If you are new to Keto diet, you have probably asked what low carbs foods you should eat to get success on this diet.
It can be challenging if you have been eating a high carb diet for a while.
If your goal is to lose weight, then you will want to lower your carbs to 20 grams a day and maintain that until you get the results you want. Let me share with how to do this.
Hello and welcome to Fearlessly Holistic.
My name is Irma and I want to share my journey to improved health by eating whole foods, moving my body and eliminating stress as much as possible.
It is my hope to inspire you to make daily changes. Why? Because eating fresh, seasonal food, getting some sunshine, and purging unhelpful thinking is the best way to increase longevity. But you do not want just a long life.
You want a quality long life.
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The goal of a ketogenic, or keto diet for short, is to get your body into ketosis.
Ketosis is our body’s mechanism for body is burning fat for fuel instead of carbs.
This is a very efficient mechanism of our body because when you can maintain ketosis, your health improvements are compounded.
The longer you are in ketosis, the more health benefits you will get.
Once you get the hang of what it takes for you to get and stay in Ketosis, you will understand why Keto diet is so popular.
The exact point at which you’ll get into ketosis will be different from everyone.
Some people might achieve it by consuming no more than 50 carbs per day, which is far less than food guidelines recommend.
Other people will have to go all the way down to 20 carbs to get into ketosis.
Many keto foods contain trace or very low amounts of carbohydrates, like dairy products or eggs.
The bulk of your carbs should come from veggies.
Ideally, you want 2 cups of salad greens (dark, leafy) and 1 cup of other veggies.
This ensures that you get enough fiber and nutrients to maintain great health.
It usually takes about 2-3 days for ketosis to happen.
Then, you’ll experience some symptoms associated with this condition.
Some people get keto flu, which means they need to remedy the symptoms by consuming electrolytes like those found in chicken broth.
Others will experience fantastic side effects right out of the gate – like increased energy, a clearing of brain fog and absence of cravings that they had once battled before.
Calculate Your Macros
You cannot be in ketosis if your body has carbohydrates to burn. This is our human physiology.
To achieve ketosis, you have to cut your carbs, so and ideal ratio to start with it:
- 70% fat
- 25% protein
- 5% carbs.
In a 1,200 calorie diet, that would be about 15 net carbs, 93 grams of fat and 75 grams of protein.
You may think that 93 grams is a lot of fat, but keep in mind that fat has twice as many calories (9 calories per gram) as protein and carbs (4 calories each per gram).
This is a benefit.
Both fat and protein are satiating, and both contain essential nutrients.
It means you can eat less and stay full longer for the same amount of calories as carbohydrates, which do not contain essential nutrients.
Many people who do ketogenic dieting don’t bother to track calories, except with how it impacts their macros.
You could enjoy a 2,500 calorie day of meals and keep your ketosis levels in check just by managing your macros.
I did meet a guy on a keto messaging board who experimented with eating 4500 calories a day of 90% fat. He lost 6 pounds in a week.
This is NOT recommended unless you know how your body will react to eating this way.
And seriously, that much fat is hard to eat, even on keto diet.
Some people worry about messing up and getting kicked out of ketosis.
This happens, and it’s often a result of hidden carbs.
Carbs can be snuck in on simple seasonings – things you don’t expect to be loaded with carbs.
If you get knocked out of ketosis, you should be able to get back in within 2-3 days after the slipup.
The weight should continue coming off, but it will increase more when your keto kicks in.
Try to make sure, when you’re choosing carbs, that you choose healthy ones.
Eating something like spinach or a strawberry is better for you than a handful of fake sweets that could take a toll on your digestive track.
Plus, your body still needs plenty of nutrients, so choosing your carbs carefully will help you get the vitamins and minerals that you need throughout the week.
Don’t rely on supplements to do the job for – it’s better to use real foods for this purpose.
Total Carbs vs Net Carbs
When you read a food label, you will see carbohydrates listed. You will also see fibers and sugars.
If you deduct the grams of fiber from the total carb grams, you get NET CARBS, because fiber is not digested and passes right on through.
You can take this deduction, which will allow you to eat more carbs.
Note: You cannot deduct sugar the same way.
There is a lot of debate about whether you should deduct or not, so I recommend just picking the way you want to go and sticking with it.
It is recommended that if you are new to keto or low carb diets, that you use a free food tracker app like Cronometer.
Input your food into your app of choice to the nutrient profile of your diet. Most food tracker apps have a desktop and a mobile app, so you can track on the go.
Food tracker apps will show you total carbs and the fiber, to help you see what your numbers are.
What Low Carb Foods To Eat
A good rule of thumb for keto is to figure out how to fit your protein and fat into your macros, and then add veggies to round out your meals.
If you want to stay very low carb, you would eat pretty much just meat and fat, which is a non-strict form of carnivore.
You can read more about the carnivore diet here >> carnivore diet.
If you like eating mostly carnivore, but want to add in veggies…whenever, that would be more ketovore.
Read more about that way of eating here >> Ketovore diet.
Vegetables are important for getting enough nutrients and the added benefit of fiber.
While some veggies are higher in carbs, if you want to eat them you can fit them into your diet by cutting back other carb foods to make room in your macros.
I’m talking about carrots and peas, not potatoes.
Plan your veggies based on your other macros.
- Steak goes well with salad
- Beef spaghetti sauce goes well with spaghetti squash
- Sausage goes well with cauliflower etc.
I always recommend eating as much local fresh produce as you can, while it is in season.
Not only are seasonal veggies cheaper, but the nutrients are fresher and fresh produce benefit your body so much more.
This is especially true for the dark, leafy greens which are nutritional powerhouses.
Alternatively, frozen vegetables are the second choice, and imported produce is third, because you have no way of knowing if they are sprayed with pesticides or not.
While avocados are actually a fruit, they are often in the vegetable category.
They also happen to be one of the best types of produce you can have while on a keto diet.
Avocados are an excellent source of potassium and fiber, two things that tend to be a little harder to get when you switch to the keto diet.
Avocados also provide those healthy fats you need for brain health, to burn fat, and to fuel your body.
A medium avocado usually has about 100 grams, which is approximately 13 total carbs.
However, this avocado also has about 10 grams of fiber, so only 3 net carbs.
Dark, Leafy Greens
While most types of lettuce and greens are allowed on the ketogenic diet, you should try to eat the darker, leafy greens as much as you can.
Each of them have similar nutrients as well as different ones and this gives well-rounded nutrition.
They are usually available from June to October.
Even adding some fresh spinach to a bagged salad will help you get more nutrients.
When we were hunter/gatherers, the leafy greens were one of the first fresh foods that people could find in spring. This helps boost health.
These greens tend to be more nutrient-dense and contain more fiber.
Some good dark, leafy greens include:
- Rapini (Broccoli rabe)
- Swiss chard
- Collard greens
These are all very low in carbs, especially when you remove the fiber.
Try steaming them and adding butter and fresh lemon juice.
For example, a serving of 100 grams of spinach is less than 4 carbs, with 2 grams of fiber, so it is less than 2 net carbs for a big plate of spinach.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Both of these veggies should be at the top of your list of vegetables to eat on a low-carb diet.
Cauliflower is great because it contains important nutrition, is very low in carbs per serving, and can replace a lot of the things you miss.
For example, you can turn cauliflower into rice, mashed potatoes, even hash brown patties. For a serving of cauliflower, it is only about 4 grams of carbs.
Broccoli is also 4 grams of carbs, providing a lot of vitamins and minerals, and a filling vegetable for you to enjoy.
Good options include:
- Spaghetti squash
- Bell peppers
- Green beans
Just watch your portion sizes and always track the carbs.
I love eating low-carb and being in Ketosis; it has healed so many areas of my health. I have made the Keto diet to fit my life and the concepts that I am aligned with, which are clean, seasonal eating.
If you are interested in how I do Keto, please check out my FEARLESS KETO DIET KIT: get recipes, a shopping list, tips, and a planner to set goals, track progress, and success tips.
This kit is all the help you need to get started eating Keto diet to lose weight and there is nothing else like it anywhere else.
If you are serious about losing weight and improving overall health, you should get this kit now and get your beach body ready for summer!
Not quite ready to go all in? Then grab my KETO FOOD GUIDE and check out your options. I advocate for clean food keto, to give my body the most nutrients. This allows for quicker healing and sustained weight loss.
Holism targets overall wellness, and when we are well, we only get better with age.
Eat the best food that you can afford to give your body the building blocks it needs for optimal health, longevity, and looking good for as long as possible 😉
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Until next time, here’s to our health!