So you’ve finally decided to try keto. You’ll eliminate sugar and starch from your diet, minimize your carbohydrates intake, and you’re doing keto! Simple, right?
But not so fast. While it’s true that keto requires ditching carbs, there are several other things you need to know before starting keto. Below are some of them:
Understand what the keto diet really is
Contrary to common misconceptions, keto isn’t about adding butter and coconut oil to your food, and neither is it about eating a plateful of bacon. More accurately speaking, the ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, and what makes it “keto” is the absence of carbs and not the surplus of fat and oil.
A successful keto diet doesn’t require any special gadgets. Some people who have a couple of dollars to spare use special meters to check their sugar or ketone levels, and their pantries are always stocked up with bottles of MCT oil, and keto protein powder. While you’re welcome to use these things, they are not necessary to ensure the success of your keto diet. Keto is a way of eating, and the main emphasis is on maintaining a very low carbohydrate intake.
Keto also doesn’t work by measuring how much fat, protein, and carbs you eat. You don’t need to hit your fat or protein macro. What you need is to keep your carbohydrate intake as low as necessary.
Set realistic expectations
Keto is a way of eating that can effectively improve your health and physique. However, you should not expect the transformation to be fast. Avoid comparing your results to other people’s. Everyone has their own genetics, health issues, and lifestyle habits that can affect their progress. Instead of comparing and despairing, use other people’s successes to motivate you with your diet. Follow your own path, even if the journey might take longer than you wish it would.
If you’re a woman who’s starting keto to lose fat, don’t ever compare your progress to a man’s. Men lose weight more quickly than women, even if the former doesn’t follow the diet strictly. It’s unfair, but only biology is there to blame.
You will still lose fat, but your progress will be slower than it is for men. Generally speaking, younger people also lose fat more quickly than older folks because they have faster metabolisms.
Don’t be discouraged when your weight loss slows down
Another thing to keep in mind about fat loss is that people who have less to lose tend to have slower progress. If you have more weight to lose, you’re likely to shed off 1-2 pounds per week.
If it’s your first time trying keto, you might lose a substantial amount during your first weeks into the diet, but expect things to slow down as you progress. This is perfectly normal and to be expected, so don’t worry that you’re not doing it the right way.
If you don’t reap the benefits of the keto diet right away, such as fat loss, lower blood sugar, and clearer skin, be patient. Some things may take longer than others. If you haven’t achieved your main goal yet, focus on the positive effects of keto like more energy and fewer migraine episodes.
Prepare for the keto flu
Despite what you’ve read on social media about “keto flu”, most people who transition to keto don’t experience this side effect. For those who get it, it’s crucial to understand what causes it and what you can do for relief.
First of all, you must know that the keto flu is a temporary side effect that will pass quickly. The symptoms are mild, and to be honest, it’s a small price to pay for all the benefits that keto can give once your body has adapted to the elimination of carbohydrates from your diet.
The most common symptom of keto flu is headaches. It’s also common to experience dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, or fatigue. You can prevent these symptoms or find relief by increasing your salt intake. When you’re doing keto, your body’s need for sodium increases. Skimping on the salt can result in headaches and sluggishness. Make sure to include salty foods like bacon, olives, and pickles in your keto diet for that sodium boost.
Another symptom of keto flu is muscle cramps, especially in the legs. Consuming extra magnesium can help prevent or relieve cramps, as well as constipation, which may also be a symptom of keto flu. If sodium can’t relieve your headaches, it will also help to incorporate magnesium into your diet.
Know how to order in restaurants
Truthfully speaking, most of us enjoy dining out. Some do it for convenience, or because they don’t enjoy cooking, or just for a treat. Whatever your reasons are, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself ordering fast food at one point while you’re on keto. The secret to sticking to your keto diet when dining out or ordering takeaways is to choose non-starchy vegetables or a salad for your sides, like steamed broccoli or roasted brussels sprouts instead of rice or baked potato. When ordering fast food, go for bunless burgers or grilled chicken.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
For some people, transitioning to keto is a breeze. However, it’s not the case for other people, especially those who are used to eating sweet and starchy things like cereal, bread, pasta, rice, and ice cream. But when you think about it, going keto isn’t that of a big deal. You only ditch the sugar and starch and still eat the same meat, seafood, dairy, and low-carb vegetables you’ve always eaten. However, it can be really hard for some people, so the key is to focus on what you can still eat and not on what you can’t.
Transition to keto gradually
It’s okay to not master the keto diet right away. Be patient with yourself while doing the best that you can. If you find yourself indulging in that cupcake a week after starting keto, make sure not to consume the whole box, and get back on your diet immediately. Not the next day, but the next meal.
If it’s hard for you to stick to keto, allow yourself to ease into it gradually, rather than completely giving up carbs right away. The keto diet is most effective when you do it full-on at the onset, but if it’s hard for you, you can always take the slow but sure approach. One good tip to transition to keto with ease is to ditch one high-carb food category from your diet each week. For example, on your first week of the keto diet, eliminate the high-carb fruits, but you can still have bread, pasta, rice, and beans. On your second week, eliminate fruits and pasta. As you remove high-carb food from your diet, you will eventually achieve a strict keto diet. This approach may be a slow one, but the important thing is that you’re doing something to reach your goal, and that’s what matters. It’s better to transition gradually and stick with it than to go full-on overnight but restart every week.
Set non-weight milestones
Most people who are on keto do it to lose weight. If you have the same reason, keep in mind that the scale is not the only way to measure if keto is beneficial for you. Look for positive effects that don’t have anything to do with your weight, such as relief from acid reflux, a sharper mind, a clearer complexion, lower blood pressure, and more energy.
So, if you want to try the keto diet, all you have to do is ditch the sugar and starch. But these 8 tips can help ensure that your keto diet is a success, by boosting your enthusiasm and making keto easier to stick with.
A ketogenic diet can include a variety of foods that are tasty and nutritious. At Wave the Grain, we offer dairy-free and vegan keto desserts, including custom cakes, cookies, and cheesecake. Send us a message now to submit your order request, or visit our shop at 8172 South Holly Street Centennial, CO 80122.