Nervous About Cutting Out Carbs? Tips for Success on the Keto Diet

Keto isn’t just any low-carb diet. A ketogenic diet does cut your carb count down to 50 grams per day – that’s approximately the amount in one cup of cooked rice. The specific nutrient ratio you follow varies according to your needs, but it’s generally about 20% protein, 75% fat, and 5% carbs each day. Here at Marin Weight Loss  and Wellness we have had success using the following ratios of Macronutrients, Protein 40%, Fat 40% and Carbohydrates 20%.

The keto diet is effective at helping you burn fat. It starves your body of carbs, forcing your liver to produce ketones from fat. Ketones serve as fuel when your body doesn’t have glucose available.

The thought of a keto diet might scare you a little, however, as you do have to give up many of those comfort foods you love. At Marin Weight Loss & Wellness, we can help you succeed on the keto diet. The trick is finding satisfying alternatives and getting through the first couple of weeks.

Foods you avoid

You do give up foods that are obviously full of carbs on the keto diet. These include pasta, cookies and cakes, pizza, rice, and potatoes. You’ll also skip most fruits, including bananas and apples, as well as starchy vegetables, such as corn and beans. Sugary beverages and dairy foods like yogurt are also mostly off limits. Processed foods, including sandwich bread, frozen dinners, and breaded dishes are also likely to put you over the carb limit of the keto plan.

Foods you eat

You’ll subsist on delicious foods such as nuts (including almonds and walnuts), seeds, avocado, tofu, and olive oil. Some bacon, eggs, and high-protein foods (think meat and poultry) are part of the diet, but not the focus.

Fruits are highly restricted, but you can enjoy berries in small portions. The vegetables you can eat include leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and cucumbers. Other green, watery veggies are usually OK, too. We can help you with proper portion sizes of these foods, because they aren’t carb-free – just very low in carbs. Large portions will add up in terms of your carbohydrate intake, however.

Replace fancy coffee drinks, soda, and high-calorie mixed drinks with water or unsweetened tea. Or splurging on coffee with a splash of cream is fine. You can also get away with an occasional celebratory glass of wine.

The first weeks

One of the biggest hurdles in the keto diet occurs in the first few weeks as your body adapts to a new way of eating. As your system shifts from carb burning to fat burning, you may experience extreme fatigue, weakness, and headaches – similar to the flu. This “keto flu” happens because your body needs time to start producing ketones. Not everyone experiences the keto flu to the same degree, and we can assess if your symptoms are normal.

At Marin Weight Loss & Wellness, we can help you sustain your diet as you progress through this transition. Drink plenty of water, take in enough electrolytes, get adequate sleep, and avoid strenuous exercise (you can bring it back once your flu has resolved.) You’ll also need to be eating enough fat and protein during this time to keep your calories up, and we can help devise a diet plan for you.

Carb replacements

If you’re really missing carbs, we have lots of creative suggestions for replacements. Enjoying cauliflower rice for a side dish and pizza crust made with cauliflower allow you to feel less deprived. Spiral cut zucchini replaces spaghetti while thinly sliced zucchini stands in for lasagna noodles. Use large lettuce leaves or collard greens to wrap up taco or sandwich ingredients. An, if you’re really missing toast, a few thinly sliced, roasted sweet potato slices can be an indulgent replacement – just make sure to tabulate the carbs.

We want to help you achieve a healthy body weight, and the keto diet is often one of the best ways to to do it. Call our office or schedule a consultation online to find out if keto, or another plan, is right for you.

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