The best way to start a keto diet is to take a few minutes, put down our cell phones, and ask ourselves: what is our most important goal? From there, we can read up on applicable keto information, formulate our grocery list, and then go for it!
The goal mostly involves something which is measurable, which means it is very important for us to pick the metrics which are meaningful to us, and also helps us in tracking them. Not doing so would be like shooting a basketball and not looking to see if it went in the hoop.
Tracking metrics can become somewhat intimidating, but it is perhaps the most inspiring and rewarding thing you can do on your journey.
1. Macros (Grams of Protein, Fat, and Carbs):
We list some of the recommended macro calculators in the appendix to get you started. Using applications for a few weeks is an amazing way through which you can ensure if you are staying on target with your macros or not.
Tracking with a nutrition application can also help you categorize foods you thought were “safe” but may actually be undermining your progress with hidden carbs and sugars. Furthermore, if you hit stalls or your goals change on keto, you might need to revisit and make changes in your macros and track them for a couple weeks to recalibrate to your food choices.
2. Fasting Blood Sugar:
This number is a superb indicator of how well you are handling your macros and exercise on keto. Fasting glucose must trend down as you decrease carbohydrates and deplete your body’s glycogen stores.
If the number increases on a given day, the chances are that your carbohydrate intake was higher and physical activity was lesser. As you get more expert with how your body’s fasting glucose measurement responds to keto, you will soon find this to be one of the most expedient metrics you can gather.
3. Body Tape Measurements:
In many cases, we may see only a small amount weight loss on the scale as we go keto. Some of us might even gain weight as we shed fat and replace it with lean muscle. In these cases, the scale can be deceptive, but the tape measure is not going to lie.
Looking back at your body measurements over the course of time can be extremely motivating to see just how far you have come. It’s important to remind yourself that you weight isn’t what you want to eliminate – fat is really what you’re going after.
4. Ketone Levels (Blood, Breath, or Urine):
On a well-formulated keto diet, your body would be entering into a state of ketosis naturally. Testing for the existence of ketones can help confirm this is the case and can be an extremely useful piece of biofeedback as you fine tune the keto diet for your own body. Some people find they can enter ketosis easily after just a few days of low carb eating.
For the rest, it could take weeks of trial, that may not be even up to the mark. Variance across individuals can be attributed to personal levels of insulin sensitivity/resistance, genetics, and other aspects that are exclusive to each of us. That is why testing can be a helpful part of the process.