How to be successful on a keto diet can be easy, if you know how to do it!
A keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that offers many health benefits. It’s also one of the hottest diets out there right now and it just might be the solution to your weight-loss struggles.
People following a keto diet eat up to 80% fat, only allow 20% of their daily calories to come from carbs, and even less than 10% from protein.
If You’ve been on a Keto Diet for quite some time now and something’s just not right, here are the top 10 reasons why your plan probably failed and what to do next:
1. You didn’t track your nutrition
Getting enough nutrients on a keto diet is essential. Since you’re drastically reducing carbohydrates, it’s important to watch that you don’t consume too many calories from protein or fat. Tracking what you eat with a food app can help you stay accountable, as well as remind you to make healthy dinner choices.
2. You didn’t drink enough water
A keto diet is most effective when it comes to ample hydration. If you find yourself having headaches or feeling lethargic, try drinking more water or homemade iced tea. Trust me, you’ll feel like a new person.
3. A few extra calories are sneaking in
You may be drinking more than enough water, but if you’re not careful to monitor portions, a few extra calories can still sneak in. It is important to eat the food that you prepare and not overeat when eating out or at parties. When snacking on nuts, it's easy to forget how many you are eating.
4. All your carbs are coming from protein bars and shakes
Since keto is a high-fat diet, some people don’t want to give up carbohydrates completely, so they replace them with low-carb supplements such as protein shakes and bars. While these may seem like a good alternative at first, the best way to follow a keto diet is to limit carbohydrates coming from any food source. Deficiency in essential vitamins and nutrients can occur as your body isn’t getting enough of what it needs from whole food sources.
5. You didn’t eat enough fats
Eating fat on a ketogenic diet doesn’t mean you need to eat a lot of it. If you’re trying to lose weight, you also need to be mindful about how many calories you consume as well. It is recommended that fat makes up anywhere between 60 and 80% of your daily caloric intake on keto.
6. You didn’t make any changes at all
Many people find success following a keto diet for an extended period of time, but after a while, the weight loss slows down. When this happens, it’s time to make changes to your plan. Whether you increase your activity level or adjust what you eat, keeping things fresh and changing up your routine will help you stay motivated and achieve more successful results.
7. It Could Be A Hidden Food Allergy
Not feeling your best on keto? There could be an underlying food allergy causing those negative symptoms. Remove one potential allergen at a time from your diet to see if symptoms improve or, stop eating the most common allergens for thirty days (wheat, dairy and eggs).
8. Thinking a keto diet is all about meat? Nope, it's not.
The keto diet has gained popularity amongst vegetarians as well and for good reason! Fruit can be enjoyed in moderation on the keto diet, but remember to account for these carbs when you’re counting your daily total. One cup of chopped pineapple has over 27 grams of carbs!
9. You’re Eating The Same Food Over And Over Again
The keto diet is all about eating whole, nutrient-dense foods and the more variety you can add to your plate, the better. After a while, it may get tiresome to prepare the same meals over and over again. Add new recipes to your diet or try eating out at restaurants that offer keto-friendly options. Eating a variety of foods will help you stay away from boredom and find the perfect combination of macros that work for you.
10. You’re Not Staying Active Enough
The best way to boost weight loss results is to get moving. On a keto diet, that usually means upping your exercise routine. Make time for at least 15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3 times per week.
11. Forgetting about the importance of quality sleep
Without getting enough restful sleep, you’ll feel more exhausted as well as less alert during the day and more prone to give in to unhealthy cravings. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night and have a relaxing bedtime routine that signals your body it’s time to rest.
Tips for being successful on a keto plan
Keto isn’t one-size-fits-all, so there is no secret formula for weight loss success. The good news is you can make simple changes to your routine that will help you achieve the results you desire and reach your goals faster than ever before!
Here are tips for being successful on a keto plan:
1. Make sure you’re in ketosis before complaining about side effects.
And make sure you understand the difference between being “fat-adapted” and being in nutritional ketosis. Side effects should go away after the first week or two on a well-formulated ketogenic diet (or with a lower carb variation like Keto Paleo).
2. Knowledge is Power
Get informed. If you know how your body works and why keto works, it will be easier for you to make adjustments or give up if something doesn’t work well.
3. Ease into Keto
Ease into ketosis and learn about the side effects of being in ketosis (fat-adapted is preferred). Know that you will probably get really, really hungry during the initial stages. The few days of getting used to a new diet are not representative of long-term results or how your body handles fat/ketones once it’s accustomed to running on them. Plan ahead and cut back on your carb intake for the first couple of days and up your fats. If you’re new to keto, try a low-carb variation like Keto Paleo (or just go straight into eating bacon).
4. Do NOT eat too many nuts
I repeat: do not overeat nuts in the beginning. The easiest way to stall your weight loss is to eat too many nuts. I’m not saying you can’t have a snack once in a while with some mixed nuts, but if most of your calories come from them and other unnecessary high-fat foods (like cheese, sauces, mayo etc.) you will stall quickly.
5. Do not be afraid of eating fat
Don’t cut down on healthy fats just because you heard it will make you lose weight faster. Remember, if you are in ketosis, your body doesn’t care whether the fats you eat come from healthy sources or not. It simply converts them into energy for use by all the cells in your body.
6. You are what you eat, so have a diet rich in natural foods
Eat as many whole foods from healthy sources as vegetables and meat/fish etc. (pasture-raised if possible). Have “dessert” occasionally when you want something sweet, but try to avoid sugar or limit your intake. If you need something sweet, try to figure out what it is that’s missing in your life. Is it a piece of chocolate? Some cake? Do you have friends or family who can help satisfy the craving while still being keto-friendly? Sometimes all we need is some company.
7. Have Patience
Weight loss happens gradually most of the time. It’s not a race, so you don’t have to be ashamed for being overweight. Just plan on it taking some time and know that if keto works for your friends/family, then it probably will work for you too.
8. Cut Back On Carbs
If you’re new to keto and want to lose weight, consider cutting back on carbs. If you have a lot of weight to lose, try the Atkins diet (if it works for you). If not, then cut back on your carb intake slowly. Start by limiting them to 20g per day in the beginning and work your way down from there.
9. Read ALL Labels
Read every label carefully and make sure to avoid “hidden” carbs & sugar that may not be obvious or listed anywhere on the label. Some items like tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, condiments & salad dressing can pack a significant amount of carbs.
If you eat something and it doesn’t seem to affect your ketone levels or weight loss, then assume it was fine and not worth worrying over. If you don’t want to spend money on all-natural diet products, at least be prudent about what you put in your body.
10. Eat Meat/Fish
Eating meat is a good way to get your protein fix while still following this diet. Since we’re talking about fat-burning and not weight loss, you can definitely include some cheese on your meat for extra satisfaction.
Some people find that whey protein shakes help them “sustain” their weight loss, meaning that they don’t feel as hungry. This might be because whey contains leucine, which helps balance blood sugar levels and reduce cravings.
11. Avoid foods containing sugar
This includes natural sources of sugar such as fruits, honey and agave syrup, or added sugars like those found in processed food items including sodas, cakes, candies or ice cream.
12. Use MCT
Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil is one of the most popular oils for a Keto Diet. These are useful for easing into ketosis, despite not having your own glycogen storage drained.
It’s molecularly different from coconut oil, so let’s get that out of the way. Compared to coconut oil which needs to pass through the digestive system to be converted, this has its shortcut. This oil does its magic by turning itself into ketone bodies without having to go through digestion in your stomach.
This is even beneficial for a busy woman. You can either blend this oil into your protein shake or drizzle it onto your food.
13. Stay Relaxed
Stay relaxed and avoid all the unnecessary stress in the world. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a stressed mind and body. You can trick your mind into thinking that you deserve to eat your favourite ice cream or drink a couple of beers just to relax. Stress eating can ruin your diet.
The worst thing is, being stressed can drive your own sugar levels up which stops your body from burning the fats and that’s not really a good thing for your Keto Diet. But let’s face it, right? You can’t dodge all the stress bullets in the world.
So, just breathe in and don’t give in to temptation. Try to minimize meeting your stressors and count to ten when you do. Doesn’t seem helpful but it is. The key here is to avoid feeling stressed. We wouldn’t want external factors to ruin our journey to a beautiful body, right?
14. Move Your Body
While this diet will really help you lose weight, add another healthy activity to your life. Don’t just cut down your portions or watch what you eat, you could also do some light workouts that will help your body burn those fats.
Being a busy woman must not be an excuse to avoid squeezing in a short workout. Workouts aren’t just great for losing weight, they’re also going to help you feel less hungry throughout the process. Surprising, right? But it’s true. It’s going to help you drink lots of water which will also be good for you.
This could be as simple as skipping the elevator to take the stairs at work or doing some jumping jacks 10 times. Maybe some squats in the morning, after a stretch or some a short run before you do your night rituals. Get your heart rate up and sweat it out.
15. Get a Support System
Doing a Keto Diet is definitely a challenge. But being surrounded by people who are eating all the food you’re not supposed to will make it even harder. So, you can get a support system and invite someone to do the diet with you.
It’s so much more comforting having someone go through the same amazing process than just doing it alone. Whether it’s your husband, daughter, son, workmate or whoever, a support system will get you through rough days.
6 Steps to being successful on a keto diet
1. Create a plan first
First things first, you need to create a plan. Is your goal to lose 2 pounds a week? How much weight do you want to lose in total? What kind of exercise routine can you accept? How will you stay motivated when the going gets tough? Come up with realistic plans for success. How many days a week are you going to work out? How will you stay in ketosis (if that is your goal)? How much weight have you lost so far and how much do you need to lose? Write it down!
2. Devise what you will need for success in your kitchen
Now that we’ve got the planning out of the way, let’s get into the kitchen! How will you get your calories? Will you follow a low-calorie plan? A fat bomb plan, or a protein-heavy plan (a.k.a the “clean” bulk)? Will you count your macros and make sure that you are getting all of the nutrients that you need daily?
3. Understand the basics of ketosis and its benefits
The basics of ketosis involve eating a high-fat diet, moderate protein, low carbs-no sugar. The goal is to essentially turn your body into a fat-burning machine by changing how you metabolize food.
4. Count carbs if you want to follow the low carb option
Counting carbs can be tough at first, but just keep in mind that 1 gram of sugar or starch = 4 calories and that there are 4 grams in 1 teaspoon! So if you have a soda that has 50 grams of carbs that's actually 2 cups of sugar! Don’t let this scare you, there are some great tools online to count your macros. My favourite is the Keto Calculator by Healthline.
5. Have patience with yourself when it comes to weight loss
Now that you have your plan, hopefully, you’re stocked up on keto-friendly foods and ready to get started! The next step is patience. I can not stress this enough. If weight loss has eluded you in the past, this process will be no different.
6. Don't forget- It's Okay to cheat once in a while!
You are human after all, and keto doesn't mean you completely cut out the foods that you love. If one cheat meal is good-maybe 1 or 2 cheat meals once in a while isn’t such a bad idea! Just remember to keep it “cheat” in mind. Don’t eat anything junk that you wouldn’t normally eat in a meal.
Final thoughts on how to be successful on a keto diet
The keto diet is a great way to lose weight, but it’s not easy. It takes time and effort which may be more than some people are willing to put in for their health. That being said it can be done and the results are worth it! I hope that this article has helped, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below.