All over the country, millions of people go on diets every year, spending billions of dollars on weight-loss products. And while attempting to improve health is never a bad thing, most people go about dieting the wrong way.
Instead of spending your hard-earned money on weight-loss pills and shakes, why not focus on nutrition? The keto diet doesn’t require purchasing a single product that isn’t food!
If you’re trying to determine where to start with the keto diet, you’ve come to the right place. Listed below is the ultimate guide to the keto diet for beginners. Using this guide, you’ll be able to start your new diet today!
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
What is Ketosis?
You probably already know that a ketogenic diet is one that involves eating as few carbohydrates as possible and increasing your fat intake. But to better understand what’s happening to your body and why the keto diet helps you to lose weight, you need to understand ketosis.
Your body needs a steady supply of energy to function. When you eat a typical diet, your body uses glucose, or sugar, for that energy. When glucose is in short supply, however, your body will begin to use its fat stores instead. This is known as ketosis.
In short, a keto diet allows your body to burn fat at rest without fasting.
Who Shouldn’t Try a Keto Diet?
While the ketogenic diet can be an excellent health and weight loss tool, it isn’t for everyone. It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before you begin any major diet change, but especially if you fall in any of the following categories:
- Those who are currently breastfeeding
- Those with high blood pressure
- Those taking medication for diabetes
Your doctor can help you determine if the keto diet is right for you. And if it isn’t, they can suggest diet and lifestyle changes that will have a positive impact on you and your health.
What to Eat on Keto Diet
Yes, a keto diet is low-carb, high-fat, but what specific foods are keto-approved? In order for your body to reach ketosis, you need to keep your daily carbohydrate consumption under 50 grams. And for maximum effectiveness, below 20 grams.
Counting carbohydrates is helpful, but you’re more likely to find success if you eat foods that are naturally low in carbs. Listed below are the types of foods to stick to when creating your keto diet menu plan.
You don’t want to base your diet around meat, as your body converts excess protein to glucose. With protein, you want to stick to 1-2 grams per kg of your body weight. Remember, you’re trying to increase the amount of fat in your diet, not protein.
When choosing your meats, do your best to purchase unprocessed, organic, grass-fed varieties or fatty fish like salmon. Breading for meat and processed options like sausages and sandwich meat contain carbs and are best to be avoided.
You might be surprised to learn that eggs are considered a superfood! That’s right, eggs are jam-packed with nutrients. In fact, eggs contain at least a small amount of almost every vitamin and mineral your body needs.
And eggs are a great option for those on a keto diet, as they contain virtually no carbohydrates. For maximum health benefits, purchase whole eggs that come from pasture-raised chickens.
When starting the ketogenic diet, vegetables are your best friend. Any vegetable that’s grown above ground is safe to eat and maintain ketosis. Not to mention, vegetables are some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat.
A keto diet plan should include no pasta, rice, or starches, such as potatoes. You’ll need something to replace those mealtime staples – and what better substitute than a plate of leafy greens!
Dairy High in Fat
There are ways to approach a ketogenic diet as a vegan, but if you’re a fan of dairy products, you’re in luck! The keto diet is very dairy-friendly. The only dairy product that you need to avoid is milk, as it’s rather high in sugar.
You’ll also need to be careful when purchasing yogurt, as many are so high in sugar they’re comparable to candy. Stock up on high-fat cheese, heavy cream, and butter. All are high in fat and low in carbohydrates – exactly what you need!
Berries are an excellent choice, as they’re loaded with vitamins and anti-oxidants. They’re also nature’s candy – satisfying that sweet craving without ruining your diet.
Now, despite being a healthy snack, you don’t want to go overboard with berries on a keto diet, as they do contain sugar. But as long as you eat them in moderation, they can make for a great dessert!
To prevent accidental carb overload, you need to pay attention to the drinks you’re putting into your body as well. The safest choices are water, tea, and coffee.
When we say “sugar-free,” we don’t mean diet sodas. Your drinks should truly be sugar-free, and diet sodas and similar options include sugar substitutes that will throw off ketosis.
Use This Guide to the Keto Diet for Beginners to Get off on the Right Foot
Any lifestyle change can be challenging, which is why it’s important to gather all of the information you can before you start! By using this guide to the keto diet for beginners, you have everything you need to hit the ground running with this new chapter of your life.
Remember, it’s important to consult your physician before beginning any new diet or exercise regimen. The keto diet can be extremely beneficial, but isn’t for everyone! Your health should always be a priority.
Looking for more information to help you find success with dieting? Be sure to check out our blog!