A Keto Diet for 2018: Top Five Tips for Success
Going Keto for 2018?
Without a doubt, it’s a great way to lose weight, improve mental focus, boost your performance as an athlete as well as at work, all while you further your journey down the path toward optimal health… if it’s done properly, that is.
Often, the initial response to the idea of eating more fat in order to lose fat is met with an incredulous response.
It sounds too good to be true, or there must be a catch, right?
Not at all.
In essence, an authentic ketogenic diet can be no more complicated than a Paleo-inspired approach with just a slight shift in macro nutrients.
Back to basics: create your meals so they’re rich in fresh, local veggies (many of which have a low net-carb count), moderate in mindfully sourced proteins and rich in naturally occurring fats.
The trick is being able to sift through all the information out there in order to take away the facts and be able to apply them to create your own personal regime.
In order to make things a bit more simple, below is a list of the top five things to avoid while trying a ketogenic diet:
Just adding fat
Here’s where this style of eating would be too good to be true; just adding fat to whatever one is currently eating is not the idea. All that does is add on calories to what may be a diet high in refined carbohydrate, low in nutrient density and one not necessarily healthy at all. The key is to make a shift which allows the total carbohydrate contribution (including fruit) to decrease while increasing the total fat intake.
Intermittent fasting by the book means going for a period of 16 hours without eating. It may sound extreme at first blush, but if one’s diet is rich in various natural fats, a satiety level is easily achieved and going for a longer period of time without eating is actually quite simple. It’s a far cry from trying to subsist on a low calorie diet and simply opting not to eat for a long period of time. This, in effect, would be akin to an unhealthy starvation diet. However, even when done properly, too many days in a row of IF can still work against the goal of a healthy eating plan, so one way to ease into it is to simply cycle the number of days of IF through the week. Monday and Tuesday might consist of a fat coffee and two meals eaten between 1 and 6pm, and Wednesday – Sunday might shift to contain three full meals, all of which are higher in fat and lower in carb. I found this to be key when I first transitioned during my off season from Ironman a few years back.
Choosing the wrong fats
Remember when Atkins was all the rage and folks were piling on the low bar bacon and oscar meyer bolgna? Low carb and high fat, yes, but fat quality left a lot to be desired. Fat from a variety of sourced from grass fed butter or tallow, pasture raised lard, coconut oil to avocado and olive oil represent a nice array of sat fat, poly fat and mono fat; a healthy way to plan your daily intake. Canola oil, vegetable oils and hydrogenated oil are the extreme opposite and should ideally be avoided completely due to their inflammatory nature to the body and toxic contribution to the planet (1).
Cutting all carbs
The idea is not to ever eat carbs again; rather it’s just to support the body’s ability to transition to using fat as it’s main fuel source and carbs as plan B. Numerous health benefits can result from following an authentic low carb diet (2) including weight loss, decrease in blood pressure, improvement in triglycerides as well as cholesterol, increased cognition and mental focus.
Those are just the tip of the iceberg; some studies are showing Paleo / Keto is the diet of choice to fight certain cancers (3).
However, being able to have strategic carbs on the back burner when needed is key not only in sport but also in day to day living as having these two metabolic pathways available to us is essential.
Not allowing enough time to transition
As with any approach to eating, goals are not going to be achieved over night and patience is key. For athletes, making the switch to fueling with a fat-based protocol in one fell swoop after years of relying on a high carb approach would likely result in a bonking disaster. Likewise, heading to the office with a plan to eat nothing all day long simply because it’s a New year and one has decided their goal is to lose weight would also not reflect a well thought out plan to execute a keto approach.
Do your research, be realistic and plan ahead in order to set yourself up for a well laid out plan for success.
Need help? You know where to go! Reach out for special 2018 rates for January!
How nice would it be to feel free from dieting once and for all and to enjoy your every meal because you’re finally not feeling you’re eating boring, low fat food?
Trust me- it’s wonderful!
Happy New Year!
(1)“When Vegetable Oil Isn’t as Healthy as You Think.” Time, Time, time.com/4291505/when-vegetable-oil-isnt-as-healthy-as-you-think/.
(2) Volek, Jeff, et al. The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: an Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable. Beyond Obesity, 2011.