The ketogenic, or keto diet has become quite popular over the past few years, primarily thanks to how effective it can be for weight loss. Alongside this is the variety of health benefits that it could provide.
This increased popularity has meant that more and more people have been looking for tips and hacks for the keto diet to take advantage of it properly. Much of this is driven by how difficult it can be to cut carbohydrates out of your diet completely.
While there are a variety of hacks you can take advantage of, there are several in particular that can be effective.
Here are Keto hacks and tips that’ll keep you on track with your weight loss efforts.
Increase Your Salt Intake
Many people believe that their sodium intake should be kept as low as possible. While this is true if you have a carb-heavy diet, it’s not so once you switch to the keto diet. Much of this is driven by how your body reacts to carbs and sodium, as well as how insulin plays a role in this.
With a large number of carbohydrates in your diet, your kidneys will retain the sodium. As a result, having an excess salt intake can often be harmful. However, this isn’t the case with the ketogenic diet, which naturally has much lower carbs.
As a result, your kidneys will excrete much more sodium than before, resulting in lower sodium levels. You should compensate for this by adding more salt to your diet, with many experts suggesting between three and five grams per day.
This will ensure that your insulin levels are kept manageable.
Use MCT Oil Regularly
Achieving ketosis is the primary goal of the keto diet, as this is when you’ll begin seeing the most weight loss. While this may take a while for many people, you may be able to speed the process up by using MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil.
MCTs are quickly turned into ketone bodies and used for energy; during this process, they skip your digestive system, which helps to speed up the achievement of ketosis.
Though many people may believe that MCTs and coconut oil are the same, this isn’t the case; in contrast, coconut oil only contains 15% medium-chain triglycerides. As such, it’s recommended that you choose another source of MCT while you’re on the keto diet.
Improve Your Gut Health
Your gut microbiome is essential to your health, regardless of which diet you’re on. As such, when you switch to the keto diet, you should aim to maintain and improve your gut health as much as possible.
While following the ketogenic diet will have a positive impact on your guy, there are a variety of things you should do to do so. Much of this can be dependant on your overall health and lifestyle, so you may need to take a considerable amount of time to focus on this.
By doing so, you’ll be able to ensure that your stomach is as efficient at burning fat as possible.
Use Exogenous Ketones
Just like MCT oil, exogenous ketones can be a shortcut to achieving ketosis. As a result, it can be recommended to use a variety of these to help supplement your diet and begin losing weight as quickly as possible.
These will primarily be beneficial when you first begin the diet, as they will encourage your body to start using the ketones. However, you should first ensure that you’ve already adopted a low-carb, high-fat diet before you start using them.
The more popular exogenous ketones use a chemical called beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), which flows much easier in your body and can have a much greater impact on ketosis.
Consume Carbs From Vegetable Sources
While carbs should be removed from your diet as much as possible, you mightn’t be able to get rid of them completely. This is primarily because you’ll need to consume a variety of nutrients and other fibers in your diet, many of which can be tied to carbohydrates.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll need to pick unhealthy choices, however, as you’ll be able to get the majority of these from vegetables. Some of the more prominent options here are kale, spinach, and cabbage, each of which should be worked into your diet.
You should also ensure that you eat non-starchy vegetables, as these will typically be low in calories.
Cook In Batches
One of the most significant issues that many people will have when switching to any diet is cooking different means. While this isn’t unique to the keto diet, it’s something that affects many people who start it. However, there are a few ways to avoid this.
Perhaps the most notable of these is to cook in batches, as this will save you a considerable amount of time and effort during the week. Doing so can be beneficial in a variety of ways, with the most notable being that you shouldn’t have any excuses not to stick to the diet.
Replace Diet Soda With Water
When many people aim to lose weight, regardless of diet, they tend to switch from regular soda to the diet variety. However, this mightn’t be the best choice to make, as this can still result in your body responding as if it’s expecting a large amount of sugar.
This is an issue that’s compounded by the ingredients included in diet soda to compensate for the reduced sugar. Instead, you should aim to drink water as much as possible. Many experts recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every day.
This is primarily driven to the fact that your body will use much more water when you’re on the keto diet.
Measure Your Ketones
In the initial weeks after you switch to the keto diet, you should aim to measure your ketones as much as possible. Doing so will ensure that you’re following the diet correctly and are making steady progress toward ketosis.
There are a variety of ways that you can do so, with a glucose meter being the most accurate, although they can be expensive to purchase. If you’re worried about pricing, then you should consider a keto stick, although these can come with their drawbacks.
Measuring your ketones will allow you to determine whether or not you’re in ketosis, which is something that you’ll want to know.
Have Keto-Friendly Snacks On Hand
One of the most significant factors in sticking to the keto diet is time, which is why cooking in batches can be beneficial. Another way that you can work around this is by having keto-friendly snacks on hand.
There are a variety of things that are quick and convenient to prepare, such as beef jerky, pre-cooked bacon, and hard-boiled eggs, among others. Taking advantage of these will ensure that you can keep yourself fed while on the go without consuming any excess carbs.
Invest In A Food Scale
When you’re first beginning the keto diet, weighing your food can be highly recommended, although it’s something that not many people will think of. As a result, many of us may try to measure by eye, which could result in your diet being somewhat out of whack.
This could mean that you’ll throw off your ketosis, and in many cases, you may not even achieve it. Much of this is because you may end up overeating, which is something that you should avoid as much as possible.
As such, investing in a food scale can be incredibly beneficial.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting can be one of the most effective ways of achieving ketosis, especially in the weeks following the start of the keto diet. As a result, this fasting could result in you losing more way and in a short period, which is one of the primary reasons it’s recommended.
When you don’t consume calories for a certain amount of time, your body will begin using energy from the carbohydrates in your body. This should result in you achieving ketosis much faster than you would have otherwise.
Chronic stress can have a much larger impact on your ability to reach ketosis than you may realize. This is primarily driven by the release of cortisol, which can elevate your blood sugar and prevent your body from burning fats.
While there are a variety of other reasons to minimize your stress levels, it’s something that comes highly recommended when you’re trying to lose weight.
Be Prepared When Going To Restaurants
When you first start on the diet, it can often be challenging to determine what’s keto-friendly and what’s not. This is especially true when it comes to restaurants, as you mightn’t have any indication of the ingredients.
You shouldn’t need to worry about this, however, as you’re prepared before you dine out. In many cases, restaurants will have dishes that are ketogenic friendly, although you’ll have to know what to look for.
With breakfast, for example, it’s recommended that you opt for bacon and eggs, as well as ensuring that you skip the pancakes. Lunches should be salad-heavy, although you should avoid the dressings and choose vinegar or olive oil instead.
Dinner at a restaurant doesn’t need to be as restrictive, although the meal should be as meat-heavy as possible. When ordering, it’s also recommended that you ask for the fattiest cut possible.
Preparation can often be key to this, so you should aim to find out what the menu is like before you go to the restaurant. Doing so will help you determine what the best alternatives are to your favorite carb-heavy orders.
When you’re starting on the keto diet, it can be quite confusing to determine what you should and shouldn’t do. With the keto hacks and tips above, however, you should be able to rest easy knowing that you’re on the right track.
As long as you steer clear from carbs as much as possible, then you should be able to live a healthier, longer life. Implementing each of the above hacks should make this as easy and quick as possible.