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How to Start the Keto Diet

So you’ve heard about the Keto diet, but you’re afraid to get started. I mean, eat fat to lose weight? How is this even possible? What if you end up gaining more weight? Doesn’t this go against everything you ever learned from, let’s say, the American Heart Association, for instance? Believe me, I had the exact same freak out. All I kept thinking was, “I am 250 lbs. I can’t afford to gain any more weight“. However, at the same time, I was 250 lbs. I couldn’t afford to NOT do whatever I could to try and change that. Right? Continue reading to learn more about how to start the Keto diet.

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start the keto diet

So as I was saying, at my highest weight, I was 250 lbs. My body hurt, I was always out of breath, I had no energy, etc. I could literally go on and on about how bad things were when I was that heavy. Besides the physical side of things, my health wasn’t all that great either. With a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis, high cholesterol, and a strong family history of high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes, I definitely had one foot in the grave. My doctor had my on diabetes medication and cholesterol medication…both of which had horrible side effects that I was tired of dealing with.

After researching and researching more and more about how to start the keto diet, I decided that I had nothing to lose. Sure I could end up gaining more weight and failing miserably at the diet, but at that point, I was already 250 lbs, what was a few more pounds? If the diet actually worked for me, the results could end up being life changing. And life changing they were! Here is a picture of me at my absolute highest weight with a picture of me yesterday.start the keto diet

If you don’t know what the Keto diet is, it is a diet that focuses on a high fat intake, moderate protein and very low carbs (around 20 total carbs a day). Basically, it very simple terms, your body will start using the fat you are consuming, as well as your stored body fat, as it’s new energy source instead of carbs.

How to Start the Keto Diet

Once I decided to make the jump to do the Keto diet, I knew I had to be all in. I couldn’t go halfway. In knowing that, the first three things I did were:

  • Wrote down my measurements and starting weight
  • Figured out my Macros using this Keto calculator
  • Purchased the premium membership for My Fitness Pal

The first two items are paramount. You have to do these things to succeed with the Keto diet. A premium membership for My Fitness Pal is not required, but because I was “all in” I wanted to make sure my macro percentages were exact. With the free version of My Fitness Pal, you have to round your numbers. I wasn’t OK with that. You may be and that’s OK!

Pro Tip…Pick up this bullet journal and pens to create your Keto Diet Bullet Journal. You can design it how you would like, but what a great place to track your success, write out your goals, etc?!?

Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook - Dotted Pages - BerryLeuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook – Dotted Pages – BerryHuhuhero Fineliner Color Pen Set, 0.38 mm Fine Line Drawing Pen, Porous Fine Point Markers Perfect for Coloring Book and Bullet Journal Art Projects, Pack of 10Huhuhero Fineliner Color Pen Set, 0.38 mm Fine Line Drawing Pen, Porous Fine Point Markers Perfect for Coloring Book and Bullet Journal Art Projects, Pack of 10

What Do You Do Now?

If there was just one thing I could tell you is most important when you start the Keto diet, it would be to plan, plan, plan. You don’t want to eat and track all day long without planning. If you don’t plan, then you will get to dinner and be out of protein and have WAY too much fat left to eat and you’ll end up eating a stick of butter for dinner. So I eat breakfast and while I am entering my breakfast for the day, I immediately figure out what I am going to eat for dinner, enter than and whatever I have left I divide between lunch and snacks. If I know I am going to a particular restaurant for dinner, I always plan out what I want for dinner and work backwards. Besides being strict and consistent, planning has been my biggest success with this diet.

OK I have My Fitness Pal and My Macros, Now What?

Be sure to scroll through my Keto diet resources. I have a lot of delicious recipes for you to try. Especially recipes specific to summer! A few, must have items that I think you should consider picking up from Amazon are:

The Wicked Good Ketogenic Diet Cookbook: Easy, Whole Food Keto Recipes for Any BudgetThe Wicked Good Ketogenic Diet Cookbook: Easy, Whole Food Keto Recipes for Any BudgetBacon & Butter: The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet CookbookBacon & Butter: The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet CookbookSweet and Savory Fat Bombs: 100 Delicious Treats for Fat Fasts, Ketogenic, Paleo, and Low-Carb DietsSweet and Savory Fat Bombs: 100 Delicious Treats for Fat Fasts, Ketogenic, Paleo, and Low-Carb Diets

My favorite, of the three above, is the Sweet & Savory Fat Bombs cookbook. In the very beginning, I really struggled with getting enough fat in. I don’t know if it was more of a mental thing or what, but you won’t lose weight if you aren’t consuming enough fat. This cookbook has a lot of delicious ways to get your fat in! Two fat bomb recipes I really like are:

Things to Remember When You Start the Keto Diet

When you first start the Keto diet, you will need to remember a few things. First, once you deplete your carb stores and begin to switch over to using ketones to fuel your body, you may experience the “Keto Flu”. This is normal. Just power through out. Trust me. It will get better after a few days. Second, in the beginning, as your body is adjusting to its new fuel source, you will experience insane hunger. Power through. If you must go over your calories and whatnot in My Fitness Pal, do it…but make sure your macro percentages always stay where they need to be. That is the important part. Finally, stay hydrated. It’s important to be hydrated all the time, but even more so with the Keto diet. In order to prevent your body from retaining water, you need to drink more water. Sounds crazy, but just trust me. Also be sure to take a look at what supplements you are taking. I personally needed to cut out my multi-vitamin, but add in a magnesium vitamin. Discuss with your doctor exactly what vitamins you need.

Right now, I am currently down about 83 lbs. My husband, who started the Keto diet with me, is down 125 lbs! We no longer look at this as a diet, but more as our new lifestyle. I ate a little sugar and some potato chips the other weekend and I ended of knocking myself out of ketosis and had the lovely experience of the Keto flu all over again this week. So…for me…sugar and potato chips are not worth it to me!

Good luck on your Keto journey. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and I will do my best to answer it!

Surviving Summer on Keto Diet

School is finally out for summer! Can you tell that I am one happy mama! No more alarms; No more school lunches to make; Just park programs, soccer camps and lacrosse tournaments to fill our days. When you follow a very specific diet plan, eating out or enjoying BBQ’s with friends and family can be pretty stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Surviving summer on the Keto diet can be very simple and you don’t have to worry about feeling like you are missing out on something. Trust me!

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surviving summer

Surviving Summer on the Keto Diet

So you’ve been following the Keto diet all winter and now summer is upon us and you are afraid that you won’t be able to enjoy all the summer fun with friends and family. Don’t worry! Following the Keto diet in the summer is no different that following it any other time of the year. If you’ve been on this diet for any amount of time, you know that it is a mindset and a lifestyle change, more than a diet. Like anything else, you need to plan, plan, plan.

Appetizers for Your Summer BBQ

In planning on how you will be surviving summer on the Keto diet, you need to think about things like appetizers. At most BBQ’s over the summer, appetizers include things like chips and dip, chips and salsa, or hummus and veggies. None of those options are Keto friendly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take something with you that is Keto friendly! Try one of these three recipes:

Delicious Deviled Eggs Recipe

Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Both of the bacon wrapped recipes could probably be made on the grill! However you choose to make them, they will be a crowd pleaser and a nice addition to the other food at the BBQ.

Pro Tip #1…pick up one of these cups. It is the perfect summer cup!

Simple Modern Tumbler Vacuum Insulated 30oz Cruiser with Lid - Double Walled Stainless Steel Travel Mug - Sweat Free Coffee Cup - Simple StainlessSimple Modern Tumbler Vacuum Insulated 30oz Cruiser with Lid – Double Walled Stainless Steel Travel Mug – Sweat Free Coffee Cup – Simple Stainless

BBQ Main Meal

Bummed because you think you won’t be able to eat a burger or a hot dog? Don’t be! I can honestly say that I do not miss hot dog or hamburger buns. Plus, by not eating the bun, I don’t feel embarrassed when I load my plate up with both a hamburger and a hot dog! If you really must have a hamburger that you can pick up, just wrap it in lettuce! I personally like to eat my hamburger on a plate with a fork and knife with a little Franks Red Hot sauce and sometimes a little ranch dressing! I used to be a ketchup-aholic…I don’t even miss it!

Pro Tip #2…if you absolutely need some crunch, either on your salad or in place of chips, pick up these Parmesan Whisps!

Cello Whisps Pure Parmesan Cheese Crisps, 2.12 OunceCello Whisps Pure Parmesan Cheese Crisps, 2.12 Ounce

Keto Desserts

While you won’t be eating pies and other traditional BBQ desserts, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out. For me, if I have the carbs available, slightly frozen raspberries or blackberries are my dessert. When you’ve completely cut out sugar, fruits like raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries start to taste like candy to you! Now, some people that are super strict with the Keto diet will not eat fruit at all. I have had tremendous success by only allowing me fruit on occasion and only when I have the carbs to accommodate it. Another Keto friendly dessert you may want to try are these delicious Keto cheesecake bites! So good!

 

What are your favorite Keto friendly recipes for surviving summer?


Top 10 Keto Diet Must Haves

Thinking about doing the Keto diet, but don’t know where to start? No worries! I have been doing the diet for over a year now, have successfully kept 82 pounds off AND I just so happen to have a lot of resources to get your started! You can get started by checking out this post, this post and this post. Once you have an idea of where to start with the Keto diet, you will want to move on to the list below of the top 10 Keto diet must haves!

Top 10 Keto Diet Must Haves

Getting started with a diet like this, you are probably a little freaked out. I mean, it goes against everything that has been drilled into our head about what we should be eating. If this sounds like you, then you are probably thinking, “I need books to tell me what to eat” and “I need to know if I am in Ketosis or not”. If this sounds like you, then these products should be in your Amazon cart right now!

Once you have your ketone strips to see if you are in ketosis and your necessary cookbooks, you will want to have quick and easy snacks that you can grab for those on the go moments. Since you’re already adding stuff to your Amazon cart, you might as well add these items too!

Getting your fat in on the Keto diet can be rough at first. Making fat bombs, like these chocolate sunbutter fat bombs, do help (be sure to pick up the cookbook above for more fat bomb ideas). Another thing you will want to make are Keto approved Gummy Bears! To make either of the things mentioned above, you will need the following silicone molds.

The last item you MUST add to your shopping cart are these amazing, portion control baggies! If you like nuts, but don’t want to over eat them (the carbs will add up quickly), then pre-fill these bags for quick and easy, grab and go snacks!

There you have it! The top 10 Keto diet must haves!

Keto Diet Success – Tips and Tricks

The thought of giving up sugar can be very intimidating. When I tell you that I was addicted to sugar, I was more than addicted. It was no different that someone being addicted to drugs. I had to have sugar and I had to have it every single day. My mood changes had a lot to do with whether or not I had sugar that day or not. I was, by every definition, addicted to sugar and an emotional eater. That is a dangerous combination. Thats why my Keto diet success story means so much to me. It’s also why I want to share my tips and tricks with you. You can succeed with the Keto diet!

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keto diet success

How Addicted to Sugar was I?

When I tell you I was addicted, I’m not joking around. I would drink 32 oz. Slurpees every single day. Do you know how much sugar is in a 32 oz. Slurpee? Over 115 grams of sugar! Insane! As if that wasn’t bad enough, I also ate a candy bar every single time I set foot in a store or gas station. I justified all that by saying, “well I don’t keep junk food in the house”. Which was true. I didn’t keep it in the house, for the most part. I was just buying it daily and bringing it home with me. Totally not the same thing, yet it is!

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Emotional eating was something I was really good at. Something would make me upset and I would instantly turn to food. The sugarier and carb-ier (not a word, but I’m making it one!), the better. My brain had been trained to associate carbs and sugar with feelings of happiness. As a result, my weight went up and up, but my mood was never really improved. It was a vicious cycle that I was stuck in.

Feel Sad –> Eat Sugar –> Feel (temporarily) Happy –> CRASH, then Repeat

At my heaviest, I weighed 250 lbs. I don’t know if I ever said that out loud before, but it’s true. Clothes shopping was something I did not enjoy. Nothing ever fit right, or it had no shape that just made me look even bigger. When I heard about the Keto diet, I was afraid to try it. Eat fat? That went against every thing I’ve ever heard about dieting. I actually held off trying it for about six months. But, in January of 2016, I reached my breaking point.

I told myself that I would give the diet a try. I weighed myself every single day for about three months because I was so afraid of this diet not working for me, that I figured if I weighed myself every day, then I would know if I started to gain and I could stop. Guess what happened?!? Weight started melting off me. My body started changing drastically. Now, over a year later, I am down 82 lbs. and very close to my goal weight!

Keto Diet Success Tips and Tricks

First things first, you NEED to use My Fitness Pal. If you are following the Keto diet, you need to track your fat, protein and carb macros. If you don’t, you will NOT succeed. I don’t care what anyone tells you…you won’t. Keto is a delicate balance between those three macros. Look for me on My Fitness Pal and send me a friend request. My name is ImLeah525. Also, figure out your macros using this Keto macro calculator.

Secondly, you need to be all in. I know some diets have cheat days. There are no cheat days with this diet. This diet is a true lifestyle change. If you choose to cheat, you need to understand that you will gain. Why? For starters, once you remove all the sugar from your diet, your body stops craving the sugar and other foods. Which is great! However, when you have a cheat day, your brain says “HEY! I remember this” and then all those cravings come back and you will consume more of that sugary treat than you meant to and sometimes for more than just that day. You are essentially starting the Keto diet over after that.

Third, don’t try to find a bunch of substitutes for those sugary foods you are giving up. If you spend all your time trying to find out how you can still have the cake you are giving up, you are going to end up struggling. In my experience, a lot of my Keto diet success is in getting my mind in the right place first. You can’t do that if you are making Keto bread every day or little Keto approved desserts all the time. Once in awhile is OK, but on a daily basis…no.

Fat Bombs? What’s That?

With all that said, you do want to make fat bombs. One of the hardest things, in my opinion, is getting enough fat in. This book, Sweet and Savory Fat Bombsketo diet success, is definitely something you should pick up. It is full of all different types of fat bombs to help you find your Keto diet success! I make a chocolate sunbutter fat bomb that is absolutely delicious.

Sweet and Savory Fat Bombs: 100 Delicious Treats for Fat Fasts, Ketogenic, Paleo, and Low-Carb DietsSweet and Savory Fat Bombs: 100 Delicious Treats for Fat Fasts, Ketogenic, Paleo, and Low-Carb Diets

As always, I am an open book. If you have any questions about my experience with the Keto diet, just ask! I am happy to help. If I don’t have the exact answer, I will do my very best to find the answer for you or point you in the direction that you need to go to find that answer. Below you will find some essential items that I recommend you get to help you get started on your very own Keto diet success story! The two pack silicone molds are a really good price right now on Amazon!

Sweet and Savory Fat Bombs: 100 Delicious Treats for Fat Fasts, Ketogenic, Paleo, and Low-Carb DietsSweet and Savory Fat Bombs: 100 Delicious Treats for Fat Fasts, Ketogenic, Paleo, and Low-Carb DietsOzera 2 Pack Silicone Ice Cube Tray Molds Candy Mold Cake Mold Chocolate Mold, 15 Cavity, BlueOzera 2 Pack Silicone Ice Cube Tray Molds Candy Mold Cake Mold Chocolate Mold, 15 Cavity, BlueWhy We Get Fat: And What to Do About ItWhy We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

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Chocolate SunButter Keto Fat Bombs

Being on the Keto diet for a little over a year has been life changing for me in so many ways. Not only has my body changed drastically in a little over a year (see those changes here), but my relationship with food has done a complete 180, which is a very good since I was a huge emotional eater before. Now food is just a means to fuel my body. Nothing more, nothing less. One thing that is a little difficult, at times, is getting enough fat in. That’s where my Chocolate SunButter fat bombs come in handy!

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Chocolate SunButter Fat Bomb Recipe

Chocolate SunButter

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place all of your ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. I prefer to use a glass 2-cup measuring cup (like thischocolate sunbutter).
  2. Melt in the microwave in 30-second increments. Do not try to speed things up and put it in for a minute. Trust me…it makes a mess! After two 30-second increments, stir thoroughly. You may need to put it in for a few more 30-second increments. The SunButter takes a bit to melt!
  3. Once everything is melted and mixed well, pour into your silicone mold and freeze for at least an hour.

*I prefer SunButter over any nut butter. If you prefer to use almond butter or cashew butter, go for it!

They are pretty good! You will notice that I do not list any of the macro information. I do this because we all use different ingredients and I don’t want to tell you that a serving of this has 19 grams fat when you used a different nut butter and it has more or less than that. So with any recipe you get off the internet, ALWAYS check the macros yourself.

For your convenience, I listed the items I use to make this recipe below. you can pick them up on Amazon and be making these delicious fat bombs this weekend!

SunButter Sunflower Seed Spread - No Sugar Added - 16 ozSunButter Sunflower Seed Spread – No Sugar Added – 16 ozSweetLeaf Sweet Drops Liquid Stevia Sweetener, SteviaClear, 1.7 OunceSweetLeaf Sweet Drops Liquid Stevia Sweetener, SteviaClear, 1.7 OunceAnchor Hocking Fire-king 16 Oz Glass Measuring CupAnchor Hocking Fire-king 16 Oz Glass Measuring CupOzera 2 Pack Silicone Ice Cube Tray Molds Candy Mold Cake Mold Chocolate Mold, 15 Cavity, BlueOzera 2 Pack Silicone Ice Cube Tray Molds Candy Mold Cake Mold Chocolate Mold, 15 Cavity, Blue

Some Keto Recipes you may enjoy:

Chorizo Chicken Soup

Spicy Chicken Thighs

Homemade Gummy Bears

Chocolate SunButter