The ketogenic diet forces your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Don’t let that scare you. Ketosis is a natural metabolic state. Ketones are produced when you eat minimal amounts of carbohydrates and moderate amounts of protein. When your body doesn’t have carbohydrates to burn for energy, it burns fat. Simply put, on a keto diet, you are changing your body into a fat burning machine!
“The weight starting coming off,” she says. “I remember I lost 9 lbs. my first week. After I had lost 100 lbs., I started trying more adventurous exercise. I became fascinated by fitness and seeing what new things I could accomplish with my body. I do things that I never dreamed were possible like running races, lifting heavy weights, and completing a sprint triathlon.”
If eating at restaurants feels like engaging in an atomic battle with your willpower, understanding menu terms will make picking the healthiest dish worlds easier. Next time you're choosing a meal, avoid anything described as batter-fried, pan-fried, buttered, creamed, crispy, sauteed, or breaded. Instead, skip straight to dishes that are baked, braised, broiled, grilled, poached, roasted, or steamed. Start being more conscious of what you're ordering when you eat out and enjoy the bikini body that follows.
Andrew Heffernan, C.S.C.S., is an award-winning health and fitness journalist whose work appears regularly in Men’s Health and Experience Life. He is the co-author of two fitness books—The Exercise Cure and Your New Prime—and is a frequent top-five finisher as an age-group triathlete and competitive obstacle-course racer. Andrew lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. Visit him at andrewheffernan.com.
By being aware of the things you might be deficient in, you could (and should) load up on foods that are rich in those nutrients, such as cheese for vitamin B12, eggs for vitamin D, and leafy greens like kale for calcium. If you are interested in trying keto without eating meat, Mass also recommends easing up on how strict of a vegetarian you are and eating fish if you don’t already since it’s a great source of omega-3s and protein.
Rickard Lindroth is a developer, mountain bike enthusiast, climber and one of the most joyful characters in the Diet Doctor office. He prefers easy-to-prepare vegetarian dishes and his absolute favorite ingredients are halloumi, eggs and broccoli. It’s not a surprise that this is what you’ll be eating this week. According to Rickard, everything is better with garlic and you should devour the whole broccoli — even the stalk! Oh, and did we mention garlic…?
There are other side effects as well when your body is first adjusting, like difficulty focusing, flu-like symptoms (keto flu), drowsiness, frequent urination, constipation, diarrhea, and reduced strength and physical performance. Most of these symptoms occur mainly in the first few days, while others can come and go depending upon how many electrolytes you are getting and your macronutrient intake.
Studies have shown that people who weigh themselves regularly are most successful at losing weight and keeping it off. When is the best time to weigh in? I advise my clients to step on the scale on Fridays and Mondays. People tend to stick to their healthy habits during the week and loosen the reins slightly on the weekend. Weighing in on Friday will reveal the results of your hard work during the week and encourage you to carry the habits into the weekend. If you’ve indulged over the weekend, your Monday weigh-in may reveal a few extra pounds and motivate you to get right back on track. Try keeping a chart to record patterns in weight fluctuation throughout the week, which will help you make smarter diet and exercise choices to meet your goals.
That said, a recurring mistake among vegetarians who go keto is incorporating too many vegetable-based carbohydrates, without even realizing. You’ve got to be quite vigilant of all your carb and protein sources following a vegetarian keto diet meal plan, as most vegetarians tend to source their protein from foods like legumes and grains, which aren’t supported on the vegetarian keto diet. If you’re following a diet that’s strictly plant-based, then you’ll have to be even more mindful.
All in all, soy looks like a safe food that most people will have no problems with. However, there may be a handful of individuals that may experience thyroid issues after increasing their soy consumption. This may happen because soy contains goitrogens — plant compounds that disrupt the production of thyroid hormones by interfering with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland.
According to Brian Wansink, Ph.D., a behavioral scientist and ‘mindless eating’ expert at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, people who fill their plate with everything they plan to eat (including dessert) eat about 14 percent less than those who don’t fill it as much but return for second helpings. So to eat less, load up your plate—but only once. To reduce your intake even more, use a smaller plate. Wansink found that subjects who served themselves using smaller dishes ate up to 60 percent less.
“The most rewarding part of running for me is the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it, and pushing myself beyond what l ever thought was possible. It has been rewarding to see a transformation in my body, and to feel a transformation mentally and emotionally. My husband sporadically runs and he used to tell me that I should run, too. At the time, I was more than 100 pounds overweight, and that seemed like a ridiculous thing to say. I recall telling my husband back then that, ‘I will never run.’ I laugh now because he rarely runs, and I run all the time.”
**Even though they’re not derived from animals and are high in fat, oils such as canola, corn, rapeseed, and margarine are highly processed and have a poor ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. They promote inflammation in the body. Because they have low smoke points, these oils are also terrible choices for cooking. High heat will turn the fats in the oil rancid, and make it even more unhealthy, causing damage to your heart, neurological problems, and other health woes. Always cook with saturated fats, such as those found in coconut and red palm oil.
If you've upped your salt intake and you're still feeling groggy, order some magnesium or potassium supplements to help out. The unfortunate thing about potassium tablets in particular is that they usually have a really low dosage - NoSalt might be a better way to get the amount that you need. You usually have to go to specialty stores to find this stuff, which can be a bit intimidating, or you can order online. Keep in mind that keto flu is temporary and should pass after just a few days.
Another trick to encourage mindful eating is to focus on the taste of food instead of the activity you're doing while eating (like staring at a TV screen or reading emails). "Cultivate [your] taste buds by focusing on the first three to six bites of food," says Chere Bork, MS, RD, a speaker and wellness coach in Minneapolis. "Taste buds are chemical sensors that get tired very quickly, so unless you're very hungry, the first few bites of a food will taste better than the next few bites. After a larger amount, you may actually have very little taste experience left." By savoring the early bites, especially when it comes to rich foods like chocolate and cheese, you will satisfy hunger and cravings without eating large portions.
I ate five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, cut out fried foods, and switched from eating refined carbohydrates like white bread to complex carbs like whole-wheat bread. I promised myself that after one year of living healthfully, I'd treat myself to fast-food fries (an old favorite), but I couldn't finish them. Now my cholesterol is in a healthy range, and I still walk 30 to 60 minutes four or five days a week.