I did promise to show you a life without counting calories, however you need to learn the basics and put in some effort to begin with. You would not expect to be able to play a guitar like Lenny Kravitz the first time you picked up a guitar. You need to learn the basics. And with experience comes the freedom of ‘no more calorie counting’. So let’s begin with the basics.
The general principle of the ketogenic diet is simple: eat very few carbs, high fat and adequate protein.
The approach that works best for you may differ from other members of your family or friends. For example you may find weight loss occurs more efficiently with certain types of food and not others.
Below I present the recommended guidelines, with the caveat that there may be a little bit of trial and error to tweak the different numbers and food types in the first few weeks to see what is working and what is not. Try, if possible, to keep a diary so you can record any changes. I would recommend MyFitnessPal as a useful app for keeping track of what you are eating and changes to your weight and body composition.
Let’s get into the specifics, what are the ‘rules’ of a ketogenic diet?
First we need to know where we currently stand.
Total calories needed to exist (calculating BMR)
The starting point for any diet is to know the number of calories you need per day just to exist, this is our Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR). The calculation considers your age, gender, height, weight and activity level.
Click here for an online calculator to easily work out your BMR.
This provides you with our theoretical ‘maintenance’ calorie intake. If you ate this number of calories a day you would neither gain nor lose weight.
I recommend using these numbers in the first 3-4 weeks as your ‘benchmark’. Over the next few pages you’ll learn how to adjust this number, by how much, and how often. But first we need to breakdown our calories further.