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How trainer Kirsty Godso eats ketogenic every day—and why she’ll never go back


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Photo: Instagram/@kirstygodso
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In addition to being a Nike Master Trainer, Kirsty Godso has crafted two workouts—Pyrogirls, which pops up at cool girl hot spot Sky Ting Yoga as Pyro Tings, and an energy-packed HIIT class at Project by Equinox, both in New York City. To fuel her workouts—and yours—she relies on the ketogenic diet, an eating plan made up of 80 percent healthy fats, 15 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs—and no dairy, sugar, grains, and fruit. (Though Godso says she changed the ratios in order to get in more protein.) What exactly does that look like? Here, she shares in her own words what a typical day is like in terms of working out and keto-eating.

I don’t like the word “diet.” I talk about food as food and what we eat to fuel our bodies. To me, it’s so much more important to be in communication with your body, paying attention to how what you’re eating makes you feel. For me, that happens to be a high fat, ketogenic style of eating.

The first time I started eating this way was seven years ago. I was 22 and working with a trainer who put me on a 21-day ketogenic eating plan. For the first four days, I felt so tired and grumpy. Cutting out fruit was really hard for me and I also had a pretty bad obsession with gummy candy. Giving that up was hard. But I stuck with it and a week into my newfound eating plan, I felt a huge shift in my body—I felt amazing. “Wow, I am never going back,” I thought. And I haven’t. I’m less strict now—I eat fruit sometimes—but most of the foods I cut out, like rice, I just never added back in because I realized that I not only didn’t need them, but I felt so much better without ’em.

People often ask me, “Don’t you get bored eating this way?” No, I don’t! I’m obsessed with eating these foods because they make my body feel electric.

People laugh at me when I say this, but I was fortunate to be born with celiac disease. When I started eating keto, the fact that I already kept to a grain-free diet meant there was one less thing I had to give up.

Now it’s seven years later and I’m still eating keto. Here’s what I eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner—and dessert—on an average day. FYI: Because I’m a trainer, my workout and eating habits aren’t exactly typical or even recommended for everyone. But this is what works for me. Keep reading for an inside look into my day—and my meals.

Scroll down to see how Kirsty sticks to a ketogenic eating plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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ketogenic breakfast
Photo: Thinkstock/KucherAV

Breakfast

I wake up at 5:15 a.m. to start training clients. I love breakfast—it’s such an important meal for me—but I wait until a few hours into my day to have a proper one. The first thing I have in the morning is a protein shake, made with just water and protein. Some people get really crazy with their smoothies, but if you have a high-quality protein powder, all you really need to mix it with is water. That simple shake gives me enough energy to train two clients or teach classes. Then, I have a proper breakfast around 10:30 or 11 a.m.

Whether I’m making it at home or buying it out, breakfast for me is always coffee, three scrambled eggs—sometimes I’ll add in arugula and tomato—and half an avocado. I love avocado. My friends and strangers are always tagging me in avocado memes they see on Instagram. You know what’s funny? I’ve never really had many skin problems, but once I started eating more avocados and healthy fats, I noticed that my skin became smoother and more nourished.

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ketogenic lunch
Photo: Stocksy/Cameron Whitman

Lunch

After breakfast, I work out solo. People might find it strange that trainers work out in addition to training people and teaching classes, but honestly, I need that as my me-time. It not only helps me destress, but it’s also a time when I test out new moves, sequences, and work on my own personal progression with training. Usually when I’m working out I listen to audiobooks or podcasts because I like to improve my mind while I improve my body—I see it as a two-for-one deal.

The classes I teach are primarily high intensity, but when it comes to training myself, I do a lot of strength training and conditioning with bursts of HIIT. I also tend to my body with more restorative workouts, like Pilates and yoga. When you’re training all day, it can actually feed into imbalances and you can set yourself back. It’s super important to focus on alignment, too.

Then comes lunchtime! Almost every day I have either chicken, ground turkey, or salmon with greens. People often ask me, “Don’t you get bored eating this way?” No, I don’t! I’m obsessed with eating these foods because they make my body feel electric. My job requires me to have energy from very early in the morning right through 8 p.m., so what I fuel myself with is so important—I don’t have time for an afternoon crash. Whenever I feel a dip of energy, I reach for a handful of nuts or coconut chips, both of which are high fat and super satiating.

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kirsty godso ketogenic dinner
Photo: Stocksy/Cameron Whitman

Dinner

After my workout, my afternoon is typically spent in meetings or taking phone calls. I’m especially busy right now because my boyfriend and I are coming out with a protein powder next year. So many of the women I train are scared of protein—they think it will make them bulk up—but it’s so, so good for you. I’m really proud of the product we’ve made and can’t wait to share it with everyone.

My dinners look very similar to my lunches—a mix of meat or fish and greens. If I feel like my body needs some carbs, I’ll add in some butternut squash zoodles, which you can get at Whole Foods. One thing that happens when you cut out sugar is you notice how naturally sweet foods like butternut squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes are.

What I love about keto is how livable it is. I never have to think too hard about meal prep or what I’m going to eat when I go out with my friends.

I know dessert is a weakness for a lot of people and I’m not a robot—sometimes I like to have a little something, too. I think the key is knowing whether you’re eating something because it’s a habit or because you really, really want it. Some people think they need ice cream every night. They don’t—they’re just in the habit of having it. When I want something that’s a little sweet, I’ll either have a spoonful of almond butter or two shots. No, not that kind of shot! Mine is made with ice, frozen blueberries, melatonin, magnesium, bee pollen, and sometimes a little bit of almond butter. Not only does it help me sleep, but it satisfies that sweet craving.

What I love about keto is how livable it is. I never have to think too hard about meal prep or what I’m going to eat when I go out with my friends. You don’t have to put your life on hold to do it. I also think it shows people how to have a healthier relationship with fat, which is actually really good for you. Eating this way really nourishes your body, which is why I’m so wild about it. I’ll be eating this way forever.

Another reason to try the ketogenic diet—it could help quell anxiety. And here are three keto-approved desserts that are as delicious as they are good for you.

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