7 Days to beginning your new keto lifestyle – Just add one change a day and have a whole week of new lifestyle changes in places at the end of the week and you are ready to dive into your new Keto lifestyle!
Day 1: Take Measurements and “Before” pics!
This may not be something you want to do, but this can be so super helpful in the beginning of a health or weight loss journey. Whether you are looking to “get healthier”, lose weight or gain muscle, measuring your progress is super helpful. Don’t rely on the scale whose numbers can be super deceiving as it can’t tell you when you have lost fat, but gained muscle (muscle weighs more) so you can be disappointed in a number that ultimately means nothing.
Measure your bust/chest, waist, hips and take pictures. Weigh yourself if you must, but do not judge your new lifestyle by that number.
Day 2: Start a Journal!
Journal every night or every morning, but just make sure you’re journaling. This is a great place to keep your measurements, write down how you feel each day, keep track of what you are grateful for (so you can focus on that when things get tough because it always does when you are trying to make big changes!), write down what you ate and how it seemed to be affecting you, etc.
Day 3: No more sweets!
Cut out all sugars, artificial or natural sweeteners, cookies, candies, sugar sweetened drinks, fruit juices, all fruits, alcohol including wine, gums and mints. Getting these out of your life will help you be successful in your new lifestyle. I often advise clients that they can add some of these back in moderation, but when starting Keto and helping your body become adapted it is best to quit them all cold turkey!
Day 4: Drink more H2O!
Ideally you will drink ½ your body weight in ounces daily (if you weight 150lbs drink 75 ounces daily). However, do not exceed 128oz per day. If you drink coffee or tea then you will need to drink 1.5x that amount of ounces in addition to your normal daily ounces count. Often our cravings and “hunger” is simply caused due to thirst. Make sure to head that off by drinking at least the amount you need every day. And if a craving does hit that is a good time to drink some water. Having a hard time remembering when to drink? Place a color hair band or rubber band (loose fitting of course!) on your wrist for every 8oz glass that you need to consume every day. Remove a band when you have consumed that glass. When you get to the end of the day your wrist should be bare – if it isn’t then you know you need to drink up!
Day 5: Get good Sleep!
This is a super important step that is so often overlooked. Did you know that if you are overly tired you will have a very hard time making the right dietary choices? It is a fact that when we are sleep deprived our brains will tell us to get quick fuel in the form of glucose and that is exactly what you are trying NOT to do. Sleep deprivation can also cause us to have naturally elevated levels of glucose which will cause elevated insulin production and ultimately lead to reduced levels of ketones. Try going to bed around the same time every night and getting up around the same time every morning (within and hour). This will help to set your circadian rhythm and will begin to make it easier for you to fall asleep and to wake in the morning.
Day 6: Start tracking your macros!
The general guidelines to get you into ketosis effectively is 70/25/5 – that’s 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs. Keep in mind that this is not exactly the same for everyone, but it is a good place to start so at least you have a starting place. To track you want to download an app that will calculate your macros based on what you type in as your meals. I like “Carb Manager”, but there are many. Download a couple and decide what you like best. The idea is to make sure you accurately track everything you eat into the program so you can see where you need to tweak your intake to achieve the “right” numbers. Keep in mind that without my “Day 7” tip you will have no way to know if what you are tracking is working to get you into and keep you in ketosis!
Day 7: Test your ketone levels!
How can you know that you are in ketosis unless you test? You can’t! This is where many people mess up. They think they are doing everything “right”. They have read that you eat a certain ratio of macros, that you eat a certain amount of fats and that you do intermittent fasting and so as long as you do those things according to what you read on the internet, then you MUST be in ketosis, but that is just Flat. Out. Wrong. What worked or is working for all those people telling you how to do it on the internet may or may not work for you. And this is not telling you to use the urine strips to test – don’t! I am not going to get into all the reasons they don’t work especially long term, but just know that they don’t. I prefer blood testing over anything. There are different devices on the market that work like a glucometer (many function to measure glucose, as well, using a different strip) and any of them is fine. Just find one, learn how to use it and start testing. What numbers are you looking for? Really anything above .5mml means you are producing ketones. Striving to get closer to 1.0-2.0mml may be better, but I know some individuals that never get above 1.0mml lose weight, have health issue resolve and feel great so just find what works for you. Once you know what “being in ketosis” feels like and you have confirmed it with the meter then I would just test every now and then to make sure what you are doing is still working. Our bodies are constantly changing and we will need to change up what we are doing from time to time to optimize our results.
Good luck and thank you for listening!