mine did. It had a very annoyed reactiong to eating, and I just took it as a sign that I should no longer eat every single day. If you suddenly realise that you’ve forgotten to eat and don’t really feel hungry, not eating is a viable option.

So read all sorts of advice, but consult your own body on everything, rather than following just because a guru told you to.

(Celeste Brunelle) #10

I recently purchased a ketomojo blood ketone meter and check for ketosis that way. It’s way more accurate than the urines sticks. I’m now hovering around 1.5 and 2 which is within the optimal ketosis range for fatloss (1.5-3). Really helps me keep track.

(Fred Visser) #11

I’ve been keto for over 3 years my ketone level is usually .4 to about 1.2 and I know I’m fat adapted because if I should slip up and eat some bread or maybe an M&M or two or 5 the next morning I’m always get back in ketosis and though it’s never a high level I think my body is pretty efficient at utilizing ketones because of that feeling not craving carbohydrates most of the time. When I do sometimes I’ll cave and have a small amount of carbs or I will just substitute something like cottage cheese or real cheese. I’m down 40 lb or so and have plenty of energy to work out with my heavy dumbbells. This lifestyle is awesome!

(Marianne) #12

Wow; three years - that is awesome. I hope I can say that some day.


Hi, I never have breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, tea, snack anymore. My only meals are called “Food” and i have them only when hungry. It is so easy now, i Love it! :grinning:

(Paul H) #14

Music to my ears… Mine is arriving today! :+1:

(Chris) #15

Seems pretty straight forward. I’m almost about to give up week 5 has been tough. My ketones are down. Used to be 1-2 I’ve never been above 2 suddenly they are .3-.7 and I feel hungrier again. Havent changed a thing. Along with that I have IBS ans its MUCH worse. Constipation and digestion issues abound. Not sure what I’m gonna do yet

(Marianne) #16

For me, I like the freedom of not checking my ketones, getting on the scale or tracking macros. I just try to eat less than 20g carb/day and eat enough fat/fatty protein and it seems to be working just fine. This WOE has become a lifestyle change for me, and it’s more than a fair trade-off. Now I just want to live my life and not think about my “diet,” food, weight, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to get this weight off NOW, however, it is happening and I know I will get there.

If you’re hungry, eat - and don’t feel guilty about how much you are eating or calories. Eat until you are satisfied with what you’ve eaten and enjoy your meals. I don’t obsess over food but I do look forward to eating (usually one/day now). There are so many delicious combinations of things to eat on keto, and I don’t fuss with anything super eleborate.

Good luck; hope you hang in there.

(Empress of the Unexpected) #17

They’re fun! Love checking my GKI!

(Empress of the Unexpected) #18

Please don’t. It takes everyone a different amount of time. I’m at 15 months, new low in weight, new high in ketones. Five weeks is nothing. My fasting BG was 97 when I started, but, while normal, it was a bit too high for my comfort level. Six months in it was 87. Six months later, I am seeing 79. My blood ketones are staying predictably higher. 15 months - that’s how long it took me to see real therapeutic effects. This is not a quick fix. I had GI issues for the first six months. They are leveling out. You just have to keep tweaking things to see what makes your body happy.

(Chris) #19

This helps :slight_smile: thank you. I went off for a day ate healthy carbs and the next day I was back In ketosis and I’m gonna give It ankther go with less veggies

(Tammy Arrowood ) #20

Hey hun, Nurse Tammy, where did you find the best keto blood meter?

Why isn't keto working for me