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Success in any diet boils down to planning, execution and supplementation. You have to be clinical in your approach and leave nothing to chance.
How to Start a Ketogenic Diet Weight Loss Plan the Right Way
There are generic phases in every diet that are in an endless feedback loop, and the ketogenic diet is no different. Planning, Preparation, Execution, Assessment, Repeat.
The planning phase is probably the most fun in the process. This is the phase where all your hopes and dreams for the diet exist. You will be excited and eager to start the diet, sometimes throwing caution to the wind, and going full steam ahead without a seconds thought.
Before you begin, ensure you complete the following steps.
Calculate you total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) –
Your TDEE is an estimation of how many calories you burn per day when exercise is taken into account.
It uses your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) value multiplied by an activity multiplier.
Your BMR represents how many calories your body burns at rest, so your activity multiplier represents how active you are.
The range is from sedentary (office desk work, minimum fitness) to very active (manual labour, athlete, fitness is life).
Your TDEE will guide your daily calorie intake. It will inform the amount of calories to reduce and track what is working towards losing weight.
Figure out your Macros –
To be keto, you need to eat higher fats, lower carbs and moderate protein. If you do not know why this is, read our article on nutritional ketosis.
Knowledge of the macros that make up your TDEE is an extremely powerful tool in learning how to start a ketogenic diet weight loss plan the right way.
It will help you decide the best way to build your diet meal plan. You can select food items or recipes that hit your macros.
Acquire your essential kitchen utensils and appliances –
- A good set of non-stick pans and pots
- Spiralizers to make every vegetable into faux pasta
- Weighing scale to help track the portion sizes and hence track calories.
- Food processor to make nut butters, dips, mashes and much more
- Nutri Ninja for your keto smoothies
Choose your form of exercise –
It does not really matter what form of exercise you chose, you just have to chose the one you enjoy, or the one you hate the least. Exercising on the keto diet will make it a lot easier to burn the fat when you are in ketosis. The alternative would be to cut your TDEE calories by half or more to see any significant fat loss without exercise (THIS IS NOT ADVISABLE!)
The process starts to get more real when you begin this phase. This phase is all about building your meal plan, choosing your sources of each macro, building a list of ingredients to buy, finding a good fitness and nutrition tracker to help you on your journey.
Building your meal plan –
This is one of the key secrets to how to start a ketogenic diet weight loss plan the right way. You need a meal plan that is dynamic and exciting, but also very easy to stick with.
Every meal should contribute to your overall macro breakdown and not be within your deficit of the TDEE to burn fat.
The drastic increase of fatty foods can have an impact of on your digestive system, so we recommend you include plenty of fibrous and wholesome carbs.
Meal prep –
We believe there are categories of people when it comes to meal planning and preparation. Those who love to cook fresh meals everyday, those who like to cook in bulk and reheat, those who do not cook at all.
The type of cook you are will determine how convenient the diet will be for you.
We have found that bulk meal prep works the best for this diet. You can prepare your proteins in advance, and then your vegetables on the go.
This phase of how to start a ketogenic diet weight loss plan the right way is where it starts to get real! You wake up on Day 1 full of zeal, everything is planned and prepared, all you need to do is follow through! Easy Right?
Day 1 to 2 –
These are usually the best days. Like many you had your fill of carbs the day before to celebrate the last day before your diet. So you have tons of glycogen stored in your muscles and liver which will carry through the days tasks and exercise, and make the diet feel like “its not so bad after all”.
Day 3 to 7 –
If your carb intake has been low enough, you may begin to experience some dizziness, fatigue, nausea, digestive issues and more. This is perfectly normal as your body adjusts to the diet, before you start producing ketones.
Our tip is to drink plenty of water, eat small meals frequently. So instead of eating your 40g of carbs at breakfast, spread it out over the day over 4 meals. The 10g every 2-3 hours could make all the difference to your ability to power through.
Day 8 and beyond –
If you have not given up on the diet or had any cheat meals by now, then you should be in full ketosis. Things will start to turn around for you. Higher energy levels, better focus, weight loss and so on.
This phase of how to start a ketogenic diet weight loss plan the right way is critical to your ability to continue on the diet with renewed energy!
You need to assess your progress, identify what is working and what is not. You can use a traditional weighing scale to track your progress, but we do not recommend this as the only form of tracking.
Focus of fat loss
Dig out your old clothes
Look out for complements
Treat each new week as if it was the begining of the diet. Follow the steps from preparation to planning, to execution and assess again at the end of the week.
This we believe is how to start a ketogenic diet weight loss plan the right way.