First of all I must admit that starting a ketogenic diet isn’t easy as a walk in the park.
When we eat lots of carbohydrates, most of it will be turned into glucose and our bodies will use that glucose for energy. The excess glucose will get stored as glycogen and as fat (mostly fat as we can’t store much glycogen). However, our cells can also use fat for energy instead of glucose. And if you’re interested in losing weight, then you’ll want to know how to get your body to burn up fat and avoid storing fat. That’s where the ketogenic diet comes in.
Keto works for a lot of people (and the benefits of a ketogenic diet are plenty to be excited about). But it won’t work for you if you can’t stick to it for more than 7 days. So, before you start with katogenic diet you should ask yourself 2 simple questions:
Why do you want to start a ketogenic diet?
Do you want weight loss, energy gain, better medical report?
Or is there something a bit deeper that you’re looking for? Perhaps you want to be able to run around with your kids or grandkids (or even your dog)? Or maybe you fear you won’t have enough time left to do all the things you’ve wanted to do in life? Or maybe you’re just tired of feeling like there’s something wrong with your body?
This question is important not just because you need to have a lot of motivation. (Although you do need to have good motivation.)
The other reason it’s important is because you need to know exactly what you want to get out of a keto diet in order to know HOW you should approach your diet. If you want to be a better athlete, that’s often going to be different than if you want to lose weight.
I’ll explain more below, but don’t underestimate how important this question is.
How long are you willing to try a keto diet?
Let’s face it, you sort of believe keto will work, but there’s also a nagging fear deep down that it’ll end up like every other diet you’ve tried…a failure.
At some point on your keto journey (whether it’s tomorrow or 4 weeks from now), you’ll decide that it’s just not worth it anymore. That cake is calling you or you’re simply not seeing the magical results everyone else is getting.
If your answer to this question is under 7 days, then let me tell you right now that keto is probably not for you. I’m sorry to be blunt, but I’m probably saving you a ton of money, time, and effort right now.
7 Steps: The Best Way to Start a Keto Diet:
- Step #1: Pick a non-stressful week to start your keto diet.Or just clear your schedule. Cancel any parties or lunch/dinner plans. And don’t start when you have to travel that week! Tell your friends and family what you’re doing and get them to help you out. Explain to them how important this is for you and ask them to support you instead of judge you for your choices. Don’t try to convince them that keto is the best diet – if they don’t already believe that, it’s unlikely you’ll change their mind.
- Step #2: Clean out your refrigerator and pantry.If you have non-Ketogenic foods lying around then they will tempt you like a siren when you’re getting started. You might think you can tough it out, but believe me you won’t!
We used to suggest giving away all your unhealthy foods to friends and coworkers, but it seemed a bit mean to dump all your weight-gaining and diabetes-causing foods on loved ones. So now it’s just up to you what you want to do with all that junk food.
- Step #3: Restock with ketogenic foodsYes, I know this costs money. And that’s why I asked you why you were giving keto a try. Because if your reason is a deep-seated desire to get healthier, spend more time playing with your kids, enjoy the rest of your life with vibrancy, then this is a worthwhile investment.
- Step #4: Decide which meal you’d like to skip each day.Yep, you read that sentence correctly. I’m asking you to skip 1 meal per day. For me, I like to skip breakfast as it allows me to sleep longer and have more mental energy in the mornings for work. Some people (like Dominic D’Agostino) prefer to skip lunch. And other people (like my husband) prefer to skip dinner.
- Step #5: Stick to under 25 grams of net carbohydrates per day and don’t limit how much protein and fat you eat initially.There are many guidelines and articles written about how much fat, protein, and carbs you should eat in order to get into ketosis. But it’s best not to worry about those things during your first week or two.
If you’re using our free keto meal plan, then feel free to add in extra fats and protein into your meals. Add an egg and avocado and some coconut oil to your meals. Or add a can of sardines packed in olive oil.
6. Step #6: Start each morning with the following super short ketone-boosting routine…
- Drink a large glass of water (you’ll store less water in your body as you cut out the carbs).
- Take 2 teaspoons of coconut oil or 1/2 teaspoon of MCT oil as a supplement.
7. Step #7: Lastly, track your ketone levels.
The point of a ketogenic diet is to get your body to use more fat as energy rather than glucose, and a great indicator of this is your ketone levels.
I’d recommend using this blood ketone tracker to track your ketone levels.