The Ketogenic, or “Keto” diet is all the rage right now in the weight loss and health world. The Keto diet is somewhat like the low-carb Atkins diet of the 90s, except instead of low-carb, like the Atkins diet, the Keto diet focuses on eating almost no carbs at all. By ingesting low amounts (or in this case, hardly any at all) of carbohydrates, your body will enter ketosis, which is a state where your body ultimately uses fat for fuel instead of using carbohydrates. This can be a great way to lose weight, but not necessarily a great way to be healthy….
What Do You Eat on the Keto Diet?
When you eat a ketogenic diet, you are essentially focused on eating protein and fat instead of carbohydrates. So many “keto-friendly” are some combination of protein and high fat foods like cheeses, butter, yogurt, nuts, and oils.. However, if you are on the keto diet, you will want to avoid foods such as pastas, grains, fruits, sugary foods, and alcohol. This is difficult for a lot of people, so if you decide to start the keto diet, you will need to very careful about what you eat, since most all foods with carbohydrates are off limits!
How to Make the Keto Diet Healthier
Whether you have already started the Keto diet or are just looking into getting started with it, you need to learn the best ways to make it healthier for yourself. Making sure you have all the information necessary before starting any diet is important, especially if you have certain health issues which might not agree well with different diets. Keep in mind that low or no carb diets can often make you feel tired and sluggish, so you have to eat healthy substitutions. In addition, because your body begins burning fat in ketosis, a lot of people on the keto diet tend to go overboard on the fats and the unhealthy proteins and turn this weight loss plan into a heart attack waiting to happen!
- Talk to Your Doctor
If you are determined to try out the Keto diet, the first thing you should do is talk to your doctor. If he or she cannot help you to determine whether the diet is for you, they will refer you to a nutritionist who can give you pointers on what you can and cannot eat. They will help you come up with meal plans to help you stick to your new diet, and encourage you to try new foods you might not have otherwise picked up.
- Try New Recipes
If you aren’t really someone who eats a lot of fish or eggs, for example, you may think that the Keto diet will not work for you. However, if you look up recipes or purchase a cookbook for yourself, you will find that there are so many different ways to prepare these foods that you are sure to find something that not only works for you, but something that you really enjoy. It’s all about trying new things until you find what you like, and then not only stick with that, but try more new things until you find other things that you like, too.
- Drink Plenty of Water
Some people who begin their journey on the Keto diet are so focused on what they can and cannot eat that they often skip out on drinking water, which is necessary no matter what kind of diet you eat. Keep up on the water intake. As a bonus, it can also help you feel better if you feel sluggish.
- Eat Plenty of Greens
While you have to cut out starchy and carb-filled vegetables from your diet, you can still eat plenty of green and leafy vegetables. Be sure you are eating plenty of them, too – they are filled with essential vitamins and minerals that will keep you feeling great, and keep your body working the way it should. This is something that a lot of people doing keto diets tend to miss and it is an important part of keeping this diet healthy! Consider a green smoothie, serving your dinner on a bed of greens or tossing some spinach into your eggs.
- Eat Healthy Portions
Just because you might be eating healthier does not meant you should eat as much as you want, whenever you want, or even that you should eat unhealthy portion sizes. You still need to watch how much you’re eating so that you don’t overeat. You still want to stay connected to your body and it’s needs and keep all of your hormones in check by eating healthy-sized meals. Check in with yourself throughout your meal to determine when you are full—then you will have a good idea of your appropriate portion size! (Need help with portioning? Get my Portioning and Meal Planning Guide here!)
The Keto diet is one of the most popular diets out there today. While cutting out carbs from your diet may have some health benefits, make sure you pay attention to all of the factors! By following some of the tips above, you can make the Keto diet healthier and easier for you to follow. Talking to your doctor should always be the first step you take before starting any new diet or weight loss plan.