Its seems like every day there is a new diet fad that friends, coworkers, or even the news is buzzing about, and while it’s great to get inspired and try out new ways of eating to find what works best for your lifestyle and body, it’s also good to know what you’re getting into.
The ketogenic diet isn’t just any diet craze of the day, but has actually been around since as far back as the 1920’s1 when it was popularized to treat people with epilepsy.
The diet’s success today is mostly attributed to its wide array of health benefits, including weight loss and improved health2.
Many people who have heard of the keto diet but haven’t tried it out themselves might have a general gist on what it’s all about—low-carb, high-fat! Sure, that’s the general idea, but there’s a lot more to it!
If you’re interested in taking on the keto-lifestyle, there are some important things you need to know before diving in blindly that will help you succeed.
Let’s take a look!
If you’re going to be cutting out carbs and giving up some of your favorite foods, it’ll help to first understand how it works.
In a nutshell: when you cut back drastically on carbs and replace it with fat, this gets your body burning fats for fuel instead of carbs.
When your body only has fats to work with (for energy), the liver will take fatty acids and convert them to ketone bodies. This process is known as ketosis, and is the ultimate goal on the ketogenic diet.
Yes, yes, I know. Every diet boasts that they’re “not a diet, but a lifestyle”, but remember that while most diets that allow you to hop on and hop off any time without consequence, doing so on the keto diet can actually mess with your metabolism and confuse your body, leading to weight gain.
If you’re considering the keto diet, do so with the intention of truly sticking with it. Going on and off it on whim will just be a waste.
Sure, the keto diet has some restrictions which can put many people off, but what most people don’t realize is that you can ketofy just about anything.
What do I mean by “ketofy”? With a little craftiness and some creativity, you can still eat plenty of the foods you love. Love pizza? Try a wheat-free, low-carb pizza made with keto-friendly ingredients like cheese, ground almonds, and almond flour (Keto pizza recipe here!)
Ketofied pizza! Love bread and can’t give it up? Try out a keto alternative like almond flour bread or coconut flour bread. Ketofied bread!
Ok, so you know that you need more fat in your diet, but what else? And what should you be steering clear of?
Eat: meat (beef, fish, pork, poultry), high fat dairy, eggs, leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, avocado, nuts, berries, seeds.
Don’t eat: grains (like rice and corn), sugar (including fructose), and starches (most root vegetables).
Water weight is the first to go on the keto diet. This means your body will become dehydrated much more easily, so it’s important to drink more water than you normally would to stay hydrated.
It’ll help to eat more foods that contain magnesium, sodium, and potassium or even consider supplements to prevent an electrolyte imbalance.
First embarking on the keto diet can be tough. As your body transitions from using carbs as fuel to ketones from fat, it’s very common to experience flu-like symptoms from headaches and dizziness, to brain fog and nausea.
This is notoriously known as the “keto flu”. Minimize or eliminate symptoms as much as you can by drinking lots of water and eating more fat. Keep fatty snacks handy, such as cheese, pork rinds, and bacon.
Supplementing with keto BHB salts is also a great way to make the transition into ketosis (and maintenance) much better.
Our Core BHB contains 12-grams of BHB salts (as premium goBHB) and some other great additives to optimize your blood ketone levels safely and effectively.
You always want to be reading labels on products you buy at the grocery store. This is because most foods use tricky marketing tactics to lead consumers into believing they’re eating healthy, when in fact they might not be.
Ingredients like sugar and corn are everywhere! Don’t let these unhealthy ingredients sneak their way into your food.
It may sound like a daunting task, start reading labels. It becomes much easier once you get to understanding what everything on there means and what your body requires on the keto diet.
Sure, it’s always better to eat organic foods and grass-fed beef, but it can get pricey. Luckily, you don’t have to eat only organic foods to stay keto.
Eating natural or whole foods is best, but don’t be too worried about only buying foods with the “organic” label. The main goal is to avoid processed foods since they typically come with tons of carbs and sugar.
If your wallet is hurting, also keep in mind that keto is a high fat diet. Guess what makes meat cheap? Fat! Opt for cheaper and fattier meats to save some money.
The surest way to know what’s going in your body is by getting more comfortable in the kitchen and making your own meals.
While there are plenty of pre-made and totally keto-friendly foods you can buy at the grocery store, you can save money and feel the satisfaction from crafting your own keto dishes. The internet is chock-full of delicious recipes, so start flexing those culinary muscles!
Keep in mind that achieving ketosis varies from person to person—there is no magic number. The amount of fat, carbs, and protein your body needs to stay happy and healthy depends on a variety of factors, like your height, weight, and your age.
There are online keto calculators that can help you find the right amount for your body, but if you’re still having trouble losing weight or getting into ketosis, keep dropping your carb macros until you get the results you want.
This should get you started with the right mindset, but there is plenty more to learn and understand about the keto diet.
Start reading more literature on the subject, learn about ingredients labels, get inspired by exploring keto-friendly recipes, and overall, embrace the lifestyle!
Just like anything else worth its salt, the keto diet can be tough, especially in the beginning, but being mentally and physically prepared before taking the leap will make the transition much easier.
 Freeman JM, Kossoff EH, Hartman AL. The ketogenic diet: one decade later. Pediatrics. 2007 Mar;119(3):535-43.
 Wheeless JW1. History of the ketogenic diet. Epilepsia. 2008 Nov;49 Suppl 8:3-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008