Although nowhere near as popular as they were in the 90’s when the Atkins diet was seemingly omnipresent, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets are still very highly regarded in many circles as effective, maintainable weight loss diets. Below are a few tips to maximize your success on a ketogenic diet.
1.) Drink tons of water.
While on a ketogenic diet, your body has a hard time retaining as much water as it needs, so staying properly hydrated is absolutely essential. Many experts recommend that men intake a minimum of 3 liters of beverages each day, while the figure for women is 2.2 liters daily. A good indicator of proper hydration is the color of your urine. If your urine is clear or light yellow, you’re most likely properly hydrated. Keep a bottle of water with you everywhere you go!
2.) Don’t forget the fat!
Simply put, our bodies need fuel to function. When we limit our carbohydrate intake, especially to levels that induce ketosis, our bodies need an alternate fuel source. Since protein is not an efficient source of energy, our bodies turn to fat. Any fat you eat while in ketosis is used for energy, making it very difficult to store fat while in ketosis. Choose healthy, unsaturated fats as often as possible: foods like avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds are ideal.
3.) Find your carb limit.
All of our bodies are different. Some dieters will need to adhere to a strict low-carbohydrate diet that entails consuming less than 20 grams per day of carbs. Other dieters will find that they can comfortably stay in ketosis while consuming 50, 75, or 100 grams of carbohydrates. The only way to know for sure is trial and error. Purchase Ketostix or any brand of ketone urinalysis strips and find out your carbohydrate limit. If you find that you have a bit of wiggle room, it will make sticking to your diet that much easier.
4.) Be smart about liquor.
One of the great aspects of the ketogenic diet is that you can drink liquor while on it without throwing your weight loss too far off course. You can drink unsweetened liquors like vodka, rum, tequila, gin, whiskey, scotch, cognac, and brandy, along with the occasional low-carb beer. Use low-carb mixers and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, as hangovers are notoriously bad while in ketosis. And remember, calories still count, so don’t go overboard. All things in moderation.
5.) Be patient.
While the ketogenic diet is known for rapid weight loss, especially in the early stages of the diet, weight loss is always a slow, time-consuming process. Don’t freak out if the scale doesn’t show weight loss, or shows slight weight increases, for a few days. Your weight varies day-to-day (and throughout the day) based upon a number of factors. Don’t forget to use metrics like how your clothes fit or body measurements to see progress beyond what the scale shows.