How to start a low carb diet?
I know this is a common question, how do I start a low carb or keto diet? Well, I started my healthy journey in August 2018, when a friend talked to me about the Keto diet. I have never heard about such a diet, and it sounded too good to be true. Also, I have been awful before at following diets, plus I never needed them until I passed my 30’s. Yup, all those things you eat when you are still young will pay you back later in life, that’s why I only wish I had a healthier lifestyle when I was younger, but again it’s never too late!
It was a difficult journey because you must be willing to learn how to cook healthier and make the time for you to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Coming from a Latin culture, where we based the daily diet on rice, beans, pasta, and anything that you can fry (all the yummy stuff), a super high carb diet, made the journey even more difficult. Not to mention how your parents and grandparents made you finish your whole meal when you were little, even if you were already full.
It’s important to note for many cultures, rice and beans are not essentials to their diet, and they are still healthy people. You can imagine how difficult it was for me to start this process, or perhaps you feel me because you are probably experiencing the same thing.
I was surprised at how many books and websites tell you how easy to start cooking keto, and a low carb diet is, but the truth is that it is not easy at all (when you are starting and if like me, you are not a kitchen lover). It requires creating the habit, finding the time, and spending a lot of time in the kitchen and sometimes money.
However, you should not be concerned at all. I must admit that I’m not a cooking person. I wouldn’t say I like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, not because I don’t particularly appreciate cooking, but let’s be honest cooking is time-consuming. Yet now I really enjoy cooking my low carb meals. It’s something that fulfills me; creating and trying new recipes and documenting everything is super exciting – I never thought I would say this.
I started reading a lot about the keto diet and how to start a healthy and low carb lifestyle. It wasn’t very clear because we have been counting calories for decades now, so switching to carbs and net carbs count was a challenge. By no means I am an expert and not even a nutritionist, I am just a regular person like you trying to change its eating habits. I know, like me, many people out there want to start this journey but don’t know how to. You are the reason I’m writing this blog, and if I help you just a little, I’ll be delighted because it’s possible. If I did it, you could do it too. All of the low carb recipes you will find here are the easiest ones to make; there’s no need to spend hours in the kitchen :).
When I started, I was only following the Keto diet without exercising, because I didn’t want to be too aggressive starting. I tried to develop a pace where I felt comfortable. I did keto for about five to six months, and then I joined a fitness club. Within a year, I dropped 28 pounds, and my BMI went from 29% to 25%. It is important to note that I was full in keto for the first six months, then switched to a low-carb lifestyle that I have been able to sustain.
My personal low carb diet starter guide:
- First, if you have a medical condition, I would recommend visiting your doctor and making sure these diets are suitable and ok for your health.
- Educate yourself. Read and learn a lot about these diets and identify the things that you like to eat so you can base your meals on that. The key to quickly following a diet is having healthy but yummy meals.
- Get essential ingredients to start with your healthy cooking style. Here you can find the keto Low carb shopping list. These healthy lifestyles can be expensive but Ill share with you the less expensive ones.
- Start slowly. Any drastic change in your lifestyle should be as subtle as possible so you can quickly adapt to these changes.
- Be consistent. The key to maintain this lifestyle is making sure you have a goal. What is yours? (healthy lifestyle, losing weight, lower your blood sugar, etc.). If you can follow these habits for the next 30 days, chances are you will never go back.
- Be Patient. It’s ok if you don’t see results quickly and be aware that we are all different, so don’t compare yourself to another person’s progress. Give yourself time to see the results. Another mistake we do a lot is using the scale too often. Scale yourself once in a while, but don’t track your progress only base on the scale numbers. User other metrics, such as BMI, clothing sizes, etc.
- Fasting. If you can combine your new healthy lifestyle with 13-16 hours of fasting, your results will be even faster. In my case, I can easily have my last meal of the day by 8 pm, and the next day skip breakfast. I’ll have my first meal of the day at lunchtime (of course I’ll have my black American coffee-no sugar added in the morning).
- Fail Forward. When cooking a new low carb or Keto meal for the first time, it’s ok if the recipe doesn’t meet your expectations. This is only normal. It can take you several try to have the perfect one, and that’s part of the learning curve.
- Don’t let people demotivate you. That’s why point #1 and #2 are so important, some family and friends will have a negative opinion about these, and that’s ok, they want the best for you, ensure you do your homework of educating yourself and be signed off from your doctor.
- Relax and enjoy. This journey doesn’t have to be stressful. If you want to have that bread, pasta, or pizza that you have been avoiding, don’t be too hard on yourself. It is ok! Don’t feel guilty or feel remorse. Being consistent is critical, but being happy is even more.
The idea of adopting a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean saying goodbye forever to your favorite meals. I still enjoy my favorite meals from time to time; remember is all about making the right balance. When I started for the first six months, I was full-on keto. Once I got to my desired and appropriate weight given my height (plus I didn’t have any hurry), I switched to a low carb lifestyle. I didn’t want to be skinny; I just wanted to be and feel healthy and be able to sustain it.