How to Painlessly Transition to a Keto Diet
Are you still debating about giving a keto diet a try?
I was in your shoes a couple of years ago…
It really sucked.
I had no idea how to transition to a keto diet. Looking back, these are the steps that I took painlessly start a ketogenic diet.
You probably have a lot of questions and doubts about the keto diet.
That is why you haven’t started yet. The best way to alleviate all the doubts is through education.
If I can oversimplify all the education about the ketogenic diet, here what you should know.
- Eat under 20g net carbs per day.
- Eat fat to satiety.
- Hit your protein goal so you don’t lose the muscle mass.
- Fat is good for you if you stay ketogenic.
- Carbs cause insulin spikes which lead to cravings and up/down energy levels.
- The Ketogenic diet normalizes your insulin levels and stops blocking leptin which is responsible for feeling full.
- It takes 2-3 days to get into ketosis.
- It takes 4-6 weeks to get keto adapted.
- Don’t do exogenous ketones unless you are an athlete.
- Net Carbs = Total Carbs – Fiber
- Ketostix do not measure ketosis, but they confirm that your body have produced and wasted ketones.
- Don’t assume that something is low carb and read the label.
- Take measurements and photos of your journey.
- Drink at least 64 oz of water per day and add electrolytes (potassium, sodium, magnesium) to avoid keto flu.
- Weight loss is not linear. Keto plateau is gonna happen. Take glycine and gelatin to avoid it.
- A lot of people might give me a lot of shit about these 15 points because they are extremely oversimplified.
The truth is, these are the concepts that it all boils down to…
If you want to educate yourself more, you can find my 4000-word complete keto guide here.
Also, here you can find a guide on how to get into ketosis the right way.
Don’t Cut Out Foods, Substitute Them
A lot of people might find the keto diet restrictive.
If you think about, you are allowed to eat only 20g net carbs per day.
This can be very discouraging to people, even to the point of not trying keto or prematurely quitting.
Hey, I don’t want you to quit.
Heck, I want you to stick with the ketogenic diet for as long as possible.
That is why I created this fun list of keto friendly substitutes of foods that you currently eat.
Look For delicious recipes
Do you think the keto diet is too restrictive?
There are thousands and thousands of delicious recipes that are ready for you to be made.
Whenever I try to design a recipe, I look for a combination of ingredients that would give me 7g net carbs per serving at most.
Think about it, you have 20g net carbs per day. You don’t want to be hungry because you wasted 15g on one meal.
Also, people have a tendency to go overboard with protein. Too much protein will kick you out of ketosis.
So whenever preparing a meal, pick fattier cuts of meat, fish, and poultry.
If the recipe says chicken breast, substitute with boneless chicken thighs.
What about calories, Alex?
Most people still have the dogma of calories in vs. calories out.
Even though it still holds true, you want to stabilize your hormones first, so your body tells CORRECTLY when it is hungry or not.
You see, when you eat tons of carbs your insulin levels spike and they block hormones that are responsible for you to feel full.
So, on high carb diets, people constantly feel hungry and have a tendency to overeat.
Taking that into account, my recommendation would be to focus on eating to satiety and under 20g net carbs for the first 4-6 weeks.
When you are keto adapted, then your body will naturally feel more full and you will start dropping weight.
The last thing to keep in mind is picking out recipes that can be cooked and stored for multiple days.
Cook for multiple days?
Yes, you should start prepping your food for a week.
The ketogenic diet is just the tool for weight loss, meal prepping will give you the power over your nagging brain when it needs to decide what to eat next.
Here are some recipes that are great to get you started:
Stick to basics for a couple weeks
The recipes I just listed are pretty easy to make but they still require some work.
The last thing I want you to do is not starting out because you don’t cook.
I used to hate cooking too. Now I do meal prepping for a week because it saves time, reduces slip ups, and saves money.
But when you are just starting out, you can even get away with not cooking and stay keto.
Here are the basics that require under 5 minutes prep time:
Go shopping for keto foods
You probably heard the phrase: “Don’t go grocery shopping on the empty stomach”…
In the case of starting the ketogenic diet, I would recommend going to the grocery store with a plan.
Here is how I approach thing before going to the store.
- Pick out the recipes that I will cook/prep for the week
- Compose a shopping list from the recipes
- Add keto essential and snacks for you to have if the cravings strike.
This 3-step strategy makes sure that you are not going buy food before figuring out recipes.
It also makes sure that you don’t have to make stupid choices throughout the week because you can prep all your breakfasts, lunches, and some dinners for you to grab and go.
When it comes to shopping, I like to organize my shopping list into categories by the aisle of my favorite grocery store.
Here I compiled a cool editable shopping list that you can print out and use it weekly.
As a keto beginner, you need to relearn everything when it comes to the nutritional value of foods.
You only have 20g net carbs per day, so food labels will let you know if it is okay to buy this item or not.
In the beginning, I was amazed at some of the food that I considered healthy, like snack bars. Most of them have 20g of sugar.
Hello Keto Meal Prep, Goodbye Cheat Days
I am sure that you are great at something in your life.
We can all agree that in order to be great at something you need to put in work.
Not only that, but you need to create a system that makes you efficient, quick, and automagic.
Here comes the biggest secret about all diets that I can tell you.
80% of your success at any diet is preparation.
That is right. If you can get out one single most important thing about this article is that:
Dieting doesn’t make you lose weight, preparation does.
Let’s say you have a presentation at work next Monday. Are you gonna prepare or wing it?
You don’t want to be embarrassed in front of your boss and colleagues, right?
Every time you are faced with a complex task, you need to prepare, so when it is time to shine, you are at ease and successful.
So, how the hell is this related to the ketogenic diet?
Every day you wake up, there is a battle between you and you.
Your brain is constantly trying to take the path of least resistance and make you eat things that are easy and rewarding.
So when you are not prepared for that nagging battle, you’ll mostly likely fail…
It happened to me over and over again, until I realized that preparation is more important than the ketogenic diet.
Meal planning and prepping for the week is the number one way for me to stay on track with the ketogenic diet.
No more last minute decisions on what to eat next, no more snacking, and no more tedious, time-consuming daily cooking.
Now I have delicious recipes that I enjoy eating within my reach at all times.