How to Start a Keto Diet: 7 Tips for Beginners
If keto meal times – high in fat and low in carbs – sounds normal, you are wrong. Atkins and keto are no different. The purpose of all diets is to help you lose weight properly by reaching a metabolic state where your body burns fat (instead of carbohydrates) and sugar (fuel). The classic keto diet is very high in fat, can be quite limited, and is often done with medical tests. But this very high level of fat may not be necessary for you to maintain the extremely hot state of ketosis. Atkins is a ketogenic diet, but one with a lot of dietary intake and a high balance of macronutrients.
A well-balanced diet is a diet rich in vegetables, balanced protein, about 40 grams of carbs net or less per day, and 65% of your daily calories from healthy fats — as you do at Atkins 20® or Atkins 40 ®-proven to be safe and effective. If you are new to keto diets, here are a few simple tips to start your diet plan.
Keto Diet for Beginners
1. Decrease carbs (but eat more veggies)
Eating a very low carb diet is important for achieving ketosis, but a low carb does not mean any carb. With Atkins 20, net carbs are limited to 20g or less per day for about two weeks to ensure ketosis is detected. After this intake phase, you will gradually add a small amount of carbs net to your diet while burning fat. You can easily calculate the carbs net you ate with the Atkins® app or this guide.
When limiting your carbohydrate intake from a keto diet to 20 to 40 grams a day, it is important to eat plenty of basic vegetables to ensure you get all the necessary vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. Access high-density veggies, starchy veggies such as kale, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, and peppers. Another bonus: a combination of a complete diet and low carb carbs as you maintain ketosis and help prevent distractions, pain from hunger, and craving for processed foods.
Bonus Tip: Change low carb ingredients to make your favorite foods. For example, use zucchini noodles to replace the standard noodles in your favorite pasta dish!
2. Decrease stress
We know that sometimes this is easier said than done! High levels of cortisol stress can raise your blood sugar levels and invade your body’s ability to achieve ketosis. If your work or personal life is more stressful than usual, you may want to wait to start a keto meal. You can also help reduce anxiety about excessive sleep, regular exercise, and relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.
Bonus tip: Make bedtime a sticky routine, and aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
3. Increase healthy fats
A low carb keto diet replaces your low-carb carbs with fat, which is usually at least 60% of your daily calories. Because we have been told for a long time to avoid fat, many people eat fat when they try to eat keto. It is important to choose healthy fats from high-quality plant and animal sources, such as olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil as well as cheese, eggs, nuts, and fish.
Bonus tip: If you find yourself starving between meals, you may not be eating a lot of healthy fats.
4. Increase exercise
As with any diet, increasing your activity levels can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Exercising regularly while eating a keto diet, however, can also help you achieve ketosis and switch to a low-carb, high-fat lifestyle much faster than you would otherwise. That’s because, in order to gain ketosis, your body needs to get rid of any sugar, and when you exercise too much, your body uses glycogen stores before converting to fat for energy.
Bonus tip: It is not uncommon to feel a little lazy when you start a keto diet. Make it easy for any new exercise regimen, and be sure to include low heart rate exercises as you adapt to your new diet.
5. Increase your water intake
Water is essential for supporting your metabolism and normal body function, and a low carb diet like keto contributes to erosion. Not using enough water, especially during ingestion, can lead to constipation, dizziness, and nausea. In addition to drinking enough water, make sure you get all of your electrolytes by adding broth to your diet or a little extra salt in your diet.
Bonus tip: Stay well hydrated and drink at least six to eight glasses of water daily. Drink plenty of alcohol if you have increased exercise or when it is a hot day.
6. Maintain your protein intake
A keto diet requires that you eat enough protein to provide the liver with amino acids to make the new sugar of the cells and organs, such as your kidneys and red blood cells, that can use ketones or fatty acids as fats. Lack of protein intake can lead to weight loss, and excessive weight loss can prevent ketosis.
Bonus tip: If you follow a keto diet like Atkins 20, aim for 20-30% of your diet to be made up of protein.
7. Maintain your social life!
Starting a keto diet does not mean you have to eat all the food at home. Make good decisions when eating out by looking at the menu in advance, requesting a restaurant for information on sticky foods, meat, and veggie options, and choosing a side salad instead of a side dish like fries.
Bonus tip: Add some sweet treats like BBQ sauce and ketchup with yellow mustard, ranch dressing, hot sauce, or butter. Also, meet your friends at these keto-friendly restaurants!
Sample Keto Diet Plan for Beginners
Breakfast: 4.6g net carbs
Eggs scrambled with sautéed onions and cheddar cheese
Snack: 1g net carbs
Atkins French Vanilla Shake
Lunch: 6g net carbs
Grilled chicken over baby spinach, tomato, and avocado salad
Snack: 4.4g net carbs
1 cup sliced red bell pepper with 2 tbsp ranch dressing
Dinner: 5.4g net carbs
5 oz hamburger, 1 oz pepper jack cheese, 1 small tomato, ½ Hass avocado, 2 romaine lettuce leaves