Hey, Y’all! So, before I jump into my top tips for starting a ketogenic diet there are still some of you wondering, what is Keto all about? “Keto” is about being in a state of ketosis which is normally achieved through a high fat, low carb, moderate protein diet plan. Basically, with the Keto diet, your body will be burning fat as fuel or more specifically, going into Ketosis. To go into more detail: this is where your body uses Fats as its main source of energy, instead of carbs, and in turn, produces more Ketones (source of energy). Because of this, your body will go into Fat burning mode! Sounds good right!? I know that definitely got my attention when I first heard about the Ketogenic Diet around February 2017.
Unfortunately, there can be quite a bit of side effects when starting the Keto diet. Your body will go through a detox of sorts. Loads of people experience what is called the “Keto Flu”. Just like the symptoms of the Flu, you can experience things like headaches, shakes, brain-fog, dizziness, lethargy, muscle weakness, cramping, nausea, and constipation. Now, before you go running off like “Well I’m not doing this anymore!”, there are things you can do to avoid having these side effects. That’s exactly why I am sharing these tips with you!
As a disclaimer I am not a doctor nor am I an expert. This is all personal opinion and what I have learned through my own experience. Okay? cool! Now that we got that out of the way, here are my top 9 tips for those of you just getting started, thinking about starting or having a bit of a struggle with the Ketogenic Diet.
Count your Macros
Definitely get yourself a tracking app like MyFitnessPal and track your Macros (Fats, Carbs, and Proteins) throughout the day. You will be quite surprised to find what is actually “low carb”. For me this really was so, so important and helped me stay on track. If you have no idea as to what your macros should even look like while on keto, try using this Keto Diet Macro calculator.
Drink loads of Water
While transitioning, your body will be expelling excessive amounts of water, therefore you need more of it! Without enough water, you’ll experience headaches, no weight loss, and even constipation. For me, around 3-4 Liters a day was the sweet spot.
Try Keto-Ade or Bone Broth
While on the topic of drinking. Try making and drinking Keto-ade or getting yourself some bone broth. Just like Gatorade or Powerade, but without all the sugar and additives! Keto-ade will supply you those electrolytes and minerals you need while transitioning. Quick recipe: 0.5 tsp pink Himalayan salt (potassium), 1 tsp magnesium powder (or one of those magnesium tabs that dissolve in water), 600mL/20 oz water and sugar-free water enhancer or fresh lemon/cucumber/mint (optional). Bone broth will give you the same benefits, plus a big dose of collagen. Bone broth is really magic stuff! It can help with digestion, get your skin glowing, improve sleep, supply important minerals and more!
Keep exercise light
Feeling weak and lethargic in the beginning is normal, so don’t feel discouraged. This usually subsides after the first week or two. That’s why exercise is best kept to a minimum. Once your back to feeling yourself again, go ahead and get yo sweat on!
Keep it Simple
You will be changing your whole way of eating and even thinking when it comes to food. Make it easier for yourself, find easy recipes you love, ones that aren’t too complicated or time-consuming and stick to those!
Use Low-Carb Alternatives
Really craving that pasta? Or is pizza calling your name? No fear, going Keto doesn’t mean giving those up completely, you just need a few substitutes. Try things like almond or coconut flour, zucchini noodles, and cauliflower rice/crust.
Set yourself up for success when on the go by packing Keto friendly snacks. My personal faves: salami sticks and macadamia nuts.
Plan to eat-in
In the beginning, eating out will probably be too overwhelming and discouraging. There are too many hidden ingredients that could throw you off from getting into Ketosis. Just eat-in. Make it fun and do Netflix-n-Chill nights.
Think healthy fats
So, yes, some of the perks of this diet is you get to eat bacon, cream, and cheese. But, it shouldn’t be your focus. You want more of the good fats like salmon, avocado, ghee and coconut oil.
Going Keto can be quite the challenge, but just keep in mind that, that is only temporary. It’s been said that forming a habit takes 21 days, so stick to it! Try a 30 day Keto challenge! Before you know it you will be keto-adapted and rocking it!
Did this help you in any way? Shoot me a DM on Instagram letting me know.