The benefits of the Keto diet are well documented, and further health-related benefits of this popular nutritional plan are constantly being researched.

However, the Keto diet is one of the more restrictive diets out there, requiring followers to cut their carbohydrate intake to just 5%. The majority of your energy comes from the high fat intake on this diet so that you enter a state of ketosis. Achieving ketosis is what brings all the noted benefits of Keto diets, but maintaining it can be a challenge, especially in the fast-food loving culture we exist in today.

To stave off Keto side effects and ensure long term success on the diet, here are seven ketogenic lifestyle tips to help you stick to your Keto diet:

1. Create meal plans

We live pretty hectic lives these days. From busy work schedules, daily commutes, social lives, and other daily distractions, it’s easy to fall into a bad habit of convenience eating. But diet variation and unprocessed foods are an important part of healthy living and are vital for long term Keto success.

When you have cut the vast majority of carbohydrates out of your diet, convenience foods are usually off the table. Increasing your carbohydrate intake is a surefire way to knock your body out of ketosis, which is the whole point of following a ketogenic regime. So regular planning and meal prep can go a long way towards making sure you’re not tempted to grab a takeout menu out of the drawer.

Carefully plan your week and grocery shop for specific meal plans including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Don’t forget to include the preparation of keto-friendly snacks to stave off any cravings!

And if you’re going out to eat? Choose restaurants where you are guaranteed a keto-friendly meal by checking out menus online ahead of time.

Create meal plans

2. Vary your Foods

A healthy and effective Keto diet is more than just high fat and low carb intake. It’s important to ensure your diet is varied so you’re getting enough of the micronutrients you need to sustain healthy endocrine, cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems.

Lots of people think that the Keto diet means cutting out carbs entirely and being able to eat whatever you want as long as it’s high in fat. But that’s a quick way to increase bad cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

Source your fat intake from unprocessed, healthy options such as avocados, nuts, and fish that are high in essential Omega-3 fatty acids.

A lack of variation on your Keto diet can also result in deficiencies of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are vital to supporting your overall health.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Many types of B vitamins and Vitamin C are water-soluble. Your body does not store these vitamins, so it’s important to get enough of them through your food intake.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Your body does store these vitamins in fatty tissue and your liver to use when needed. They include vitamins A, E, K, and D. These vitamins contribute to organ function, immune function, absorption of essential minerals, protection from cell damage, and bone development.

Macrominerals

Macrominerals include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, chloride, potassium, and sulfur. Your body uses macrominerals for a variety of functions including bone and muscle health, digestive function, fluid balance, and cardiovascular health.

Trace Minerals

Trace minerals (iron, manganese, copper, zinc, iodine, fluoride, and selenium) play important roles in providing oxygen to muscles, metabolic processes, growth, repair, immune function, thyroid regulation, and healthy bones and teeth.

3. Drink Plenty of water

One of the most common complaints of beginners to Keto is dehydration. Your body is particularly prone to this at the start of Keto. As your body begins to produce ketones, it passes them through frequent urination. Many people experience this on an ongoing basis throughout Keto and not just for the first few days.

Because of this increased urination, your body is more likely to become dehydrated which can cause headaches and other side effects. So, to keep hydrated on Keto it’s essential to increase your water intake to counteract this effect of ketosis.

Drink plenty of water

4. Salt your Food

Water is not the only contributing factor to staying hydrated. Electrolytes such as sodium also play an important role in fluid balance in your body. So, while you should up your water intake, many Keto followers also salt their food to ensure their sodium levels are high enough to stay properly hydrated.

5. Try New Recipes

If eating a low-carb diet is entirely new to you, it’s easy to get stuck in the same rota of dishes that you know are keto-friendly. But this can get pretty boring after a while, and you might be tempted to throw carbs back in the mix just to get some variety.

However, there are tons of interesting and easy Keto recipes out there so you can keep up a varied diet. It doesn’t always require any more cooking time than you’re used to, either. And if you’re craving a familiar favorite, it’s easy to find Keto-friendly versions of lots of things like bread, pancakes, lasagna, sweet treats, and so on.

Try New Recipes

6. Remove all Non-Keto Food

This might be easier said than done if others in your household are not following a ketogenic diet. But, if you can, it’s a good idea to remove all non-Keto foods from the cupboards, pantry, and fridge.

Not only will you be removing temptation, but a good clean out can help make sure you don’t accidentally go over your daily carb intake or knock yourself out of ketosis.

7. Join a Keto Community

There’s no getting around the fact that Keto can take a higher level of commitment than other diets. While the benefits far outweigh the effort needed, it’s easy to waver sometimes. So, to find yourself some extra support and encouragement, get online, and join a Keto community to share recipes and tips with fellow Keto followers. It will help to remind you why you started this journey and all the incredible weight loss and health benefits that come with it.

If the Keto lifestyle is right for you, stick with it! Take these tips into account and you’ll soon be sailing through life on Keto.

The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet Starter Guide - Infographic

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