As a sworn carb lover who recently decided to start the keto diet, I’ve learned a lot of things about how to survive – and even enjoy – the keto lifestyle. And I figured, why not share what I’ve learned? I’m sure there are other carbohydrate obsessees who would appreciate some guidance on how to succeed at the ketogenic diet. So here you have it: some keto tips for beginners that actually help.
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1. Get a carb tracking app.
I toyed with the idea of starting keto many times, and always abandoned it, because it just seemed too complicated. I mean, calculate macros? What are those? And do I really need to figure out what percent of my diet is protein?
A carb tracking app like Carb Manager makes that easy. Start off by entering some basic information: age, height, weight, etc. Then it calculates for you how many calories and how much of each food type you should be eating a day. When you input the food you ate, it automatically counts the fats, carbs, proteins, and tracks it all for you, so you can see what you ate and how much more you have left to go. It makes the whole keto diet thing sooo much easier.
2. The first few days will be hell. But that’s ok.
I don’t know if it’s this thing called the “keto flu” that everyone talks about, or just my body being constantly hungry because I was eating so much less than usual, but I was miserable on the first few days of keto.
But I stuck it out. And it’s worth it.
After a few days I got used to it, and stopped feeling hungry all the time. Yay 🙂
3. Get yourself a good sports water bottle
Keeping hydrated is always important, and will aid you in losing weight.
I found that the water bottle helped in another way, though – whenever I felt like I was starving on the first few days of my diet, I sipped from my water bottle to distract myself. It totally worked.
4. All the delicious looking keto dessert pictures you see are a lie
I don’t mean that you can’t have a good keto dessert. Because you totally can. What I mean are those pictures of “keto cinnamon buns that you totally can’t tell are keto!! They taste just like my regular cinnamon rolls!!” and the ingredient list is like 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and almond flour. Nope, pretty sure that tastes gross, or at least completely and totally different than non-keto cinnamon rolls.
5. Your taste buds will get used to a lot less sweetness
I’ve seen many beginner’s keto guides that say you should completely avoid all sweeteners when you first start keto so your body stops craving sweet things. I don’t know if that’s necessary. I think by the nature of keto you will automatically be eating foods that are less sweet and will get used to it faster than you think.
Case in point: before I started strict keto, I made a healthy, gluten free brownie recipe made of basically peanut butter, honey, cocoa powder, and eggs. I was a little disappointed after making them because they tasted very heavily of peanut butter and weren’t so sweet and brownie-like.
Fast forward one week. I had started keto and was pretty serious about it. One night I was feeling slightly miserable, though, and saw those gluten free peanut butter brownies sitting on the counter. I figured, they are pretty keto friendly, right? I mean, the honey is not great, but only one little bite of flourless brownies won’t throw me out of ketosis…
So I took one small bite of the brownies.
And guess what?
I thought that they were almost sickeningly, overpoweringly sweet.
These are the same brownies that a week ago I had thought weren’t sweet enough.
That’s how much my taste buds changed when I started keto. And I wasn’t avoiding keto sweeteners like erythritol.
6. Not all keto sweeteners are created equal
This is important to note. Erythritol is less sweet than sugar is, but stevia is way more sweet and concentrated than sugar is (and has a slightly bitter aftertaste, which some people don’t like). They can’t be subbed for sugar, or each other, in equal amounts.
7. Not all keto flours are created equal
Coconut flour absorbs more liquid than almond flour (or regular wheat flour, for that matter). While almond flour can generally be subbed 1:1 for wheat flour, if you want to use coconut flour instead of wheat flour, it’s more like 1/2:1.