So you want to start a Keto Lifestyle (or at least learn about it)?

The first thing I want you to know is that this is a lifestyle change – not a diet.  Trust me.  You can go keto for 18 months, stop, and eat carbs again.  But you will start to gain your weight back.  It happened to me, and it’s all a part of the journey!

Lifestyle is a good way to think about this, because eating Keto is a choice.  It’s choosing to eat a different variation of foods and substituting those you were eating for ones that promote your lifestyle. Let’s get started!

Who am I?

I will tell you a little about my journey first – and no, I am NOT an expert – this has NOT been evaluated by the FDA or a Doctor.  If you are changing any health regimen, contact your physician for their thoughts and input. What I have is a few years experience and lots of things that don’t work, and a helluva a lot that does work.  I’d love to share them with you, celebrate successes and victories, and, if you go off the wagon for a few days, encourage you to do what is best for you!  #noagendas

I am Melissa Shoop by the way.  I live in Danville, Pennsylvania and I am also the Founder and CEO of Java Momma coffee.  But that’s where I am now – let’s go back to where I was.

My weight has fluctuated my entire life – from binging to starving myself.  If only I could go back to the 21-year-old me who thought I was fat…right?!

Here are two photos of me.  On the far left, I am on a cruise with my soon-to-be husband, Brian.  I am almost 300 lbs and not happy with myself.  It’s February 2015.  Lots will change over the next three years.

The right photo was taken about one year later (9 months of that time was on a Keto Lifestyle) and I had dropped 80 lbs.  Not all from Keto.  I started Keto in November 2016 and weighed 275.  When the photo on the right was taken I was down to 220 something, and I got down to 216 around December 2017, then self sabotaged my way 20 lbs. heavier for the next six months.  Stress is a bitch.  So is ice cream and cheesecake.  I didn’t start eating pasta or bread,  so there’s that, but my sugar game was #hard.  So I am back on the Keto Train now, looking at where I (purposely not saying failed) lost my mojo, and where I can toughen up.  I know now that sugar is my kryptonite.  I have decided to include some daily items that satisfy that.  Keto is truly a life-changing experience.  So, that’s who I am.

Let’s talk about you! 

I encourage you to measure yourself with a measuring tape or something (not all weight loss is measured on the scale), take pictures (yes, selfies) once a week, and only step on the scale once a week.  Track this progress because once that scale and things start moving, you’ll be sorry you didn’t.  Another good reason for keeping track of this info is then you can share your journey and you’re accountable.  Also,  in sharing your journey with others, you’re a mentor to others who are thinking about this life change but may be scared to ask questions.  Stand up and be heard!  Share your successes, fears, and even your missteps.

A ketogenic diet, or “keto” as many now refer to it, focuses on eating real, whole foods that are very low in carbohydrates and high in fats. You will see that bacon is a favorite in the world of keto. This way of eating (we’re not calling a diet because it’s not) keeps sugary and starchy foods to a minimum while providing your body with the nutrition it needs through adequate protein and dietary fat intake. By eating this way, you will quite literally change your metabolism (the way your body processes food). Instead of burning primarily sugars for fuel, your body will start burning fat as the preferred fuel source.

Keto has long busted the myth that FAT makes you FAT.  The ketogenic diet essentially uses your body fat as an energy source. On keto, your insulin (the fat storing hormone) levels drop greatly which turns your body into a fat burning machine. When you eat a diet rich in carbohydrates, your body converts those carbs into glucose. This causes an “insulin spike,” as insulin carries the glucose to your bloodstream for energy. Glucose is the preferred energy source of the body. When glucose is present, your body will burn it before burning fat. A ketogenic diet lowers your carb intake. In turn, your glucose levels lower, so your body can’t convert it to energy. This sends your body into a state known as Ketosis, or as I like to call it “fat burning mode”.

What do you eat on keto then?

If you haven’t figured it out by now, you obviously want to keep your carbohydrates limited, coming mostly from vegetables, nuts, and dairy. Don’t eat any refined carbohydrates such as wheat (bread, pasta, cereals), starch (potatoes, beans, legumes) or fruit. The small exceptions to this are avocado and berries which can be consumed in moderation.

Do Not Eat

  • Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
  • Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
  • Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
  • Night Shades – potato, yams, etc.

Do Eat

  • Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc.
  • Leafy Greens – spinach, kale, etc.
  • Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
  • High Fat Dairy – hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter, etc.
  • Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries
  • Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, Swerve and other low carb sweeteners,
  • Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.

Stay tuned, this was just the basics and part 1. In part 2 we will discuss how to put this all together and get to the specifics on how to get your body into that fat-burning mode!

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and we may get a slight commish or some sweet swerve at no additional cost to you!

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