Getting starting with Keto is a little confusing without the help of a Keto dietician. Keto Do’s and Don’ts are something you should know before you jump into the wagon. When you start losing weight on Keto, family and friends will start noticing almost immediately. The sides will start slimming, and the weight loss will immediately show on your face. And when you have been classified as ‘fat’ all your life, you don’t know how to react initially.
When I started losing weight, and people started noticing, I was very confused in the mind. I didn’t know what to say or how to react. I was not sure of myself. I was not even sure if I will be able to stick to this new regime. After a few weeks, I felt much more confident and started giving the response – I am on Keto.
But in India it’s not easy, carbohydrates are an essential part of our meals. Our meals are always accompanied by rice, naan or roti or pita bread. So when you sit on the dining table and your plate is devoid of carbs, it is bound to raise eyebrows. How long will you stay like this? Will, your body gets weak? Will you start eating carbs after you reach your target weight?
I still get these questions and when I say that I gave up roti and rice, they give me blank expressions of utter disbelief. Keto comes with its unique social stigmas, which nobody really talks about. When you are at work you have to politely decline the slice of pizza or a piece of cake from a colleague’s birthday party. Some people assume in ignorance that you are the fussy one. While others rebuke you for trying another diet. When you go out with friends they see you scanning the menu for low carb options. Then you feel totally out of place when you pick a salad or a small portion of peanuts or a cup of sugarless coffee. But the trauma does not end there, while you pretend to be normal, in your mind you are wanting to add the figures of the salad to your MFP in order to know you are ok.
I have seen Keto works really well for couples who do it together and families who switch to it together. And if you are really determined, take the plunge alone like me and like so many others like me. And like I always say do it for yourself, not your boyfriend, husband or parents. Nobody likes to be fat and out of shape. None of us are happy, being stared at or made feel like bloated whales. I am almost five months into Keto and there are days when I feel that I am slipping. There are days when I ask myself, why am I doing this? There is a whole world of chocolates, cakes, and junk food out there, asking me to eat them? And we also have doctors and doctors who will be able to fix me if something went wrong. Then I remember the look on my daughter’s faces when I used to got to school for parent-teacher meetings. The disgust and the embarrassment they felt when other children asked them why their mother was so fat, or they termed me as a fatso, broke my heart into a million pieces.
On one birthday, my daughter asked me for a promise to get thin and fit as her gift. And when I started losing weight the twinkle in her eyes was priceless. I want to be fit, in order to live their special moments with them. I am committed to looking my best on their graduations, weddings, and other special occasions. I also want to look at the coolest grandma on the block. My days of embarrassment are over, or almost over. I cannot give up now; I have to do this for myself, as this might be my last shot at it.
I can safely say now that a Keto lifestyle is easy to follow, it is ideal for people who don’t have time to gym or are just plain lazy. And most effective for people who are the verge of contracting some health-related disease, due to obesity.
In this post, I have also tried to outline a diet list of foods you can eat on Keto, for beginners and for people contemplating about Keto. I have tried to include all that is available globally and specifically in India. Do add on if I missed out on something.
Keto Diet Food List: What to Eat and What not!
The moment you decide to go on a Keto diet, there are a million questions that burst into your head. What to eat and what not to eat?
Is this Keto? Is this not Keto? Should I eat it or not?
The millions of websites only end up adding to the confusion. I for one had never bothered finding out about MCT oils or trans fat or collagen or potassium levels. I was not bothered, because I was a fat person living in my fat world, eating away to glory.
Since I switched to Keto, I look for Keto-friendly foods. I look at the labels. And I calculate my carbs before eating. It doesn’t sound like the older me at all. But in reality, Keto is very simple. Just remember the golden rule-
Keep the carbs below 30g.
When you pick your food, look for good quality food and don’t just check the carbs. A common problem that we face in India, is that we don’t get a food break up written on most products. Honestly, if you ask me the foods that do have labels I have my doubts about their reliability.
What should you eat and avoid ??
Eat meat, eggs, vegetables, and fruits rarely. Avoid processed food and food which has preservative and artificial colors. The diet is not just about losing weight it is primarily about becoming healthy.
What can you eat without feeling any guilt?
• Mutton, chicken, all kinds of fish, seafood, pork, and eggs.
• Eggs, bacon
• Liver, kidneys, and brain.
• Pork fat, duck fat, chicken fat, coconut oil
• Ghee, butter
• Good quality olive oil
• Oils derived from seafood and fatty fish
• All kinds of green leafy vegetables, spinach, fenugreek, lettuce, bok choy, celery, asparagus
• Radishes, cucumber, zucchini, water gourd, bitter gourd, ridged gourd.
Fruits, Nuts, and Seeds
• Coconut, avocado
Beverages and Condiments
• Lots of water.
• Coffee black or with cream or coconut milk
• Tea, black or green
• Sugarfree mayonnaise, soya sauce, bone broth,
• Most herbs, lemons, lime juice, and zest
• Whey protein
• Egg white protein
• Hormone-free gelatin
Only eat sometimes?
Vegetables and Fruits
• Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnip, and fennel.
• Eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes.
• Spring onions, onions, mushrooms, garlic, pumpkin.
• Peas, snow peas, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, okra
• All kinds of berries, olives
Grain-fed animal sources and Dairy
• Beef, plain full fat yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu
• All products that are labeled low fat, as they are high on sugar and fat.
Nuts and seeds
• Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds.
• Artificial sweeteners like Stevia.
• Sugarfree ketchup and purees
• Cocoa and extra dark chocolate. Only 90% will do.
• Avoid sugarfree mints and gums.
Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, and Seeds with Average Carbohydrates, to be avoided
• Celery, beetroot, carrot, sweet potato.
• Watermelon, cantaloupe, apricot, peach, apple, kiwi, orange, plums, cherries, and figs.
• Pistachio and cashew nuts, chestnuts
• Dry red wine, unsweetened spirits, dry white wine to be avoided.
• Vodka with water, to be consumed rarely.
- Foods rich in carbohydrates
• All kinds of grains, potatoes.
• All products made with grains, namely breads, pizza, and pasta.
• Sweet and sugary food items.
• Foods with gluten, msg, and bpa’s.
• Avoid sweeteners like Equal, Sugarfree. And others that contain aspartame, sucralose, saccharin.
• Refined oils and margarine.
• Readymade low carb, or zero carb products.
• Sodas and juices.
• Alcohol, beer, cocktails, wine
• Pineapples, bananas, mango, papaya, oranges, grapes
• No fruit juices
• Dates, raisins
• Avoid products with MSG
I also have this very useful link, which was shared with me by a fellow Ketoite. You can bookmark it and refer to it whenever you are in doubt.