The keto diet is a popular option for people looking to lose weight and eat healthier after the onslaught of calories during the holiday season. “Keto” – short for ketogenic – refers to a high fat, low carb diet not only known for helping people lose weight, but also for its many health benefits. The diet works by significantly cutting carbohydrates from your diet and replacing those carbs with healthy fats. When you consume a fewer number of carbs, your body goes into ketosis which is a natural metabolic state that produces ketones from fat. The body then uses these ketones for energy instead of carbs.
Tips for a successful Keto Diet
Carbohydrates are the naturally occurring starches and sugars found in food, which your body breaks down into glucose. When you switch to a keto diet, you’re essentially cutting out most sugars from your diet, which for a lot of people can be really hard. Below are a few tips to make the transition a little easier.
Prepare your kitchen
Maintaining the keto diet is going to be challenging if you’re constantly surrounded by temptation. As you prepare for your new diet, go through the pantry and refrigerator to remove everything that doesn’t fit your new eating habits. Obviously, any candy, soda, desserts, and other sugars need to go, but you’ll also need to remove some dairy products like sugary yogurts, grains, starchy vegetables, and even high-sugar fruits like bananas and apples. Either use these items before you officially start your diet, donate them to a food pantry, or give them to a neighbor.
Start slow and ramp-up
Overhauling your diet can be difficult for your body. On average, American adults consume 77 grams of sugar per day according to the American Heart Association. This is more than three times the recommended amount of daily sugar intake for women. Significantly reducing the number of carbs you consume can cause the “keto flu”. Some of the symptoms include dizziness, nausea, brain fog, and stomach pains, just to name a few. Ease into the keto diet to avoid shocking your body. For example, cut things out one at a time instead of going cold turkey. Remove all obviously sugary items from your diet, such as soda, ice cream, and candy, then move on to more complex carbs like bread and pasta. Gradually cutting out these items will make the transition to keto a little more manageable.
Track your food
When people switch to the keto diet, many have trouble consuming the right number of carbs, fats, and protein. Tracking your food can help you monitor your carb intake while also making sure you’re getting enough fat. On keto, 60 percent or more of the diet consists of healthy fats, like avocado, salmon, fatty cuts of meat, and nuts. People don’t realize how much of these foods they need on the keto diet. By keeping a food journal and tracking your meals, you can ensure you’re receiving balanced nutrition from your food.
Add supplements for an easier transition
Keto flushes a lot of excess water out of your body which can cause a depletion of electrolytes, resulting in headaches and body pains. Either add electrolyte supplements to your water or make sure you’re eating foods high in magnesium and other essential nutrients. In addition to electrolytes, it can be beneficial to keep a few other supplements on hand, such as a plant-based protein and a healthy breakfast option like Keto Brew.
Keto Brew is a deliciously creamy beverage that can curb hunger cravings and make the mornings a little easier if you’re accustomed to a heavy breakfast. A plant-based protein supplement is also helpful to have on hand during the beginning stages of your diet. Some people have a hard time feeling full on the keto diet, but the occasional protein shake will fill you up while helping you hit your daily protein numbers.
A big part of the keto diet is really about preparation. As long as you have a few helpful supplements on hand, stock your kitchen with the right foods, and do a bit of meal planning, switching to the keto diet should be no problem.