Keto & fasting 5 – First step in changing from a standard diet to a keto diet – just eat real food

in #health6 years ago (edited)

More on what I learnt about health, weight loss and longevity in the Real Skinny on Fat online summit. I’m aiming to summarise 30+ hours of videos and many pages of notes into a series of posts that are simple to understand.

Post 1 was about how we were made to fear dietary fat, why we don’t need to, and why that was disastrous.
Post 2 was about metabolic flexibility and how that ties in with ancestral eating (whatever that means to you).
Post 3 was about the importance of not eating continually, and how we can benefit from even a short break in eating.
Post 4 included some tips on how to switch from being a carb burner to a fat burner more easily
• Today is a digression from the summit to some of my hints - the first part of a step by step “How To” of actually changing the food. If you’re on a high carb, standard Western diet, this is probably more useful to start with than the last post.


Step 1

Although you might find it easier to start with step 2 (and that’s all good too), I want to start with this step for those of you who might already be on a lower sugar diet.

Before you start increasing your % of fats, it’s important to look at the quality of the fats you’re currently eating. The right fats are critical for health, but the wrong ones are very dangerous. So right at the start, let’s make sure they’re safe.

Rule of thumb: ask “Could my great grandmother have made this in her own kitchen?” If the answer is no, don’t eat it.

Safe to eat:

• Animal foods: butter, ghee, lard or bacon fat, poultry fat, tallow (from lamb or beef), cod liver oil, fish oil, dairy products such as cheese, cream or yoghurt (unless you’re intolerant) and egg yolks
• Plant foods: coconut oil, palm or palm kernel oil (whether they are sustainable is another issue), MCT oil, avocado oil, hemp oil, cocao (cacao) butter, extra virgin olive oil, small amounts of flax oil, as well as nuts, seeds, avocado and other coconut products

Unsafe to eat:

• Seed oils, canola oil, soy oil, safflower oil, anything that is called a vegetable oil without specifying will almost certainly be a seed oil
• Margarine or hydrogenated oils
• Anything commercially deep fried is likely to be cooked in bad fats


For more information about good vs bad fats and how to use them, see this previous post. Your might also find this post by @tamala helpful.

Step 2

The next step is to eliminate all (or at least most) processed foods from your kitchen and return to eating real food, ideally mostly made at home.

I’ve written in detail before about what this includes and there are links to those posts below. But let’s break it down into some specific examples.

Soda / soft drinks

For a lot of people, these are a huge source of empty and harmful calories. You may say that you only drink diet soda, thinking that’s better. Not so. The artificial sweeteners are as harmful, possibly more so, than the sugar. So, what to do.

• The newer ones, sweetened with stevia eg Zevia are better, so a step in the right direction. But did our ancestors drink soda? No, they drank water.
• So, taking another step, think about swapping the occasional one out for sparkling mineral water.
• Eventually aim for no sodas, all water. A combination of still and sparkling is fine.

Sugar in hot drinks

More empty calories that you can do without. There are a couple of ways you can do this:

• Have a little less sweetener each time you make a hot drink
• Or swap to natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey (and then decrease those too). Some people find stevia or monkfruit to be good no calorie sweeteners, and they don’t have the health drawbacks that artificial sweeteners do.


Reduce your processed foods

• Look at what you’re buying in packets, in cans or frozen. Some of these can be fine eg tinned fish, frozen fruit and vegetables, but most have undesirable additives.
• Look at the ingredients and see which ones need to go in the bin. Especially bad are additives like artificial anything, MSG and GMOs.
• What can you make yourself without sugar and other unnecessary additives?
• Aim to make most of your food at home from fresh, local whole foods. Start by choosing one food and swapping it out. Gradually replace everything
• What are you using for sweeteners in baking? Opt for natural sweeteners like the ones above.
• When you eat out, look for places that use fresh foods

This is a pretty quick overview. For more detailed help, see some of my previous posts:
How to get started on a Real Food diet Part 1
Why use Real Food diets for healing
How to get started on a Real Food diet Part 2

If you have specific favourite foods that you’re worried about, that you don’t know how to swap out for real food, feel free to ask in the comments.

Special note for @kiwiscanfly – you were asking about those packets of choccie bikkies that you keep for when you’ve got the munchies – it’s bloody simple mate, don’t buy them! I could give you recipes for things to make that are healthier. Or you could just keep some 72% dark chocolate for such occasions. Few and far between as they are, it could sit there for ages. Just kidding…

Step 3

Now that you’ve cut out your added sugars, and bad fats, the next step is to start cutting down your carb levels. So look at the diary you’ve been keeping of your breakdown, and see where the biggest hits of carbs are coming from. Hint, they probably include this staple food.


I’m trying to keep my posts a bit shorter, so more on that next time, but in the meantime, if there is any particular carby food you’d like tips on, pop it in the comments.

Step 4

This step involves reducing protein, and of course, continuing to increase fat. We’ll talk more about that in the next posts too, including what @sift666 and I have been eating for the last couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading

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Great article! I agree taking baby steps toward ketosis can benefit those who are carb-aholics. Those who are already low sugar can jump right over.

Another post I did on healthy alternative sweeteners is here if you care to check it out. In the case of keto, I only suggest Xylitol or Erythritol. Stevia is my last choice as I really don't like the flavor.

Another sweetener (which isn't actually a sweetener) I recently learned about is Glycine. The amino acid Glycine actually has a sweet taste and works great in coffee or tea (not for baking) - 1/4 teaspoon and you get the benefits of Glycine along with a little boost of sweet. For a deep dive into the benefits of Glycine, including regulating blood sugar and sleep, you can listen to this panel discussion by Chris Masterjohn Ph.D.

Looking forward to your next post!
In Peace, Love, and Health

I don't really like the flavour of stevia either, though a lot of people don't notice the aftertaste. I've had some issues with xylitol, but have been meaning to try out erythritol and see if I tolerate that better. I'm not that keen on the flavour of monkfruit either, but have ordered a bag of that mixed with erythritol for my mum and will keep a little bit to try out. Thanks for the link. The more resources and alternatives for people to try, the better.

I'm also intrigued by glycine. I'm a big fan of Chris Masterjohn, so will check out that link. Thanks!

I am finding the less Sugar i eat the less i want it plus living on 800 calories with The BSD diet i am not hungry. I eat well plus got my portion size right:)

Great to hear you're not feeling hungry on the diet and are finding it good to do.

Yes, sugar is very addictive, and it's very freeing when we break the physical addiction to it. Just some warning - it you have go to out somewhere and have a bit, you will find yourself looking aimlessly in the fridge and cupboard the next day - it's triggered again that quickly. But if you know it's going to happen, you just ride it out and within a couple of days it passes again.

I have a meal planned at the end of the month, I will stick to steak and salad no dressing and drink water, i won't have any pudding. We went out last week for a birthday meal, I ordered a burger then removed the bun and just ate the meat plus gave the chips away. was very proud of myself :)

Well done! Saying No to the bread and potato is one step harder than just cutting out the sugars, but you're doing it! To make then salad a bit more interesting, you could always take your own dressing in a little bottle. Just some lemon juice and olive or avocado oil mixed together, with a dash of salt.

That's a good idea, I'll go buy a little pot to carry it in. I'm determined to get this weight off :)

Good post. I pretty much eat the way you suggest. Also have the advantage of being naturally thin. :-)

Ya lucky bugger! Of course, the good eating helps.

I'm really enjoying these series of posts, thank you. I have one obsession which is potato. My preference is hot chips which I know is not a good option, but what about homemade crispy potatoes - roasted in coconut oil? Is this a food that I should be avoiding?

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If you want to get into ketosis, or if you are intolerant to nightshades (eg might have arthritis), better to avoid potatoes altogether. If you want to lose some weight, they might nor be the best choice, but ok occasionally.

Other than that, homemade crispy potatoes, in coconut oil, sound great. Flavour-wise, I'd be more inclined to go with lard or duck fat, but coconut oil is good too.

Thanks Deb for all the research again. Good rule of thumb about if your GG couldn’t make it in her kitchen, don’t eat it. I’m surprised about canola oil under the unsafe. I have been using it for cooking.

Many people use canola, as it's so neutral and has a reasonably high smoke point. But if you want to read up a bit more about the dangers, there area lot of articles about it. Here's just one of them:

I hope everything is OK with you. It's been a while. Don't mean to intrude.

Not at all. Thanks for checking in. I had a family commitment that took all my free time for a few weeks, then I went to Samoa, and now I'm off to a conference in half an hour. But hopefully after that, I'll be back posting soon!

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great info about keto diet sir.... thank you for the post!!

This is a magnificent blog @kiwideb You have given us a lot of vital information with lots of sound advice, most of which I follow. Thanks very much for sharing your knowledge with us. 🌺

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