Starting any type of new diet can be a challenge but starting a keto diet can be a special one.
Part of the reason is that to enter ketosis, it is not as easy as simply lowering carbs and raising fats and protein intake. You need to be specific about it. The ratios need to be precise, foods are specific and quantities are critical.
It may sound complex but don’t let this put you off! Let’s take a closer look at a keto diet and cut through the mysteries.
Here are five tips for getting started on a keto diet.
1 – Figure Out Your Food
Whether or not something is OK on the keto diet depends on certain factors. In the beginning, you will be shooting for keeping total carbs below 35g and net carbs below 25g or ideally 20g. So what it will depend on is how many carbs both net and total you have already had for the day.
For example, in theory, you could eat a medium apple because it is technically keto friendly. However, that would mean you could only eat another 10 grams of total carbs and 4g of net carbs the rest of the day. That would mean the remainder of your calories could only come from meat and fish, a highly impractical solution.
The problem is that while you do want to stay in ketosis, you also still need to get proper nutrition, the vitamins and minerals you need. The rule is any food that, by itself, takes up over half your net carbs is off limits.
Here are some examples of what to eat and what not to eat…
Do Not Eat:
- Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
- Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
- Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
- Tubers – potato, yams, etc.
- Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc.
- Low Carb Vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens, and other low carb vegetables
- High Fat Dairy – hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter, etc.
- Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low carb fruits
- Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners
- Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.
Remember, this is a general guide, but figuring out what you are going to eat and not to eat for the day, specifically meal planning, is critical to your success at staying in ketosis.
2 – Count Up Your Net Carbs
Going over the amount of net carbs you should have is one of the surest ways to bring yourself out of ketosis. There are two numbers you will focus on to determine the net carbs from any one food. It is simple really. You subtract the dietary fiber in any item from the total carbs to get net carbs.
Remember that this is the number of carbs and amount of dietary fiber per serving. Be sure to look at the number of servings per package along with the carbs and fiber numbers. Sticking with serving size is another critical part of starting your keto diet.
3 – Get Your Cupboards Ready
The key here is two-fold. First, you are going to get rid of all of the food that is not Keto-friendly. Don’t just throw it away. Give it to friends who are not on Keto, local food banks, if it is not perishable or is still good, or even have a starting Keto party and let your friends feast while cleaning out your cupboards.
The next thing you need to do is to restock with things that are keto friendly. You figured out your food earlier, now apply those rules, and add some treats for yourself too like keto cookies and keto brownies.
The takeaway is this: Don’t have foods in the house you can’t eat that will tempt you to break your diet. At the same time, be sure you have plenty of the foods you can eat so you won’t be tempted to go out and get the things you can’t.
4 – Keto on the Go
The problem is, we are a society on the go, and you have to eat at work and at other social functions. The key to keto on the go is planning. First, you can take meals and snacks with you. This is probably the best of the ideas, as you can plan exactly what you will eat, and not be tempted to stray from your diet.
The other thing that is vital is to check out menus ahead of time. Determine what you can and cannot eat ahead of time, and if you are dining with friends, let them know what foods to have on hand that you can choose from.
5 – Be Mindful of How Much You Are Eating
One of the biggest contributors to weight loss or gain is not only what you eat, but the number of calories you are taking in. It is easy with keto to simply count fats and carbs, but even in ketosis you need to watch the number of calories you are taking in as well, and match that with your level of activity.
Even though activity increases naturally with ketosis as individuals will generally have more energy, increases in appetite are also common. be careful and still watch caloric totals.
The keto diet is one of the tougher ones to follow, but the rewards are often spectacular. Use these five tips to get you started and keep you on track.
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Connect here with WatchFit Expert Shawn Clark