Not at all! Just seclude yourself from the outside world since you’ll be extremely irritable due to lack of carbs and you will be just FINE!
I get it, going low carb seems daunting, especially if you’re on a carb heavy meal plan. Or just eat carbs every chance you get. Or dream of sitting in a pool of macaroni and cheese while eating pizza. Wait, is that just me?
I had a different experience than most when starting my low carb/keto meal plan, and while I’m not intending to convince anyone to switch meal plans, I thought maybe it could offer some insight into where most newbie low-carbers go wrong and get turned off by the lifestyle.
Now, as much as I’d like to be, I’m not a doctor or nutritionist so these are based upon my opinion – though if Kim Kardashian can write a book and technically be known as an author…then I want to be taken seriously too! 🙂
Ok, so I have 3 tips for starting a keto or low carb lifestyle that are based on my own trial and error. OH and that reminds me – I’m purposely using the word ‘lifestyle’ because diet has such an icky feeling to it. Right? Like, I think of a diet and remember my Slim Fast shakes (just a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and a healthy dinner! Ok, so where’s the part where I eat?!) and immediately feel hungry. Also, diet implies a short term change. ‘Can’t wait till I finish this diet so I can go right back to how I was eating and gain all the weight back that I lost…’ No. We want any healthy change to our life to be with us for the long term – hence the word lifestyle.
Here’s a freebie tip to get us started:
REASEARCH!! Do you understand why low carb/keto meal plans work? Do you have an understanding of ketosis and how that works in our bodies? I had a general understanding from my schooling at East Carolina, but didn’t think too much of it before starting and that was a big mistake. If you understand how and why this works in our bodies, you can avoid a lot of unpleasant side effects to the low carb life. Like that dreaded KETO FLU. It’s a real thing and it’s awful.
Tip #1: Drink plenty of water. Like…more than you think you should have. Most of us are dehydrated as it is. Isn’t it so hard to get water in during the day sometimes? Some days, I feel so accomplished when I’m good with my water and other days, my husband will come home from work and I’ll randomly remember I haven’t drank any water all day. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Carbs tend to allow our bodies to hold on to water, so when we reduce the amount of them in our meals, we’re going to lose water. If we’re already in a dehydrated state and we’re losing water, we’re not going to feel good. At all. Regardless of the meal plan you’re on, it’s so important to remain hydrated but it’s ESPECIALLY important when you’re low carb or keto. Water is our friend! (Unless your sump pump breaks in the middle of a bad rain storm…but that’s a different story…)
Tip #2: Replace your electrolytes! Who knew, right? I didn’t. Electrolyte imbalance isn’t a fun feeling. It’s like your first trimester of pregnancy only more frustrating because you think you’re eating healthy and you’re still feeling miserable. At least in my first trimester when I was eating pizza by the box, I wasn’t expecting to be full of energy and feeling svelte. If you’re not replacing your electrolytes, your body is going to tell you in the way of sluggishness, headaches, brain fog, irritability…etc. When our bodies are in ketosis, a lot gets flushed out. Which is a good thing because we lose excess water weight and feel lighter from it. However, electrolytes are part of what gets flushed out as well. The good news is that they’re super easy to replenish and if you find yourself in that miserable state, you can typically feel a difference soon after getting some back into your system. I take a trace minerals tablet that I buy off of Amazon that replaces the potassium, magnesium, and sodium that are lost. You can go that route or try to get them back in through the foods you eat. Table salt, Himalayan Pink Salt, leafy greens, certain types of nuts all have different minerals in them to aid with replacing your electrolytes. I also have a Propel or PowerAde Zero from time to time as well…though you will need more than just one of those drinks to get enough of the minerals back into your body.
Tip #3: GO AT YOUR OWN PACE! Any lifestyle change we make does NOT need to happen over night. It can be very hard physically and mentally to do a complete 180 with anything having to do with our bodies- whether it’s a new way of eating or a new workout plan…so don’t feel like you need to wake up one Monday morning, go completely carb-less for the week and feel bad if it’s hard for you. What I suggest is slowly integrate carbs out of your day until you reach a point (amount of carbs per day) that you’re comfortable with. This is how it looked for me: I typically had a carb at each meal. When I started getting into this type of lifestyle, initially I went cold turkey and tried to eliminate all carbs right away but quickly found that didn’t work for me. It may for some, but didn’t for me. So, I eliminated my carb at dinner but still had them at breakfast and lunch. That led into taking the carb away at lunch and I went with that for a while, and eventually I eliminated my carb at breakfast and let me tell you – this was a much better way to make it work! Now I know to some, this may seem miserable. No carbs?!?! You know, I really didn’t have a problem with it because it was done gradually, I was incorporating other high fat foods into my day (they keep you full for a longer amount of time!!) AND I was noticing my body lean out which made it super simple to stick to. I also supplement with exogenous ketones which have definitely helped with all of this as well. Oh, and I still dive head first into pizza, ice cream, wine, and macaroni and cheese…but I leave it for the weekends and in moderation. My Monday – Friday is pretty strict, but easing up on the weekends helps to stick with it as well.
That’s not to say I haven’t found some low carb options for foods I love – like this AMAZING low carb pizza (shown above) that we have once per week! (Look up Fathead pizza crust. It will change your life!)
Or…these keto friendly peanut butter cookies as shown below. So tasty!
What do you think? Have you been wanting to give the low carb lifestyle a try?
I run an Intro to Keto group once per month that provides you with ALL of the tools to get started with this type of lifestyle. It’s only 5 days long but we pack a lot of information in those 5 days! If you have any interest in giving it a shot, just let me know!
Talk soon ❤