Key strategies for staying focused on your goal
Tip 1 – Eat Fat
Don’t fear the fat! Eat (and enjoy) healthy fats such as avocados, eggs, coconut oil, avocado oil, olives, olive oil, and grass-fed butter. Eat fat to satiety. Fat is very satisfying and can keep you from feeling hungry for long periods of time. Most of your carbohydrates should come from leafy green vegetables or other low carb veggies. Protein should be moderate. This is not a high protein eating plan. If you want to figure out how much of each macro to eat you can check out this article: Calculate your macros.
Tip 2 – Commit
Go all in. Once you decide you want to do the keto way of eating you need to commit. Don’t do this half-hearted. When people “sort of” do keto they don’t get into full ketosis and they don’t stick with it long enough to understand the glory of being fat adapted. Make a decision and stick with it. It can help to journal why you are doing this. Write down all the things you hope to change by being successful. You are going to run into challenges with food temptations, family and friends who may not understand this way of eating, and physicians that are still stuck thinking that the standard American diet is best for you. If you are not committed you will not be able to withstand the challenges that come your way. You can read more about the day I decided that I was all in here. The other difficulty you may face is known as the keto flu. This may happen as your body detoxes from all the carbs and processed foods you’ve been eating and as your electrolytes shift. Read more about electrolytes and supplements that will help in #9 below.
Tip 3 – Trust the process
Keto is not a quick fix. There will be ups and downs. You will have plateaus. Your body works hard to stabilize your weight. There are times where you will not lose weight even though you are sticking with the program. Hang tough. Don’t give up. Don’t compare yourself with anyone else’s progress. Each person is different. Our metabolisms are different and we will each respond differently.
Tip 4 – Keep it simple – Just like any nutrition plan there are lots of options for eating a keto type lifestyle. In the beginning I highly recommend that you keep it simple. It is easy to scroll the internet or check out multiple Pinterest boards and see all sorts of recipes with all sorts of specialty ingredients. People tend to get overwhelmed with too much information and it seems like such a pain to run around finding grocery items that your store may not carry. Here is a good starting suggestion:
Breakfast: eggs cooked in butter, sautéed spinach or other leafy greens, bacon
Lunch: chicken or tuna mixed with mayo (check labels to make sure there’s no sugar in the mayo), celery with almond butter, avocado
Dinner: burger patty with bacon and cheese, green salad with a higher fat dressing.
Snacks: (only if you are actually hungry) avocado, nuts (watch portion sizes), pepperoni or salami and cheese.
Tip 5 – Plan Ahead Food prep is one of the keys to success in any nutrition plan. For keto it’s especially important. I suggest that you have a food prep day. I only spend about 1 hour doing food prep and it makes my work week so much easier. For the meal suggestions in Tip 4 above you could make a big batch of chicken or tuna salad that would be divided into daily servings. Take a pound of ground beef or other ground meat and make 4 or 5 burger patties ahead of time. Make a big salad that you can divide into daily servings. Measure out approximately 1 ounce of nuts into separate baggies to just grab and go.
Tip 6 – Try New Foods When you clean up your diet you will find that there are things you miss. Keep an open mind and try new foods. You may just find that there are some amazing foods out there that fit in your nutrition plan and taste delicious. I love potatoes but that is one food I’ve had to give up. It’s worth it but sometimes I miss it. I’ve learned that cooked radishes don’t taste like radishes anymore. They taste very similar to potatoes.You can slice them and fry them up with your eggs. You can put them in your stew. So delicious and so unexpected. There are also many dishes using cauliflower as a substitute for potatoes. I find that they don’t exactly replicate potatoes but they are delicious as a “potato” salad.
Tip 7 – Don’t Cheat Seriously. I can’t emphasize this enough. You can do this. Once you are in ketosis you don’t want to sacrifice your progress for a crummy donut. Really. You don’t. You only think you do. I encourage you to use this experience to evaluate your relationship with food. We’ve had a lifetime of building bad habits and using food for celebration, to numb our feelings, to fix our boredom, etc. Believe me, you will find new power when you learn to sit in the discomfort of wanting to cheat and overcoming it.
Tip 8 – Supplement When you are in ketosis you tend to lose more water and electrolytes. An important part of feeling good and staying healthy in the keto way of life is supplements. Make sure you drink plenty of water. You will need extra sodium, magnesium and potassium. I get my sodium from salt in my food and I also eat extra Himalayan Pink Salt. I also eat pickles and sometimes drink pickle juice out of the jar (try it, it’s good). I take magnesium and potassium supplements. I also enjoy a packet of Jigsaw electrolyte powder in my water. It’s delicious and adds magnesium and potassium and some other electrolyes. I use the lemon-lime version.
Tip 9 – Be Accountable This is another important part in being successful with sticking with the nutrition plan. There are so many situations where you will need people that understand what you’re doing and who will encourage you to stay strong. You can join a local group or a group on Facebook or some other online group. I have a group that’s not keto specific but is designed to support anyone trying to make changes in their nutrition for better health. Feel free to join us there:
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