A Beginner-Friendly Guide: How To Transition to a Keto Diet
Transitioning to a new way of eating is overwhelming, but it can also advance your health and wellness journey. If you’re considering trying the keto diet, this beginner-friendly guide is for you. Let’s walk through the basics of the keto diet and review practical tips that will help you ease into this new way of eating.
Understanding the Keto Diet
Before you make any changes to your diet, you must have a solid understanding of the basics of your new nutritional plan. The keto diet involves reducing your carbohydrate intake and making up the difference with healthy fats and protein. This shift puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis, in which it begins to use fat for fuel instead of glucose.
To achieve ketosis, your daily macronutrient intake should be 70–80 percent fat, 20–25 percent protein, and 5–10 percent carbohydrates.
Remember that not all fats are equal, so it’s best to focus on consuming fats from healthy sources such as avocados, nuts, olive oil, and fatty fish.
Transitioning to a low-carb, high-fat diet is challenging for your body, so it’s essential to start slowly and change your eating habits gradually. For example, you could start by reducing your carbohydrate intake by 25 grams per day until you reach your target carb goal.
This approach allows your body to adjust to a new fuel source while reducing the likelihood of experiencing side effects like headaches, fatigue, and brain fog.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to let go of your favorite high-carb food. But you don’t have to forgo flavorful foods entirely. You can use flavor concentrates on keto and continue enjoying the flavor of your favorite things!
Plan Your Meals in Advance
Many people snack on chips, pretzels, or other treats that are loaded with carbs. However, this isn’t ideal for the keto diet. Meal planning will help you transition to the keto diet by making it easier for you to stay on track and avoid impulsive food choices.
After you set your meal plan, research various keto-friendly recipes and create a shopping list of the necessary ingredients. Some easy keto meals to consider include:
- Veggie and cheese omelet
- Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables
- Shrimp with cauliflower
- Turkey and cheese wrap
- Salad with avocado and bacon
As your body adjusts to a keto diet, it’s common to experience increased urination, which may lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. To avoid this, drink plenty of water (aiming for 8-10 cups a day) and consider increasing your intake of electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and potassium. You can consume these essential minerals naturally through foods like spinach, avocado, salmon, and nuts, but you can also take supplements.
Lastly, it’s crucial to remember that the process of shifting to the keto diet is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Everyone’s body reacts differently to a change in diet, and it may take some time for you to fully adjust to this new way of eating.
Be patient with yourself and listen to your body. If you experience any negative side effects, like headaches, nausea, difficulty sleeping, or constipation, adjust your macros or consult a healthcare provider.