Jumping into the ketogenic diet without a rock-solid plan will set you up for failure. Use this approach, crafted by researchers and athletes who have done the work and made the switch already!
So you’ve heard the arguments, weighed out the challenges and benefits, and decided you’re all in. You’re going keto.
First off, you’re in good company. More people—and more athletes—than ever are embracing very low-carb, high-fat eating and sticking with it for months or even years on end. Once they successfully make the switch from using carbohydrates to using fat and ketones for fuel, they find they’re leaner, healthier, and more mentally focused than ever.
But for every lifter who ends up loving this approach, you’ll find another who had a miserable experience and bailed after just a few days. This is a shame, because they probably could have felt great if they had simply had a better plan—or a plan at all.
I’m not here to sell you on nutritional ketosis or explain what it is or the big-picture benefits it can provide. That’s the domain of other articles. With the help of Myoplex athlete and longtime keto-adapted athlete Jason Wittrock, I’m here to provide you with your best induction experience.
Here’s what you need to know to ace your nutrition and supplementation during the crucial first month of ketogenic dieting, along with a complete sample meal plan!
Calculating And Hitting Your Macros
You may think you’ve got what it takes to make the switch to keto without tracking your macronutrients, but you’re probably wrong. Getting your macros correct is the most important aspect of starting down the path of a ketogenic diet.
“Yes, tracking macros can be cumbersome and tedious, but it’s absolutely essential during the first few weeks of a keto diet,” says Wittrock. “The diet likely goes against everything you have done before, so tracking your macros gives you feedback and allows you to troubleshoot until you get the hang of it.”
No matter what your diet has been to this point, keto will be a big change. If you’re coming from a standard American diet (SAD) background, your carbs will go way down, protein may either go up or down, and fat will go way up. If you’re coming from a bodybuilding-style diet, your fat intake will jump to alarming levels, and your protein will likely drop significantly.