How to Start a Keto Diet & Everything You Need to Know!
Congrats on taking the first step to learning how to start a keto diet!
Hi there! I’m Collin, and I am thrilled you’re here to take the initiative to start and thrive on a ketogenic way of life. I’ve been following the keto diet for over 8 years now and I haven’t looked back since!
The biggest hurdle for me when I first began eating a ketogenic diet was learning how to deal with my insanely strong sugar cravings and, for me, those powerful sugar and carb cravings got intense. I often daydreamed about devouring a Costco sheet cake. Yes, I am a complete sugar addict and you can read more about it over HERE if that sounds like you too.
All of that said, I know with any lifestyle changes there can also be naysayers who often tend to discourage you, so I want all of you to know our Hip2Keto site, Facebook, and Instagram are all safe places where our team loves to answer your questions on how to start a keto diet and share the very best of what the keto lifestyle has to offer!
What is the keto diet?
The keto diet can go by a few different names: low-carb diet, ketogenic diet, Atkins diet, and low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diet, but the main takeaway is that it’s a dietary lifestyle that cuts down carbohydrate consumption.
It’s a “way of eating” that tells the body to use fat (ketones) instead of sugar (glucose) for fuel and don’t worry, we’ll teach you how to easily start the keto diet below!
You’ll get a free keto ebook, new weekly recipes, keto tips far beyond how to start a keto diet, and the best keto deals and we promise to only drop in your inbox with stuff you really want to see!
Here are some other must-read posts on how to start the keto diet:
So why cut carbs?
Removing simple carbohydrates like sugar, bread, and pasta while subbing in meat, nuts, cheese, low-starch plants, and seeds, eliminates around 300g of carbohydrates (what the average American eats daily) to as little as 20g of total carbohydrates per day. That’s a huge change! 😱
By reducing carbs and replacing them with fat, we force the cells of our body to use ketones for fuel instead of glucose. I like to think of it as selecting high-octane over regular fuel for your body. The focus on how to start a keto diet is really just changing the fuel source, not necessarily calorie restriction (which tends to be the basis for most other weight-loss diets).
This process results in weight loss, improved brain function & performance, and just an overall feeling of wellness — both physically and mentally!
While our whole team loves to celebrate all things keto, especially our new readers who are interested in how to start the keto diet, we completely understand that it’s not for everyone. And before you start any weight loss or health journey, it’s in your best interest to speak to your physician. It’s a safe and smart thing to do.
How do you know you’re in ketosis?
I’m glad you asked! There are a few different tools commonly used to measure ketone levels including blood ketone meters, urinalysis test strips, and even breath ketone meters. However, if you listen to your body, you’ll likely pick up on a few tell-tale signs of ketosis. Here’s a rundown of what some short and long-term ketosis signs look like:
Short-term signs of ketosis often include:
Rest assured, these symptoms typically only occur during the first 1-2 weeks of beginning a ketogenic diet and go away once your body starts to adjust.
Long-term signs of ketosis often include:
- Increased energy & mental clarity
- Continued weight loss and decreased waist size (if this is your goal)
- Decreased appetite and cravings
- Increased physical performance
Once you reach this sweet spot, you’ll understand why the keto diet can be so rewarding and life-changing! Head over to our signs of ketosis post for more information.
What are some of the benefits of eating a high-fat diet?
What can I eat when starting a keto diet?
Changing up your food lifestyle can seem overwhelming when learning how to start a keto diet and cutting out certain fruits and vegetables and replacing them with fat-filled foods like bacon, cream, and ribeye steaks can get a little confusing as well.
To help get you started, I’ve put together a ketogenic diet food list just for you! All these items fit perfectly within the 5% carbohydrate guidelines most keto dieters adhere to, as well as low-carbers following older Atkins plans (think 1972).
You can download the full keto foods list HERE or view it below.
Eat from any of the following food groups:
Watch for meats with added high-carb fillers like hot dogs, sausage, meatballs, and cold cuts.
FISH & SEAFOOD
All fish, including:
*Most shellfish are fine for keto but watch for higher carb counts in clams and mussels. Always avoid breaded fish and seafood that is pre-made due to possible high carb content. When in doubt, check the food label if buying in-store.
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Chinese cabbage
- Green beans
- Olives (green or black)
- Spaghetti squash
- Swiss chard
- Bacon fat
- Grass-fed butter
- Almond milk
- Cream cheese
- Heavy Cream
- Oils (coconut, avocado olive, etc.)
- Hard, aged cheese.
- Cream cheese, fresh cheeses, or cheese spreads are fine in moderation.
- Cheese sticks
- Beef jerky
- Cheese crisps
- Almonds, macadamia nuts, and other low-carb nuts
- Seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower
- Pork rinds
CONDIMENTS & DRESSINGS
- Coconut aminos
- Hot sauce
- Sugar-free ketchup
- Apple cider vinegar
- Sugar-free steak sauce
- Sugar-free BBQ sauce
- Vanilla and other extracts
- Any dry powdered spice that contains no added sugar (like unsweetened cocoa)
- Salad dressings with vinegar, oil, salt, dry spices, herbs, or grated cheese.
- Water (including mineral and sparkling water)
- Club soda and seltzer water
- Sugar-free or diet soda
- Broth (beef, chicken, bone, etc.)
- Coffee (caffeinated and decaf)
- Low-carb alcoholic beverages
- Homemade keto drinks, smoothies & shakes
- Unsweetened chocolate chips
- Almond, coconut, & lupin flour
- Alternative sweeteners – monk fruit, stevia, allulose, chicory root, erythritol, xylitol
- Unsweetened cocoa
- Sugar-free syrups
What are some good keto diet recipes?
- Start off right with yummy keto appetizers.
- Make your mid-day meal delicious and nutritious or fast until dinner!
- Browse these dinner ideas your whole family will love.
- Curb your sweet tooth with sugar-free desserts.
- Cook meals up in a snap with Instant Pot recipes.
- Can’t decide? Check out all Hip2Keto recipes!
Challenge yourself with our FREE 30-Day Challenge if you really want to immerse yourself when learning how to start a keto diet!
My Hip2Keto team offers a FREE 30-Day Keto Challenge where we’ll help coach you to the best keto journey possible and it was designed with YOU in mind to help you reach your wellness goals with a fun and engaging challenge.
In this series, we share helpful keto tips and tricks, insightful reads from our Keto Nutritionist, weekly meal plan ideas, meal prep tips, and delicious dining out advice. We are here to support, encourage, and cheer on one another, so don’t wait another minute to join us now!
Text me daily about your keto diet journey too!
My goal is to support and uplift anyone and everyone when they start the keto diet. No matter if you’re still wondering just how to start your keto diet or are already a seasoned pro. I’m here for YOU (and so is the rest of our Hip2Keto community, too)!
I still remember how overwhelming it was just starting out on keto and I know it would have helped tremendously to have a cheerleader in my corner, so I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be that for YOU! All ya have to do is grab my number below or click this link on your mobile device, text me your favorite emoji, and we’ll be keto texting buddies! Yay!
Disclaimer: At Hip2Keto, we are not doctors, and while we’re so excited to help you learn how to start a keto diet and share our experiences with the ketogenic lifestyle, please partner with your trusted healthcare professionals for optimal health.