So you want to give Keto/Low carb a try hey? Let’s bring some clarity about where to begin!!
Ketogenic and Low carb diets are not new but over the last few years they have gained huge amounts of popularity for numerous health reasons but in particular as a healthy and easy way to curb our current obesity epidemic and support weight loss.
Ketogenic diets have been around forever! When you look through history, and in the last say 100 years they gained popularity for preventing seizures in children with epilepsy! Also, Dr Warburg, with his studies on starving cancer by placing Cancer patients on a very low carb diet was a breakthrough!
Low carb diets generally mean consuming less that 100 grams of carbohydrates per day whereas, the ketogenic diets aim for under 50 grams per day. A classic ketogenic diet aims for about 20-30 grams of carbs. Some people can achieve ketosis at 50 grams and others need to be as low as 20 grams. Fat and protein intake has to be taken into consideration too.
I have touched on all the benefits that come with Ketogenic Diets in previous blogs such as:
- Increased energy
- Weight Loss
- Decreased cholesterol levels
- Decreased insulin level etc
BUT WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET STARTED ON A LOW CARB/KETO DIET?
Well, the best thing to do first of all is get rid of all the processed and junk food from your diet! Simple carbs need to go such as sugar and refined carbs in the way of baked good, bread, lollies etc. Start from scratch and load up with the good stuff!!
Focus on getting in loads of low carb vegetables. What are low carb vegetables?
-Onions and Garlic
Include good quality protein to your diet in the way of meat, and/or vegetarian sources.
Now this is, well use to be, the controversial part of the diet! Load up on good quality fats!
-Olive and Avocado Oils
-Nuts and Seeds
- REAL Butter
Fats are extremely important on a ketogenic diet as our bodies will change from using carbs/ sugar as energy and start burning fat in the form of Ketones for energy instead.
Now, BEYOND the food you can try the below..
-Drink loads of water and ensure you are getting good amounts of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium for example.
Try ½ a teaspoon of good quality salt in water on an empty stomach!
-Plan your meals in advance so you can shop for what you need.
-Never shop on an empty stomach- I’m sure we all know this is a bad idea!
-Get good amounts of sleep - 7-8 hours is generally recommended.
-MCT oil is your friend! A lot of people struggle to get their fat intake up and MCT is an easy way to help boost your fat and even better it is converted straight to ketones in your liver.
Add a dash into your morning coffee perhaps!
-Reduce chemical exposure where possible. There is a significant amount of research showing that chemicals can be linked to weight gain, along with numerous other health complaints so, in general it is great to look at changing skincare ranges to natural alternatives as well as cleaning products in our homes.
-Stress-less! Yes I know it is harder than it seems! Stress is a huge factor in weight gain, anxiety, depression, cardiovascular conditions and general chronic health conditions. Some great ways to help with stress includes regular exercise, meditation (there are some great free apps or even Tony Robbins youtube vids), getting out into nature etc
-Make an effort to move your body daily. Fetch with your fur baby in the yard counts!
-Slowly integrate a fast into your morning (intermittent fasting) ... more on that in a future blog!
Most importantly everyone is so different so play around with your diet and see where you feel best and stick with that. There is a lot of great information out there and lots of people saying one way is the only way which is definitely NOT true. We are all so different so ensuring you find what works for you is best.