What is a Ketogenic Lifestyle?

Keto Simplified

A Ketogenic lifestyle is when you eat higher amounts of healthy fats, moderate amounts of protein and smaller amounts of carbohydrates to enter a state of ketosis. In ketosis, your body burns ketones (instead of glucose) for fuel, which provides numerous health benefits for your body which can include: weight loss, decreased “brain fog”, increased energy, lower cholesterol, 

Why would you want to eat more fat instead of carbs?  

By decreasing carbohydrates and significantly increasing fat,  your body will adapt to burn fat for fuel instead.  

 

What Should I Eat?

Ketogenic = 75% Fat; 20% Protein; 5% Carbohydrates

The ratios above are the typical daily allowances of each macro that will allow your body to enter and stay in ketosis.  Some people may find that 5% calories from carbohydrates is too low as a starting point.  As long as your macro is between 5% - 10% you should enter ketosis.  Some may prefer to be at 10% while others may thrive at 5%.  Please listen to your body and adjust as needed. 

After my first few grocery store visits I recognized that I was mostly shopping around the perimeter of the store where all the fresh items are - that's a good sign!  To keep it simple, my suggestion is for you to choose whole foods whenever possible. What is a "whole food" you ask?  Whole foods are foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. Basically, they are unprocessed and unrefined, or very minimally processed and refined. Because they are as natural as possible, they provide maximum nutritional value.    

Food Options: 

  • Healthy Fats & Oils: Coconut oil, Avocado oil, butter/ghee, lard & bacon fat, olive oil, MCT oil, avocados, fish oil, flaxseed, chia seed
  • All Meats
  • All Fish & Seafood
  • Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, kale, lettuces, peppers, green beans, onions, pumpkin, radishes, zucchini, spaghetti squash, etc.
  • Eggs: fried, boiled, poached, etc.
  • Full-fat Dairy: Cheeses**, unsweetened almond milk, heavy cream, yogurt, butter
  • Nuts and Seeds (nut/seed butters also): Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, pecans
  • Berries/fruit (in small amounts): Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, lemons, limes
  • Sweeteners (ZERO sugar): Erythritol*, Stevia, Monk Fruit extract, Xylitol* 

*Remember, when calculating Net Carbs on a nutrition label to also subtract any grams of sugar alcohols as a result of erythritol and/or xylitol.

**Some folks experience slower weight loss when over-consuming cheeses or dairy.  If you notice that your weight loss has plateaued, you may want to reduce your consumption of cheese and/or dairy. 

Beverage options: 

  • Water. Flat or unsweetened carbonated
  • Broth. 
  • Coffee/Tea. 
  • Coconut/Almond milk. (unsweetened)
  • Diet soda. Sweetened with Stevia (Zevia is a favourite with flavours like: Cream Soda, Root Beer, Black Cherry, Cola, Ginger Ale)
  • Alcohol (in moderation). Choose hard liquor but avoid sugary mixers. Beer and wine tend to be higher in carbs. Frequent consumption of alcohol can slow weight loss down.  

Things to note: 

  • Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes and high sugar fruit like bananas, apples, mangoes, etc.
  • Remember there are carbs in most foods, so tracking your foods is always a great idea especially as you start out.  There are many apps available for this, our favourite is Carb Manager.