10 Tips For Starting The Ketogenic Diet

10 Tips For Starting The Ketogenic Diet

So you’re on the fence about starting the ketogenic diet. You’ve heard about it, you have a few friends who have been doing it with great results, but you’re not sure how to start it yourself. That’s okay, I’ve got 10 tips for starting the ketogenic diet to give you inspiration and help get you started on your journey of weight loss and wellness.

tips for starting a ketogenic diet

 

1. Clean Out Your Pantry and Freezer

It’s time to declutter all the build up in that  pantry, but this time it will be to rid your cupboard of all high carb options for cooking and premade ‘jar food’. This is the processed stuff that has so many chemicals in them. These are not only high in sugar generally speaking, they are also messing with our bodies as many of the artificial ingredients have negative effects on us and our children’s health including behavioural and for some mental health. It’s just not worth the risk of consuming these additives on an ongoing basis and risk our health. If it’s not natural, don’t have it. If you happen to have any of these premade foods in there, have a look at the label and see if there is any sugar added to it, or how many additives have been listed in the ingredients list.

Identify what is a high carb ingredient. These are all wheat based products including whole grain and bleached wheat flour. They all are converted to sugar once they are digested and will kick you out of ketosis which will prevent fat burning for energy. If in doubt, check this book out as this has lots of information on what happens when we eat grains and includes a guide to what to eat as an alternative. Other high carbohydrate ingredients are cereals, crackers, biscuits, crisps, rice, potatoes among others.

Once you’ve gone through your pantry, next is your freezer. You may find a number of high carb premade frozen meals in there. Here I’m talking about things like dim sims, crumbed fish, pizzas, nuggets and the wide range of frozen convenience foods. Trust me, you will replace these with healthier alternatives that you have created with your own hands that your body will appreciate.

2. Replace With Low Carb Alternatives

When replacing these items, be sure to do it gradually so not to be overwhelmed and burdened with the cost. This can be done over time in line with your meal planning. Purchase the ingredients for the meals you plan to make during the upcoming week. This will allow you to gradually replace what you have had to remove with what you will need for the upcoming meals.

tips for starting the ketogenic diet

3. Meal Plan – Be Prepared

Think of the types of meals you’ve prepared in the past that you and your family have eaten and enjoyed. Now consider whether these meals are high in carbohydrates or not. If they are high in carbs, what is it that makes them high? Consider what would you replace these carbs with and then you’ve got your low carb meal. If in doubt, google it :).

Or see below for a mini meal plan I have created as a starting guide. Use searches such as ‘low carb bolognese’ or ‘low carb tuna mornay’. Be sure to check how many carbs are included. If in doubt, here’s a handy list on the diet doctor’s website and see if they are on this low carb list. Print this low carb list out or email it to yourself as a reminder to help you learn where to find carbs and what’s okay on a low carb diet.

4. When Those Sugar Cravings Hit

If you have consumed a diet high in carbs and sugar in particular, you may experience sugar cravings when you decide to go keto.  Be sure to have on hand some low carb options so you don’t break your commitment to your ketogenic goals.

Some options here include but aren’t limited to…tips for starting the ketogenic diet

5. Ramp Up Your Healthy Fat Intake

Be sure to include in every meal possible extra fats. These include olive oil, avocado oil, butter, mct oil and coconut oil. These fats are the good fats that our bodies need to thrive and help us get into ketosis.

In addition to ketone production, this also helps your body nourish your cells. Ever heard of essential fatty acids? These include omega 3, 6 and 9. The standard western diet generally has the ratio an average of 16:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3. The optimum ratio is actually 4:1 of omega 6 to Omega 3. This can even be lower for an anti aging goal.

6. Bread replacements

This includes anything breadlike. I know how easy, convenient and handy wheat based breads are. I do school lunches 40 weeks a year, for 3 children, I KNOW! Despite this, it’s hard to let go of something that is so convenient. Especially when you’re rushed to get out of the door and you may have children who might not be as motivated to move as you are. So if you can create something that is low carb for the whole family, you’ll be getting your children into good habits and giving their bodies reduced insulin burst every day.  If you have the will power and don’t feel that you will cave with having bread for the family, then leave the low carb bread for yourself and keep things simple for your mornings.

Some options such as bread rolls from the Diet Doctor site are very much like the real thing. I’ve also had good experiences with almond meal bread. It tastes great and can be toasted if you wish as well. If you miss having a sandwich, give these a try, you’ll be surprised. Here are ones that I’ve made.

tips for starting a ketogenic diet

Tortillas are another wheat based food you might miss that can be swapped with a low carb alternative.  Other high carb foods people say they miss include cakes, scones, pancakes, waffles and English muffins. The web is an amazing resource for finding low carb alternatives to help you transition from your old way of eating. Be sure you do your research and choose recipes that are definitely low carb and sugar free. I’ve found this english muffin recipe my go-to these days. You can even make them in the morning and still manage to get out of the house on time, as they are very quick and easy to make.

Another option is to link in with the Great Low Carb Bread company for convenience and low carbs. They have a sampler box which allows you to taste test their wide range of low carb options available.

7. The Mind Stuff

This is the psychological and emotional stuff that can happen when changing habits. This is what people find usually messes with their commitment to and goal of improved health and weight loss – shifting the ingrained mindset of the last 40 years of fearing fat.

I’ve been through this process myself, so I too know what this is like and can understand where the resistance comes from. But through discovering inspirational guides and learning from them I found myself shifting my perspective and open to learning a new way of understanding on how to burn energy differently.

Christine Cronau, an Australian nutritionist, introduced me to increasing fat and that butter is our friend. From there, I looked up low carb everything and studied. I became a tad bit obsessed while intrigued, so ran with learning about ketosis and energy.

Sometimes we have to learn things through doing them. Or read more about something before we can shift a belief, perspective or long held idea. If nothing has made any difference for some time, despite your best efforts and following other diet plans, then why not give this one a go. You’ve given other diets a try, so why not ketogenic?

Ask yourself what is holding you back or getting in your way.  What do you need to read about further in order for you to get your head around switching to fat burning mode instead of a carb burning way of eating.

8. Keep Your Fluids Up Keto Style

Drink water. The recommended amount is 2 litres per day. This varies depending on your activity levels. You will lose a fair amount when you first start to change from glucose burning to fat burning. Drinking water will release stored fluid from fat cells as fat is burned. Keep yourself hydrated and flush out any toxins released as you continue on your journey. Another tip is to add salt to your water if keto flu occurs.tips for starting the ketogenic diet

Be sure to cut out those nasty sugary concoctions. You know what Im talking about. These soft drinks are full of so much sugar. One 375ml bottle of Coke contains 40 grams of sugar. This is equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar in one drink. The sugar free alternatives aren’t ideal either. Although they are sugar free, they use an artificial sweetener combination of aspartame and acesulfame potassium which have been linked to multiple health issues such as cancer, heart disease and increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Other low carb drinks:

 

 

If you want to add milk use a dairy free, sugar free option such as almond, coconut, or pea milk. It just depends on your taste. I use almond milk for reduced carbs and cream to get a dairy-like flavour while increasing the fat content.
To make your own low carb dairy milk – Create your own dairy style milk using 300ml cream blended with 450ml of water. Add pinch of salt and erythritol if you prefer.

9. Exercise

Despite the long held belief that exercise equals burning extra calories, which then helps you lose weight, this isn’t actually the way to lose weight. When we continue carb burning for energy and exercise, you then get hungry and generally consume most if not all of what you have burnt off. That’s not to say that exercise isn’t helpful, it just doesn’t help you with weight loss.

It has numerous other benefits however. Things like improving mental health, build muscle, increase strength, improve bone density, improved insulin sensitivity and metabolic rate. There is a lot of research now showing that exercise without any changes in diet are not effective in weight loss. It also shows improvement in cognitive performance as this study shows.

10. Intermittent Fasting

When intermittent fasting (IF) is combined with the ketogenic diet, the body detoxes at the cellular level while also taking a break from releasing insulin.  It also increases the metabolism to kick start ketone production helping the body get into a fat-burning state. Studies such as this one have also shown the health and weight loss benefits of combining IF with ketogenic diet is more effective for weight loss than either alone.

 

Here’s a Sample Meal Plan to Get Started

 

 

Have you changed your way of eating?   What has your experience been with changing your pantry foods over?

Let me know in the comments below

10 thoughts on “10 Tips For Starting The Ketogenic Diet

  1. The Ketogenic diet is a great diet for diabetics. LOw carbs is the way to go because carbohydrates are a diabetics worst nightmare. I write about this on my website as well. Intermittent fasting is a great way to go because all people follow intermittent fasting whether is 2, 3, 4 or 6 meals a day.These are great examples of meal planners. What you drink and how much you exercise is just as important. How long would you suggest someone follow the ketogenic diet?
    1. Hi Rob, thanks for your feedback. Yes, low carb is definitely proving to be beneficial for many people, especially those experiencing diabetes due to lifestyle. I believe one can follow a low carb diet for life. I know many people who have been lwo carb for more than 15 years who are in excellent health with excellent blood readings. It's not a fad diet by any means, instead a shift in lifestyle and food choices with positive outcomes. I wish you all the best in your own journey Rob.
  2. I'm just starting to think about changing the diet for me, my husband and our three kids. We all have a Sweet Tooth and one of my boys is crazy about anything made from Dough. Do you have some recommendations specifically for 5-7y old kids ? How to make the change easier for them?
    1. Hi Mary, thanks for stopping by. I found once I cut out sugar, my sweet tooth wasn't as strong. I even stopped craving sugar, and when I have had it, it's not as enjoyable as it used to be. It is an adjustment in the first few months. Kids can adapt eventually over time too. When you don't make a big deal out of it, and simply provide them with the alternatives, especially at dinner time they don't even know the meal is low carb. The dough aspects however will be more obvious when they don't get that. I found swapping out the sweet cakes with using xylitol or erythritol helped them adjust to not eating sugar, and finding a couple of recipes they actually liked that are low carb without telling them it was low carb has helped too. Blueberry muffins using almond meal and erythritol are delicious and a good sweet cake they won't notice as low carb. All the best
  3. Great Site! Lots of good information and presented in a clean and creative way. Wonderful recipes! Nice layout! Keep up the good work! :)
    1. Hi there, thanks for stopping by and the fabulous feedback. Much appreciated, blessings to you.
  4. great info! My daughter in law was doing the keto diet and she lost a lot of weight, but she said it was really hard to keep up with. thank you for giving tips to help make it easier! I'll have to pass your article on to her and maybe I'll even get up the nerve to try going keto myself! ;-)
    1. Hi Kayla, thanks for your feedback. I hope your daughter in law can find a way to make keto work for her. It does take a bit of adjusting, but with the right attitude, tips and motivation, anything is possible. I wish you success for when you get started on this yourself. Sometimes doing keto with someone else can make it easier for both of you. All the best :).
  5. The keto diet has really helped a lot of people that I know. I have done it to some extent and had mixed results because I haven't been consistent, but it is good to know there is a solution. :)
    1. Hi Jessica and thanks for stopping by. Well done for giving it a go and noticing what contributed to the mixed results. Consistency is necessary to have success with the ketogenic diet, as it relies on switching from carb burning to fat burning which if inconsistent can be like a yoyo and lead to low energy levels. I wish you much success in your endeavours.

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