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Low-Carb Keto Diet Fundamentals

I've lost 90 pounds on the Keto Diet and have also found tons of energy. I am willing to share my knowledge on the subject.

My Experience With the Keto Diet Is Simple

Keto is a low carbohydrate, no starch, and no sugar diet. For me, I've just experienced a higher sense of mental clarity and lost a lot of pounds on the diet. I've been on the diet before it became a major fad, so I know how to do it without any Keto Diet supplements.

It really is a simple diet. The only time you struggle with it is the time your body has to get used to burning fat instead of carbs. Not only will I go over what you need to eat on the Keto diet, but I will also go over the challenges I've faced.

What to Eat on the Keto Diet

  • Put quality fat in your diet: The Keto diet focuses on high fat, but I never did add butter to my coffee. Instead, I just cooked with fat, such as butter and coconut oil. I avoided the oils that are made from so-called "vegetable" oil. Most oils are made from corn, which is a grain and is forbidden from the diet. Instead, you can use butter, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Eat plenty of protein: I ate chicken, fish, and beef on the Keto Diet. But as your weight loss becomes slower, you might have to cut back on how much meat you eat. The amount of meat you eat in the beginning doesn't make as much of a difference, but it will later on.
  • Limit and watch your carbohydrate intake: The magic number of carbohydrates on this low carbohydrate diet is 20 grams every day. I stayed within the daily 20-gram carbohydrates range for a year and lost a lot of weight, so it does work.
  • Vegetables are allowed: Yes, vegetables are allowed on the diet but you have to limit them as well. I was surprised to learn that vegetables have carbohydrates. The general rule that I went by was to grab two handfuls of spinach, a couple of small tomatoes and sprinkled salt and pepper on my salad. For my dressing, I used apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. At the time, all of the dressings in the grocery store had sugar in them, so I had to create my own dressing.
  • Some dairy products are allowed: Well, yogurt or milk are not allowed with their high sugar, but eggs, cheese, and heavy whipping creme are allowed. Of course, you should limit these items and not drench your coffee with too much heavy whipping creme. Just make sure you read the labels of the dairy products you're buying to check for any hidden sugar.
  • Seeds are allowed: My favorite seed to eat was sunflower seeds. I ate them a lot on my Keto diet.
  • Nuts are iffy: Nuts are good for you, but they should be avoided at the beginning of your diet. Nuts can pack on the pounds if you eat too much. When you're near your weight loss goal, you can try a small handful of nuts, but make sure you keep a watchful eye on your weight. If you do gain weight, cut back on the nuts to see if it was the cause of weight gain.

What Not to Eat on the Keto Diet

  • Avoid grains at all costs: Grains are huge in carbohydrates. Grains are corn, wheat, oats, rice, etc. Almost every processed food on the shelves has some form of corn in them. Corn syrup and lots of other names for corn are in nearly every wrapped piece of food in your grocery store. They even make oil out of corn. Corn is everywhere. So, read your labels and stay away from grains.
  • Avoid starches: The Keto Diet is also about having no starches. Starches are usually the roots like potatoes, carrots, and so forth. Starches are known to convert to sugar, so it is better to stay away from them.
  • Zero sugar policy: The no-sugar policy is also another aspect of the Keto diet. Sugar will convert to fat storage in your body. Make sure you eliminate sugar completely, and that includes most fruits. You can eat berries though, but oranges, apples, and grapes have way too much sugar. Even though berries are allowed, you should limit your intake.

Personal Benefits of the Keto Diet

  • Losing weight: The weight loss was a major benefit for me. I lost 90 pounds on the Keto Diet. I became super skinny. My weight loss helped alleviate the chronic back pain that I've experienced for years.
  • Mental clarity: I felt like the fog in my head had gone away and I could finally focus on my goals in life. I started to learn website design and ended up creating a couple of websites.
  • More energy: I finally started walking and waking up early. I felt like I could do more instead of wanting to lay in bed all day.
  • Less depressed: I'm a person that struggled with severe depression but the diet helped me feel better.

Personal Challenges of the Keto Diet

  • The beginning is always the hardest part: No matter how much food you're eating, you will always feel hungry. That's why you shouldn't be worried about limiting your fat or protein in the beginning. You need to keep eating your Keto-friendly foods to avoid eating a bag of chips or a cupcake. Eventually, if you're able to stick to your diet, you'll experience less hunger as time goes by. When your body finally adjusts to burning fat instead of carbs, you'll finally experience less hunger. You won't even have to eat three meals anymore to feel full.
  • The Keto flu is real: Not only do you feel hungry all the time, but you will likely also experience the Keto flu in the very beginning. For me, it lasted for two weeks. I did feel very sick with crazy headaches. I had to drink lots of water to help me.
  • Leg cramps were a thing for me: Hopefully, others don't witness the horrifying leg cramps I would get early in the morning. Usually, they happened when I was between the dream state and the waking world. I would unconsciously stretch out and then . . . I'm fully awake, holding my leg and trying not to scream. Unfortunately, leg cramps didn't go away after my body adjusted to the diet. I did find some relief from taking potassium and magnesium supplements. The leg cramps became less painful, but they never went away. I did some research at the time, and they said that I needed to take more salt.

Every Body Is Different

The Keto diet has helped me lose pounds and find a mental clarity that I never knew existed. But it isn't for everybody, so make sure you consult with your doctor. It has also helped me with my depression, and I was able to get off my antidepressants with the help of my psychiatrist. The Keto Diet has also given me challenges in the beginning.

It is a simple diet and takes real food to do it. I hope this has helped you identify the foods that are allowed and the ones to stay away from. By the way, I found the diet guidelines in the Appendix of the book: Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It by Gary Taubes.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.