Your 3 Day Keto Kickstart and Menu Plan.
Some of you may be new to low carb eating, and whether you are following Atkins, Keto, or another low carb plan, there are a few basic things you should know.A? The following are some things that Ia??ve found to be true by my own experience with low carb/keto dieting:

The IBIH Keys to Success on Ketoa??

1.A?Eat less than 20g net carbs per day if you want to get into ketosis. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting the fiber grams (or sugar alcohols in some cases) from the total carb grams. Dona??t guess a?? youa??d be surprised how many grams of carbs there are in things you might have considered a??freea?? like onions, garlic, tomatoes, and kale, just to name a few.
2.A?Purchase someA?ketostixA?a?? they arena??t expensive and you can even cut them in half to get double the strips. Some people say they dona??t matter, but when you are suffering as much as you will be in the first few days, ita??s nice to get the validation that ita??s working.
On average it takes most people about three days to get into ketosis.The sticks will confirm that ketones are being excreted through your urine. Thata??s all. They wona??t change color at all for no ketones, then there is trace (light pink) and it goes up from there to dark purple. The darkness of the stick doesna??t matter. As long as you are showing even trace amounts, then you are in ketosis and good to go. In fact, if you are showing really dark on the stick, you may be dehydrated and need to drink more water.
3.A?Eat enough salt! Ia??m going to say that again so pay attention.

EAT. ENOUGH. SALT.

When you eat low carb your body doesna??t retain water the same way, so sodium and other important electrolytes get flushed out quickly. You need to replenish these or you will feel awful a?? it can even lead to heart palpitations, panic attacks, and other scary things.
Salted bone broth or stock is a great way to replenish your electrolytes. In addition, you should supplement potassium (I use aA?light saltA?which is half sodium and half potassium a?? works great and you can find it in your spice aisle) andA?magnesiumA?to avoid lightheadedness, cramps, headaches, etc. Vitamin C is also good.

4.A?A?DRINK LOTS OF WATER. THEN DRINK MORE WATER. THINK YOUa??VE HAD ENOUGH? I DONa??T CARE, GO DRINK EVEN MORE WATER.

You should slosh when you walk and be pee-ing every 10 minutes like youa??re 9 months pregnant with an 11 pound baby bouncing on your bladder like a pogo stick (you moms know what Ia??m talking about).
This is important. I dona??t want to hear any whining about how you dona??t like the taste of water, etc. You can throw of few drops ofA?mioin there if you need to, but put your big girl pants on and drink it.
Aim for at least 100 ounces a day a?? especially in the first couple of weeks until your body adjusts. Then you can lower it to 99 ounces a day if youa??re feeling confident.

Just kidding. DRINK MORE WATER.

(Necessary internet disclaimer: Use your heads people a?? there is such a thing as too much water so dona??t get crazy about it and drink 5 gallons a day, but do aim for a minimum of 100 ounces a day a?? maybe more if you have a lot of weight to lose.)

6.A?If this is your first time doing low carb you may be blindsided by the detox symptoms. Ia??m not going to lie, depending on how carb heavy your diet is when you start, you may wish you were dead by day three.

DONa??T PANIC.

Headaches, bone deep fatigue, irritability, dizziness, and more, depending on your body. Hang in there, ita??s worth it! The first three days are the hardest. Some of you have done it before and know to just ride it out and it will all get better soon.
Those of you who may be new to what they call a??keto flua?? might panic, thinking your death is imminent. I can assure you that it is highly unlikely that you will die from sugar/carb withdrawal a?? but just to be sure ita??s always wise to consult your doctor before you embark on any new eating plan, or if something feels truly off ita??s better to be safe than sorry a?? seek medical attention if you feel ita??s necessary. Most symptoms can be alleviated by supplementing and drinking enough water.
Your body is going to be like an angry child having a tantrum a?? IT WANTS SUGAR AND CARBS NOW, but you arena??t going to give it any are you? ARE YOU??? Just like with children, the key is to distract, distract, distract (oooh shiny!). Give it something else desirable, (bacon, cheese, etc.) even if it isna??t what it really wants. Dona??t give in thinking youa??ll feel better if you just eat a little bit of carbs a?? there is no compromising!

20g net carbs or less a day. LEARN IT!

Ita??s tough love time people, trust me on this.
6.A?Dona??t obsessively plan everything and overwhelm yourself so it feels harder than it has to. This may be controversial for some, but Ia??m here to tell you not to worry about calories, or nitrates, or Omega 3 vs Omega 6, or if the meat youa??re eating skipped about on acres of lush pastureland, while being hand fed organic vegan feed by the tiny perfect hands of 1000 virgin milkmaids.

SIMPLIFY FOR SUCCESS.

Get into ketosis. Give your body time to adapt to it so you can function. THEN you can worry about fine tuning and all the other stuff. Seriously.
Along the same vein, some of my recipes on the blog includeA?hemp seeds,A?coconut flour,A?almond flour, and other not so easy to find ingredients a?? IGNORE THOSE RECIPES (for now). The focus here is, again, simplicity. You will likely be irritable, fatigued, and not feeling awesome during the first three days to a week. Trust me on this a?? the last thing you are going to want to do is make complicated meals.
The basic strategy here is to a) never get too hungry, and b) to stuff your face full of delicious, high fat, very low carb foods often. Once you open the door to hunger, your resolve can fly right out the window and youa??re back to square one (sadly, I speak from experience on this.)
7.A?WARNING! This is not a high protein diet! Your body can convert excess protein into glucose and we dona??t want that. You want your body to learn to use fat for energy a?? that is the secret to unlocking your fat stores and losing weight almost effortlessly on a low carb plan.

Keto is a Low Carb / Moderate Protein / High Fat Plan.

Dona??t think youa??re going to cheat the system and lose faster by restricting carbs AND fat a?? you will feel (even more) awful, and after the intial water weight drop your weight loss can be inhibited by eating a lot of protein.
To find out how much fat/protein you should be getting for your body, try this handyA?keto calculator.
If youa??re going to do this thing you have to commit to eating fat a?? throw your old ideas about fat = bad out the window and embrace it.

EMBRACE THE FAT!

If you have anxiety about that, here is a list of links to some great resources on the science of low carb, how and why it works, testimonials & success stories, etc.
8.A?All brands are not created equal. Sometimes (but not always) you have to pony up for the name brand over the generic because the carbs are less a?? this is generally true with cream cheese for example. When buying heavy cream, go organic if you can find it because some brands use thickeners that add carbs. Buy your cheese in blocks or slices rather than in shreds a?? the shredded cheese is coated with food starch to avoid clumping and that adds carbs.
Garlic powder, onion powder, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar a?? all contain carbs that add up. If you arena??t getting into ketosis there is a reason a?? ita??s usually hidden carbs that you arena??t counting. When in doubt, look it up on sites likeA?Calorie KingA?orA?My Fitness PalA?to be sure.
9.A?This one is strictly for the ladies out there.

If you are not, or never have been, the proud owner of your very own uterus, then I suggest you skip over this one. Youa??ve been warned.

The first month or two on keto you may experience some strange periods (aka. Shark Week.) Dona??t be alarmed. When you lose weight and your body detoxes from sugar and excess carbs, all kinds of hormonal changes (for the better) occur. Initially though, you may experience heavier periods than normal, more extreme PMS symptoms, etc. This is normal, and while ita??s inconvenient it shouldna??t last more than a few months at the most.If your weight loss is rapid on keto (leta??s hope), you may also lose more hair than normal for a month or two. It can be disconcerting, but ita??s not permanent and will stop when your hormones regulate.
I have experienced all of these things on keto since I started, and I can promise you that the increased energy, weight loss, better skin, and other pros far outweigh these few temporary issues. Stay the course unless something seems really wrong, in which case you should see your doctor just to be on the safe side.
 

3 Day Keto Menu Plan

Day One

Breakfast:

Cream Cheese PancakesA?with butter and sugar free syrup (if desired)
coffee with heavy cream (& no carb sweetener if desired)
bacon or sugar free breakfast sausage

Snack

2-3 String Cheese

Lunch

Ham and Cheese rolled inA?Cream Cheese PancakesA?with mayonnaise and arugula or spinach
Snack
Half an avocado with lite salt and pepper

Dinner

Classic Buffalo Wings
sugar free blue cheese dressing
celery sticks

Dessert

1 servingA?Chocolate MousseA?orA?Chocolate TrufflesA?(optional)

Day Two

Breakfast:

Eggs (any style)
bacon or sugar free sausage
coffee with heavy cream (& no carb sweetener if desired)

Snack

Half an avocado with lite (potassium) salt and pepper

Lunch

Simple tuna salad (tuna, mayonnaise, salt and pepper) boats
romaine lettuce leaves (just spoon it in and eat like a taco)
1 cup chicken broth

Snack

12 almonds and/or 2 string cheese

Dinner

10 minute no-chop chili
cheddar cheese, sour cream, and pork rinds for dipping (optional)

Dessert

1 servingA?Chocolate MousseA?orA?Chocolate TrufflesA?(optional)

Day Three

Breakfast:

Cream Cheese Pancakes
coffee with heavy cream (& no carb sweetener if desired)
bacon or sugar free breakfast sausage

Snack

12 almonds and/or 2 string cheese

Lunch

Leftover 10 minute chili, tuna salad, or ham and cheese/pancake rollups

Snack

1 cup chicken broth
half an avocado with lite salt and pepper

Dinner

Easy Cajun Chicken
Cheesy Cauliflower Puree
2 cups baby spinach with carb free dressing

Dessert

1 servingA?Chocolate MousseA?orA?Chocolate TrufflesA?(optional)
 

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