If the keto diet’s principles of high fats and low carbs sound familiar, you’re not alone. The Atkins and ketogenic diets are somewhat similar. Both diets aim to assist you in losing weight more quickly by achieving a metabolic state in which your body burns fat (rather than carbohydrates) and sugar (for fuel).
Traditional keto diets are high in fat, can be very restrictive, and are often followed under medical supervision. However, maintaining the fat-burning condition of ketosis does not necessitate such a high amount of fat. Atkins is a ketogenic diet with more food options and a better macronutrient balance.
A well-constructed keto diet, such as Atkins 20® or Atkins 40®, with sufficient fiber from vegetables, moderate protein, about 40 grams of net carbs or less per day, and about 65% of daily calories coming from healthy fats has been shown to be safe and efficient. If you’re new to the keto diet, here are some helpful hints to get you started.
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7 Tips for Keto Diet Beginners
1. Reduce the carb intake (but eat more veggies)
To get into ketosis, you need to eat a really low carb diet, but low carb does not mean no carb. In the Atkins 20 diet, net carbs are limited to 20 grams or less a day for two weeks to ensure ketosis. Following the induction process, you can eventually reintroduce small quantities of net carbs into your diet while continuing to burn fat. With the Atkins® app or this guide, you can conveniently keep track of your net carbs.
When following a keto diet with a carb limit of 20–40 net grams per day, it’s important to consume plenty of foundation vegetables to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need, as well as fiber. Kale, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, and peppers are examples of nutrient-dense, non-starchy vegetables. Another benefit of consuming whole foods and gradually the net carbs while staying in ketosis is that it helps you avoid setbacks, hunger pangs, and cravings for processed foods.
Bonus tip: Make your favorite recipes with low-carb ingredients. For instance, in your favorite pasta dish, use zucchini noodles instead of regular noodles!
2. Reduce the stress levels
We understand that this is often easier said than done! High levels of the stress hormone cortisol can raise blood sugar levels and make it difficult for your body to enter ketosis. You may want to put off starting a keto diet if your work or personal life is actually more stressful than normal. Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, and use relaxing exercises like meditation or yoga to help relieve stress.
Bonus tip: Make sleep a priority by sticking to a regular bedtime routine and aiming for a consistent 7–9 hours of sleep each night.
3. Increase the intake of good fats.
Low-carb keto diets supplement carbohydrate restriction with a rise in fat consumption, which normally accounts for at least 60% of daily calories. Since we’ve been taught for so long to avoid fat, most people who follow the keto diet consume very little fat. Good fats, such as olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil, as well as cheese, eggs, nuts, and fish, can be chosen from high-quality plant and animal sources.
Bonus tip: If you’re hungry in between meals, it’s possible you’re not having enough good fats.
4. Increase your physical activity.
Increasing your activity levels will help you reach your weight loss goals, just like any other diet. However, exercising regularly while on the keto diet will help you reach ketosis and adjust to a low-carb, high-fat lifestyle faster than you would otherwise. Since your body must get rid of all glucose in order to enter ketosis, the more you exercise, the faster your body uses up its glycogen reserves before turning to fat for energy.
Bonus tip: It’s normal to feel tired when you first initiate a keto diet. When you adjust to your new diet, ease into any new workout routine and make sure to incorporate plenty of low-intensity workouts.
5. Drink more water.
Low carb diets like keto have a diuretic effect on the body, which is why water is so essential for your metabolism and daily body functions. Constipation, dizziness, and cravings can occur if you don’t drink enough water, particularly during the induction process. Make sure you’re getting enough of your electrolytes by adding broth to your diet or a pinch of salt to your meal, in addition to consuming enough water.
Bonus tip: Stay hydrated by drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Whether you’ve increased your workout or it’s a humid day, drink some more.
6. Make sure you get enough protein.
A keto diet necessitates consuming enough protein to provide amino acids to the liver, which it uses to produce fresh glucose for cells and organs that can’t use ketones or fatty acids as food, such as the kidneys and red blood cells. Protein deficiency can result in muscle failure, whereas excessive protein consumption can prevent ketosis.
Bonus tip: When adopting a keto diet like Atkins 20, strive for protein to make up 20-30% of your diet.
7. Keep your social life going!
You don’t have to eat every meal at home when you start a keto diet. When eating out, make informed decisions by reading the menu ahead of time, requesting nutrition details from the restaurant, sticking to meat and veggie options, and choosing a side salad over a starchy side like fries.
Bonus tip: Use yellow mustard, ranch dressing, chili sauce, or butter instead of sugary condiments like BBQ sauce and ketchup. Also, get together with your friends at one of these keto-friendly eateries!
Sample Keto Diet Plan for Beginners
Breakfast: 4.6g net carbs
Eggs scrambled with sautéed onions and cheddar cheese.
Snack: 1g net carbs
Keto French Vanilla Shake.
Lunch: 6g net carbs
Grilled chicken over baby spinach, tomato, and avocado salad.
Snack: 4.4g net carbs
1 cup sliced red bell pepper with 2 tbsp ranch dressing.
Dinner: 5.4g net carbs
5 oz hamburger, 1 oz pepper jack cheese, 1 small tomato, ½ Hass avocado, 2 romaine lettuce leaves.