No carbs? No problem.
Before completely devoting to the Keto lifestyle, I had to learn what the diet was, and how it would ultimately improve my health. Some key facts to remember are:
It’s More Than a Diet
You’ll often hear people saying that they’re living a “ketogenic lifestyle” instead of them referring to it as a diet. That’s because Keto requires more commitment than a normal diet. In fact, going on and off of Keto can really hurt your metabolism and cause you to actually gain weight. Consistency is key if you want to improve your health, lose weight, and gain energy.
Keto is Customizable
The keto lifestyle consists of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs. The carb intake can be customized to fit your body’s needs. Carb intake can range anywhere from 20 grams of carbs to 50 grams. If your body is not falling into ketosis then you can reduce your carb macros gradually until you achieve ketosis.
Achieving Ketosis is Different for Everyone
Achieving ketosis is different for everyone, and can vary in time depending on body shape and type. It can happen almost immediately and only through the diet for some, while for others it may take weeks and possibly incorporating supplements to reach ketosis. Some supplements that can be used are ketone drinks. There are many available in the market, and doing your research before choosing the one that’ll work for you would be wise. MCT oil and electrolytes can also be used to help you stay in ketosis. Once you start any diet you’ll see a large amount of weight drop very easily— that’s water weight and you’ll most likely start leveling out after the first month. It’s important to not be discouraged that the weight isn’t falling off as fast as it once was. It’s perfectly normal and even healthy for the weight loss to slow down.
Keto Flu: It Will Happen
The keto-flu describes a “flu like feeling” that happens to almost everyone. It is a reaction from your body when it switches from “carb-burning” to “fat-burning.” Your brain may be running low on energy which can lead to feeling nausea, headaches, feeling dazed and weak. You could also be feeling these sensations because you are low on electrolytes as the keto diet makes you urinate more often.
There’s nothing to worry about as these feelings will pass and it is a sure sign that you’re headed in the right direction in your ketogenic lifestyle. Just make sure that you drink plenty of water and if you have to, supplement with electrolyte drinks such as keto lemonade.
Keto Farts Are Real!
Switching to a high-fat diet can cause gastrointestinal issues in most people. This can be at both extremes such as diarrhea and constipation (most people experience the latter). Taking MCT oil almost always does the trick, but drink plenty of water and it should resolve itself as your body becomes used to the change. Taking fibre supplements can also help, but always read the label at the back for potential added carbs!
Keto is a medical treatment
The ketogenic diet is currently being used to treat many medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and minimize or totally eliminate seizures. Following a keto lifestyle can help diabitic patients as it creates an insulin resistance in the body. This can be achieved because lowering carb intake results in decreased glucose levels in the blood which allows the pancreas to take a break from creating insulin! Sounds amazing right? It is. But one thing to keep in mind is consistency! As mentioned before, consistency is the key in ketosis because once you decide to go back to a carb-filled lifestyle your glucose levels can spike again.
Bad Breath is Unfortunately Normal
When one transitions from carb-burning to fat-burning, there are a number of things that occur within the human body. One of them happens to be bad breath, this is caused by the body producing ketones which are then released through your breath! Typically bad breath is more noticeable when starting this lifestyle change. Another reason for bad breath on the keto diet is too much protein. When the body breaks down excess protein it produces ammonia which is released through the breath causing bad odor. Drinking plenty of water (a gallon a day keeps the bad breath at bay!) and reducing your protein should do the trick and eliminate bad breath for good—along with the obvious brushing your teeth twice a day, mouthwash and floss.
Slow and Steady Wins The Race
You’ll hear many success stories where so and so lost an enormous amount of weight in record time on the keto diet. One thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that everyone loses weight at their own pace. And something might work for you while other things might work for others. Remember not to compare. Your body is different and unique to itself. Another thing to remember is that usually those cases are associated with people that have a lot of weight to lose. Slow and steady weight loss is the safest kind of weight loss. Sometimes you won’t see the results on the scale, a protip is to measure yourself. This way you’ll have another method of comparing before and afters other than just the scale.
Meal Planning will Make a Difference
It’s easy to assume that your grocery bill will drastically go up when transitioning to the keto diet from a carb filled lifestyle. Carbs are lighter on the pocket but are not as filling as meats, veggies and cheese. At first you’ll find that, yes your grocery bills are skyrocketing. However once you get used to the lifestyle you’ll notice that you require less and less food to keep you satisfied. Meal planning can also make a world of a difference. If you have your meals all planned out you won’t need to impulse buy. It’ll also help you stick to your diet as a full belly tends to wander less.
How to Transition off the Keto Diet
If you were just trying the keto diet to get rid of the extra 10-20 pounds (and you’ve achieved your goal) or if you started the diet and don’t think it’s the right fit for you, you’re probably wondering how to transition off of it without gaining all the weight back. Start by slowly introducing healthy carbs, such as fruits and vegetables. As you increase your carb intake, reduce your fat intake. You’ll probably see the scale go up a little, don’t worry, that’s normal as carbs hold more water than protein (remember the water weight that just melted off when you first started?). If you maintain a low-carb diet you’ll most probably be able to maintain the weight loss longer.
As with any diet plan, or lifestyle change, it takes more than a few months to find out if its the right fit for you and your body. Make sure to consult your physician and family doctor before you make intense dietary and lifestyle changes.