5 Things You Should Consider Before Starting a Keto Diet
By Cynthia Brace
As a woman, you have a lot on your plate with running your household, work, family. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore your health.
If you know me, even a little bit, you probably know I’m big on kicking sugar. It helps with foggy brain, exhaustion and stress, all things women struggle with.
That’s why I’m supportive if someone is interested in lowering their carbohydrate intake, which can be a great way to get off sugar and all its nasty side effects.
I highlight the word can because all carbs are NOT created equal.
Carbohydrates occur naturally in food and include sugars, starches and fibre. They can be found in fruits, vegetables and grains and of course processed foods like breads, pastas and baked goods. There are two kinds of carbohydrates, complex and simple.
Your most nutritious are complex carbs, which include fruits and vegetables. Whole grains are also complex carbs but have fewer nutrients than fruits and veggies.
Simple carbs are the ones linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Yes, all those process sweets and some boxed products. They are refined, meaning they’ve had their fiber, vitamins and minerals stripped through processing, which means you’re eating empty calories — food with no real nutrient value.
Lowering your carb intake does NOT mean you have to go on a Keto diet.
You can take out your simple carbs and some of your refined complex carbs and maintain or lose weight. You also have the added health benefits of ditching the sugars.
A full Keto diet is not for everyone. So lowering your simple carbs and some refined carbs is a great place to start.
A Keto diet is a way of eating that’s high-fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrates.
Yes, I said high fat, up to 70% of what you eat in a day. With a keto diet, you will gradually switch your body from where it gets its energy, from glucose (from carbs) to ketone bodies (which comes from fats). This can be excellent for weight loss and for overall health if done right.
I’ve heard comments like “It’s a meat diet,” “it’s great if you don’t like veggies because you don’t have to eat them,” which is NOT true.
To get all the health benefits, you DO need to eat veggies, and it’s only moderate protein which doesn’t have to come all from meat. It’s important to do your research first to make sure you’re doing what’s best for your unique body and lifestyle.
So if you’re considering trying the Keto diet here are 5 things you should consider first:
1. Know that you’re going to be eating differently than everyone else in your household (unless they do it with you, of course).
This can be problematic for some women who already make two or more meals for adults and kids. If you’re dedicated, though, it can be done with what’s mentioned in number 4.
2. Keto doesn’t mean a fat free for all.
Yes. This diet is high in fat, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be snacking on potato chips.
Healthy fats like coconut oil, flax seeds, avocados, nuts/seeds are used.
Worried about the amount of fat?
You’re not alone.
The media has done a pretty good job of making everyone afraid of fats – even healthy ones. No doubt that partially hydrogenated and trans fats are bad, but good fats have many health benefits.
3. If you’re doing it for weight loss, you need to manage your stress.
If you’re consistently stressed out, you’re going to have a hard time losing weight – with any diet changes.
Whether its mental stress (from worrying about your finances) or physical stress (doing too much cardio at the gym), your body can’t tell the difference. It’s going to hold that fat back for when it needs it (it’s actually a survival mechanism built into your body).
Regardless of doing Keto, managing stress is a big way to be healthier.
MY RECOMMENDATION FOR YOU | 4 Sure-Fire Steps to Help with Stress
4. Planning and prep is the only way to succeed.
This is true for any new way of doing things, but especially true for a new way of eating.
Without a meal plan to follow and food prepped and ready to go, you could end up reverting back to the carbs you are used to eating just to eat and get back to your day.
Depending on what you have in your pantry and kitchen, there could be a bunch of ingredients and tools that you need to have before you start Keto.
Be sure to give yourself ample time to have everything ready before you jump in.
5. Possible side effects.
As your body moves from carb-burning to fat-burning, you could have some side effects.
Realistically starting Keto and becoming “fat adapted” is similar to a detox so you could encounter acne, constipation, bad breath or full-blown “Keto flu.”
Keto flu is symptoms like headaches, brain fog, irritability, fatigue, carb cravings.
What?!? All the things you’re trying to avoid.
True enough, but it doesn’t last forever, and once it’s done. Bye, bye, symptoms.
Is the Keto diet something you have or would try? Comment below.
If you feel stuck with your health and wellness and want to see how you can be healthier and have more energy.
In this 30 minute session, we’ll chat about your goals, see if we’re a good fit and which program is right for YOU. This is a complimentary, no pressure call.