Getting Started on the Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet (also known simply as “keto”) is a high fat, low carb diet that seems to be everywhere right now. People who follow a ketogenic diet usually report losing weight quickly without feeling deprived, as well as other benefits such as mental clarity, improved digestion, and stable energy levels.

But Isn’t Fat Bad for Me?

It was once thought that fat was bad for us. It’s important to recognize, however, that there are several different types of fat. Some types of fats are considered healthy (even by those who don’t follow the ketogenic diet plan). Unsaturated fats found in avocados, fish, nuts, and seeds are considered healthy across the board. 

If you’re considering jumping on the bandwagon, here are some tips to help you get started right.

What to Avoid

The goal of a keto diet is to get your body into a state where it burns fat for energy rather than sugar. This state is called ketosis and is where the name “keto” originates.  Ketosis is accomplished by limiting carbohydrates and increasing the body’s fat intake. That means avoiding sugar (including high-sugar fruits), grains, starches, beans, legumes, root vegetables, and alcohol. 

What to Eat

Instead, you should be fueling your body with healthy fats, such as grass-fed beef, fatty fish like salmon or tuna, nuts, seeds, avocados, and healthy oils like olive oil. You can also eat cheese and other dairy products on a keto diet, but many experts recommend eating dairy sparingly. Be sure to also consume low-carb vegetables like most greens, onions, and tomatoes. 

Best Practices

To succeed with the keto diet, it’s best to plan out your meals and snacks ahead of time. Many of your favorite dishes can be made in a ketogenic way by substituting ingredients. For example, you’ll find recipes like pancakes, pizza, and even cupcakes in keto cookbooks and online. They are mostly made using healthy ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, and alternative natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit. 

It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before starting a new plan. Not every plan is right for everyone! If your doctor gives you the green light, then go for it!  Do your research, get your hands on a great keto cookbook, and prepare your food ahead of time. Eliminate temptations from your home and fill your pantry with healthy, fatty foods. That’s your recipe for success!