So you’ve finally made the jump into your Keto Diet- congratulations! It’s time to get the weight off, lose those pounds, and enjoy a happier, healthier lifestyle. Hopefully you’ve done your research about the diet, and already know the basics, but there’s always room for improvement. Here are six tips to make your diet (and exercise!) more effective:
1. Vary Your Workout Routine
Studies have shown that varying your workout types means that your exercise will be more effective. Why is this? As with any stress, your body adapts, meaning that if you tend to go for one type of workout– say, running, then eventually your body will become accustomed to it, making it less effective. So switch it up. Run one day, do HIIT (high intensity interval training) the next. Alternate high weight/low rep workouts with weeks focused on low weight/high reps. The changes in your routine will ensure that your body will be constantly working to adapt and change, making your exercise better overall. Although this may be difficult to manage, especially at the beginning of your diet, it’s key to making sure your weight loss is both balanced and effective.
2. Beware the “Carb Flu”
It’s equally important to make sure you’re aware of the potential pitfalls of this diet. One very common complaint is often heard at the beginning of your diet. Termed the “carb flu,” it’s a general feeling of sluggishness, low energy, and even nausea that many people experience in their first days of the diet. This comes as a result of the body’s change from reliance on glucose (all those carbs) to stored fat (which it breaks down into ketones). Essentially, you’re going through carbohydrate withdrawals. Be aware of its possibility and be prepared if (or when) it does come. You can help lessen the effects of the carb flu in one of two ways: by slowly restricting your carb intake, thus gradually introducing the ketosis, (though this will obviously slow your progress) or by switching the carbohydrates you’re eating to “clean carbs.” These carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, will help you transition more easily and get you on your way to ketosis without too much suffering.
3. Drink Coffee
I’m sure you’ve all heard that caffeine acts as an appetite suppressant- and if you hadn’t previously, now you know! This can be especially helpful in the first few days of your diet, as your body adjusts to its new low-carb lifestyle. To make it even more effective, make it bulletproof. You do this by adding two tablespoons of butter (or ghee, clarified butter) and one tablespoon of coconut oil (or MCT oil, a purified version, which you can purchase as a supplement) to your coffee. See why below.
4. Enjoy Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats around- it’s a medium chain triglyceride, which is a fancy way of saying that its fat gets into your bloodstream faster, converting into fuel for your body more efficiently. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of coconut oil to your coffee in the morning to jumpstart your day and push your body into ketosis more quickly. This is one of the best perks of this diet; a focus on high-fat foods, such as coconut oil and butter, leaves your body feeling satiated for longer. This means you’ll crave less, and ultimately eat less. It’s an important part of the Ketogenic Diet.
5. Use a Macro Calculator
It can be hard to know how to manage your diet properly, especially when you’re first starting out. The Keto Diet can seem anti-intuitive at first (high fats and low carbs?), so using a calculator can help you control your intake and ensure that you’re staying on track. The good news is that there are plenty of calculators available, along with apps, so you’ll never be left stuck when you’re tracking. One very popular one is My Fitness Pal, which is both comprehensive and free, and boasts a large community of people to help you along your journey.
6. Be Smart When Eating Out
This one may seem obvious, but it will never go amiss to plan ahead when you’re going to eat out. Many places have Keto friendly menus, and if you’re unsure, you can always consult your calculator. Examples of good Keto meals when eating out include bun less burgers, fresh veggies, and fish. Just make sure that you’re keeping your food as balanced as possible. A slab of bacon is great (and allowed!), but you need to make sure you’re eating as many leafy greens as possible. And stay away from the bread basket!
As long as you’re willing to put in the hard work, there’s no reason that you won’t be able to succeed at your diet. Remember, be smart, keep your food intake on track, and work out. You’ve got this!