If you are looking for advice on starting a keto diet, read on!
How To Start Keto When You Don’t Want to Start Keto
So, you’ve figured out that you really should give the Keto diet a shot, but you’re having an attitude about it. If that’s the case, you really aren’t alone. It can be tough to wrap your brain around starting the keto diet. After all, it means giving up all the “fun foods” – bread, pasta, and sugar.
It also means giving up some of the foods that many of us think of as healthy – like beans, rice, potatoes, and yogurt – because they are not ketogenic.
So many changes to your diet can be a strong invitation to your brain and heart to argue. “But, how am I supposed to live without pasta?” “But beans are good for me – and easy on the budget!” (The same can be said for rice and potatoes, too.)
When it comes to starting a keto diet, it is easy to have an attitude about it and to argue against it – to the point where you talk yourself right out of doing it. But if you have reached a point where you know that this is something that you need to do, here are some tips for making it happen.
Know Why You Want to Start a Keto Diet
There are many excellent health reasons for starting a keto diet. Most people think of it as a great way to lose weight, and it is. But it also supports your health in a number of other ways:
It Balances Your Blood Sugar
If you are a sugar addict or hypoglycemic, keto helps you get a handle on that. It can also be very helpful for people with Type 2 diabetes. In fact, there are people who swear they completely reversed their Type 2 diabetes by following a strict keto diet. (Type 1 is based on different factors and you should definitely discuss it with your doctor before starting keto.)
It Lowers Triglycerides and Bad Cholesterol
Numerous studies have shown that when people go on a keto diet, their triglyceride levels drop pretty quickly. Cholesterol levels take a little longer but still drop faster than just about any other way of eating. Not only that, it’s the so-called BAD Cholesterol that drops, while “GOOD” Cholesterol levels often increase.
It Burns Fat More Effectively Than Other Diets
The human body loves carbohydrates because carbs are the easiest form of fuel to convert to energy. In fact, carbs are so easy to convert that a lot of that energy ends up getting stored away for later use. Complex carbs take a bit more energy to convert, but they are still really easy for the body to convert to energy.
The Keto diet shifts your body from a carb-driven machine to a FAT-burning machine. Fat is harder for the body to convert to fuel, but once your body is burning fat, it does a great job of it. And if you have a lot of fat stored away, you will see a lot more success in releasing it since your body will be USING it, rather than storing it.
Many People Find That Keto Makes Them Feel Better
The state of ketosis helps your body to release fluids, helping with water retention and inflammation. Fat provides a more solid and dependable form of energy over carbs – which burn up quickly. Blood sugar levels stabilize. And all of these things contribute to people feeling stronger with more dependable energy, fewer cravings for food, less swelling, better mental acuity, and more.
With so many health benefits from starting a keto diet, you have some really great reasons to give it a shot.
The Keto Diet is Delicious
Eating keto means that you aim to eat a moderate amount of protein, a high amount of fat, and a very low amount of carbs. That allows for a lot of really delicious foods.
You can basically eat any meat you want, plus poultry, fish, and seafood, plus eggs. Therefore, foods like bacon and eggs is on the menu, or steak and shrimp (or lobster) or any other combination of that sort.
Eating healthy fats means you can have whole cream in your coffee, cook your meat and vegetables in butter, and enjoy all the avocados you want. And when you make a salad, you can pile on the hardboiled eggs, cheese, and full-fat ranch, bleu cheese, or creamy caesar dressing.
You can also enjoy pretty much any veggie you want other than potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, or peas you have to shell. Some of the other root veggies (like radishes) are okay, within reason. And almost everything that grows above ground is fine. So if you love veggies, you can look forward to broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, spaghetti squash, Brussels sprouts, and so many other delicious veggies! Even the ones that are a little higher in carbs – like tomatoes and onions – are still low enough that you can enjoy them within reason.
And cheese – if you love cheese, you can put it all over those veggies!
Many Favorite Carb-Based Foods Can Be Substituted
There are some amazing work-arounds for many of the foods you crave. Cauliflower, when crumbled in a food processor and lightly cooked, makes a rather passable version of rice. Spaghetti squash is one of several ways you can substitute pasta. There’s even a delicious way that you can still have pancakes – and all you need are some eggs and cream cheese to make them happen! (Blend together 1 egg and 1 oz of cream cheese – increasing quantity as needed. So, for an 8-ounce package of cream cheese, you would use 8 eggs. Blend until smooth and cook on a grill just like any other pancakes. They cook up lighter – a little more like crepes – and they are delicious with butter and sugar-free syrup!)
Even pizza crust is manageable. People have even developed ways to make pizza crust from cauliflower! I personally have never tried Cauliflower crust, although one of these days, I intend to. I just happen to love Fathead pizza crust, so when I want pizza on keto, that’s my go-to crust. There are some different versions of Fathead pizza dough out there, so feel free to Google it. Or click here to see the Fathead Pizza Crust recipe per one of my favorite keto bloggers – Dr. Davinah’s Eats. I warn you, though, her site will make you seriously hungry!!
Well-Armed is Well-Prepared
As it is with most things in life, when it comes to keto eating, the better prepared you are – the better. Having the right “arsenal” makes all the difference in how likely you are to be successful. So if keto eating is in your future, make sure you do the following things:
Stock Up On Keto-Friendly Foods
When you are starting a keto diet, you want to really stock up on foods you want to eat. Fill your freezer with your favorite meat, poultry, seafood, and fish. If you like eggs, stock up. If you love cheese, buy your favorites, and your favorite non-sweet salad dressing, too. (Be sure to check labels to avoid hidden carbs.) One of my favorite things is to get a pound of thinly sliced roast beef and just nibble on it with sliced cheddar cheese. Doing that – along with sliced avocado sometimes – can get me through those weak moments when I just want to say, “SCREW IT! I want a sandwich!”
Think about the foods you love that you CAN have and make sure you have plenty of them.
Eliminate (or Hide) Tempting Foods
If you live alone, feel free to get rid of any foods that don’t support your new way of eating. Toss or give away the breakfast cereal and bread, the bags of rice and beans, and anything involving sugar or flour or potatoes.
It’s a little tougher with a family, but if certain foods will be a temptation for you at first, feel free to hide them. Ask your family for their help in keeping problematic foods out of sight until you either find substitutions for them, or get settled enough into your new way of eating that you no longer miss them. (Yes, that actually can, and does, happen!)
Find Some Great Recipes
One thing that people new to keto often struggle with is what to cook. And when you’re used to relying on flour, bread, rice, and potatoes in your cooking, it is only natural to struggle with that a bit. Having some great new recipes to try is the perfect way to get past that. There are so many wonderful keto cookbooks, and keto bloggers with delicious recipes. Two of my favorite sites for recipes are: DrDavinahsEats.com and PeaceLoveandLowCarb.com. I also plan to add more keto recipes here as I am able. Like:
When starting a keto diet, it is important to find support. If someone wants to join you on your diet, that can really help make it a lot more fun to cook and try new recipes. But even if it simply means that people respect your food choices and don’t stand in your way, it is good.
There are some great keto support groups online, as well, so if you spend time on Facebook, don’t be afraid to search around. There are quite a few to choose from depending on what type you are looking for.