When I originally jumped on the keto bandwagon I thought I knew what is was getting my self into.
I have been an active student of the health and fitness world for close to 10 years and spent (and still do) a lot of time learning about, nutrition, supplementation, and training.
So initially when I started this keto thing, I didn’t put as much time and energy in as I have in the past preparing for a “diet.”
I just kind of went for it.
That being said, any time you are getting ready to make a major dietary change….
….you should probably spend a few days doing some research and picking up things that will get you prepared and keep you on track,
whether that be, supplements, kitchen stuff (food scales, tupperware), groceries, etc. Anything you need to help hold your self accountable and see it through to the end.
Unfortunately I did not follow my own advice- I jumped right in the keto diet not know some simple things that could have a big impact.
My training was on point and my body fat percentage started to drop.
Good for me, right?
I will say I did battle the “keto flu” for 3-4 day when entering into ketosis but that impacted me more in the gym than outside of it.
After about 3 weeks of high fat, some vegies (not a ton, big mistake) and meats I started have having terrible muscle cramps, specifically in my abdomen and at night in my calves…
…On top of that I had my first real run in with constipation.
I actually had never been constipated before but I was legitimately considering going to the hospital because I could not go to the bathroom..
I am fairly certain I was working harder trying to go to the bathroom than working out in the gym…And I train fairly hard
Given my prior experience with diets and show prep, I am actually a bit embarrassed that I let these thing happen to me. I feel like I should have known better but I was severely lacking in my approach to eating and and more so my supplementation.
Essentially what I was missing was was electrolytes and Fiber
I can not stress the importance of these few things.
These electrolytes and they are absolutely essential for your body. If you are unsure what electrolytes are…
In a nut shell they are basically nutrients or chemicals that are present in your body and have a lot of really important functions.
This ranges from regulating your heartbeat to allowing your muscles to contract and everything in between
The major electrolytes are calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphate and chlorid. The 3 we going to focus on are focusing on are magnesium, potassium, sodium
Stepping back for a second, the other aspect I was really lacking in was Fiber, yes I was eating some leafy greens and veggies…
…but certainly not enough to account for my the recommended daily intake.
Don’t think you can jump on the keto diet and just smash fatty steaks, cheese and bacon all day, I mean, I guess you can do that but you HAVE to get the nutrients mentioned above in your body IF you want to avoid the problems I had.
So how do you avoid this from happening to you?
1. Be super conscious of your vegetable intake
Make sure you are working in a good amount of Spinach, Kake, Bok Choy, and really any kind of leafy green. I also eat a lot of broccoli asparagus and brussle sprouts
I buy most everything at Trader Joe’s, & I bake all of these with olive oil, salt and pepper
Not only are you getting you the much needed Fiber which is super critical but also a good source of Magnesium.
Rod Tip # 223- Pick up some flax seeds– they are super high in fat and loaded in fiber.
2. Eat Avocados
This is the food that I eat more than any other on a daily and weekly bases. My calorie tracker literally told me that I ate 5,000+ calories worth of avocados in a week.
Why you ask? It is super high in Potassium which is absolutely critical on keto. You are not going to get a lot from your other food sources so you need to hammer down avocados.
I don’t believe potassium supplements are worth buying only for the fact that the dosages are so low, in most cases dosages are around 100mg of potassium..
In one medium avocado there is about 700mg or so..
3. Salt your Food and Water
Also, since you are not getting a lot of sodium from your current keto diet it is critical you salt your food and potentially in your water.
If you are training hard or sweating a lot you will loose sodium in your sweat and you need to replace it.
It is worth spending a few bucks for a high quality salt.You don’t want a cheap table salt, I personally use the Trader Joe’s Pink Himalayan Sea Salt which you can get here but any will do.
If you are having frequent headaches, that can mean you are low on sodium.
Any type of boxed organic soup or bone broth is also great.
4. Incorporate These 2 Supplements
I absolutely recommend supplementing with Magnesium… and this is for any diet or any life style. studies show that 80+% of the world magnesium deficient..Not a good thing.
It helps maintain normal nerve and muscle functions, supports a healthy immune system, bone growth, keeps your heart beat steady, helps regulate blood glucose levels, aids in the production of energy and so much more.
Not to mention if you struggle to sleep at night, it also help your muscles relax and you promotes quality sleep.
If there is one thing you take away from this post…
…..it is that you need to get a magnesium supplement. There are a ton of magnesium products out there and you can pick them up most anywhere I have used a bunch but I have been using this one recently. It is not expensive and it must have when running keto.
==>Click Here and it will take you to the product page on amazon
Fiber is not necessarily a must have in your supplement cabinet BUT when you are first starting out on the ketogenic diet I think it is worth including this into your daily supplementation.
You don’t want to under cut your fiber intake like I did when you are making the transition into becoming fat adapted (I promise it really sucks).
A lot of the time you are still figuring out your specific process and if you are not keeping track of your fats, proteins and carbs it is hard to know if you are getting enough fiber.
It just makes your life easier when you pop a couple fiber tabs over the course of your day. I personally shoot for 35 to 40 grams of fiber per day.
This is fiber I use <== It is keto Friendly – stay away from the gummies or anything with sugar
Wrapping it up
All in all, there are a ton of good habits out there to implement when starting the keto diet. What I mentioned above was purely a learning experience from my end, and not a pretty one at that.
Since being a little more mindful of my food consumption and supplementation I have not had any issues since.
Keep working hard and stay committed to whatever fitness endeavors you have going on. If you are interested in any other supplements I am currently taking.
I do have a review of an exogenous ketone products called Perfect Keto Base which I have been implementing in my summer weight loss regimen.
Love always- Rodney G