By Karissa Long, Clean Keto Lifestyle
Starting, implementing, and maintaining a keto way of life doesn’t have to be intimidating or painful. All you need is a little knowledge, some motivation, and lots of healthy fats! Don’t worry - I’ve got you covered with my Top 5 Keto Tips so you can seamlessly get into ketosis and start reaping all the amazing benefits!
TIP #1 - GET INFORMED
I truly believe that knowledge is power, so understanding the science behind keto is the best place to start! Tip #1 is a quick science lesson - don’t skip this section! It will prove very valuable - I promise :)
Did you know that your body has two fuel sources?
The first one is glucose.
In a standard diet, carbohydrates (grains, pasta, bread, sugar, etc.) that you ingest are converted into glucose, which the body then uses for quick bursts of energy.
Unfortunately, the process of converting these carbs to glucose sends your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride that we like to call the “glu-coaster”!!
Here is how it works:
After you consume carbohydrates (think refined grains and sugars), your body begins to digest them into glucose.
This process of converting carbs to glucose causes a spike in your blood sugar and gives you an ensuing but temporary energy boost (this is where the term “sugar high” comes from).
In response to this aggressive blood sugar spike (and because a glucose overdose in your bloodstream can be toxic), your body reacts by signaling to the pancreas to release the hormone insulin which acts to remove the excess glucose from your bloodstream.
The released insulin works swiftly to transport the glucose out of your bloodstream to burn as fuel and then puts the rest in storage (more on this in a minute).
As the insulin removes all the glucose from your bloodstream, your blood sugar subsequently drops, your energy level declines, and you feel hungry again.
So you eat more carbs and the cycle begins again…
This process is why most people get an afternoon energy crash around 3 pm and start craving sweets or candy (aka carbs).
One piece of comfort we can give you is that it is not your lack of willpower that causes these cravings. It is your body saying “Hey! My blood sugar is low and I need more energy — give me carbs now!”
If being on the never-ending “glu-coaster” wasn’t bad enough – I have more bad news for you…
Since the body cannot use large amounts of glucose at one time, it has to be stored somewhere.
Some of the extra supply is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. But the remaining extra supply is stored as FAT! Yes – it is sad but true…
Then you eat more carbs at your next meal, you jump on the “glu-coaster,” your body uses what it needs for energy and stores the rest as fat. And those fat cells keep piling up. This is the reason you gain weight.
But I do have good news for you! Your body has another fuel source called ketones.
This is where the ketogenic diet comes in. If carbohydrates are limited, the liver instead uses ketone bodies for energy.
And the keto diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet designed to enable the body to use ketones as its energy source. This phenomenon is called ketosis.
Ketones are these incredible little energy pods created by your body from stored fat! Yes, you heard me correctly: you can turn those stored fat cells into energy!!
And not just any kind of energy: energy that is long-lasting and consistent, with no afternoon crashes. When you use ketones for energy, your body is using its own stored fat as fuel, thus you start losing weight. Brilliant, right?
When your body is in a state of ketosis, the body becomes a literal fat-burning machine!!!! This is why keto is so powerful!
TIP #2 - DON’T BE SCARED OF FAT
Ok - now that I have your attention, let’s go over how you get into ketosis.
Getting into ketosis comes down to the specific macronutrients (or “macros”) you eat and in what proportion. There are three types of macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
On the ketogenic diet, your daily macronutrient breakdown should be as follows:
- 75% fat
- 20% protein
- 5% carbohydrates
It’s true – approximately 75% of what you eat each day will come from fat. Fat is actually the most essential macronutrient that the body needs. You need fat to live. It keeps you feeling full and satisfied, it keeps cravings away, and it is 100% necessary for you to get into ketosis.
So let’s set the record straight on fat once and for all:
- Fat is the vehicle by which our cells receive certain essential nutrients, like Vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fat balances your blood sugar and hormones. Fat is satisfying, calorically dense, crucial to weight loss and is 100% necessary to keep your brain running efficiently and well.
- So throw out all those negative thoughts that you have built up in your mind from years of misinformation and anti-fat marketing and instead embrace HEALTHY FATS! Once you do, your life will improve for the better!
When following the keto macronutrient ratio, you can get into ketosis within 2 to 7 days depending on your current glycogen supply, body type, and activity level.
TIP #3 - KEEP IT REAL
Unfortunately, with the growing popularity of keto also comes misinformation, clever marketing by food companies, and improper implementation. I mean—it is not all about bacon and cheese!
I believe the key to implementing the keto diet the right way is to focus on one important principle: Food Quality. By feeding your body the highest-quality foods, you provide the nutrients it needs to function optimally.
A Clean Keto Lifestyle is rooted in the principles of whole foods. That means you remove low-carb processed foods, refined oils, chemical additives, and factory-farmed meat and seafood from your plate, and instead, load it up with the real, nutrient-dense foods that nourish your body.
What makes this approach to keto so effective is that it is based on the way your body was designed to perform at its best. When you eat healthy fats, quality protein, and organic vegetables, your body recognizes it and can digest it easily. By filling your plate with food of the highest standard, you will restore and revitalize your body.
Let’s go over how do easily do this:
- Read labels carefully. Many products are labeled as “sugar-free” or “low-carb” but come loaded with chemicals and preservatives. These do nothing for your health. Make sure you recognize every ingredient on the food label so you know it is the real deal!
- Embrace healthy fats such as coconut oil, MCT oil, olive oil, and avocados.
- Be sure to shop for QUALITY! Look for organic and non-GMO products. High-quality ingredients are the cornerstone of your keto diet.
- Focus on eating vegetables that are on the low-carb spectrum (pretty much anything green is a good choice!) and also make sure you get plenty of fiber.
- Throw out your artificial sweeteners or anything else that contains aspartame, sucralose, etc. Yes – that also means all diet soda!! Your body can’t tell the difference between artificial sweeteners and actual sugar, so it responds the same and raises your insulin and blood sugar levels. Instead, use natural sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol.
TIP #4 - HYDRATE AND REPLENISH!
Drink, drink, drink and drink. Water that is, not alcohol! Well, maybe a glass of wine once in a while! Aim for at least half an ounce of water for each pound you weigh.
If you are following a workout plan and/or sweating, make sure to add even more water to your routine (at least another 24 ounces).
Now I know water can get boring, which is why I absolutely LOVE - Ultima Replenisher! Ultima has all 6 electrolytes, 100% natural ingredients, and no carbs making it the perfect keto drink powder. All you have to do is pick your favorite flavor (I personally love Cherry Pomegranate), then sprinkle it in your water to keep your electrolytes replenished and in balance.
Not only are the flavors great to jazz up your H2O, but Ultima is also packed with support minerals like Potassium, Magnesium, Chloride, Calcium, Phosphorus, and Sodium (which are super important when you are on keto), plus it’s sweetened naturally with organic stevia leaf, so you can replenish and hydrate without any of the carbs or sugar. That means no “glu-coaster” for you! It is a win-win!
TIP #5 - THINK HOLISTICALLY!
As your body heals and your health improves with a Clean Keto Lifestyle, you will start feeling amazing!! Which in turn means you stick to this way of eating and living because it feels SO good.
These incredible health benefits will also motivate you to focus on adapting better habits in all aspects of your life.
- Making sleep a priority
- Utilizing stress management methods such as meditation or yoga
- Incorporating green beauty/household products into your daily life
- Aiming to move your body for 30 minutes a day by walking, riding a bike, swimming or going to your favorite fitness class.
It’s the Domino Effect! You start with one simple step - eating a clean keto diet and that leads to so many more accomplishments!
FINAL WORDS (AND BONUS TIP!)
Keto works! It truly is that simple. And the reason it works is that it is based on science and upgrading your body's fuel source.
That is why you see so many amazing success stories when you search #ketotransformation on social media.
The key is TRUSTING the process.
I know it can be scary going all-in on eating 75% fat each day, especially when as a society we have been trained to avoid fat at all costs for the last 30 years.
But by following the keto diet, you can literally turn your body into a fat-burning machine and reap the benefits of ketosis. Hello - more energy, fewer cravings, better sleep, clearer skin, and improved mental clarity to name a few.
So trust the process, trust the macros, and ultimately trust yourself. You can do this!
Karissa Long is a cookbook author and co-founder of Clean Keto Lifestyle — a company devoted to helping people transition into a sustainable keto lifestyle so they can heal their bodies and thrive!
As a Global Health Coach and Ketogenic Expert, she has been living the keto lifestyle for almost a decade. She found the ketogenic diet during her battle with Ulcerative Colitis. Within a few months on the diet, she shed her excess weight, gained more energy, improved her focus, started sleeping better, improved her skin, managed her cravings, and—to her surprise—her autoimmune disease went into remission.
The improvement in her quality of life created a passion to help others do the same. She is proud to say that since starting Clean Keto Lifestyle, she has helped thousands of people achieve their health goals with a ketogenic way of life.