What I Wish I Knew Before I Went Keto!

If you're visiting our website, you're probably familiar with the ketogenic diet and may be looking to adopt it as part of your lifestyle!

Starting something new can be a little scary and overwhelming. Don't you wish you could just talk to someone who's been in your shoes before and ask them: what do you wish you knew before starting the keto diet?

Well, allow us to help you! 

At HighKey, all of our snacks and foods are made to fit seamlessly into the keto lifestyle and have been a huge hit among the low-carb community. Since hindsight is 20/20. we took to social media and asked our followers for their best advice. 

Here are 5 lessons they shared!

1. Don't get hung up on what you can't eat!

Keto Tips: "I wish I had known how easy it could be to replace standard foods with low carb alternatives. I got pretty hung up at first about what I couldn’t eat, and that gets a lot of people! Now I’m all about loving the food that loves me back"

"I wish I had known how easy it could be to replace 'standard' foods with low carb alternatives. I got pretty hung up at first about what I 'couldn’t' eat, and that gets a lot of people! Now I’m all about loving the food that loves me back." -@baconand_megs

We have one word for you: cauliflower. From pizza crust to mashed potatoes, cauliflower is one of the best vegetables to substitute in your favorite carb-heavy comfort dishes. Long-time keto devotees swear by it, and you'll probably be shocked by how tasty it is!

Cauliflower is really just the tip of the iceberg though! Zucchini can be spiralized into a noodle-like shape (a.k.a zoodles!). And if you love to bake, almond flour can be subbed in for white flour and natural sweeteners like Stevia and Monk Fruit can be be swapped in for sugar! Which brings us to our next point....

2. You're consuming way more sugar than you realize!

Keto Tips: "How Much Sugar was in EVERYTHING we eat."

"How much sugar was in EVERYTHING we eat!" -@cristabelle76 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends the average adult consume no more than 12 teaspoons of sugar per day but research shows that the average American consumes almost double that at around 22 teaspoons! 

While sugar is found naturally in a variety of fruits, grains and vegetables, it's often the refined sugars added to many foods and drinks you consume that are the real culprit in your diet. 

You probably know that desserts and sodas are packed with refined sugar, but did you also know it can be found in high amounts in ketchup or low-fat yogurt? You'll get used to picking your jaw up from the floor when you start reading those nutrition labels!

And speaking of sugar...

3. Getting rid of processed carbs will make you feel better!

Keto tips: "I wish I had known how truly damaging sugar and processed carbs were, and that keto is so much more than a weight loss tool. I don't follow keto just to lose weight anymore...I choose to be keto for my overall health!"

"I wish I had known how truly damaging sugar and processed carbs were, and that keto is so much more than a weight loss tool. I don't follow keto just to lose weight anymore...I choose to be keto for my overall health!" -@amber_loves_keto

No matter whether or not you follow a Keto lifestyle, you should try to avoid processed carbohydrates (a.k.a refined carbohydrates). 

You know that crash-and-burn feeling you have sometimes after eating? That's because of a scientific reaction triggered in your body when you consume processed carbs! 

Because processed carbs have been stripped of their natural nutrients and fiber, they can be digested quickly. And because processed carbs are also usually packed with sugar, they are can cause your blood sugar and insulin levels to spike temporarily before dropping about an hour or two later. 

Translation? You'll wind up feeling more hungry and worse after eating processed carbs than you did before.

Common sources of processed carbs include:
🍞 White Bread
🍩 Donuts
🥔 Potato Chips
🍚 White Rice

4. You will not be hungry!

Keto Advice: "I wish I had known that you don't actually need to hit your fat macros if your goal is fat loss - protein is the goal, carbs are the limit, and fat is the lever!"

"I wish I had known that you don't actually need to hit your fat macros if your goal is fat loss - protein is the goal, carbs are the limit, and fat is the lever!" -@igotideas4
There are three macros (short for "macro-nutrients") that you'll be tracking during a keto diet:
  1. Fat
  2. Protein
  3. Carbohydrates

A keto calculator will tell you, based on your goals and lifestyle what your daily caloric intake should be and how many of those total calories should come from each macro. Generally speaking, the bulk of your calories will come from fat (around 60-75%), followed by a moderate amount of protein (around 15-30%) and a minimal amount of carbs (around 5-10%).

The job of fat in your diet is primarily to keep you full.You can almost always consume more if you're feeling hungry, but you should never eat more fat just to hit the exact percentage or grams. Fat = flexible!

The macros you really need to be pay attention to are protein and carbs. 

Your body needs protein to function and perform at its best. Period. However, if you consume more protein than you need, your body can turn it into sugar which then can throw your body out of ketosis. This is why it's essential to try to hit or get as close as possible to your protein intake for the day!

With carbs, it's as simple as this: less is more. Your recommended carb intake should be considered a maximum versus a target number to hit every day. You can always have as many carbs as the calculator tells you, but you should never have more.

5. You can prevent the keto flu!

Keto advice: "I wish I had known about electrolytes."

"I wish I had known about electrolytes!" -Moira Richardson

And now we come to the least fun part of our lesson: the keto flu.

When your body transitions from a carb-heavy diet to the ketogenic diet, you will lose water weight and electrolytes. This shift in your body can cause you to experience something called the keto flu. 

Symptoms can include:

  1. Nausea
  2. Headache
  3. Diarrhea or constipation
  4. Stomach pain

However, all of these symptoms can be avoided or treated by simply replenishing your body with the water and electrolytes you're losing!

The main electrolytes you need to incorporate into your daily intake are sodium, potassium and magnesium. These can be added to your diet through supplements as well as naturally by:
🎉 Adding extra salt to your meals 
🥑 Eating avocados
🥗 Munching on spinach salads 
🎃 Nibbling on pumpkin seeds

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3 comments

  • Did really well in Lost over 60 lb have not been able to get back on track I’m not really gaining I gain and lose the same three or four pounds over and over again but really determined to start again I still have 40 pounds to lose I need help

    Vicki
  • When you start do you get stomach aches, diareha from your system cleansing.?

    Thanks

    I was going to start in the am but I want to go shopping to have the correct foods to have.

    Laurie Vollmoeller
  • I’ve been doing it since May 28, 2019 and already lost 12 lbs.! I’m loving it!

    Susan Mary Andrews

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