A Beginner’s Guide to Keto Dieting

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You’ve probably noticed the buzz and heard all about it, but do you know what the ketogenic diet actually entails? We put together a short guide that covers the basics.

What is it?

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Ketogenic diets are low-carb high-fat diets that place the body into ketosis; a state where ketones, from fat cells, rather than blood sugar from carbohydrates, are released into the bloodstream. In ketosis, your body draws energy from the ketones and begins burning the fat stored in your body.

One diet, many ways to do it

While the fundamental rules of the diet are pretty set, there’s more than one way to Keto. The three main types of Keto diets are as follows:

Standard Ketogenic Diet: The macro split is like this: 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs.

Targeted Ketogenic Diet: If you have high-level fitness goals, try this. It allows you to add more carbs before and after workouts.

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: High-fat for most of the week with one or two days of added carbs – if you’re an athlete, pick this one.

Ketogenic strict example dishes

What do you eat?

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Regardless of the Keto diet you end up on, you’ll always be advised to eat whole, minimally processed foods. Here are some examples:

  • Fatty meats like beef, ham, bacon and sausage
  • Fatty fish – tuna, mackerel and salmon
  • Dairy – butter, cheese, full-fat yogurt, cream
  • Eggs (a great source of Omega-3!)
  • Olive and coconut oil
  • Nuts and seeds, which are great sources of fat and protein
  • Low-carb veggies like avocados, leafy greens, peppers and tomatoes

What’s off-limits?

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Remember, the goal is whole foods that are low-carb and high-fat. That means you’ll want to avoid these:

  • Grains and anything made from wheat, barley or rice (yes, that means no more bread!)
  • Beans and legumes are typically high in starch, so you’ll need to pass up lentils and chickpeas
  • Fruit and berries are permitted, but they contain natural sugar and carbohydrates, so it’s best to avoid them
  • High-carb veggies like potatoes, carrots, and root vegetables
  • Candy, soda, sweets, cakes, ketchup, salad dressing – Keto means cutting sugar, so you’ll need to be careful with all you’re eating
  • Alcohol – it contains a lot of carbs!

It can be daunting to read a list like that – there seems to be a whole lot you can’t eat – but there is a lot you can eat! The Lifesum app has more than enough Keto-friendly recipes to keep you satisfied so you won’t go hungry and you’ll still enjoy eating. You’re sure to find something you’ll like!


While the Keto diet is less restrictive in terms of what you can eat, there are still a number of things to consider before you commit.

  1. Cutting carbs is hard – getting your body into ketosis and maintaining the state of ketosis is challenging. Some people experience negative reactions to lower sodium and electrolyte levels (known as Keto flu), and entering ketosis can take anything from a day to a week.
  2. Carbs are everywhere – the best way to make sure you don’t exceed carbohydrate intake is to monitor everything meticulously. Pick one of Lifesum’s Keto diet plans and once all your limits are set it will guide you to the right foods and recipes to help you eat the right amount.
  3. Think long-term – successfully adopting the Keto diet won’t just help you lose weight but will give you long-term health benefits that’ll make the hard work worth it!

One more thing

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A vital part of your Keto journey is understanding the difference between total carbs and net carbs. Total carbs are the total number of carbohydrates listed on a food product. Net carbs are the total number of carbs minus fiber.

This little detail might seem negligible, until you’re looking at your recommended carb-intake and the number is very small. Calculating net carbs rather than total carbs means you’re able to eat a little more, which is kind of a big deal when you’re limited to a certain amount each day.

And here’s the best news: Lifesum counts net carbs. The app has all you need to successfully start your Keto journey, all the way down to the last gram of carb.

Interested in giving it a try?

Download the app today to get started with you Ketogenic Diet Plan plan today!

With Lifesum, tracking your healthy habits (and the not so healthy ones) becomes a breeze. We’ll help you pick the right food, and eat the right portion sizes, to reach your personal health goals.

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