Here's our quick and easy keto start guide with all the basics of getting started on a keto diet. It is not meant to be a comprehensive resource since we aren't medical professionals and our keto experience is based on personal experience, not medical experience.
Keto Start Guide
Check with Your Doctor
Check with your Dr to make sure there isn’t a medical reason why the keto diet isn’t right for you. If your doctor thinks it’s a good idea, you might also consider getting baseline bloodwork done if it hasn’t been done in a long time.
What is Keto?
The ketogenic diet (or keto diet for short) is a very low carbohydrate and low fat diet that puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
Being in ketosis causes your body to become more efficient at burning fat for energy, plus it turns fat into ketones in the liver. This can help supply energy to the brain.
Most people following a strict keto diet should reach ketosis within 7 days.
The keto diet is similar to the Atkins diet as far as including a restriction on carbs, yet the focus on keto is entering ketosis, which Atkins does not.
The keto diet also has some similarities to the paleo diet in the sense that it mostly focuses on whole foods, except keto doesn't allow potatoes, starchy vegetables, or sweet potatoes. It DOES include high-fat dairy, which paleo does not.
Much of the initial weight loss on the ketogenic is water weight, but once you reach ketosis, your weight-loss comes from burning fat.
Learn More About Keto
Here's a handful of helpful keto articles on our site to give you a brief overview, in addition to other keto resources from our site.
- Types of keto diet options
- Keto pros and cons
- Keto food list
- Foods to Avoid on Keto
- The Ketogenic Kitchen
We highly encourage you to get The Keto Diet, written by dietician Leanne Vogel, it's almost 450 pages of keto resources that includes everything you need to know about keto from a health perspective, plus includes numerous meal plan options.
If you have Amazon Audiobooks you can get The Keto Diet for free, or you can also get it for free with an Amazon audible trial. I still think having an in person book version resource is ideal, but for you that prefer Kindle versions or prefer audio versions and want a resource to listen to in the car when you’re on the go, you have that option with this book.
Another great book is Dirty Lazy Keto– You can get this for free if you have a Kindle subscription or do a 30 day Amazon Kindle trial.
Our Keto Made Simple diet tracker is filled with 50+ pages of printable keto tracking templates, printables, and cheat sheets to help you not only keep track of your keto diet progress but also give you tons of ideas and resources to make keto organization easy.
Reduce the Temptation
Remove all non-keto foods from your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Setting yourself up for success and not tempting yourself with non-keto friendly foods and beverages will definitely help keep you on track!
Try to donate as much of the non-keto foods to somewhere like the Food Bank, or give it away to friends and family instead of tossing it.
What type of Keto Diet?
Say what? There's more than one type of keto diet? If you're confused over the difference between strict vs lazy keto or what in the world is dirty keto, you'll want to understand different ways you can even do the ketogenic diet before deciding which method works best for your body and lifestyle.
Get a quick overview on the types of keto diets here.
As part of the ketogenic diet, you'll need to track what's call macros, which includes total carbs, net carbs, fiber, fat, and protein. Tracking overall calories eaten per day is also important.
Your daily calorie goal should be 5% carbs, 20-25% protein, 70-75% fat.
To calculate net carbs, you take the total carbs of an item - fiber = net carbs.
EX. Big Mac Salad total carbs 6g - 3g fiber = 3g net carbs
Carb Manager is the most popular macro tracking app, My FitnessPal and Keto Diet App are also free options to check-out.
For readers who prefer to write everything down and journal instead of using phone apps, we include a keto macro tracking sheet in our Keto Made Simple diet tracker.
Free Keto Recipes
Research keto recipes on Pinterest, in keto Facebook groups, on the Whole Lotta Yum website and other food websites on Google.
Our Whole Lotta Yum food blog has tons of keto recipes for low carb and keto-friendly ideas for dinner, breakfast, lunch, snack, and dessert.
Planning out 2 weeks of keto meals before you get started will make following a ketogenic diet that much easier! Just repeat that two-week plan to keep things simple or add on two more weeks to the meal rotation.
You can use the handy cheat sheets and food list ideas in the Keto Made Simple diet tracker or plan out meals from our website or other online resources.
Get Support from Others
Talk to your loved ones. Having family or roommate support is critical to success. Will they be doing keto also, a modified version, will you be meal prepping meals on Sunday for the week? Will they remove tempting foods from the house and stop eating them in front of you?
Get support online. Keto Facebook groups are a fantastic resource for tips, connections, and guidance.
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