Keto rules are really simple and the good news is: Keto is one of the easiest lifestyles to follow. You start thinking rules and then your inner voice is yelling at you when you do something you perceive as wrong.
These are not the kind of rules that make your inner voice into a raging bitch. These are more like guidelines anyway (think Pirates of the Carribean when you read that phrase).
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Okay. On to the guidelines…
7 Keto Rules or Guidelines
1. Watch Your Macros
Don’t just watch them. Track them. Make sure they are as close as you can possibly get them to your specified percentages (75% Fat, 20% Protein, 5% Carbs). If weight loss isn’t your goal and you are following a Keto lifestyle for the health benefits, then, by all means, you can wing it a little.
If you are in it for the long haul and still trying to shed some weight, then you need to be tracking your macros and eating at a small calorie deficit. You can use a fitness app like MyFitnessPal to keep yourself on track.
Don’t sweat a day or two if the numbers are off. Re-adjust and get back on track!
2. Carbs Matter
Ketogenic means you are eating low carb. Very low carb. You need to be at or less than 25 grams of carbs per day. Some people say you can still be in ketosis at 50-100 grams but if you are serious about weight loss, then you might want to stick to the lower end.
If you are feeling drained of energy or not optimal, then go ahead and have a carb up meal or a carb refueling day (with healthy carbs such as potatoes, fruit, or other grainless options).
Eating vegetables is still a good thing for your body and you need to be adding them to your plate at each meal. Nutrient-dense options like spinach, kale, mushrooms, and arugula are good staples to have on hand.
3. Eat Your Protein
It’s easy to get sucked into all the fat bombs and other ways to get calories when you are eating Keto. This does not mean you should skimp on your protein.
Protein is one of the more filling macronutrients. It will help you to feel less hungry and your body needs it to build muscle, fuel your brain, and to keep your metabolism humming.
You need protein in your diet whether you are an omnivore or a vegetarian. If you are having trouble getting your protein macro in the sweet spot with regular foods, try a protein shake. Just don’t opt for the soy or gluten based variety. There are a number of vegan protein shakes that are hemp or pea-based that actually taste decent. This is one of my favorites: Organic Vegan Protein.
4. Fat is Fuel
Fat is the cornerstone of a Ketogenic Diet. You can’t say you are eating keto but then shy away from the fat on a piece of meat or buy low-fat dressings. It doesn’t work that way.
The majority of your calories need to come from fat.
Quality fat sources are good for you and will help to make your body run optimally. It’s really easy to overeat fat when you finally get over your fear of it. Make sure you are tracking those macros!
Great fat sources are nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oils, grass-fed butter, organic cuts of meat, and coconut oil.
5. No Packaged Meals
Your meals should be as close to the original sources as possible. Fresh salads, grilled meats, organic berries and cheeses in moderation.
Do not try to fill up on meal replacement bars or shakes and powders. You will get bored and that bag of potato chips will be screaming your name!
Shakes and snack bars work if you are in hurry or on the go and need something to help you stay on track. Just don’t make it your main staple.
6. Hit the Sack
It doesn’t matter if you are Keto or not. Sleep is important. Uninterrupted, quality, no technology sleep.
Make your bedroom a sacred “sleep zone”.
Get blackout curtains.
Put your phone in “do not disturb” mode and don’t check it in the middle of the night. If you can’t handle that, then keep it in the kitchen and check in in the morning.
Run a fan or find some form of white noise that will drown out the noises from the neighbors or that damn dog down the street.
Not sleeping well increases your cortisol levels which in turn run havoc on your hormones. All this adds up to extra inches on your waistline.
Especially if you get moody when you are running on less than a full nights sleep. You are way more likely to reach for sugary high carb snacks to try and overcompensate for not having enough energy to get through the day.
To help transition into ketosis and start burning fat, you need to have the correct balance of electrolytes. Most recommend 5000-7000 mg/day of sodium, 1000-3500 mg/day of potassium, and 300-500 mg/day of magnesium.
Having a good balance of electrolytes will help you to avoid the Keto Flu which includes muscle cramps, fatigue, bad breath, and constipation.
You can take supplements to help keep your electrolytes in balance. You can also drink broth or pickle juice. I recommend Bubbies fermented pickle juice. It not only has electrolytes but it also has probiotics. It’s a double win!
The Easy 7 Rules of Keto
There you have it. The seven rules of keto. It’s a short and sweet list that really shouldn’t be that daunting to tackle.
If you find yourself getting off track or needing a little extra support to get the scale moving again reread this list. It’s a great refresher and will help you to sort out where you might be going wrong.
Get the scale moving again or continuing to reap the health benefits. Whatever your reason for following a Ketogenic Lifestyle, this list of 7 rules will help you stay on track.