Starter guide

All you need to do is cut out sugar and all starches (rice, flour, grains, potatoes, bread etc.). You will need extra salts to help you. See our guide on electrolytes below.

Every day eat protein as you normally would, roughly 1g per kilo of IDEAL body weight. And eat 20g of carbohydrates that comes from vegetables that grow above ground.

And here’s the best bit, EAT FAT. Yes, that’s right, put cream in your coffee, add Olive or avocado oil to salads, fry in butter, coconut oil, ghee, bacon fat, dripping or lard. Eat enough fat to stop you being hungry. Doing this helps repair your metabolism. You need to reassure your body that you are feeding it, and this will allow you to hear your hunger hormones without them being disrupted by manufactured processed food designed to make you crave more of the same.

For one month avoid alcohol, artificial sweeteners, milk and peanuts, then you will be able to gauge the effect they have on your cravings and your weight, if and when you reintroduce them.

No processed oils like sunflower, canola, one calorie spray, margarine or fake cream (only use real cream).

In time, you may need to adjust your protein/fat ratio. Your goals might have changed regarding maintaining weight or increasing fitness levels

See the links below to find out more

What can i eat/shopping list
Breakfast ideas

Bullet proof coffee or hot chocolate

(Coffee/square of 100% dark chocolate, water, coconut oil, cream, butter, cocoa butter or any combination of these)

Chia seed Porridge

(Chia seeds, coconut milk, nutmeg and cinnamon, leave overnight.  Hot or cold)

Homemade granola

(Chopped nuts, coconut flakes and hemp hearts toasted gently by portion serve with cream or yogurt. You can make a large jar in advance.)

Wrap with bacon lettuce and tomato for example.

(Cheese and egg blended thoroughly and made into a wrap, filling of choice.)

Boiled egg and halloumi soldiers

Scrambled egg and smoked salmon

Yogurt and berries

Greek yogurt and fresh or frozen chopped berries.

Bacon and egg or avocado

Linseed or 90 second bread toasted with butter or cream cheese

(1 bag of Aldi linseed or similar, 6 eggs, 1tbspn Apple cider vinegar and a quarter tsp bicarbonate of soda mixed thoroughly and baked makes 12 slices which can be frozen. 1.5g carbs per slice.)

Leftovers.

Lunch ideas

Peppers stuffed with cream cheese or pate, topped with cucumber or seeds

Tuna mayo and celery

Egg mayo, cherry tomatoes and walnuts

Frittata or egg muffins

Leftover shredded pork and sauerkraut

Linseed bread with salmon and cream cheese

Walnut and celery mayonnaise

Keto wraps filled

Salad and bacon/chicken/anchovies/Cheese

Homemade coleslaw with ham

Pickles and cured meats and macadamia nuts

Homemade soup

Main meal ideas

Pork belly/chicken/beef stir fry

Cottage pie with cauliflower/celeriac mash

Fish “pie”

Pork/chicken and creamy cabbage

Pizziola with flattened pork/chicken fillet

Ham and cauliflower cheese

Chilli and cheese with buttered greens

Mousakka /Lasagne

Loaded burgers

Bacon/sausage meat and cheesy cabbage

Beef/chicken/pork stroganoff

 Beef hash

Chicken/beef/lamb curry

Chicken/meat satay kebabs

Chicken and pesto Courgetti

Chicken and leek pot pie

Fish, asparagus and wasabi butter

Liver bacon and shallots

Smoked garlic ribs

Stuffed peppers

Bolognese and Courgetti

Creamed broccoli and boneless chicken thighs

Salmon with salad or keto vegetables of choice

These are just ideas to get you started, there are many sites, books etc out there dedicated to keto. We do have recipes which are tried and tested by our chef and have shared with you on the recipe page. Browse and screenshot those you like the sound of. No annoying ads or superfluous information.

Quick start guide

A simple guide if you are starting out –  these are the absolute basics. If you have a lot of weight to lose or metabolic problems then you will need to work a little harder and do more reading, but we can certainly help with macros, tracking, advice and new information as it emerges. See our mentorship service.

 The best way to start losing weight and keep it off permanently is to give up sugar and sweeteners. There you have it. 

Sugar makes you eat more of everything; it hijacks your appetite control and makes a mockery of your willpower. Sweeteners trigger the same response in the body as sugar. The resources on this site can explain why. If you are not prepared to give up sugar for at least a full month, then chances are you will carry on yo-yo dieting forever.

It takes at least a month to do it- sugar is hiding in almost everything, (bread, beans, sliced meat, tinned soup, ketchup, sauces….)  It is not easy, and you will probably feel awful for a few days, but once you kick the habit your life will change forever and in a good way. I know, I wouldn’t have done it either – what is the point of life without cake I would have asked? Well the point is freedom. Freedom from your belly fat, from the guilt of your inability to eat in moderation, from constant cravings and from waiting until you are thinner to enjoy living your life.

If you can do this for a month you will feel a great sense of well-being and you should have a real handle on the difference a life without sugar makes. It is time to change your eating habits and watch the pounds melt away.

You should next be cutting out potatoes, cereal, rice, pasta and anything with white flour (wheat) or other grains in earnest. Your appetite should be much more stable now that sugar cravings have stopped and you will feel fuller on much less food, so I doubt this will cause you any hardship.

Of course, you can still enjoy all the cheese, meat, vegetables, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds you want. Also occasional berries.

The Plan: Eat when you are hungry, I know it sounds too simple but by now you should know the difference between sugar fuelled hunger and actual hunger.

Instead of carbohydrates, eat high fat foods.  Enough fat usually results in little or no hunger between meals. If hunger does strike, first make a mental note to ensure fat and protein intake are both adequate in future. Second, check you’re actually hungry and not just bored or thirsty. And third, have nuts such as almonds, macadamias, walnuts and brazils; olives or celery and some nut butter; cheese or hard boiled eggs on hand or when you are out and about.

 

The principle behind this change of lifestyle is simple.

As you eat carbohydrates (flour and sugar products) you excrete Insulin. Insulin production inhibits fat burning. It actually stops your body from using your own fat as fuel, AND it deposits all the calories you consumed from the excess carbohydrates into your fat cells. So you can see why you’re just getting fatter and why it is so difficult to lose weight. The idea is to keep your Carbohydrate consumption to less than 20g net carbs a day.

So that’s it, a quick informative plan to change your lifestyle; it’s a long-term decision to fuel your body in the way it was designed to be fuelled – to make it a more efficient fat burner rather than a carbohydrate dependent sugar burner. For proof of health benefits and more scientific information see below have a look at the resources page.

Other diets you may want to consider if you really cannot overcome your fear of fat are the Harcombe diet, the Pioppi diet, Paleo or Banting but low carb is by far the easiest in my opinion. All of them have cut out sugar because it really is the only thing that works. Give it a month, see the difference for yourself and be prepared to feel groggy on day 3 or 4, its withdrawal and your body adapting to burning fat instead of carbohydrates. Good Luck!

to weigh or not to weigh?

To Weigh or not to weigh?

 Your choice but remember, the scales can be a poor gauge of success.

 Don’t base your progress (or self- worth!) on a number. It is just one way to measure. Weigh yourself when you start and every so often during your journey, but please don’t weigh yourself every day. It can be really discouraging, and I personally believe it does more harm than good. You’re beautiful no matter what the scales say and that’s the truth whether you like it or not.

 If the scale hasn’t budged but your clothes are fitting looser and you look visibly fitter, chances are you have lost body fat and possibly gained some muscle.

 Choose an outfit that fits you really well right now and save them for later. Don’t throw them away no matter how loose they get. Try them on every now and then as time goes by. This was one of my favourite things to do! I still have my outfit!

Take pictures of your progress. Even if you are camera shy, do yourself a favour and shoot some “before” photos of yourself. You look at yourself in the mirror every day and it can be difficult to notice the change day to day. Progress photos and videos are SO powerful. Don’t skip this one! I promise, it’s worth it! 

No App? Use this simple guide to start you off

Choose a protein:

(a small fist size is roughly 20 grams).

Choose your vegetables:

(1 teacup full is roughly 5 grams of carbs).

Choose fats:

(1 heaped tablespoon is roughly 20 grams).

Chicken Cauliflower Cucumber Butter
Beef Broccoli Radish Coconut oil
Pork Courgette Fennel Extra virgin olive oil
Fish Brussels sprouts Swiss chard Lard
Lamb Cabbage Spring onions Ghee
Mince Spring greens Salad Cheese
Venison Kale Shallots Avocado
Seafood Cavolo Nero Leek Beef/Pork dripping
Eggs Spinach *Swede Double cream
Plant based protein Mushrooms *Celeriac Avocado/Walnut oil
Offal Celery *Turnip Cocoa butter

*These are higher carb so use in moderation

Electrolytes made simple

Why do you need electrolytes?

A keto lifestyle is diuretic in nature, meaning the kidneys shift from retaining water, and sodium, to flushing them. You will experience increased need to pee when switching to a keto lifestyle.

This flushing of excess fluid is normal but it’s easy to experience electrolyte imbalances and dehydration.  These electrolytes are necessary to enable many of the body’s biological processes, including proper function of the heart, muscles, nerves, even sleep.

A sudden shortage in these electrolytes is the culprit behind the muscle cramps, brain fog, headaches, low energy, and digestive and sleep issues that are commonly referred to in keto circles as the “keto flu”.

This is why you’ll often hear that you need to replenish keto electrolytes when starting out.

How much do I need to have daily?

All these electrolytes should be consumed daily and a proportion of this will come from the food that you eat:

5000 – 7000 mg of sodium

1000 – 3,500 mg of potassium

300 – 500 mg of magnesium

Most of us will not reach these suggested totals with food alone, but there are several ways to ingest extra electrolytes; so here are some good ways to reach your electrolyte requirements:

Sodium

Sodium is possibly the most important keto electrolyte. It’s also the one you’re most likely to lose when following the keto diet.  The best and most reliable source of sodium is sodium chloride.

Aim for an extra 1,500 – 2,300mg of sodium daily via:

  • Pink Himalayan salt (1 ½ tsp) on food or in an electrolyte drink
  • Broth or bouillon (1-2 cups per day)

Sodium imbalances are common and include too high or too low levels. Both can cause your cells to malfunction leading to lethargy, confusion, weakness and fluid retention.

Potassium

Potassium works in synergy with sodium to maintain fluid balance and electrical signals for normal brain and muscle functioning. Potassium also regulates blood pressure, cardiovascular health, and bone and muscle strength.

The best and most reliable source of potassium from food are:

  • Spinach (1 cup) – 840mg
  • Avocado (1/2 medium) – 500mg
  • Kale (1 cup) – 330mg
  • Mushrooms (1 cup) – 420mg
  • Lo-Salt – ¼ tsp (500mg) dissolved in an electrolyte drink (as a supplement if you are not getting enough from your diet)

Potassium imbalances may cause weakness, muscular cramps, constipation, irritability or skin problems, and in more severe cases, you may experience heart palpitations, irregular heartbeats. Too much is as bad as too little.

Magnesium

Magnesium is the most abundant of the of keto electrolytes, present in every cell in your body. It is also essential for normal functioning of skeletal and smooth muscles (blood vessel and organ muscles).

Magnesium is important for cellular energy metabolism, protein synthesis, cardiovascular health, blood glucose control, and nervous system functioning.

The best and most reliable source of magnesium from food are:

  • Spinach (1 cup) – 157mg
  • Swiss Chard (1 cup) – 154mg
  • Pumpkin Seeds (1/8 cup) – 90mg
  • Yogurt (Plain) – 50mg
  • Avocado (1/2 medium)– 30mg

Aim for an extra 200 – 500mg magnesium per day via supplements.

Not all magnesium supplements are created equal. Determine what you want to address in your body, then you have to do a little trial and error to find the best magnesium supplement for you.

Magnesium malate for energy, muscle soreness

Magnesium malate is a good one to take in the morning. It contains malic acid, which helps your cells make and use energy. It soothes muscle pain by relaxing tense areas and is beneficial for fibromyalgia.

Magnesium threonate for memory and brain

Your brain quickly absorbs magnesium threonate, making it a favourite to boost your brain and nervous system.  It not only promotes learning and retaining new information, it can also prevent memory deficits.

 

Magnesium citrate for relaxation

Magnesium citrate has calming properties. It promotes mental and muscle relaxation and reduces muscle cramping. It is more absorbable than magnesium oxide but you’re still on diarrhoea alert. Start small and work your way up to find your dose.

Magnesium glycinate for sleep

Magnesium glycinate is one of the most absorbable forms of magnesium you can take. It’s a good choice if you want to raise your levels quickly, and it’s especially a good choice if you get diarrhoea with other forms.

The glycine content in collagen is the reason a lot of people like to take a spoonful of collagen before bed. The magnesium is bound to glycine, a calming amino acid that helps you sleep.

The most common symptoms of magnesium deficiencies include depression, tiredness, muscle cramps, and heart palpitations.  If magnesium gives you anxiety or elevates your heart rate, you might have other minerals out of balance, like sodium and potassium. You also need adequate levels of vitamin B, and vitamin D to make sure you absorb the right amount.

In short, the best magnesium supplement is the one you take that’s right for you.

Dehydration on Keto

Water makes up more than 50% of your body and is probably the most important necessity in life.  Obviously, getting enough water is crucial for our ability to thrive.

Although everyone should be mindful of their body’s water requirements and stay hydrated, if you’re eating a ketogenic diet (at least in the beginning phase) you may have higher water needs.

In your first few days on keto, you’ll likely see a massive “whoosh” of water weight leaving your body. This is normal and it’s not dangerous at all. Unfortunately, you do stop losing weight at that pace pretty fast, but it’s nice while it lasts.

Drink at least 8 glasses or 2.5L per day

Electrolyte Drink

  • 600- 800ml of still water
  • ½ lemon
  • ¾ tsp of Himalayan pink salt
  • ¼ tsp of Lo-Salt
  • 2-3 tsp apple cider vinegar

 

Acronyms and abbreviations:
ACV – Apple cider vinegar OMAD – One meal a day
BMI – Body mass index PCOS – Polycystic ovary syndrome
BMR – Basal metabolic rate SF – Sugar free
BPC – Bulletproof coffee SKD – Standard ketogenic diet
IBD – Inflammatory bowel disease TDEE – Total daily energy expenditure
IBS – Irritable bowel syndrome TOTM – Time of the month
IF – Intermittent fasting… EF – Extended fasting WLS – Weight loss surgery
LCHF – Low carb, high fat WOE – Way of eating
NSV – Non scale victory