So, you’ve heard about Keto by now, maybe one too many times even, and “how great it is.” You've maybe even seen some of the success stories and felt inspired by them. Or, you've been nudged way too many annoying times, to “just give it a try, and you’ll see,” by well-meaning friends or family, who you don’t even want to hear them say the word one more time. It seems that every week a new person in your circle, family or a co-worker has jumped onto the Keto train, and now your interest is at least peeked.
Perhaps, like so many, you have tried out 'diets' in the past, and you don’t mind the thought of being a few pounds lesser, maybe in preparation for summer or some special event. Even still perhaps, maybe you're one of the many people who deal with low energy or chronic illness: Hypothyroidism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Arthritis, PCOS, Fibromyalgia; or one of the dozens of other ailments holding us back, that have claimed to be relieved through a Ketogenic lifestyle. As always, I am not here to diagnose anyone, or validate any diet or lifestyle change for anyone, but merely to provide some information and insight. The fact is, only you will know if it’s for you, and you will start in your own time, if and when you are ready. [Always check in with your own health care and wellness teams on any uncertainties, and to determine if a lifestyle change would benefit you in any way]
If you are though, for whatever reason, at the point where you are ready, or strongly considering jumping into Keto yourself, but feel overwhelmed at the prospect of a lifestyle change; I am here to offer a few tips. Before we go further though, one of the biggest things to always remember and keep in mind throughout your own personal journey, is that we are all at varying places in each of our lives. We have different backgrounds, experiences, support system, finances and different health conditions and goals. The person choosing Keto for rapid weight loss is not the same as the person considering Keto for addressing a health concern. I don’t like to refer to Keto as “a diet,” in fact I try to steer clear of that terminology [diet] altogether for its often grave and unrealistic long-term expectations. Keto is more of a lifestyle change, that although starting off a bit tough, does allow for some growth, or modifications after a certain point, depending on a few conditions; but we will cover that towards the end.
So, how do you begin? Because the daunting truth is that when you think of such a drastic lifestyle change, flashes of your current busy schedule comes to mind, and you become overwhelmed with no idea where to start. If you like to be a planner, those thoughts aren’t necessarily going to help kick start your new journey. Or, you might be of the demographic of people who feel as though they have hit their proverbial ‘wall’ whether through a plethora of attempts at weight loss, or the longstanding desire to lose weight. Or, even still, you are the person who through their chronic illness or health ailment is finally fed-up with feeling the detrimental effects of chronic illness; to the point that they wake up one day and decide to jump full force, two feet in, never looking back. Whatever the category, these tips may help to ease some of the burden or stress, free up some time, or just give you a much needed positive perspective on the great journey your about to embark on.
On a bit of a personal note, I was of the category of 'chronic sufferer' through Hypothyroidism, for which the onset was due to the removal of my thyroid, 8 years ago; and in much of the case has been an uphill battle, in the dark, for years. For anyone with Hypothyroidism, you know all too well the toll it can take on your life and the energy that is robbed from you due to chronic fatigue, and a slow metabolism; that’s only two of the symptoms. I’ve battled brain fog for so long I almost just gave in to it as a new reality, but I am here to tell you that there is a hope to leave that all behind and return to your vibrant self. “We are not designed to feel that way. Period.” From starting strict Keto, through to a now modified Ketogenic/paleo lifestyle; along with intermittent fasting, I have been able to regain my life, energy and focus, while boosting my metabolism and losing excess weight, caused by low energy. [I will be sharing a more in depth perspective of my own experience, in the coming days]
Before starting, make a note to be gentle and kind to yourself; you’re human after all, and you’re not going to be perfect. Just don't give up on yourself though, even if you have to navigate through a few things to find what works best, and is right for you. Trust in your own instincts and intuition. One of the worst things we can do is put too much stock into what a single ‘expert’ has to tell us. Often times people are treated as a category and not an individual. Always be cautious of anyone’s advice who also has something to sell you; they may not be giving you the best advice for YOU, as they are for their own pocket book. Always do your own research and collect a variety of information from various resources to use as your personal reference. The more you know, through your own research, the better facilitated your journey into progress and wellness will be.
Now, here we go…
One last thing I want to mention, is that a strict Keto eating regimen does not necessarily have to go on forever; to the point that you feel like you have to be careful how you eat for the rest of your life, and start to lose enjoyment around your experience with food. It typically takes 3-5 days for your body to use up glucose before it goes into ketosis (fat burning mode). If you maintain ketosis for 5-6 weeks you should become fat burning adapted, and find that you can start to add in a larger variety of veggies, some occasional fruits, and even some very occasional starchy veggies and pasta (in moderation) without throwing yourself out of ketosis and back into glucose burning mode. This is a conscious decision you, as an individual, will have to explore at that time, especially as it may slow down rapid weight loss; if weight loss is your goal. Or, you may find that reintroducing some foods will trigger negative responses from ailments you may have. For additional reading on Keto and its complimentary connection to intermittent fasting, click on the following link... [All things Keto].
Thank you for taking the time to read these tips, and if you are considering starting Keto, I wish you all the best in happiness and health!
[For anyone who would like to connect regarding Hypothyroidism specifically, please don't hesitate to reach out at email@example.com I look forward to hearing from you!]
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Tanya is a classically trained, Red Seal Chef, and former restauranteur and caterer, with additional studies in Holistic Nutrition and business. Having food as her foundation she continues to build on her interests and knowledge base in the study of the body, mind and brain connection. She now spends her time as a Mom of twins, researcher and writer, while continuing to participate digitally in the culinary world with her company, Artisan Food Co.