Are you brand to Keto and don’t know where to begin? Starting the Keto diet can be overwhelming for newcomers – but don’t let that get in the way of your success!
If you’re reading this page you’re already on the right track. Just follow these 9 easy steps below and you’ll be on your way to Ketosis in no time!
I recommend bookmarking this page for easy reference. Best of luck to you and please share with others if you found this post helpful <3
1) MINIMIZE YOUR CARB INTAKE
Ketosis occurs when a lack of carbohydrates forces your body to use up its stored glycogen reserves, and instead your body begins using stored fat as its primary energy source.
To achieve ketosis, you will need to ELIMINATE all high carb foods from your diet including sugar, bread, pasta, rice, beans and starchy vegetables such as potatoes. All of these high carb foods convert to glucose (sugar), which will prevent your body from entering ketosis. You’ll also need to cut out most fruits and all sugary drinks such as soda, iced tea, alcohol and replace them with water, flavored seltzer, or coffee/tea. Refer to the ‘Avoid’ section of my Keto Grocery Shopping Cheat Sheet for additional guidance on Keto Food Do’s and Don’ts.
Aim for no more than 20-25 grams of Net Carbs (or about 5% of your calories coming from carbs) per day to enter ketosis. Start reading labels to familiarize yourself with how many Net Carbs are in each food. Not sure how to calculate Net Carbs? Refer to my How to Calculate Net Carbs post for more guidance.
You can also download a Carb Tracking app such as CarbManager which is helpful to identify the number of Net Carbs in foods that don’t have nutrition labels on them.
2) INCREASE YOUR FAT INTAKE
Fat becomes your primary energy source on a ketogenic diet, so it’s critical that you’re consuming an adequate amount. Consuming a high amount of healthy fats will help boost your ketone levels – which is a sign that you’ve hit ketosis. Approximately 70% of your calorie intake should come from fats. Refer to my Easy Keto Meal Planning for Beginners post for examples of how to add fat to your meals.
Not sure which Keto fats you should pickup at the grocery store? No problem! Refer to my Keto Grocery Shopping Cheat Sheet for additional tips.
3) MAINTAIN ADEQUATE PROTEIN INTAKE
Monitor your protein intake. Consuming too much protein may suppress ketone production, while too little protein may lead to muscle mass loss. You should aim for approximately 20% of your calories to come from protein. Refer to my Easy Keto Meal Planning for Beginner’s post for guidance on incorporating proteins into your meals.
Preferably you should aim for high-quality protein sources such as grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish or free-range eggs – these will supply your body with the most nutrients.
Not sure which Keto proteins you should pickup at the grocery store? No problem! Refer back to my Keto Grocery Shopping Cheat Sheet for additional tips.
4) TRY A SHORT FAST
Fasting or Intermittent Fasting will help you get into ketosis faster and aids weight loss, among other health benefits. Try skipping a meal (such as breakfast) or fasting for an entire day. If you accidentally (or intentionally) cheat and fall out of ketosis, fasting is the QUICKEST way to get yourself back on track.
5) DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
It’s important you maintain a proper level of hydration when you start the Keto diet. Aim to drink at least 8 cups of water a day. Staying hydrated helps regulate vital body functions and controls hunger levels.
6) INCREASE EXERCISE
Exercise depletes the body’s glycogen reserves which are stored in your liver and muscles. When glycogen reserves are low, your body automatically reverts to burning fat for energy through ketosis. Burning fat combined with an active lifestyle will expedite weight loss.
7) TEST YOUR KETONE LEVELS
A successful keto diet leads to a reduction in blood sugar levels and an increase in ketones. Testing your ketone levels is the best method to ensure you’ve achieved ketosis. Refer to my How to Test Your Ketone Levels post for my info.
It typically takes anywhere from 2-4 days to get into ketosis. If you’re still not in ketosis after several days, you may want to take a closer look at your diet and track your carbs more carefully. Watch out for hidden carbohydrates and sugars in condiments and prepared foods.
8) SUPPLEMENT WITH ELECTROLYTES
Starting a keto diet may cause electrolyte imbalances if you don’t supplement because your body tends to deplete them quickly on a keto diet. Supplementing with electrolytes such as sodium and magnesium are vital to replenish lost minerals and reduce the potential for ‘keto flu’ symptoms like fatigue, headaches, brain fog and digestion issues.
If you’ve hit ketosis but are experiencing Keto Flu symptoms, the FIRST thing you should do is boost your water and electrolyte intakes (including sodium, magnesium, and potassium – ideally through food sources). Refer to my How to Fight Keto Flu and my Supplementing Electrolytes on Keto posts for more details =) .
I want to emphasize that this is a critical step that often gets overlooked by those new to Keto. If you want to be successful, it’s essential you take care of your electrolyte needs.
9) TAKE A ‘BEFORE’ PHOTO
Last but not least, don’t focus too much on the scale. While it’s one method people use to assess progress during their Keto journey, it’s certainly not the only way. Chances are you may see inches coming off your body or clothes starting to fit more loosely even without the scale numbers budging. That’s why I always recommend you take a ‘Before’ photo so when you hit what seems like a weight loss stall, you can reflect back and visually observe just how much progress you’ve actually made.
And that’s about it! Before you go, check out these other KetoHealing resources:
Having trouble remembering all these Keto rules? Problem solved! I’ve designed the first all-inclusive Keto Cheat Sheet with EVERYTHING you need to know, designed to fit right on your fridge. Our Keto Quick Reference Guide is now available on Amazon and at KetoHealing’s Etsy Shop.
Need some easy Keto recipe ideas to get started? Take a look at my Recipes page.
No time to prep a full meal? Here’s a few Keto snack ideas. Refer to my 28 Easy Keto Snacks on the Go post for more!
Don’t want to miss out on our latest FREE Keto recipes, tips, or tricks? Join our growing Keto community on facebook at Facebook.com/KetoHealing.