The Keto eating plan is one of the most popular diets right now. It works by restricting your sugars and carbs in order to cause your body to go into a state of ketosis. When in ketosis, your body relies more on fat stores to get the energy it needs, instead of the simple sugars and carbs it has been using.
This means two things for you. The first is that you can lose significant amounts of weight as your body begins depleting fat stores. The second is that this eating plan is going to mean quite a change from the typical North American diet. Big changes aren’t always easy, but our tips can help you find success on the keto diet.
10 Success Tips for Keto Diet Results
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1. Prepare your home for Keto success.
When you’re beginning a new eating plan, it’s really important to get organized for it. Get rid of the forbidden foods and stock your kitchen with Keto-friendly options. If you’re a “snack stasher”, don’t forget to clear out those spots too – your purse, your bedside table, the back of the freezer where you hide ice cream from the kids.
Pro tip: Hang up a dry erase board on your fridge. Make note of Keto-approved simple meal and snack ideas that you have on hand. When you’re hungry, it’s so easy to forget what you have available (or with a new eating plan, what you’re allowed to eat). Grabbing whatever you can find from a fast food restaurant or convenience store can lead you down the wrong path.
2. Plan ahead.
Now is the time to embrace meal planning. It’s a great idea anyway but even more so when you’re beginning a new way of eating. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time as much as possible. This will help you avoid that last minute “there’s nothing to eat” feeling and help you with your grocery list as well.
Need help with meal planning? Here is an amazing resource to teach you how to meal plan.
Pro tip: Aiming for meals that are a maximum of 5 grams of carbs each is a great way to stay on track and balance your carb intake throughout the day.
3. Learn your portion sizes.
Over time, you’ll get a feel for the proper portion sizes but in the meantime, a kitchen scale and a good selection of measuring cups and spoons is a great way to ensure that you’re not overeating.
Pro tip: Pick up some containers from the dollar store and measure out servings of food now so you don’t have to do this when you’re feeling hangry and looking for something to eat. A good idea is to put together snack portions that are 1 gram of carbs or less. It makes it so much easier to grab and go without exceeding your daily carb limit. These snacks could include things like deli meat, hardboiled eggs (or even deviled eggs), cubes of cheese, yogurt (you could even turn some into dip with simple seasonings), raw vegetables for crunching or even dipping in your yogurt dip.
4. Use a daily food journal.
Record your food intake in a daily journal. This is not only a great way to make sure you’re on track for success but is a fantastic motivator as well. If you’re having a hard time sticking to your eating plan, just look back over some of your previous successful days.
Pro tip: Make sure to record things that went well for you as well as any problems you might be having that day. Sometimes a pattern will emerge, giving you some insight. Perhaps you notice that every Monday you end up indulging in a sugary snack. Is there something else that happens on Mondays? Once you make the connection, you can plan ahead for it. Instead of that sugary snack, you could plan to have one of your favorite Keto-friendly treats that day!
5. Find a Keto buddy.
It’s so important to have support when you’re embracing a new way of eating. This could be a family member or a friend who is willing to take part in a Keto eating plan with you. Cheer each other on, share your stumbling blocks and successes, and give each other tips and recipe ideas!
Pro tip: No one available nearby? Try joining a Keto support group on Facebook! You can share recipes and tips and check in for accountability.
6. Look for Keto-friendly alternatives when eating out.
Many people find it fairly easy to get into the swing of this new eating plan when cooking for themselves at home. It’s eating out that becomes an issue. If you’re heading to a restaurant, especially one that’s new to you, look up the menu online. Get an idea of meal possibilities before you go so you’re not overwhelmed once you get there.
Don’t be afraid to ask for minor changes to your meal. Ask your server to bring the meat without the sauce, see if you can substitute extra broccoli and cauliflower for the potatoes, or ask for your burger without a bun.
Pro tip: If there are any restaurants you like to eat at on a regular basis, write down some meal options on an index card. Pop that into your purse as a handy resource you can refer to next time you eat out.
7. Manage your stress levels.
Stress can interfere with the effectiveness of a Ketogenic eating plan. You need to get enough sleep, get in some physical activity every day, and find some enjoyable ways to reduce your stress. Meditation, warm baths, massage, outings with friends, hobbies and other leisure activities are all good ways to deal with your stress.
Pro tip: Positive affirmations at the beginning and end of each day can be calming.
8. Find those yummy Keto recipes and use them.
A Ketogenic diet is so popular right now and there are tons of websites with some delicious Keto recipes out there. You’ll find lots of them on Pinterest. All you have to do is search. Gathering up a file of yummy-sounding Keto-friendly recipes is a great way to stay motivated and keep you on your eating plan.
Pro tip: Have a favorite dish that isn’t Keto-approved? Look for a Keto version of it. Continuing to eat the adapted versions of your favorites can help keep you from feeling deprived.
9. Be sure you’re eating enough fiber and fat.
Many of us get the majority of our fiber from high carb foods like whole grains making it a challenge to get enough on a keto plan. It’s still possible to get the fiber you need if you are sure to get some of your carbs from non-starchy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage.
When it comes to fat, this is not the time to purchase low-fat options. Eating enough fat is essential in helping to increase your levels of ketones. They can also help give you that full, satisfied feeling that prevents overeating.
Pro tip: Remember that most non-starchy vegetables are also very low in calories as well as carbs, making them a great choice for snacking.
10. Be prepared for the “Keto flu”.
If your body is used to lots of sugar and carbs, there is bound to be an adjustment period once you start following a Keto plan. It’s commonly known as the “Keto flu” with symptoms like dizziness, nausea, difficulty concentrating, stomach pains, cramping, and difficulty sleeping.
Some of the tips already listed here can help with Keto flu symptoms, but it’s also really important to make sure that you’re staying well-hydrated. Some people find adding a pinch of salt to a liter of water can be helpful in dealing with their symptoms too.
Pro tip: Be sure to consume enough sodium, potassium, and magnesium (add a mineral supplement if needed) especially during your initial adjustment period.
Trying a Keto diet for the first time can feel overwhelming, but you can be successful with it. Plan and prepare ahead with our simple tips and you’ll be all set to tackle any meal situation whether at home or dining out.
Randa Derkson is a busy mom of two, Culinary Nutrition Expert, and sick of of the overwhelm when it comes to health. She’s the head nutrition expert at RandaDerkson.com where she’s committed to making healthy living easier.