If you are exploring new ways of eating and don’t think Paleo, Vegan or Whole30 is for you, how about the Ketogenic Diet? The Ketogenic Diet, more commonly referred to as Keto, was the most Googled term last year and we wouldn’t be surprised if it makes Google’s annual rankings again.
The Keto Diet involves a dramatic reduction in the consumption of carbohydrates while simultaneously increasing the amount of dietary fat a person consumes. This combination shifts the body’s metabolism away from burning carbohydrates and sugar for its main source of energy to fat instead. Once this stage has been reached, a person is in a state “Ketosis,” due to the ketones produced by the liver, hence the “Keto” diet. If you are thinking of adopting a Ketogenic Diet, here are five tips that may help you if you’re wondering “How to start a Keto Diet.”
*Important Note: If you are considering adopting a Ketogenic Diet, it is important to consult with your doctor, primary care physician or certified health coach first.
#1 Be Conscious of Calories
We are not huge advocates of calorie counting, but it is still vital to be cognizant of your daily caloric intake on the Keto Diet. Some high-fat, keto-friendly foods, like nuts and seeds, are easy to overeat. Instead of monitoring calories or tracking macros, try single serving packets of your favorite snacks. For example, instead of grabbing a jar of your favorite nut butter and a spoon, purchase smaller serving packets to avoid overconsumption. Plus, they are easy to stash in your desk drawer, gym bag or in your car for your busy, on the go lifestyle.
#2 Consume Fewer Carbohydrates
In order to achieve a state of ketosis, it is essential to dramatically reduce your daily consumption of carbohydrates and sugars. This reduction signals your body to begin using fat as fuel instead of carbs.
#3 Eat Moderate Protein
Although protein plays an important role in a healthy diet, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, especially when striving to reach a state of Ketosis. It’s a delicate dance, but there is no reason to be militant with your protein intake. Instead, eat a moderate amount of protein (about 30-35% of your diet) and try to get 55-60% percent of your diet from healthy fats, like those listed below.
#4 Fats Matter
When starting a Keto Diet, it is incredibly important to increase both the quantity and the quality of fat you consume. Going Keto is not an excuse to go all in on the bad kinds of fat, but rather high-quality fat sources like:
- Animal fats such as beef tallow and pork lard
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Grass-fed beef
- Grass-fed butter
- Nuts like Brazil nuts, cashews and macadamia nuts
- Olive oil
- Pasture-raised eggs
- Wild caught fish like mackerel and salmon
- Seeds like chia seeds and flax seeds
- Unsweetened coconut flakes
Tip: If you are looking to reach a state of Ketosis, don’t feel bad about adding more fat to your meal as long as it's high quality fat. Go ahead and add that spoonful of cashew butter to your celery sticks, have that handful of macadamia nuts before you head out the door and enjoy the Perfect Clean Keto Meal with ease and enjoyment. Afterall, fat is your friend on Keto, not the enemy.
#5 Other Lifestyle Factors
Maintaining a Keto diet isn’t all about food. You should still clock quality sleep each night, exercise (don’t forget rest days), maintain healthy relationships with family and friends, manage stress levels and practice proper hydration. All of these factors contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle, but a healthy lifestyle also includes living your life, so order your favorite dessert when you’re out with friends, but know that you will most likely bump your body out of Ketosis and that’s okay! Enjoy the moment and get back to your healthy lifestyle the next day.
*It’s important to note that the Keto Diet may not be for everyone and even if the Keto Diet does work for you and your lifestyle, it’s not meant to be forever. No matter what diet and lifestyle you decide to practice, always tune in to your body to determine what its unique individual needs. For instance, if you are an active individual or athlete looking to make some progress in the gym, it may be best to incorporate a Cyclical Ketosis.
If you are wondering “How to start a Keto Diet,” consider these five tips to help you adopt a Keto lifestyle and remember to consult with your primary care physician or certified health coach before beginning a Keto Diet.