The ketogenic diet, or keto diet for short, has become quite popular among CrossFit and functional fitness athletes over the past few years.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, the keto diet is essentially a low-carb, high-fat diet
Many studies have shown that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve your overall health. But often the hard part is sticking true to the diet, and seeing it out for the long haul.
If you’d like to have success on the keto diet, there are certain tips to follow that can improve your chances of doing well while following it. When you’re first getting started, things can be a bit challenging. One of the hardest things to get used to is now being able to eat foods you would normally eat. Also, upon giving up these different foods, your body will go through some changes as it starts to use stored fat as fuel to provide you with much-needed energy.
There is a possibility that you may feel a bit sluggish at first and you might even suffer from some of the symptoms of the ‘keto flu’, such as headaches, stomach pains, and cravings for all kinds of foods that you need to avoid. Although things may get off to a rough start, there are several ways to make things even easier for yourself.
Keep an Eye on Those Macros
You should always keep a close eye on your macros using a keto macro calculator. You need to make sure that you are consuming fewer carbs and more healthy fats. Your diet should consist of up to 80% fat that comes directly from good sources, such as avocados, salmon, cheese, and even coconut oil. In addition to consuming more healthy fats, you should make sure you are getting plenty of protein. It is fine to switch things up as long as you are keeping your carbohydrate consumption down.
Prepare Food Ahead of Time
Trying to figure out what to eat each day can take up a lot of your time and cause some frustration. However, the best way to save time and avoid eating foods that aren’t good for you, is to start preparing your food ahead of time. Spend one day cooking and meal prepping each week. You can grill pieces of chicken breast and serve it with a side of grilled asparagus or grilled string beans. You might even want to prepare salmon and turkey with cauliflower rice and fresh vegetables. There are a lot of tasty meals that you can prepare ahead of time and then refrigerate until you are ready to eat them.
Go Through the Food in Your Kitchen
Because you are making a big dietary change, it helps to go through what you have available in the kitchen and donate the items that you can no longer consume while on the keto diet. For example, if you have boxes of pasta, containers of cream, or even pancake mix, you should get rid of those items because you cannot have them while you are on the keto diet. If there is anything that you should not eat while following the diet, get rid of it because you do not need to have that kind of temptation in your life.
Stock up on all kinds of keto-friendly treats. You can play it safe by getting some fruit, vegetables, string cheese, and other options that are safe to eat while following the diet. It is always a good idea to have safe snacks available whenever you have a craving to eat something between your usual meals.
Be Prepared When You Are Eating at a Restaurant
Eating at a restaurant might seem like a challenge when you are on the keto diet, but there are times when you may need to do it because you have not had time to go grocery shopping or because you were invited out to eat by someone. The good news is that it is often quite simple to pick a good keto-friendly meal. Search for a dish that contains meat that is baked, broiled, or grilled instead of fried. Rather than getting mashed potatoes, a baked potato, or macaroni and cheese, stick with fresh vegetables for sides.
If you do not know what the restaurant has available, you can search for their menu online. Most restaurants will provide a list of all the different meals they serve. Stay away from the French fries and other starches.
Take the Proper Supplements
While you are adjusting to a complete diet change, your body will likely release far more electrolytes. Because you might lose more of those electrolytes, you should start taking supplements that can keep you feeling energized and healthy.
Try the Intermittent Fasting Process
Some people are losing even more weight while on keto by choosing to do intermittent fasting. The process of intermittent fasting involves avoiding food for a set period. Some people will not eat anything for anywhere between 12 and 18 hours, but they may spend a large portion of this time asleep at night. If you were to go to sleep at 9 PM, did not get up until 9 AM, and did not have anything to eat until 12 PM, you will have fasted for 15 hours. However, it will not feel like you went too long without eating because you were sleeping most of the time.
Make Sure You Are Working Out
Your body is going through all kinds of changes while you are on the keto diet. You might notice that you suddenly have more energy than you did before. Use that energy to your advantage by exercising more often. It will work in your favor because then you will burn more calories and lose even more weight. The traditional workouts that you were doing in the past may no longer work as efficiently as they did in the past, so it is a good time to switch up your routine and try some new exercises, too.