Originally posted on https://ketofoodist.com/article/start-keto-weight-loss/
If you’re nervous about how to start keto, there are simple steps you can follow. With a mindset change and some practice, you can reap the benefits of a keto diet.
More than 60 studies prove that the keto diet is useful for significant weight loss. The ketogenic way of eating isn’t just a fad, but it does come with a learning curve and lifestyle modification.
What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is a weight loss plan that focuses on your consumption of macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrates. The diet plan is all about adjusting your diet for high fat, moderate protein, and low carb. The typical ratio consists of:
- 70% healthy fats
- 25% protein
- 5% carbs
These numbers might need adjustment according to your dietary needs. Plus, several versions of the diet exist and each requires different macronutrient ratios. The goal is for your body to enter a state of ketosis.
How to Activate Ketosis
Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body burns fat instead of carbs. Your body’s primary energy source is the glycogen created from carb intake. By limiting carbohydrates, your body switches to fat as a source of energy by the use of ketones. This is the reason why carb consumption is so small with a keto diet.
Activating ketosis usually takes three days or more. You won’t see optimal results for at least two weeks. These are the signs that your body in ketosis:
- Bad breath
- Frequent urination
- Reduced appetite
- Increased energy and focus
- Weight loss
How to Start the Keto Diet
The goal of the keto diet is to increase your intake of healthy fat and decrease your intake of carbs (protein consumption should be moderate).
Accomplishing this means knowing which foods are good and bad for achieving optimal results. When planning your meals you should include high-fat, low-carb foods. Here are a few examples:
- Healthy fats, such as butter and coconut oil.
- Meat, poultry, and seafood.
- Full-fat dairy, such as cheese and cream (avoid milk).
- Nuts, seeds, and nut flours.
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale.
- Low-carb veggies, such as zucchini and cauliflower.
- Berries if you need a fruit fix.
- Herbs and spices, low-carb condiments.
There are some basic steps you can follow to experience the most benefit from this diet change and make the adjustment easier.
The first action in the keto diet is to slash the number of carbs you consume. Keep your carbs to 25 grams of net carbs per day. The foods listed below are usually high in carbohydrates. However, each food and meal has varying nutrient amounts. It’s imperative to read the food label. Pay attention to the serving size and calculate each macronutrient accordingly.
Reduce and eliminate the following high-carb foods. They prevent your body from entering ketosis:
- Grains (bread, pasta, corn, rice).
- Starches (potatoes).
- Most high-carb alcohol (read keto-friendly alcohol drinks).
- Table sugar.
- High-sugar fruits.
- Most milk products, although some milk and dairy merchandise are fine for the keto diet. Read the food label carefully or use the keto food search engine.
While proteins are better than carbohydrates on the keto meal plan, you still want to limit your protein intake. For optimal results, most of your daily calories should come from fat. Try to choose high-quality meats for proteins because processed and fried meats might contain hidden carbs.
Eat Enough Fat to Satisfy Your Appetite
At least 70 percent of your calorie intake should consist of fat. Don’t obsess over consuming the correct ratio of fats in each meal. Include enough fats to satiate your appetite. Don’t eat if you’re not hungry. The best weight loss results occur if you eat when you’re hungry. Your food sources for fat should be healthy meals. Avoid highly processed foods like canola oil, margarine, and other trans fats.
Pay Attention to Electrolytes
The keto diet can easily deplete the electrolyte balance in your body. It’s important to achieve a proper balance. You can maintain electrolytes by including salts in your diet. Use plenty of salt to season your food. You can also include bone broths or pickled vegetables. You can read more about maintaining your body salts here.
Drink Plenty of Liquids
The keto diet can cause dehydration. Because ketones absorb water, and you’re eliminating carbs that store water, thirst will occur. You must drink plenty of water, perhaps a little more than the recommended eight cups a day. Tea, unsweetened herbal tea, and coffee are excellent substitutes but water is the healthiest liquid that benefits your body.
Why the Keto Diet Helps with Weight Loss
The keto diet allows your body to burn stored fat. By depriving the body of its normal energy source, it must burn fat stores for energy. This dietary plan also suppresses your appetite. Fat satisfies your appetite and curbs hunger, causing you to eat less. The ketogenic diet also increases energy, allowing you to incorporate exercise in your personal weight loss program. All these reasons make the ketogenic way of eating effective for weight loss.
More Resources for the Keto Diet
Are you ready to start? It may seem overwhelming in the beginning but taking the next steps will help you get started.
- Start by choosing the desired weight goal.
- Then, use our keto macro calculator tool to determine the minimum and maximum macros to consume per day.
- Read this article again to remind yourself what foods to eat and avoid.
- Use the keto food search engine or keto label calculator tool to find keto-friendly foods. If you need an explanation for using the search engine, review our getting started guide.
- Learn how to maintain a keto diet and avoid these common keto diet mistakes.