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A New Blog: Why Do I Start over and What Can You Expect? – Marnix Buijs, Freelance Magazine Writer, SEO writer, and Digital Marketer

A New Blog: Why Do I Start over and What Can You Expect?

February 14th, 2019 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “A New Blog: Why Do I Start over and What Can You Expect?”

Half a year ago, I wrote my final blog post for the Seeking Me blog. For those of you who don’t know, that was my blog on a different domain. Now, I have re-posted some on this new blog, here on my personal website.

Since the busiest period of my life is behind me now, I thought I’d start blogging again to show my writing, interests, and experiences. If you want to follow me on my journey, you should read (or at least scan) this blog post to find out what I will be writing about on here.

 

Freelancing

At first, this website came to existence to show my work to potential clients; a place where I refer them to. Now, I’m going to turn this into a website that is for (potential) clients, readers, colleagues, like-minded individuals, and everyone else who wants to know more about everything I will discuss in this article.

As a freelancer, my focus is on magazine writing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) writing, and digital marketing. I’ve worked with several publications of significant size, and I loved it which is the reason why I decided to focus more on that aspect of my freelance business.

 

Digital marketing

My passion for digital marketing has grown over the last few months because I came to the realization that a big part of companies’ marketing strategies now involves online marketing. This comes in the form of social media marketing, on-page/off-page SEO, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), influencer marketing, direct e-mail marketing, e-books and much more.

 
 
 
 
 
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To grow my knowledge into the industry of digital marketing, I started working with several agencies who specialize in SEO and all forms of content marketing. If there’s a company that’s looking to fulfill a full-time role in this industry, I would even consider it (before I wouldn’t).

Writing about topics related to digital marketing also helps me expand my knowledge since I have to do research to write these articles.

 

Health & Fitness

An area that has always been of interest to me is health and fitness. Five years ago, I started my fitness journey, and I’ve learned many things along the way (including how to get yourself injured).

In the beginning, I didn’t give an F about my health, the only thing I cared about was building muscle. After a while though, I started to develop an interest in my health as well. That’s also when I made the radical decision to become vegan, and I’ve never looked back since.

I’ve helped many people reach their fitness goals, and I even gave advice in some areas to improve their health. Mostly mental and holistic health.

Lifehack has been a super useful platform for me to grow my knowledge and personal brand within these areas (although my profile on there is outdated).

 

Food & Cooking

Who doesn’t love food, right? I mean healthy food of course – it’s okay if you eat vegan pancakes for breakfast though.

Since I moved out of my parents’ home, I’ve started to experiment with cooking, trying different combinations of food that make me feel good (and not exhausted).

As someone who is vegan, it can be challenging to balance your diet if that is not your main priority in life (which it hasn’t been for me for a while now). I’d love to dive even deeper into this subject which is why I started writing about it for several publications.

Vegan food avocado and beans

Photo by Ella Olsson from Pexels

 

Travel

Last but not least, I finally started living the digital nomad lifestyle (which we’ll get into in a second) and travel to my first city on the list. Living the digital nomad lifestyle has been a goal for me for over two years now, and I’m happy to say that I’m finally living it (although not in ideal circumstances).

 
 
 
 
 
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I’d love to step into this industry and maybe even get paid to travel somewhere – that would be awesome, right? 

I’m currently in the process of partnering with a company that’s in this industry, but I won’t get into further details. Soon, I’ll start sending out pitches to travel magazines to see if they are interested in a story written by me and go from there.

 

Personal Life

Guess where I’m living right now.

Where would you go if you had the chance to go anywhere in the world? Where would you go when you’re used to living your whole life in a country with not much sun? (hint)

Okay, here it comes.

via GIPHY

I live in….. BALI!!!!

Yeah, it’s pretty awesome if I may say so myself.

The first location on my list of 25 countries to live in the next few years of my life (or at least that’s the plan for now). See here the complete list:

List of the top 25 cheapest countries to live in as a digital nomad with a new blog

Pretty big list, huh?

By the way, I have no clue or whatsoever if it’s even possible to live in all those places, but I basically searched for countries with the lowest cost of living on Nomad List and put them on a list.

 

Random Rant

I found out that I’m quite the adventurer because I heard a lot of people talking about wanting to do the same but coming up with excuses like “it’s not the right time for me” or “I don’t know how I could do that.”

If you’re one of those people, please know this: I didn’t know shit either. I just set a goal to do this crap and figured out how to do it on the go. It’s called entrepreneurship.

“An entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down.” – Reid Hoffman

Maybe you’re not someone that likes to take risks, in which case I think you don’t really want it.

Don’t feel like you have to do something awesome like this if you don’t feel good about it. You’re you, and you should do what you think makes you happy.

Okay, enough ranting for today.

 

I feel better than ever.

When I arrived in Bali, I had not the experience I expected to have. I was overwhelmed by the number of cab drivers who were trying to pull me into their taxi after a 15-hour flight, so I fled to the toilets.

My first experience in Bali was an anxiety attack, thanks, guys!

In the toilet, I locked myself out of the crowd and took a few deep breaths.

When I felt a little better, I changed my clothes (I was still wearing a winter coat) and splashed some water in my face.

While in the men’s room I was thinking about what I was going to do and what someone on the plane told me. “You’re probably gonna get ripped off by a cab driver” is exactly what she said.

I made peace with the fact that I was going to get ripped off. Why? You may ask.

Well, if they feel that they need to rip me off, they are probably struggling with their life. My happiness is not going to change by losing any monetary amount – except for when it means I can’t buy food anymore – so if he thinks that he will feel better after ripping me off, be my guest.

Anyway, I exited the men’s room and pointed to a cab driver and said: “You! You’re going to bring me to this place, my friend!” And that’s exactly what he did.

He grabbed my suitcase and off we went to the place where I would spend two nights with a local (a man who taught me everything I needed to know).

Almost one month here, my mental health has been better than ever, and I feel more spiritually connected than I’ve felt in a long time.

“In solitude, I find my answers.” – Kristen Butler

 

The Future of This New Blog

What can you expect on this new blog?

So, what I will be writing about is all the topics related to the expertise of my work, personal experiences (like the one above), and any other subject I find relevant for you to know.

A lot of times this will be related to my mission in my current career as a writer:

“I write informative and engaging content by combining my own experience with research to help others live a healthy and fulfilled life.”

Sounds good to you? Then keep following me here, on Instagram, and Facebook!

Any questions? Feel free to shoot me an email at marnix@marnixbuijs.com, and I’ll do my best to answer it.

The 6 BEST Compound Exercises For Mass In 2019

February 3rd, 2019 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “The 6 BEST Compound Exercises For Mass In 2019”

There are basically two types of exercises in the fitness world: compound exercises and isolation exercises. Compound exercises are exercises where you move multiple joints (deadlift) while performing the movement. Isolation exercises are exercises where you only move one joint (tricep pushdown).

The reason why I’m writing this article is simple: I want you to train as effectively as possible so you can save time while working on building your best physique possible.

In this article, you’ll find the only compound exercises you need to build a fantastic physique most effectively.

P.S. There’s also a BONUS at the end!

 

Exercise #1: The Deadlift

To perform the deadlift, you have to use almost all your muscles (which is why the deadlift is called a “mass-builder”). This makes the exercise very useful (and hard). The major muscle groups you use to perform the deadlift include:

  • The glutes (ass)
  • Quadriceps (upper front legs)
  • Hamstrings (upper back of the legs)
  • Adductors (inner thighs)
  • Calves
  • Lower back
  • Upper & middle trapezius (neck and the middle of your upper back)
  • Levator Scapulae (a muscle from your jaw to your shoulder)
  • Rhomboids (inner upper back)
  • Abs & obliques (side abs)

See?

That’s a whole grocery shopping list of muscles.

If you’ve never done this exercise, I recommend you watch the video below made by the Buff Dudes before you perform the exercise.

Start without weight and increase the amount of weight little by little until you’re at the weight that you want to target. It’s okay to do sets of one rep when warming up, you don’t want to exhaust yourself.

It’s crucial that your form is correct with this exercise because if it’s not, you’ll injure yourself. This also applies to every other exercise from this list of compound exercises.

There are multiple variations on the deadlift. You can keep your legs straight or wide. Here’s one variation on the ‘normal’ deadlift which targets the hamstrings and hips more than the quadriceps, it’s called the sumo deadlift.

Tip: Make sure you have a straight back throughout the movement. If you’re not able to, drop the weight. Be very careful with your lower back. You might mess up your lower back discs if you’re not careful enough.

 

Exercise #2: The Squat

The squat is the best exercise overall and while everyone knows that, they don’t like to do it.

It’s the best exercise for the legs EVER.

Again, if you never performed this exercise, here’s a video:

It’s the same here as with the deadlift. The form is more important than weight.

The muscles you’re targeting with the squat are

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Hips
  • Abdominals (secondary)
  • Back (secondary)

As with the deadlift, there are also variations on the ‘normal’ back squat which target the hamstrings and hips more. The front squat focuses more on the quadriceps. Here’s a video on how to do the front squat:

Tip: Ask someone to film or watch you because you never really see how you perform the exercise. If someone checks on you, you’re sure you’re doing the exercise well. This way you’ll prevent injuries from happening.

 

Exercise #3: The (Incline) Bench Press

The chest exercise all men like to do, the bench press. It’s one of the best chest exercises for overall chest development and one of the best compound exercises (which is why it made it to this list).

While this exercise targets the chest, it’s also one of the best tricep exercises.

This exercise targets

  • The pectoral muscles (upper and lower chest)
  • Front shoulders (secondary)
  • Triceps (secondary)

As with all compound exercises I recommend you start with the bar without weight. If you’ve never performed this exercise, you should watch this video – again, from the Buff Dudes – on how to perform the bench press:

With the bench press, there are a lot of variations. Incline, flat and decline will target different portions of the chest.

When doing the incline bench press make sure you stay in the 15 – 45-degree angle with the bench. If you feel it too much in your shoulder, lower the bench.

Find your sweet spot. 

For decline bench presses, -15 degree is more than enough, I don’t recommend you go below that.

If you feel like one side of your chest is bigger than the other (more than is normal), you should switch to dumbbells and train with those for a while.

Tip: When you’re doing three sets of bench press, make sure to do at least one sets of face pulls or another rear delt exercise. This will help you keep a healthy posture and prevent front shoulder injuries.

And believe me, you don’t want to screw up your shoulders.

I did, and guess why it happened. My ego got too big. I put on too much weight.

I didn’t perform the exercise with proper form.

Goodbye shoulders.

via GIPHY

Even now I feel them sometimes because they’re still very vulnerable.

Just making sure you don’t mess them up too. 😉

 

Exercise #4: The Pull-Up

The compound exercise all military personnel must do: the pull-up.

This is one of the best back exercises.

That’s why this exercise is called ‘The King Of Back Development.’

It’s about pulling your own weight up, lowering it and pulling it up again (excellent job explaining Marnix).

So, the muscles you’re targeting with this exercise are

  • The back muscles
  • The biceps
  • The rear delt

This is the best exercise to grow your wings (lats) as it focuses on the latissimus dorsi.

The lats will create the V-shape in the back. Basically, it makes your upper back wider.

This exercise shouldn’t sound very complicated but to make sure you do it right, here’s a video to help you:

Also, when you’re doing the pull up for the first time, you may not even be able to do it.

That’s why, with this exercise, it might be best for you to start with an assisted pull up. You have machines for this, but you could also use a band to put your legs on.

The pull up is actually the first exercise I ever did. When I started working out as a 15-year-old little guy, I thought pull-ups would be the way to get big.

So, I started doing them every day.

First I could only do a couple. But after two months I was able to do one-arm pull-ups ten times in a row like it was nothing.

It felt great, but when you’re only doing pull-ups, only your back and bicep muscles grow. So, after two months, I looked like a little, partial Arnold Schwarzenegger…

Tip: Make sure your workout plan focuses on all muscles without neglecting any muscle. This way you’ll have a proportionate physique, and your legs won’t look like spaghetti.

 

Exercise #5: The Row

No, not rowing like rowing a canoe. Rowing with a barbell (or dumbbell) while you bent over the bar.

Yeah, clear instructions, right? Here’s a video on how to perform the row correctly:

This exercise targets

  • The back muscles
  • The biceps
  • The rear delt

But there’s one crucial difference from the pull-up, and that’s the difference in the purpose of the exercise. These compound exercises together are the best back exercises to do for overall back development.

With the pull-up, you target the muscles (lats) that will make your back wider. With the row, you target the muscles (rhomboids) that will make your back thicker.

There are so many variations of the row. You could switch to dumbbells or cables instead of barbells. You can perform them lying down or on a machine.

See here are ALL the possible row variations:

Tip: Try to focus on pulling back your elbows instead of your hands. This way you’re making sure you really activate your back instead of your biceps and forearms.

 

Exercise #6: The Overhead Press

Last but not least, the overhead press. Another press movement but now for the shoulders.

This is the exercise you should be most careful with because, as I said earlier, your delts are a very sensitive group of muscles. And you don’t want to mess them up.

Here’s how to perform the movement with the correct form:

The overhead press targets

  • The delts (primarily)
  • The triceps (secondarily)

This is an essential exercise to do if you’re training for that V-shape from the back.

This exercise also has variations with cables or dumbbells. You can also choose between sitting down or standing up. Standing up requires a bit of stability and strength in the abdominals too.

To figure out which kind of shoulder press is best for you, watch this video of Jeff:

Tip: Don’t go too heavy on this exercise, your shoulders are a small muscle group like the biceps. They should be trained with a lot of caution. Again, I don’t want you to mess up your shoulders.

 

An Extra Benefit Of Compound Exercises

While these compound exercises all focus on specific muscle groups, they also target the abdominal muscles.

This is why I rarely train my abs separately.

So, don’t feel like you have to train your abs separately but if you still want to do it, here are the two best ab exercises:

 

The BONUS: The 3-Day Workout Routine

Since I wanted to give you something you could take action on, I decided to design a simple workout routine with these compound exercises for you.

Now, a little disclaimer here. I’m not a personal trainer, but I have designed a lot of workout routines for friends and for myself. In my five years of experience of trial and error with fitness & bodybuilding, I now feel like I know what works and what doesn’t.

I also know how to mess up your shoulders, that’s why I don’t want you to do it.

I designed a 3-day a week workout routine for you, so it’s not too big of a step, but you’re still getting the results you want. The most important things with this workout routine are the following three principles:

  • Consistency, if you’re training 1 week and skip the next, you have to start all over again. So, even though you might miss a day, you may be able to do it the next day. Don’t give up when you fall down, get right back up!
  • Patience, if you want results FAST, you need to use steroids. If you’re like me and you don’t want to use steroids, be patient, results will come. First focus on progression, the results will come later.
  • Recovery, if you’re training seriously, you need a lot of recovery. This means taking at least 1 day off in between workouts (as you will see in the workout routine) and making sure you sleep well (7-9 hours a night).

Let’s get into it!

 

The Workout Routine

These are all guidelines, if you want to do a variation of an exercise or add an isolation exercise, feel free to do so. Experiment with it and do what feels best. This is just a straightforward and basic workout routine for those who want to try it out.

Depending on your goals you should do the following amount of sets and reps with matching rest times:

  • Strength – 4-8 sets of 2-6 reps, taking 3-5 min of rest in between sets.
  • Muscle building – 2-4 sets of 6-12 reps, taking 1-2 min of rest in between sets.
  • Conditioning – 2-3 sets of 12-20 reps, taking 30-60 sec of rest in between sets.

*There’s one exception to this, for the deadlift 1 set is enough as it costs the most amount of energy and uses almost every muscle in your body.

 

Day 1: Monday

Barbell Back Squat

The (Incline) Bench Press

The Row

 

Day 2: Tuesday

Rest or cardio

 

Day 3: Wednesday

Barbell Deadlift*

Pull Up

Overhead Press

 

Day 4: Thursday

Rest or cardio

 

Day 5: Friday

Barbell Back Squat

The Overhead Press

The Row

 

Day 6 & 7: Saturday & Sunday

Rest or cardio

 

Other guidelines

Before going into any exercise make sure to warm up your body by doing any light form of cardio for 5-10 min.

When performing heavy sets, don’t use your training weight immediately. Build up slowly by first using the bar without weights, then add weight little by little. Don’t count the reps while warming up, just focus on the form and getting the blood flowing through the muscles. You shouldn’t be tired after a warm-up set, so don’t go too hard.

If you can do all the sets on the high end of the rep range you’re aiming for, increase the weight with as little of an increase as possible.

Say, I deadlift 200 pounds, and I’m able to do that for 12 reps while my focus is building muscle. This means I should increase this amount with the littlest weight possible. If that’s with 5-pound plates, then I’ll have to do 210 pounds next time.

For those who failed math: When you’re using a barbell, both sides should have the same amount of weight, that’s why the 10 pounds increase.

Use the workout routine and go work out!

How To Start A Vegan Diet (Vegan Food List INCLUDED)

January 24th, 2019 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “How To Start A Vegan Diet (Vegan Food List INCLUDED)”

Sunday I was at a birthday party of my nephew and niece when everybody started asking me how to start a vegan diet. They obviously knew that I had become vegan, but I never thought of it as a big deal.

So, I thought: “Maybe more people want to know how to start a vegan diet.” That was an excellent topic for a blog post, and it fits this blog nicely.

Today, you will learn everything about how to start a vegan diet. Get ready to read this article in the following 12 minutes if you want to know all about it.

How To Start A Vegan Diet

When I decided to become a vegan a couple of months ago, I had it on my list for 2018 for a while. But then I thought: “What the hell, why not start now?!” So, that’s exactly what I did.

I’m still figuring things out and trying to optimize my diet (with a diet I mean every piece of food you consume, not a strict regime or anything). In the process of finding this out for myself, I will share it with those who are interested in becoming vegan as well.

Naturally, we should start with the reasons why you would want to become vegan. If you don’t have a reason to do it, you won’t do it at all. Simple as that.

Why should you become vegan?

This is not about me converting you to a vegan, I chose to become vegan but if you think being a vegetarian is already hard enough or you’re not ready to give up meat, be my guest.

I’m not stopping you, do whatever the hell you want. But, you’re reading this which means you either are interested in veganism, becoming vegan or you’re a struggling vegan. It doesn’t matter for which reason you’ve come to this article; I’ll cover all the basics here.

So, my reasons to become vegan were the following:

  • I wanted to feel closer to nature and eating a plant-based diet would exactly do that.
  • Animal slaughter to me is as bad as men slaughter. Animals live too, and I think it’s egoistic for us to lock up and slaughter animals while nature offers us everything we need.
  • I believe that a vegan lifestyle is healthier than eating lots of meat. There’s a lot of contradicting research on this, but you can find the most significant study about this in the book The China Study*.

Your reasons can be related or completely something else. Whatever you do, if you want to become vegan, you will have to have at least one reason why you want it.

What does it mean to be vegan?

For those of you who don’t know by now, being vegan means eating no products related to animals at all. No meat, no cow milk, no cheese (from animal products) and no honey. It also means not using any products for cleaning or clothes with animal products in it. In this article on how to start a vegan diet, however, we’ll only focus on the diet aspect of becoming vegan.

How To Start A Vegan Diet Step-By-Step

Down below we’ll start the process you can take to become vegan. I did it with an all-or-nothing approach but for most people, this doesn’t work, and it isn’t the best option either.

Learning to read labels

The most important aspect, especially in the beginning, is reading labels. You can check everything you eat first before you even start becoming vegan. This makes you much more conscious of everything you’re consuming, and you might learn a thing or two.

There are usually two kinds of labels on a product. The first one is the basic list of the number of carbs (carbohydrates), proteins and fats are in a product. These macronutrients are divided into micronutrients which don’t matter at this point. That complete list usually has a title ‘Nutrition Facts’ above it.

What does matter though is the second list which is under the bold letters ‘Ingredients’. This list consists of every product that’s in it, and when that product is animal-related, you can’t eat it as a vegan. Sometimes they also mention it below all the ingredients in bold letters to make it easier for you. In that case, they will say something along the lines of: “Contains milk and wheat ingredients.”

Include more vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts

A vegan diet isn’t called a plant-based diet for fun; it actually is all about plants. This naturally means that you should include more greens and fruits in your diet. You can do this by having a green smoothie first thing in the morning, and instead of making carbs the half of your plate, make veggies half of your plate.

You can eat fruits and nuts throughout the day for more sustainable energy. Consider eating a handful of almonds a snack, as well as a banana. They have many health benefits[1, 2].

Excluding meat

When you start your process of becoming vegan, the first step should be to minimize meat and cut it out entirely. You can do this by slowly replacing meat with plant-based protein sources (you will find these in the vegan food list down below).

You might also want to start supplementing with vitamin D and vitamin B12 when you start cutting out meat. Make sure that these supplements do come from plant-based sources though ;).

Excluding dairy

The next step, when you’ve cut out all the meat from your diet, is to exclude the dairy products from your diet.If you drink a lot of milk, substitute this with water or almond/rice/soy milk.

There are also vegan meat substitutes and substitutes for basically everything that is not vegan. But try to eat a plant-based diet without these substitutes, it will only make it easier in the long run.

Build vegan habits

This process of becoming vegan can take a lot of time, and you should use that time to establish healthy habits that will make your life easier.

Knowing how to start a vegan diet is not enough, you have to continue the vegan diet if you really want to make this world a better place. First of all, you should continue to check food labelsto make sure that everything you eat actually is vegan.

After that, you can build other habits too, like:

Planning meals in advance, you can simply look at what you eat on a day and write it down to make it easier.

You can also prepare your meals in advance, but you should take the preservability in mind when doing this.

If you’re still not sure about becoming vegan, commit to it for seven days straight and turn it into a vegan challenge.

When you’re ready to become vegan, commit to it by publicly declaring you’re vegan. Stating it publicly will hold you accountable for staying vegan. You can even do it together with friends and/or family to keep each other accountable.

Exercise regularly, this doesn’t mean working out like a powerlifter for two hours a day, but a form of exercise. This can be jogging for 20 minutes in the morning or doing yoga, whatever you like.

Do a regular health check up to see if you have deficiencies you.

How To Stay Healthy While Becoming Vegan

Now you know how to start a vegan diet, you should know that there are some risks involved if you don’t know what you’re doing (like me). Every diet has its lack of nutrients, but when you become vegan, these deficiencies can be easily determined. So, to stay healthy while becoming vegan, you should know where to keep track of.

If you really want to know how to start a vegan diet, you should also know how to stay healthy while becoming vegan.

Getting enough nutrition in

With enough nutrition, I mean getting in enough calories, carbs, protein, and fats. This depends on many factors; you can calculate your needs here.

Whether you want to lose, maintain or gain weight, it’s useful to know exactly how much you need to get in your body. This doesn’t have to be precise, but I would advise you to track your food intake for a whole week, so you have a clear picture of what you manage to get in.

Once you know what you’re getting in, you can adjust your diet and keep rotating about six mealsto make it simpler to measure. When your knowledge of nutrition expands by diving deeper into the subject, you can improvise more instead of eating almost the same meals.

A common misconception about vegans is that they don’t get enough protein. The thing is, you only need around 50 grams of protein per day (if your body consumes everything). If you’re training intensively you should consume more. But even when you need more protein, Mother Nature offers more than enough protein sources.

Necessary supplementation

When you’re a vegan, you don’t get vitamins and nutrients from meat, fish, and dairy anymore (duh). This means that you will have to compensate for this with supplementation[3]. The most important nutrients you should supplement with on a vegan diet are vitamin Dvitamin B12 (or loads of sun), and long-chain omega-3s*.

Additional supplements you might need:

You could also opt for a complete multi-vitamin, which is also a good option. The only problem with multi-vitamins is that most of them have way too much of a particular vitamin in it (sometimes even up to 14,000% of the recommended daily intake).

Now, you may think that this can only be a good thing, but it’s not. Your kidneys and liver need to process all these nutrients, and if you consume too much of a particular vitamin, your kidneys and liver won’t be happy. And in the long term, this can lead to severe diseases.

Note:I was looking for the perfect vitamin supplements for iodine, iron, zinc and a multi-vitamin. But it’s tough to find one that has no serious long-term consequences. The vitamin supplements I linked to with vitamin D[4], B12[5], omega-3s[6], and calcium[7] are safe to use based on research.

Tips to stay healthy

  • Try to avoid pasta, bread, and other refined sugars. Try to consume more greens, fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grain foods.
  • Limit the number of meat substitutes; they are highly processed food sources.
  • Plan for social events like birthdays. Are you just going to eat only the things that are vegan or are you going to take meals with you?
  • Listen to your body and look for ways to improve. If you feel tired or depressed due to the diet switch, simply look it up on the internet, and it will give you the answers you need.
  • Get enough exercise and sleep in every day. Enough sleep can differ from person to person, but the usual advice is 7 – 9 hours a night. The minimum amount of exercise I recommend is 20 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day.
  • Drink water throughout the day; hydration is vital.

Helpful resources

Below, I’ve listed some websites and resources for you to do your own research. I’ve made it easier for you by covering these basics, but you’ll have to do some work for yourself if you’re really serious about this.

By the way, don’t just assume things people say are right, check up on their sources and do your own research. Here you have the resources you need:

Vegan Food List

Now that you know how to start a vegan diet and how to stay healthy on a vegan diet, you need to know what exactly you can eat. Down below, I’ve compiled a vegan food list with the best food sources for every vegan. Make sure you buy the version of the product that’s closest to its natural form, usually called ‘organic’ or ‘whole (grains)’ in supermarket terms.

Carbs

  • All vegetables: broccoli, kale, spinach, collards, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers, tomatoes, etc.
  • Fruits: banana, pineapple, papaya, melons, grapes, mangos, oranges, berries (especially blueberries), etc.
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Corn
  • Quinoa
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole grain bread
  • Milk from soy, rice or almonds
  • Yogurt from soy, rice or almonds
  • Cheese from soy, rice or almonds

Protein

  • Seitan(wheat meat)
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Edamame
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney beans
  • Black beans
  • Hempseed
  • Green peas
  • Spirulina
  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • Ezekiel bread
  • Soy milk
  • Oats and oatmeal
  • Wild rice
  • Chia seeds, ground linseed, ground flaxseed, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds
  • Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, cashew nuts, brazil nuts (as raw as possible) and nut butter
  • Artichokes
  • Veggies

Fats

  • Avocados
  • Nuts mentioned above and nut butter
  • Seeds discussed above and seed butter
  • Olives and olive oil
  • (Very) Dark chocolate (you have to check every dark chocolate bar as most of them will contain dairy)
  • Tofu
  • Edamame
  • Tahini
  • Coconut and coconut oil
  • Corn
  • Veggies

As you can see, some foods are on multiple lists; you should prioritize these foods. To have a complete diet means implementing as many variations as possible. If you choose at least one ingredient from each list for one meal, you will have enough variety if you pick for every meal other combinations. Then search for a good recipe for these foods and voila, you have your meals.

It’s fun and all to become this healthy vegan person, but you’re also human. So, you’ll have your cravings and needs for snacks — at least, I know I do. This doesn’t mean that you should be eating these snacks every day, but once in a while, a cheat meal should be allowed. It may even help your metabolism and motivation to continue.

Vegan snacks

Before I get into these snacks, I want to point out that these aren’t healthy at all. The snacks you’ll find below are unhealthy vegan snacks, just to get lost in from time to time. You still have to check the labels though because some variations might include non-vegan products.

  • Oreos (it might have been in cross contact with milk, but that’s true for some other vegan products too)
  • Lay’s Potato Chips (barbecue and classic)
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Pringles (original only)
  • Haribo: Sour Rainbow Strips, Sour Rainbow Twists
  • Skittles
  • Jelly Tots

I hope you can enjoy these snacks (with moderation)!

What You Learned In How To Start A Vegan Diet

In this article, you learned how to start a vegan diet, how to stay healthy while becoming vegan and which foods are the best sources for your nutritional needs. And you also learned which foods to choose when you want to cheat.

Good luck with starting your vegan lifestyle, testing it out or thinking about it. It is one way to make this world a better place, and now you can tell others how to start a vegan diet too.

If you liked my article on how to start a vegan diet, feel free to share it!

References

1: Healthline – 11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Bananas
2: Healthline – 9 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Almonds
3: Healthline – 7 Supplements You Need on a Vegan Diet
4: Healthline – How Much Vitamin D Should You Take For Optimal Health?
5: Mayo Clinic – Vitamin B-12
6: Healthline – How Much Omega-3 Should You Take Per Day?
7: UT Southwestern Medical Center – How much calcium is too much?

*Every product that has this mark is a product I’m affiliated with. This means that I will get a commission if you buy this product through my link. This will, however, not change the price you pay for it.

An Introduction to the Ketogenic Diet written by Freelance health and fitness writer Marnix Buijs

An Introduction to the Ketogenic Diet

October 23rd, 2018 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “An Introduction to the Ketogenic Diet”

If you’re very up-to-date with the health trends in this age, you would know something about the ketogenic diet, or at least the existence of such a thing.

All over the world are keto fans who live and breathe this diet. Some people even start coaching others to get the same results as they had with the ketogenic diet. Like Jenni who lost 50 lbs in 3 months!

But, what is the ketogenic diet and why are so many people obsessed with it? We will answer those questions in this introduction to the ketogenic diet.

 

What is The Ketogenic Diet

Before we dive deeper into the subject and find out why so many people get amazing results with this diet, we have to know what we’re dealing with.

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet that is often used to lose weight, cure epilepsy and sharpen mental alertness. The main purpose of the ketogenic diet is to turn the body’s primary fuel source to fats (instead of carbs). One achieves this goal by increasing the fat intake significantly and reducing the carbohydrate intake to a very low level.

It’s a difficult regime to understand and get into fully, but the main principle is to keep the fat intake high while the carb intake should be minimal. In combination with a low caloric intake overall, you will successfully achieve the goals the ketogenic diet aims to achieve.

You will put your body into ketosis when you follow a ketogenic (see where the name comes from?) diet. Ketosis is a metabolic state that allows your body to burn fat more efficiently for energy.

 

Different variations of the ketogenic diet

While there is a main ketogenic diet, it also has some variations to fit a certain type of person. Below you will read about these four different types of keto diets.

  • SKD (Standard Ketogenic Diet): The most basic form of the ketogenic diet usually consists of 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs.
  • High-protein Ketogenic Diet: Another variation of the keto diet that is popular is the high-protein variant, which is more useful for active people. The ratio here is 60 percent fat, 35 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs.
  • CKD (Cyclical Ketogenic Diet): This variant of the keto diet allows for carb loading after some time on low carbs. An example is to go low-carb for three days and then one day higher carb.
  • TKD (Targeted Ketogenic Diet): The targeted variant of the keto diet allows you to add carbs around workouts. This makes it a more suitable variant for athletes.

 

The SKD and high-protein variant are the most researched diets. Athletes or fitness fanatics usually use the others. So, in the following paragraphs, we’ll continue with the SKD in mind.

 

Why People Swear by The Ketogenic Diet

There is a trend going on for a while now of success stories from people who’ve successfully lost an insane amount of weight by making a change in their diet and/or lifestyle.

This is the same for the ketogenic diet where lots of people have seen amazing results. The keto diet even has its own popular hashtags on social media like #ketofam and #ketotransformation.

People who are on a ketogenic diet don’t do it for a period but make it their lifestyle. Just like vegans and vegetarians, you also have people who love the keto diet.

 

A scientific explanation of the ketogenic diet

Now, the most interesting part of the ketogenic diet is the science behind it of course. You can believe people by their word but you can never fully know how people did it and to check out the keto diet with science only makes sense.

The main benefits the ketogenic claims to have is losing weight easier, stop or reduce diabetes, lower risks of cancer, heart disease, and many other diseases.

A study found that people on a ketogenic diet lost three times more weight than those on a diet recommended by Diabetes UK. Excess fat is often linked to type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and prediabetes which means that this also helps prevent/cure these illnesses.

Other related illnesses that often come from an excess of fat and high cholesterol levels are heart disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, and acne.

Besides the losing weight stuff, the keto diet also contributes to:

 

So, now you know why so many people feel great while there are on a ketogenic diet. It’s not just bogus. It’s backed by science.

 

The Do’s and Don’ts on a Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet knows many food restrictions to make the diet as effective as possible. Foods you can consume include (but are not limited to):

  • Red meat
  • Steak
  • Ham
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Shrimp
  • Eggs
  • Butter and cream (preferably grass-fed)
  • Unprocessed cheese
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Low-carb veggies
  • Healthy herbs and spices like salt and pepper

 

What would be the list if you wouldn’t know which foods you should avoid, right? Well, below you will find the foods you should avoid:

  • Every type of sugary food
  • Grains or starches like bread and pasta
  • Fruit, except small amounts of berries
  • Beans and legumes
  • Sugar-free foods (so no diet cokes)
  • Alcohol
  • Unhealthy fats like mayonnaise
  • Some sauces like ketchup
  • Low-fat products (highly processed)
  • High-carb vegetables like potatoes

 

Besides avoiding these foods, people who are on a ketogenic diet often make mistakes that they can easily avoid.

The most common mistake among them all is that they don’t allow their body to adapt to the keto diet before stopping it altogether. When you try the ketogenic diet, you should allow a transition period of six weeks before you really start to see the benefits.

You will have to go through something they call the “keto flu,” but that shouldn’t be a problem as long as you’re properly hydrated and optimize your electrolyte intake.

Once your body is adjusted to the keto diet, and you still feel bad, and your overall performance in your daily life is bad you can then decide to stop it. You shouldn’t force the keto diet after that point because as mentioned before, the keto diet is not for everyone, and that’s okay.

 

Tips for Getting Started With a Ketogenic Diet

If you decide to try the keto diet yourself, you should take note of the following tips to get started the right way. First of all, the problem with every diet is that it’s hard to maintain in the beginning, you will be craving lots of foods when you start. That’s why you should make it as easy as possible for yourself to keep following this diet.

Before you’re eating out, you should have a plan on how to stick to your diet while eating out. Check the menu before you go there, order appetizers instead or simply ask the server to switch up the meal according to your wishes.

While the ketogenic diet will put you in ketosis which increases your fat loss, if fat loss is your main goal, you should also try additional methods. The best way to lose fat even faster is by working out (for strength) and cardio.

The keto diet is awesome, but as I stated earlier, it has some side effects. You shouldn’t be panicking when on the keto diet so I will list some side effects you may encounter and how to deal with them.

When your body is adapting to the keto diet, you will have to deal with the “keto flu” mentioned earlier. You will feel hungry, have sleep issues, poor energy, nausea, digestive discomfort, poor mental function and decreased performance.

To minimize these side effects you can try to transition slowly into the keto diet by implementing a regular low-carb diet for the first few weeks. Also, avoid caloric restrictions at this point (unless you’re consuming over 3,000 calories per day), the keto diet will cause weight loss even without the caloric restriction.

Your body will also be out of balance for a while which is why it helps to take essential supplements like sodium (3,000–4,000 mg per day), potassium (1,000 mg per day) and magnesium (300 mg magnesium per day).

 

How to set up your own keto diet

When you’re starting with a keto diet, you will have to determine which variant you’re going to use, how many calories you need and which macros (fats, protein, and carbs) you need to hit.

To determine your daily caloric need, simply take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by 10-14. Women should stick to the lower end while men should stick to the higher end.

For example, a 250lb female should consume 2,500 calories per day to lose fat. If this person uses the SKD, 2,500*0.75 = 1875 calories should consist of fat. This would mean 1875/9* = 208 grams of healthy fats.

2,500*0.20 = 500 calories should consist of protein which is 500/4 = 125 grams of protein. 2,500*0.05 = 125 calories should consist of carbs which is 125/4 = 31 grams of carbs.

So, this would mean:

Calorie intake: 2,500 per day

Fat intake: 208 grams per day

Protein intake: 125 grams per day

Carb intake: 31 grams per day

Choose foods from the foods list, and you can start to prep your meals!

*For your information: 1 gram of protein or carbs = 4 calories, 1 gram of fat = 9 calories.

 

A Simple Meal to get a Taste of the Ketogenic Diet

If you tried everything, but you haven’t tried the keto diet for fat loss yet, try it today by preparing the following meal for your first taste of the ketogenic diet. While I said that a ketogenic diet is not for everyone, I think at least everyone has to give it a try.

The most simple meal would be the popular breakfast:

Avocado, Scrambled Eggs and Lettuce Keto Diet Keto Breakfast in the post An Introduction to the Ketogenic diet

Scrambled eggs in butter on a bed of lettuce topped with avocado

Make it yourself and wake up with an amazing taste of the keto diet! Let me know down below what your experience is/was with the ketogenic diet.

Do you need help creating content like this or other content related to health and fitness? Contact me and I’ll see what I can do for you! Also, if you have any questions, I’d love to answer them via my email: marnix@marnixbuijs.com.