10 Tips For Getting Into Nutritional Ketosis For Weight Loss
What is Nutritional Ketosis?
Ketosis is an eating plan where the body uses ketones to fuel the brain and body instead of glucose like most people use when on the SAD (standard American diet). It can be very helpful for blood sugar and consistent energy because fat is a very stable source of fuel. We all have a few million calories of fat we would gladly burn off, right? It takes a while to get into ketosis and it can be elusive if you are not paying close attention. It can be very safe for a period of time (even forever) but each person has to decide what feels compatible with their own lifestyle. Some experts do not think it is an optimal state for athletes but others experts disagree. I think we all have bio hack ourselves to see what feels right.
Of course, I believe that the paleo template is good starting place for optimal health but ketosis can be an add-on or tweak for people who get stuck or feel hopeless. It can be a powerful and effective way to lose weight without hunger and many of my friends have had success with it. Always ask your doctor before beginning any new nutrition or weight loss plan.
Here are some ways to make it work for you:
1. Eat Less Protein
I have a made a handy dandy chart here for figuring out the right amounts for you. Most average ladies need about 50-100 grams, no more, fyi. You have to self experiment a little to find what is right for you. The idea is that protein can turn to sugar if someone eats more than they need, then the sugar spikes blood glucose encouraging fat storage.
2. Eat More Fat
I used to see this all the time in clients, I say add more fat and people add a tsp of evoo to their salad, NO!!! I am talking about seeing fat as a food group not a side item. Avocado’s, egg yolks, homemade mayo, homemade dressing, Hollandaise, olives, grass fed butter on vegetables and meat are all good examples. I have 10 more suggestions in this article. When you are in ketosis, fat will need to be 70-85% of your calories. Make sure to eat only healthy fats listed here:
3. Get A Meter
Get a ketone blood meter and the testing sticks. The urine testing sticks do not really work for most. They can be highly inaccurate so don’t let the pee sticks get you down. Experts Dr. Phinney and Volek recommend a range of .5 to 3.0 millimolars to be in ketosis, the higher the better. Ketones will be higher at night, by the way.
4. Cut the Carbs
Usually, people do not get into ketosis unless they eat between 30-50 net carbs and Dr. Westman from Duke recommended a stricter 20 total carbs for people with severe insulin resistance. Some people may be able to get away with more but when in doubt stick with salad, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower and maybe some berries, for your carbs. Plus don’t forget to cover them in butter, heavy cream or coconut milk.
5. Portion Distortion
Don’t freak out, but when your portions get too big you will most likely exceed protein requirements. But the great thing about ketosis is there is a natural reduction in hunger….really, it is true!! Don’t fret! Play around with your food amounts, but I have read that women are losing weight more easily with a range 1500 to 2500 calories.
6. Eat More Intuitively
When we chomp down a side of beef we probably don’t even digest it because our portion are so big and hard to assimilate. Try to eat slow and chew (20 times each bite). Try to sit down and pay attention to the flavor of the food. Try to listen to that inner voice that is always sending us faint messages that we are satisfied. That little voice gets louder the more we try to hear it! When you chew each bite well it lets your stomach know to produce acid so that you will get the most nutrition out each bite. Do you really want your expensive organic grass fed steak to go to waste? What is the point of spending so much money on food if you eat and still feel hungry or have cravings because you did not digest anything.
7. Try A Fat Fast
Have you been trying to get into ketosis for a while and it is not working? Try a jump start with a few days of a fat fast which is a short term plan that kick starts ketosis in no time. I wrote a post all about how to do it here.
Part of losing weight is about balancing hormones including cortisol, leptin and ghrelin. These hormones are smarter than you and you can’t trick them no matter how much you want to finish that midnight movie or late night project. If these hormones are out of whack they will rule the day and there will be no way you will be able stick to your keto plan. Cortisol promotes belly fat storage, and leptin/grehlin imbalances with cause you to overeat so get your ZZZZZZ’s!! Sleep in a very dark room and wear goggles while watching TV to block out harmful blue light.
Also find a way to manage stress that fits your lifestyle (or change your lifestyle, if you don’t think you have time). I use meditation and I wrote about how to do it here: Mediation without Frustration.
Bonus: It is also a good idea to change your negative thoughts about your body. Spend a few minutes each day visualizing the body you want. Picture yourself at a time when you felt great and looked good. Seeing yourself this way will help imprint that message in your brain. I am not sure why it works but it really does work so give it a shot! Here is a good video on how.
9. Give It Time
It takes a consistent two or three weeks of high fat and low carb eating to get into the keto zone. Don’t do it for a few days and say it doesn’t work also refer back to #3, get a meter or you really don’t have any idea.
10. Get A Guidebook
I had some questions myself when I wanted to try ketois but all the info was hard to find and scattered all over the web. I wished there was one easy guide to follow with all the tips and tricks in one place from a veteran who has tried it herself. Well now there is in the new book from Kim Knoch of Eat Fat Lose Fat Blog. She lost 40 lbs and was so excited she had to share keto with the world. The great thing about her book is that she writes from experience with her own health and weight problems.
I don’t know about you but I hate it when naturally skinny people tell me how to be thin. I feel like they don’t have any clue what I have been through as an overweight child all the way to being an obese college student. When I read Kim’s book I was like “this lady gets me!” You can hear the pain and the struggle she has been through. She knows the challenges that over eaters and/or chronic dieters face and you can hear the hope in her voice that comes through when she finally found Keto! Kim says it was like the light went on and it clicked!!! I felt a connection with her after reading and you will too!
This book so great because it is easy to read, logically laid out and full of hints and tips the whole way.
Weight loss and becoming healthier doesn’t have to be hard. It’s just that you’ve been told pretty much the OPPOSITE of what to do to lose weight your whole life.
Kick the Weight with Keto explains:
- what a keto diet is, and how it differs from ketoacidosis
- how to lose weight steadily with real food
- how to exercise without feeling tired
- what to eat to get into ketosis, and how to STAY in ketosis
- how to measure your ketosis levels accurately so that you know you’re on the right track
- how to cook, plan meals and shop for your new keto lifestyle
How to Cook Keto
Included in the ebook are TWO full weeks of menus of breakfast, lunch, dinner AND a snack option for each day. Also, each meal has a recipe included in the book! There are over 50 recipes included in Kick the Weight with Keto!
Don’t miss out!
Free lifetime updates! Kim is adding more chapters on maintenance which you will get as soon as they are available.
Get started losing weight today!
Get It Here
Yvette W says
On the link referencing how to eat less protein, the “handy dandy chart” isn’t going to anything to do with protein but instead it’s a duplicate link referencing sources of healthy fats. Can you please fix the link for the protein reference, pretty please?
Caitlin Weeks says
I see the protein chart when I click the link. Not sure what you are seeing??…
Yvette W says
My bad. I saw the name of the article instead of scrolling down to see the chart. It’s there 🙂
Caitlin, is it possible for diabetics on large amounts of injected insulin to reach a state of nutritional ketosis or does the exogenous insulin prevent that from happening? It seems like no matter how high fat and low carb I go, I cannot reach ketosis and cannot lose weight.
Caitlin Weeks says
Are you a type one diabetic? I mean if you are already low carb is your diabetes not controlled, if type 2?
Hi last time I tried this I became extremely constipated, mainly due to the dairy most likely.
At the moment I take lots of Motion Potion & Intestamine to keep me regular. Will this stop me from getting into ketosis if I try again and keep taking them?
Also what do you think about trying to reach and even function in ketosis while doing regular crossfit?
Caitlin Weeks says
I would test your adrenals first Daniel. Try natural calm for keeping regular. How do you feel in ketosis doing Crossfit. I like short workouts that are not too crazy so you have to go with your instincts. Also what are your goals?
I have just purchased and read this entire book in under an hour. I have to say that I am very disappointed – especially with the price.. at 16.00 bucks for basically a blog put to print. Not impressed. Very disappointed in your promotion of this way overpriced.. “ebook”
Caitlin Weeks says
I actually learned a lot from it I am sorry you are disappointed. It was the first time I understood ketosis and how to apply it. It has 40 recipe and lots of useful tips. I thought it was a great resource. What more were you looking for?