Congratulations on taking your first step on changing your lifestyle! Many people like you are seeking a new diet plan or lifestyle change to become an overall better person. I’ve tried many different diet plans, and I’ve recently converted to a Ketogenic diet lifestyle plan. I’d like to share my research and experiences with you to maximize your results. Please see below for some tips on how to successfully carry out this diet plan and become a better you!
Diet Plan: Tip 1
As always, you should speak with your general physician before starting any new diet plan to ensure this is right for you.
Understand this diet plan is a journey, and it is not going to be easy. You should treat this is as a lifestyle change, and mentally prepare the same way you would for any other journey such as moving away out of your comfort zone to a brand new city. Why are you moving to begin with? What are you going to pack? What are you going to do when you get there? Where are you going to live?
You should ask yourself these same types of questions before you begin, and even keep a journal to help prepare and log results as you embark on this journey. Start by setting goals and writing down what inspired you to start this journey in the first place. You can reference back to this page to stay motivated on your toughest days. You should also take measurements of yourself using a scale, tape measure, and even jot down how your feel mentally prior to beginning.
Also think about things you are going to have to sacrifice — be brutally honest with yourself! You can no longer spend your Saturdays binge drinking with your friends. It is important to note that alcohol is not Keto, but you can still have an occasional drink or two. You can’t go out to eat and order your favorite dish loaded with carbs anymore. You also will have to give up things like traditional bread and pasta, but there are many Keto-friendly substitutes available so don’t worry just yet!
It’s important to also understand the Keto diet is not for everyone, so if you are not seeing the results you want, or you don’t feel like yourself anymore mentally, then you may want to consider a new alternative.
Diet Plan: Tip 2
Figure out what type of healthy Keto-friendly food you like. Many people who start this journey burn out over time because they get sick of eating the same foods week after week. They also fail to get creative with their food choices. It’s important that you start out strong and do research on exciting food recipes to keep you engaged. Meal prepping is key.
You can also create your own cook book, and choose from a long list of options to keep things interesting. I personally created an inventory of recipes separated out by breakfast foods, snacks, lunch, and dinner recipes to stay organized.
Diet Plan: Tip 3
When you first begin, you may experience something called the “Keto Flu”. Many people develop symptoms of dizziness, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms — this is completely normal! Your body is in the process of adapting to a new way of fueling itself. During this process you are also shedding large amounts of water from your body primarily in the form of glycogen stored in your muscles, which is typically created when you ingest a normal amount of carbohydrates. It is important to remember these flu-like symptoms will pass, and you need to stay strong during this time. What helped me was to keep working out and drink tons of water.
As mentioned above, as your begin your Keto Diet you are going to shed large amounts of water. In addition, as you continue on this journey your body will no longer store as much water as it had before. It is important to counteract this water loss by drinking the proper amount of water.
A good rule of thumb is to take half your body weight and divide by 8 to get the number of glasses of water to drink a day. For example, I weigh 200 pounds so I should drink about 12.5 glasses of water a day. You should also supplement this by increasing water intake after ingesting any sort of diacritic such as coffee. In addition, it’s important to ensure these are also accompanied with the proper amount of electrolytes. Drinking mineral water, salt water, or sports drinks can help with this.
Diet Plan: Tip 4
Be mindful of your macros. Macronutrients (macros for short) are what makes up the calorie content of food. There are three main categories of macros: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. On a Ketogenic diet plan, you should consume about 70-80% fat, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates in your every day diet.
This sounds absolutely shocking, but studies of the Keto diet plan indicate this rewires your body to fuel itself primarily from fat as opposed to carbohydrates. Your body will slowly move away from carbohydrates as its main fuel source and move to fats. People on this diet will shift to a state of Ketosis, and eventually become “fat adapted”.
Typically it is very difficult to break down fats for energy, but as you migrate towards being fat-adapted, your body becomes extremely efficient at breaking down fat. As you progress, not only will you break down the fat you ingest, but you will also start to break down stored fat in places such as adipose tissue (stubborn belly fat).
How to Keep Track of Macros
What I’ve done to keep track of my macros during this process is to log the food I eat in fitness trackers, such as MyFitnessPal. You can even scan a bar code for certain foods, and it will register in the app. You can then select the quantity and portion you ate to be as precise as possible. The app will also give you metrics and separate out the foods into a pie chart to illustrate the percentage of your macros you ate for particular day. This has been instrumental in keeping me honest with myself every single day.