Keto Beginner Guide With Real Results

Hello friends!  Today’s post is all about my journey following a Ketogenic Lifestyle.  Since sharing the results of following this plan the question that I am most often asked is, “do you have a book or guide that I could read?”  The answer is YES!  Grab my new Ebook HOW I QUIT SUGAR: a beginner guide to keto to read about my journey, check out exclusive low carb recipes and get a printable food list!  Today I am going to give you the short and dirty of what has worked for me and include a bunch of links to resources that will hopefully answer some of your questions.  Ultimately my goal is to help inspire and motivate you to find a healthy lifestyle that works for YOU.  

Keto is not for everyone but following this lifestyle has allowed me to lose over 75 pounds since 01/01/18.  A Ketogenic Diet is a way of eating that puts the body into a state of Ketosis.  It promotes weight loss, improves energy, satiates hunger and is proven to have benefits on cholesterol and diabetes.  Traditional Keto Diets typically advise a macronutrient ratio of 75% fats, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates for dietary intake.  Following these macros would be considered a high fat, moderate protein, low carb version of Keto.  **I follow a different plan that is high protein, moderate fat, low carb.  See My Macros below.**

 

Down 72 lbs following Keto for eight months.

**These photos may NOT be copied or duplicated without my express permission**

My Story

While at a Christmas party last year I noticed that many of my friends, who I hadn’t seen in a while, looked absolutely fabulous.  And it wasn’t just the Cranberry Swirl Cocktails I was drinking.  Many of them had shrunk and lost upwards of 50 pounds!  I asked what kind of magic was this?!  Keto!  They all said.  And when asked for details I discovered that not only were they eating dairy and red meat but also drinking coffee and alcohol still!  What was this plan?!  It sounded like heaven to me!

Spiritually our church had begun thirty days of prayer and fasting in January.  While my weight loss had never been a priority for me in the past, this year God really put it on my heart.  I believe that He decided that now was the perfect time to introduce Keto into my life.  I prayed for continued direction and clarity on my healthy lifestyle journey and boy did He deliver!  Hallelujah.

So I went to Costco and bought all the books with the title “Keto” on the cover (all two of them).  Some of the information made complete sense while other things did not… fat bombs?!?  Say what?!  No dairy?!  How could I live without cheese?!  So I then scoured the internet and read countless articles about this Ketogenic Lifestyle.  Still there were so many different schools of thought and variations of this diet!  Finally I asked my friends for direction and they connected me with a VERY strict Keto group on Facebook that they had followed with success.

I combined everything that I had learned in those first two weeks to create a plan that made sense to me and my current lifestyle.  Butter in my coffee?  No thanks.  Drinking salt water?  Nope. No magic bars, pills or drinks.  How is any of that sustainable long term anyway?  Just common sense meals while tracking my macronutrient intake.

Keto Snacks

My Macros

I follow a high protein, moderate fat, low carb version of Keto.  One of my top goals following this plan has been to lose body fat.  The boys and I ran a 5K Fun Run in June (read about our Yoda Running Tshirts and experience here)  and I wasn’t looking forward to hauling extra weight over all of those obstacles!  I started Keto in January and by June I was over 50lbs lighter and ready to run.  Eating extra dietary fat (as you would in a traditional high fat Keto Diet) made absolutely no sense to me as I had excess body fat to lose.  Why would I EAT more fat?  Fueling my body with lean protein made much more sense to obtaining my goals.  I avoid high fat foods, I don’t add extra butter to things, I focus on healthy lean protein and I don’t consume a lot of “fat bombs”.  I am 5’2″, 39 years old and these are the macros that I try to stick to daily.

Calories 1150

Protein 110 grams

Fat 70 grams

Net Carbs 20 grams

My specific macros are from Ketogenic Dieters but you can also use a Keto Calculator online to get macronutrient amounts tailored to you (see My Resources below).  You might be thinking, only 1150 calories?!  Holy cow!  But let me assure you that when you are fueling your body with the appropriate set of nutrients, you will feel full.  Period.  I am very rarely hungry on this plan.  And I used to be the girl that would tell you, I had no “full button”.  I could eat and eat and eat.  That’s because all I was eating was food with very little nutritional value.  Carbs.  Lots and lots of carbs.  Bread and pasta that would essentially turn into sugar and give me a short term energy boost but not sustain me throughout the day.  Don’t get me wrong, I have always eaten a healthy variety of foods just not the right ones in the quantities needed to keep my body running optimally.  I track my macro intake daily using an app called Cronometer and monitor my weight weekly using my Fitbit app (My Fitness Pal is another popular app used for tracking).

Keto Eating Out

My Meal Plan

Two things that I was taught on the diet roller coaster that I had ridden in the past.  1.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and 2. Eating small meals and snacks throughout the day helps to keep my metabolism active.  Finally, FINALLY Keto allowed me to put these teachings to rest.  They had never worked for me in the past.  Every morning I would try to gag a protein rich breakfast down that had me slightly nauseated all day.  When left to its own devises my body does not crave food until well after 11am.  Eating small meals and snacks throughout the day never provided a boost to my metabolism that I could tell.  What is DID do is cause me to eat more calories throughout the day while focusing on food every two hours.

Now?  I listen to my body.  I do what works for it.

The short list of foods that I eat:  all meat (especially chicken, turkey and shrimp), zucchini, cauliflower, avocado, broccoli and other vegetables that are low carb.  Dairy (except for milk which has added sugar) and some fruit (berries and melon).  Eggs, egg whites and bacon of course.  Yes, I use artificial sweeteners in my drinks, Stevia being the top choice.  I eat out at restaurants and use their nutrition guide to track my macros (a chicken salad at Wendy’s for example) or give an educated guess on serving amounts to track my macros (steak and sauteed vegetables at Joey Kelowna for example).

The second most often asked question is this, “what do your kids eat?”  Fifty percent of the time they eat the same meals that I do and I just add rice, pasta, potatoes or bread for them.  The other fifty percent of the time they eat pizza or chicken fingers and fries while I make something completely different for myself.  I am a single parent and the boys are with me for a week on, week off basis so this makes it easy to create meals for us.  If I was cooking consistently for a large family I would simply make meals that are high in protein with low carb vegetables and add a side dish for the kids.

Breakfast

16 oz coffee with cream and stevia.  Check out my Keto Starbucks Drink Order.

Lunch

One of these meals from my Keto Breakfast Ideas post.

Dinner

One of these meals from my Keto Lunch & Dinner Ideas post.

Snacks?

Sure, if they fit in with my macros for the day.  Protein bars, sunflower seeds, cheese, pepperoni sticks, fruits & veggies are all snacks that I will add to my dietary intake if I want but only after I have planned for lunch and dinner.  I try to limit processed or pre-packaged foods and anything with cane sugar.

Drinks?

Yup, if they fit in with my macros for the day.  I often have wine or vodka with sparkling water while out with friends.  For the first six months of my Keto journey I also had a daily bottle of “Keto Lemonade” (a combination of water, lemon juice, stevia and Himalayan salt) to keep my electrolytes in balance.  I avoid protein shakes and meal replacements because they are often high carb and I would rather eat “real food”.

Suppliments?

I take Biotin (B6 & B12) and Magnesium daily (well, when I remember).

 

Keto Lunch

A typical lunch of eggs, bacon and raspberries.

Keto Dinner

A typical dinner of steak, mushrooms and cauliflower “fried rice”.

My Results

As I began losing weight I tracked my progress in a journal and on Instagram.  You can find many more before and after as well as progress photos @twindragonflydesigns on insta.  I still have a long way to go before reaching my goal weight but documenting the progress has been an important part of keeping me accountable and motivated.  I have always been a moderately active person who enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming or walking three times a week.  I have not added additional activity to my lifestyle to gain these results.  I also took my measurements with a tape measure and lost over 20 inches in the first six weeks of following Keto!

Keto Results

Down 35lbs following Keto for three months.

**These photos may NOT be copied or duplicated without my express permission**

Keto Results

Down 55lbs following Keto for five months.

**These photos may NOT be copied or duplicated without my express permission**

Keto Results

Down 65 lbs following Keto for six and a half months.

**These photos may NOT be copied or duplicated without my express permission**

My Resources

Okay now for the meat and potatoes… only maybe don’t eat the potatoes… too high carb *wink*.  Here are a bunch of resources that I hope you find useful.  Remember, Keto is not for everyone!  Read, research, listen to your body and find a plan that best suits YOU and your lifestyle.

HOW I QUIT SUGAR: a beginner guide to keto – my new downloadable Ebook that puts everything together for you in an easy to read PDF.

Keto Connect Website – good for general Keto information and they have great videos!

Ketogenic Dieters group on Facebook – only join this group if you are serious about Keto and willing to follow their specific and strict plan.  Reading the pinned post in that group is a must before becoming a part of the community!

The Keto Diet (aff link) – one of the books that I read from Costco.

Keto Calculator – use a tool like this to find your specific macros.

Join my Keto Support Group on Facebook for more recipe inspiration, before and afters, tips and sharing of Keto resources and results.  I would love to see you there!

I hope that I have answered some questions for you and given you a bit of direction.  I am so incredibly grateful to have found this Ketogenic Lifestyle and have the opportunity to share it with you!  Do you have any Keto resources or tips?  Please share… Questions?  Drop me a line…

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