This is the second part of the basics of the keto lifestyle article
The Keto Lifestyle
After looking at the benefits and drawbacks of the keto diet, that brings us to this chapter’s main point – the keto lifestyle. Unlike other diets, the keto diet is one that must be committed to. Yo-yoing back and forth will not let you see the results you want, and you may suffer extreme weight fluctuation.
More than this, though, the keto diet is not about feeling hungry or irritable.
Instead, the keto diet is about eating until you’re satisfied but doing so in a way that is healthy and conducive to weight loss. With this in mind, the keto diet is more of a lifestyle than a diet.
By learning what foods you can eat, the keto diet becomes an everyday part of your life. Simply eat the foods you want and avoid carbohydrates. It’s as simple as that.
How to Go Keto
Getting started on your ketogenic diet can be overwhelming at first. There are a lot of factors to consider, like what you can eat, how to eat, and how to kickstart ketosis. In this chapter, we’re going to look at how to go keto so you can start seeing results fast.
Choose a Ketogenic Diet
As we have already discussed, the keto diet is one with high fat and protein intake and low carbohydrate intake. There are different versions of the ketogenic diet you can choose from.
Select which version you want based on your needs and body type. Here are the four types of ketogenic diets:
- Standard Keto Diet (SKD): The standard ketogenic diet is low carb with moderate protein and high fat intake. Your macros should be about 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbs.
- Clinical Keto Diet (CKD): The clinical ketogenic diet is when you alternate between low carb intake and high carb intake days. Most people prefer having five ketogenic days, followed by two high carb intake days.
- Targeted Keto Diet (TKD): The targeted ketogenic diet permits you to add carbs around workouts.
- High Protein Keto Diet: The high protein keto diet is like the standard ketogenic diet, but you eat more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
If you are unsure which diet to choose, you should probably select the standard keto diet. Only the standard keto diet and high protein diet have been studied extensively. Bodybuilders and athletes often use the clinical keto diet and the targeted keto diet.
What You Can Eat
No matter what keto diet you choose, you will have a low carbohydrate intake and high fat intake. The exact ratio will depend on your body and diet of choice.
Always look for foods that are high in healthy fat. Your meals should revolve around fat and protein, not carbohydrates. This does not give you an excuse to eat as much butter or bacon as you want, though. Processed foods and unhealthy fats are still bad for you.
Instead, look for the following food types to plan your meals around:
- Meat: red meat, steak, ham, bacon, lamb, and poultry
- Fatty Fish: mackerel, salmon, trout, and tuna
- Eggs: pasteurized or omega-3 whole eggs
- Butter and Cream: grass-fed butter and heavy cream
- Cheese: unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, Colby jack, cream, blue, goat, or mozzarella
- Nuts and Seeds: almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, etc
- Avocados: avocados or guacamole
- Low Carb Veggies: green veggies, onions, peppers
- Condiments: salt, pepper, spices, and herbs
The easiest way to stick to a keto diet is to use one ingredient foods. For example, make a chicken dish using only chicken and herbs, and pair it with a green veggie or side of cheese.
This one-ingredient approach is easier to make keto, and it will save you money.
What You Can’t Eat
On a keto diet, you have to restrict your carbohydrate and sugar intake. If
you don’t, then your body cannot go into ketosis, defeating the entire
purpose of the diet.
Here are the foods to avoid when on a keto diet:
- Sugary Foods: soda, fruit juice, candies, cake, ice cream, dessert, etc
- Grains or Starches: wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, bread, etc
- Fruit: all fruit except berries in small portions
- Beans or Legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc
- Root Vegetables/Tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc
- Low Fat Diet Products: low fat mayonnaise, low fat butter, etc
- Condiments High in Sugar: BBQ, honey mustard, teriyaki, ketchup,etc
- Unhealthy Fats: processed foods, vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc
- Alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, and mixed drinks
- Sugar-Free Diet Food: sugar-free candies, syrups, puddings, desserts, etc
It is not the end of the world if you eat these foods every now and then.
After all, our bodies do need a little bit of sugar. However, limit your intake of these items so your body can kickstart ketosis and you don’t yo-yo on your diet.
Ketosis is your body’s process of using fat for fuel instead of sugar. The keto diet forces your body to go into ketosis for a longer period of time.
Although going into ketosis may be tiresome and annoying at first, it will help you lose weight quickly, and the mild flu-like symptoms should not last more than a couple of days.
Obviously, you have to cut out your carbohydrates to get into ketosis. One way you can do this is by switching to the keto diet immediately. This means limiting your carbohydrate intake to between 20 to 50 grams a day.
If you want to get into ketosis faster, you can always try a short term fast. Many people mildly go into ketosis between dinner and breakfast. This is due to how you aren’t eating during those hours you are asleep.
You can make the most of this fact by trying intermittent fasting with your keto diet. Intermittent fasting is when you eat for 8 hours a day and fast for the other 16 hours. This is a great way to kickstart your ketoses in a way that is safe and effective.
Extreme fasting is unhealthy for your body. You need calories and food to sustain life. Intermittent fasting, however, is safe because you eat every day. Although fasting for 16 hours may be annoying at first, most bodies adjust within a couple of days. Many intermittent fasters choose to eat between 12:00 PM and 8:00 PM, though the exact timing doesn’t matter.
Tips for Going Keto
Once you have decided what keto diet you want to follow and commit to it, it may be time to start trying your keto diet. Before you start, you may want to find a way to incorporate these techniques into your routine to make the process of switching to a keto diet a bit easier:
Plan Your Meals
Eliminating carbohydrates can be difficult at first simply because they are the star of most western diets. Adjust to a keto diet by planning every meal you eat. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Do not leave it up to chance because it might be more challenging to stick to your keto diet if you do this. Part 2 is completely dedicated to meal planning, so I won’t spend much time on this now.
Make It Fun
Most people think of diets and sigh. Try to make your keto diet fun so that you can stick to it longer. Getting a keto recipe book or doing it with your friends can be a great way to make the diet more fun and engaging. The more fun you make it, the more rewarding the diet feels. Not to mention, it will be easier to stick to it if you make it fun.
If you like cooking, definitely try to find keto versions of your favorite meals. That’s a great way to keep it fun and fresh. If you don’t like cooking, then maybe it is time to start.
Try Intermittent Fasting
As I have previously mentioned, intermittent fasting is a great way to kickstart ketosis. Even after you have reached ketosis, try to incorporate intermittent fasting into your daily life anyway. Intermittent fasting paired with keto is a great way to see weight loss results fast. At the same time, they are also healthy to use together.
Listen to Your Body
Many people who support a keto diet don’t tell you this: you need to listen to your body. Not everyone needs the same amount of carbohydrates.
Some people will need more than others. Your goal should never be to eliminate all carbohydrates.
Listen to your body first and foremost. The goal of any diet should be to make you healthier, not sicker. If your body does not feel right, you need to adjust the diet to live the healthiest and happiest version of yourself possible.