All About Keto with Coach Kourt

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The new year is fast approaching - while our team highly recommends keeping your health front and center year-round, there is no doubt that a fresh year gives many the opportunity to realign to their goals and set healthy lifestyle practices to carry them through the future. One of the tried-and-true diets that you have likely heard of is the Keto Diet, or Ketogenic Diet. Curious about Keto? Our resident trainer, coach Kourtney Koehler caught up with us to chat through the basics of this diet, how to get started, and the weight loss benefits that come with going into ketosis.

Why is it called the Keto Diet?

The “keto” in a keto diet comes from the fact that it makes the body produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”. Ketones are an alternative fuel for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply.

They are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar).

Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel throughout the body, including the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day, and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose… or ketones.

What are the benefits of going on the Keto Diet?

On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Insulin levels become very low, and fat burning increases dramatically. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off.This is great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there are also other less obvious benefits, such as decreased hunger and a steady supply of energy, keeping you alert and focused.

When the body produces ketones, it’s said to be in ketosis. The fastest way to get there is by fasting– not eating anything – but nobody can fast forever.

A keto diet, on the other hand, can be eaten indefinitely and also results in ketosis. It has many of the benefits of fasting – including weight loss – without having to fast.

So how do I get started?

To figure out your Macros (Fat, Protein, Carbs) go to

Its important to have your Macros be exact, especially when it comes to your goals. At the end of the day, you wont reach your goals unless you are hitting your macros. I use Fitness Pal to track mine and you can input all of your macros as well into there!

What does a normal day on keto look like?

BREAKFAST: Bullet proof coffee (MTC oil, Ghee Butter, Coconut Oil,) you can buy a premade one with all three ingredients on Amazon called power omega creamer. 

Eggs and bacon will be your best friend. Get the fattiest bacon you can buy and don’t worry about only eating the whites, as the yolk has both fat and protein. I love to make a cheese and spinach omelet and then have my bacon and coffee in the morning. (It is very important to get your greens in! I use a Keto green powder to take daily to make sure I’m getting my greens because if you don’t that may be the reason your not getting in ketosis.

After each meal I take 2 MTC oil capsules. They’re cheap and you get a huge bottle of them off of Amazon.

If you’re on the go, Starbucks has egg bites that will likely fit into your macros. For a keto-friendly drink at Starbucks, order any flavor coffee or tea and just add heavy cream and sugar free vanilla or cinnamon dolce. Another on-the-go, keto-approved meal is a keto meal replacement protein shake. I love the one from Complete nutrition in Sarasota. 

SNACKS: Vermont sticks, eden pumpkin  seeds, cheese sticks, celery and blue cheese or peanut butter, Gbutter (microwave for 30 seconds and it turns into a brownie) and nuts are great options. I love the blue almond wasabi soy sauce nuts, specifically. Make sure your paying attention to portion when snacking - if you eat the whole bag, then you will likely go over your macros, which can cause issues when trying to get into ketosis 

LUNCH: For a protein, pick staples such as steak, salmon, pork chops, or burger with no bun (but you can have cheese and mayo). While you may be tempted to grab condiments such as ketchup or dressing, it’s worth looking at the label as there tend to be a lot of sugar in things in pre-bottled condiments. Lunch meats are also a tempting on-the-go grab, but your best bet is to stick to unprocessed sources of protein. Last but not least, don’t forget about adding greens into your meal.

DINNER: Same as lunch

ALCOHOL: While alcohol should always be consumed in moderation, there are drinks that are keto friendly. My favorite is Titos, soda water, and lime. If you don’t want vodka, whiskey and tequila are both acceptable. Avoid rum as well as flavored vodkas, as both have too much sugar.

DRINKS: Make sure you drink plenty of water on keto because you can get very dehydrated! 

HIMALYIAN SALT: This specific type of salt can be added to anything. This will get your electrolytes up and keep away any potential headaches. Remember, Amazon will be your best friend.

I’m not going into ketosis. Help!?

First of all, your first few days are going to be uncomfortable - so have Advil handy! You’re depleting carbs from your body, and you may not feel well. You may even get “keto flu”, so it’s VERY important to take electrolytes, but make sure they don’t have unnecessary carbs. Another trick is to drink one cup of Bone Broth daily! Bone broth is an amazing thing for the body, due to all of its minerals and electrolytes. Plus, it tastes good! I use the savory chicken microwave for 45 sec and drink it like soup. I recommend Epic Brand, which you can get off of Amazon. Richards Food Emporium also has everything you need for Keto (located on manatee ave and 26th street).

Another reason you may not be in ketosis is that you might be having too many carbs or too much protein. Buy the keto test pee strips to test if your in ketosis or not. Don’t leave the bottle open for too long, because the strips get air into them and stop working. 

It can take any where from 7-14 days to get into ketosis, so if you’re on day three don’t quit yet! It’s a lot of work to get into ketosis but once you are you’ll know. You’ll feel so much better in ketosis and you’ll know when you’re not in it anymore! If you stay super good with keto and stay in KETOSIS and the weekend comes you can have a cheat! Don’t eat a loaf of bread, but a little something won’t hurt you!