It’s a new year and you may be starting a new diet plan to shed some weight or just get healthier.
To be sure you have set yourself up for successful keto diet plan, we are offering a number of suggestions that we have found to be helpful.
Remember, it’s a marathon — not a sprint! You don’t want to run out of steam early on so pace yourself and know what to expect and how to adopt lifestyle choices that will ensure you are ultimately successful.
Here’s to a healthy, happy, active 2022!
Keto Diet Basics
Whether you are looking for the keto diet for beginners or are a seasoned vet recommitting to a keto lifestyle, we want you to be successful and that means understanding the basics.
There are plenty of resources that explain the ‘how it works’; we want you to remember why you want to commit to the keto diet:
· Weight Loss — Many start the keto diet simply because they want to lose weight. What they often find is that they feel great by limiting carbs and continue choosing a keto lifestyle long after they have shed the weight.
· Increased Energy — One definite improvement with the keto diet is an increased level of energy. Once you settle into the lifestyle, most people find themselves more energized as well as being able to think more clearly.
· Reduced Inflammation — Chronic inflammation is a source of many diseases and causes health problems for millions. The keto diet has been shown to reduce chronic inflammation and the pain that comes with it.
· Overall Improved Health — In addition to boosting weight loss, low-carb eating lowers your cholesterol and triglycerides, reduces your appetite, and lowers blood sugar and blood pressure. Talk about a win-win!
What to Eat on Keto
Next, we want to talk about what you can and can’t eat on the keto diet. First, you hear a lot about the keto diet rules, but really for simplicity it boils down to this:
Your diet should consist of these percentages to ensure you stay in ketosis:
· 75% healthy fats
· 20% protein
· 5% carbs
Choose foods that are lower carb and better for you and the environment, like grass-fed meats, wild-caught sustainable fish, leafy vegetables, eggs, plant-based carb substitutes, and high-quality fats.
Foods to Eat on Keto
· Fats — olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, grass-fed butter and ghee, MCT oil, coconut oil, nut oils (like macadamia, walnut, or sesame oil), egg yolk, tallow, and cacao butter.
· Protein — nuts and nut butters, Greek yogurt, wild-caught fish, beef, pork, chicken, eggs, shellfish, turkey.
· Vegetables — asparagus, avocado, greens, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, tomatoes, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, spinach, summer squash and zucchini, kohlrabi, radishes.
· Dairy — grass-fed butter and ghee, most types of cheese.
· Drinks — water, coffee, tea, carbonated water, nut milks, bone broth, coconut water, kombucha (depending on the ingredients). (Alcohol is discussed later.)
Foods to Stay Away from on Keto
· All Grains — wheat, oats, rice, barley, quinoa, all of it. It’s all carbs and should be avoided. You only get 5 grams of carbs a day, so don’t bother with grains.
· Beans and Legumes — While beans have some protein, the carbs far outweigh the small amounts of protein available. Avoid black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas (and hummus), lentils, black-eyed peas, and pinto beans.
· Vegetables High in Starch — potatoes, yams, corn, peas, carrots, and parsnips.
· Fruits — all fruits except berries which are ok in limited quantities.
· Sugar — all natural and processed sugars, including honey, agave, maple syrup, and any processed desserts, etc.
· Drinks — soda or pop, juices, energy or sports drinks, high-sugar coffee drinks.
Managing the Keto Flu
You may have heard about the ‘keto flu’. It’s the feeling you get as your body adjusts to using fats and protein for energy instead of sugar and glucose. Not everyone feels bad, and the length and severity of the symptoms are as different as each individual person experiencing them.
You may experience:
· Brain Fog
· Sugar Cravings
· Muscle Soreness
· Inability to Concentrate
These symptoms usually only last a few days and there are some things that you can do to avoid them of lessen their severity, including:
· Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
· Replace your electrolytes. Try drinking coconut water or an avocado. There are also electrolyte supplements available that mix in water but be careful to monitor the ingredients.
· Suspend strenuous exercise — try short walks, yoga, or tai chi as an alternative to hard-core exercise until you are feeling better.
· Get plenty of rest.
· Try adding more fat to your diet.
Stocking the Keto Pantry
To make sure you kick off a successful keto diet regime, be sure to stock your pantry with all the essentials. We recommend buying good quality ingredients that are organic and from sustainable sources if possible:
· Olive Oils
· Avocado Oil
· Grass-fed Butter
· Grass-fed Ghee
· Coconut Oil
· MCT Oil
· Nut Flours, like almond and walnut
· Bread Mixes with low net carbs
· Nut Granola for cereal, and for topping salads and snacking
· Apple Cider, Champagne, and Sugar-free Balsamic
Salts & Spices
· Lots of Spices to boost any dish
· Finishing Salts, because why not?!?!
· Mayonnaise for tuna or chicken salad, slaw, to eat with steamed veggies
· Sugar-free Ketchup
· Full-fat Salad Dressings
· Soy Sauce
· Hot Sauce
· Sucralose (Splenda)
· Nuts, Glazed Nuts, Granola
· Pork Rinds or Chicharrons
· Bone Broth
· Canned Fish in Olive Oil
Exercise and a Successful Keto Diet
After you get through the first week or two, you should notice your energy levels being high and sustainable. This is the time to resume your regular exercise regime. However, keep in mind:
· Your body uses fat as its primary energy source during low- to moderate-intensity workouts (cardio, aerobics).
· Your body uses carbs during high-intensity workouts (weightlifting, HIIT or interval training).
If you plan to do high-intensity workouts, consider consuming your carbs 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after to workout to provide your body with the needed energy at the right time.
Drink Plenty of Water
Carbohydrates help you retain water. If you drastically reduce your carb intake, you will also lose water. That means you will want to drink more water and also make sure you are getting electrolytes. Drinking plenty of water help you by:
1. Replacing the water you lose in ketosis.
2. Helps you curb your appetite and reduce cravings.
3. Water helps to metabolize fat faster.
4. Supports your kidney function of filtering out unnecessary toxins.
Alcohol on Keto
Yes, you can drink alcohol on keto, but use some discretion.
You will want to count net carbs when deciding what to drink and here are a couple of ideas that are low in net carbs, but still allow you to enjoy a drink at home or when you’re out with friends.
Wine and Champagne
Dry red or white wine or champagne (prosecco or cava included) are great choices when you are on a keto diet. Each glass has around 2 net carbs.
Just be sure to stay away from wines that are considered sweet or dessert wines and port or brandy.
Like wine, hard seltzers average about 2 net carbs per can. Today, there are so many choices and flavors that you will never get tired of the selection.
Best choice for net carbs — spirits! Tequila, vodka, gin, whiskey all ring in at zero net carbs. Just be sure to forego the sugar-laden mixers.
Every brewer in the country has gotten on the low-carb trend and now offers a low-carb alternative beer. These beers have between 1.8 and 4 net carbs per bottle so they can be enjoyed in moderation.
Eating Out on Keto
Whether eating out or ordering in (Hello, COVID-19!), it’s easy to maintain your keto lifestyle with a couple of simple strategies:
1. Make a plan before you get there. Just about any menu can be found online. Take a look in advance and don’t be tempted by last minute impulse ordering.
2. Check out the keto friendly options. Today, most restaurants offer low carb choices that may include steam veggies and breadless options.
3. Say no to the free appetizers like bread or chips and salsa. Be bold and just ask them to take them away.
4. Keep portion sizes in mind as you eat. Most restaurants serve portions that are much bigger than you would eat at home. Time to ask for a doggie bag and take the rest home for lunch the next day.
To Sum Up
There you go — some of our best tips and ideas. One thing we know for sure, just stick with your plan and you will enjoy the keto lifestyle as well as the health benefits you will realize.
Check out our full line of keto-friendly products at Nutrail.com today. Here’s to your successful keto diet!
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