Low-Carb Diet for Beginners: Step-by-Step Guide

Low-Carb Diet for Beginners: Step-by-Step Guide
The ketogenic diet can be a little tough initially, especially if you don’t quite know what you're getting into or how to do it properly. After all, it’s likely a radical change from the way you’ve been eating for a long time. Following a keto lifestyle will help you improve your overall health and life despite the adaptation process.

In today’s article, we want to provide a step-by-step into a keto diet for beginners. We want to explain what is the low-carb diet, why go keto, and share some low-carb starter tips.

What is the ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares a lot of similarities with some low-carb diets.

The Keto diet involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This change will put your body into a metabolic state called Ketosis. When your body is in this state it becomes very efficient at burning fat for fuel rather than glucose.

Basically, the ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that turns your body into a fat-burning machine.

Why Go Low-Carb?

Going low-carb actually has a lot of healthful benefits, this is why it’s often recommended to manage symptoms of conditions such as type 2 diabetes, PCOS, IBS, and many more.

When you’re following low-carb, you replace carbs by increasing your intake of healthy fats and protein. This keeps your body healthy and nourished. This metabolic process not only brings you many positive benefits for your body but also for your mind. Although many people consider this diet just a tool for weight loss, it's much more than that, it’s a lifestyle change for the better.

The main benefits of following a low-carb diet are:

  • More energy
  • Focus and mental clarity
  • Reduce hunger and cravings
  • Better mood
  • Less bloating and inflammation
  • Improved blood sugar control
  • Improved Insulin sensitivity
  • Better skin, nails, and hair

Now that we know what low-carb is and why you should make the switch we can jump into the starter tips, so you can start following this lifestyle and improve your health.

Low-Carb Starter Tips

These few tips will help you ease your way into a low-carb lifestyle and have a better understanding of the processes that your body goes through.

1- Do it step by step

Starting a big lifestyle change is always a little scary and overwhelming. It’s best if you start slowly. In order to make it last, changes in your lifestyle and diet must feel enjoyable, fun, and not a burden. So, instead of going from a high-carb diet to keto in the blink of an eye, try to slowly implement small changes. If you go little by little, you won’t feel overwhelmed and the transition from one diet to another will be much smoother and easier.

One thing you can do is gradually start decreasing the amount of carbs and increasing the amount of fats you eat per day. You can start, for example, by swapping one of your high-carb meals of the day for a low-carb high-fat alternative. And little by little, keep doing that to every single meal.

2- Don’t fear healthy fats

Fats have a pretty bad reputation and because of that, one common mistake made when starting a low-carb diet is that carbs are not replaced by another form of energy.

Eating fat as a main source of energy will keep you energized and nourished, but also will keep you satiated for a longer period of time while keeping those sugar cravings away. If you’re constantly craving carbs and sugar, try eating more fats. Fats also play other important roles in your health. However, not all fats are created equal, so it’s important to know which fats are good for you. The best fats for your body are the ones considered healthy fats, which are:

  • Monosaturated fats
  • Saturated fats
  • Omega-3 fats
3- Prioritize proteins

Protein is an essential nutrient, it’s the building block of our bodies. Protein builds and repairs tissues like muscle, skin, and hair. It’s needed for the production of hormones, and it transports and stores the nutrients your body needs.

Another common mistake when switching to a low-carb lifestyle is to forget about protein. But you need to remember that your body doesn’t store protein as it does with fat, so it’s very important to get enough from your diet every single day. Pay attention, especially at the beginning, to your protein intake as well. If you’re not eating enough protein your body will let you know.

4- Make a plan and Track your progress

Having a plan with your goals and keeping track of your progress will help you stay motivated and see how far you’ve come, especially in the beginning. Also, planning your meals ahead is a great way to stay on track.

To plan your goals, you must start with your why. Write down your purpose, and why you decided to start your low-carb journey and then you can see where you want to go and what you want to achieve it. Tracking your progress and keeping a journal will help you see if you’re on the right path or if there’s something you need to do differently to see better results.

5- Make it simple

Don’t over complicate your life. You’re making a huge change, so make it simple. In the beginning, start by prioritizing your protein intake and making fat your Best Friend. Practice mindful eating to help you keep things easy and simple.

Focus on eating quality whole foods and whenever you feel like snacking, choose smart snacks that are made with real foods and clean ingredients.

Overall, try to remember that this is a lifestyle change, not just a diet. This means that the way you eat affects your whole life. Don’t treat it as a simple diet, because it’s not, it’s a process. Try to have fun and experiment and find what works best for you. Big changes take time, however, little by little you’ll start seeing progress, no matter how small it is, and believe us, this will feel so gratifying, your body will thank you.

If you want more information and more tips and tricks to start your keto journey you can download our free guide and start changing your life today.


Reading next

Louisette Blikkenhorst: How I Started Keto and the Ketogeen Instituut
Nanneke Schreurs - Everything about Nutrition and a conscious lifestyle

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