Although not as popular as they were in the 90s, when the Atkins diet was seemingly ubiquitous, low carb ketogenic diets are still widely regarded in many circles as effective and sustainable weight loss diets. Here are some tips to maximize your success with 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 drink a minimum of 3 liters of drink per day, while the figure for women is 2.2 liters per day. A good indicator of adequate hydration is the color of the urine. If your urine is clear or light yellow in color, you are most likely well hydrated. Take a bottle of water with you wherever you go!
2.) Don’t forget the fat!
Simply put, our bodies need fuel to function. When we limit our carbohydrate intake, especially at levels that induce ketosis, our bodies need an alternative fuel source. Since protein is not an efficient source of energy, our body turns into 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 involves consuming less than 20 grams per day of carbohydrates. 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. Buy Ketostix or any brand of ketone urine test strips and find out your carb limit. If you find that you have a little leeway, it will be much easier to stick to your diet.
4.) Be smart about liquor.
One of the great aspects of the ketogenic diet is that you can drink liquor while following it without deviating too much from your weight loss. You can drink sugar-free spirits 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 during ketosis. And remember, calories still count, so don’t overdo it. Everything in moderation.
5.) Be patient.
While the ketogenic diet is known for rapid weight loss, especially in the early stages of dieting, weight loss is always a slow and time-consuming process. Don’t panic if the scale shows no weight loss or slight weight gains for a few days. Your weight varies from day to day (and throughout the day) based on 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.