For those of you who are new to the low carb lifestyle, just jumping into a healthier
way of eating, or have been living keto for a while, let’s try to eliminate the stress of tracking and carb numbers. Trust me, when done the healthy way, this lifestyle approach can be totally freeing.
First, why are people going crazy over tracking and why are macronutrient ratios important? Simply put, the three main macros are protein, carbohydrates, and fats. When following a strict keto LCHF (low-carb, high fat) lifestyle, it’s necessary to track your carb intake as to not go over 25-50g per day (debatable as the number changes for each of us) because it will quickly kick you out of ketosis (the state your body is in when it’s completely fat-adapted and burning fat for fuel). A general rule of thumb for daily calorie percentages are 70-75% to come from fats, 20-25% from protein, and 5-10% from carbs. I don’t know about you, but that all stresses the shit outta me!
Let me introduce you to a Keto-ish approach. First and foremost, there’s a lot less stress involved. Your goal is to eliminate sugar, most fruits, and grains. Berries in limited quantities are the fruit exception. Eat your veggies like your Mama told you to and focus on more protein and a lot more healthy fat. This is food freedom and there’s no reason to obsess over tracking when your carbs are low and your protein and fats are moderate to high. Eat when you’re hungry, drink water and your KPOW supplements when you’re not. Seems so simple right? It truly is. Once you eliminate the addiction to sugar and carbs, your brain will start recognize true hunger. Cravings will be minimal and you will feel full!
If you like objective data and if tracking helps you stay structured, there are many (free!) apps that are easy to work with and are extremely helpful. Check out MyFitnessPal, Carb Manager, Carb Tracker, and the super popular Keto App. This Keto app is very user-friendly and tracks all of your commonly used foods/meals, you can save specific meals for future use, and best of all – it tracks your NET carbs (total carbs – fiber = net carbs). Super easy.
The plan is simple. Avoid bread, oats, grains, pasta, fruit, and starchy veggies like potatoes. Also, I highly suggest you start to limit your intake of dairy (hello inflammation). Read your food labels and check carb count and the ingredient list. Remember, this is a healthy keto-ish approach. Limit the processed crap. Before you roll your eyes and moan that this is too hard, give it a solid 4-6 week effort. When your body becomes fat adapted, you will FEEL the difference.
Here’s the Keto-ish GP (gameplan): Stock up on veggies (steamed and raw), lettuce for salads, eggs, avocados, grass-fed meats, poultry, salmon, tuna, pork (hello bacon), nuts, nut butters, coconut oils, kerrygold butter, avocado mayos, avocado oil dressings, pink Himalayan sea salt (electrolytes!) and maybe some premade guacamole. Because you always say yes to guac. If you’re still not sure what to eat - think cobb salads, bunless burgers, steamed veggies with coconut oil or kerrygold butter, chicken dips, taco salads, and one of my fave keto-ish foods… buffalo chicken wings. I like a routine. So for me, a big ass salad a day is both healthy and simple!
All in all, if you’re just getting into the swing of this and are new to the
“keto” game – a keto-ish lifestyle is likely a great option for you to begin your
LCHF journey. Keep your carbs low, eat a decent amount of
protein, a LOT of healthy fats, (say yes to extra guac), and you should be good to go!