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The Ultimate Keto Diet Guide For Beginners

keto for beginner guide

What is Keto?

No more messing around with lame carb-based plans and strategies that end with little to no progress.

It's time to turn away from the old, misleading, and frankly ineffective advice the fitness industry has fed you for years... into a fat-incinerating ketogenic machine.

Out with the old. In with the new. A new approach. A new way to lose weight. And a completely new level of lean.

Following the ketogenic diet, I can promise you’ll...

  • Turn your body into a fat burning machine
  • Increase stable, sustained energy
  • Boost mental performance and focus

To help you understand how the diet works... Lets liken it to a campfire.

To build a fire you can use three different fuel sources: kindling, logs, and coals.

When you throw kindling on the fire it ignites real quick giving a quick surge of energy. However, it burns out really fast.

Whereas logs will catch on fire and burn a lot longer. However, still not the longest. 

The coals are the hardest to catch fire but once they do they burn for an extremely long amount of time releasing sustained and lasting energy.

In comparison to the body using fuel sources we also have three different sources of fuel just like a fire: carbs, proteins, and fats.

Carbs are like kindling for a campfire.

Most of us are used to eating carbs like rice, pasta, bread, beans, potatoes, and fruit….

Your body breaks these down to glucose... aka sugar and uses that as a fuel source to provide energy.

When we eat the carbs they gives us a surge of energy, spike our blood sugar, but that energy quickly deflates and sends us looking for more fuel.

The protein like the logs will stay burning a little bit longer and give us more energy. But it's still not the best fuel source overall for lasting effect.

That's the fats. Fats are like coals and once we catch them on fire they will burn for a very long time!

Our body was designed to store fat as a survival mechanism. When carb food sources were scarce our body fueled itself by BURNING FAT. 

When this happens the liver starts producing energy molecules called ketones to fuel our brain. The body essentially switches it's fuel source from glucose to

Running on fat produced ketones is like running on jet fuel. Running on carb produced glucose is like gasoline.

If you can train your body to run on jet fuel you're going to have more energy, burn more fat, and overall feel better.

Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

Fat Loss

The keto diet is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. 

On keto your insulin levels will be low. Insulin is a fat storing hormone. So by decreasing insulin it'll help switch your body from clinging onto fat to burning it for fuel.

The low insulin will allow for fat cells to travel to the liver to be converted into ketones (aka pure energy) and as long as you stay in ketosis you’re a fat-burning machine.

Since you're using fat as fuel, your body will start to burn off excess stubborn fat like crazy.

Increased Energy



Carbs will spike your blood sugar and when those levels drop you can experience a crash leading to tiredness.
Because you avoid carbs in keto you'll have stable blood sugar levels which means STABLE energy throughout the day.
Mental Clarity

Much of our brain and nervous system is actually comprised of FAT!
Our brain loves fats and on Keto we eat a lot of them.
Also, remember those ketones our body makes from the fat we eat? Our brain has receptors specifically for those ketones.
Those ketones along with avoiding carb spikes can helps our brains to run better. This means increased cognitive function, mental clarity, and focus.
Epilepsy
Studies have shown it to be beneficial for helping treat and possibly prevent many brain and nervous system disorders like alzheimer's and epilepsy to name a few.
Insulin Resistance
Over time if insulin resistance is not handled with a proper diet it can lead to pre-diabetes and diabetes itself.
The keto diet has been shown to help people become more insulin sensitive again which can have numerous benefits such as improving blood sugar, blood pressure, decreasing sugar cravings, and much more!
Decreasing Inflammation
Many of us have experienced some kind of irritable bowel syndrome which commonly is related to gluten and other carbohydrate source intolerances and allergies.
All this in turn can really increase overall body inflammation which has been linked to almost everything like joint pain, backaches, headaches, acne, cognitive decline, weight gain and much much more!
Cancer & Disease Prevention
The Ketogenic diet has also been used on cancer patients and shown much promise. It's now being studying to possibly help in a host of other diseases.
Blood Lipids, Cholesterol & Blood Pressure
The keto diet has been shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol on the keto diet.
Not to mention increase HDL and decrease LDL cholesterol. This means cleaner arteries.
Acne
Because there is less body inflammation on the keto diet many people report having improved skin and less acne.
Here is one study that shows a correlation between the keto diet and less acne.
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Just stop and think for a minute how all the aforementioned benefits of the keto diet could improve your life.
Not to mention weight loss, increased energy, decreased inflammation, improved blood profiles, and optimized mental capacity! Hey who knows... You may just end up feeling like a superhero!

What Do I Eat on a Ketogenic Diet?

The real magic comes from getting into ketosis and unlocking your full fat-incinerating potential by eating the right foods.
Here’s a quick list of things you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to your keto diet:
Do Eat:
  • Meats: Bacon, sausage, fatty ground beef, fish, lamb, poultry, and eggs. That’s right, I want you to have bacon and fatty meats all the time! The fattier the better. It’ll actually help you get better ketogenic results. 
  • Leafy Greens: spinach, kale, romaine, etc.
  • High-Fat Dairy: hard cheeses, heavy high fat whipping cream, butter—all fair game.
  • Nuts and seeds: macadamias, pecans, walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds.
  • Avocados
  • Dark Berries: raspberries and blackberries in moderation.
  • Oils: olive, avocado, C-8 MCT Oil Powder, coconut oil, or salad dressings. A couple tablespoons can help you get the right fats in the right amounts. 
  • Approved Keto Veggies: brocolli, cauliflower, etc. Enjoy them with plenty of delicious buttery goodness on top.
  • Sweeteners - stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners
For most people, they snack a lot less on a keto diet. That’s because your body has switched off of quick and fleeting carb-based energy to steady fuel from fat. But it’s always good to be prepared with my favorite on-the-go keto snacks…
Snack ideas: cheese (string or sliced), pepperoni, salami, vienna sausage, canned sardines, nuts (I like macadamia and pecans), seeds, jerky (just be wary about added sugar), olives, and nut butter.
Avoid: 
  • Any starchy vegetables: potatoes, yams, corn, and peas. Other vegetables like carrots and green beans should be limited for the full bat-burning benefits of ketosis.
  • Wheat and other grains: rice, pasta, bread, tortillas, cookies, chips, cereal.
  • Fruit: Everything besides dark berries used sparingly
  • Legumes and lentils
  • Sugar: honey, maple syrup, agave, juices/sodas.

Keto Macros

What are Macros?
Macros stand for macronutrients of which there are three.
  • Fats
  • Protein
  • Carbs.
On the keto diet we eat:
  • 75% of our daily calories from Fat
  • 20% from Protein
  • ONLY 5% from Carbs.
It is essential to get at least 75% FAT!!!
Remember on Keto the key to losing fat is eating fat!
Know I know what you’re thinking how DO I get all of that in?
Well it’s actually easy. High fat foods contain more calories than protein and carbs so you won’t need to eat as often and they’ll keep you fuller longer.
Also, it’s critical to not go over 5% carbs and 20% protein. Doing that may kick you out of the fat burning state of ketosis.
As a guideline you should always eat less than 20g net carbs. If you want to speed up the switch into ketosis we recommend getting in less than 15g of net carbs daily.
Totals Carbs vs Net Carbs
When reviewing nutrition labels it's important to only track net carbs.
Here's the formula:
Total Carbohydrates - Fiber = Net Carbs
This takes into account the fact that fiber does not have any effect on your blood sugar levels so we do not need to include them.
Food Labels
A lot of people think that they don’t need to pay close attention to food labels because they’re following the meal plan and keeping to a keto menu. This is a problem.

You could be killing ketosis without even realizing it.
Even if you’re sticking to the right high-fat foods, different brands can have huge differences in fat content and added sugars.
Especially when I’m shopping for cheese, bacon, and sausage, I’m shocked by how much added sugar and extra carbs can be hidden in different brands.

The short of it? Read. Your. Food. Labels.

It takes like two seconds and can make all the difference.
A small misstep can actually keep you from crushing it with ketosis.
How to Know if You're in Ketosis
Most people will get into ketosis after 2-3 days, as long as the diet is followed correctly eating 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% net carbs every day.
“But wait… How do I even know if I’m in ketosis?”
I get asked this sort of thing all the time. And I totally get it.
Especially when you’re new to a ketogenic diet, how are you supposed to know if you’re actually reaping all the amazing fat-burning benefits.
Well, there are actually a few ways. And they’re all super easy.
Some physical signs may include:
  • Smelly Acetone Breath
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Dry Mouth
  • Increased Urination
If you want to know for sure there are three general testing methods:
  • Urine Test: I have always just used the urine test. They are ketone test strips that you pee on. They are by no means an exact measuring method but are the simplest and cheapest version of testing your ketone levels.
  • Blood Test: The blood test is by far the most accurate! But also the most expensive. I recommend the Precision Xtra device.
  • Breath Test: The breath test is a fairly reliable method.
Keto Flu
The idea (and sound) of a flu freaks most people out. Honestly, I reacted the same way at first. ...yeah, I kinda hate the flu. 

But it’s not the actual flu. *sigh of relief*
Keto flu may happen when transitioning to keto. It usually goes away in just a few days and can be eliminated completely but if you don't get in the right amount of electrolytes it can linger around longer.
Here's why it happens:
Carbs usually contains lots of electrolytes.
Because keto switches your body's fuel source from carbs to fats you won't consume as many electrolytes as before. And plus you will urinate more on keto which means less electrolytes and water in your body.
Thus, the lack of electrolytes can affect you.
In addition, when you transition from a high to low carb diet your body will need to create new enzymes.
All of this can cause symptoms of a flu like lower energy, brain fog, fatigue, and the like.
But you can avoid it altogether if you get in enough electrolytes. Electrolytes are a MUST!
Electrolytes
Which electrolytes so you need to replenish?
  • Magnesium: The easiest way to get in your magnesium is to take a daily magnesium supplement. You should also eat foods high in magnesium like nuts/seeds, dark leafy greens, fatty fish, dark chocolate (above 70% cocoa), avocado, bone broth, and mineral rich water.
  • Sodium: The best way to get in your sodium and potassium is to add lots of extra salt to your food. A few great brands are Pink Himalayan salt or Redmond Real Salt.
  • Potassium: There are also potassium salts out there like the brand No Salt. Avocados, dark leafy greens, and nuts are also good sources of potassium.
An even easier way to get in your electrolytes is by supplementing with an exogenous ketone drink. It not only can help you combat keto flu but it'll help you stay in ketosis.
Seriously for this reason, TeamKeto Fuel is a life saver!
And from my own experience it makes ditching the soda and other sugar loaded drinks a lot easier by reducing cravings because it just tastes that good!
Fluids
Fluids and electrolytes work together. You need to increase intake of both to feel optimal on the keto diet. 
A good guideline to follow is to drink roughly half your bodyweight in ounces of water.
For example: A 130 lb. woman should drink roughly 65 oz water daily!
It will help to cleanse your body of toxins and optimize nutrients flow to repair your worked muscles.
And it may even help in the mobilization and transport of fats to the liver to be BURNED!
Take a minute to reflect on your current hydration status... Not getting your daily fluid requirements?
Well time to start because on Keto you should be getting in even more water daily since we are cutting out lots of typical daily fluid sources like soda, juice, gatorade, fruits, and other carb source whole foods that have water in them.
Ketogenic Supplements
Exogenous Ketones:
What on earth does exogenous ketones mean? And how can they facilitate ketosis?
First of all, exogenous is really just science-speak for ketones you consume rather than create in your liver. (Fun fact: ketones your liver creates are ENDOgenous).
Assuming you’re following a solid keto meal plan, you’ve got endogenous ketones on lockdown. Your meal plan makes sure you eat the right foods, in the right amounts, at the right times so you’ve got a steady stream of fat-based fuel from food.
At that point, you’re poised to supercharge your success by adding exogenous ketones. Think of exogenous ketones like an instant supply of PURE energy.
Energy that goes to fueling all of these amazing benefits during your keto journey:
  • Fat-melting weight loss—that’s why we’re here, right?
  • Feeling more full more often—ketones are shown to help appetite control.
  • Boosted brain power—ever see that Bradley Cooper movie Limitless?
  • Reduced inflammation—can’t hurt, right?
  • Neuroprotection—ketones are shown to slow typical decline in cognitive function.
When you turn your body into a ketogenic, fat-burning machine, giving it more of the fuel it needs you will reap amazing benefits.
My favorite exogenous ketones: TeamKeto Fuel. These are what I use, they’re what I recommend, and, if you’re ready to take your results to the next level, they’re exactly what you need.
C-8 MCT Oil Powder:
When it comes to you and your ketosis, MCTs are a game-changer.
Remember how a keto diet turns your body into a fat-burning machine? Well… Medium-chain triglycerides are the super-premium unleaded fuel for your fat-burning machine.
MCTs get digested very quickly and go straight to the liver to produce quick and easy ketones.
Compared to other (more common) C-10 and C-12 MCTs, C8 is much more quickly utilized for energy and packs a much more powerful ketogenic punch.
Studies actually show that C8s (which have 8 carbons) increase ketones about THREE TIMES more than C10s (which have 10 carbons). Basically, more carbon means more processing and less ketogenic fuel.
Here are a few of the BENEFITS of C8 MCTs:
  • Increased production of ketone bodies
  • Reduced blood glucose
  • Increased appetite control
  • Better brain function
  • Boosted energy.
  • Improved fat loss.
  • Reduced risk of some metabolic diseases.
  • Enhanced athletic performance. 
And that’s exactly what my favorite MCT product does. TeamKeto C-8 MCT Powder. Other premium MCTs have a 50/50 split of C8s and C10s—at best—which is simply selling you and your results short.
Not. Good. Enough. I’m here to make sure you get nothing but the best. 
If you want your fat-burning machine to run on all cylinders, you need to feed it the right fuel—the best fuel.
What do I order when I eat out with friends?
The key, as with anything keto, is to eliminate as many carbs as possible. So go for that nice fatty burger—just keep it protein-style and ditch the bun.

Replace those carbs with keto-friendly things like cheese, avocado, bacon, butter—gah, I’m getting hungry just writing that list. (Wanna meet up for a double-bacon avocado cheeseburgers later?)

If you go for a salad, be careful with the dressing. A lot of dressings are sneaky and have added sugars, which is a problem for us keto dieters. That’s why I recommend substituting most dressings for simple oil (olive or avocado) and vinegar.

And if you’re in a pinch, bring help.

Remember all those awesome keto snacks we talked about the other day? They’re a great backup plan for the social keto.

So, in review:

1. Order full-fat, full-flavor foods
2. Replace carbs with keto-friendly substitutes
3. Keep dressings deliciously simple
4. When needed, bring backup
Exercise on Keto
When starting Keto and first exercising you may experience a drop in energy or strength.
Don't worry! This is temporary and once your body gets used to Keto your body will acclimate and regain strength and stamina. 
There have been many studies on athletes that have shown that you can perform just as well if not better on keto.

As far as exercises go I have found body weight and lightweight HIIT style resistance exercises to be very effective in the first couple weeks of Keto transition.
That is why we have included a 15 day Workout program to go along with our Meal Plan to help you optimize your results.

These workouts will be very effective and best of all you can do them all right in your home.
These workouts will save you some time so you can focus on the diet portion, meal plan, and have time to meal prep.
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