Though the Keto Diet, also known as the Ketosis Diet, has been used to treat epilepsy since the 1920s, doctors and dieters are starting to understand the benefits of a low carb, high-fat, moderate protein diet for everyone, but where can you start? The Keto Diet doesn’t have to be complicated, but it can be a tough change for people who are addicted to sugar and carbohydrates. Here are 3 tips to help you succeed with the Keto Diet and help ensure that you’ll be able to make the change to your new way of eating.
If you’ve been living on bread and pasta for years, this diet might be a challenge for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. Up front, many people who start the Keto Diet lose a rush of weight quickly. This is your body releasing water weight from years of overeating carbohydrates and, while it will help keep you excited about the diet, the weight may not come off as quickly as the fat is converted to energy by your body. Most people on the Keto Diet lose one to two pounds of weight per week, which is a reasonable and typically healthy amount for most individuals.
Weight gain often happens as a result of months and years of poor eating habits, so be kind to yourself and remember that it might take time to work off those extra layers of fat. As long as you keep eating according to the Keto Diet, your body will naturally become leaner as it converts fat stores to energy. It is helpful to keep your goals realistic and achievable.
While weight loss on the Keto Diet can also be quite drastic, if you set your goals too high, you may end up disappointing yourself and quitting the diet. Don’t give up and plan ahead–especially for meals. If you know you will be tempted by treats during holidays or at parties, either bring your own food or eat beforehand. Often, people won’t understand why you’re making changes and sometimes can be discouraging toward your new diet, especially when they’re still eating unhealthy foods, but take heart. You are making an important decision to take control of your weight and your health and that is worth more than the temporary satisfaction of sugar and carbohydrates.
On the Keto Diet, eating enough fat is another key to success. Though it goes against traditional diet advice, when you are limiting your carbohydrate intake, eating fat will facilitate the Keto Diet and help you to lose weight faster. If you’ve been eating a high-carb, high-sugar diet, then your body has become used to using carbs for quick energy and storing the rest of the unused food energy in your body as glucose, which turns to fat in excessive amounts. Once you eliminate the excess carbohydrates and sugar from your diet, your body will eventually become adapted to using fat for energy in the form of ketones, which are produced by your liver from stored fat.
Fat is also a great source of energy because it takes longer to break down than carbohydrates and sugar, which means you feel full longer and end up eating less. With carbs and sugar, your body can be conditioned to crave them, so even when you’ve eaten enough, it still wants more, which leads to overeating. Make sure to get enough good sources of fat in your Keto Diet. From fish to butter and coconut oil to avocados, there are many good high-fat foods for you to choose from that will help keep you on track and away from carbs and sugar.
When you are in ketosis, your body will naturally cause you to urinate more, which means you can become dehydrated very quickly if you don’t drink enough water, in addition to the fact that your body will become deficient in electrolytes as well. When starting out with the Keto Diet, it is very important to drink enough water, as not only will it help mitigate cravings for food by keeping your stomach feeling fuller, but it also helps enable proper bodily functions. Many people notice significant benefits from upping their water intake, from fewer headaches and migraines to better-looking skin.
Because of increased urination, you may find it’s helpful to supplement the salt, potassium, and magnesium in your diet as well to ensure that your electrolytes are not depleted. Without the proper amount of salt, potassium, and magnesium in your diet, you can experience what is known as “keto-flu” while your body makes the switch from getting energy from carbohydrates to getting energy from fat. Many people stop the Keto Diet at this point because they experience fatigue, headaches, and moodiness, but don’t be deterred. You can mitigate the response that your body has to you breaking your carb addiction by ensuring you get enough electrolytes in your diet, either by adding the proper minerals to your water and food or by taking supplements.
Though the main thing to remember is to not give up. Many people are breaking sugar and carbohydrate addictions that have plagued them for their entire lives and this is sometimes a challenging process. As with any new diet or major lifestyle change, be sure to talk to your doctor before making the switch, especially if you have any underlying health issues. Not all doctors are aware of the Keto Diet and its benefits, but more science and positive results in the lives of many practitioners are pushing the Keto Diet from a trend to a new way of life.