There is a lot of buzz about the Ketogenic diet these days – with everyone from celebrities like Khloe Kardashian to Instagram influencers to YouTubers to your neighbor touting the benefits of eating fat and reducing carbs. Low carb diets are nothing new, but the Keto diet which limits carbs and significantly increases fat, is taking the world by storm. If you’re interested in the keto diet for long term fat loss, here are the first steps of how to start keto and survive the first week.
And, we are on board with Keto for many reasons:
- It works! I personally have seen a 30 pound weight loss in 4 months after trying EVERYTHING possible. I have always eaten well, never overindulge and exercise regularly, but my 40-year old body just wasn’t responding to anything, anymore. By following this lifestyle and adapting it to include foods that further support a woman of my age, I have nothing but tons of energy, my skinniest jeans fit again and my mood swings are gone.
- It is based on good science. Whole foods, natural and unprocessed dairy, reducing sugar – it’s nothing but good for us when done properly. The research speaks for itself – this does promote a healthy lifestyle and wards off and can reverse many diseases that are caused by inflammation and insulin-resistance.
- It’s easy when done right and with the right information. The issue is that there is LOTS of bad and incorrect – and therefore dangerous and unhealthy – information out there. That’s why a whopping 70% or more of people who start a keto diet fail and give up after just a week. And 20% MORE quit after week two.
Our program is based on good science and makes it easy. However, it’s important to know the typical mistakes those new to keto make and how to avoid them when you’re getting started on keto:
- Supplements and “keto” foods: My good friend was ready to start keto, went on Amazon and filled her cart with keto-friendly meal replacement shakes, some keto pills that I have no idea what they were for and other foods that were low carb – probably by some unhealthy process. The thing is, to do Keto properly and especially with the Ketology method, you don’t have to invest in gimmicky products – you just have to eat the right foods that you can find at the supermarket. We do like some items for when in a pinch that we’ll share, but the bulk of “keto” prepared items are filled with chemicals or processed in a way that is unhealthy.
- Understanding there’s an adjustment period: To shift our bodies from burning glucose to fat, it takes a week or two. That’s not to say you won’t start seeing the weight loss benefits, but just like you didn’t gain weight overnight, adjusting to a new way of fueling your body properly takes time. And the “Keto Flu” is a real thing which when prepared, you can make it through JUST FINE. However your body does react when you are changing the way it has been running for your life to this point – so you might have flu-like symptoms that can last a couple of days or up to a week. Just drinking a lot of water, getting in electrolytes and not over-doing it with the exercise in the beginning will help stave off the symptoms.
- Hydrate! The first thing our bodies will do on Keto is start releasing a LOT of water. Carbs and sugar make our bodies store more water, so as we switch over to burning ketones, our body feels good about releasing that water…but we need to make sure we replace it. Drinking water and getting some good salts (pink Himalayan sea salt is our go to) in our diets helps. This is where you could also take electrolyte supplements – one of the few supplements we will recommend – but make sure they are sugar-free – like Ultima which has great flavors without sugar.
- Not enough fat: we know the plan SAYS to take in 70% fat, but it does seem counterintuitive at first, we know. So many people just starting out are hesitant and actually take in too much protein. You need to get to that minimum of 70% fat level and you’ll feel great and will see that it actually works!
- Not getting enough greens: Fiber is critical on a keto diet – and any diet. On Keto though, without it, you’ll have gastrointestinal issues and feel bloated and constipated. That’s why we always have a huge salad each day and take in at least one avocado (yes, this is why so many of our recipes feature avocados). Plus, while greens and vegetables wrongly get a bad rap in some keto circles because of the total carbs, they are full of fiber, which reduces the net carbs to an acceptable level.
- Hidden carbs: Reading labels, or following our meal plans and guides, is important to avoid hidden carbs that can kick you out of – or prevent you from entering – ketosis. It’s not hard and you won’t feel deprived, you just have to make the right choices. Lots of sauces and condiments are filled with hidden sugars, so read labels, or make sauces at home, or follow our guides to avoid hidden sugar when eating out.
- This is a lifestyle, not a diet! Yes, most people try keto to lose weight – and that’s fine because it is one of the best ways to lose fat and stubborn weight effectively! However there are science-backed health benefits that this way of living reduces inflammation and insulin-resistance which are basically the two major causes of most disease – from arthritis to cancer. Once you have reached your goal weight, don’t think you’re done! You will be your healthiest ever, feel amazing and look great by maintaining a keto lifestyle. Invest in you!