Before Beginning Keto Diet for Weight Loss, Here are 31 Things You Must Know to Prepare For a Keto Challenge.
Keto diet tends to be done in phases or what most people call Keto diet challenge. Keto diet doesn't have to be challenging if done right with right preparations.
Embarking on a new diet is hardly an easy feat and often requires a pretty big alteration to the way we eat, exercise, prepare meals, and snack—not to mention the changes our body goes through to adapt.
On the keto diet, your body is drastically cutting down the amount of carbs it’s getting and will undergo the metabolic state of ketosis as a result.
Ketosis happens when the body uses stored fat, instead of carbohydrates to generate energy. Ketones sugars are the byproducts of fat breakdown (metabolism)
In this article, we’re going to highlight everything you need to know before starting the keto diet, from symptoms your body might experience in the first few weeks of transitioning and how much weight you can expect to lose, to what kind of foods you can eat and more.
Here are things you need to know before starting Keto Diet for Weight Loss.
#1 The Keto Flu is Real!
As the name suggests, the keto flu is a bundle of flu-like symptoms many new to the keto diet will experience within the first days of starting, which can last a week or two.
A few of the most common symptoms include nausea, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, poor focus, dizziness, and irritability.
The keto flu occurs when your body first begins to transition to burning fat for fuel instead of carbs—which is the crux of the ketogenic diet.
You can avoid Keto Flue by increasing your water intake, taking MCT oils, transitioning slowly by starting off with eating clean carbs, and incorporating gentle exercise.
#2 Keto Diet Suppresses Hunger - a Lot
When going keto, you can expect your appetite to be more suppressed and properly sated than it was previously on a carb-full diet.
This is because the metabolic state of ketosis works great to keep hunger pangs at bay since burning fat will keep your blood sugar levels more stabilized.
The fats will then turn into ketones by your liver, resulting in feeling less hungry.
#3 Supplements Are a Must on Keto Diet
So what about supplements, do you need those on the keto diet? Just like on other restricted diets, it’s very possible that you’ll experience a nutrient deficiency and require supplements.
With that said, putting extra care and planning into what you eat will help you avoid the need for too many supplements.
#4 Weight Loss on Keto Diet Happens Fast!
One of the biggest benefits of going keto is that you can expect to lose a lot of weight, especially in the first few weeks.
Just keep in mind that while you’ll technically be shedding pounds quickly in the beginning, this is actually just water weight and not fat.
Remember that on a carb-rich diet, your body stores much more water.
Even if the rate at which you lose weight slows down, stay positive! Trading carbs for more healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables will leave your appetite suppressed and keep you slimming down.
Pro tip: Much of weight loss while on Keto Diet is actually Fat. You use fat for energy, not carbs.
#5 Some Other Excellent Benefits of KetoAside from weight-loss, there is a wealth of health benefits you can expect when going keto. Below are just a few:
- May help reduce risk of heart disease
- Reduces insulin and blood sugar levels
- Can lower blood pressure
- Reduces the “bad” LDL cholesterol
#6 Meats, Fats, & Veggies Fill Your Plate on Keto
Sample Keto Meal
Eating meat is major on the keto diet. After all, they’re packed with healthy fats, protein, and nutrients that will keep you feeling full for longer.
Go for unprocessed white meats which are low in carbs and high in protein and fat. If you can opt for grass-fed and organic meat.
#7 Devour Fish on Keto diet
Fatty fish and shellfish are great for the keto diet and are super healthy for you.
Not only are they high in fat, but also contain plenty of potassium, selenium, and B vitamins.
Best of all? They’re mostly carb-free. Some excellent seafood options are salmon, mackerel, trout, tuna, shrimp, and mussels.
#8 Enjoy Eggs on Keto Diet
Eggs are both versatile and healthy. Even better, they contain less than one gram of carbs, making it super keto-friendly.
While the yolk in eggs is high in cholesterol, most people won’t see a rise in their blood cholesterol levels when eating this food in moderation.
#9 No Keto Without Veggies
Fresh veggies are perfectly fine, just be sure to go for vegetables grown above ground and natural (most veggies are man-made) since they are much lower in carbs.
Pro Tip: Use a veggie juicer (ad do not add fruits) to juice kales, zucchini, cucumber and traditional avocado. These are natural options that are not man-made.
#10 Dairy is Not the Best on Keto Diet
Dairy is not the best on the keto diet, although you will find cheese lovers encouraging it!
One of the commonest reasons why people do keto is weight loss and hormonal balance.
Most of cow's hormones are passed through the milk, a reason you should avoid milk and milk products. Just three weeks without milk products can yield a lot of health benefits.
The only recommended milk is maternal milk (Mother milk). A cow is not your mother! 🤢
#11 Natural Nuts Are Part of Keto Diet
Nuts can be keto-friendly, just be sure you’re eating low-carb varieties that won’t kick you out of ketosis, such as macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds.
These are great options because they’re fairly low in carbs and contain high-fat content.
Just be sure to eat even these nuts in moderation to ensure you don’t exceed your daily carb limit.
#12 Fruits on Keto? Be Careful
While it’s understood that natural fruits (most fruits are manmade) are a healthy food acceptable on most diets, it’s important to note that many are high in both carbs and sugar, so you want to be careful which you choose to incorporate into your keto diet.
Just to give you an idea, watermelon is one of the lowest fruits in carbs, but just 100 grams contain 8 grams of total carbs. Low-carb berries, such as raspberries and blackberries are a good option, but should still be eaten in moderation.
#13 No Soda & Juices on Keto Diet
Sorry soda lovers, but water—sparkling or still—is the #1 drink when going keto. Feel free to spice things up by enjoying unsweetened tea, which is perfectly fine as long as you don’t add any sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Plain Coffee is also fine on the keto diet with a splash of Keto Collagen & MCT Powder. Bulletproof coffee is a popular option amongst keto dieters.
#14 Alcohol is Fine on Keto But...
While there are certain types of alcohol that are acceptable on the keto diet, always remember that the more you drink, the more you may be inhibiting weight loss since our bodies begin burning alcohol before anything else.
With that said, go for drinks that are low in carbs and sugar, such as dry wines. Spirits like vodka and whiskey are also good options since they contain zero carbs, but watch out for sugar when ordering a drink.
#15 Keto Diet Can Be Customized
What many people don’t realize is that the keto diet can be customized. While the diet is generally 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs, you can play with these numbers as needed and still maintain ketosis.
Athletes, for example, can actually consume more carbs since they have a more demanding workout regiment.
Additionally, some keto dieters might have to lower their carb count if they aren’t seeing any results.
#16 Standard Ketogenic Diet
Speaking of customization, it’s also important to note that there are four types of keto diets you can follow, with the first being the standard keto diet.
This includes a macronutrient ratio of roughly 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs.
This is the diet most people are referring to when talking about going keto and revolves around consuming high-fat foods and burning fat for fuel.
#17 Targeted Ketogenic Diet
The macronutrient ratio for the targeted keto diet is 60-65% fat, 20% protein, and about 10-15% carbs.
This is a more popular option for athletes whose bodies require more carbs, and allows them to eat an additional 20-30 grams of carbohydrates right before working out so they can get the most out of a high-intensity exercise.
These carbs are burned off quickly and don’t get stored as fat.
Pro tip: To avoid losing the fat melting benefits if Keto, use MCT oils to give you instant energy & prevent bad moods.
#18 Cyclical Ketogenic Diet
The macronutrient ratio on the cyclical keto diet is 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs on standard keto days, and 25% fat, 25% protein, and 50% carbs on off days.
As its name implies, you’re cycling in and out of ketosis with a five-day, standard keto diet, and a regular, two-day non-keto diet.
This gives dieters a bit more wiggle room and can be a nice transition into a standard keto diet.
#19 High-Protein Ketogenic Diet
The macronutrient ratio for the high-protein diet is 60-65% fat, 30% protein, and 5-10% carbs. As you can tell, this diet consists of consuming much more protein but still limiting your carb intake.
This diet is generally easier to follow since it allows you to get less fat and more protein than you would be getting on the standard keto diet.
Just keep in mind that it’s harder to achieve ketosis this way since too much protein can be converted into sugar for fuel.
#20 Keto Breath is Real
Sorry friends, but keto breath is real. When your body moves into burning fat for fuel, your body will produce ketones which can result in bad breath.
Eating too much protein can also result in bad breath since your body is producing ammonia.
Keep in mind this is typically a symptom that occurs at the beginning of your diet when your body is still adjusting. It will also help to stay hydrated and by using mouthwash daily.
#21 Impact on Workouts
When you’re first starting off on the keto diet, you can expect to see a fall in your strength and endurance since your body is adjusting.
Give your body time and you’ll actually see an increase in performance due to the change.
#22 Don’t Kill Your Wallet
You don’t have to break the bank to be healthy and enjoy a keto lifestyle. Remember that you’ll be needing less food to feel full—carbs are just a cheap filler, after all.
Additionally, you can always opt for low-cost cuts of meat to get your fill of fat while also saving money. With some careful meal planning, you can get all the foods you need to maintain ketosis on a budget.
#23 Keto is Actually Safe if Done Right.
While drastically restricting your carb intake is not recommended if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or if you suffer from liver or gallbladder conditions, for everyone else, numerous studies have shown and continue to show the benefits of going keto.
If you’re unsure if the diet is for you, consider trying it for 90 days and making an evaluation. It also never hurts to speak with your physician first.
#24 Use a Keto Calculator
If you really want to be keto-ready, you’ll want to closely track and calculate the macronutrients you’re getting.
This will help you better determine how much you need to be getting to lose weight and reach your goals.
There are plenty of online calculators that can help and will factor in things like your age, weight, height, and activity level.
#25 You MUST Measure Your Urine Ketones
It can also be helpful to get into the habit of measuring your ketone levels, especially if you aren’t reaching ketosis.
Without measuring your ketone levels, you cannot tell if you are in Ketosis and how deep in ketosis are you.
You can do this with a urine strip or by using a blood sugar monitor. Urine strips are the cheaper and more convenient option but they aren’t as accurate as a blood sugar monitor.
#26 Don’t Mind the Cravings
If you’re worried about experiencing intense carb cravings after giving them up, just know that while it may happen in the beginning, these cravings will pass if you stick with it.
A great way to deal with them is to get creative in the kitchen and try out some carb-alternative recipes and a spoonful of MCT oil
#27 Keto Takes Time
Always remember that keto is more than a diet, it’s a lifestyle. While you’ll quickly drop a few pounds in the beginning, you have to be committed and give the diet time to fully reap the long-lasting benefits and see your weight loss goals met.
You might hit weight loss resistance if your diet and hormones are not optimal. If you aren’t seeing results right away, consider modifying your carb and macronutrient intake and keep going!
#28 Keto Can Control Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Small research done at Cleveland Clinic USA found out that in just 4 to 8 weeks on Keto Diet, women with PCOS lost up to 36 pounds, their monthly periods became regular and spontaneously conceived without any medications.
Another research found that PCOS women on Keto diet significantly lost weight and balanced all the fertility hormones without needing medications.
Some people even claim that keto diet literally reverses PCOS.
#29 Keto Diet Treats Neuro Diseases Like Epilepsy
Keto diet has been shown to be effective in controlling epileptic seizures in children.
Keto diet has also been shown to enhance memory and cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer's disease.
#30 Keto May Reduce Some Metastatic Cancers.
Cancer cells express an abnormal metabolism characterized by increased glucose consumption owing to genetic mutations and mitochondrial dysfunction.
Previous studies indicate that unlike healthy tissues, cancer cells are unable to effectively use ketone bodies for energy. Furthermore, ketones inhibit the proliferation and viability of cultured tumor cells.(1)
#31 Ketogenic Diet Can Clear Acne - Literally
While most acne is caused by hormonal imbalance, acne-causing bacteria & candida on the skin feeds on sugars.
Keto diet has been shown to help clear acne, especially in those suffering fro PCOS.