Things you should know before you start the keto diet
The keto diet can be expensive at first
Making the switch from a high-carb lifestyle to a low-carb keto diet can be a bit expensive during the first weeks. The costs of keto-flours, konjac pasta, healthy oils, sugar alternatives, butter, cream as well as fresh beef, chicken, avocado, berries, and other fresh and organic fruits and veggies, are significantly higher than the products used in a diet rich in processed foods.
As you say goodbye to chips and cookies and ready-made meals, at first you will see a change in your pantry, but also in your wallet. Your expenses will be higher than usual…However…as you stock up your cupboards over time with herbs and spices, essences, and other condiments as well as tools that aid with cooking delicious, flavoursome meals, the cost that is rung up by the cashier each week will more than likely be less than your current budget.
Why? Because when following a keto diet, you eat less…a lot less.
What can I eat instead of Carbs?
For years we have all followed the classic “healthy diet”, taught us by every nutritionist or doctor on the planet, as the World Health Organisation promoted the classical food pyramid.
Making the real switch to Keto took me years, from the typical Western diet to fewer carbs, to protein, to low carb again to Paleo, and eventually to keto. It was a long battle to get there since my favourite foods were pasta and bread…Giving these up seemed like a horror story since I have to admit I really love eating, especially carbs. LOL
The concern, of course, is that when giving up carbohydrates as your primary food source then there’s basically nothing else tasty to eat, right?
After all, for the past 40 years, dietary advice has been founded on eating 6 servings of grains, 5 serves of vegetables, 2 serves of fruit, and 2.5 servings each of protein and dairy each day.
So, if you significantly reduce your carbs by cutting out grains, many vegetables, most fruits, and some dairy then the cupboard is bare…NOT
A keto kitchen is full of foods such as almonds, asparagus, avocado, bacon, beef, broccoli, butter, cauliflower, cheese, chicken fat, coconut butter, coconut oil, cream, eggs, fish, ghee, herbs, lard (non-hydrogenated), macadamia nuts, mayonnaise, mushrooms, olive oil, peanut butter, pork, poultry, sausage, salmon, shellfish, sour cream, spices, spinach, squash, sweeteners (stevia, monk fruit, erythritol, xylitol) and walnuts.
The keto diet is not a deprivation diet
Whole grains, starches, and sugars are generally eliminated as part of a keto diet, there are just as many items that have previously been unacceptable or discouraged when following a standard western diet that will become your go-to staples. No more cutting the fat off your steak; Cream? Make it full fat! Bacon smashed avocado and eggs, or waffles or pancakes for breakfast…
By eliminating sugars and reintroducing healthy fats into your diet your taste buds make a revival. Food becomes more appetizing as your palate changes and you can better distinguish between sweet, sour, salty, and bitter and savour the individual flavour nuances as they roll over your tongue.
On a ketogenic diet, many people find their senses become optimal, especially taste.
You will not be hungry
Not strictly true as you will feel cravings of hunger, only they are fewer and of lower intensity than you used to feel. So relatively speaking, you will not get hungry.
Once you have depleted your glycogen stores, and your body gets used to sourcing its fuel from fat, that profound hunger which has you racing to the nearest bag of chips or junk food goes away.
Stop counting calories
The fundamentals of following a keto diet come down to your macronutrient amount. The key to keto is eating (per day) less than 20-50 grams (net) carbohydrates (5%); approximately 1-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of lean body mass (25%); and then the rest of your diet comprises eating fats to satiety (75%).
When eating this way, after a while your hunger will decrease in such a manner, that you will naturally reduce your caloric intake. I can hear the doubt in your mind, but trust me, as a former carb-junky who could never say no to the likes of freshly baked bread, cake, chips, and other sweet or savoury treats, it is quite surprising how that kind of foods do not attract me anymore and can easily be refused.
Some people will not support you…
…As they stick to their advice of doctors and nutritionists, who think the keto diet is unhealthy (of course it can be if you choose the “dirty keto diet” that is full of unhealthy stuff)
Any diet that isn’t promoted by world health organizations is often viewed as unhealthy, a fad, or impossible to follow in the long term.
We were all indoctrinated with wrong information since the 1970s.
Information that keeps us and our children carb-addicts.
Patience and taking the time to educate yourself are important tools to arm yourself with when embarking on a ketogenic lifestyle.
While it’s certainly easier to follow a ketogenic lifestyle when your partner, family, housemates or other significant influence follow the same diet (we are working hard on family-proof-keto-recipes!!), it’s not impossible to keto on your own. (or keto-solo.:)
So many ketogenic recipes can be enjoyed by everyone and several non-ketogenic recipes can be modified to suit the keto lifestyle.
You do not need to let other persons who claim their diet is the best way, defer you to stay on your keto routine.
Another important thing to note is that everyone is different by size, weight, gender, genetics, allergies, profession, and hobbies, ….
The keto experience is distinctive to each individual. I encourage you to listen to the advice from those who have been following a clean keto diet for years, actively participate in Facebook groups and shared experiences all the while adjusting and refining your diet until it is tailored perfectly to you.
After all, you’re the only one who will know what works best for your body.
In the beginning, it is easier to cook at home than eating out
Cooking for yourself (and for your family if they support your way of living) means that you have more control over your macros.
You can easily eat out and still follow a ketogenic diet though. However, while the standard western diet continues to be promoted as the low fat, high carb, calories in versus calories out approach, options for dining in restaurants or buying take away can be limited and you may find yourself getting bored easily.
I would advise you to check out the menu of the restaurant ahead and prepare what you are going to eat when eating out. In this way you can calculate it in your macronutrient amount of that day or the following days, to balance out a bit
Weight loss is only an extra benefit of the keto diet when you compare it to all other health benefits
The more you explore the keto diet, the more you will encounter the many health benefits this diet has to offer you. I started the ketogenic diet at the same time when I started my chemotherapy treatments. I have felt nothing but benefits ever since.
Whether it’s the reversal of Type 2 Diabetes, fatty liver disease or metabolic syndrome; better mental health (contra depression, autism, ADD, ADHD…); increased control over emotional eating; or the recession of arthritic and rheumatic symptoms, many have advised that they have successfully used a keto diet (either on its own, or in combination with other western and/or eastern medical approaches) to treat modern and chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome, hyperthyroidism, and cancer.
I am not claiming that the ketogenic diet can be a miracle cure and substitute for modern health care, but it surely can help you to get on the right track.
Imagine how many processed foods we all eat, and all the rubbish and chemicals that are in it…When you get rid of this kind of unnatural foods, you are already a long way ahead.
Many people, as I, who have followed the keto diet for a while, notice that once they became fat burners instead of carboholics, they got mental clarity, a good intense sleep, a better condition, and found out that food no longer dictates their life.
To all of you who want to start the ketogenic diet, I wish you the best of luck