Lately I have been getting asked to share some tips about getting started with Keto. Sometimes its hard to pinpoint exactly what has worked for me, since it has been a lot of trial and error. I think though that I have come far enough to be able to point you in the right direction! I hope these tips help!
- Get rid of non compliant food in your house: This is the biggest factor that I cannot stress enough; and I know a lot of you are sitting there thinking, “well I can’t do that, I have kids, a husband; that’s a lot of money in food to waste, etc”.. Notice that I did not say throw away. I gave away so much food when I first started. I HAD to get it out of my house if I was to succeed. Now, if you have children, or a spouse who does not want to join you in your lifestyle change, create yourself a separate cabinet for either yourself, or where you will keep all the non-keto foods for everyone else. If you are constantly looking at what you can’t have, its going to make it that much harder.
- Tracking: Instead of using an app when I first started, I kept a notebook and wrote everything down. Every single little thing that went into my body. I was so diligent about it, it was borderline crazy haha but I am so glad that I was because I learned SO much. I am not against using apps to help you track, but I have found that they aren’t as accurate, and anytime I ever used an app completely, I didn’t see any results. They are definitely good tools to aid you, but writing it all down yourself is so much more beneficial.
- Basic is better: I actually chuckled as a typed that one… hehe… ok! When starting out! BASIC. BASIC. BASIC. I will say it again. BASIC. You following along? Stick to basics. If you dive right in trying to make fancy shit, you are going to overwhelm yourself. Eggs, coconut oil, bacon, cheese, heavy whipping cream, veggies, bacon, sausage, avocado, bacon, MCT oil, bacon… did I mention bacon? … I used to carry bacon in my purse at all times. No lie. It would keep me so full with only 2-3 pieces. So, I would have normally, eggs (any style) with cheese or cream cheese for breakfast, and a piece of bacon or two. Lunch would be pepperoni with cheese, or meat roll ups with cream cheese, hard boiled eggs, etc. Then dinner would be a meat and veggie. That was it. No sugar free treats or something fancy. Give yourself enough time to get adapted and break the cycle of carb and sugar addiction. You can do it, I promise you.
- Make Lists: If you think you can go to the grocery store and just randomly pick out what you’re going to eat on keto, you are sadly mistaken (until you get used to what you need to buy). I can’t tell you how many times I left the grocery store in tears because I was so stressed and saying “I can’t eat ANYTHING!!!!” … LIES. Total lies. There is SO much you can eat, its unreal. Enough so that you never have to feel like you are missing out on something. Trust me. So make sure that you plan your shopping trips and write out everything you want to buy, plus the meals you are going to make with them (in case there is two meals that you can make with one item, such as a big pack of ground beef.) When I make my lists, I write all the items down on one side, and on the other I will write what meals im going to make. Then I can go back and write amounts. Its a time and money saver.
- Bring food with you: DO NOT be afraid to bring food with you while running errands, going to work, or even going to a friends house. This lifestyle change is about YOU and your success depends on YOU. Plus the look on someones face when you pull a full meal out of your purse is just priceless.
- Monitor your ketones: Sure, optimally a digital ketone tracker is ideal, but they’re expensive, and even more, the strips are hella expensive. But would I still like to have one? yeah of course haha It doesn’t get more accurate than blood testing. BUT, I am a tried and true supporter of ketostix. I have used them from day one and still use them now. It gave me a “control” area to where I wanted my body to stay. Of course getting to that deep red color on the spectrum was a goal, but they would also let me see how different foods were effecting my levels. So go on, go pee on a stick. FOR SCIENCE.
- Fats are Friends: Don’t fear the fats! This is the time where you take everything you have ever learned about food and kick it to the curb. Keto is going to reteach your brain how to PROPERLY fuel your body. There is a HUGE difference between fats. The good ones and the bad ones. There are so many good resources online about what fats are good for you. I could sit here and list them for you, but seriously that would take up too much of our time haha so just search Pinterest for healthy fats.
- Water: Drink as much water as you possibly can. During the starting phase you need to keep yourself hydrated and your kidneys flushed. You are going to be losing a lot of salt, so you need to also make sure to add salt to what you’re eating as well. Which leads to our next point…
- Keto Flu: The keto flu doesn’t happen to everyone, but at some point you will feel some of the symptoms. Such as headache, feeling light headed, loss of sleep, stomach ache… but seriously, do not be discouraged if you start feeling like crap. Take it as something GOOD at that you are making progress. Detoxing your body from carbs and sugar is just like detoxing from a drug. I see so many people give up because they can’t make it past the flu, but PLEASE, stick it out and I promise you, you will feel better than you have ever felt before. One way I fought the keto flu was drinking pickle juice. Whenever I would feel crappy, I would take a few sips of pickle juice and it would feel better almost instantly. If you aren’t a fan of pickles, then just eat or drink something really salty. Like chicken broth or something, with butter and salt.
- Be patient: As we have all heard or read, you didn’t gain the weight over night, so you aren’t going to lose the weight over night. It can take some people up to 3-4 weeks to get their bodies into ketosis. Some can do it within days. Me, it took me a good solid 2 weeks before I REALLY saw results. Which I was totally ok with. Everyone bodies are different, so please please please do not get discouraged if you don’t lose ten pounds your first week; and if you DO, don’t get discouraged when you don’t lose ten pounds your second week. The first initial weight is water weight, so you need to give yourself enough time to get rid of that before you will start burning fat. Just trust the process, stick to nutritional Keto and let your body do the work!
Thank you for asking me to write this post, guys! I really enjoyed it. I love being able to help you all! Of course I have to say that I AM NOT A DOCTOR lol These tips are from all the research I have done and implemented into my keto lifestyle and what has worked for me. Always make sure to ask your doctor if you have existing ailments before starting keto. I spoke with my general PCP and my gyno before starting. Keto has been a savior in my life, and I hope it can be the same for you.