A keto diet, otherwise known as the ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate and high-fat diet that trains a person’s metabolism to burn ketones as opposed to glucose. Once a body reaches ketosis, it is fat adapted, which means it is running on fatty acids. Running on fatty acids has a host of benefits from weight loss to less inflammation and an improvement in insulin sensitivity. There’s more about the keto diet and its countless benefits in the Body Reboot book.
One of the most significant challenges with being new to the keto diet is getting into and maintaining a state of ketosis. Even though it can take a while to used to the keto diet, cutting out carbs, and increasing your fat intake (or maybe it won’t be as challenging if the diet is an excellent fit for you), some tips can help aid you along the way. Learn about six vital tips below that will help you achieve ketogenic success.
Adding more salt to your diet at first may not sound healthy, but since your kidneys excrete sodium and a much faster rate when you’re on the keto diet, unless you have more salt you risk having the keto flu all over again. Make sure you’re salting your food enough, taking magnesium supplements, and drinking enough water (and electrolytes). Sodium, as Perfect Keto reminds us, is essential to have enough of while on the keto diet.
Many people have a negative stigma when it comes to how much sodium you should be consuming daily. We have been taught that our sodium intake should be very low but this is typically only the case on high carbohydrate diets.
This is because higher carb diets means naturally higher levels of insulin. When insulin levels are high, your kidneys begin to retain sodium[*][*].
When you adopt a low carb, high fat diet like the keto diet, insulin levels are much lower and your body excretes more salt since there are no carbohydrates present in your body to spike insulin and hold onto the sodium.
When you’re in ketosis, add an extra three to five grams (3,000 to 5,000 mg) of sodium in your diet.
This will help you avoid electrolyte imbalances. The healthiest ways to get more salt in your diet include:
Adding Himalayan sea salt (or pink salt), which contains natural trace minerals, to your water throughout the day
Drinking organic bone broth everyday
Sprinkling pink salt on each one of your meals
Eating low carb foods that naturally contain sodium like cucumbers and celery
Eating salted macadamia nuts
Melissa on her blog How to This and That knows all about the keto diet and how to prepare. Having lost 50 pounds and then gaining 25 of it back, she knows what to do and what not to do. One of her top tips is to prepare for the diet by doing the following:
The first 2 weeks of the ketogenic diet (also known as the adaption process) are crucial. Introducing more healthy fats to your diet is vital to your keto weight loss success. You are training your body to start burning fat for fuel instead of carbs. The body goes through a withdrawal of sorts. Detoxing from sugar and carbs. You may feel sick, also know as the keto flu. Just keep pushing forward. Take the “this too shall pass” frame of mind. Keep chicken broth handy. Take your vitamins and eat your fat.
Get rid of all non-keto foods in your kitchen and pantry
Begin every morning with a Keto boosting routine by drinking water and eating a healthy breakfast such as 2 eggs, 2 bacon and an avocado.
Keep easy to grab and eat keto snacks available. The key to kicking cravings is eating fat! FAT KEEPS YOU SATIATED.
Try out new keto recipes, MAKE A MEAL PLAN. It helps. Trust me! Plan , plan, plan.
As you start getting familiar with the foods you should be eating on the keto diet, consider making a list and know what to eat ahead of time. Having a list of your favorites or a general idea on what’s okay to eat daily will help you be successful on the diet. Low Carb Maven says Meal prep containers can also help with keto success.
Create a list of your favorites
When you’re hungry and stressed out over being hungry, your mind will inevitably draw a blank. If you have a list of Keto-approved snacks, it’ll be that much easier to grab something you won’t regret later.
Purchase meal prep containers
Having your meals planned and prepped ahead is THE way to succeed with your healthy lifestyle and having a dedicated set of plastic or glass containers just for your Keto meals will totally make your life easier!
With any diet, stress is always something that can prevent weight loss. The more pressure a body has on it, the less likely it will not only stall when you’re trying to lose weight, but you won’t feel well because you’re so anxiety ridden. Try to keep the stress away by doing the things that relax you, such as going on a hike, reading a good book, meditating, listening to music, and the like. Keto Perfect explains why stress isn’t a good thing when you’re transitioning into ketosis:
Chronic stress will severely hinder your body’s ability to enter ketosis. This is because the stress hormone cortisol elevates your blood sugar levels, which prevents your body from burning fats for energy because there is too much sugar in the blood.
If you are currently going through a high stress period in your life, starting the ketogenic diet may not be the best idea.
It’s best to begin this nutrition plan when you can keep stress to a minimum and you’re able to devote a large portion of your waking hours towards staying in ketosis.
If you definitely want to start a keto diet now, it’s still doable. Just be sure to take steps to reduce the stress in your life such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, taking time to do something you enjoy (like listening to your favorite podcast) or adopting relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation or yoga.
Just like you shouldn’t get stressed out while being on the keto diet, you also shouldn’t be in a huge rush to lose weight. Yes, one of the perks of the keto diet is losing weight once the body transitions into ketosis, but if your body isn’t ready, you may revert to old habits, so that’s why Shawn Mynar recommends staying in tune to your body and go at your own pace. This doesn’t mean “cheat” by eating a lot of carbs, but if you’re feeling off give yourself grace and continue to eat healthy fats and protein until and after you’ve reached ketosis.
Take it slow. There’s no need to go from eating your typical diet to being keto the next day. Making the change of macros over the course of 3-4 weeks will ensure you keep your body safe and stress-free. Oftentimes, when women take on a new diet, it shocks the system so much that it put even more of a burden on our body, landing us in a state of compromised adrenal function and excess cortisol production. By giving your body the time to adjust over several weeks, we can bypass the potential stressor it would cause.
Once your body is keto-adapted, or you feel comfortable implementing fasting, fasting is an excellent way not only to lose more weight but give your body some time to rest and recuperate. Dr. Jockers explains different ways to fast and how it can aid in weight loss and provide additional health benefits.
This is one of the best ways to get into and maintain ketosis because you are reducing calories and not consuming protein or carbs. It is a good idea to go low-carb for at least a few days before starting this in order to avoid a hypoglycemic episode.
I recommend breaking your day into a building phase and a cleansing phase.
Building Phase: Time between your first meal and your last meal
Cleansing Phase: Time between your last meal and your first meal
I personally coach people to begin with 12-16 hour cleansing phases and 8-12 hour building phases. Over time, as your body adapts you may be able to move into a 4-6 hour building window with 18-20 hour cleansing phases each day. If you are able to do this effectively then it is easier to maintain ketosis.
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