How to Start a Ketogenic Diet
There's a good way and a bad way to drop your carbs and eat more fat.
You want to go low-carb. Great. How do you do it? You’re in the right place. Here are a few helpful tips on how to start a ketogenic diet.
The ketogenic diet is, without a doubt, one of the most popular diets shaping the meal plans of people all over the Western world. Recent media coverage, high-profile endorsements, and science-backed medical claims all help to drive its growing fame.
If you are ready to adopt the keto lifestyle, you may be both excited and curious. The ketogenic diet is simple, but for most people it won’t be easy. This is especially true during the first few weeks. If will power isn’t your strength, the idea of removing junk food, pasta, and breads from your diet and replacing them with a keto diet meals can be intimidating. One thing keto has other diets don’t is an awesome substitute for your carb cravings – fat.
Adopting the keto diet is not hard, but for many of the people who choose to adopt it, the keto diet plan is such a drastic departure from their typical diet, that they really do need a game plan for preparing keto diet meals, as well as a strategy on how to prepare for what’s coming. We’re going to help you manage your expectations.
Just a warning: You will feel the physical and mental impact of eating keto diet meals within just a day or two of being on the diet. But we have a guide that will show you how to get through that part of the process.
Four Steps to Prepare You for What’s Coming
There are four steps you should take before starting this diet to make your transition into a ketogenic lifestyle as seamless as possible.
Do your research
Our guess is you found us and joined our community because you were researching the ketogenic diet. Take some time in the days before you jump into the ketogenic diet to figure out where the popular forums and keto communities are so you can get both support, feedback, and information when you need it. And you will need it. We don’t have a forum on this site. We run a Facebook group for ketoers called @KetoClassroom, and we have a roster of ketoers who get a news-packed weekly digest from us that the latest KetoBowl.com stuff PLUS curated ket-related and performance-related news from around the web. You can get on the list in fast-order at the end of this post. Continue.
Powders and supplements
You should also get a head start on testing protein powders and supplements. Find out which protein powders work best for your body and lifestyle. We’ll be honest here. Some of the products on the market are nutritionally sound, but they taste terrible. Some supplements are bio-available, meaning your body can break them down and use them to power your body, while others will pass through your system and never even break down.
Take some time before you start your diet to determine which supplements and protein powders you will use.
You also need to find out which foods to eat in a keto meal plan. It’s a good idea to make a list of the foods you currently eat on a regular basis that are keto-friendly. There’s a good chance you will also be adding new foods to your diet to replace the foods you will be removing from your diet.
Stock up on keto-friendly foods
Make sure that the day you go low-carb, you can actually prepare keto diet meals to eat. Buy keto-friendly foods for the fridge and stock your pantry with foods that are low in carbs, nutrient-rich, and packed with healthy fats.
If you live alone or your partner or family are embarking on the keto diet with you, consider getting rid of any junk foods, cereals, pasta, grains, starchy produce like potatoes, and almost all fruit. Also get rid of sugary drinks like sports drinks, juices, and soft drinks. These are all high-carb foods that probably won’t fit into your high-fat, low-carb diet.
Set a Goal and Measure Your Progress
Regardless of your reason for adopting a ketogenic diet, you want to set a definite goal for yourself and determine how you will measure your progress.
You can set a weight loss goal, such as being able to comfortably wear your pre-pregnancy jeans. It is easy to determine how much weight you’ve lost by stepping on the scale every few days. Or you can decide to use keto to break a sugar addiction and track your progress by incrementally decreasing the amount of sugar you consume every day. You may want to increase your productivity or gain better mental focus by setting realistic daily tasks and checking them off as you complete them.
Whatever your reason for starting the ketogenic diet, have a clear picture of what that reason is and figure out a way to measure your progress.
Know Your Starting Point
The day before you officially start on the diet, record your weight, take your measurements, chronicle any energy highs and lows. Keep a digital food diary to record how much you typically eat in a day, and the quality and source of your calories.
One of the critical factors for measuring your success on the diet is knowing your starting point. That means if your goal is to lose weight, you need to get a very clear idea of how your clothes fit pre-diet. Can you button your topics? Can you pull your pants up over your hips? How do your rings fit?
If your goal is to stabilize your energy so you don’t have dips or crashes during the day, take notice of the time you typically crash, how long it lasts, and what it usually takes for you to get back on track.
We Have Something That Will Help
Let us help you brave the rapids that very first week of keto. You want to know how to start a ketogenic diet? Download our guide, Your First 7 days on Keto.
It’s short. It’s sweet. And there’s a hardcore action step for each of your first 7 days on the ketogenic diet. Click below to get the guide to Your First 7 Days on Keto.