Getting your head around the ketogenic diet is probably the most difficult part of this way of eating. Whilst most nutritional guidelines in many cultures across the world have recommended high carb and low-fat diets for healthy eating, keto is the opposite: very low carb and high fat.
The idea behind this diet is that you limit your carb intake so that your body doesn’t automatically burn your body’s carbohydrates but instead uses fat as a fuel (a state known as “ketosis”), aiding weightloss and boosting overall health.
So, if you’re a beginner and you’re interested in getting into keto, here are 8 simple steps to help you along your way:
Know What to Eat and What to Avoid You need to limit your carb intake, so begin by eating no more than 20 to 30 grams of carbs per day.
This means that you will have to learn which foods have high or low amounts of carbs, fat, and protein, so you can choose the right thing in the supermarket. It’s not just junk food that contains carbs. Fruit, veg and legumes (although high in nutrients) contain high amounts of carbohydrates. Foods that don’t have carbs pure fats (e.g. butter and oils likecoconut or olive oil)and meat (protein).
Don’t Fear the Fat — Keto IncludesA Lot! “Don’t blame the butter for what the bread did” or so the saying goes. For so long, we have been told that fat is bad for us but while there are essential fats and proteins, there are no essential carbohydrates. If you’re still unsure and want to ease yourself in, just make keto appropriate food swaps just to begin understanding the idea of keto. Instead of rice with your meal, cook zucchini noodles in garlic and butter. Instead of a cheeseburger with bread, use grilled aubergine slices.
Choose Some Easy, Keto-Approved Recipes and Get Cooking! There are so many keto recipes out there. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed to begin with, find 5 tasty recipes to try out so that you have an easy and keto-friendly dinner to prepare and so that you’re not tempted to go back to carbs.
Try Bulletproof Coffee If you love your coffee, then coffee of the bulletproof variety will suit you perfectly. By mixing in butter and coconut oil, you’re not only boosting your necessary fat intake for the day, but you’re also stifling the hunger pangs until your next meal.
Talk to Your Family About Your Goals In order to get support and just to make them aware, tell your family about your plans to go on the ketogenic diet. Some family members might want to join you, but if you’re doing it alone it is best to communicate that your meals and their meals will be different. If people give you a hard time, tell them that you have researched the diet thoroughly and want to give it a go yourself.
Learn about the Side Effects (like the ‘Keto Flu’) Whilst your body adjust to this new way of eating you may experience what is known as “keto flu”. Although not a real flu, it is a time where, perhaps 7 to 10 days into the diet, you may start to feel really tired. This may not affect you at all, or it could make you really lethargic for a short time. This is simply your body switching from burning carbs to burning fat for fuel. During this time, be kind to yourself – gentle exercise is enough and try not to make too many big plans or you might find yourself totally washed out at the end of the week.
Increase Your Electrolytes In ketosisyour bodyexpels more water and electrolytes. This means that some people get cramp and other side effects if they don’t replace their electrolytes. Drink LOTS of water, pickle juice and bone broths to remedy this.
Have a Long-Term Plan There are a lot of different opinions on whether keto should be a long-term diet or just a simple weight loss booster to get your started on your path to further weight loss. One thing is for sure: keto works. You just need to decide how long you are going to do it for. Are you going to stay strict keto for 6 months and then start reintroducing carbs? Or are you thinking even longer? Talk to your doctor if you need more information and make a choice that’s right for you.