Have you tried “going keto,” but can’t seem to drop those unwanted pounds? Is your scale stuck on a number despite your best efforts? Are you feeling seriously frustrated as a result?
Well, maybe … just maybe, you’re not doing keto right.
You might be eating some very healthy foods, but they may not actually be keto-friendly. In fact, they could be kicking you out of ketosis, a key metabolic process in which the body burns fat instead of carbs for energy. Once you root our certain foods that you assumeare keto-friendly but surprisingly are not, and replace them with delicious keto-approved swaps, wonderful things will happen!
For starters, I highly recommend going Keto-Green – my version of the traditional keto diet. It emphasizes more alkaline vegetables, especially low-carb green veggies (hence the name!), and is the centerpiece of my new book, The Hormone Fix. The whole purpose of the Keto-Green Diet is to help your body stay in ketosis, stay alkaline and feel sexy, lean, and beautiful– without the inconvenient side effects like keto flu, moodiness, or nutrient deficiencies.
I’ve put together a rundown of 7 types of foods toavoidwhile following the Keto-Green Diet (and what to emphasize in their place):
Ideally, you want to stay below 40 grams of total carbs and 30 grams sugar a day. So this means you’ve got to avoid starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, and squash. I know what you’re thinking: how can healthy veggies like those derail my diet?
Yes, they’re superfoods, but not so super on my Keto-Green Diet. They’re high in carbs, so they’re not good to eat every day. I allow a small portion of sweet potato every now and then – like a quarter cup with some butter. Eaten in the evening, this can really help the nervous system settle down for a good night’s sleep.
As for beets, it’s better to opt for beet greens. They are extremely alkalinizing and very low in carbs and sugar – but rich in minerals, vitamin A, B, and C. I love to sauté beet greens in a bit of butter or ghee for a delicious side dish.
About squash: What many keto dieters don’t realize is that one cup of cooked summer squash has nearly 8 grams of carbs. Enjoy zucchini instead, especially spiralized zucchini. It’s a great sub for carb-loaded pasta (which is also excluded on a keto diet).
- Whole Grains
You’ll quickly get booted out of ketosis if you eat whole grains - even healthy ones like rice or quinoa (which is technically an herb). Although high in protein, quinoa is also packed with carbs. A half cup contains 20 grams of carbs, which will put you over your keto-carb limit quickly. Not only that, it rates high on the glycemic index, meaning that it can send your blood sugar soaring fast.
Rice is controversial because it is recommended on many weight-loss diets. Since it is high in carbs (45 grams in one cup), it can slow down your fat-burning efforts.
Rather than go for rice or quinoa, try riced cauliflower instead. It’s available in the frozen vegetable section of the supermarket and can be cooked up quickly and serves a rice substitute. A lot of people say it tastes better than rice!
- Beans and Legumes
Although you might think that lentils, black beans, kidney beans, and other legumes are healthy options, they’re not a good fit on the Keto-Green diet. These otherwise nutritional veggies are incredibly high in starch, which is broken down into sugar in your body. A half cup of beans contains as many as 20 grams of carbs, so you’re best avoiding beans in order to stay in ketosis.
Another legume to skip is peanuts (yes, peanuts are a legume!). That’s because they’re moderately high in carbs – 24 grams of carbs in one cup. They’re also a very high GMO crop. Swap peanuts out for almonds, walnuts, pecans, and other keto-friendly nuts.
Fruit is nature’s candy, right? So why wouldn’t it be perfect on a weight-loss diet? True, many diets allow fruit for their fiber and nutrient content – but not on the Keto-Green Diet. Most fruits are highly concentrated with sugar and will block fat-burning. Some of the most sugary fruits are:
- Blueberries. Surprise! Blueberries have one of the highest carb counts of any fruit – 21 grams in a cup. I love blueberries, but a little goes a long way. Because they’re high in antioxidants and phytochemicals, enjoy them in moderation. My favorite treat is to sprinkle a quarter cup of blueberries on top of chia pudding.
- Cantaloupe. One wedge (1/8 of a medium cantaloupe) contains about 5 grams of sugar, about four times more than a slice of bread!
- Cranberries. One cup contains 12 grams of carbs. Cranberries, however, are rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, and many vitamins. They’ve been known to improve immunity, urinary health, and blood pressure. I advise my clients to enjoy a sprinkle a little bit of them in smoothies or vegetable purees to get these health benefits.
- Dried fruits. I don’t recommend them because they are full of sugar and often contain preservatives.
- Grapes. I love grapes but I don’t love the sugar they contain – 15 grams in a single cup.
- Oranges. Though high in vitamin C, oranges are also loaded with sugar, making them a keto antagonist. One cup of orange sections contains 17 grams of sugar.
- Peaches. I’m from the Peach State, so I love peaches. But like most fruits, they’re high in sugar – 13 grams in one medium peach.
- Plums. These are a no-no too. One cup of sliced plums contains about 16 grams of sugar.
- Tropical fruits. Bananas, mangoes, pineapple, and other tropical fruits are extremely high in sugar. A medium mango, for example, has a whopping 28 grams of sugar, making it about equal to a candy bar!
- Watermelon. I really don’t want to tell you to avoid this juicy, refreshing fruit if you’re celebrating at a hot summer picnic. But for overall keto dieting, it’s not your best choice because it’s high in carbs and sugar too.
Who doesn’t enjoy a salty crunch while dieting? That’s why popcorn is a go-to snack on a lot of diets. But not on the Keto-Green Diet. At around 13 grams in two cups, this snack is heavy on carbs. To satisfy the crunch, swap out popcorn with nuts or seeds.
- Cured Meats and Cold Cuts
Technically, these are keto friendly because they are low in carbs, high in fat, and protein-rich. But not all these meats are created equally. Some cold cuts are infused with gluten to keep them moist, and others are laced with artificial sweeteners and preservatives – additives that interfere with fat burning. Choose meats that are from free-range, grass-fed animals for best results.
- Margarine and Trans Fats
As with protein, not all fat is the same in terms of quality, and you need to know what not to eat while going Keto-Green. Stay away from hydrogenated trans fats such as margarine. They are very inflammatory. Inflammation underlies many diseases; plus, it makes your body resistant to losing weight. So rather than margarine, go for good ole butter – or ghee. Both taste much more yummy anyway.
I’ll be talking more about Keto-Green foods in the June issue of FIRST for Women, in which I’m honored to be a centerfold. Until then, understand which foods work with your body’s fat-burning ability, not against it.
When you go Keto-Green, you’ll have peace of mind, knowing how to choose keto-friendly, alkaline-boosting foods that help you look better, feel better, and leave you glowing inside and out!
Satisfy your cravings while staying in ketosis with my delicious Spinach and Kale Salad with Bacon and Chicken. It’s easy to make and can be enjoyed year-round!
Spinach and Kale Salad With Bacon and Chicken
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pound organic or pasture-raised chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 bunch each of baby spinach and kale (4 packed cups).
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons Basil Thyme Vinaigrette
- Sprouts, chopped parsley
- Sunflower seeds, for garnish
- Place the bacon in a pan over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, until slightly crispy.
- Set the bacon aside and drain half of the fat from the pan.
- Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the remaining fat in the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Increase the heat to medium high. Add the chicken and mushrooms, and continue to cook for 8 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Roughly chop the bacon, then return it to the pan just long enough to reheat it. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Place the spinach or kale in a bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss.
- Spoon the hot chicken mixture over the spinach. Top with sprouts, parsley, and sunflower seeds.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
P.S. If you’re ready to harmonize your hormones and begin your Keto-Green journey...
My book, The Hormone Fix, is the perfect quick start for you! It's the natural way to balance your hormones, burn fat, find your sexy, and beyond. I hope you love it!