There is a huge difference and I believe the understanding of this difference is what separates those in a truly ketotic state and those who are stuck somewhere between in a very low carb diet with their bodies still searching for fuel in the form of glucose. This space is what I like to call a "false sense of ketosis" and it isn't ideal, especially if you're highly active or decide to stay here for a long duration of time. In my opinion, this may bring on an unnecessary amount of stress to your body and is probably where things like thyroid dysfunction and adrenal fatigue occur.
So in short, keto or don't bother.
::Steps off soap box-- exits stage left:::
It's important to first and foremost track your food. Eat real food. Eat nutrient dense food. Eat food that will do something for your body and does not take away. If you're eating sugar free candy and Atkins processed food-like products, you're doing it wrong.
Next, log your food to track your macros. Your macros are your grams of fat, carbs, and protein. But, it's the percentage of those macros that you will be keeping your eye on most.
1 oz of macadamia nuts:
1 oz of macadamia nuts is approximately:
21g fat/4g carb/3g of protein
This also translates to:
88% fat/ 7% carb/ 5% pro
Lets take a look at what changes, or doesn't, in this example.
So while your macros double to approximately:
42g fat/ 8g carbs/ 6g protein
Your percentages of those macros remain the same:
88% fat/ 7% carb/ 5% pro
See how that works? Now what will change are the overall macros for your intake that day should you eat 2oz of macadamia nuts vs 1oz (for example-- this is not limited to macadamia nuts). Keep this in mind as we go through the examples listed below.
In general, all food logging is a guestimate. 1/2 an avocado in one app may be something different in another and then the size of your avocado also matters. Unless you're weighing every bit of food you eat (ain't nobody got time for that) you're never going to be 100% accurate and thats okay.
Here's a common breakfast combo. Eggs and bacon. Remember to eat the yolks, obviously, since egg whites are no longer your friend in this high fat journey.
Eggs and bacon by themselves are 66/1/34 % Fat/Carb/Pro. Not bad, but it could be better, right?
Now lets take that same meal from above, and add coffee with 2 servings of cream and 1 serving of MCT oil (or coconut oil if you prefer). You can use the butter to cook your eggs in or add it to your coffee as well.
Now our macro percentages have gone up to a more ideal amount that will support and encourage a ketogenic state.
So lets take a look at a common low carb dinner of meat and veggies.
Notice this would not typically be considered a ketogenic meal because of the fat content. It isn't very high because the protein content is the highest.
It brought them down from 82/2/17 % fat/carbs/protein to 68/6/26-- not ideal.
Not to say that the latter can't, but I am speaking generally here and it most likely would not, especially if all your meals looked like this.
Now lets add 4 tablespoons of butter to our hypothetical dinner, preferably from organic and grass fed sources.
That takes the macro % of dinner from 42/15/43 to 74/7/20-- much better.
The butter can be used to cook with and top off your meal. I usually eat a small amount of butter with each bite of steak-- deeeelicious!
Our overall macro %'s for the day are now up to 77/4/18
I don't want to share the nitty gritty specifics of each and everything I eat because I don't want to influence anyone to do as I do and then be disappointed when our results are different.
Instead, I prefer to teach you how I eat, instead of what I eat, so that you can understand the why behind the choices that I make and you can better adapt it to your own needs.
But, I will leave you with a quick summary of what my menu usually entails:
My day usually starts with a Fatty Cup o'Joe-- no recipe, just a combo of whatever feels right or I have on hand that day. Usually butter or ghee, MCT oil or coconut oil and sometimes heavy cream.
I start my meals around fat then I decide what foods to use as vehicles for said fat. I eat lots of butter when I have a generous amount of protein and always cook my veggies in bacon fat. I eat small amounts of fruit (usually berries) or lower sugar kombucha with my meals and never alone.
A few days a week I also have a square of 85% dark chocolate with coconut butter for good measure. I try my best to never skip a serving of liver per day-- I notice a huge difference when I do. As best I can, I make sure that my foods come from soy free, grain free and organic sources, but perfection is neither required nor is it practical. So just do the best you can.
Lastly, I plan my carb days-- because I don't intend to never eat carbs again. Over the weekend I picked up some amazing baked goods from The Primal Bake Shop at Taste of Paleo. I knew my carb weekend (a break in between my current and next 30 day keto block) was coming up so I stuck them in the freezer and will enjoy them in a few more days.
I will never be the person who gets 60% of her food from carbohydrate sources, but there will come a day that my carbs will go back up and take me out of ketosis to better suit my lifestyle (Cross Fit) needs. When that will happen? I'm not sure. We'll just have to wait and find out together :)
Either way though, my plate will always remain High On Fat....