Once you get into ketosis, your next goal is to do your best to stay there. Following are some practices that help make the effort easier. Turn them into habits and before you know it, the keto lifestyle will be second nature.
Focus on Whole, Low-Glycemic Foods
Now that the ketogenic diet is becoming popular, many companies are branding themselves “keto-friendly” in an effort to capitalize on the growing keto community. But don’t let the hype fool you. Even foods that are touted as healthy are often carbohydrate-heavy and sugar-laden. Take granola bars, for example. Many people consider them a healthy snack choice. But many of the toasted oat bars contain even more sugar than a candy bar!
In fact, sugar in its various forms is so integral to our foods that its’ included in even products you wouldn’t think to contain troublesome ingredients, like most flours and starches. Consequently, we recommend getting most of your nutrition from whole foods.
Besides, eating a diet of mostly whole foods makes things simple; you won’t need to keep an eye out for hidden ingredients that could affect your ability to stay in ketosis. When considering recipes to try and shopping for groceries, aim for whole, low-glycemic foods and ingredients, such as those we listed here.
Read Food Labels!
Mints, gum, candy, baked goods, and drinks labeled “low-carb” may seem like great ideas, but if you take a look at their ingredients lists, you’ll often find they too contain problem ingredients (i.e., carbs/sugars) that can cause your ketone levels to drop or completely kick you out of ketosis!
The same goes for other food products that you may not even expect to contain sugar or other high-carb ingredients; some broths, spices, condiments, chewing gum, mints, and even sugar alternatives can sneak unexpected carbs into your diet and affect your ability to stay in ketosis.
Luckily, all packaged foods feature labels that tell you what you need to know, so be sure to read labels and factor any carbs in the foods you consume into your daily macro calculations. You can learn how to determine whether a food is keto-friendly here.
Test for Food Sensitivities
There is a catch around figuring out keto-friendly foods: the nutritional label doesn’t always tell the full story. Your body is unique, so keto-friendly foods and drinks that are perfectly suitable for others may adversely affect your level of ketosis, or even kick you out of it, if you are sensitive to them. Plus, some low-carb foods contain ingredients that are high-glycemic or can cause blood glucose spikes. For example, many protein powders that claim to be keto contain maltitol (a common sugar alternative that has a higher glycemic index); some people have no trouble consuming it, while it kicks others out of ketosis. This is where testing your individual response to the foods you consumer is critical when starting out. You can learn more about ketone testing here and learn more about testing for food sensitivities here.
Keep a Stash of Keto-Friendly Snacks
One of the greatest threats to staying in ketosis is getting off course, and you’re far more likely to do that if you don’t have keto-friendly foods around when you need them. You can find a list of snacks we recommend here.