Diets aren’t easy.
They take time, planning and consistency, which is why many people can’t keep up with them.
The ketogenic diet is a straightforward and manageable option for just about anyone.
People are asking how to start a keto diet because it seems too good to be true. After all, it’s one diet that can fit into anyone’s lifestyle.
And you won’t even miss a beat.
Many weight loss programs make life harder.
Think about it:
It’s practically impossible to fit convenient meals into your schedule on a normal basis. Diets that require you to count your calories will only make things more challenging than they need to be.
In general, diets are difficult because they often come with complicated rules and strict programs. They also aren’t easy to stick to because they are impossible to keep up with when you’re on the run. Half the time these programs just feel like a gimmick.
I don’t know about you, but I feel better when there isn’t someone else pulling strings and telling me what to eat. I want to understand what I’m eating and why it helps me reach my goal.
There are a lot of different reasons people want to go on a diet. Often it’s because they’re overweight or want to improve their health. Keto is a great option for both because it has numerous benefits. Researchers even found that you can lose two to three times more weight with a low-carb diet like keto than a low-fat or calorie restricting diet.
It might sound too good to be true, but that’s just because there’s a lot to learn. That includes: how to start the keto diet, why it could be right for you, the health benefits, and more.
It isn’t as complicated as you might think.
Top Reasons For Weight Gain
It’s hard for many people to balance their weight.
You certainly aren’t alone. For some, it is a struggle people deal with for their entire lives. For others, it is something that gets more challenging with age as their metabolism slows down. More than anything, weight gain can be a product of the world around us.
Food is everywhere. It is always being shoved in our faces through marketing and convenient placement. Most of the time available food is made up of unhealthy, processed food that is formulated to make us hungry for more.
Our bodies can become addicted to foods that are bad for us.
In excess, sugar can change our hormones and biochemistry. It contains glucose and fructose. The latter can cause insulin resistance and elevate our insulin levels.
Insulin can play a huge role in obesity, although many people believe that it is controversial. However, the truth of the matter is that when you cut back on simple or refined carbohydrates. When you do that there is an automatic reduction in caloric intake and that can lead to nearly effortless weight loss.
Metabolic syndrome is caused by consistently eating unhealthy, processed foods for many of the reasons we have already listed. Obesity and inactivity can lead to metabolic syndrome can create high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and excess in body fat.
That’s not all:
It also may include insulin resistance because it confuses your body. It could even lead to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Weight gain can go beyond you and what you’re doing wrong. Genetics, aging, nutritional misinformation, and certain medications can throw a wrench in things.
However, if you can find out what’s holding you back, there’s nothing that can stop you from reaching your from reaching your goals.
How you can track your BMI during your keto journey
If you’re interested in learning how to start the keto diet, you might also be interested in tracking your progress. For some people, BMI is a massive part of that.
Here’s what you need to know:
BMI stands for “body mass index” which is the ratio of your weight and height. Researchers say that people with a high BMI could be at a great health risk. Those who are above a healthy weight may suffer from diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, some types of cancer, and more.
If you’re interested in checking or tracking your BMI, you could use a special BMI calculator.
Understanding the Ketogenic Diet
Do you know about the keto diet?
The secret is fat.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat and low-carb diet. Keto scares a lot of people away because for so long we have always been told to opt for low-fat selections. But these days, there are more than one million Google searches for the keto diet every month. People want to learn how to start the keto diet because they’ve heard all the hype.
There are some important facts you need to keep in mind:
Now when we say that this is a high-fat diet, we are still talking about a specific range of fats. You want to focus on good fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. But avoid bad fats like saturated fats and trans fats. Other than that, you will be cutting out processed foods and switching to whole foods.
Although, this probably where you start to get weary.
Stay with me: You begin to have flashbacks about wandering through the grocery reading labels. Trying different apps and desperately trying to count your calories.
Worst of all, you’ll remember how hungry you are when you’re on a diet.
Not this time. We’re not going to lie: The keto diet will make you make you hungry in the beginning, as your body adjusts. However, it won’t last long — only the first few days.
Learning how to start a keto diet involves coping as you body adjusts. It’s part of the journey.
The combination of whole foods and healthy fats will make you full for longer and cut down on unnecessary cravings. Your body will also begin to burn away your fat surplus, rather than asking you for more and more sugar and processed foods.
Instead, your body will go into a metabolic state called ketosis. Increasing ketones will help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
Watch the video below:
How the keto diet compares to other diets
There are so many different diet plans that you can choose between. Atkins, paleo, the Mediterranean diet, Whole30, and the list goes on and on. Many of them have similarities to the keto diet.
The fact is:
Sometimes, when people are trying to figure out how to start a keto diet, they start with something a little more lenient.
Basically, any low-carb and high-fat diet that you choose will be beneficial. However, the keto diet has some incredible fat burning properties that other options don’t offer. It’s an intense experience for your whole body because it’s a massive change. But you could try to ease your way into keto with something like paleo, Atkins, or Whole30. It would pave the way and might make the transition a little smoother for you.
We aren’t saying that the ketogenic diet is the best.
To be honest, everyone is different, and it’s hard to pinpoint the perfect diet that will work for everyone. But we can say that there are incredible benefits to the keto diet that make it a fantastic way to lose weight and get healthy.
How to Start a Keto Diet
Figuring out how to start a keto diet is more natural than many other diet choices. You don’t have to deal with a point system or a calorie count. All you need to do is eat whole foods and cut out processed junk, carbs, and sugar.
It’s as easy as that.
It might be confusing when you’re first figuring out how to start a keto diet. You’ll have questions before you start and after you’re in the thick of it.
Most of these questions will come in the beginning because you won’t feel great, especially if you’re drastically changing your eating habits.
Your body will need time to adjust. Before we do, you will need to start planning and prepping, yourself and your pantry. It can be challenging when you’re just learning how to start a keto diet.
However, it’s much harder to relapse if you don’t have easy access to carbs and junk food. It’s time to eliminate carbs, stock up on good food, especially good snacks, make a plan, and do your research.
It is crucial to be fully prepared before you even start.
Here’s why: The transition will be much easier if you’re motivated and taking the necessary steps.
It will be a massive lifestyle change, and if you try to figure it out as you go, there’s a good chance you will stumble along the way.
Getting rid of processed foods, carbs, and sugars is a huge step. If you have a family, it can be even harder, especially if they aren’t on board.
If you can, ask your family to help you along on your health journey. They can eat whatever they want when they’re out and about. But when you’re making meals for the family, make healthy meals that work for you as well.
Getting in the right mindset
Starting any diet when you’re in the wrong mindset will make the whole process practically unbearable. It will make you bitter about the whole experience. Your food choices shouldn’t only depend on losing weight. They should focus on being healthy and reaching your goals. You should be motivated, inspired, and looking forward to the whole experience.
In the beginning, it’s going to be hard: Your body will be going through a type of withdraw. Food addiction is a real thing that most of us don’t even recognize.
It’s true. It isn’t like you’re choosing to start smoking that first cigarette. It’s something we don’t think about because we naturally get hungry. When we do, we typically grab tasty or convenient food. Both of which are usually addictive in their own right.
Our bodies crave things that aren’t necessarily good for us. All because they pack processed foods full of ingredients that will have you coming back for more. Processed food will slow you down and make you feel like a sloth when you’re coming down from a sugar high.
Once you get through the tough detox, you’re going to feel much better. You just have to stay positive through the process.
The Good and the Bad: Understanding What to Eat
Learning how to start a keto diet is all about the food. Learning what to eat and what to avoid. There are rules, but they’re incredibly straightforward and easy to follow.
- Check it out
- Cut out bad carbs
- Focus on whole foods
- Reap the benefits
Of course, there are some rules for the fruits and veggies you can eat. So we will outline the basics.
However, you aren’t alone because there are resources for keto meal planning, recipes, and guidelines. It’s a hot diet option right now, so it’s a great time to jump on the diet train. You will have all the resources you could need to succeed and learn how to start the keto diet.
Take a look at the video below:
Foods to focus on and their nutrients
There are so many natural foods that we never take advantage of, but we should. They are naturally packed full of nutrients that our bodies need. Our tastebuds are trained to enjoy food that packs a punch of flavor. When we’ve been eating processed foods our entire lives, natural foods aren’t always the easiest thing to get used to.
In fact: They’re downright bitter or bland in comparison.
But there is hope for all of us yet because we only have to retrain our tastebuds.
It doesn’t take as long as you might think and seasonings will be a huge help. We’ve put together the best list of foods that will help you figure out how to start a keto diet.
Meat and eggs
Most meats don’t have carbs, or they have very little. Although there are a few things you need to know before you go shopping. They are packed full of crucial nutrients, vitamins, and protein. However, organ meats do have carbs and aren’t the best choice all the time.
Then again: Most people avoid them anyway.
You also should choose grass-fed or organic meats. Getting meat straight from a local butcher is the best choice of all. You know where it came from and that it doesn’t have any additives.
When shopping in the grocery store, make sure to avoid processed lunchmeats, cured meats, added sugars, and preservatives. You are shopping for meat after all, so there should be as little ingredients as possible and no added flavoring. Often you have to watch out with bacon or ham.
You should also choose meat that has a higher fat content, like dark meat chicken. As well as higher percentages of fat in hamburger.
Seafood is good for you too
When fitting seafood into your diet, you should focus on choices that are packed full of benefits and nutrients. Fatty fish like salmon is abundant in omega-3’s, vitamin B12, and vitamin D3. Wild caught fish is the best choice in any case.
Moo your way to keto
Most diets cut out dairy because it has a high-fat content. You are going to want to incorporate it into your diet if you can. It’s okay if you have to skip it due to lactose intolerance.
If you’re good, here’s what you should do:
Focus on the unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, goat cheese, cream cheese, or even blue cheese. In fact, one thick slice of cheese contains a similar amount of nutrients as a full glass of milk.
You can even use heavy cream in your coffee or use it to make whipped cream to mix with berries for dessert. Full-fat yogurts also make a fantastic snack, but you might want to stick with greek yogurt.
To eat a vegetable or not
One thing you will have to get used to when you’re figuring out how to start a keto diet is the fact that not all vegetables are created equal.
As it turns out, there are some rules when it comes to vegetables too. With that in mind, most above ground veggies are a great choice, like lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and the list goes on and on.
Some veggies are high in starch or natural sugars, sweet potatoes, corn, or pumpkins, among others, and aren’t banned, but they are limited.
When in doubt, look it up.
Even if there isn’t a vegetable included on our list, it might just be better in moderation. If you’re still trying to figure out how to start a keto diet, there are plenty of extensive lists out there. But we want to cover the basics.
Fruit, in moderation
As we have mentioned before, even natural sugars aren’t the best option on a keto diet.
Keep in mind:
Even though the sugar in fruit is natural, it still triggers cravings in your brain. As though you were eating a piece of candy or other high-carb foods.
It will kick your body out of ketosis real quick. But in moderation, they make a great treat. Our list consists of lower carb fruits that may fit in a little easier. Just make sure to keep track of how much your eating and avoid them altogether if you might end up going overboard.
Fats and oils are delicious
A huge part of learning how to start a keto diet is learning to cook with the right fats and oils. Or at least incorporate them into your meals.
Here’s what we found:
Saturated fats are a big one. You can get them from grass-fed and organic red meats, high-fat dairy, lard, and eggs.
They can improve your cholesterol levels, fortify bone density and support your immune system.
Other essential fats include monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
There are more ways to assimilate these essential fats than you might think, like using them to cook or using condiments like mayo.
Foods to Avoid
This is very important:
We’ve mentioned plenty of times now which foods you should avoid. At least in a fundamental sense. But we also thought it might be helpful to go into a little more detail.
The most important thing is cutting sugar, bad carbs, and processed food. You should be focusing on whole foods and short ingredient lists.
Avoid artificial flavorings, starches, and alcoholic beverages.
You should also be aware of the fact that the keto diet is popular, so plenty of businesses are trying to take advantage of people who are learning how to start a keto diet. They market “low carb food” without even following the rules. They only want to make a buck off of people who are trying to get healthy. So make sure to read the labels.
The fewer the ingredients, the better.
That’s the best thing you can do when figuring out how to start a keto diet, read the labels. Simple ingredients and are healthy ingredients.
You need to avoid processed foods because they just pack them full of unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients.
Your body doesn’t have to do the work to break the food down, and it just stores the empty carbs and calories as fat reserves.
Alright, it’s time to face the facts:
You can’t eat the same old snacks that you’ve always craved.
Snacks get some of us through the day. So it would be impossible to get through a diet without them. And you don’t have to because you don’t need to starve and limit your food intake with keto. However, you are going to need some healthier options. They might take some getting used to, but eventually, they’ll taste just as good.
That is…after your tastebuds go through a little detox first.
Your limited drink menu might be the hardest thing to get over. You can’t use creamer or add sugar to your coffee. You can’t drink alcohol.
Plus, you’re going to have to cut out all sugary drinks, including soda, fruit juice, and sports drinks. Anything that isn’t beneficial and contains tons of ingredients will be unavailable.
Your options will be:
- Sparkling water
Watch the Starbucks guide below:
How you can prepare for possible side effects
Unfortunately, learning how to start a keto diet also involves determining how to keep the side effects at bay. That won’t always be easy, but you can do something about it. You have to know what’s coming and how to balance things.
Some side effects include:
- Low-grade acidosis
- Kidney stones
And that isn’t even involving the keto flu!
Remember, this: All of these symptoms are easy to get rid of, but you have to learn to keep a balance.
First of all, you should be drinking 12 eight-ounce cups of water per day. You will be losing a lot of water weight right of the bat. So you need your water and your electrolytes. So adding salt to your food is also vital to keeping your body balanced.
It has a lot to do with the fact that we won’t be eating foods that contain salt anymore. Most processed foods are packed full of them, and we are cutting that out. So we need to keep a right balance.
Another thing you absolutely must do is eat your veggies.
I know, I sound like a mom.
However, people typically focus on the meats and cheeses in a diet like this. They want to stick to things that they’re used to.
Since most people typically eat veggies as a side dish, they have to get over the fact that they should be a considerable part of the main course now. You need to work hard to eat as many vegetables as you can and rotate through different kinds.
Each vegetable has various vitamins and minerals. So keeping a variety in your diet will help you stay happy and avoid deficiencies.
The keto flu and how to avoid it
The keto flu is a symptom of your body going through detox.
Here’s what we discovered: The severity of your symptoms will depend on your withdraw. If you have a very unhealthy diet, it’s going to be a huge change, and your body is going to respond in full force.
The keto flu will begin, and you will be mentally and physically fatigued.
You might have a hard time concentrating and suffer from nausea, digestive discomfort, and sleep issues.
Although if you know this is going to be a big change, you can ease into things slowly. Knocking foods off your list and replacing them with healthy options.
As a bonus, the keto diet can change the water and mineral balance in your body. Salt plays a vital role in balancing that. So you should do your best to fit salt it into your diet wherever you can. Even if you need to get a supplement to do it.
Watch the video below:
Supplements to consider
Supplements are a fantastic way to fight off the keto flu and all the uncomfortable issues that come with it.
When you’re learning how to start the keto diet, you might feel a bit better if you can arm yourself with a defense. The side effects can be rough for some people. Remember that they don’t last long, especially if you’re doing your best to ease into things or promote a balance.
|Magnesium||to boost energy, regulate blood sugar levels, and support your immune system.|
|MTC Oil||“MTC” stands for medium-chain triglycerides which can act as fuel for your brain and muscles.|
|Omega-3 Fatty Acids||Reduce inflammation, lower the risk of heart disease, and help prevent mental decline as you age.|
|Vitamin D||facilitates the absorption of calcium, supports your immune system, regulates cellular growth, lowers inflammation, and promotes bone health.|
|Exogenous Ketones||fights nausea and diarrhea, and helps break down fats and proteins.|
|Electrolyte supplements||restock your body with its necessary electrolytes. It’s crucial because, in the beginning, you will lose water weight quickly and possibly become dehydrated. Keeping up with your electrolytes will fend off the keto flu.|
Figuring Out How to Start a Keto Diet Isn’t as Hard as You Think
Figuring out how to start a keto diet is simple.
By that, we mean: It uses simple ingredients.
Your job is to figure out how to to use them to make tasty meals. There are plenty of keto-approved recipes that are straightforward and delicious. Even your family might like them. Emphasis on “might” because kids are especially hard to please. However, you should keep in mind that it’s always worth a try to get healthy and push your family in the same direction. The sooner, the better.
The truth is, figuring out how to start the keto diet isn’t the hard part. The hard part is being consistent and sticking to your goals. You can learn everything you need to know and get over the rough start in an instant. If you don’t stick with it, you will fall off the bandwagon quickly, and you might not bother to jump back on. It might be hard, but it is by no means impossible. You can do anything you put your mind to, but you have to genuinely mean it.
Keto is only one diet, and there are so many others you could choose instead. But the best part about this diet is the fact that you are in the driver’s seat. You have total control; you know exactly what you’re putting in your body, and what to avoid.
All you have to do is put it into motion.