“To be clear, the ketogenic diet doesn’t break for weekends. It doesn’t flip its hair and sneak candy from the bowl while the cauliflower isn’t looking. Staying in ketosis is a full-time job…” – Amanda C. Hughes, author of Keto Life and The Wicked Good Ketogenic Diet Cookbook
Recent data shows rising rates of prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, partly due to dietary shifts recommended by government guidelines. Despite this, some still prioritise carbs, even for diabetics, even though your body can generate glucose through other means. Contrary to old beliefs, fats, particularly saturated and monounsaturated fats, have been exonerated as causes of heart disease.
Unlike many diets that involve calorie counting or bland meals, the ketogenic approach shines by focusing on reducing carbohydrates. The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners by Amy Ramos equips you with essential knowledge for ketogenic success, including simple cooking, weight loss strategies, and long-term benefits.
Amy Ramos is the pseudonym used by the author of the highly acclaimed books, The Complete Ketogenic Cookbook for Beginners and Easy Ketogenic Diet Slow Cooking Cookbook (published by Rockridge Press).
With more than two and a half decades of experience as a professional chef, Amy Ramos is a fervent proponent of the ketogenic diet and the advantages of embracing a low-carb way of life. Her areas of specialisation encompass creating innovative recipes, promoting holistic well-being, and crafting dietary plans tailored to medical restrictions.
What is the book about?
The book is organised into three key sections, offering a comprehensive exploration of the ketogenic lifestyle.
In the first part, readers are introduced to the foundational principles of the diet, including the concept of “Low-Carb, High-Fat,” and a clear roadmap for transitioning to a ketogenic lifestyle in “Go Keto in Five Steps.”
The second part provides readers with a practical 14-day meal plan, complete with corresponding shopping lists for both weeks, facilitating a seamless start to the ketogenic journey.
In the third section, readers will discover a diverse range of recipes spanning various meal categories, ensuring a wide selection of delicious options.
Additionally, the book offers valuable insights for dining out while adhering to the ketogenic diet and includes measurement conversion tables for added convenience.
This approach ensures that readers not only grasp the fundamentals of the diet but also have a tangible meal plan and a plethora of tasty recipes readily available.
Eight key takeaways from the The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners
1Keto relies on the consumption of healthy fats and whole foods
The keto diet emphasises the consumption of fresh, whole foods like meat, fish, vegetables, and healthy fats while minimising processed and chemically treated foods. Unlike restrictive diets, the keto approach can be sustained long-term and is quite enjoyable, allowing indulgences like bacon and eggs for breakfast.
2Keto can help lose weight while maintaining high levels of energy
Studies consistently reveal that the keto diet helps individuals shed excess weight, maintain higher energy levels throughout the day, and experience prolonged feelings of satiety. This satiety is attributed to the diet’s reliance on fats, which are slow to digest and calorically dense, resulting in reduced overall calorie consumption.
The keto diet trains the body to efficiently burn stored fat for energy, leading to more effective weight loss. Using fat as the primary energy source also ensures stable energy levels without the fluctuations associated with high-carb diets.
3A ketogenic diet may help regulate blood glucose levels, prevent diabetes and heart disease
Maintaining a ketogenic diet offers several significant benefits. Beyond weight loss, these include improved blood sugar control, reduced insulin resistance (often reversing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes), lower triglyceride levels, decreased blood pressure, favourable changes in cholesterol levels, and enhanced cognitive function. It has been shown to reduce the risk factors associated with heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and epilepsy.
These advantages make the keto diet a compelling choice for those seeking not only weight management but also improved overall health and vitality.
4The keto diet is based on the process of ketosis
Getting into ketosis is a fundamental aspect of the ketogenic diet. In a high-carb diet, your body primarily relies on glycolysis, where energy comes from blood glucose. This process leads to blood glucose spikes after meals, causing elevated insulin levels that encourage fat storage and inhibit fat release from storage tissues. Conversely, a low-carb, high-fat diet induces ketosis, where your body uses ketone bodies from fat as its primary energy source. Ketosis promotes the continuous burning of fat for energy and the release of fat reserves. Unlike fats and proteins, carbohydrates are not essential for survival.
5It takes 4-8 weeks to complete the adaptation to ketosis
The keto diet aims to maintain nutritional ketosis, which usually takes four to eight weeks for full adaptation. Once keto-adapted, glycogen stores decrease, reducing water weight, increasing muscle endurance, and boosting overall energy levels. If you briefly exit ketosis by consuming too many carbs, you can re-enter it more swiftly than before. Keto-adapted individuals can typically consume up to 50 grams of carbs daily and stay in ketosis.
Note from Healthypedia
For individuals with diabetes, a low-carb diet can be effective. Type 2 diabetics may experience a reversal of their condition, while type 1 diabetics can achieve improved blood sugar control. Consultation with a doctor is crucial before starting a low-carb diet, especially for type 1 diabetes, as medication doses may need immediate adjustment.
6There is a nutritional ratio in the keto diet, which helps to balance the macronutrients
The ketogenic diet, much like the USDA’s Food Pyramid, relies on specific ratios to ensure an appropriate balance of macronutrients, guaranteeing adequate energy intake without essential fat or protein deficiencies.
On the keto diet, the ideal ratio is approximately 65-75% of calories from fat, 20-25% from protein, and around 5% from carbohydrates. This translates to specific grams and percentages in an average 2,000-calorie daily diet, though individual calorie requirements should be tailored to factors such as lean body weight, daily activity levels, workout routines, and specific goals.
Online keto calculators are available to help determine personalised caloric needs. While tracking macros isn’t mandatory, it can expedite progress and serve as a helpful reminder to stay on track.
7When adopting the keto diet, ample water intake is crucial to prevent the ‘keto flu’
The dietary shift from processed to natural foods, coupled with lower carb consumption, can lead to increased urination, as the body excretes excess stored sodium. This shift may result in symptoms commonly referred to as the “keto flu,” which include fatigue, headaches, irritability, and nausea. Importantly, this isn’t an actual flu but rather a phase where the body adjusts to using fat as its primary fuel source, withdrawing from sugar and high carbs. The keto flu typically lasts only a few days and can be alleviated by increasing sodium and electrolyte intake.
8It takes five steps to prepare yourself for the keto lifestyle
The book outlines five essential steps to begin the lifestyle transformation:
Step 1: Clean Out Your Pantry – This step emphasises the importance of removing tempting, unhealthy foods from your home to minimise triggers for overeating.
Step 2: Go Shopping – Readers are guided on what to stock in their pantry, refrigerator, and freezer with keto-friendly foods.
Step 3: Set Up Your Kitchen – The author recommends essential kitchen tools to make keto meal preparation more accessible, including a food scale, food processor, electric hand mixer, cast-iron pans, and a knife sharpening stone.
Step 4: Meal Plan – The chapter emphasises the significance of meal planning in ensuring success on the keto diet.
Step 5: Exercise – This step encourages readers to incorporate physical activity into their keto journey, emphasising that even small increments in exercise can lead to improved health and weight loss.
Table of contents
- PART ONE
- THE KETOGENIC LIFESTYLE
- CHAPTER ONE Low-Carb, High-Fat
- CHAPTER TWO Go Keto in Five Steps
- PART TWO
- THE 14-DAY MEAL PLAN
- Week One Meal Plan and Shopping List
- Week Two Meal Plan and Shopping List
- PART THREE
- THE RECIPES
- CHAPTER THREE Smoothies & Breakfasts
- CHAPTER FOUR Apps & Snacks
- CHAPTER FIVE Fish & Poultry
- CHAPTER SIX Meats
- CHAPTER SEVEN Veggies & Sides
- CHAPTER EIGHT Desserts
- CHAPTER NINE Staples
- Advice for Going Out to Eat
- The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen
- Measurement Conversion Tables
Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews
Clear and accessible language: Readers appreciate the book’s easy-to-follow language, which simplifies the principles of the keto diet, making it suitable for beginners.
Structured meal plans: The book provides structured meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists, making it convenient for readers to start and maintain the keto diet.
Informative content: The book offers valuable educational content on low-carb meals, including explanations of why certain foods are eliminated, which readers find helpful in understanding the diet.
Variety in recipes: Readers like the variety in recipes and appreciate the many substitutions and cooking methods provided, making it easier to adapt the diet to their preferences.
Useful resources: The book includes additional resources such as blogs, websites, links, conversion tables, and food calculators, which equip readers with tools for success on their keto journey.
Lack of scientific references: Some readers express concerns about the lack of scientific references or research sources cited in the book. They feel that the book lacks a strong foundation in scientific literature.
Minimal recipe images: While the book offers recipes, it lacks visual representations of the dishes, which some readers find disappointing. Pictures of the meals could enhance the user experience.
Mixed reactions to meal plans: While some appreciate the meal plans, others express dissatisfaction with them and prefer to find better meal plans and recipes elsewhere, such as on Pinterest.
Best quotes from the The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners
“Having tempting, unhealthy foods in your home is one of the biggest contributors to failure when starting any diet.”
“You may face some resistance in the beginning, and that’s absolutely normal. The high-carb, low-fat diet has been the standard in most people’s lives, and keto is a complete turnaround. Just focus on yourself and your progress.”
“Meal plans work well because they give you goals and direction. If you know what you need to make next without thinking about it, you’re less likely to give up, change your mind, and order food from your favorite takeout spot.”
The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners by Amy Ramos aimed at introducing readers to the Keto diet, offers a straightforward approach to low-carb, high-fat eating with clear language and structured meal plans, making it accessible for beginners. Targeting those seeking an uncomplicated entry into Keto, the book’s strengths lie in its user-friendly approach and resources, while its weaknesses include limited scientific backing and minimal recipe images.
Where to buy
You can buy The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle on Amazon, where it’s available in paperback, Kindle, spiral-bound and audio formats.
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