You’ve heard about it, you’re curious, you want to know if this is something you should do, and now you need more information. There are volumes written on this topic, so I’m giving you the best, most concise information you can use to make a good decision for you.
I’m not a “keto only” practitioner; however, I do like ketogenic dieting as a tool to achieve better health and a better body composition while allowing you to still enjoy some of the foods you love.
If you’re already doing a keto approach or you’re just starting, this will be a good refresher article that may give you additional information to improve your results.
What is the Keto Diet
It’s how I fixed my weight and health by practicing what I preach. Now I want to help you reach your goals! Below are my pics as I decided to make turning 50 my healthiest year ever. I’ve also committed to this lifestyle that you’re about to learn a lot about.
Before I go further, if you would be interested in being a part of an Exclusive Keto, Carnivore, and Fasting Club where you would have access to novice level to advanced keto and fasting training, including LIVE, Q&A and training and support; Enter your name, email, an hit “Yes I’m Interested.” We are in development right now! We will only be taking a select number for FREE. I love helping people succeed, and you will have access to me and other top keto, carnivore, and fasting pros.
Keto or ketogenic dieting is simply eating in a way that puts you in a state of ketosis. It’s really not a diet per se. It’s a way of eating ( #ketowoe ). Ketosis is when your body produces ketones (also known as ketone bodies) in response to burning fat as fuel. These ketones are now being used as your source of energy. This means you’re no longer using carbs as a fuel source as much. Congratulations, you’re now a healthier you! Now does that mean you are burning your fat or the fat you’ve been eating? The magic is when you get your body to burn your own fat! Keep reading…
Why would you want to do this way of eating? Deplete your body of carbs? YES! Our genetics are not designed for constant bombardment from carbs that elevate our insulin and blood sugar levels. This is why we have so much diabetes (type 2), heart disease, obesity, cholesterol problems, and autoimmune diseases than ever in human history. Shifting your body more towards using fat as a fuel source is having it operate like our genetics are still designed to. Your fat burning engine may be a little rusty because you’ve been carb fueled probably most of your life! Interestingly, you’re born in ketosis and during your years as an active child, you were probably in and out of ketosis an you never knew it!
It’s really that simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. Why? Because you are addicted to carbs – and they are everywhere!. And, you’ve come to believe that fat is bad for you as it’s what makes you fat and unhealthy. You think that all you really need to do is eat less and move more to lose weight. Just push back from the table a bit – sound familiar? You already think you know what to do but it’s just too hard to do it and your lifestyle doesn’t really make your weight loss or health improvement efforts convenient. You’ve also tried a lot of diets by now, and there is a 90% chance that you gained most of your weight back (if it was for weight loss).
Ketogenic dieting is not easy because it’s so hard to wrap your mind around it. The unlearning process is hard! All your beliefs have just been turned upside down!
What the Keto Diet is Not
Eating a ketogenic diet is not just eating a bunch of random meats and low quality fatty processed foods. I’ve seen so many people “convert to keto” only to continue to overeat low quality foods and a ton of dairy. Their Instagram feeds are colorless and filled with “keto treats” if you will. Dairy, especially cheese and milk increase insulin so beware. Some do dairy better than others. Classic Keto eating is about high healthy fats FIRST, low low carb second, and moderate protein third in my opinion. It’s about converting your body to using fat as a fuel versus carbs. This means lowering blood sugar and insulin. As you’ll see below, insulin is our friend and our enemy depending on how you eat. The way I like to use ketogenic dieting is in a way the encourages ketosis through metabolizing your body’s excess fat reserves! That fat on you is FOOD! Good job, you’ve stored all you need for times of famine.
The benefits of ketosis are not just about fat loss. The keto diet is about achieving a healthier you
Overcoming fixed beliefs and ideas: here are some hard truths, be prepared:
- know that you’ve been lied to for a long time. Low fat low calorie dieting with exercise does not work and never has. Since the good studies started in the 50’s, there has not been one ounce of evidence that this form of dieting works to help people manage or lose weight and keep it off – much less achieve improved health. Just go look at all the Biggest Loser participants. 99% of them regained their weight!
- Fat is better for you than carbs. Good fats from healthy sources is much better for you than carbs. People who eat a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet are healthier than those who don’t – period. There is no argument here. Carbs are not essential to human health.
- Exercise does not work to burn fat and keep it off. Exercise is good for building muscle and getting stronger – improves fitness and more, but it is not proven effective in permanent fat loss as compared to diet and fasting.
- Diet is the only proven way to burn fat and keep it off, and fasting methods are the most successful. You can’t out exercise a bad diet.
- Fasting is good for you and the fastest way to get your body burning it’s own fat without losing muscle. Yes going totally without food is the oldest, tried and true health restoration and diet method since the history of mankind. Fasting is not new, it has just been somewhat forgotten and it has been vilified by the food industry. In fact, we eat more now than ever with all the recommended 3 meals with snacks in between. In the 70’s and prior, no one was snacking. Most people fast wrong! You’ll learn more on this below.
- You do not lose muscle or have nutrient deficiencies when fasting (for those who are prepared to fast – more later)
- Fasting is not starving yourself. Your body reacts in super beneficial ways that improves your health and longevity. It’s not how much good stuff you eat, it’s when you don’t eat that counts – think about that. Starving is when you eat too frequently and a small calorie load, and it tricks your body with more hunger, misery, and muscle loss! Fasting will not allow for muscle loss due to the hormones released during true fasting.
- Low calorie dieting is more bad for you than good.
- Ketogenic dieting helps cure type 2 diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disorders, neurological disorders, and some cancers.
Let’s Talk Fasting (how to fast is below, keep reading…)
Fasting is complete abstinence from food. This is not low calorie starvation. There is a huge difference between eating low calories and fasting. The main difference is in the hormonal responses.
When you fast, metabolism stabilizes or actually increases, adrenaline increases, growth hormone increases, blood sugar decreases, and insulin goes down. There’s more but these are the main changes that will make sense to you.
When you eat a low calorie diet, your metabolism decreases, adrenaline decreases, there is no growth hormone elevation, blood sugar and insulin don’t really go down. And let’s be clear, insulin is what makes you fat. Blood sugar signals insulin.
Eating low carb now does decrease insulin up to 50%. However, fasting decreases it another 50%!
Source: Harvie et al., “The Effects of Intermittent or Continuous Energy Restriction on Weight Loss and Metabolic Disease Risk Markers: A Randomized Trial in Young Overweight Women.”
Fung, Jason; Moore, Jimmy. The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended (p. 117). Victory Belt Publishing. Kindle Edition.
I highly recommend this book! It should be required reading for all health professionals, but unfortunately it’s not. It’s up to you to learn more and take the best actions possible to reach your health goals. I know this will help you as it has thousands!…Including ME!
Ok, so I just told you that fat is good, fasting is good, exercise won’t burn fat as much as diet, and that eating fewer calories doesn’t work. Your head is probably spinning if you’re still stuck in all the beliefs instilled in you by our beloved government and food industry…eat less and move more. Oh, and let’s not forget the recommended 6-11 servings of grain! How insane!
This is why obesity rates in the ’80s doubled and why we are now seeing more autoimmune disorders than ever before in human history! It’s our diet, folks – plane and simple. Yes, food is legal, but your choices of eating are expressed in your physical body. If you have physical health issues and are taking medications constantly, i.e. Metformin, Methotrexate, Zeljanz, Celebrex, Mobic, Neurontin, Lyrica, and more; you don’t have a medication deficiency, you have a problem where you are physically breaking down in the absence of what’s needed to express the “good genes.” Your body is obviously showing the bad ones being triggered or expressed.
If you are overweight, your intake of food is simply such that the extra energy it can’t use is being stored as fat. Read on, because just reducing your calories doesn’t work, and I’ll explain why.
It’s Not Your Fault
You are genetically designed to eat everything in sight. We are designed to survive scarcity/famine. Our genetics are much the same as our ancestors the hunter gatherers. They would experience periods of feast with a food catch and find as well as famine. About 10,000 years ago, agriculture started and we began to settle. We figured out how to harvest and prepare grains for storage and consumption and the diseases started. If you really look at how a grain is designed, it is a mean piece of food with armor designed to keep it alive amidst a rugged environment and to damage any digestive tract that tries to break it down. Your body can handle a lot, and it can handle grains but over time, this food group will cause you some problems, hence the rise in so many gut issues in the last 2 decades. It’s ridiculous that we’re just now figuring this out! Get this book to get the full story on grains and how they truly affect you:
I don’t believe it’s a conspiracy to keep you fat or to destroy your health, I believe it’s a supply and demand problem. We love and want our carbs (breads, pastas, grains, cereals, rice, potatoes and sugar!) Sugar is a drug and lights up the brain in the same amount and in the same area as cocaine, so yes, carbs (convert to sugar) are addictive. Although your body and brain actually prefer ketones over carbs, the sweetness of the carbs is too much to let go of I know. We are a society of true drug/food addicts. I really mean this. Don’t believe me? Just stop eating carbs right now and see how long you last. Most know the symptoms as the carb flu, but you will be miserable as your body goes into misery driving you to eat carbs again.
So now that your head is really spinning, I know you still want to know how all this works. How are all these people curing their obesity (dropping serious poundage!), curing type 2 diabetes, curing their digestive issues, curing their pcos, getting rid of their neuropathy, stabilizing their arthritis, and more! You’ve heard enough, and now you’re wanting in on the game but you don’t know where to start. I’ll keep it simple. as possible.
How to Go Keto
1. Plug into keto communities. I love my Instagram keto family. Find me at keto_drwade (BELOW). Start an Instagram account with your name and “keto” attached to it. If you don’t want to do a “keto” instagram account and just use one you already have, that’s cool, just hashtag keto in your posts. You’ll want to post pics of your food, your experience, yourself before/after and such. Look around at others, you’ll see. It’s a super supportive group.
You can also like keto pages on Facebook, join keto groups on Facebook, and start your own page.
The point is you’ll need to be around other keto people to learn from and garner support. You’re more than likely in a situation where there aren’t many ketogenic dieters. In fact, once you let them know what you’re doing, be prepared for the eye rolls and discouraging remarks. Remember, they believe fasting is starvation and eating fat is bad for you. Don’t try to educate them! It doesn’t work. Smile and know that they care about you, and carry on.
2. Only get opinions and advice from successful keto dieters and keto professionals. Do not accept advice from so called experts who’ve never had any success with ketogenic dieting. Your physician is not trained in diet and nutrition much less ketogenic dieting.
3. Accept responsibility for your results and your mistakes. You will fail, you will make mistakes, and you will succeed. This is a lifestyle shift, a real change you are making, and it’s a journey you’ll love. It’s NOT A DIET – KETO IS A WAY OF EATING.
For those who want to see rapid results and find a way to wean into this change, Get my 21 Days On 15 Pounds OFF Diet for FREE. This is how I got started.
In this kickstart diet, I give you a convenient list of the YES and NO Foods which is really the important part. There will be 2 days a week that you do something that really brings out the results, the magic, for you in this diet. You will feel amazing toward the end.
Using this method to start then weaning into a ketogenic way of eating, I went from 49 years old, just over 190 pounds (I’m 5’7), over 33% body fat, a 37″ abdominal girth (this is lethal!), and wearing a size 33″
50 years old, 165 pounds, 21% body fat, and a size 30 pant. Didn’t do my girth measurement, but I have abs now ha! I knew they were in there somewhere!
4. Eliminate grain foods, starchy carbs, any flour products, and legumes (beans) – this is a must. It’s a good way to start. This act in and of itself will start allowing your gut to heal and improve. And your gut generally sets the tone for your overall health and immunity. I LOVE bread, but it wasn’t as hard to go without as I thought. I’ll still eat it at times, but not on a regular basis. Grains cause problems, and they are not required by your body at all. White potatoes are not only a starchy carb, but they are a nightshade and can possibly be causing inflammation. Rice is also killer carb. The longer you go without, the less your body (and mind) will want them. Cravings do go away!
Remember, this isn’t really a diet. It’s a way of eating with where you make better choices of foods that will help you lose weight and express the healthiest you! It’s a process and a journey. It’s not a one and done approach. So be patient as you get into it.
You won’t be perfect at ketogenic eating at first, but the more you eat this way versus your old way, the healthier and lighter you will get!
5. Eat healthy fats, proteins, and veggies! Just go look at my Instagram feed and others in the #keto community. You’ll see so many food choices your head will spin. The first comment I usually get is – “…so I cant eat anything I like?!” Yes, you can! Who doesn’t like bacon? What about eggs? Steak, (grass fed meat) , avocado, butter (real butter – preferably grass fed like Kerrygold Butter or ghee), spinach, asparagus, zucchini, squash, chicken (obviously not fried), nuts of all sorts, peanut butter, and so much more!
6. Dairy is included but be cautious: you’ll see all sorts of meat/cheese recipes and although these are low carb (low glycemic), dairy (milk and cheese primarily – not eggs) can increase insulin, and increased insulin is what leads to fat storage. If you find that you aren’t losing much weight or you hit a plateau, consider eliminating dairy. If you have sinus problems or other allergies, this is always a culprit to consider. You’ll still be able to include dairy at times just not on an everyday basis. Now if you’re lactose intolerant or already know you have a dairy issue, then you’ll eliminate dairy for obvious reasons.
7. Watch your macros (this means fats, proteins, and carbs). You don’t have to count calories, but it’s good to monitor your portion sizes and ingredients. Really make sure your carbs stay low in the range of 20-60 grams a day. More than 60 and you’re not doing much to help yourself. You want to shoot for 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbohydrate. Sometimes it’s hard to get that much healthy fat, so a 50% fat, 30-40% protein, 10-20% carb also works. I’ve had some do higher protein than fat (modified Atkin’s approach) and also do well. The key again is to keep the carbs low and eat more healthy fat, good protein, and plenty of veggies. Keto dieters rarely get hungry.
It will take some experimentation as everybody’s system assimilates food differently. I’ve seen keto people over-eat many times. Food is energy, and if you take in more energy than your body requires, the remainder is stored as fat. Carbs just convert faster and easier – so leave them out.
8. Monitor your level of ketosis: you DON’T have to be in ketosis to lose weight although it does confirm you are in the best physical state to do so. Just eliminating most of your carbs will help you drop pounds, especially in the beginning. Ketosis is necessary to help your body heal itself when working on type 2 diabetes, digestive tract problems, inflammation, autoimmune disorders, neurological disorders. In ketosis, you have more clarity, more energy, more focus, and you operate at your best.
How to monitor? Get a blood testing kit. The urine strips are not accurate. Here are the ones I use personally and professionally:
These are the best prices on Amazon going right now. And these are tested personally by me. Other meters are ok, but Abbott Precision Xtra is the best, most reliable, accurate unit. You need the meter and the ketone strips for sure. I like tracking blood sugar as well, and that’s the 3rd item. Each pic will take you to Amazon.com for purchase.
You don’t have to monitor your ketone levels, but it sure does help. The people who do monitor their levels have the most success.
That which can be measured can be managed
Here is a reading I did coming off of a 48 hour fast:
Now that’s a “therapeutic” level of ketosis for sure. Some call it deep ketosis. Do I need to keep this level for fat loss? No. My blood sugar is nice and on the low side. Ketosis is a great state to be in where you ARE burning fat! You’re either using fat you’ve ingested, or your own fat reserves. Fasting makes sure you are hitting the reserves!
The above reading was taken the day before Thanksgiving as you can see. I broke my fast with chili of all things (yep, beans included), and the next day I did not hold back other than abstaining from grains. Yep, no dressing. But I ate sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole (some cracker crumbles did make it so a little enriched flour got through) potatoes au gratin, turkey, and gravy. Plenty of carbs! I did not count of course and I ate till well satisfied.
Here is what happened after an 18 hr fast starting 8pm Thanksgiving day:
Not bad considering what I ate yesterday! Most people take a few days to get back into ketosis.
**TIP** I did a 30 minute strength workout (at the end of myfast)prior to Thanksgiving lunch.When you know you are goingto take in carbs, try to time it where you do a workoutfirst. Doing a workout in a fasted state prior to feeding isa super shredding strategy.If you don't exercise,that's ok,this is just a tip. And it works as noted.
How to Fast
1. There are 2 types of fasting: dry fasting and water or liquid fasting.
Dry fasting is no food and no water, and it is not for the typical novice. It is used for healing and is amazing at helping just about anything heal! More later on this as dry fasting is not necessary for ultimate fat loss.
Water or liquid fasting is when you take in NO food and just drink water or another liquid like an electrolyte solution. DO NOT just drink water! This is where most people make their mistake as it pushes your electrolytes! You will not feel good and you can “bottom out.” This is prevented easily by drinking a simple solution make with 2 essential salts you need: sodium and potassium.
Electrolyte Solution YOU NEED for Fasting!
Here is exactly what I use that I get from Amazon. Click on each one to take you there, or you can use arm and hammer baking soda, any good sea salt, and NoSalt substitute you can get at any grocery store (it’s potassium chloride). These links are for your convenience.
Dont’ just drink water on a prolonged fast which is 2 days (48 hours) or more! Use one of these electrolyte solutions! If you are eating one meal a day or doing just a 24 hour fast, you don’t need electrolyte solution. Water is fine.
Option 1 (most popular and good for kidneys) : 1 qt or liter of water (fresh, spring water preferred), 1 tsp of baking soda, 1/2 tsp potassium chloride powder (also known as NoSalt you can buy at WalMart, it’s the “salt free substitute).
Option 2 (simplest and it works great) : 1 qt or liter of water, 1/2 tsp potassium chloride (or NoSalt), 1/2 tsp a good sea salt
Option 3 (combo) : 1 qt or liter of water, 1/2 tsp potassium chloride, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda
Sip it all during the day as needed to keep you feeling good. If you get any cramps, simply drink more of it. These formulas can be adjusted. Some folks want to add magnesium or other substances, and my recommendation is to stick to what we know works. However, you can add anything you want to test your response once you do the formulas as listed above.
How to Get Past Keto Confusion and Overcome a Stall (BONUS!)
Join My Fasting Focused Lifestyle Facebook Group HERE
Here are some keto diet staples:
1. Bulletproof coffee. Simply add grass fed butter, real butter, or ghee (tbsp) and MCT oil (1 tbsp) to your coffee, and you’re good to go! Yes, butter in coffee is liked by most. blend it up for a mocha color and feel. Some don’t like it, but it’s rare. It’s more of a meal replacement. You can also add some sugar-free sweetener (I recommend allulose! – you’ve probably never heard of this and that’s ok, most haven’t)…Learn about it here! (opens in new tab). Stevia is my next preference. All the other sweeteners aren’t good at all!
2. MCT Oil: This promotes the production of ketones and is used for energy and not stored as fat. Get the emulsified version as you can cook with it. You can’t cook with regular MCT Oil. Below is the one I use:
3. Avocado – just keep a good supply going.
4. Ghee and or grass fed butter – cook with it and add it to your foods to increase the healthy fat
5. Coconut oil – cook with it and add it to foods to increase the healthy fat.
6. Grassfed meats – steak, chicken, burger, and bacon are the main ones. You don’t have to do grass-fed on in terms of macros, but on the micro level, grassfed meat is really good for compared to industrial prepared or processed meat. Stressed out animal meat is inflammatory due to it’s omega 6 levels. Grassfed is actually anti-inflammatory! I occasionally have to make a quick run to the store and grab whatever they have, but 95% of the time, my family eats grass-fed or pastured (free-range) meats.
7. Fresh or frozen veggies of all sorts! I keep broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, asparagus, onion, zucchini, squash non-stop. I toss in others along the way. Depends on what looks good and what’s available. Frozen will last longer and has higher nutrient density! Avoid canned if possible. I will use canned asparagus and spinach in a pinch.
8. Eggs are AWESOME! Unless you are allergic to eggs – they are good for you. They don’t cause problems with cholesterol as myth would have it. Eggs are excellent protein and fat sources. Of course, I recommend cage-free vs the stressed-out chicken eggs for obvious nutritional reasons.
9. Cheese: I always shoot for the raw cheeses made by US Wellness Meats. In fact, this is where I get ALL of my meats and cheeses. You need to click that link and bookmark it! Keep in mind, real cheese (not processed) is acceptable, but should be done with caution. Not everyone does dairy well, and it can stall weight loss in many cases – not all. I say start with it and remove it if you aren’t getting results.
10. Unsweetened regular or vanilla almond milk – you can do so much with this
11. Nuts – especially raw almonds. Be careful here as nuts are the number 1 food that can throw your macros off. A small amount pack a big calorie punch. A handful is generally plenty.
** Spices are wide open, but you’ll definitely want to take advantage of the benefits of Himalayan pink salt and turmeric. I keep these, Tony’s creole spice, and several dry rubs/spices for cooking chicken and steak. Don’t use a soy based marinade. Soy is NOT good to consume! It’s great for making industrial products, but that’s it.
Of course, there is so much more, but this is plenty to get you started! I hope this helps. Be sure to subscribe, bookmark me, as I will be posting more. Follow me at keto_drwade on Instagram and if you dare follow me on snapchat, username wadebaskin.
Yours in health,
What is the Secret?
If I had to tell you in one sentence, or command, what to do in order to not only lose weight but to achieve the healthiest you, it would be…
Eat real food emphasizing animal fat and protein and use a fasting strategy