How To

How To: Get Started On The Ketogenic Diet

Hey everyone!

When I first started the ketogenic diet I did lots and lots of research, which I highly recommend for everyone to do. Below you will see all the resources I used and still use to have success with the ketogenic diet.

Educate yourself

Learn about how ketosis works, what foods to eat and other helpful advice. I highly recommend reading Keto in a Nutshell and Reddit’s FAQs which are both linked below from Reddit.

Go to the Keto Calculator!

Go to the Keto calculator to determine your macronutrients (Protein, Fat, Carbs) and caloric intake. This is such a HUGE help because it is specific to your personal stats.

  • Enter your Personal Data

  • For weight loss , set to SEDENTARY under Energy Expenditure (If you work out heavily then you may need to go with a different setting, so you don’t burn through your muscle tissue.)

  • Enter the percentage of body fat, which the Keto Calculator estimates for you. You can also measure it yourself, but I just went with the estimate in blue.

  • Low in Carbs- Set to 20g. (I average 15-20g daily.)

  • Choose your protein. Keto Calculator gives you a range. I decided to set my protein 10g over the minimum. You can decide what is best for you based on how much or how little you exercise. Remember that keto is a moderate protein lifestyle, so don’t overdo it!

  • Under Fat to you Liking: There is a place where you choose your deficit. The recommendation is starting with 20% as you are adjusting to this new lifestyle, and some stay at 20% the entire time. (I upped my deficit after a few weeks based on how I felt and my data of caloric intake from My Fitness Pal.) Now you will have your very own personal results! Save the information and update your stats on the Keto Calculator from time to time as you are losing weight. (And trust me you will be losing weight, because keto is AMAZING!)

Food Diary – Tracking Macros

  • Sign up/Log in to MyFitnessPal (aka MFP – which is FREE!) You can also use LoseIt, but I really love MFP!

  • Once logged in, click on goals, then customize and use your personal macros from the Keto Calculator to update your new goals! While you are logged in to MFP, go to community, and groups and find the Keto group! Having a support system is a HUGE benefit. There are lots of people there willing to help keep you on track and encourage you, so add some Keto friends! You will also get to see what other people are eating and get some great meal ideas. You can change your diary settings to friends only or public if you want to share your food logs. (I HIGHLY recommend sharing your food logs because it holds you accountable!) Log your food every day. I absolutely hated logging at first but after two weeks I got used to it. MFP has a barcode scanner, which makes life so much easier! This will take some getting used to, but you are worth the extra effort!

Support System/First 1-2 weeks

I can’t stress how much building a support system for myself (with other people doing keto) has helped me. You can vent, get recipes, feedback, tips, and get general support. I have lots of friends on MFP  and Instagram, and they encourage me every single day! I added most of them from Reddit or the Keto group on MFP. There are often posts from people looking for friends and support. Add some friends, you won’t regret it!

The first 1-2 weeks focus only on keeping your carbs below 20g and meeting your protein goal. Keto is an adjustment to your body and you don’t want to set yourself up for failure from the start. Ease into being on point about staying below your caloric intake. The rule that I follow is carbs below 20g (Net: which is carbs minus fiber, read more about this in FAQs), meet your protein goal (So you’re burning fat and not muscle tissue), and fat to satiety. Some people have mixed feeling about the fat, but I have had success using my fat macro as a max instead of a goal. Remember to be kind to yourself, if you mess up don’t give up, just learn from any mistakes and move forward.

Preparing – Food Shopping

Now that you know what foods will nourish your body while on Keto, it’s time to go food shopping! There are several websites that have meal plans for an entire week if you need more ideas (My favorites linked below). If everyone in your household is doing Keto then go ahead and donate those carb loaded foods. I personally have a two year old, and my house has lots of carbs, so it was just something I had to overcome. Having the proper Keto friendly foods at your fingertips is a HUGE key for success! I recommend using a food scale and measuring cups so that you are accurate when logging the amount of food you are eating. Before Keto I had no idea what 6oz of chicken looked like. Sometimes you will have to take a guess, but when you’re cooking at home this just makes life easier! I use the Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale, Elegant Black

Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert, these are the tips, settings, and resources that have been recommended and helpful for me. Please consult with your personal doctor or dietitian if you have any medical issues or questions about starting Keto. I hope this information will help if you are starting Keto for weight loss! Feel free to email me with any questions: [[email protected]](mailto: [email protected])

Have a great day!

Source for Keto In A Nutshell and FAQs from Reddit.com

55 Comments

  • Reply
    Lanu Tilton
    July 15, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Thank you for your website!!! I so enjoy your weekly YouTube videos. You are a great inspiration to me!!! Lmk what is the main thing you have never strayed from? It is your ‘must do’ daily👍😊🌷

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      July 16, 2015 at 12:45 am

      Thank you so much! The main thing I haven’t strayed from is logging and staying on top of my macros. I always stay below 20g net carbs and track everything I eat. Success is found in what you do daily. : )

  • Reply
    Andrea
    July 17, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Thanks hun,

    You will lose your complete goal. Don’t worry we all got this! You got me shooting stars out my toes…so excited!

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      July 17, 2015 at 10:22 pm

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your support so so so much!

  • Reply
    Nelly
    August 5, 2015 at 6:11 am

    Great Job! Keep going! This is my sixth day! On my weight loss journey of losing 75lbs. You are such an inspiration! Thank you for being honest and so informative.

    Thanks for all your help : )

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      August 8, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Thank you so much! Stick with it, it gets easier!

  • Reply
    Veronica
    August 8, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    thank you thank you thank you. you are a God send. be blessed.

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      August 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Thank you so much for your support! : )

  • Reply
    Andrea
    August 11, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    What an amazing resource!!! Thank you so much! I just found your blog after a friend pinned your twice baked casserole and I cant stop reading it all! You are such an inspiration!!!!!

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      August 22, 2015 at 12:59 am

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Mary
    September 14, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Hi, so glad I found your site
    You have so much Information
    Tracking is key

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      September 15, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      Thank you. I totally agree…tracking is a HUGE help!

  • Reply
    Evelyn
    September 16, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Hi I have been wanting to start the keto lifestyle and bumped into your YouTube videos. And website. All the information gathered will help me greatly!! Day one is today. Thanks for sharing your story very motivating! !!

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      September 16, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      Thank you so much, glad to be able to help! I’m here if you need anything! : )

  • Reply
    Jen
    November 1, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Hi-under Food Preparing you say your favorites sites for recipes are linked below but I don’t see them. Can you post or point them out if I’m just missing them? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      November 9, 2015 at 6:58 am

      The main ones I use is ruled.me , ibreatheimhungry.com and cavemanketo.com

  • Reply
    KOREAN
    November 20, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Your so beautiful . So i will diet haha god bless you

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      November 25, 2015 at 7:57 am

      Haha, Thank you!

  • Reply
    Diana W
    November 23, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Hi Suzanne! I somehow stumbled on this website and became very intrigued. Struggling with my weight forever! (5’4 233 lbs) I used the keto calculator to find my macros and at 20g of net carbs, 85g protein, 118g in fat, total calories at 1486, the result is it will take one year to lose 29 pounds. Is that right? What am I doing wrong That sounds so defeating.

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      November 25, 2015 at 7:36 am

      Thank you! It truly depends on each person. I think age, sun exposure, and height have a lot to do with it for each person. I definitely have areas with loose skin, but I’m okay with it! I would much rather have loose skin than be overweight!

  • Reply
    Amelia
    November 24, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Hi Suzanne. I have followed you on IG for a while and you look fabulous. Its time I take a diff approach to weight loss so here I am. I have a quick question. The carbs I was allotted was 25 should I stick to that or change it to 20? I want to make sure I am doing this right. Thanks for your help.

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      November 25, 2015 at 7:28 am

      Thank you! I personally recommend 20g, but I wouldn’t stress over 5g if you prefer 25.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    November 29, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Im an instagram follower and enjoy watching your progress. I want to give it a try but entered my info in the ketocalculator (i followed your recommended settings). It says i will only lose 2.9 pounds in a month. That seems low. Sort of the same issue diana w, above, is having. For less than 1400 calories a day i would think it would be more weight loss.

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      January 4, 2016 at 6:08 am

      Thats basically a minimal from what I’ve seen. My weight loss has always been way more than that chart says.

  • Reply
    Valentina
    December 4, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    Hi!

    I’m a little scared about this diet.
    I tried it once like a year ago, for 30 days. I lost a lot of weight and was very happy about it, but when I started to eart carbs again I gained all the weight I lost and a few more kgs!

    Since I did the keto diet I am stuck on my weight and nothing works for me 🙁 I feel dissapointed.
    I want to try it again but I’m really scared. Are there any advises you can give to succeed? Thank you!!

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      January 4, 2016 at 6:01 am

      Keto has to be a lifestyle change, its something that you’ll have to incorporate in your day to day or you will gain the weight back. For weight loss to be permanent you need to make livable lifestyle changes and stick to them.

  • Reply
    Heather
    December 16, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Hi Suzanne! I’ve been inspired by all you’ve accomplished. I’m really interested in the keto lifestyle and I’ve tried it recently. The first week I dropped 5 pounds and since then I’ve either gained or maintained every day. I haven’t been tracking my food though. Do you think that would make a difference? I started to think maybe I was retaining water…

  • Reply
    Natacha
    January 4, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Hi! Do you still use MyFitnessPal? Is it the app on your phone that you use or is it the webpage? I just checked the app and now they want 9.99 for a subscription… So sad. It looks like UnderArmor purchased them. I see sparkspeople looks pretty user friendly. Oh if this isnt a hassle. Can you please post what your food looks like for the day? I think I watched a video like that in the past.

    Thanks for your videos!!!

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      January 5, 2016 at 5:44 am

      I use MFP, but I just use the free features. You can see most of my food on my instagram @ketokarma or follow me on MFP, ketokarma2015 Thank you!

  • Reply
    Natacha
    January 4, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    I started tracking today. I thought I was doing great until I started tracking. Just with breakfast and lunch alone I’m at 40g carbs…. Wasnt doing as well as I thought I was.

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      January 5, 2016 at 5:45 am

      There’s a learning curve, so don’t get discouraged. You’ll learn that some foods have higher carbs and you’ll get the hang of it.

  • Reply
    T
    January 21, 2016 at 12:41 am

    Hi Suzanne

    What do you do if you accidentally go up in carbs from eating out or being at a dinner party during 1 to 2 week induction phase?

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      January 21, 2016 at 3:25 am

      There isn’t really anything you would do, except just get right back to under 20g daily.

  • Reply
    patricia pratt
    February 1, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Hi Suzanne…..what is the name of the scale you use for your weekly weight ins….I really like the way the numbers display. Thank you Pat

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      February 1, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      The brand is called Thinner

  • Reply
    Katie K
    February 4, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Hi Suzanne!

    I am 35 days into Keto and have recently found your blog and social media posts. You look amazing and are such an inspiration! I was wondering if you did anything to combat loose skin along the way or if you had heard of any good methods to use during the weight loss process?

    Thank you! Katie

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      February 7, 2016 at 12:23 am

      Thank you, Katie! I have done LOTS of research on loose skin and elasticity. Sadly there isn’t much you can do, its all based on sun exposure, genetics, age, and weight loss amount. Surgery is something I will consider at some point, but I don’t know of any products that really work.

      • Reply
        catherine
        August 19, 2016 at 2:12 am

        Suzanne, do you drink water daily? If so, how much? Do you think that plays into loose skin issues? Thanks!

        • Reply
          Suzanne
          October 30, 2016 at 5:30 pm

          I do drink water daily, not exactly sure how much, but a good amount. I don’t think it plays into my loose skin. Loose skin is a result from skin elasticity and genetics. My highest weight was likely around 310 and my skin was very stretched out.

  • Reply
    melissa
    February 15, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Hi, I found your site a few weeks ago, it is very inspiring. i started my keto diet with almost 2 day fast. this tuesday night makes 2 weeks on it. My question is, if you go over your calories, will you gain weight still? I lost 2 lbs. the first week. I was kinda disappointed. thought I would lose more….. I am 5’2″ and carry most of my weight from my weist down, sooooooo it is so hard to lose 🙁 ANY suggestions would be great. THANKS

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      February 19, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      Hey there. I personally feel that calories in vs calories out will always be a factor in weight loss. I had an issue with overeating, so I know I will always need to keep my caloric intake in check.

  • Reply
    Serena
    February 23, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Hi there! Questions about MFP. Since it doesn’t calculate net carbs only total carbs, won’t my %s on the macro tab be off? Also, the leafy greens I eat don’t usually add up to net carb daily goal. Things like bok choy, cabbage, and spinach are so high in fiber. In your experience will that become an issue?

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      February 24, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      All you have to do is add Fiber to your top tracked macros and then do the math yourself by subtracting your fiber from total carbs.

  • Reply
    Barbara
    March 7, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Which website do you recommend for meal plans and shopping lists for a beginner?

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      March 15, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      I honestly didn’t use and shopping lists or meal plans. I think its best to learn about the foods that you like, search recipes and make things that work with your time frame and family.

  • Reply
    LjGoh
    March 28, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Suzzane,
    You look incredible & your Cholesterol results are good too. I am new to Keto so will use yr ketokarma as a guide teacher!!

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      March 28, 2016 at 5:48 am

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Brandy
    April 9, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Hi! My name is Brandy, you’ve really inspired me with your progress. I started the ketogenic diet on March 21st and managed to lose 15 pounds! I’m really excited about it but I am at a standstill…do you have any suggestions? Can I eat eggs all day to make sure I get into ketosis?

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      April 12, 2016 at 5:59 am

      Hey there! Congratulations! Stalls do happen, so sometimes you just have to keep on track and stay the course. However if you are in a stall longer than a few weeks you can try to limit things like dairy, artificial sweetners, nuts/nut butters, and or caffeine. You’ll have to just do some trial and error and see is something is slowing you down. I don’t recommend making changes that you don’t plan to stick to, so eating eggs for a day doesn’t do much.

  • Reply
    Brandy
    April 12, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Great! Thank you! I feel a little confused…I’ve purchased Quick & Easy Ketogenic Cooking and Ruled Me online cookbooks and diet plans. Maria doesn’t recommend coconut flour during weight loss but ruled me does…also, is there such a thing as having too much fat? Today for breakfast I went over and that was just for lunch…Sorry for all the q’s. Thank you for replying. I feel really confused with everything at the moment. I actually gained two pounds since my last post to you.

  • Reply
    Angela
    May 3, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Hi Suzanne! Just wanted to congratulate you on your success! I started my keto journey back on March 21st, so I’m basically a solid 6 weeks in. The first few weeks were confusing being in some FB groups dedicated to keto, so many opinions and charts, it was overwhelming. Your blog, videos, and instragram have actually been the biggest help. I was wondering your opinion on something, I lost a big bucket of weight in the first 12 days losing 12lbs. While exciting to be sure, i knew it was primarily water weight. So in the last 4 weeks I’ve lost 11.4 lbs which is an average of 2.85 lbs per week. I’m maybe just a little concerned that is too much too fast. Did you encounter this in the beginning weeks? I’m wondering if I should tweak my macros to result in a bit higher caloric level. I know that I’m bound to stall at some point, but I also don’t want to lose too fast either.

    • Reply
      Suzanne
      May 19, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      Hey there. I recommend a 20% deficit for weight loss. It’s normal to lose more at first due to water weight, so it’s likely your weight loss will slow down, and thats perfectly normal!

      • Reply
        Chris
        October 26, 2016 at 1:36 am

        oh wow….light bulb moment. I changed the deficit to 20% and now it all makes more sense. Sorry about my long winded question before.

  • Reply
    Conception, Gender and Other Info | Hatena blog
    December 12, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    […] How To: Get Started On The Ketogenic Diet […]

  • Leave a Reply