These are the notes from last night’s video in the 28 Day Challenge. You can join us in the 28 Day Challenge FaceBook Group here, get our FREE 28 Day Ketogenic Meal Plan here, and pick up our recipe and instructional books here.
How to Get into a State of Nutritional Ketosis
Now let’s discuss exactly how to enter into a state of nutritional ketosis. To do this, we need to look at exactly how the body responds to each of the 3 main macros. (Technically, alcohol is a 4th macro but for these purposes, I’m just going to lump alcohol in below.)
Carbs are the big thing that we need to cut back on to to get into a state of nutritional ketosis. Absolutely no simple carbs that are low in fiber as there is nothing to blunt to flow of glucose into your bloodstream. This means no bread, pasta, fruit juice, potatoes, sugar, grains or any processed food as these generally contain hidden sugars and grains. A good rule of thumb is if it has a list of ingredients on the package, avoid it.
The other type of carbs are “complex” carbs. These generally come from whole veggies like leafy greens. Root vegetables like onions and carrots are also high in carbohydrates but are also high in fiber, giving them a very small effect on blood sugar levels. I can tell you that I know many people who do not eat root vegetables and lose weight very well in ketosis but I have never avoided any whole vegetable and have lost weight just as fast. Just try to keep the total amount of carbohydrates you eat each day under about 20 grams with all of them coming from whole foods.
2 other area to look at are artificial sweeteners and fruit. Most artificial sweeteners are fine in small amounts but there is a growing body of research that says that daily or heavy use slows weight loss, presumably by triggering some kind of insulin response. Once you stop eating sugar, your taste buds change and you need less and less sweet flavor in your food. Over time, try to wean yourself off or at least reduce the amount of sweetener you use. From all reports, it looks like Stevia is the best one to use and most stores sell a stevia/erythritol blend that works well.
As for fruit, only eat fruit in whole form (no juices or smoothies) and stay away from tropical fruits like bananas and grapes as they are high in sugar. If you must eat fruit, stick with berries as they are lowest in sugar but you might consider just removing fruit from your diet entirely until you hit your goal weight.
The main thing to know about protein is that your body can’t store excess protein. It either uses what you eat within an hour or two of eating to do all the things your body uses amino acids for like muscle building, cell repair and other biological functions or it converts it into glucose and stores like it would any other carb through a process called gluconeogenesis. This is why a well formulated ketogenic diet isn’t just low carb, high fat but also moderate protein.
So how much protein should you eat? You can do a little math to get some guidelines by multiplying your weight in pounds by .6 to get a minimum or 1 to get a maximum. You will need to eat closer to your maximum if you are doing heavy muscle building exercise and closer to your minimum if you are sedentary. We will discuss exercise in a future lesson but for now, let me encourage you to do a few simple muscle building exercises every other day so your body has plenty of places to put all those amino acids you will be eating.
If you don’t feel like counting grams (I never have) then just stick with fatty meats. Chicken thighs with the skin still on over boneless, skinless chicken breasts. 80/20 Hamburger meat over 93/7. Fatty cuts of pork like chops and (of course) bacon. Fatty, oily fish and well marbled steaks are great as well. Stay away from anything that is “lean” or low fat as you want as much fat mixed with your protein as possible.
Fat is the key to a ketogenic diet but not all fat is created equal. We will break this down in detail in a later lesson but you want to stick with mostly saturated and monounsaturated fats, limit polyunsaturated fats and totally avoid trans fats like the plague.
This means butter, coconut oil, lard, bacon grease, duck fat and olive oil work great and you want to throw away any seed or vegetable oils. Again, a good rule of thumb here is if an oil didn’t exist 100 years ago, it shouldn’t be in your kitchen now.
How much fat should you eat? Eat until you are satisfied. We will discuss cholesterol in a later lesson but for now don’t worry about the fat clogging your arteries or causing heart disease, we will discuss at length why there is no reason to worry about any of that.
So that’s it. No simple carbs, low complex carbs, moderate protein and high fat. That’s the ketogenic diet. It will take a few weeks for your body to switch over to being a fat burner as opposed to a sugar burner but once it happens, weight loss is relatively steady.