We know that the Ketogenic diet is gaining popularity thanks to its benefits, especially weight loss. This is a major reason that people are following the Keto diet plan all over the world. Are you also wondering how to start keto diet? What food to include in your keto diet? And what to exclude from it? You are at the right place to find all your answers.
However, before we learn how to start keto diet, first we’ll go over it’s definition which is simple, if you restrict carb to the point that you enter ketosis, you are on keto. Now ketosis is a state in which your body burn highly efficient alternative fuel which is called ketones. And the healthiest way to do this is by consuming very little carb.
Now let’s learn how to start this diet, there are many different approaches to keto that you can try. But we’ll discuss the top 10 best ways on how to start keto diet.
1. Determine your goal:
Before you start keto diet make sure that you know what is the reason you are putting all these efforts for as well as you can determine if your hard work is paying off.
For example: if your goal is to lose weight which is the most common reason someone would start keto diet then maintaining very small calories is your priority.
Now you have your goal and also the evidence that weight loss is possible following keto diet, so you are ready to take up the Keto Challenge and start following this diet.
2. Plan your menu to start Keto Diet:
Once you have identified your fitness goal, the next step is to plan your keto menu.
We know that keto diet plan emphasizes to eat higher fat and low carb planning, so your keto menu planning can be tough because large number of high carb foods are not keto-friendly or you may find some low carb food including hidden carb in them, that can hold you back from ketosis.
Now we’ll go over some of the best staples for keto diet, including healthy carb substitutes, many vegetables work great for this llke:
- Mashed cauliflower
- Spaghetti squash
- Lettuce wraps
- Portobello mushroom
- Cauliflower rice
- Zucchini noodles
Check out this list of keto-friendly foods , it will help you to plain your keto diet menu.
When you gradually start to understand nutriryion behind your food choices, you’ll realize that almost every food product , mostly plants food contain carbohydrates. Keto doesn’t mean carb free and all carb are not created similar. When counting on carbs you should also notice that how much fiber you eat , fiber is type of carb that is not absorbed easily so it wouldn’t affect blood sugar level as sugar do.
3. Calculate Your Calorie Goal Daily:
After you have created your keto diet menu. The next step is to calculate how many calories you need to consume in a day in order to lose weight or maintain weight.
You can use online calorie calculators or fitness app that uses your height, weight, age, and gender to estimate your daily needs.
Changing your body composition has a huge impact on your calorie need because this is a driving force behind your BMR. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is a minimum number of calorie required for basic function at rest.
4. Stick to your Keto Goal:
You will see progress only if you are consistent, you have to stick to your keto diet plan to see your desired results.
Staying on track is really essential for your success and it’s all about consistency, you have to understand that this consistency in your diet is more important than perfection in your diet because aiming for zero mistakes could end up hurting you, and always remember small progress is still progress.
Take a deep breath, it is possible to live your life and still be on a strict diet. Whenever you are facing hard time on your diet remind yourself that it’s only matter of time, you are really capable of achieving your goals, go ahead, puff your chest out and conquer your days.
5. Get ready for Keto Flu:
Keto flu is actually your body’s response to carbohydrates restriction. You don’t have to worry about the cause of keto flu, in fact you must be glad that your efforts have shown good results. It’s not really flu and it’s not dangerous too, but it’s very irritating. It happens when your body is adapting to the new diet consisting of very low carb which is a very major change and your body needs some time to adapt to this low carb diet.
Following are some common symptoms of keto flu:
- Sugar cravings
- Poor concentration
- Stomach pain
Fortunately these symptoms are temporary and you’ll soon feel better, but if you experience one of these symptoms you need to be patient and relieve these symptoms of keto diet by the following methods:
- Go for a walk every day
- Sleep well
- Meditate every day
- Eat more fat, Check out top 10 tips for boosting fat intake
- Drink more water
- Take it easy with exercise.
6. Stay motivated:
It is very important to stay positive and motivated if you are following keto diet plan. You are supposed to wait until your body is adopted to the keto diet , but if you are struggling with your motivation here are few proven ways to help you out:
- Believe in yourself: Always tell yourself that you are the one who has to step forward and overcome all these challenges, no one is going to do it for you.
- Keep yourself busy: You need to find some activities that allow you to be creative, this could be even just going out for a walk or maybe spending time with your family.
- Reduces stress: Try to do things that can make you at ease, take a yoga, get a massage or listen to music.
- Get support: Hang around with someone, who support your goals and keep you motivated.
- Love yourself: Learn to love yourself by giving more importance to your health and diet.
7. Drink more water:
Drinking enough water is crucial when you are on keto diet, because when you eat carb, your body is storing extra of it as glycogen in the liver where they are bound to the water molecules. Now on keto diet when you consume low carb , it depletes this glycogen which burn fats but it means you storing less water, so there are more chances to get dehydrated, thus you need more water to stay hydrated following keto diet plan.
Most of the people find it difficult to drink more water. Fortunately with these tips you will know, how can you take more water without feeling overwhelmed.
- When you wake up in the morning your body is hydrated after a night rest, you need to drink as much water as you need to start your day the right way.
- Add some zero-calorie avoiding sugary staff flavors to water.
- Have a water bottle and carry it with yourself wherever you go.
- Reasons to drink more water on keto:
- Drinking water replaces water loss on ketosis
- Help you regulating your appetite
- Alleviates the stress on your kidney
- It improves fat metabolism.
According to research, people opting for keto diet should opt for a minimum of 16 ounces of water daily. 11 glasses of water per day for women and 16 glasses for men are highly recommended. However, this rule doesn’t apply to everyone because water intake may vary from person to person according to a body mass, age, gender and athletic performance.
8. Exercises on keto diet:
People on keto diet ask this question frequently that, Is exercise safe on keto diet? The short answer is yes. Low carb diet doesn’t mean exercise is completely off limits. In fact exercise help to decrease risk of heart disease, improve mental health and lose weight. Workouts on keto diet also play a vital role specially to avoid keto flu symptoms.
However keto diet can affect your performance during exercises but it doesn’t mean that you completely avoid it, you just have to be careful about the types of exercises you choose. So we’ll go over some exercises you can perform on keto diet.
1. Aerobic exercise
This exercise is also known as cardio exercise. It lasts over 30 minutes. Steady aerobic exercise leads to increase in fat burning and this exercise is a best choice for weight loss if you are following keto diet plan.
2. Anaerobic exercise
In this type of exercise carbs are the primary fuel and fat alone may not provide enough energy for this workout. Examples are weight lifting or high-intensity interval training popularly known as HIIT.
3. Flexibility exercises
This exercise can stretch your muscles, may support your joints and improve your range of motion. Examples are yoga and after workout stretches.
4. Stability exercises
This exercise helps to improve your body balance and core training, this exercise promote best contro; of your movements.
According to the study conducted in Australia showed that being in ketosis might help with blood glucose maintenance during exercise in people who are suffering from obesity.
There are few important things you should know before you start to exercise on keto diet.
- Make sure you are eating enough fats: If you aren’t eating enough fats your body wouldn’t be able to sustain even a simple workout and in this way you can even put yourself in danger by not eating enough fats.
- Avoid high intensity workouts: When you are following extreme diet such as keto, you have to avoid high intensity workouts because these workouts rely on carb and if you are on a keto diet your carb intake is very little. So you have to stick to low intensity workouts.
- Listen to your body: Don’t push your body too hard for the sake of losing weight quickly even if your body is telling you that, it can’t handle it.
9. Increase fat intake:
Keto dieters know that this diet is all about fats because it contains up to 80% of calories from fats which shift your body into ketosis in which fats from your main sources of energy burns instead of carbohydrates.
According to Kendra Whitmire, a nutritionist from California “Many dieters boil it down thinking that they just need to eat a lot of fats and avoid carb but eating an excessive amount of unhealthy fats following a keto diet plan”. It’s going to be the nutrients you have to focus on because some picks are healthier than others.
It’s clear that sources of unsaturated fats are recommended over saturated fats but both are considered keto-friendly. Fats like olive oil or coconut oil contain zero carb and other sources like avocado and nut butter are primary fats, but also contain carb that needs to be counted. Also, over-consuming fats can cause weight gain, but as fat are the main sources of the keto diet so you need to choose healthier ones.
Here are the best fat to eat plenty of keto diet.
According to the USDA olive oil is best for light sautéing using in dressings, or drizzling over cooked veggies and meats as a finishing oil. 1 tbsp offers 119 calories and 13.5g of fat.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Avocado provide a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid. One half of avocado consists of 161 calories, 2g of protein, 15g of fats and 9 gram of carbs.
According to the USDA, avocado oil is rich in anti-inflammation and the benefits of using avocado oil is that it stands up to high–heat cooking.
Chia seed and flex seed
These sources of fats are recommended because they offer omega-3 fatty acids. Some researches show that eating more of this food will improve the ratio of omega-6s to 3s you consume.
Nuts and nut butter
You have to check the label to know what exactly you are eating. Because nuts offer fats but they also contain carbs.
And here are some fats you should limit following keto diet plan.
It is a source of saturated fat, when you add a heavy cream to your coffee, you get an additional source of fat into your day. According to the USDA 1 tbsp contain 51 calories, 5g of fats (3.5g unsaturated). And is just shy of half gram of carbs.
This is a fat source you need to limit, but some of the researches suggested that it has health benefits as well. A meta-analysis published in December 2017 in the European Journal of Nutrition found this source lower risk of heart disease.
Eating significant amount of butter has worst effects on health as compared to other fat sources.
10. Adequate protein intake:
Ketogenic diet encourage to eat moderate amount of protein because eating too much protein can kick you out of ketosis and very little intake of protein can hinder your fitness goals and leave you hungry.
Protein is a very essential component of every diet and moderate protein intake is essential for:
- Losing body fat
- Building and repairing tissue
- Hair nail and skin health
- Hormonal functions
- Recovering from workouts
- Lowering blood pressure
- Building muscles
- Regulation and function of the organs
- Optimal enzyme and hormonal function
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Protein sources to eat on keto:
- Organ meat like liver and heart
- Full fat dairy products like heavy cream and grass fed butters
- Chicken thighs
- Fatty fish like salmon, halibut, mackerel and sardines.
- Fatty cuts of grass-fed beef
Protein sources to avoid following keto diet plan:
- Hot dogs
- Bologna sausage
- Corned beef
- Vienna sausage
A number of researches show that eating too much protein can cause gluconeogenesis (GNG). GNG enables the liver and kidney to make glucose from non-carb foods, such as protein. Since the goal of the keto diet is to deplete glucose stored in your body and our body needs some glucose to survive, GNG allows your body to make enough glucose.
Now for keto dieters, the best approach is to get 25% of your calories from protein and get 5% of calories from the carb. According to Diet Doctor “ Restrict your protein intake to moderate levels. Stay between 1.2-1.7g of protein per day, per kg of body weight (about 0.6g per pound) So about 85-110g of protein per day if you weight 70 kilos(154 pounds).