It’s an exciting time when you decide to try out the keto diet, but you don’t want to dive in headfirst without any preparation. Beginning a new diet requires not only familiarizing yourself with the guidelines, but also having a plan in mind to help make your transition into new habits safe and seamless.
Rather than just rushing to the store to stock up on all the cheese and meat you can get your hands on, you’ll want to put a little thought into how you’ll move forward. It’s important to not only have a clear vision of your health goals, but to make sure you also have the tools to attain them. This can mean anything from stocking up on the right groceries or just approaching the diet with a healthy and clear mindset.
If you’re about to start the keto diet, utilize this checklist to make sure you’re adequately prepared to enter the keto world — you’ll thank yourself later!
Speak With Your Doctor or a Dietitian
Although your best friend may have had tons of luck on the keto diet, everyone’s bodies are different, so you’ll want to make sure you won’t hurt your health by radically switching up how you eat. A doctor can help evaluate your health and ensure that keto is safe for you. Even if the keto diet is right for you, you may have specific nutritional needs, and your doctor can help guide you to make sure those needs are being met and your diet remains balanced.
Define Your Goals
Whenever you start a new diet, it’s important to have a clear picture of what you’re looking for. Do you want to lose weight, or are you trying to eat less processed foods? Is there a specific health issue you are concerned about, or are you trying to improve your energy levels? Focusing on your goals can not only help guide your choices, but keep you motivated as well.
Consult A Keto-Calculator
Everyone has different needs when it comes to the ketogenic diet depending on their gender, age, height, and weight. To successfully participate in the keto diet, you’ll want to count your macros: the exact amount of carbs, fat, and protein you need to reach your goals. There are plenty of online calculators you can use that tell how you much of each nutrient group you should be eating, which can help you reach ketosis.
Make A Grocery List
Sticking to your diet will prove to be difficult without keeping the right types of food on hand. Familiarize yourself with keto-friendly food staples, and make yourself a grocery list you can use regularly. Be sure to create a balanced mix of foods that include proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, and condiments. If you are someone who likes to snack, look into keto-friendly options, and add those to your list as well.
Research Keto Recipes
To help prepare you for what you’ll eat, spend some time researching keto-friendly recipes. Rather than sacrificing your favorite meals, find ways to tweak them to make them low-carb or high fat. You can scan Instagram or Pinterest for ideas, or consider getting a keto cookbook to get you started. Once you know what types of meals are available to you, it can help you get ideas for your grocery list as well as help you meal plan.
Prepare To Hydrate
Regardless of what type of diet you choose, staying hydrated is crucial. When starting a low-carb, ketogenic diet your body will lose water and electrolytes as it depletes its carbohydrate stores (glycogen). This is why drastic weight loss usually occurs in the first week of ketosis--you’re losing water weight. You’ll want to plan ahead, and make sure you’re thinking about getting in a sufficient amount of water to prevent dehydration during this transition. You can bring in a reusable water bottle to the office, drink more tea, or load up on soda water (unsweetened of course) so you’re set up for hydration success! As for replenishing your electrolytes, you can do this by lightly salting your foods, drinking bone broth, drinking unsweetened coconut water, or through food sources such as green leafy veggies, avocado, nuts, and seeds. There are also lots of options for keto-friendly electrolyte supplements which can be added to your water.
Rather than blindly entering into a keto diet, take a little time to do your research and figure out a plan that works best for you. Once you find the best way to fit keto into your lifestyle, you’ll be able to tackle your new way of eating stress-free — and get better results too.