Going on the keto diet can be significantly successful in terms of losing weight and improving your overall health. Some people find the keto diet challenging – tracking your carbohydrate intake can prove overwhelming at first. If you’re considering the keto diet or have recently started this lifestyle plan, knowing essential keto diet tips and strategies will help you to achieve keto diet success. This guide is packed with the very best keto diet tips, so you can attain a healthier life and great sense of well-being.
Let’s take a look at how to get started!
What is The Keto Diet?
Before we take a look at the best keto diet tips, it helps to know exactly what the keto diet is, especially if you’re unfamiliar with this type of eating plan.
The keto diet is essentially a low carb, high fat diet. By eating high fat foods, your body burns fat (ketones) for energy instead of glucose. This makes it easy for your body to lose weight as your burning your fat stores.
Your body is in ketosis when it is running on ketones for fuel. Ketones are made in the liver, from fat. This fuels your entire body, including your brain.
There are many benefits of the keto diet as our guide on keto diet tips will show. While many people opt for the keto diet due to the significant impact on weight loss, this diet also helps to control your appetite, provide constant energy for your body and brain, and can be used to treat type 2 diabetes and epilepsy.
Who Should Avoid the Keto Diet?
In revealing our best keto diet tips, it’s vital to show that there are certain people that shouldn’t attempt doing the keto diet. These include;
- Breastfeeding moms – a low carb diet can potentially be dangerous. A diet with at least 50 grams of carbohydrates per day is a much safer option.
- If you’re taking medication for high blood pressure – while the keto diet can be beneficial to those with high blood pressure, if you’re taking medication for blood pressure, there is a risk of low blood pressure occurring.
- If you’re taking medication for diabetes – the keto diet can positively impact diabetics. However, if you’re on medication you may need to lower your insulin dose. This is because the lack of carbohydrates in your diet means you don’t require insulin to lower your blood sugar levels. If you’re thinking of starting the keto diet as a diabetic, its best to talk to your doctor beforehand.
The Best Keto Diet Tips for Keto Diet Success
Cutting your carbohydrate intake doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Our keto diet tips will ensure your journey on this diet plan is a breeze.
1.Know what foods to eat
This is one of the best keto diet tips we can share as many people fail the keto diet because they’re not entirely sure about what their diet should include. Once you know what foods to eat and which foods to avoid, you’ll find making an eating plan is extremely easy. So, what keto diet foods should you be focusing on?
Eating healthy fats is essential for correct brain and bodily functioning. Around 80% of your diet should be made up of fat content so it’s important to consume ‘good’ fats which are packed with nutrients.
Good fats include;
- Wild fish
- Grass fed, fatty meats
- Unrefined, cold-pressed oils
Remember to limit your intake of processed fats, such as cheese or bacon. Healthy fats will ensure you’re still getting lots of nutrients, including omega 3 oils, vitamins, and minerals.
Consuming fermented foods will keep your digestion on track. If you’ve never eaten fermented foods before, you may wish to experiment with different types to see which ones you enjoy best.
Fermented foods include;
- Raw pickles
Other healthy foods to eat
Keto diet foods don’t have to be restrictive. There are plenty of keto diet foods to choose from, including;
- High-fat dairy – yoghurt, cheese
- Vegetables grown above the ground – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini, peppers, cucumber, avocado
- Berries (in moderation)
- Natural fats – olive oil, butter
- Tea, coffee, water
One of our secret keto diet tips is that you can also enjoy low carb bread made with almond flour or low carb pizza made with an egg and cheese crust. Making alternatives of your favorite foods still enables you to enjoy them while on the keto diet. If you’re searching for snack ideas, check out some of our favorite recipes.
2. Track your intake
One of the best keto diet tips is to track your food intake for calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
As the keto diet is all about consuming low carb foods, it’s important to track your carbohydrate intake, especially as extra carbs can slip into your diet unnoticed.
It’s impossible to avoid carbs completely but your average daily carb intake should be around 5% of your total food consumption. Eating a low carb diet enables your body to use ketones for fuel instead of glucose. To stay in ketosis (the process of using ketones for bodily fuel), it’s important that you stick to a low carb diet.
Everyone has a different carbohydrate limit – some people may be able to enter ketosis with a higher carb level than others. It’s important to track both your overall total carb limit and your net carb limit. For instance, your carb limit might be 35 grams of total carbs with a net carb limit of 25 grams (subtract the grams of fiber from the total grams of carbohydrates to find your net carb total). Having a lower net carb intake will get you into ketosis faster.
To track your carbs and ensure you’re staying within your carbohydrate limit, consider these keto diet tips;
- Avoid grains, sugar, fruit, potatoes, and yams.
- Stick to meats, leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds, high fat dairy.
- Plan your meals to avoid binge eating.
- Read food labels to check for hidden carbs or hidden sugars.
- Track your carb intake with a tracker app, such as MyFitnessPal.
Finding your carb limit
Everyone has the ability to adapt to burning ketones for energy. When your body begins to adapt to ketosis, the mitochondria of a cell starts to replicate itself so it’s able to use ketones for energy instead of glucose. The more adapted to ketosis you are, the better your ability is to eat carbs while remaining in ketosis. Staying on the keto diet for up to 6 months before experimenting with your carb intake will help your body to adapt better to the process of ketosis. However, exercise and stress also play a part.
Exercise and carbs
Participating in the right kind of exercise will help your body to attain ketosis faster. If you want to achieve ketosis quickly (possibly for weight loss reasons), then high intensity workouts will decrease your glucose levels and low intensity exercise will enhance fat burning.
If you’re just starting the keto diet, one of the most effective keto diet tips is to complete an hour of high intensity exercise in the morning to help deplete your stores of glucose. In the late morning or early afternoon, participate in low intensity exercise, such as walking, for half an hour. This helps to increase your ketone levels. However, it’s important that your high intensity workouts don’t put your body under too much stress.
Stress and carbs
When you’re under stress, your stress hormone (Cortisol) levels increase. Cortisol raises blood sugar levels, resulting in blood sugar staying in the blood for longer, preventing ketones from being required.
While Cortisol provides the energy required to start our day, it’s when we are feeling extra stressed that stress hormone levels are constantly high, affecting the body’s ability to remain in ketosis.
If you’re feeling stressed, try the following keto diet tips;
- Cut down on high-intensity exercise and replace with low intensity exercise instead.
- Participate in meditation to reduce stress levels.
- Improve your sleep routine by switching off your phone, TV, and tablet, before bed.
It’s essential to track your protein. One of the best keto success tips is to ensure you’re not consuming too much protein as this causes amino acids to convert into glucose for energy, instead of the body using fat for energy 1.
Too much protein in the body can also result in too much acid being formed, contributing to muscle pains and chronic fatigue.
If you’re unsure as to how much protein to eat, a good idea would be to consume 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight. However, if you only do very little or no exercise at all, aim for 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per kg.
Eating moderate amounts of protein and consuming healthy fats with it will keep your body in ketosis. If you eat a lot of meat, aim for fattier cuts which are lower in protein than muscle-based meat cuts.
For a ketogenic diet made easy, try tracking your calorie intake. Many people on the keto diet don’t consume enough calories, especially if they’re trying to lose weight. The keto diet isn’t like a traditional weight loss diet. When you cut your carbohydrate intake, it’s very easy to find yourself not eating enough calories.
When you consume a low amount of calories over a period of time, the body begins to hold onto your stored fat intake, affecting your hormones, especially in women.
Using a calorie tracking app and scale will help you to learn exactly how many calories you’re consuming every day. MyFitnessPal will help you to track your macros (macronutrients). Using a scale with a conversion button to track units of food will help you to measure your exact intake.
3. Stay hydrated
Hydration is always important, whether you’re on the keto diet or not. One of our favorite keto diet tips is to keep hydrated throughout the day. Constipation is a complaint of many people on the keto diet. If you’re struggling to go to the toilet at least once a day, you probably require more water.
Try drinking water as soon as you wake up – aim for up to 32 oz of water to aid your bowel movements. You’ll also notice that this method provides extra energy in the mornings.
It’s also important to drink away from your meals to aid your digestion. If you’re consuming a small meal, leave a one-hour gap either side of your meal. If you’re eating a large meal, try leaving a two-hour gap.
Drinking water throughout the day also helps to curb your appetite and replace lost water. When your body begins the transition of using ketones for energy instead of glucose, your body’s water stores get depleted in addition to your glucose stores. If you’re working out as well, you’ll also need extra water to prevent dehydration.
So, how much water does your body need? Consuming your full body weight of water in ounces is ideal. However, if that seems like a struggle, aim for half your body weight of water in ounces to start with and work your way up.
4. Consume enough electrolytes
In addition to staying hydrated with water, your body also requires the correct minerals. One of the most important keto diet tips is to consume enough electrolytes as this could prevent keto diet success.
When your body lacks water and electrolytes, your energy levels run low. Additionally, your insulin levels drop during a keto diet. Insulin helps the body hold onto water and minerals, so when insulin diminishes, you excrete minerals and water, meaning they need to be replaced quickly 2.
When your body lacks essential minerals, including potassium and sodium, you’ll struggle with lethargy, headaches, and ‘keto flu’. Keto flu is one of the main reasons why many people quit the keto diet before they’ve had any success.
To replace the minerals you lose, try the following keto diet tips;
- Add salt to your food to increase your sodium levels.
- Eat avocados and green leafy vegetables often to replace your potassium levels.
- Consume lots of nuts to enhance your magnesium levels. Taking a magnesium supplement is also highly beneficial.
These three minerals – sodium, potassium, and magnesium are needed for many bodily functions so it’s important to ensure you have good sources of these in your diet.
5. Consume enough DHA
DHA, also known as docosahexaenoic acid, is a fatty acid found in seafood. This is particularly important as its required for the mitochondria of a cell. The mitochondria act as an energy source for your cells, where ketones and glucose are used. The DHA in mitochondria act is not an energy source as such, but it’s used as a ‘battery’ to fuel cell power from ketones.
When you’re lacking in DHA, these ‘batteries’ won’t work at optimal level, no matter what food you eat. Good health requires your cells to be working at maximum level – to enhance your mitochondria, your body needs DHA from fish sources.
Ensure you’re consuming high quality fish several times each week to ensure your DHA levels are high.
6. Be patient
One of the best keto diet tips we can offer is to be patient. Getting into ketosis after your body has been running on glucose all your life isn’t always easy. The majority of people take 3-4 weeks to reach optimal fat burning levels, but this can alter from person to person.
You’re likely to experience fast weight loss in the first few weeks – there may be some weeks when it seems like you’re not losing any weight but stick with your plan. If your weight loss results have stalled for a month, then you may need to adjust your keto plan and reduce your carb intake.
Remember to keep tracking your intake daily. You could also try intermittent fasting if you’ve hit a weight loss plateau.
In your first weeks on the keto diet, you may experience keto flu. This is completely natural and occurs due to water and mineral loss. You may experience;
- Brain fog
- Stomach ache
- Muscle soreness
These symptoms usually subside once your water and mineral intake has increased. If you’re worried about your keto flu symptoms, speak to a doctor or medical professional.
Before you go grocery shopping, it’s always best to plan your meals in advance. This is one of the best keto diet tips for keto diet success. Making a food plan packed with keto diet food doesn’t need to be expensive – even those on a budget can successfully create a range of keto meals.
Creating a meal plan is one of the most essential keto diet tips you’ll discover. A meal plan full of your daily meals and snacks will prevent impulse buying, ensuring you stay on track and in ketosis. You’ll find a range of keto recipes on the internet, so you can prepare your meals from scratch – this prevents any hidden ingredients from being added, though it’s always best to check food labels beforehand.
Using our keto diet tips will help you to be successful on a ketogenic diet, no matter what your goals are. Remember, these keto diet tips are designed to help you get the most out of a keto diet, so you don’t quit at the first hurdle. Take your time – everyone is different so don’t be afraid to try different things if something isn’t working for you. Plan ahead, track your food intake, increase your water and mineral intake, and be patient with your results. Here’s to your keto diet success!
PIN FOR LATER
- Jockers, David, (2018). The 10 Biggest Ketogenic Diet Mistakes. Retrieved from: https://drjockers.com/10-biggest-ketogenic-diet-mistakes/
- Friedberg CE, van Buren M, Bijlsma JA, Koomans HA. Insulin increases sodium reabsorption in diluting segment in humans: evidence for indirect mediation through hypokalemia. Kidney Int. 1991 Aug;40(2):251-6. PMID: 1942773