5 Tips Before Starting The Keto Diet
So you’ve probably heard of the keto diet by now, and if you haven’t, then it’s likely you are living under a rock. The keto diet has gained much popularity in the past few years due to it’s success with many health and wellness influencers, athletes and coaches like Ben Greenfield, Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Jimmy Moore, Tasty Yummies, Diane San Fillipo, and Precision Nutrition Co-Founder John Berardi (he’s pretty much tried every diet out there). You may even recognize a few of these celebrities who follow a ketogenic diet: Kim & Kourtney Kardashian, Halle Barry, Vanessa Hudgens, Al Roker, Lebron James, Adrianna Lima, and Vinny Guadagnino. This is just the short list.
Initially created as a protocol to help treat epilepsy, the keto diet has had much success in helping those suffering from chronic illness like cancer, diabetes, autoimmune, TBI’s, mild concussions, and (MORE RESEARCH)
In short we know that the keto diet is made up of quality fats, quality proteins, and quality vegetables. To reach ketosis one will need to omit refined foods, sugars, alcohol, even healthy complex carbs (which can be eaten in moderation), and stressors. It sounds pretty simple, but getting into ketosis is not always that easy. If you think you want to give the keto diet a try, you must first clean things up a bit.
5 tips for starting the keto diet.
Clear the cupboards and stock the refrigerator.
You heard right. All candy, sugar, processed foods, and junk must go. If you are serious about the keto diet, and putting in the work to get results, you might as well set yourself up for success. If you must have snacks in the house, in your purse, or at work, research keto friendly snack options. Stocking up and making your own snacks using keto friendly recipes is the best way to ensure you always have something healthy and keto friendly to go to.
Seek out quality, organic, pesticide free produce. This ensures your reduce your exposure to glyphosate and other harmful pesticides used in commercial farming. Look for grass-fed and pasture-raised meats and eggs, as well as wild caught fish. Since the majority of your calories will be coming from fats, it’s a good idea to make sure your fat sources are of high quality. What you may not realize is that toxins, heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful matter get stored in the fats of foods we eat. Choose wisely.
Quality ingredients are what you will want to strive for when grocery shopping, so if you need some extra help, look to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The EWG puts out an updated list of the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen list every year. These lists help grocery shoppers like yourself to navigate which specific produce products should be bought organic and which ones are still okay to eat non-organic. It’s a wonderful resource!
2. Bye bye alcohol.
It’s true. Alcohol will have to take a hike if you want any chance of putting your body into ketosis. Some alcohols are higher in sugar than others, so for now it is best to eliminate alcohol altogether for best results. Even more so, alcohol robs your body of quality nutrients that you need. After all, you’re spending your hard earned money on quality produce and meals, wouldn’t you want to ensure that your body is actually using and absorbing those nutrients?
Down the road, after you have been in ketosis for a few weeks or months, you might then want to play around with introducing in a drink (if you even have the desire at this point). Measure ketones the following day, and continue to measure for the next few days to see when your body is back into a ketogenic state. This will help you gage how long an alcoholic beverage will keep you out of ketosis.
There will always be room to experiment, but it’s best to eliminate alcohol altogether when you are prepping your body for ketosis.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Chances are you might not be drinking optimal amounts of water for your body. It’s important to step it up and hydrate at this time. Look at drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces, at minimum. This will be your optimal water intake. The more diuretics (coffee & tea) fruit juice and soda you drink, the more training and sweating you do, the more you are out in the heat or up at elevation, more water you will need to intake on top of your minimum daily requirement.
The keto diet has many benefits, but it can also cause a sodium deficiency in the body. This is often due to the fact you’ve cut out processed foods and fillers that are sodium overkills. Eating mostly vegetables, meats, and healthy fats can leave your body depleted of sodium. This can greatly throw off your electrolytes stores and hydration. Hydrating with filtered water, mineral water, and adding minerals (ConcenTrace Minerals are my fav) or sea salt to your water will greatly help to balance levels of sodium/potassium, and electrolytes in the body. The combination of minerals and water (hydration) will ensure that your body has energy for exercise and movement, that your blood is pumping smoothly through your body, that nutrients are moving from cell to cell, and that you are able to excrete and eliminate multiple times in your day.
4. Remove unnecessary stressors.
This includes emotions, food sensitivities, environmental allergens, toxic relationships, emf
5. Set your alarm.
Sleep is going to be something you’ll want to get really good at, and this is true for anyone, even if they do not want to do the keto diet. It’s not just the sleeping part, but more importantly the amount of sleep and your sleeping environment. You will want to make sure your bedroom is best set up in such a way that you are getting the most optimal sleep (for you), allowing your body to repair and recover while you are asleep. This is also a time when your body is making ketones and using ketones to fuel your brain and other metabollic process that happen in the body while you sleep.
In the words of Mugatu, “Keto, it’s so hot right now.”