keto diet what to eat
The ketogenic diet, physically abbreviated as “Keto,” is a restrictive diet that focuses on burning fat for energy instead of carbs. By stripping carbohydrates from your diet and increasing healthy fats, your body naturally enters into a fat-burning state known as ketosis. This diet has been linked to numerous health benefits, from improving body composition to providing short-term control of diabetes. To make the keto diet a permanent lifestyle change, however, some guidance is needed to start and stay successful on this journey. Here’s how to make the ketogenic way of eating a part of your daily life.
Preparing for the Keto Diet
Before starting the keto diet, it’s important to understand the macronutrient breakdown of this diet plan. To reach ketosis, you must consume about 60–75% of your daily calories from fat, 15–30% from protein and just 5–10% from carbohydrates. Eating in this fashion may require you to make some significant changes to your diet.
For example, many staples of the traditional American diet — such as grains, starchy vegetables and sugary snacks — are off-limits when following the keto diet. Other dietary modifications, such as consuming enough healthy fats and consuming enough fiber, may also be necessary. It’s important to research the keto diet before embarking on this journey, particularly if you have any medical conditions.
Establish Good Habits
Succeeding on the keto diet requires adopting new habits and behaviors. Start by keeping track of what foods you’re eating, when you’re eating them and how they make you feel. This can provide important insights into why you’re failing to stick to the keto diet and allow you to make adjustments as necessary.
You should also prioritize stocking your pantry with keto-friendly foods. Choose high-fat, low-carb ingredients that you enjoy so you can avoid feeling deprived. Furthermore, plan ahead for meals and snacks to make it easier to stay on track. Finally, finding a support system — including friends, family or an online community — can provide invaluable encouragement to stay committed to the keto diet.
Ease Into the Diet
Rather than attempting to completely overhaul your diet overnight, consider gradually easing into the keto diet. Start by eliminating grains and sugary snacks from your diet, then slowly lower your intake of carbs over several weeks. Don’t forget to fill the void with healthy fat sources, such as nuts, avocado and olive oil.
It’s also important to stay hydrated while starting the keto diet, as this can help regulate hunger and cravings. Instead of relying solely on water, infuse your drinks with low-carb fruits, herbs, caffeine and electrolytes.
Recognize Common Side Effects
Beginning the keto diet often leads to side effects, such as fatigue, digestive issues, brain fog and irritability. This is known as the “keto flu” and usually lasts for about a week while your body transitions to burning fat for fuel.
To minimize these side effects, ensure you’re getting enough sleep and eating enough calories. Additionally, increase your electrolyte intake by adding salt to your foods and drinking bone broth. Finally, if your keto diet restricts you too much, then consider using supplements such as exogenous ketones to help you reap the benefits of the keto diet.
Adopting the keto diet as an eating lifestyle is a process. It may take several weeks to transition into this diet plan, and up to a few months to start seeing results. Additionally, if you’ve been implementing the keto diet for several months but are still not seeing desired results, make sure to consult with a physician or dietitian before making any drastic modifications.
Overall, the keto diet is a scientifically supported diet that can provide numerous health benefits. Focusing on whole foods, stocking your pantry with healthy fat sources and being patient can go a long way towards helping you make the keto diet a permanent lifestyle change.