It can be hard to stay in shape these days, and new diet trends are always coming and going. It’s easy to get caught up in fads and have a hard time figuring out what diet is right for you. A ketogenic diet is a great option for some, but what exactly is it, and what are its benefits? If you are considering going on a keto diet, here is everything you will need to know for your first week of keto and beyond.
What Is a Keto Diet?
A ketogenic diet, also called a keto diet for short, is a diet designed to help lose tummy fat quickly. This diet consists of eating foods that are low in carbs and often high in fat content. In doing so, your body goes into a metabolic state of ketosis, which helps to burn body fat fast.
By limiting the number of carbs you consume, your body is forced to burn its fat storage for extra energy, which makes you lose weight.
What Can You Eat on a Keto Diet?
There are plenty of different foods that you are still able to eat while on a keto diet. Your food choices include, but are not limited to:
- Meats of all kinds
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and trout
- Butter, cream, and other dairy products
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy oils, such as extra virgin olive oils, avocado oils, and coconut oils
- Avocados and low-carb veggies, such as tomatoes, peppers, and green veggies
All of these low-carb foods can be seasoned and cooked to your liking, of course; as long as you stay within these food limitations, you will be able to stick to your keto diet.
Foods to Avoid on a Keto Diet
Any foods that are high in carbs should be avoided while on a keto diet. These foods include:
- Sugary foods and drinks
- Anything high in wheat or grain products
- Most fruits and high-carb veggies, such as potatoes and carrots
- Low-fat and diet products, including sugar-free diet foods
- Certain condiments and sauces
- Unhealthy fats, such as those found in mayonnaise and vegetable oils
Consuming any of these foods can put a dent in your diet, and should be avoided while you are on keto. The only exception is a small number of berries on rare occasions.
Benefits of the Keto Diet
Keto diets have a number of amazing health benefits and can improve both your physical and mental health. While it is not meant to be a long-term diet plan, here are just a few of the benefits that keto can provide while you are on it.
One problem with many diets is that hunger can get in the way of your progress, making you want to quit.
Keto diets, however, lead to appetite reduction, making them easier to stick to. While this is not the case for every individual, keto diets have been shown to make it easier to both consume fewer calories while also helping you eat less.
Quicker, Easier Weight Loss
While in a state of ketosis, your body naturally burns off excess fat to give you energy. This helps to target problem areas on your body, such as your stomach and thighs, and makes you thinner faster.
Because you are consuming low carb foods, you are also eating fewer calories, which helps to keep the weight off. Compared to other diets that actively restrict calories, you are able to lose weight much faster. Thanks to your appetite being lessened as well, you won’t have a want for food, either!
If you are searching for a weight loss plan to get the pounds off quickly when starting, then keto is right for you.
Increases Your Good Cholesterol Levels
Fat consumption is one way to increase your levels of high-density lipoprotein, otherwise known as good cholesterol. Because keto diets involve eating a lot of good fats, you will easily be able to build your good cholesterol.
By eating only good fats in a keto diet, you may also be able to cut down your bad cholesterol at the same time and begin leading a healthier life!
Lower Blood Pressure and Sugar Levels
Cutting carbs has been linked to lower blood pressure, which reduces your risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious heart-related diseases. Since you are also cutting most sugary foods out of your diet as well, you will be able to reduce your blood sugar content as well.
Both of these factors will help you live a longer, healthier life.
Keto diets can help you feel better about your body and lead to more confidence. By improving your self-esteem, your mental health will take a turn for the better.
How to Start a Keto Diet
Now that you know what a keto diet is and the benefits that it can provide, it’s time to begin! Here are some tips for beginning your first keto diet.
Make Sure the Keto Diet is Right for You
Keto diets aren’t for everyone; it’s important to make sure before starting that you don’t have any health risks that could interfere with the diet.
Do you take insulin for diabetes, are currently breastfeeding or will soon begin breastfeeding, or are on medication for high blood pressure? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then do NOT start a keto diet.
Low-carb diets can be disastrous when combined with any of the above instances, as certain medications require a certain caloric intake, and carbs are necessary to give breastmilk proper nutritional value for the babies it feeds.
It’s important to discuss the logistics of going on a keto diet with your doctor before starting to make sure that you are not at risk of developing serious health conditions.
Make a List of Keto Meals
When starting out, it’s good to have a general idea of the various meals you can cook and eat. Make a list of the meals you may want while on your diet, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks; there are plenty of options at your disposal, so have some fun with it!
To get yourself well organized, you can even develop a menu for your first week of keto to help it go more smoothly. That way, you won’t have to think about what you can and can’t eat each day and get through it without hassle.
Accompany Your Meals with Appropriate Drinks
When preparing your meal lists, make sure you consider what drinks you can and can’t have with each meal. Some of the best drinks you can prepare are water, low-carb and no-calorie teas, certain brands of coffee, and nut milk, though there are other options as well.
Regardless of what you choose to drink, it’s especially important to keep yourself hydrated while on a keto diet. Make sure to drink water consistently, and keep sugary drinks like juice and soda out of your diet.
Make Weight Loss Goals for Yourself
Setting goals for yourself is possibly the most important thing you can do while on a diet. Because keto is meant to be a temporary diet plan, be sure to set yourself a weight loss goal so that you can remain healthy and happy while dieting and don’t overdo it.
How to Make the Most of Your Keto Diet
Keto dieting is great, but there are certain steps you can take to make it work for you. Here are just a few of the things you should keep in mind to get the most out of your diet.
Have a Plan in Place for After You Diet
Keto diets usually last for only about three to six months. Due to their temporary nature, it’s important that you have a plan in place for after your keto diet is over so that you can keep the weight off.
By planning out another diet ahead of time, or considering a particular exercise regiment to work on afterward, you’ll want to have something set in place. This will help you ensure that the weight you’ve lost isn’t piled back on once your diet has ended.
Tell Family and Friends About Your Diet
Getting caught up in your life with family and friends can be easy, and taking on their eating habits can make sticking to a keto diet tricky. By informing them that you are planning on doing a keto diet before you begin, you can have them help you get through your diet and get past food cravings and temptations.
It’s important to have people on your side to help you work your way through your diet. Inform your family and friends of your plans beforehand so that they can help you with your weight loss journey.
Prepare Yourself for the Side Effects
Like any diet, there are certain side effects that you may experience while on a keto diet. Understanding what those side effects are will help you work through your diet.
Work through the side effects by knowing they’re coming first, and understand what you might face in your dieting adventure.
Increase Your Electrolyte Intake
Having a lower calorie intake will mean that you have less energy to get through the day. To combat this, you should consider including drinks or foods high in electrolytes to help increase your energy levels.
Most sports drinks should help you maintain a good amount of energy and keep the side effects to a minimum.
Keep Exercising to a Minimum
Being on a low-carb diet will mean you will have little to no energy on most days. While it’s ok to have some form of exercise while on a keto diet, it’s important to keep your routine to something light; these light exercises, especially if done right in the morning, will encourage your body to burn excess fat without overburdening yourself.
What to Expect During the First Week of Keto
Your first week on a keto diet is going to tell you whether or not you should continue. Pay attention to your body and the side effects you experience to understand if you should keep going.
Here are just a few of the side effects that you can expect to have during your first week!
Brain Fog and Fatigue
Having such a low-calorie intake is going to make you feel very tired. Your brain will feel cloudy and muddled in your first few days, and you are likely going to want to rest a lot. Try to push through these feelings and continue your day as normal!
Just as your brain will become tired, your body will also experience physical exhaustion. You may find that you feel weaker, and have less endurance than you did before beginning the diet; this is to be expected! Push through and keep going.
When you find yourself struggling to move, try consuming more electrolytes to help you get through the effects. You can also cut down on your physical exercise to maintain your energy.
Other Negative Side Effects of Keto
Along with feeling more tired and worn down, there is something known as “keto-flu” that many who have gone on the keto diet experience. This is most likely to set in sometime during your first week of keto and comes with a variety of symptoms, including:
- Brain fog
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
While this does not happen for everyone who does a keto diet, these symptoms have been known to occur in certain cases. If you find yourself struggling with extreme symptoms, you may want to cease dieting or talk with your doctor about why the issues are occurring.
Live Healthier Today
While the first week of keto can be tough to get through, going on a keto diet can help you lose weight and feel much better about yourself. If you want to get healthy and thin fast, then consider educating yourself further on keto and get into the diet!
Are you curious to know if the keto diet is right for you and have more questions about it?
Continue reading up on keto diets and talk to your doctor to see if keto is right for you!