Maybe at this point, you are thinking about trying the keto diet out for yourself. Have you read about what you can do before going keto? You may be feeling positive about your future and believe you are ready to take the plunge. If so, that’s great! Go for it!
If you are a bit more hesitant, here is my advice on some smaller changes you can make before going keto, or even deciding if it is right for you.
Tips to try before going keto
Eliminate Sugar from your diet
Start with sugar. First the big stuff, like sugary beverages and sugar-filled desserts. Pay special attention in the morning and monitor your energy levels. Later you can start reading labels and finding there is sugar hidden in more things than you thought. Some say you have to eliminate fruit, but I still incorporate a lot of different fruits into my diet. Definitely remove refined sugars before worrying about the natural ones!
Increase your water intake.
For every sugary drink you would have consumed, have at least 24 ounces of water. When you feel a craving for sugar, drink some water first and see how you feel in 20 minutes.
Reduce your carbohydrates, but don’t remove!
Begin reducing carbohydrates, but don’t do it overnight unless you are prepared to replace them with lots of fats! Your brain must have energy. Just cut down on the number of carbohydrates you eat, especially from processed foods. This means packaged chips, pretzels, cookies, cakes, and bread for example. Try only eating carbs in the evening and see how your energy level increases throughout the day. You can see results from reducing your carb intake before going keto!
Start to track your food intake.
Use an app like MyFitnessPal. In the beginning, it’s helpful to weigh your food or measure it to get an idea of what you are really eating. Most of us have no idea what the nutrition content is in what we are consuming. Over time, you will need to measure less and less and you get used to seeing the quantity of food you put on your plate and know the macronutrients it contains.
Remember to eat lots of green vegetables.
You may be surprised by the number of carbs you will find in some of your favorite vegetables. But it’s important to keep eating them before going keto. If you decide to go all the way, you can find out more about which veggies have the lowest carb count. But its always important to keep eating lots of fresh green vegetables.
Keep your mind in the game
Continue to use positive affirmations and gratitude to keep your mental state ready for this big change you are about to make. Reassure yourself that you can do it, and you are worth it. You will do this and you will feel amazing! Don’t beat yourself up when it doesn’t go as planned.
Seek out support
If you are struggling with the mindset part of changing your diet, talk to someone else who is succeeding at it! Find a community or a partner to offer support. If you want to cut to the chase and work on eliminating the beliefs you have that are holding you back, I am available for one on one coaching and can give you some tools to manage cravings and help shift your perspective about food.
Learn more about nutrition
If you need more information about the keto diet and the specific nutrition involved, I would refer you to a medical professional or a health coach like Gina Denis from the Madcap Narcolepsy website. The more you understand about WHY this way of eating works, the more likely you are to stick with it.
It’s also important to understand the difference between “clean” ketogenic diet and the “dirtier” version. Sandwiches like this one with bacon, fried egg, and cheese fit the ketogenic diet but may not give you the nutrition your body needs. Getting into ketosis may not be the most important thing if it comes at the cost of other nutrients. It is important to educate yourself so you can make the best decisions for your health.
Is keto right for me?
You may be looking for an answer to this question. The fact is, the only one with the answer, is you! Are you doing well without going full keto? Or are you making excuses? Only you know the truth. For many of us, changing our diet turned into changing our entire lifestyle.
In my personal experience, I have completely changed the way I think about food. It has been a long process. It’s not always 100% consistent. But I have made huge leaps from where I used to be.
In my past life, food was there to comfort me when I was down. It was where I went when I was bored. It was where I went when I wanted to try something new. Also when I needed something comforting and familiar. I spent a ton of time in front of my fridge with the door open, as if something new might have appeared while I was taking a nap.
Now I think about food in a more positive way. I only buy foods that will energize me. The only packaged foods you will find in my kitchen are probably tofu, coffee, tea, canned coconut milk, and nuts. When I need a snack, I’m not thinking about what will taste the most satisfying, I’m thinking of where I will get the most energy to accomplish what I want to do for the rest of the day. This was not an easy mental shift. And as I said, I haven’t gotten it down to a perfect science. But I do feel as if it has made a huge positive impact in my life.
Overcoming the obstacles of keto
So IF you have decided that you WANT to try keto but you just don’t feel like you can, here is what I say…
You may feel like meal planning is just too hard, or there is no way to take snacks to work. You may think the rest of the family will suffer if you change your diet, or you just don’t have time.
Whatever is stopping you from trying it, ask yourself how you would tell a friend to overcome that obstacle if you believed the change would help them. Would you tell your friend, “Yeah you definitely don’t have the time or the energy to do that. It’s not worth your effort.”
If not, then you can figure it out! It may just take a shift in your perspective or trying something you hadn’t considered previously! It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time you try. The more you work toward your goal, the more mental clarity and energy you will get. Reaching out to a coach is a great way to get another perspective.
When Keto isn’t possible
If there is a legitimate health reason that prevents you from trying out the ketogenic diet, then you probably are not reading this article. You are still reading, so you must have at least a little doubt that any concerns you have are legitimate. Talk to an expert before you decide.
There may be some medical situations where the full ketogenic diet is not a good idea, but that doesn’t mean you should give up! The changes I have suggested in this article do not put you in ketosis, but they may have huge benefits for your energy level. There are always more things you can do to manage your symptoms! Just keep looking and trying things until you find what is right for you!