Keto diet is one of the best ways to lose weight and attain a fitter and stronger body. This is one of the dietary plans that seem like a bad idea. Why would you eat fatty food when you’re trying to lose those extra pounds? If followed correctly, the keto diet is one of the most effective weight loss diets around right now.
Starting the keto diet is not a very hard task to do. However, it is one of the diets that are hard to follow. You might probably have a harder time if you have a sweet tooth. Keep on reading to find out more about the Keto diet and the things you need to know before starting.
Simple diet hacks for weight loss
Set realistic weight loss goals
First things first, you’ll have to set a realistic goal for your weight loss program. Divide it into more manageable steps until you see some results. Know your ideal body weight and make a road map on how to get there. Setting up a road map is a great way to continue working and getting motivated for weight loss. A specific and realistic goal is easier to get than blindly following a diet program without a goal.
Make easier and more manageable goals
Everyone has a different reaction to changes in diet, especially on a low-carb diet like keto. But one thing is certain with keto and every other diet and exercise programs: it won’t have a noticeable effect in just a few days or a few weeks. Instead of targeting 20 pounds, why not take 1-2 pounds per week? There are no drastic changes in the diet and is reasonable for a lot of people.
Weight loss takes time and effort
When it comes to the keto diet, time is essential, but an unchangeable factor. You will not be able to see massive changes in just a week or two. Hard fact: weight loss takes a lot of time. Just reaching the Ketosis state is a hard task for a lot of people. But this doesn’t mean you’d have to give up on Keto diet. With the right mindset, proper guidance, and determination, it should be a manageable and doable challenge.
Commitment in keto diet takes a lot of time and effort. To make the diet more effective, you’ll have to make an effort to track your food consumption. Knowing the right kind of food that goes well with your diet is also essential. The biggest effort you’ll have to make is to resist all high-carb foods that you used to enjoy before your diet.
Keto diet is not for everyone
Just like other things, the Keto diet is not for everybody. Human bodies do react to this diet differently. Although the majority of people who try this program got a positive result, some people are affected negatively. People who have metabolism problems, pregnancy, or kidney stones should not try this diet at all. This also works for children and people who have anorexia.
Alternatives for the keto diet
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or DASH is a great alternative for the Keto diet. The core principle is to reduce the salt content and get the right food portion. You’ll also cut your sugar intake in this diet.
Health Management Resources program
Health Management Resources or HRM program’s main goal is to reduce calories by adding more fruits and vegetables. The main food that you can eat in this program is multigrain cereals, salads, and chicken dishes.
Foods to avoid in the keto diet
In Keto Diet, food with high-fat content and low carbohydrates are ideal. Food that is high in carbohydrates is usually avoided. Most of the forbidden food in the keto diet is processed sweets such as chocolate bars and candies. Here are some examples:
- Soda or juice
- Cooked pasta recipes
- Rice and potatoes
- Donuts and bread
- Beer and sweets
Approved foods to take during a keto diet
Most high-fat foods are already in the regular diet on average. The challenge is living without carbohydrates in a certain period. Here are some examples of high-fat and low-carb food that you should eat when in a keto diet.
- Unprocessed meat
- Lots of fish and seafood
- Eggs and Cheese
- Nuts with a high-fat content (macadamia, almonds, etc.)
- Leafy vegetables
Be prepared: Create the perfect keto environment
Entering ketosis is not an easy task. Once you start the keto diet, you will need to achieve and maintain this state to lose weight. You’ll get the keto flu, which is a set of symptoms for carbohydrate withdrawal. You’ll feel miserable and out of energy because of a lack of carbs. And you’ll crave for it hard. Preparation is always the key to maintain your willpower for staying in this program.
Diving right into the Keto diet is a bad idea and will likely do more harm than good. To prepare for it, knowing what’s right and wrong about keto is a must. Know how to portion your food properly and maintain a fat-protein-carb ratio for your daily food intake. Eating out with friends and family, as well as other social stuff, will also be affected. To make this diet successful, having the right mindset, and willpower to resist your cravings is necessary.
Being a low-carb diet doesn’t mean that you will have to get rid of carbs altogether. You’ll still consume carbs, but not at the same amount as before. You’ll likely receive a carb limit, usually from protein powders or from fruits. Just be mindful of your carb intake because it can kick you out of ketosis easily.
Just like in any other diet, changing your food environment is a must. It’s what makes a diet plan easier and more maintainable. With the right environment, you’ll get rid of your cravings and will unlikely give up on your diet. It’s a way to prepare you physically, emotionally, and mentally. Here are some things you can do to change your home food environment.
Changing your home food environment
If you’re living alone, avoid shopping for things that are not on your menu. Place all the keto-friendly food in a place that is easy to see and access. When living with other people, bring them to the plan. Let them help in keeping you out of your cravings.
It might be a little bummer, but you need to learn cooking your food. Getting the right amount of fat, protein, and calories per day would be hard if you’re going to rely on pre-made food. By preparing your food according to plan, you can rest assured that you can maintain ketosis.
Mobile apps for fat, calories, and protein intakes are very useful in keeping track of your daily allowance. These apps offer a database of food, carbs content, and other things you need in your diet. Some trackers even have recipes you can use for creating your daily keto-friendly meals.
Last but not least, use keto-friendly sweeteners to get you through your keto diet. Sweet cravings are hard to fight, and it’s one of the unavoidable challenges during a keto diet. Plan and use keto-friendly recipes for desserts that you can enjoy once in a while. Take note that eating a dessert, even a keto-friendly one, might easily consume your daily calorie allowance.
Changing your food environment when on the go
There’s a lot of healthy and delicious snacks you can try while you’re on your diet. Examples of these are Peanut butter on celery sticks, string cheese, bacon strips, muffins, and more. Nuts have high fat and fiber content, but you need to eat these snacks without salt or sugar.
Stay away from temptations
Being on the road means being exposed to food that contains a lot of carbs. There are also times where you will find yourself in the dairy section of the grocery store. Instead, try to stay away from temptations as best as you can. You can instead focus on what recipe you can do to make your diet more exciting.
Eat more fat
Keto diet helps our body to utilize the fat stored in our body as an energy source. However, this is not enough to kickstart your body and get through the day. You also need to incorporate more unsaturated fats and the right amount of saturated fats in your diet to keep your system working.
It’s okay to eat carbs if needed
Usually, people who are undergoing a keto diet often pack their food instead of buying food. With the popularity of the keto diet, a lot of restaurants are offering keto-friendly menu items. If you’re out of food and there are no nearby restaurants that offer keto-friendly meals, it’s okay to eat carbs once in a while. Remember to be sensible with your food choices and minimize the carbs if possible.
Changing your food environment while traveling
A large meal is a key
Traveling for a day or two, instead of packing a lot of snacks, you can instead eat large meals before leaving. If you’re leaving in the morning, prepare a breakfast that can supply you energy throughout the day. Avoid getting snacks from airports as these are heavy in carb content.
The fat bombs!
Fat bombs are low-carb snacks with high healthy fat content. These items usually contain healthy fats, binders, keto-friendly flavorings, and sugar-free sweeteners. Take note that fat bombs should also be counted in your daily monitoring. It still affects your fat-protein-carb ratio limit even though these goodies are often served in bite-size form.
Eat your fats and veggies
Healthy fats are not the only important thing in your diet. Fiber is also something that you shouldn’t miss. Leafy vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, celery, cucumber, and lettuce have low carbs but have fiber content. If you don’t want to be too specific, remember to avoid root crops such as potatoes, beans, and beetroots.
Be active and exercise
Working out while under the Keto diet is doable. It will make losing weight and building muscles possible in a short amount of time. But you might want to hold up and let your body get used to your new diet first. There is a side effect called the “Keto flu,” in which you’ll feel weak, tired, and feeling irritable. This is your body telling you that it needs carbohydrates. Let this unpleasant flu past before hitting the gym.
After the initial flu phase, you’d feel invigorated. You’d be teeming with raw energy due to your stored fat being burned. Make sure that you have enough nutrients and fat to support your workout. If you’re not getting the right nutrients and fat to burn, getting injured is possible. Keto diet is low-carb and requires moderate protein, so add protein powders to your diet if you’re going to build up muscles.
High-intensity interval training or HIIT workouts are designed to build muscles and burn down calories. As promising as it sounds, this is not going to do good when you’re in a Keto diet. Since you’re on a low-carb diet, HIIT can harm you then do good. Instead, go for a low-intensity workout like swimming or hitting battle ropes.
Another essential thing to know when exercising: don’t try a new routine after changing to the keto diet. It’s somehow related to the notorious keto flu that you will experience in the first few weeks of the diet. Trying a new diet and a new exercise at once is not a good idea as you won’t know what works out and not.
Consider intermittent fasting
Since intermittent fasting and the keto diet are very popular, someone tried to do these at the same time. It turns out that these two combined are even more beneficial than when done separately. In simple terms, intermittent fasting an eating cycle of fasting back to normal food consumption. This normal consumption can only be made in a specific period.
When combined with the Keto diet, intermittent fasting can help in reaching and maintaining ketosis. During fasting, the body usually burns fat to create energy, which is what keto diet promotes. Intermittent fasting is sometimes used when someone is having a hard time reaching ketosis. Before you try this, consult your doctor or nutritionist first.
Frequently asked questions – FAQs
- Which vegetables to avoid on keto?
Root crops and other starchy vegetables should be avoided during a keto diet. Potatoes, corn, peas, cassava or yucca, and beans usually have a high carb amount. Avoid grains such as wheat, oats, quinoa, and sandwich wraps. You might also want to avoid food with beans such as lentils and green peas as they have high carb contents.
- Can I drink milk on keto?
Milk and other dairy products are generally accepted for a keto diet. A cup of milk every once in a while will not kick you out of the ketosis state. However, milk should be taken with caution when in a keto diet because it has a decent amount of carbs. There are other alternatives you can use, such as coconut milk, macadamia milk, or unsweetened almond milk.
- What sugars to avoid on keto?
Most easily available sweeteners are bad for a low-carb diet. This includes honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and maltodextrin (from corn or wheat). Dried food such as dates also contains carbs indecent amount. Opt for natural sweeteners such as stevia or sucralose.