Maybe you’ve heard about this ketogenic diet thing and are ready to give it a go? Or your spouse is trying it out, and you want to be supportive. Or your doctor told you something needs to change, and it needs to change fast. The following will break down some of the things it can be helpful to keep in mind when making the change to a keto lifestyle.
What Is The Keto Diet?
In the most basic sense, the ketogenic diet is an eating plan that focuses on keeping carb levels low and fat levels high. Consistently this type of diet has been proven to result in weight loss, improved health, and the reduction of symptoms or risk of developing certain chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
The goal is to induce a state called ketosis within your body, whereby you get good at burning fat for energy instead of carbs. This results in increased ketones (which give your brain energy) and reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels.
How Is It Different From Other Diets?
The ketogenic diet isn’t a take-something-away-diet; it’s a replace-something diet. Removing carbohydrates alone can be effective in certain health goals, but it leaves you feeling unsatisfied, hungry, grumpy, or moody. Replacing carbs with fat removes all of these issues and leaves you happy and satisfied as you lose weight and get healthier. Many people who have tried several diets prefer keto for the genuine energy boost they feel and the mental clarity and positive mood that is associated with it.
6 Tips When Trying A Keto Diet For The First Time
Get Approval From Your Doctor First
While ketogenic diets have been lauded by people needing everything from weight loss to fewer epileptic seizures, it isn’t right for everyone. Those who have existing kidney or liver problems or heart disease might not be suited to the diet. As well, certain medications might need to be monitored and adjusted while living keto.
Learn To Cook
Before you dive in head first, a great step would be to learn a few keto-friendly recipes and try them out. Figure out what you enjoy eating and build up a repertoire of ten to fifteen recipes that you would be happy eating. This can be a big help when your roommates decide to order pizza or pasta is calling you.
Develop An Accountability Plan
Some of us need something to help us stick to the plan. You know who you are if this is you. Participating in measured challenges as seen at https://forketolife.com/28-day-keto-for-life-challenge/ can help keep the ball rolling when it’s movie night, and you really just want the nachos that your bestie is gobbling up in front of you. For others, this means embracing these changes with a friend, calling each other, and supporting each other throughout the process. For others, a journal where progress, struggles, and feelings are explored can be enough.
The Hard Part: Eating Out
Like with literally every other healthy lifestyle choice, going keto makes it harder to eat out. Restaurants are trying to accommodate new health needs, but these changes take place. Asking for a lettuce bun for your burger can work, but not everywhere does this. Prepare yourself for a bit of a dance with the menu when you’re eating out, and maybe, the first few times you stop at a restaurant, try to ensure you’re not starving before you even sit down.
Making the changes required by the ketogenic diet, whether or not you measure your ketones, will have a positive effect on your health. This being said, some of us like to measure things and know for sure that we’re succeeding. Blood and urine tests are available on the market that can tell you daily what your levels are at.
The Bad Breath Thing
Yes, one of the odd symptoms of the ketogenic diet is that it changes the scent of your breath. Not everyone likes this smell, and so you might have to swap up your oral hygiene habits—may be brushing three times each day instead of two. Maybe you’ll want to find a sugar-free breath mint to keep handy.
The above tips should help you make the shift to keto. Of course, like everything in life, this is a process. Worthwhile things tend not to happen overnight. One of the biggest things you can do for yourself and your health is to forgive quickly. Slip-ups happen. You didn’t think to read the label of that store-bought guacamole, and now that you have and know how much sugar was in it, you feel like the week (or even month) is ruined. It’s not. You’ve got this!