If you're new to keto and only just starting out, with limited knowledge, then this beginner's guide to keto will surely make a difference to you.
Let's go over a couple of terms first:
Keto - What is it? Keto, short for "ketosis" is a process that happens when your body doesn't have enough carbs to burn for energy and burns fat instead, it also starts making ketones that can also be used for fuel. This can be achieved through a diet known as the "Ketogenic diet", which is low-carb.
What are "macros", and why are they important? Macros are short for macronutrients. They are the 3 categories of nutrients consumed the most and provide most of our energy: Protein, carbs and fats. When you count macros, you are counting the grams of each macronutrient consumed - As a general rule of thumb for Keto, you want to be consuming no more than 20g carbs per day.
Here are the top 10 tips to get you started:
Knowing what foods are low-carb. This is essential for keto - it helps you keep track of your macros, especially your daily carb intake of 20g or less.
2. Know the carb counts and serving sizes of foods.
See the Shopping list below for examples:
3. Make a Meal Plan.
This can help make things easier and more efficient. It is a good way to make sure you stick to your diet, you know exactly what you are having and can easily keep track of your macros, especially if you plan around your macros, to avoid going over or making unhealthy choices.
4. Meal Prep.
Meal prepping is a great way to save money, and time during busier times of the week. You can prep a weeks worth of meals ahead of time and store them in meal containers, which also makes it convenient and ready-to-go. Having lots of meals prepped can also help avoid making less healthier choices.
5. Carry low-carb snacks or shakes.
Some examples of low carb snacks include:
Olive tapenade with low carb crackers
Homemade trail mix
Fresh veggies & dip
Plain yoghurt with nuts
6. Consider carb cycling.
This involves eating very low-carb foods for a set amount of days, followed by one or more days of eating higher carb meals. This helps with fat-burning plateaus that can develop after weeks of keto dieting.
This is not for everyone, and you should consult your doctor or nutritionist first.
7. Not all carbs are created equal.
You've got "simple carbs" such as refined and processed carbs, including sugar and white flour. You should think about reducing your intake of these, for ideal weight and general health management.
Fruits include fructose, this is also a simple carb. but is recommended for their nutrients and is a wholefood source.
Complex carbs take longer to breakdown or digest and include beans and wholegrains. They also have the added benefit of making someone feel fuller faster and for longer.
8. Be aware of alternatives.
Be on the lookout for low-carb alternatives to high carb foods, such as switching taco shells for lettuce leaf cups or consuming vegetable crisps (other than potato), or an eggplant lasagna instead of using pasta,
9. Exercise appropriately.
This is integral for overall health, both physically and mentally. Moderate activity is recommended to maintain your general health. Avoid excessive exercise or intense activity, as your body will require EXTRA carbs than what you intend to consume.
10. Use common sense.
There can be health risks involved with a low-carb diet, and you should always consult your doctor or a nutritionist if you are unsure.
Some short-term health risks include:
Lack of energy
Reduced athletic performance
Longer term effects:
Which one are you?