As a busy person, 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 busy people 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.
Carbs are not the enemy. But you want to eat the quality ones.
Carbohydrates are made up of three things starch, fiber and sugar. Fiber and starch are complex carbs, while sugar is a simple carb.
So we want to stick with carbohydrates that are higher in fiber and lower in sugar.
- Whole grains
- White breads, pastas
- Baked goods
- Chips, candies, chocolate
Simple carbs are the ones linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Yes, all those process sweets and lot's of products that are found in the center aisles of the grocery store.
Lowering your carb intake does NOT mean you have to go on a Keto diet.
You can take out your simple carbs and some refined complex carbs and maintain or lose weight. You also have the added health benefits of ditching the added sugars.
A full Keto diet is not for everyone. But lowering your simple carbs and some refined carbs is a great place to start.
What is a Keto diet?
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 the carbs you eat) 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 on this diet 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 people 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.
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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.
I’m curious…Is the Keto diet something you have or would try?