5 Beginner Essentials for Low Carb Dieters
This article is aimed at beginners who are just starting out on low carb diets, so if you are an old hand you can probably hit the back button and carry on your merry may!
Although, who knows, there might be something of use for you in here also.
If you jump straight into a low carb diet without a good grounding of the potential side effects and a knowledge of what makes a low carb diet balanced, then you’re going to find the diet more difficult than it needs to be.
In addition, people will tend to ask you a lot of questions when you are on this diet, so having a good base knowledge will start you off on the right foot when a discussion arises.
2. Ketone Urinalysis Strips
Commonly referred to as “ketostix“, Urinalysis Strips are used to measure Ketone levels in your urine – if you’re in a state of Ketosis, then you’re using fat stores as energy (and are losing weight).
They are essential to check whether your low carb diet is working, and to find out your limits when it comes to consuming carbs.
You only really need to check once per day, but when you first start out using them you might find that you throw that advice into the trash!
3. A reliable and accurate set of scales
This might seem like a no brainer, but when I first started out on my low carb diet I dusted off the electronic scales in the bathroom and just took what I saw on the display as gospel.
It turns out that when I started going to the gym a month or so later my scales were off by 7 pounds – fortunately in the right direction.
This knocked my faith in electronic scales and since then I have gone back to the older style; at least I know the batteries will never run out!
4. A way to track your weight loss (that works for you)
This one is down to personal preference – what you want to track might not be the same as the next person. Fortunately there are loads of tools available out there to track your weight, measurments (e.g. chest size, waist size) and food intake.
They’re fantastic motivators when you’re losing pounds, and can help you track down where you went wrong if you plateau or gain weight.
Here are a number of suggestions to get you started:
- LiveStrong (this site is very much focused on calorie tracking, but you might find some of their tools useful)
5. A Support Network that can Motivate and Guide You
Dieting can be a lonely activity and it can be especially easy to succumb to peer pressure on low carb diets, simply because a lot of people are uneducated about them and can tend to be overly critical (and for some strange reason, forceful).
Finding a few people or a community who are taking the same journey as you can make your diet easier, more enjoyable and more effective. Shared knowledge and support can really make a huge difference.
Below are my top low carb communities:
- Keto – a community focused on being in “ketosis” – the goal for any low carb diet
- LoseIt – a general community dedicated to losing weight on a wide range of diet plans
- Fitness – great for learning how to tone up after losing weight
- Low Carber Forums – a huge forum and community with thousands of members discussing low carb diets