Intro to the Keto Diet
Table of Contents
Keto diet is a high-fat and high-protein diet, which restricts carbohydrate intake that tries to get you to reach into a state of Ketosis.
While the first week on the Keto might be difficult, you will soon discover that you can eat smaller meals with plenty of nutrients while keeping the moderate potions to continue the diet until it becomes your lifestyle.
There Are Multiple Types of Ketogenic Diets
When talking about the Keto diet, most people refer to the standard version, but there are also others you should be aware of.
According to Heathline.com, each different type of Ketogenic diet includes:
Standard Keto Diet
- The standard Keto diet (SKD) is extremely low-carb and high-fat, while allowing for moderate protein in your diet. Only 5% of your diet should consist of carbohydrates.
Targeted Keto Diet
- With the targeted Keto diet (TKD), you stick to the standard Keto diet, except when you are working out, you are allowed to add more carbs.
High Protein Keto Diet
- Some people are put on the high-protein Keto diet, where your protein percent goes up to 35%, your fat is slightly lower, and your carbs are still in the 5% range.
Health Benefits of the Keto Diet
In addition to the known weight loss benefit, Keto can also
- Reduce the bad cholesterol especially among obese adults
- Increase the good cholesterol
- Lower your blood sugar and help give you more energy.
- Cancer cells tend to grow much slower when you follow a diet that restricts your carbs and sugar
How Keto Helps With Infertility
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) for women and
- Endometriosis, to
- Low sperm count and motility in men.
Since the low carb diet has been found to help with infertility, Keto is often recommended to people who have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
- Read more about how another study helped patients with previous infertility problems, and
- How higher protein intake has helped develop better egg quality and improved embryo quality.
- Always consult a doctor or fertility specialist first.
It Can Help With Alzheimer’s Disease
Another major illness that the Keto diet is being used to treat is the Alzheimer’s disease.
- With Keto, you are eating more healthy fats that help provide nutrients to the brain, which can strengthen it and help to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s.
- Though not strictly Ketogenic, researchers have been successfully testing the patients with progressive memory loss with high healthy fat/low carb diet.
What to Eat on Keto
One of the most common questions regarding the Keto diet is knowing what you can and can’t eat. First, avoid these common Keto diet mistakes to have the best results from this diet.
Here are some things to know about what you can and can’t eat.
What You Can Eat Freely
The first category of foods includes high-protein and low or no-carb foods that you can eat almost to an unlimited amount.
- As with any diet, macro nutrients (percentage of protein, carbs, and fat) consumption planning is crucial.
- And in order to feel full, you need to eat as much no-carb and low-carb foods as you can throughout the day.
This means limiting the fruits and vegetables you can consume while consuming the typical low-carb foods like lean meat, cheese, eggs, and some nuts.
The following foods can be eaten freely on the Keto diet:
Grass Fed Meat
- You want to enjoy plenty of meat on the Keto diet, but try to include meat and seafood that is wild-caught or grass-fed.
- This includes any type of beef, poultry, pork, and fish as long as it was raised humanely without hormones.
There is nothing wrong with having a lot of fats on the Keto diet, but the types of fats do matter.
You don’t want to eat nothing but sweets and fried foods, but healthy fats like seafood and fatty fish, macadamia and olive oils, and saturated fats are completely fine.
Source: Stayknows The Keto Diet: What You Can and Can’t Eat.
For more dedicated post, refer to this page, Counting Carbs – How to Read Food Labels When on the Keto Diet
What You Should Avoid
While you want to keep your carbs as low as possible on Keto (you are only allotted 20 net g carbs a day) there are some foods with zero or extremely low carbs that are still too much to consume.
Here are some of those low carb food products to avoid.
From the fat perspective, margarine is among the worst ones to consume when you are on the Keto diet.
- Margarine has nearly zero carbs at 0.1 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon.
- Margarine is made from vegetable oil, which is one of the few oils you want to avoid on the Ketogenic diet.
A better option is to just get the regular, real butter, getting those fats without the added trans fats.
It can be tempting to have liquor on a regular basis since clear liquors have little to no carbohydrates, but they can stall your weight loss and even knock you out of ketosis.
The reason they lead to a stall is because your body needs to burn off all the alcohol before it will burn fat.
- In a typical day, the alcohol is burned instead of any fat, so you won’t lose anything during those days.
- Drinking occasionally won’t do much harm, but daily drinking can lead to no weight loss and might eventually knock you out of ketosis.
Stick to the Clear Liquors
When choosing liquor, the easiest thing to do is go with your clear liquors. They tend to be lower in carbs before you mix anything with them.
It is often what you mix liquor with that increases the carbs and other macros, so try to have it straight, or combined just with water.
Some clear liquors to try are
Some colored liquors are okay, but in lesser quantities, like dark rum or whiskey.
Stick to White Wine
As far as wine goes, the amount you have determines whether or not it will fit in your Keto diet.
For the most part, they all average around 3-3.5 carbs per serving, but white wines do tend to be lower in carbs overall.
Sauvignon Blanc is the wine with the least amount of carbs, with 2.7 carbs per glass.
Other white wines that are good options are
- Pinot Grigio
- Stay away from Riesling, which is sweet and is over 5 carbs per glass.
- For red wines, the best ones are pinot noir and merlot
Light Beer Occasionally
If you are more of a beer fan, you can still have beer, but like anything on Keto, you need to know the carb count and make sure you are tracking it.
It is a better idea to plan on when you will have beer, so that you eat mostly low carb foods for the rest of the day.
Many light beers will have about 3-5 net carbs beer can or bottle, so it can add up fast when you are only allotted 20 carbs in the entire day.
This is why tracking while on Keto is so important.
These sweeteners might have zero carbs, but they are still not good for you.
- The lack of carbs isn’t always worth being able to make faux sweets with them, since you might then crave the real thing.
- It is better to stick to the most natural sweeteners you can that don’t have carbs, like Stevia.
How About the Veggies?
Before looking at some ways to do the Ketogenic diet without veggies, let’s first look at why you should try to add veggies to your diet.
However, one important thing about vegetables is…
- Vegetables contain a good amount of fiber.
When you are on an extremely low-carb diet, your fiber is already reduced by not having grains, oats, and other fiber-rich foods.
You need fiber to help with constipation, which sometimes occurs on this diet and if you can handle veggies in even small amounts, it will be very helpful.
Choose Low Carb Vegetables With Little to No Starch
For your “low carbohydrate” source, the following list of vegetables include:
- Romaine lettuce
- Bok choi
- Collard greens
- Green beans
- Berries (some)
When you choose something with low fat, it tends to have starch and sugars you can’t have with the Keto diet. Among the veggies mentioned, the following the BEST veggies to choose from.
While avocados are actually a fruit, they are often in the vegetable category. They also happen to be one of the best types of produce you can have while on a Keto diet.
Avocados are an excellent source of potassium and fiber, two things that tend to be a little harder to get when you switch to the Low Carb/High Fat diet of Keto.
Avocados provide healthy fats that you need for heart health, to burn fat, and to fuel your body. A medium avocado usually has about 100 grams, which is approximately 13 total carbs.
Avocado also has about 10 grams of fiber, so only 3 net grams of carbs.
Dark, Leafy Greens
While most types of lettuce and greens are allowed on the Ketogenic diet, you should try to eat the darker, leafy greens as much as you can.
These green ones tend to contain more fiber, which as you know, you need to try to get more of without having grains and oats.
Some good dark, leafy greens include
- Romaine lettuce
- Collard greens
These greens are all very low in carbs, especially when you remove the fiber.
For example, a serving of 100 grams of spinach is less than 4 grams of carbs, with 2 grams of fiber, so it is less than 2 grams net carbs for a big plate of spinach.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
For a serving of cauliflower, it is only about 4 grams of carbs. Broccoli is also 4 grams of carbs, providing a lot of vitamins and minerals, and a filling vegetable for you to enjoy.
How to Do Keto Without Veggies
If you are still adamant about doing the Keto diet without veggies, first watch your fiber and protein content.
At the very least, try to add an avocado every day, since it brings in more healthy fats while also providing about 10 grams of fiber.
This makes one avocado about 3-4 grams net carbs, depending on how much you eat.
You should also try to add more nuts and seeds to your diet for they add in more fiber and other nutrients you are missing out on by not eating a lot of vegetables.
However, seeds can get tricky, for example, some nuts are calorie-dense. For example, cashew nuts are most flavorful, but have most amount of carbs, so not so Keto-friendly.
Instead try the following.
- Brazil nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Pine nuts
You can also enjoy dairy products like
- Cottage cheese
- Sour cream, but not the low-fat or fat-free versions.
Don’t Forget About Flaxseeds
While many nuts and seeds have a small amount of fiber, none of them have as much as flaxseeds as compared to the low amount of carbs.
Most of the carbohydrates in flaxseeds are not usable, so a serving is often considered no carbs or very little. For every serving, or tablespoon, of ground flaxseeds, you are getting 2 grams of fiber.
It might not seem like much, but it is easy to add to your low-carb smoothies, salads, and even soup if you make a Keto-friendly version, making this a great option.
If you can fit it into your daily carb allotment, coconut meat also has a good amount of fiber, nearly as much as avocados.
What Fruits Can You Eat?
Choose Berries First
Berries are among the best low-carb fruits you can have while you are on the Keto diet. They are going to be the lowest in carbs, plus are filled with nutrients to help you have well-balanced meals and snacks.
The following berries all have 6 grams of carbs for a single serving,
Blueberries are also relatively low, but at about 12 grams of carbs per serving, aren’t the best option unless you are having less than a full serving of them.
Some low-carb fruits with 10 or less net grams per serving are:
Other fruits tend to be too high in sugars, which then causes them to be higher in carbs.
You don’t have to eat fruit while on the Keto diet, but it is a good way to have something sweet, increase your nutrition, and break up the monotony of all your meats and veggies.
You might be looking for something lighter or just a handful of berries as a quick and healthy snack, so it comes in handy knowing which fruit to turn to first.
Are There Flour Alternatives for Baking?
If you want to do some baking while on Keto, you still can!
While you won’t be making them the same way as you used to, there are still some flour alternatives that you can use if you are on a low-carb, high-fat diet like Keto.
The first type of flour that is a good low-carb alternative to traditional flour is coconut flour. This flour is made from dried coconut flesh that is then milled and ground extremely fine into a flour.
About ¼ cup of coconut flour is 6 grams of carbs, but it also has 10 grams of fiber, so it is a great choice.
If you have ever purchased a low-carb baked good, there is a good chance it was made with almond flour.
This flour is finely ground, processed from blanched almonds and is done by removing the skins first, then getting it into the finely-ground flour you want for your baked goods.
Almond flour has more protein and fiber than white and wheat flour, so it is a healthy option. There is also the added benefit of important nutrients like potassium and magnesium.
However, some people have problems digesting the flour, so that is something to keep in mind. You get about half the amount of net carbs of almond flour than with coconut flour.
Both almond flour and coconut flour need to be refrigerated, since it can go bad much more quickly than regular flour due to the processing it goes through.
If neither of these work for you, there is also the option of using ground seeds as your flour option, such as sunflower seeds.
Some of the newer packaged low-carb baked goods are using sunflower seeds instead of one of these flowers, as it changes the nutrients and works better with some people’s digestion systems.
Starting the Keto Diet
Now that you have some knowledge about the Keto diet, what you can eat, and what guidelines to follow, you need to get started.
These tips will help you start the diet in a way that promotes success and helps you transition into a new Ketogenic lifestyle.
Make Keto Coffee in the Morning
For Keto coffee, you are using the same premise as Bulletproof Coffee, but you don’t have to be as strict with where the coffee beans are sourced or the brand of fat added.
For a simple Keto coffee, just …
- Blend a cup of brewed coffee with
- A tablespoon of coconut oil,
- 1-2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, and
- A tablespoon of butter.
You can change the quantities if you want, but this recipe has about 35 grams of fat just for one cup of coffee.
Use Fats When Cooking
Also make sure you are adding your healthy fats every time you cook. When making eggs, use real butter on the pan instead of butter spray.
Use olive oil or coconut oil if you are going to pan-fry anything or cook veggies on the stove. Top your foods with fats as you desire, from butter on veggies to oil in your salads.
Remove All Temptations
To start with, remove all of the major temptations in your household.
While some people find it easier to make small changes, this leaves room for you to have little cheats here and there, which keep you from Ketosis.
In order for the Keto diet to work properly, you really need to reach Ketosis from the very beginning. This means the cold turkey way is your best coach here.
Get rid of all…
- Most grains
- Starchy veggies
Choose Only What is On Your Grocery List
When you are first starting out, it is hard to remember what you can and can’t have.
Start by creating a meal plan that includes every single meal and snack you and your family intend to eat for the first week and this allows you to stick to the diet.
Keep Your Protein Moderate
It is important that you first keep in mind your protein needs to be at a moderate level. Try not to go over 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.
Go for Animal Protein First
If you are not getting enough protein after you have properly calculated your macros, one of the easiest ways while on a Keto diet is to go for your animal protein.
Most meat and seafood is at zero net carbs, which means you can have a good amount of it to increase protein, increase your fat, and not worry about increasing the carbs.
Try to have a good combination of meat, from high-fat meat like pork and beef, to the leaner protein sources like poultry and fish.
Add in Some Eggs and Cheese
You can also have some dairy products, including most cheeses and eggs to increase your protein. Be careful about milk because it contains sugars that will be higher in carbs.
For non-dairy milk options, use coconut milk or almond milk.
Get Rid of the Cheat Days
Some diets give you the option to have a cheat day – one day a week where you can eat whatever you want, but it’s not the case with the Keto diet.
When you are on this diet, you go in and out of the Ketosis state, which can be really hard on your digestive system if cheat days get thrown into your weekly routine.
What Should You Know About Sugar Alcohols?
During the Ketogenic diet, you will begin reading labels on anything and everything you purchase. One thing you will notice with low-carb packaged foods is that they often include something about sugar alcohols.
Here is more information on these and why they are important.
Sugar-Free Isn’t Really Sugar-Free
When you are on the Ketogenic diet, you should get used to reading labels on everything you eat.
One thing you might notice is when looking at the nutritional label, there is something in there called “sugar alcohols”.
You probably recognize some sugar alcohols, while others aren’t as obvious right away.
Some sugar alcohols include…
These are known as “sugar alcohols”, which react in different ways.
There are some sugar alcohols that don’t metabolize right, so while they are from natural sources, you might hit a stall eating too much of them.
Other sugar alcohols, like maltitol, should be avoided because they are difficult to digest and can cause a lot of issues.
What Is Carb Cycling With a Keto Diet?
See dedicated post on this topic, What Is Carb Cycling? Is It Good for Weight Loss?
The Ketogenic, or keto diet, requires you to follow an extremely low-carb diet and is usually 20 net carbs a day, though some people can remain in ketosis with as little as 50 net carbs a day.
There is a lot of talk about “cheat days”, where you eat what you want, as well as doing carb-cycling.
Carb-cycling is where you have some days where you increase your carbohydrates a small amount, then go back to the lower carb days for the rest of the week.
Try Carb Cycling
If you are someone that struggles with those 20 net carbs a day and really miss extra fruit and other healthier carbs, carb cycling will be perfect for you.
Every few days or so, you can enjoy a little more carbs and eat some of your favorite healthy foods, but you get right back into ketosis on the lower carb days.
It is also good for people who keep hitting plateaus.
Many people find that if they can confuse their body every few days with different carb and calorie amounts, it is easier to avoid or get out of those weight loss stalls.
What to Be Careful of
Carb cycling sounds like a great idea, but there are also some challenges.
The first challenge is that if you use it as an excuse to binge, you could end up hurting your body instead of helping it, while craving of sugar and high-carb foods you used to enjoy, plus it might make it harder to get back to the 20 net carbs the following day.
It is best that you start slow, only going for the healthiest higher-carb foods on a carb-up day.
How to Do Carb Cycling
The way you do carb cycling is really up to you. Some people might do a carb-up day every 3-4 days, while others like to do them once a week or even every two weeks.
If you are doing good on your keto diet and haven’t hit plateaus or struggled with cravings, try just every two weeks.
Then if you have a week where you are craving something else, don’t stress and have a carb up day.
Tips for Carb Cycle Success
To help the carb cycling option work for you, you should not do the first carb-up day until you have been in Ketosis for about a month.
At that point, carb-up slowly, going up to maybe 50 net carbs, then gradually higher if it doesn’t affect you too much.
Easy Meal Ideas On the Keto Diet
When you are aware of the basic list of foods you can and can’t have on the Keto diet, it is time to figure out some good meal options.
Here are some meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts to get you started.
For breakfast, it might not seem very appetizing having meat and veggies, but remember those aren’t the only low-carb and high-fat meal options you can have on the Keto diet.
For lunch, having a salad is often a good go-to. It is easy to prepare, there are dozens of options, and it is easy to have at home or bring with you to work.
- Start with some greens and add a protein source of your choosing such as cooked chicken, steak strips, or tuna fish.
- Add hardboiled eggs and avocado, your choice of healthy fats.
- Choose other keto-friendly veggies to add on top, such as cucumber, asparagus, and zucchini.
People tend to have the easiest time with keto dinners because they are similar to the dinners you already enjoy, minus the high-carb sides like rice or pasta.
Instead, you will make your traditional meat main course but combine it with a vegetable side dish instead.
Meatloaf and meatball recipes can be made low-carb, or you can go with steak, pork chops, lamb chops, grilled chicken, or grilled fish.
Snacks and Desserts
When it comes to snacks and desserts, you might need to get a little creative, but remember you don’t have to grab traditional snacks.
There is nothing wrong with having a piece of cheese and some fruit or veggies approved by the keto diet, or even making a turkey roll-up with luncheon meat and cheese inside.
Making a big cheese platter with low-carb crackers and some sausage such as kielbasa or other meats to top it off is another good option.
What Are Fat Bombs?
When you begin looking up different keto recipes, you will often come across something called a fat bomb.
This is nothing more than a small treat-like snack that gives you a nice boost of fat.
While it is often meant just to give you an easy way to eat healthy fats so you are reaching the 70-75% minimum of fat each day, they also provide other benefits.
Fat bombs range in flavors, but often provide a nice sweet treat for you to enjoy while on Keto.
Example of Fat Bombs
Here are some recipes that are popular for fat bombs, though you can definitely change them to fit your personal needs. Many of the chocolate fat bombs use something to sweeten in, like Stevia.
Healthy Chocolate Fat Bomb
This gives you a sweet treat in a healthy, Keto fat bomb.
- See here for Healthy Chocolate Fat Bomb recipe.
Healthy Coconut Fat Bombs
Some fat bombs are just meant to boost your coconut oil for some healthy fats.
These not only have coconut oil, but often include shredded coconut as well, so they are best if you actually like the taste of coconut.
They frequently have other flavors as well, like vanilla or even dark chocolate chips that are raw and unsweetened.
- See here for the Healthy Coconut Fat Bomb recipe.
Eating Out on the Keto Diet
While you should stay at home and cook as much as possible, there will be moments when this isn’t plausible.
Whether you are eating out at fast food or a sit-down restaurant, you need to make smart choices to remain on the keto diet.
Remove the Bun or Tortilla
An easy way to start eating out and sticking with your keto diet is to order a meat-based dish, but get rid of the tortilla or bun.
- The bread or tortilla in any meal is often one of the items that adds the most carbs, in addition to some vegetables.
- Get a chicken sandwich or cheeseburger, then get rid of the bun and think about the remaining condiments and whether or not they follow with the keto diet.
For things like fajitas, it is easy to eat your chicken and veggies with salsa, and just skip adding the filling into the tortilla. In fact, this is one of the best options available at Mexican restaurants.
Don’t Eat Pasta or Rice as a Side Dish
When you are going to sit-down restaurants, you also need to be careful with your side dishes.
- Many dinner options, even those on the healthy side of the menu, will come with either rice or pasta as a side dish.
- These are a big no-no on the keto diet since they add in a lot of carbs you don’t need and that are not included on the menu.
- Try to think of other alternatives instead of always having pasta or rice on the side of your main course.
Always Get a Salad or Veggies on the Side
An easy way to substitute these high-carb side dishes is by asking for salad or veggies instead.
Many restaurants are more than willing to give you a side salad instead of the pasta the chicken or fish usually comes with.
If you are going to a fast food restaurant, choose their little side salad along with your grilled chicken sandwich, instead of getting fries.
Tips For Specific Fast Food Restaurants
When you order food at a sit-down restaurant, it tends to be a little easier to stick to a keto diet than if you were to eat fast food because fast food offers less options overall and rarely have substitutions.
Here are some ideas for having a low-carb, keto meal from these popular fast food restaurants:
Burger King, McDonald’s and other burger joints – When you go to a burger joint, you have two main options: you can either get a chicken sandwich or an actual cheeseburger.
- If you can, try to get a chicken sandwich since they tend to be a little healthier than burgers.
- Ask for a grilled chicken sandwich instead of one that is breaded if it is an option, and skip the bun.
- Skip the croutons and be careful with the type of dressing you use.
Wendy’s – At Wendy’s, you have many of the same choices, though they do tend to be better with their salad options.
- On occasion, you can choose to get a small cup of chili, but skip the crackers.
- While their chili does have some carbs, it is still less than something with breading or having French fries.
Subway – If you can choose a sandwich shop you are probably going to be better off.
- This is a good option because you are building the food item yourself, so you have complete control.
- Many sandwich shops, like Subway, allow you to create a salad or wrap instead of using a big roll, so that helps you remain on Keto.
Transitioning Your Kids to the Keto Diet
It helps when your entire household can go on the ketogenic diet with you so that you aren’t making separate meals for your family.
One challenge is getting your kids used to a keto diet when it is far different from the diet they are accustomed to.
The following tips will be beneficial when transitioning them to the keto diet.
Get Rid of All the Non-Approved Food Items
To start with, it helps to start getting rid of any food items, snacks, and drinks in your kitchen that are not approved by the keto diet.
This might be hard at first since you are cutting off the food source all at once, so if you feel your children would do better with just one thing at a time, go ahead and do this gradually.
You want all high-carb snacks like cookies, cakes, candy, chips, and most crackers to be out of the kitchen.
Also start increasing low-carb side dishes for meals and reducing how much rice and pasta you serve with your protein.
Let Them Help With Lunches
Kids like to be involved in things, especially when the changes affect their life in such a major way.
You can definitely get them more excited about switching to the keto diet when you let them help choose meals.
- Have them start by putting their own lunch together.
- Make sure they know the foods they can have and give a little lesson on proper balancing.
- Work with your kids to put together nutritious and filling keto lunches that they will enjoy.
Think About Keto-Friendly Snacks For the Car
You might spend quite a bit of time in the car with your kids on the way to doctor’s appointments, going to soccer practice, and picking them up from school.
To avoid giving them snacks that are filled with sugar and carbs, try to re-think the types of snacks you bring along.
- Pack a small cooler with celery sticks and peanut butter or bring along small bags of nuts, such as almonds, and walnuts.
- Have string cheese that is kept cool in the car is another great option for kids who are sticking to the keto diet.
Work Together as a Family to Prepare Meals
You can further encourage your kids to becoming involved in the keto diet by cooking and preparing meals as a family.
Have your kids look online to find keto-friendly recipes by telling them some ingredients they can include, have kids help prep veggies, or put together casseroles if they are old enough.
Keto Diet and Exercise
In order to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, incorporate exercise into your weekly Keto routine
Follow these tips to learn more about the right exercise routine to stick to and why you need to keep up with your regular fitness regimen while on this diet.
The Best Exercises For Ketosis
When you are on a Keto diet, it is good to have a balance between cardio and strength training, but don’t rely just on cardio.
During Ketosis, your body isn’t going to experience the full effects of fat burning and weight loss with just cardio alone and sure you are adding plenty of stretching and strength training to your regular workout routine.
Get Ready to HIIT
One of the best ways to mix it up with your exercise is to use HIIT exercises, which stands for high-intensity interval training and requires extremely high intensity, but with less time overall.
You might sprint for one minute, then jog for a couple minutes, then go back to sprinting, it’s basically a short bursts of exercises immediately followed by interval rests and repeating until you stimulate the sprinting effect.
Warning: Hold Off on Exercise at First
You should exercise while on the Keto diet doesn’t need to happen right away.
In fact, many dietitians advise that you not get into a rigorous fitness routine when making such a change in your diet.
- Try to first transition into the keto diet and wait a few weeks before you pick up on your exercise routine.
- While walking a few days a week as you already have been doing should be fine, avoid anything too strenuous or different from the norm.
This can be really hard on your body and make it hard to make such drastic changes all at once.
Why You Still Need to Exercise
Now that you have waited the recommended time after starting the keto diet, you can start working on your fitness routine.
You will lose a good amount of weight with dieting alone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also eventually get back into a regular fitness routine.
If you don’t burn calories and get your body into shape, you might eventually hit a plateau where you are no longer losing weight or inches.
Here are some other benefits of exercising even while on the keto diet:
- You can tone your body instead of just lose pounds
- You will lose more weight and faster with exercise
- Exercise helps with your bone mineral density
- It has anti-aging benefits
- You can improve your mood through endorphins
What Are the Side Effects of Being on Ketosis?
A big part of the Ketogenic diet is entering Ketosis, where your body produces ketones.
When this happens, you begin burning fat for energy, helping you to lose weight at a more rapid pace.
It isn’t always easy to know when you have reached ketosis, but there are definitely some side effects you can keep an eye out for.
This is often the first thing people notice when they start a Keto diet and first get into ketosis.
It won’t happen to everyone, but if you notice you have flu-like symptoms and have been on Keto for about a week or so, it could be that you are now entering ketosis.
Some of these symptoms might include
- Hot flashes or cold sweats
- Muscle cramps
- Increased temperature
- And feeling queasy
Sometimes the symptoms are subtle, other times you feel like you can barely get up. This is most often from not getting enough electrolytes while on Keto, so luckily there is an easy remedy.
Read more dedicated page for this topic visit the following: 8 Common Keto Flu Symptoms And Side Effects Explained
Thirst and Frequent Urination
Being in ketosis is a natural diuretic, which means food and water is going to move more quickly through your digestive system.
You may notice that you are urinating and using the restroom much more often than you used to, sometimes getting up more than once in the middle of the night.
It does subside a little bit, but having to urinate frequently while in ketosis is a good thing. Since you are urinating more often, expect to have more thirst as well.
Reduced Hunger and Cravings
A major benefit to ketosis is that your hunger and cravings are reduced, another reason you should stick to Keto even if it is hard in the beginning.
Once you reach the stage when you notice you aren’t as hungry as you used to be and your sugar cravings are gone, that is usually a good indication that you are in ketosis.
The hunger can vary, from feeling like you are only hungry once a day, to just having slightly less cravings than on a normal day.
Decreased Energy for Some
While some people have more energy while on Keto, others experience less. This fatigue is often just in the beginning of entering ketosis before your body adjusts to the changes.
Don’t stress about getting in a lot of exercise during this time; just stick to your diet and make sure you are getting your electrolytes.
What Can You Do About the Keto Flu
The fastest way to get rid of the Keto flu is to replenish your electrolytes, as this is most often the cause.
Not only are you losing electrolytes from the frequent urination during Keto, but you might not be getting the salt and potassium intake you once were due to the change in your diet.
- You need the three main electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
- Sodium is through salt, so salting your foods and having high-salt liquids like broth and pickle juice make you feel better quickly.
- For potassium, try veggies with this nutrient, like avocados. Magnesium supplements are also available.
Try making electrolyte water if you need to, by adding some pink salt and lite salt to a tall glass of water.
This not only helps treat keto flu, but drinking it daily can keep you from experiencing these symptoms again in the future.
The Important Electrolytes
The three important electrolytes you need to make sure you get while on Keto are
With a traditional diet, the combination of food, particularly though higher in carbohydrates, give you enough of these electrolytes.
However, when you start reducing your carbs dramatically, combined with Keto being a natural diuretic, can cause the levels to be extremely low.
You are going to aim for more sodium than you normally would, which you get from salt.
- Try to get at least 5000 mg of sodium per day.
- With potassium, you want 1000 to 3000 mg a day, and
- At least 300mg of magnesium a day.
Getting Enough Sodium
Sodium is the most important electrolyte to focus on when you are on the Keto diet.
If you feel faint and lightheaded, it is often from your sodium level being too low and the best way to cure this is by having more salt on a daily basis.
Not only should you be salting your food, but you should try making an electrolyte drink. This will allow you to add more salt, while also getting your minimum water intake at the same time.
You can use regular table salt, but pink Himalayan salt is often preferred since it has other benefits as well. You can also get more sodium from broth or bouillon cubes, and pickle juice.
Getting More Potassium
The next electrolyte you need more of is potassium. Mostly because you are no longer eating foods that would otherwise have increased the potassium level, like bananas.
However, you can still get your potassium with low-carb foods while on the Ketogenic diet. As long as you are following a balanced diet of meat and veggies, you’re probably getting enough.
Some of the top foods with potassium are
There aren’t many foods you can eat on Keto with enough magnesium, so the best option is to take a magnesium supplement.
- Get one that has at least 300 mg per tablet, and all you need is one a day.