All the Holiday feasting and merrymaking often haunt many of us well into the New Year. Bloating, heaviness, and sluggishness are a constant and almost wholly expected companion (yes, we know how it feels, too!).
Now that you’ve enjoyed those holiday cupcakes, the rosé, and your aunt’s legendary pasta, it’s time to get back into the swing of things. Work off those excess holiday pounds to a healthy weight. You can do all these at once by starting on a keto diet.
The keto diet introduces a low-carb, high-fat, and high-protein diet that aims to change your natural metabolic process. The goal is to make your body reach ketosis, a metabolic state wherein your body switches its main choice of fuel. Instead of burning carbohydrates, it burns up fat to produce ketone molecules. These, in turn, become your body’s energy source. The result? You shed off calories very quickly and have a surplus of energy to boot.
What’s great about this diet is you can eat the delicious food other weight-loss diets often restrict, like pork belly, steaks, avocadoes, and fast food. If you're craving sweets, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with snacks like keto cookies, dark chocolate, and artisanal keto milk chocolate.
The keto diet is an excellent way to start your weight loss and health-related resolutions. Like most diets, however, keto is best practiced as a lifestyle. This way, you can amplify the results and achieve the best possible outcome for your body.
How to Start Right
Here’s how you can start on the right foot with keto:
- Check your calendar. You’ll want to start on a slow week.
The first few days of keto dieting will suck. As your body starts getting used to a low-carb diet and changes its energy source, you might feel sluggish, sleepy, nauseous, and unfocused. Some even experience the “keto flu” whose symptoms include headaches, constipation, fatigue, and difficulty in sleeping. Newbies could experience these in the first seven days, so we recommend starting keto when you can be less than 100% focused and energized for work.
- Invest in a really good cookbook.
The research you do before starting should include easy-to-follow recipes you can do in your kitchen. Sure, you can sign up for a diet meal plan, but you can save more if you do the cooking yourself. Look for a practical cookbook with short, quick recipes; you can indulge in whipping up elaborate meals on the weekend, but, trust us, the easy recipes are more helpful on weekdays.
- Find an excellent keto tracking app.
A big part of keto is learning to count your calories. You must consume less than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day for ketosis to kick in. Eventually, you’ll learn how to measure your caloric intake quickly. For the first few weeks, however, a phone app that provides the carbohydrate content of specific food items might prove helpful.
- Stock up on greens, too.
A popular misconception about the keto diet is that its menu consists of nothing but greasy, fatty food. In truth, you also need to eat vegetables (except for potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, yams, parsnips, and other tubers and starchy root veggies) and some fruits. Avocado and leafy greens like kale, asparagus, green beans, spinach, celery, and broccoli are a must: these supply your body with healthy fiber and help you avoid bloating and constipation. They are also a welcome change once the bacon gets old (take it from us, bacon eventually loses its charm). Remember, though, to keep your vegetable carb consumption to 12 to 15 grams a day.
- Make reading food labels a habit.
Pay attention to the carbohydrates per serving and the number of servings per can or package of food. Also, don’t be embarrassed to ask the waiter about your preferred dish’s ingredients when dining out. Tip: choose keto-friendly restaurants that accommodate your requests, like switching your chicken breast to thighs. Patronize those restaurants to avoid the hassle of nitpicking a menu every time you eat out.
Health-related New Year’s resolutions will be less challenging with ample preparation and the right mindset. Regarding the keto diet, the key to succeeding is making it a lifestyle and not a short-term inconvenience. Just remember to consult with your physician to ensure that keto is a good fit for you.
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