Keto Diet Beginner Guide: Keto Rules for the First Three Weeks
Getting ready to start a Keto Diet
So you are planning to start a Keto Diet, and you are doing a lot of research. There is so much information on the internet regarding the Keto Diet, ketones, ketosis, and the history of the ketogenic diet.
Many keto beginners suffer from paralysis-by-analysis; and I don’t blame them. I created this rules of keto beginners guide to give you the basic keto rules all in one place.
What Kind of Keto Diet are these beginners rules for?
Here at Advantage Meals, we believe strongly that there is no one right way to Keto. Everyone is different, and what really works for you will be slightly different than what works for me.
If your keto gives you the wellness results you are seeking, your Keto is Keto enough for us.
That being said, in our experience, starting a Keto Diet by following these tried-and-true Keto Rules for the First Three Weeks will give you the best foundation to achieve and sustain ketosis. There will be plenty of time to experiment with your keto way of eating later.
Keto is a lifestyle, and you’ll find that how you keto changes over time. However, if you start a keto diet with these rules, figuring out how to tweak it later will be much easier.
The Keto Diet Rules for Keto Beginners
- Keep carbs under 25 net grams. Low carb intake is the key to ketosis, and all the rest is just details. Look at the label on the food you are considering. Total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols equals net carbs. Pay attention to labels and nutrition information, and make sure your net carb intake is less than 25 grams per day.
- Eat plenty of fat. Between 70-80% of your daily calories should come from fat. As you transition into ketosis, you are training your body to use fat as its main fuel source. Depriving your body of glucose (carbs) will get you there, but you will feel much better and transition easier if you eat plenty of fat while your body is learning. There will be a time later when you may want to lower your fat intake, but not during this first three weeks. If you are having trouble getting enough fat, look to fat boosters (the easiest way) or fat bombs.
- Eat enough protein. Between 15-25% of your daily calories should come from protein. Too much, and you may not eat enough fat to feel energetic. Too little, and your body will start to cannibalize your muscle tissue for its protein needs.
- Follow the Basic Ketogenic Meal Template. Each meal should include a palm-sized portion of protein, a handful of non-starchy vegetables, and at least a couple of spoonfuls of fat.
- Track your macros. Until you are familiar with how much fat, protein and carbs are in the foods you eat, it is difficult to keep on track without keeping track. First figure out what your macros should be, then track them daily for three weeks. You can use an app like MyFitnessPal and enter the foods you eat each day or you can follow a program that has figured it all for you, like No Cook Keto.
- Drink water. Ketosis is diuretic by nature, which means you are shedding water faster than when eating a high carb diet. You don’t want to add dehydration to the process of transitioning into being ketone adapted!
- Supplement electrolytes. This is extremely important! Add pink sea salt to your meals to make sure you get enough sodium. Use Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops to make sure you get enough magnesium. Eat potassium rich foods, such as avocados and dark, leafy greens. (These also have magnesium, but it is not as easily absorbed.)
- Don’t skip your electrolytes! Yes, it’s on here again. It’s that important. Make sure your supplements are high enough in the electrolytes you need. PowerAde Zero is often suggested, but it is woefully short in magnesium (2 mg), potassium (24 mg) and sodium (100 mg). Once again, use Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops to make sure you get enough magnesium.
- Don’t cheat. There will be a time for experimenting with your macros and going on carb adventures later. During your first three weeks, don’t stray from the plan. Even “just a little” sugar (or fries or pasta or crackers or a soda pop…) will be enough to knock you out of ketosis. If you’ve made it through the keto flu, it could even be enough to put you back into the flu. Your body will adjust and eventually you won’t have to be as strict. For now, stay strong. You can do this!
Find these Keto Rules Helpful?
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Some quick notes about these Keto Rules
These rules are not a master course for the ketogenic diet, why it works or how it works. This is a list of rules to follow every day for the first three weeks. Follow these rules, and you’ll be happily producing ketones and seeing results in short order.
Why Three Weeks? Because almost everyone can make the transition into ketosis within three weeks. Most people can do it much faster if you follow these keto rules. Sticking to the rules for three weeks allows your body to begin to become fat adapted, which is when keto weight loss becomes effortless.
These Keto Rules are short, sweet, to the point. However, they are not negotiable.
Too often, we’ve seen people not take these rules seriously and then not understand why Keto is really hard for them or they have trouble getting into ketosis and staying in ketosis.
Missing any of the ketogenic basics defined in these rules often leads to common mistakes that lead to hardship and failure.
Are these Keto Rules for Life?
These rules are for the first three weeks.
If you are feeling great at the end of three weeks, by all means, you can choose to stick with these rules!
If you’re doing great, but not feeling great or are struggling with the restrictions, then start experimenting a bit. However, take your time and turn one dial (rule) at a time and find out how your body reacts to your new keto experiment.
This is for life, there’s no rush here.
If you are following these rules and not in ketosis at the end of three weeks, don’t give up. Your body may have lots of metabolic clean up to do, and that takes time.
Your Keto Shopping List
Ready to make your first trip to the grocery store for keto staples?
Check out our free Top 15 Keto Diet Grocery List to find the keto essentials that will help you follow these rules as you make the transition to become a fat burning person.
If you want a more complete list, check out our Budget Keto Shopping List that expands from the Essential 15 to over 50 Budget Friendly Keto Grocery Items.
Easiest Keto Meal Plan?
Does the keto diet still seem complex and overwhelming even with these simple keto rules?
Do you wish someone would do all the planning for you?
Well, we’ve done it. Our No Cook Keto is a 3-week meal plan that is the easiest way to get into ketosis. This super easy keto meal plan isn’t for everyone, but it might be for you. Wouldn’t it be nice to know once and for all if the keto diet will work for you?
Founder Advantage Meals
Angela earned her Master's Degree in Holistic Nutrition 14 years ago and began her lifelong journey of nutrition and wellness learning. She began keto meal planning and cooking over a decade ago when she began working with local clients who were under the direct supervision of a medical doctor. Angela is the author of No Cook Keto, the easiest keto meal plan available.
Disclaimer: I am neither a licensed nutritionist nor medical professional. I never prescribe diets. I only share my personal experiences and those of my clients for informational purposes only. Nutrition details are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be considered medical nutritional data. You should consult your medical professional before making any major changes in the way you eat.