Keto sounds daunting. It sounds crazy. Who eats fat to get healthy? Who eats fat to lose weight? I do. And so do many of my friends and family members…and it’s working! There are medical professionals who also follow and are beginning to recommend the Ketogenic Lifestyle.
You need to know that this needs to be a change in your way of eating. It’s going to be challenging at times. It’s going to make you question what you’ve spent a lifetime learning and trying to make work. You’ll also begin to see why some things make more sense.
So, you’ve decided to give Keto a try? Awesome! I’m so proud of you. You’ll want to do a few things while you’re learning more about keto, what’s acceptable, what is a keto no-no, and how to realistically become a fat burning, keto adapted machine. Here are my recommendations:
- Start lowering your carb intake (the goal is no more than 20g daily)
- Figure out what your macros are using a macros calculator or a food tracker, like Carb manager or My Fitness Pal. Macros are the amount of fat, protein and carbs you should consume daily to reach your goals.
- Install and use a food tracker to journal your consumption
- Begin to assess your food intake and make appropriate adjustments…more fat, less protein, fewer carbs, etc.
- Keep in mind that there are certain carbs that are acceptable and some that are not acceptable. Generally, root vegetables, nearly all fruit, most flours, and sugar (including honey and agave) are all not keto-friendly items. You can have some berries, a lot of leafy, green veggies, almond and coconut flours, avocados, coconut oil, MCT oil, avocado oil, olive oil and unprocessed meats. There are far more items you can have than those you cannot…we just aren’t used to eating them yet!
- Find a Keto Buddy to do this with you. It could be a friend, a parent or sibling, a spouse, a coworker or someone else in your life that you can talk with about your journey and discoveries. My life is so much better now that I have family and friends to enjoy this with…we often share recipes, talk about our progress, discuss ideas and resources, etc.
- Don’t worry about cleaning out your kitchen and throwing anything away yet. One day, you will just want to toss the junk because you’ll want the space for your keto goodies.
- If you aren’t perfect, you are not alone. While there are no cheat days in keto, you need to be patient because you’re learning. By the way, there are no cheat days because if you consume carbs you will fall out of ketosis and you will have to work days to restart the process of keto adaption again.
- You will find you’ll be retaining less water which helps immediately lose weight, but it also flushes your system and takes electrolytes along with it. In the long run, your system doesn’t have that water retention to hold your electrolytes. You’ll need to be supplementing your electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium) with your food and vitamins, if you need to.
- Finally, pay attention to your body! If you’re hungry, eat! You likely need more fat if you keep getting hungry. Avocados, fatty meats and fat bombs (see recipes) are great ways to increase your fat consumption. If you’re cramping, getting headaches, losing focus, etc. you are most likely very low in your electrolytes…so eat food that is higher in magnesium, potassium and calcium and add more salt to your food. You can also find electrolyte drinks that don’t have sugar and take vitamins/supplements, if you’re interested.
I know this seems like a lot. Start with #1 to prepare for keto and find a good food tracking app to help you log your macros. You can do this!