Celebrities and influencers have become a major force in the keto diet movement. People are drawn to the idea of following a low-carb, high-fat diet because it can lead to weight loss and other health benefits.
But how do you actually start a keto diet? It’s not as simple as just cutting out carbs and eating more fat. A lot of planning goes into embarking on a successful keto diet.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to start the keto diet, including what to eat, what to avoid, and tips to make it work for you.
Read: 10 Best Keto Bread
How To Start Keto Diet For Beginners
Getting started with any diet can be daunting, but starting the keto diet doesn’t have to be overly complicated. By following a few simple steps, you can start the keto diet and see results.
However, before you begin with any diet changes, it’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor. This is important if you suffer from any medical conditions or take medication regularly.
With that being said, here are some general tips on how to start the keto diet:
- Cut Out Carbs
The most important stage in starting a keto diet is to cut out carbs. This means removing all high-carb foods from your diet, including starchy vegetables, grains, fruits, and sugar.
You’ll also want to stay away from processed foods, as they often contain hidden carbs.
Cutting out carbs isn’t as difficult as it may sound. There are plenty of low-carb and keto-friendly foods that you can eat in place of carbs.
These include healthy fats, like avocados, olive oil, and coconut oil, as well as protein-rich foods, like eggs, chicken, and fish.
When you cut out carbs, your body will go into a state of ketosis, which is when it begins to burn fat for energy.
This can lead to weight loss, as well as other health benefits, like improved mental clarity and decreased inflammation.
- Use The Fat As A Lever
We are always taught that fat is bad; however, fat is an important source of satisfaction and energy. An important thing to understand is that fat acts as a lever on a low-carb or ketogenic diet.
Just like how a lever is pulled, the ketogenic diet “opens the floodgates” for increased fat burning. This process is called lipolysis, which happens when triglycerides (the type of fat in your blood) are broken down into glycerol and free fatty acids.
When you eat fewer carbs, your body produces less insulin. In turn, this means that there is less sugar available for your cells to use for energy.
This results in your body starting to burn stored fat for energy, which leads to weight loss.
- Drink A Lot Of Water
Drinking lots of water is of utmost importance on a low-carb or ketogenic diet. Why? Your body stores the excess carbohydrates you consume as glycogen in the liver, where they are joined to molecules of water.
Low-carb diets deplete this glycogen, enabling fat burning. However, it also means that you are holding less water, which makes it much easier to become dehydrated.
When on a keto diet, strive for 16 cups of water per day rather than the usual 8 cups.
- Maintain Your Electrolyte Balance
Sodium, potassium, and magnesium are the three basic electrolytes that play the most important role in how your body functions.
Together, they regulate blood pressure, how muscles contract, how nerve impulses are transmitted, and how water is balanced in the body.
Low-carb ketogenic diets can cause electrolyte imbalances due to the increased water excretion that occurs as glycogen stores are depleted. This can lead to symptoms like cramping, headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.
To avoid these issues, it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough electrolytes by consuming low-carb foods that are high in sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
These include leafy greens, avocados, nuts, seeds, and low-sodium cheeses. You can also supplement with electrolyte drinks or powders.
Another important aspect of starting a keto diet is to exercise. Exercise has many benefits, including increased insulin sensitivity, weight loss, and improved mental health.
When combined with a ketogenic diet, exercise can help you burn more fat and lose weight even faster. However, you shouldn’t start a new exercise routine if you’re not already physically active.
If you are new to exercise, start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. You can also consult your doctor or a certified personal trainer to create a workout plan that’s right for you.
- Be Prepared For The Keto Flu
The keto flu is a common side effect of the ketogenic diet. It occurs as your body adjusts to the new diet and starts to burn fat for fuel.
Since your body is used to running on sugar, when you switch to burning fat, your inner systems need time to adapt.
Symptoms of the keto flu include fatigue, headaches, brain fog, irritability, constipation, and nausea. These symptoms typically last for a few days to a week and then gradually improve.
To help lessen the symptoms of the keto flu, make sure to drink plenty of water, get enough electrolytes, and get some exercise. You can also try taking a multivitamin or vitamin B complex supplement.
- Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is important for overall health and well-being, but it’s especially important when starting a keto diet.
Sleep deprivation can cause fatigue, irritability, and brain fog. It can also lead to cravings for unhealthy foods and impaired judgment when it comes to making food choices.
To avoid these issues, make sure to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If you have trouble sleeping, try implementing some sleep hygiene habits like avoiding caffeine in the evening, establishing a regular sleep schedule, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.
Knowing how to start a keto diet doesn’t have to be tricky. By following the tips above, you’ll be on your way to starting this healthy and sustainable diet.
It’s important to remember that losing weight or achieving other health benefits takes time. So, be patient and consistent, and you’ll see results in no time.
Amit Gupta is the creator of Keto-Reviews.com.
After spending half a decade learning about every type of keto diet, pill, snack, and more, Amit has dedicated his time to helping others make informed decisions about their keto diets. Amit has also worked for a keto diet company, giving him unique and invaluable insights into this growing industry. When he’s not busy reviewing keto products or helping people with their keto journeys, Amit enjoys reading and playing sports.