Going Keto Pt. 2: Preparing for Ketosis

Sponsored Content

Last month we covered the wide range of fascinating benefits one can expect to see while on a ketogenic diet. The same dietary regimen that can fight all sorts of diseases and metabolic ailments can increase satiety while keeping you so unbelievably cut that people will be offering you band-aids all day. These enticing benefits could have you chomping at the bit to start right here and now, but before taking one bite be sure you're fully prepared if you hope to reap peak results from going keto. 


It's critical that you've written down clear, measurable goals before embarking on this new lifestyle (trust us, it’s more than just a diet). Depending on whether you're looking to build muscle, stay shredded, improve blood markers, or starve (and potentially prevent) cancer, the type of keto diet you follow will reflect that significantly. A ketogenic diet is technically any diet that causes the body to produce ketone bodies, so watch your macros closely, but get creative when you can. Keto diets will vary from one person’s goals to another… not unlike the wide range of meal plans you'll find in the IIFYM crowd. If you didn’t read Going Keto Pt. 1, go back and read that HERE.

A few key things to remember before going forward: for those of you doing keto, it's best to err on the side of higher protein. Excess protein increases the likelihood of ‘gluconeogenesis’ though, which is when the body converts protein into glucose. If this happens, your body won't produce as many ketone bodies (if at all). On the flip side, a 4:1 ketogenic diet is not one you want to remain on indefinitely, either, due to such low protein intake.

Commit to a higher fat ratio for a relatively short period of time (one month is great) to maximize endogenous ketone production in your body. Do this a few times a year and you’ll become a Keto Master. Bookmark this page for a quick reference of keto diet ratios, shopping list, your first week of scheduled meal timing, and expected blood ketone levels.

For a 200lb person eating 3,000 calories per day, below is a table showing what the different keto ratios would look like, macronutrient-wise. In these specific ratios’ protein and carbohydrate count, 80% of the calories are allocated for protein and 20% allocated for carbohydrate.

Ratio of Fat to Protein + Carbohydrate

Fat Macros at 3,000 calories

Protein Macros at 3,000 calories

Carbohydrate Macros at 3,000 calories


177 g fat

282 g protein

70.5 g carbohydrate


230 g fat

186 g protein

46.5 g carbohydrate


273 g fat

108 g protein

27 g carbohydrate


290 g fat

78 g protein

19.5 g carbohydrate


300 g fat

60 g protein

15 g carbohydrate


This is without a doubt the most important part, especially during your first month attempting keto.  Testing your blood ketone and blood glucose levels is absolutely essential if you want to ensure you're maximizing the benefits of your ketogenic diet and are, you know, actually in ketosis.   

When out on your first fat food run, be sure to grab a blood glucose and ketone monitor. Better yet, just order one online, as it’ll likely get to your home before you’ve finished stocking up on your initial week’s worth of keto meals & snacks.

Be sure to grab extra lancets for pricking your blood, plus glucose and ketone measuring strips.   

Measuring glucose and ketone levels provides you with an objective look into how deeply your body responds to meal timing, macro ratios, and the ability to become keto-adapted (ease of producing ketones). Measurements should be taken upon rising, before your first meal, to gauge your fasted morning glucose. Then close out the day with another reading, two hours after your last meal.


Blood Glucose (mg/dL)



Glucose-Ketone Index (GKI)*


< 65

> 3.0














Needs Improvement




For those more concerned with improved body composition, aim for ketone levels of at least 0.4 mmol/L and blood glucose levels of under 80 mg/dL.  For those seeking therapeutic benefits from keto, aim for ketone levels above 3.0 mmol/L and blood glucose levels under 60 mg/dL.  

That should be enough to get you started, but if you want the AP course, go for the Glucose-Ketone Index (GKI). Although GKI isn’t found on self-monitoring systems, it’s a helpful measurement of your blood glucose to ketones ratio in one simple number. To convert blood glucose levels to mmol/L from mg/dL, simply divide the mg/dL value by 18. Let’s say you have a blood glucose level of 65 mg/dL... divide that by 18 to yield 3.6, which is then divided by 3 (3.0 mmol/L of ketones). Your result is a GKI of 1.2, which is the optimal range for someone utilizing a ketogenic diet for addressing cancer or another means of metabolic therapy. Bodybuilders going keto need not worry as much about the GKI, for their GKI values will be much higher, given their objective of using the diet. 


Intermittent fasting is used to describe an eating schedule that cycles between a period of fasting and non-fasting. Let’s not sugar coat this one (or any coat, for that matter)… you’re going to have to starve yourself for a while. But a bit of starvation is good for you, and it’s a damn good method to improve your body's ketone production while simultaneously keeping your blood glucose levels low. When you fast for extended periods of time, your body's glycogen stores are depleted, forcing your body to burn fat for fuel. Regardless of whether you're using keto for bodybuilding or therapeutic purposes, intermittent fasting is the way to go about it.

When you combine intermittent fasting with a high fat diet, the results are nothing short of fantastic. For best results, strive to fast for 16-18 hours, with your feeding window being as narrow 6-8 hours. But half of that time is sleep… so no big deal, right? This will prime your body for ketone production and help get you deep into a state of ketosis! Bodybuilders should fast intermittently at their own comfort and GKI body responses to foods and meal timing. Those going keto for metabolic therapy should adhere to stricter, more narrow feeding windows. The more you fast, the higher propensity your body will have for producing ketones.

This is quite convenient for long-term keto practitioners who are more keto-adapted and have an easier time transitioning between metabolic states. But for the first timers, especially those coming from a very high-carb diet (bye bye, bulking)… you can probably look forward to a three-day starvation period to kick off your first week of keto and intermittent fasting. Better schedule that for a weekend, though, so you don’t go eating your co-workers after getting too hangry. Follow this guideline for your first week in keto, HOURS being your window length for eating. 


















The way you stock your pantry can make or break your execution of a proper ketogenic diet. You can load up on your favorite red meat and chicken thighs, but all that protein must be paired with more than a fair share of fat. Check out the full list below for plenty of great food you can feast on. Keep in mind that if you're adding muscle, you'll have much more leeway with eating these high-protein foods... but limit them if your goal is to use keto for therapeutic purposes.


IMMEDIATELY: Food Scale! Weighing food is key to knowing the precise amount of macros you’re eating, based on each diet’s suggested ratio. If you’re not using one yet, start now. It will serve you well beyond keto. You can get one as cheap as ten bucks on Amazon. Once you’re ready to starting portioning…

1) Ground Beef (ranging from 98/2 to 70/30, depending on your keto diet ratio)

2) Spinach

3) Arugula

4) Broccoli

5) Asparagus

6) Cheese

7) Eggs

8) Chicken (Breast, Thigh, Legs, etc.)

9) Salmon

10) Heavy Cream

11) Coconut Oil

12) Coconut Oil Powder

13) MCT Oil

14) MCT Oil Powder

15) Grass Fed Butter

16) Avocados

17) Cauliflower Rice

18) Red & Green Cabbage

19) Low Carb Salad Dressings

20) Palm Oil / Olive Oil

21) Macadamia Nuts

22) Pickles

23) Green Bell Peppers (avoid red & orange)

24) Ribeye

25) Cauliflower

26) Turkey Leg

27) Pork Shoulder & Belly

28) Swiss Chard

29) BACON!!!

30) Protein Bars (with very low net carbs)

Having objective measurements to look at on a daily basis will also reinforce your reasons for choosing to go keto.  So stock up on tools, load your pantry, and get ready to rock keto-style!  

Next month we’ll cover your first week of keto at home, tricks to keep your fat levels up, classic keto pitfalls to avoid, how to beat the dreaded keto flu, and more!

This content was supplied by our friends at TheBloq. For more articles like this, CLICK HERE.

Click HERE for Part 3 >>


Subscribe to Flexonline

Give a Gift
Customer Service