The start of a new lifestyle can be the most challenging stage. A simple Google search can produce thousands of results, endless scrolling and information overload!
Whether you are thinking about starting keto and wondering how, or have already begun your low carb journey, our 10 Tips for Keto Beginners will make the process easier and more digestible - excuse the pun! After all, changing up your lifestyle with keto should make you feel great, not confused!
Start with a keto-focused macro calculator, such as the one from Ruled Me. This will calculate how many calories you should be consuming daily and will break this total down into how many grams of carbohydrates, protein and fat you should aim for.
Stick to your macros by tracking what you eat. Download an app such as My Fitness Pal or Carb Manager. Over time, this will feel natural, and as you become familiar with carb quantities it won’t be so crucial. However, at the start, how will you know how many carbs you’ve eaten if you haven’t tracked?
- Keep it simple! A portion of protein and a portion of leafy greens cooked in a healthy fat, such as coconut oil, is a balanced meal. Staying away from ‘replacement’ foods, such as keto bread and sweets, is always a good idea - they’ll just trigger your cravings more!
- Carbs are a limit, protein is a goal and fat is a lever. You do not need to consume all of your carb or fat macros but it is important to hit your protein macros. If you don’t, you risk losing muscle mass and increased hair loss. If you are starting keto as a weight-loss tool, creating a calorie deficit will be crucial. This could be through exercise, or by lowering your intake of calories. Unless you are hungry, reduce your fat macros to help you achieve your goals.
Electrolytes are not optional! Keto flu can hit when your electrolytes are out of balance, especially when first starting the keto diet. Keeping on top of them will help to ease unfortunate symptoms. Learn more about electrolytes here.
- Just because it’s low carb doesn’t mean it's keto. Learn to read labels and nutrition panels. Sugar has many different names to watch out for, such as sucralose or maltitol (which can cause an upset tummy and laxative effect). Many of these will raise your blood glucose level, which should be avoided on keto. These types of ingredients may also stall your weight loss as well!
- Don’t stress about intermittent fasting at the beginning. Fasting will happen naturally; as you become fat adapted, you will be less hungry, making it easier to experiment with intermittent fasting down the track.
- Find your tribe, be it a Facebook group, a family member or a friend who is encouraging and supportive. They will help you more than you know!
- Preparation is key! If you can spend a few hours each week meal prepping or freezer stashing you are much more likely to stay on track. Not being prepared makes it all too easy to reach for a non-keto option if you are caught short.
- Your personal keto journey will be unique to you. Some people find 20g of carbs is great, but if your body feels off try a few more or a few less until you find your own keto. We are aiming for long-term consistency, so have patience at the beginning while you find what works for you.
No matter your level of experience with keto, Low Carb Haven is here to support you and your endevours. With a bank of helpful blogs, like Total Cab vs. Net Carb, and a fully-stocked online pantry, we’re here for you!