I've lost A LOT of weight and I know all the struggles you can go through when you are trying to change your lifestyle and habits. I have also worked with two different groups of people on their weight loss goals through KETO diet based practices.
Keto is the latest in hot diet trends. It works by fundamentally changing how your body processes food and turns your fat reserves into energy. Once your body reaches a ketogenic state, it no longer burns carbs (or sugars), but instead gets all its energy needs form fat.
If you are looking to get into KETO or if you are looking to achieve a better balance or just a better experience, here are a few of my tips to consider!
Here are 5 tips on how to get the best out of a keto diet.
#1 - Is this for you?
The first thing you need to think about when starting a new diet, is whether it is the right diet for you.
For example, a keto diet might not work if you are breastfeeding or pregnant. In these instances you need to have a conversation with your doctor which kind of nutrition is needed. Especially during pregnancy, weight loss is not usually advisable.
This is also the case if you are on medication for high blood pressure or diabetes, as these can interfere with how you process foods.
#2 No More Carbs
The main area of focus in a keto diet is the switch form a carb based intake to a fat based one. This means that you will need to eliminate as many carbs as possible. This means no more white bread, no more pasta, no more rice. What you gain, though, is a healthy lifestyle, so it’s not a difficult switch when you really think about it.
One you limit your carb intake, your body does not receive enough glucose (sugar). This will push your cells to use fat reserves to gain energy instead. This process is called ketosis.
How you get to the point where ketosis sets in, however, varies greatly and depends completely on your body type, genetic make-up, and even personal medical history.
Stop thinking of KETO as a quick fix to weight loss and start thinking about KETO as a way to achieve a healthier you. A way to kick sugar cravings. A way to reduce your dependency on all that extra glucose we are feeding our bodies. A way to improve the type of food we eat on a daily basis.
#3 Think of the Fat
Ketosis will set in when your body is depleted of carbs and sugar to use for energy production. The next best thing for our cells is fat. Fat is high in energy and is normally used to store it for a later date. Sugar is the “quick” source of energy, whereas fat is our long term investment. But switching your body to that source takes work. It also takes a basic understanding of what kind of fat is good for us.
When we switch to a keto diet, we need to consume more fat and fewer carbs. But not just any kind of fat!
“Good” fatty acids can be found in oily fish such as salmon, coconut oil, lard, or ghee.
This does not mean, however, that we can just eat as much fat as we like.
As with any diet, we still need to keep an eye on our overall calorie intake. KETO isn't just a miracle diet that helps you melt the fat away. Energy balance matters. How much you put in versus how much you use up.
Equally important is protein and while protein is limited on a KETO diet it should not be forgotten. Protein is the building blocks for our muscular structure and should not be ignored.
The biggest problem that crops up again and again with people who switch to the keto diet is hydration. Side effects of dehydration include very dark urine, feeling dizzy, dry skin or lips, or lack of energy. Your body is going through a major change, it needs a lot of water to keep up and you need to fill your cellular structure back up with the water that is depleted.
#5 Real Food Matters!
Stop reaching for miracle supplements to get you into KETO. KETO is a process by which your body switches from using carbs to fat stores. This takes time. Trying to trick your body into KETOSIS by using some fancy supplement is useless. Our body is pretty smart and it is efficient and constantly adapts to stimuli. Adding supplements may work initially but will distort your results long term. Real food matters. Eating a proper KETO balanced diet filled with nutrient rich foods, foods that will help promote Ketosis matters. As your body adapts to the FOOD you eat, it will become a habit. Your body's habit changes and it will use your fat stores as fuel. Let it LEARN how to use food rather than depend on supplementation. You will thank yourself in the long run