TIPS FOR STICKING TO A KETO DIET
Despite the many proven health methods benefits of the Ketogenic diet just the thought of cutting carbohydrates out of your diet can discourage many people from following this way of eating.
With a little planning there are several tricks you can utilize to to help you start the low carb, high fat diet with minimal effort.
Here are 14 tips to help get you started:
- TRY INTERMITTENT FASTING: Intermittent fasting will help you to get into ketosis faster. Intermittent fasting limits daily eating to a time window. There are various different options, some people choose to eat within an 8 hour window and then fast for 16 hours. Others keep eating within a 6 hour window and then fast for 18 hours. Explore the options and see which will work for you.
- BATCH COOK: Batch cooking is really important on the keto diet. Because you are making everything from scratch you tend to spend a lot more time in the kitchen. In order to be smart about this and budget your time when you cook at meal it is a great idea to cook several portions to put in the fridge or freeze. For instance when I make Cauliflower rice a make a large portion which I put in the fridge and acts as either a side dish for other meals in the week or I have it for breakfast with some fresh homemade salsa with a couple of poached
- DECREASE STRESS: Chronic stress will seriously hinder your body’s ability to enter ketosis. This is because the stress hormone cortisol elevates your blood sugar levels, which prevents your body from burning fats for energy because there is too much sugar in the blood. Try meditation and other methods of relaxation, but if you are going through a particularly stressful time starting the Keto diet should be delayed until you have a less stressful period
- INCREASE YOUR SALT INTAKE: Many people have a negative mindset when it comes to how much sodium should be consumed daily. We have all been brainwashed to believe that our sodium intake should be very low but this is typically only the case on diets which contain higher levels of carbohydrate. This is because higher carb diets cause naturally higher levels of insulin. When insulin levels are high, your kidneys retain sodium.When you adopt the keto diet, insulin levels are much lower and your body excretes more salt since there are no carbohydrates present in your body to spike insulin and hold onto the sodium.When you’re in ketosis, add an extra three to five grams (3,000 to 5,000 mg) of sodium in your diet. This will help you avoid electrolyte imbalances. It is also imperative that a good salt source is used such as Himalayan pink salt or high quality sea salt.
- PRIORITIZE SLEEP: Poor sleep has been know to increase levels of your stress hormones. This can prevent you from getting into fat-burning mode. Additionally maintaining a proper sleep schedule is important on a keto diet. Try going to bed at the same time everyday. With time this will help improve your quality of sleep. Ideally seven to nine hours of sleep are required for optimum rest every night. Obviously this is not always possible but endeavour to work towards this goal.If you have trouble sleeping, try sleep inducing herbal teas, meditation and possibly supplementing with a natural sleep aid like Melatonine.
- EXERCISE FREQUENTLY: A regular exercise schedule while on the keto diet can boost your ketone levels and help your body transition into a low carb, high fat lifestyle much faster than with no exercise. To get into ketosis, your body needs to get rid of any glucose present in the body. Exercising uses different types of energy for fuel including carbohydrates, fats and amino acids. The more frequently you exercise, the quicker your body depletes its glycogen stores and begins to make ketone bodies to provide energy.
- DON’T DRINK DIET DRINKS/SODA’S: Diet sodas use several sugar substitutes that can signal to your body that a large amount of sugar is entering the body despite being low in calories. This can lead to increased blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that the body may react in a similar way to some sugar substitutes as it would to regular sugar. There is a list of allowed sugar substitutes on this site.
- CONSUME CARBS FROM VEGETABLE SOURCES: By including low carb vegetables with plenty of fibre in your diet, you will find that they satiate you appetite as well as promoting the health of your gut biome. Choose leafy green vegetables and Cauliflower, which are lower in carbs. Other examples are kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and spinach.
- USE MCT OIL REGULARLY: A good choice is to start the day a couple of times a week with a bulletproof coffee. Supplementing with MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil will help you get into ketosis even if your glycogen storages aren’t fully depleted. MCT oil is a great tool to utilize on the Keto diet as they are immediately metabolized into ketone bodies and used for energy. Instead of having to go through your stomach for digestion they go straight to your liver and provide an immediate source of energy.
- IMPROVE YOUR GUT HEALTH: Gut health is linked to just about every system in the body. Studies have been show to prove that your gut micro biome affects everything from your mental health to your digestive system and several other systems in the body. Some scientists go as far as to proclaim that it is as important as your brain for and efficiently functioning body. Focusing on improving your gut health will greatly impact the health of your body’s metabolic flexibility. A good pro-biotic is essential in keeping things on track. Eating a low carb, high fat ketogenic diet is highly beneficial to your gut health. Eliminating carbs from your diet usually means that you are getting rid of processed foods, which are known to harm your gut micro biome. So focus improving your gut health can greatly improve your body’s ability to become a more efficient fat burner.
- KEEP KETO FRIENDLY SNACKS AROUND: It is best to batch cook keto-friendly snacks so that should you get a craving you have something readily available that you can grab. Easy things are pre-cooked bacon or slices of cooked meat. Boiled eggs, cheese, homemade guacamole, cauliflower humus, beef jerky, fat bombs.
- COUNT YOUR CARBS: Measuring your carbohydrate intake is important to begin with, until you begin to get an idea of the things that can hide carbs. Although these foods can appear keto-friendly sugar is hidden everywhere. Once you have been doing the diet for a couple of weeks you will soon get the hang of which foods to avoid and it becomes almost second nature.
- MEASURE YOUR KETONES: The most accurate measuring tool is a glucose meter. However to begin with, this is a slightly more expensive option. To begin with keto sticks, which are very inexpensive, are a sufficient way to check whether you are in ketosis.
- BE PREPARED WHEN GOING TO RESTAURANTS: At first it will feel difficult but it really does not need to be. Try not to choose Thai or Indian restaurants where you are unsure of what is in the sauces. If it is steak restaurant there are easy choices available. Choose a side of vegetables instead of chips or potatoes and a large salad. Avoid house dressings and either take your own or choose oil and vinegar or oil and lemon juice (simply ask for a side of lemon). Kebabs are a good choice (without the pita bread) and no chips obviously. There are lots of online sites, which offer advice on how to deal with this.