So you’re considering a keto diet?
The low carb, high fat ketogenic diet is known to help with weight loss, certain metabolic disorders (i.e. Diabetes), increase energy levels, reduce hunger, and is simple to follow. Because of all these reasons, it seems that starting such a diet with all these benefits seems like a no-brainer.
However, for most people, the transition from carbohydrates to fats as a main source of fuel is not as easy as it sounds. This is especially true for the first week of adopting the ketogenic diet.
In this article, we explore some tips for your first seven days on the ketogenic diet.
Set a goal. Create a plan.
The first thing to decide is why are you starting the ketogenic diet?
Define a goal for yourself (i.e. weight loss, better health,). Having a clear picture in your mind of why you’re starting the ketogenic journey and a way to track your progress towards your ultimate goal will help keep you invested, especially within the first week of physical and mental transitional challenges.
Next, determine how you will measure progress towards your goal. In the beginning, rather than a weight loss goal, it can be better to set a goal to stay on the keto diet for 7 days. This might seem simple, but it will help you get through the first few days, which can be challenging.
Research and join a community.
Like anything else in life, know what you are getting yourself into before starting. Look around, read blogs, testimonials, recipes, and research. Hear what doctors have to say about the diet and people, like yourself, have experienced within this first 7 days of their keto journey.
Find a community such as ours on Facebook or a physician to provide you with support, feedback, and information throughout your transition to keto. You can also consider the use of support apps such as The Nudge App, in which your physician can help monitor and guide you through the adoption of a ketogenic lifestyle safely and effectively.
For the first week, it may be useful to also research a 7-day keto meal plan, since counting your calories and keeping macromolecules within range may be harder at the beginning of switching to keto.
Meal plan and prep your pantry.
A day or two before you start full keto, create a food diary of foods that you currently eat and make note of which items are keto-friendly and which are not.
Stock up on the foods you eat daily that are keto-friendly, and find replacements for those that you currently indulge in that are not keto-friendly.
Rid your pantry (if possible) of bread, pasta, grains, starchy vegetables, and sugary foods or drinks to avoid temptation throughout the first week struggles.
Fill your fridges and pantries with lots of healthy fat options, lots of water, and foods rich in sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
Switching your body from metabolizing glucose to metabolizing fats as our primary source of fuel can be a “shock” to our systems, especially within the first days of the switchover.
It is important to realize that there will be side-effects, often called the ‘keto-flu’ when making this original transition. If you experience headaches, fatigue, mental fogginess, muscle cramps, reduce stamina, know that these are very normal to experience within the first 7-14 days on the ketogenic diet.
All that’s left is to get started!
The truth about keto is that it will be hard to begin with, but it will be worth it after several weeks!
Each day, keep focused on your goal. Make sure to track your progress toward your goal. Reach out to your established keto-community or physician throughout the process.
Have patience, and know that very often, the first week is the hardest!
Dr. Jerry Hizon