Today marks one month since I started the ketogenic diet and I can already see results. So keep reading if you’re wondering what to expect from your first month of keto! Below I share my before and after photos and discuss keto flu, water weight, how much I lost, what I’ve been eating, and some tips to make your first 30 days on keto even better.
How to Start Keto
This isn’t my first rodeo! I’ve lived the keto lifestyle twice before, starting in 2018 for 18 months and then again for six months during the pandemic (2020 and 2021 are just a blur to me.) What I’ve learned from starting keto three times is that it matters how you do it!
My first venture into the ketogenic diet was challenging and demanding; I had no idea what I was doing and spent two weeks dealing with keto flu, primarily severe migraines. It wasn’t until I started taking note of people like Matt and Megha at Keto Connect heard about electrolyte management that I finally got over it.
For anyone starting keto soon, here’s my advice that will keep keto flu to a minimum, help you lose weight, and set you up for success:
- Purge non-keto foods from your house
- Go out keto shopping before you start
- Plan some easy go-to recipes
- Have a keto coffee every morning
- Eat Leafy greens with almost every meal
- Salt Heavily
- Drink more water than you’re used to
- Drink this smoothie to prevent/cure keto flu
- Keep your net carbs lower than necessary (under 20 grams net carbs)
Did I Get Keto Flu This Time?
Keto flu is the body’s response to all the changes when you start a ketogenic diet. You lose a lot of water, electrolytes, and glycogen, so your keto flu could be caused by dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, or low energy due to low blood sugar levels. Don’t try to work out which. It’s usually due to losing electrolytes, but the best thing to do is to treat all three. Which means:
- Eat more fat – Make sure you’re hitting at least 75% of your calories
- Drink more water – You need more than you think
- Manage electrolytes – Sodium, magnesium, and potassium
Compared to the first time I tried keto, keto flu this time around was nothing; I had a mild headache for two half days during the first week. After waking up with it, I had a keto coffee and then my natural keto cure smoothie, and it quickly disappeared.
How Much Weight I Lost in 30 Days on Keto
Today’s the big weigh-in. I started keto 30 days ago at 74.25kg, knowing that I was carrying at least 5kg (10 pounds) of excess fat. When I stopped doing the diet in 2021, I was 70kg. So I’d like to get back to where I was. These are my keto diet results:
Today I’m weighing in at 69kg! I’ve lost 4.75kg, that’s 10.5lbs!
I know my weight loss results aren’t jaw-dropping, in 2018 the first time I did keto I had a more dramatic weight loss; I lost 20 pounds, but this time I didn’t have so much stored body fat to lose. And I know I haven’t lost 10.5lbs of fat; most of the weight I’ve lost here is water weight.
After the first two weeks, I wrote a post detailing how much water weight you lose on keto, and I worked out that I probably lost 6lbs oin water, which means that I’ve lost about 4.5lbs of fat. Which I think seems about right. I can see a little less on my belly, where I tend to store fat first.
What I Ate for My First Month of Keto
My keto diet plan for the first month was not super interesting or exciting. I like to eat the same few things repeatedly as I don’t want to spend too much time deciding or making food. Once you have a few good high fat options, stick with them! Here are a few of my favorite keto meals
- Baked chicken wings
- Steak and veggies
- Bacon and Eggs
- Bacon Salad
- Salmon and veggies
Tips For Success with the Ketogenic Diet
Lazy Keto Meals
We all have times when we don’t want the trouble of making a meal, especially in the first few days of keto when you may have keto flu. The solution is lazy keto! Don’t get lazy keto confused with dirty keto; I’m not talking about getting McDonald’s here! I mean, some quick and easy options keep you on track and don’t require effort.
There are three types of lazy keto meals I eat.
1. Open and Eat
My fridge always has something I can open and eat.
- Deli meats
- Sour cream
If you’re making chicken wings, make double! If you’re cooking bacon or steak, cook more than you need! Then, put the leftovers in the fridge, and you have a lazy keto meal ready and waiting. I like to make salads this way. A bag of mixed salad and some leftover bacon makes a perfect keto meal in seconds.
3. Little effort required
This category is when you don’t mind making something as long as it doesn’t require much effort.
- Boiled Eggs
- Chicken Wings baked from frozen
- Keto Coffee
Portion out your food
When I go keto shopping, I like to buy in bulk (especially meats.) I don’t want to go to the supermarket every two days because I’m out of steak again. So I buy in bulk, portion everything out, and freeze it once I get home. You can use ziplock bags, but reusable glass containers are a more sustainable way to go.
Every morning you can pull out and defrost whatever you want for lunch.
Don’t run out of keto supplies
There is nothing worse than opening and closing the fridge and asking, “What can I eat?” Don’t buy a little stick of butter if you intend to have a keto coffee every morning (or even two!) You’ll use it up in three days, and then what? No, You need to plan out some meals and buy in bulk!
Salty coffee with butter blended into it may seem unpalatable at first, but, it makes the keto diet go so much easier. I drink a big glass of water as soon as I wake up every day. Then I make my keto coffee. This way, I get a good amount of fat and salt, not to mention caffeine, first thing in the morning, and my macronutrient ratios are heavily skewed in my favor. If you struggle with getting enough fat each day, add a keto coffee or two to your keto meal plan!
Maintain a Calorie Deficit for Losing Weight
If your purpose for following keto is to lose weight, you’ll need to keep your calorie intake under control. Here’s what I’d recommend. For the first two weeks, just concentrate on staying low carb high fat. Your body needs to get used to this high fat diet and the only way to do that is through carbohydrate restriction and lots of dietary fat.
Once you start to become fat adapted, you can start to eat fewer calories, just make sure your macros stay in the range for ketosis.
Originally from the U.K, Greg has lived in Asia for over 15 years. Fluent in a handful of languages, he ran a management consultancy before creating Face Dragons. He spends his time now traveling around Asia, writing, taking photos, and drinking coffee.