6 ways to start keto in the new year – Adapt Your Life® Academy



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6 ways to start keto in the new year

How should you get started with keto in this new year?

Keep the carbs low

The number one way to start the keto diet in the new year to ensure that it is successful is to cut the carbs and keep them under 20 total grams for the day. I’ve been teaching a prescription-strength version of a keto diet at Duke University for over 20 years in the research and clinical setting, and keto is not a type of food; it’s not a brand of food or diet, it’s a metabolic state. Keto means that your body is using ketones instead of glucose in many places, and your body is using fatty acids in most places. Fatty acids and ketones are the fuel, not carbs. The way to get your body into a fat-burning state is to cut the carbs, and keep them low, and your body will automatically start burning fat.

All humans become fat burners if they don’t eat anything for three days or so because that’s what we store in our bodies: fat. You generate ketones from your own body fat which means you don’t need to add in exogenous ketones and have ketone drinks and all those sorts of things. So, the number one way to start the keto diet this new year is to keep the carbs low: 20 total grams per day, not net carbs. Net carbs are where you subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols on the assumption that they don’t affect your metabolism, but in my experience, in many cases, it does affect the metabolism. So, I always teach total carbs, not net carbs.

Remove temptations in the new year

Clean out the pantry and get rid of all the high-carb foods if you can. It certainly makes it easier if there are no tempting carbs around the house. A lot of times people will just all decide to do it together in a household, but try to, if you can, clean out the pantry or keep the carbs separate from your foods, and you’ll even find that over time, the pantry becomes a dwindling source of the food, and it’s the refrigerator where all of the great healthy foods are kept because they’re fresh. Clean out the pantry if you can, and the cupboards. Remember, if you’ve done this before, after a couple of days, your hunger is gone and you have all of this “willpower” when it’s really not willpower; you’re just not hungry. If you’ve never tried a keto diet before, the secret is that after a day or two, you’re just not hungry. That’s because your body is burning that stored fat, as I mentioned. It’s there to be used; you just have to keep the carbs super low.

Prioritize protein

A lot of my patients at Duke are surprised that I don’t teach that you have to have MCT oil, butter in your coffee, and ketone drinks. No. Protein comes first. Make protein a priority. That’s just general, sound nutritional advice. Our bodies are made of protein – amino acids, the building blocks of pretty much all of our cells and proteins. So you want to be sure that protein is a priority. If you’re eating a largely animal-sourced type of keto diet, you don’t have to worry about adding much or any fat because the fat will be coming with the protein. If you have eggs, chicken, poultry, meat, shellfish, and fish, you’re going to be getting the fats with the proteins that you eat. I don’t really have to worry about telling people to have fat because they’ll get enough of it in the food. If you’re trying to lose the fat off your body, I don’t want you to add fats and oils to your food because I want your body to burn its own body fat. That’s where the ketones come from, from your own body fat.

Stay away from “keto” products

Avoid packaged food that’s labeled as “keto” or “great for a keto diet.” The food industry got us off track many years ago with low-fat, high-carb products. Well, now, our ultra-processed food industry is creating keto products, so you want to be very careful. Don’t look at just the marketing and labeling on the front; you want to go to the nutrition facts. And yes, look at the total carbohydrate. The system I teach is actually pretty simple: just watch the total carbohydrates, and you’ll find that a lot of these keto products are not low in total carbohydrates. Remember to stay under about 20 total grams for the day. One of my patients said this is a lot easier than doing a calorie-restricted diet. There, I had to count to 1200 calories; here, I just count to 20. The system that we’ve developed at Duke and we’ve studied and published in peer-reviewed journals doesn’t even require you to count carbs at all because if you just stay on the list of foods, you are going to be keeping the carbs under 20 automatically.

Customize fast food

In North Carolina, where I work at Duke in Durham, most of my patients will eat out at restaurants or fast food pretty much once or twice a week or more. Some of my patients only eat out; they never cook food for themselves. I’ve had to learn how to help people when they’re going out to fast food or other restaurants, and it’s fine. Again, you just watch the carbs. If you go to a burger place and get a couple of burgers, it could be a cheeseburger or a bacon cheeseburger, don’t eat the bun. You don’t have to eat the bun, fries, or consume sugar in the drinks. Grilled chicken is the chicken of choice or rotisserie chicken, not chicken with a carb-based breading or batter on it. A lot of chicken is consumed in North Carolina, I have to tell you. Wings would be fine, ideally “naked” wings, meaning no carbs or breading on it.

If you’ve done keto for a while, you might have even tried this idea of using pork rinds as the breading on your chicken, fish, or pork chops – it’s actually remarkably good. Not everyone likes it, but these are just simple ideas to try if you want. It’s not forbidden to go out to fast food and other restaurants. In fact, you can save time and have someone else prepare the food for you sometimes.

Don’t overdo it on fat

Don’t over consume fat. The current keto internet craze out there is all about adding oils and butter and having an unlimited amount of fats. If you’re trying to do keto to fix your metabolism, like to reverse type 2 diabetes, obesity, high triglycerides, or metabolic syndrome, then you don’t want to over consume fat. In my method, we have a list of foods for you for guidance, and we limit things like cheese (because cheese has lots of fat in it), mayonnaise, cream and other dairy you want to limit as well, not just because of the carbs, but also because of the fat. My method blends a carb restriction and calorie restriction idea together all in one program. I didn’t make this program up; I borrowed the knowledge from the doctors who were using this in the late 1990s, Dr. Atkins, Dr. Eades, Dr. Rosedale, and Dr. Bernstein. These are all doctors using this.

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