In previous posts, I detailed my own need to lose weight in a quick and sustainable way. A Ketogenic style of eating was the answer for me. It has allowed me to move my body off carbohydrates as a fuel source, and train it to burn my excess fat as fuel. I explained the theory of ketogenic eating, some of the key concepts and terms, and the results and benefits (for me) of eating this way.
Let’s assume that you’ve read my previous three posts on this subject, you’ve maybe read a little about it on the Internet, and you have decided to “take the plunge” and begin your own Keto journey. What now?
There are no “cookie cutter” people. We are all individuals and none of us is like the other. So your Keto journey is not going to look exactly like mine. And that’s what’s great about this style of eating. You get to work with it and find out what works for you.
The different approaches to the Keto style of eating have come to be categorized in these three festive flavors:
- Strict Keto
- Lazy Keto
- Dirty Keto
This graphic from the Internet explains the differences between the three approaches.
- Strict Keto is great for people who are nutrition-conscious to the extreme – love LOTS of kinds of vegetables, only purchase organic, wholesome, healthy, free-range, etc., etc. They eschew artificial anything, and LOVE the idea of having strict limits to observe, numbers to track, etc.
- Lazy Keto works well for people who want to keep it simple and uncomplicated – just keep within 20 carbs per day. But Lazy Keto eaters usually still pay attention to nutritional value, and avoid processed foods.
- Dirty Keto is kind of the opposite of Strict Keto. It’s for people who really don’t major in nutrition. They eat processed foods without regret, and don’t concern themselves with nutritional concepts like organic, cage-free, “high in antioxidants,” so-called “health foods,” etc. They are focused on eating no more than 20 net carbs per day, and doing what it takes to lose the weight.
Whichever style you adopt, your weight loss and overall health will be greatly enhanced by combining your Keto eating style with regular exercise.
So, which style do I use? Well, adhering to a strict “diet” without flexibility has no appeal for me. My failures in keeping weight off all go back to the restrictive nature of most diets. So I follow the Dirty Keto style of eating, plus a lot of daily vitamins, minerals, and supplements, and press on to lose the weight!
Does one of these three approaches appeal to you more than the others? You may want to make that your starting point, and adjust as you go.
How Do I Know If I’m Really Ready to Do This?
Keto is NOT for everybody. I’ll say that again for emphasis.
Keto is NOT for everybody.
Keto is great for:
- People who are morbidly obese (more than 100 pounds overweight)
- People with diabetes and a high A1C
- People who have high blood pressure due to obesity
- People whose obesity is causing heart issues
- People whose lifelong battle with obesity makes a long-term plan of low-carb eating a necessity
Keto may NOT be the best idea for:
- People who are not suffering with any of the maladies above
- People whose cholesterol needs careful monitoring
- People who need to lose a few pounds quickly
- People taking a “brief vacation” from carbohydrates
- People who feel, “my friends are all doing Keto and I want to be a part of whatever’s trendy.”
Keto works best for someone who is willing to commit for the long haul. Keto resets your body to run on an alternative energy source – your stored fat! If you stop and go back to a carb-fueled way of eating, that fat will come running after you and ferociously overtake you. Pounds lost to Keto come back quickly and furiously. So, if you’re thinking of “giving Keto a try,” don’t!
I find that goal-setting is really helpful. Goals give you a target – and milestones along the way. Try setting a finish-line goal first. What would you really like to weigh? How would you really like to look? Then set your first short-term goal. My first short-term goal was a big one – 35 pounds! But in just a couple of months I was there. (Early in your journey, you’ll lose pounds very rapidly.) I am just two pounds away from my next short-term goal. But I’m still 47 pounds away from my long-term goal.
Losing weight and becoming healthier is enormously satisfying and motivating. It improves your self-image and your whole outlook on life. It provides hope for the future. And there is no greater mood-enhancer.
Okay, deep breath and take the plunge!
Enjoy the ride! Keto eating is amazing!
Now start reading those nutrition labels and don’t forget –
it’s NET carbs that we’re concerned with.
I’m going to wrap this up with some links that will be most helpful to you.
Here is a down-and-dirty quick list of foods with low or no carbs, and foods to avoid.
Here is a print-out guide for beginners, with a quick one-page what-to-eat guide.
Here is a link to the best and most authoritative resource for Keto eating available. Dietdoctor.com
Here is a list of zero net-carb foods. (I think the section on processed meats is misleading, though. Very few processed meats are zero net carbs. Also, regarding the meats/fish category, most would put shellfish [clams, scallops, mussels] and crustaceans [shrimp, lobster, crabs] in the zero-carb category as well – but NOT processed products like Louis Kemp imitation crab and lobster.)
[This article, and other articles in the Keto category on this website, are meant to help people who are engaged in, or considering, the ketogenic style of eating. This eating style is not for everyone, and serious medical considerations are involved in choosing this eating style and/or using the products and methods mentioned here. No one should undertake a Keto dietary journey without getting a green light from their doctor. Nothing in these articles should be construed as medical advice, and readers assume all risks and responsibility for their own implementation of any these suggestions and recommendations.]
Good article !