We know that the keto diet plan is gaining popularity thanks to its benefits, with weight loss being the greatest of them all.
For this and many other major reasons, people all around the world are following the keto diet plan.
However, before we learn how to start the keto diet, we first need to go over what keto is. It’s simple — if you restrict carbs to the point in which you enter ketosis, you are on keto.
Ketosis is a state in which your body burns highly efficient alternative fuel in the form of ketones. The healthiest way to enter ketosis is by consuming very little carbs with a low-carb diet.
Now let’s learn how to start this diet. There are many different approaches to keto you can try, but we will discuss the best 10 ways to start.
1. Determine your goal:
Before you start the keto diet, make sure that you know the reason for which you are putting in the effort, as this will help you determine if the hard work is paying off.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight (which is the most common reason people start the keto diet), then maintaining very small calories is your priority.
There is very strong Evidence that a ketogenic diet plan is very effective for weight loss.
In one study, keto dieters lost 2.2 times more weight than people on a low calorie & low-fat diet.
Now that you have your goal in mind and also the necessary evidence the keto diet is extremely effective for weight loss, you are ready to start.
2. Plan a menu for your keto diet:
Once you have identified your fitness goals, the next step is to plan your keto menu.
We know that a keto diet plan emphasizes eating higher amounts of fat and lower amounts of carbs, so planning your keto menu can be tough as some foods have hidden carbs.
Now we’ll go over some of the best ingredient staples for a keto diet, including healthy carb substitutes. Many vegetables work great for this, including:
Check out this list of keto-friendly foods , it will help you plan your keto diet plan menu. Also check out our Ultimate Fruit Guide – Is Grapefruit Keto?
Once you gradually begin to understand the nutrition behind certain foods, you will come to realize that almost every food product, including a lot of plant-based food, contains carbohydrates.
Keto does not mean carb-free, and not all carbs are created similarly.
When counting your carb intake, you should also follow how much fiber you consume. As fiber is a type of carb that is not absorbed as easily, thus it does not affect your blood sugar level the same way that sugar does.
3. Calculate your calorie goal daily:
After you have created your keto diet menu, the next step is to calculate how many calories you need to consume in a day in order to lose or maintain weight, depending on your goals.
You can use an online calorie calculator or fitness app that uses your height, weight, age, and gender to estimate your daily needs.
Check out how many calories you burn each day.
Changing your body composition has a huge impact on your calorie need because this is a driving force behind your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
BMR is the minimum number of calories required to keep your body functioning while at rest.
4. Stick to your keto goal:
You will see progress only if you are consistent. You have to stick to your keto diet plan to see your desired results.
Staying on track is extremely essential for your success. It’s all about consistency. Consistency in your diet is far more important than perfection in your diet.
Aiming for zero mistakes could end up disappointing you, so it is better to always remember that small progress is still progress.
Take a deep breath and remember that it is still possible to live your life while maintaining a strict diet.
Whenever you are facing hard times on your diet, just remind yourself that it’s only a matter of time and that you are fully capable of achieving your goals.
5. Get ready for the keto flu:
Keto flu is actually your body’s response to the restriction of carbohydrates. You don’t have to worry about the cause of keto flu, in fact, you must be glad that your efforts have shown good results.
It’s not really a flu and it’s not dangerous either, but it can be very irritating.
It happens while your body is adapting to the new diet as it is focused on the consumption of very low amounts of carbs, which can be a major change to what your body is used to and it will need some time to adapt.
Here are some common symptoms of the keto flu:
Fortunately, these symptoms are temporary and you’ll feel better quickly…
But if you experience any of these symptoms, you just need to be patient and try relieving the symptoms by some of the following methods:
6. Stay motivated:
It is very important to stay positive and motivated if you are following the keto diet plan.
You might have to wait sometime until your body becomes used to the diet, but if you are struggling with your motivation, here are a few proven ways to help yourself out:
Believe in yourself: Always remind yourself that you are the one who has to step forward and overcome all of your challenges, no one is going to do it for you.
Keep yourself busy: Try finding some activities that allow you to be creative. This could simply mean going out for a walk or spending time with your family.
Reduces stress: Try to do things that can make you at ease. Try doing yoga, get a message, or just listen to music.
Get support: Spend time with people who support your goals and keep you motivated.
Love yourself: Learn to love yourself by simply giving more importance to your health.
7. Drink more water:
Drinking enough water is crucial when you are on the keto diet.
When you eat more carbs, your body stores extra carbs as glycogen in the liver where they are bound to water molecules.
Now as you are on the keto diet where you consume lower amounts of carbs, it depletes the glycogen which results in more burnt fats.
But this also means that you are storing less water, resulting in a higher chance to become dehydrated, so you need to drink a lot more water to stay hydrated throughout the time of your keto diet plan.
Most of the people find it difficult to drink more water. Fortunately, with these tips, you can learn how to consume more water without feeling overwhelmed:
Your body is most dehydrated after a full night’s sleep, so drinking a few glasses of water right when you wake up in the morning is a great way to start the day feeling hydrated.
Consider adding zero-calorie flavoring to your water to give water more flavor if you want a better taste.
Try carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go.
Reasons to drink more water on keto:
Drinking water replaces water loss on ketosis
It helps regulate your appetite
Alleviates the stress on your kidney
Improves fat metabolism.
According to research, people opting for the keto diet should drink a minimum of 16 ounces of water daily.
11 glasses of water per day for women and 16 glasses for men are highly recommended.
However, this rule doesn’t apply to everyone…
Because water intake may vary from person to person depending on body mass, age, gender, and athletic performance.
8. Exercises on the keto diet:
People on the keto diet frequently ask the question as to whether exercise is safe on the keto diet.
The short answer is yes. Following a low carb diet doesn’t mean that exercise is completely off-limits.
In fact, exercise helps decrease the risk of heart disease, improves mental health, and helps you lose weight. Working out on the keto diet also plays a vital role in helping avoid keto flu symptoms.
However, a keto diet can affect your exercise performance. This doesn’t mean that you have completely avoid it…
You just have to be careful about the types of exercises you choose. So we’ll go over some exercises you can perform on the keto diet.
This exercise is also known as cardio. It usually lasts over 30 minutes. Steady aerobic exercise leads to increased fat burn and this form of exercise is the best choice for weight loss if you are following a keto diet plan.
With this type of exercise, carbs are the primary fuel and fat alone may not provide enough energy for this workout. Examples are weight lifting or high-intensity interval training.
These stretches your muscles, may support your joints, and improve your range of motion. Examples are yoga and after workout stretches.
These help to improve your body balance and core training and provide you with the best control for your movements.
According to an Australian conducted study, being in ketosis might help with blood glucose maintenance during exercise for people who are suffering from obesity.
There are a few important things you should know before you start to exercise on a keto diet.
Make sure you are eating enough fats: If you aren’t eating enough fats, your body won’t be able to sustain even a simple workout and this way you can put yourself in danger.
Avoid high-intensity workouts: When you are following any extreme diet such as keto, you have to avoid high-intensity workouts as they highly rely on carbs and if you are on a keto diet, your carb intake is very low. So instead, stick to low-intensity exercises.
Listen to your body: Don’t push your body too hard with the hopes of losing weight instantly, especially when your body is telling you that it can’t handle it.
9. Increase fat intake:
Keto dieters know that this diet is strongly focused on fats because up to 80% of the calories you consume on the diet come from fats. They then end up shifting your body into ketosis where fats are your main source for energy burn instead of carbohydrates.
” Kendra Whitmire, a nutritionist from California says: “Many dieters boil it down thinking that they just need to eat a lot of fats and avoid carb but eating excessive amounts of unhealthy fats following a keto diet plan”. Its going to be the nutrients you have to focus on because some picks are healthier than others. “
It’s clear that sources of unsaturated fats are recommended over saturated fats, but both are considered keto-friendly.
Fats like olive oil or coconut oil contain zero carbs.
Other sources like avocado and nut butter are primary fats, but also contain carbs that need to be counted.
Keep in mind that over-consuming fats can cause weight gain and since fats are the main source of a keto diet.
You need to choose to consume healthier ones. Here are the best fats to eat on the keto diet plan:
Olive oil: According to the USDA olive oil is best for light sautéing, using in dressings, or drizzling overcooked veggies and meats as a finishing oil. 1 tablespoon offers 119 calories and 13.5 grams of fat.
Avocado: According to theU.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) avocados provide a rich source of heart-healthy & mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Half of an avocado consists of 161 calories, 2 grams of protein, 15 grams of fats, and 9 grams of carbs.
Avocado oil: According to the USDA avocado oil is a rich anti-inflammation source. Another benefit is that it works well with high-heat cooking.
Chia seed and flex seed: These sources of fats are recommended because they offer omega-3 fatty acids. Some research shows that eating more of these seeds will improve the ratio of omega-6s to 3s you consume.
Nuts and nut butter: Always check the labels of different kinds of nut butter as they are a good source of fat, but can also contain high amounts of carbs.
And here are some fats you should limit when following the keto diet plan:
Cream: It is a source of saturated fat and adding heavy cream to your coffee will result as an additional source of fat during the day. According to the USDA, 1 tbsp contain 51 calories, 5 grams of fats (3.5 grams unsaturated) and is just shy of half a gram of carbs.
Cheese: This is a fat source you need to limit, but some research also suggests that it contains many health benefits as well. A meta-analysis published in December 2017 in the European Journal of Nutrition found that it may even lower the risk of heart disease.
Butter: Eating significant amounts of butter has the worst effects on health in comparison to other fat sources.
10. Adequate protein intake:
The ketogenic diet encourages eating moderate amounts of protein…
Because eating too much protein can kick you out of ketosis. While eating too little protein can hinder your fitness goals and leave you hungry.
Protein is a very essential component of every diet and moderate protein intake is essential for:
Losing body fat
Building and repairing tissue
Hair, nail, and skin health
Recovering from workouts
Lowering blood pressure
Regulation and function of the organs
Optimal enzyme and hormonal function
Maintaining a healthy weight
Protein sources to eat on keto:
Organ meat such as liver and heart
Full-fat dairy products like heavy cream and grass fed butters
Fatty fish like salmon, halibut, mackerel and sardines.
Fatty cuts of grass-fed beef
Protein sources to avoid when following the keto diet plan:
Plenty of research shows that eating too much protein can cause gluconeogenesis (GNG).
GNG enables the liver and kidneys to make glucose from non-carb foods such as protein.
Since the goal of the keto diet is to deplete glucose stored in your body and our bodies need some glucose to survive, GNG allows your body to make enough glucose.
The best approach for keto dieters is to get 25% of your calories from protein and 5% of your calories from carbs.
According to Diet Doctor, you should “restrict your protein intake to moderate levels. Stay between 1.2–1.7 grams of protein per day, per kg of body weight (about 0.6g per pound) ” For example, this approximates to 85–110 grams of protein per day if you weight 70 kilos (154 pounds).
We hope this article about the keto diet helped you out on your journey. This article is also posted at medium.com