The Keto diet isn’t easy, but these tips will make food less of an enemy.
Looking for the perfect diet for not only your summer body goals, but for your healthier lifestyle? You might have seen the craze about keto diets through many social media influencers and celebrities. Ketogenic diets are one of the most popular diet fads in the past few years, and for good reason. But it doesn’t make the method any easier to stick to.
“Keto” is short for ketosis, which is a term for a process in which the body begins to break down fat because of the lack of carbohydrates in the body. So the goal of the ketogenic diet is to help you burn off fat by eating less carbs.
Many people have reported having lost a significant amount of weight from the keto diet. However, it comes with many hidden problems. For some people, long-term keto diets can cause serious health issues down the line, so the diet is not for everyone.
Ketosis happens when your body goes into survival mode and breaks down the stored energy. It’s a process that, if done on for an extended amount of time, can cause low blood pressure, heart disease, and nutritional deficiencies. This can be a benefit to some people — particularly people who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and a myriad of other chronic health conditions, but without proper monitoring and preparation, the keto diet can be hard to stick to. However, the diet can still be effective if done the right way.
The truth is our bodies need carbs to survive. Carbohydrates give our body fuel in order to function properly and prevent diseases. Depriving yourself completely of carbohydrates will not only not help you lose weight, but cause long term harmful effects on your health. Fortunately, there is a way to cut out unnecessary carbs in your diet without putting your health at risk or causing you to cheat on your diet.
Take a look below at some keto tips that support a healthy lifestyle and that can help you figure out a way to make the ketogenic diet work for you:
1. When you’re first starting the keto diet, alternate days.
It’s important to remember that the ketogenic diet is a lifestyle and not a fad. When you start the diet, you must set it up in a way where it can be sustainable for you long-term. Banning carbs completely from your diet will only result in you binge eating them after you relapse — or worse, depriving your body of what it needs, which can lead to health problems.
Doing keto every single day will wear you down physically and mentally. Not only is it hard to plan meals without any carbohydrates, but you’ll likely feel sluggish or faint doing everyday physical activity like going upstairs or walking long distances.
In order to do keto the right way, you must incorporate carbs in your diet every other day without eating empty calories. Be wise with your carbs selection and train your body to run off of carbs every other day in order to lose a significant amount of weight.
2. Eat good carbs.
Not all carbs are bad! When eating carbs on non-keto days, you must choose wisely which ones to eat. Many people may say eating carbs destroys the point of keto, but that’s not true. You just have to be smart about the carbs that you are putting in to your body.
Carbs are essential in normal body functions and in order to lose weight safely, you must burn more fat then you take in. This means cutting out certain carbs and introducing new ones.
You can eat them every other day to limit the amount of carb intake and adjust your body to your new way of eating.
When doing keto, you need fuel to work out and burn fat. Try eating carbs with more fiber like multigrain bread and brown rice. Carbs like this lack bleach flour and refined sugar so you are way less likely to gain anything from eating them assuming you have consistent physical activity every day. Carbs found in natural peanut butter can give you the energy for a great workout, too. Also, you’ll be less likely to cheat on your diet.
3. Eat lots (and lots!) of fruits and vegetables.
When on keto, it’s important to eat fruits and vegetables that will supply you with the most energy. Since your body is lacking carbs, you won’t be getting enough to fuel your body to perform every physical task. If done incorrectly, you can start to feel sluggish and lazy which can cause tempt you to become inactive.
Vegetables and fruits like corn, apples, strawberries, beets, cauliflower, bananas, and avocado can help you burn fat and keep you full until your next meal. These foods will also help you with feeling full and energized to do regular physical activities throughout the day (walking your dog, jogging, etc.)
You should, however, track the fruits you are eating, and keep the sugary ones to a minimum. Fruit like bananas and apples are much higher in carbs than vegetables like green beans, celery and raw carrots, so think about sticking to the ones that offer the most fiber and least amount of carbs to keep your macros in check.
4. Drink a ton of water.
Water is an essential factor in diets — especially this one. Drinking water has been proven to significantly help with weight loss, and being on the keto diet can help you shed a lot of that water, too, so you’ll want to drink more of it than you’re used to.
Most of the time when we consume a lot of food with salt in it, it causes us to hold on to weight. This is because salt makes our bodies retain more water which can hide our weight loss.
When you first begin to notice a to lose weight, that is usually considered the “water weight”. Many people don’t consider this to be an actual weight loss because water doesn’t necessarily count as fat. However, it is the first important step in starting a diet. Drink as much water as recommended by a nutritionist in order to flush all the salt out of your system and get rid of bloating.
When most people think they are hungry, they are actually just thirsty. This is why most diet experts say you should try to drink an entire glass of water before any meal to control portion intake.
5. Limit meat intake.
The body needs protein from meat to build muscle and burn fat. However, meat contains most of the “bad fats” that causes people to gain weight. Surprisingly, some people actually gain weight on keto and couldn’t understand why, and a lot of the time this is because they are eating too much meat.
If you have a rigorous workout routine, then eating lean meat more often might work for you. However, a smaller amount of meat along fruit and vegetables can give your body everything it needs to get a great workout session in and burn body fat. If you’re someone who doesn’t work out more than the average person, your best bet is to limit the amount of meat in your diet and only eat lean cuts like bison.
Even though keto diets were created is to lose weight by cutting down on calories from carbs, you must remember that carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet. In order, to look and feel your best you have to treat your body well from the inside out.
Maatie Kalokoh is a writer who covers music, astrology, and relationships.