You should only start the Keto diet if your doctor or a licensed dietitian approves it.

This is because not everyone is qualified to start the keto diet, especially if they have an existing medical condition or is taking prescription medication. Therefore, you should first get professional advice before attempting this diet.

Now, aside from getting your doctor or dietitian’s approval, you should also be ready to commit to the rules of the Keto diet.

Any deviance from the rules will instantly disrupt your path towards becoming keto-adapted. So, to set your expectations, you should be prepared to commit to the following rules for the rest of your life:

Rule #1: You must completely avoid foods rich in carbohydrates, especially grains and sugar. It is important to eliminate all rich sources of carbohydrates from your diet, especially if you are still on your way to becoming keto-adapted. Your body is considered to be “keto-adapted” once it starts to rely on fat as its main source of energy instead of glucose. This can only happen if the body is sufficiently deprived of carbs, because if there is enough carbs to break down to glucose and, in turn, convert to glycogen, your body would not have to resort to burning fat. Once you have become keto-adapted and at the same time achieved the ideal healthy weight loss for your body type, you can slowly re-introduce healthy carbohydrates into your diet. However, it should amount to no more than 1 gram of carbohydrates per kilogram of your body weight. For instance, if you have reached your ideal body weight of 50 kilograms, then you should eat no more than 50 grams of carbs per day.

Rule #2: You should only choose to eat the best quality sources of natural fats. The Keto diet promotes fat, but not just any kind of fat. Rather, it promotes the consumption of healthy fats, including those found in organic avocados, coconut and olive oils, yogurts, nuts, and seeds. You must be prepared to allocate your food budget to these sources of fats, because low quality sources can put you at risk of developing heart disease. If you think you cannot sustainably purchase premium natural sources of healthy fats, then you are not likely to sustain the Keto diet for the rest of your life and should therefore consider other more cost-effective and healthy weight loss options, such as vegetarianism or veganism.

Rule #3: You must completely eliminate trans fat from your diet. If there is one type of fat you need to avoid regardless of whether you are on the Keto diet or not, it is trans fat. Otherwise referred to as “trans fatty acids,” trans fat is the main cause of increased LDL cholesterol levels, which in turn leads to the heightened risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. Trans fat is found in most industrially produced fats and oils, such as margarine and vegetable oil. Common examples of foods high in trans fat are baked goods such as cakes, cookies, crackers, pizza crusts, and pie crusts; packaged snacks such as corn chips, potato chips, and microwaveable popcorn; and deep-fried food, such as French fries, fried chicken, and donuts. Aside from following these three main rules in the Keto diet, it is also important for you to exercise regularly in order to allow your body to burn your excess fat stores. The more energy your body expends every day, the faster you will become keto-adapted. To help you get started on the Keto diet, turn to the next chapter to learn more about how to plan Keto-friendly meals.

Carla Rodrigues
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