**Disclaimer- I am not a doctor or a dietitian, I'm simply sharing what has worked for me and also those that I have worked with to help along their ketogenic journey**
**While the ketogenic diet has many proven health benefits (e.g.weight loss,reversal of type 2 diabetes) it’s still controversial. Most importantly, there may be a need to adapt pre-existing medications. Discuss any changes in medication and relevant lifestyle changes with your doctor.**
Keto can seem daunting when you first begin. What are macros? Am I supposed to just drizzle MCT oil on my whole life now? All of these pre-packaged snacks are labeled "keto"- they're ok right??
Or you maybe approach it with the mindset of, "It's just too complicated, so why even bother?".
To be honest, when I first started I had no idea what I was doing. And don't even get me started about tracking. I just knew the "gist" of keto was to not eat carbs.
Keto is a journey, and it's one I keep personally evolving along everyday.
This entails many aspects- physical, mental, and emotional. Take a look at your current eating habits. If you are eating a lot of processed foods currently, my advice is to take a 5 step approach to keto. This will lay the groundwork for a sustainable lifestyle.
Often when we make a significant change in our life, we fsll back to our old habits out of comfort. Before starting keto, begin to eliminate unhealthy items in your everyday life. Remove sodas and bread one week, step back from pasta and candies the next, and so on. I've seen much more consistent success from people when they make these small changes slowly. It doesn't become so overwhelming, and it also allows you to slowly introduce this new way of eating to your body and mind.
If you have underlying emotional connections to food, adopting a keto lifestyle will definitely make you aware of these if you weren't already. You may be just fine dealing with these, or it may need to involve steps through therapy. Everyone heals their relationship to food differently, and there is no wrong way. The only difference between the people who heal and the people who don't is persistence. Those who find heaingl stay dedicated to their own process of growth and recovery. Never give up on yourself and your journey. Recognize that there's often a message or life lesson in our challenges and suffering. We're born out of our suffering, and its often here to teach us something. You're not fundamentally flawed, or broken. You are finding a path that deals with life that fits for you.
Here are some steps to success to help you get adjusted to a keto lifestyle:
1)Start a food and liquid journal for a week.
What are you eating for a full week? Jot down every single item. Even if you have a moment where you eat a full pack of oreos, no one is here to judge you. Pay attention to what caused that trigger, and take note of that.
What are you drinking? What are you adding to your drinks? Do you find yourself using excessive sugars/creamers in your coffee and tea? Many of these "habitual" eating/drinking habits are ingrained in our daily activities, and we don't even pay attention to the quality/quantity we are consuming.
2)Are you taking any supplements and/or medications?
Different medications and supplements effect us all differently. Depending on what you are taking, it may cause you to hold onto weight. They also may cause some challenges for your body as you switch into ketosis. Electrolytes are NOT optional on keto. Pick your favorite, and have it handy at all times. Especially in the early stages, your body will be dumping excessive glycogen and you may experience chapped lips or an excessively dry mouth. Keeping your electrolyes up immediately when you start keto may keep you from getting the "keto flu".
The keto flu is simply a time period where your body is switching its fuel choices from glucose to ketones. You may feel sluggish and dehydrated. Taking magnesium, potassium, and a daily electrolyte drink can keep all of this at bay.
Here are some of my favorites:
Ultima: Click HERE
Potassium Pills: Click HERE
Magnesium Pills: Click HERE
3)Process of elimination
The key to maintaining a state of ketosis is to keep your carb intake low but also to eat a diet rich in whole nutrient dense foods.
Start making small changes to set yourself up for long term success. Take week one to remove bread from your diet. If you're already on that track, remove the pasta. Find something to replace your soda habit with, like Perrier carbonated waters. You know yourself best. If you need to abstain completely so you don't cause yourself temptation, don't even have it in your house! Remember, this is going to be a NEW way of life. It's not a temporary diet mentality.
4)Hold yourself accountable
How do you hold yourself accountable? Oftentimes, speaking your goals out into the open with a group of like minded individuals is a good way. Recording your goals in a journal is another option. Pick what is the most meaningful way for you.
Here are some ways I suggest accountability:
1)Download an app, such as Carb Manager, to input your daily food choices
2)Start a social media account. You can keep it private, follow some accounts that are following a similar lifestyle to yours
3)Find an accountability partner. Do you know someone who is already following this way of eating? Someone who would join you perhaps?