The first month of the new year is almost up and many people may already be thinking about giving up on their health and fitness resolutions. They aren’t seeing the results they wanted after working their tails off at the gym, and they’re feeling defeated. However, what they may not realize is that reaching your health and fitness goals isn’t just about going to the gym — it’s about what you’re feeding your body.
One of the golden rules for weight loss and fitness is finding the balance between nutrition and exercise. Traditionally, you should be focusing 70% of your effort on your diet and 30% on exercise. While this ratio may not work for every individual, it’s a good place to start.
If you’re one of those individuals who is thinking about giving up on your goals because you haven’t been seeing results, we have just the solution for you. Why not try a different method? Put your diet first with the help of our keto diet for beginners guide!
Keto Diet for Beginners: The Basics
What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet (otherwise known as the ketogenic diet) is a nutritional plan that is largely low-carb. When on the diet, an individual’s body settles in a ketosis state, which is a natural process the body initiates when food intake is lowered. In ketosis, the body produces ketones in the liver.
When ketosis is maintained by the keto diet, you force your body to stay in a metabolic state. Instead of using glucose as a source of energy as your body would on high-carb diets, your body will convert the ketones into energy. This has been known to offer many health benefits such as weight loss and mental clarity.
Keto vs. Paleo
With all the different diet plans out there, you may be wondering what the difference is between them. One of the diets keto is often compared to is the paleo diet. While both the keto and paleo diets focus on lowering your carbohydrate intake, their purposes are different.
The keto diet was originally created to help control medical issues such as epilepsy, not promote weight loss. The results that the keto diet provided helped to treat those medical issues fairly well.
In comparison, the paleo diet stemmed from the thought that our early cavemen and women ancestors would have eaten more meat since they most likely had limited access to grain and leafy greens. Thus, the diet focuses on eating meat as a source of energy.
Overall, both the keto and paleo diet will help promote weight loss, but their food choices differ. While on a keto diet, you’ll be manipulating your fat, carbohydrate, and protein intake. On the paleo diet, you’ll simply eliminate dairy, grains, and processed foods, but balance the fat, carbohydrate, and protein intake anyway you see fit.
Keto vs. Atkins
The Atkins diet is another plan that’s often compared to keto. While they have many similarities and benefits, they aren’t exactly the same.
While keto eliminates most carbs from your diet, Atkins allows for moderate carb intake at select periods of time. The keto diet aims to put the body in a state of ketosis to burn ketones as fuel, but you may or may not be able to force your body into that state with the Atkins diet. However, some doctors believe the Atkins diet is more sustainable long-term due to the ability to eat more carbs throughout the plan.
Keto Diet Review
Benefits of Keto Diet
The keto diet has been known to produce the following:
- Increased energy levels
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Reversal of Type II diabetes with reduced blood sugar and insulin levels
- Decreased hunger levels with fewer cravings
- Enhanced weight loss (with noticeable weight loss around the abdominal region)
- Increased levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), otherwise known as the “good” type of cholesterol
Downfalls of Keto Diet
On the flip side, there are also some cons to match the pros of the keto diet. Some of the disadvantages include:
- Flu-like symptoms and mood swings when transitioning into the diet
- Increased gastrointestinal issues such as constipation and diarrhea (may resolve once the body has adapted to the diet)
- Have to give up sugar and carbs, which is hard to sustain over a long period of time
- Social gatherings that involve good and alcohol can become hard to bear
- Some individuals may see an increase in their cholesterol
Is the Keto Diet Worth It?
The keto diet is a great tool to start feeding your body real, nutrient-rich foods. It’s also another way to jumpstart your weight loss. While it may not be a great diet to maintain long-term, it’s something to try out here and there when you need to reset your body.
Once you’ve completed a full month or so of the keto diet, we recommend speaking with a nutrition planner about transitioning into something more sustainable and catered toward your individual body type and metabolism rate. Carb cycling is a great way to help promote weight loss while not depriving your body of all carbohydrates!
Prepping for the Keto Diet
If you’ve decided to take the plunge, we’ve gathered all of the information needed to kick off your keto diet. Take a look at the rules, a helpful, go-to grocery list, and some recipes to get you started.
Want the best bang for your buck? Follow these rules and you’ll be golden!
1. Count Your Carbs — The main rule you need to stick to on this diet is to limit the number of net carbohydrates you consume. You should stick to ingesting fewer than 50 grams per day. However, for better results, we recommend staying under 20 grams.
2. No Sugars & Starches — Avoid any of the following foods at all costs:
- Cooked Rice
3. Stay Hydrated — Drink lots of water. While you may have coffee and tea, you should be careful about sweeteners, sugars, milk, or cream you add to it.
Grocery List for Keto
You might be wondering what your grocery list or menu looks like while on the keto diet. You’re in luck! We’ve created a keto diet food list for you so you can simply go to the store and find the items. Check it out below, then download and print it out for yourself!
Recipes for Keto
There are so many resources devoted to sharing keto recipes! We recommend exploring the following websites to choose a few recipes you want to start with. As you really get into the ketogenic diet, you can explore more options or maybe even create your own recipes!