Keto recipes are not 100% required to stick to a keto lifestyle, but they sure make it easier and more enjoyable! Once you have the basics down, introducing your old comfort food favorites in keto form, like keto bread or keto casseroles, can help you stick to it long term. Here at Wholesome Yum, my focus is to provide you with plenty of easy keto recipes for beginners! Browse the full keto recipe index here. If you like a physical book you can keep in your kitchen, the Easy Keto Cookbook has hundreds of 5-star reviews. (It also includes a more in-depth guide to starting the keto lifestyle and a list of the best keto swaps for high-carb comfort foods.)
Cutting out sugar isn’t easy, but it’s worth it! Weight loss is the motivator for many people looking for keto diet tips, but the improved energy, focus, mood, and other “NSV’s” (non-scale victories) turn out to be a pleasant surprise for many people. And getting rid of those sugar cravings feels SO. GOOD. But, it doesn’t mean saying goodbye to sweets altogether! You can make plenty of keto friendly dessert recipes instead. The key to all of these is keto friendly sweeteners. Here are the ones I recommend:
Starting out on a new way of eating isn’t easy, and you don’t have to do it alone! Join our private Facebook support group here! There are hundreds of thousands of us in the group waiting to help you. We have people at all stages of the journey, so whether you need a place for keto for beginners, or you’re a more seasoned keto-er looking for others who get it, we’d love to have you in our community.
One of the best keto tips and tricks I always tell people is that meal planning is a game changer. Grabbing a bag of chips, a candy bar, or a box of pasta may be easy on a high-carb diet, but sticking to a low carb lifestyle requires more planning. And that’s okay! It’s totally doable and does not have to take hours out of your day. You can make your own plan, whether that’s planning for the week ahead like I do or simply looking at the day ahead in the morning. If you use a tracking app, some people find it helpful to enter what you’ll eat ahead of time so to help you plan better. Or, you can just use my keto diet menu for beginners so I can do it for you. Planning what you’ll eat each day – at least approximately – will save you both time and money. But, it can also be difficult and time consuming to come up with that plan, making sure it fits your macros, offers enough variety, and tastes good. That’s why I create easy keto meal plan for beginners every week. They balance meal prep, super simple recipes (that even non-keto family members will eat!), and occasional leftovers to save time and money. I have options for a single person or a family of four, so that it can fit your life. Sign up for a free week of keto meal plans here!
At the end of the day, these keto diet tips will help anyone wanting to jump start their keto journey, but it doesn’t mean there’s a one-size-fits-all solution. Different people do low carb in different ways, that’s okay! Often times people ask me about the different ways people can follow keto, and here are some of the most common:
Do calories matter on keto? What exactly should you eat? Why does the keto diet work so well? Depending on who you ask, you may get a completely different answer. Even some research papers will propose one hypothesis while other data clearly suggests that it’s not true (like the carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis for obesity). With all of the contradicting beliefs in the keto diet world, it is hard to know what is actually true — and without the truth how are you supposed to know what to do if things don’t go as you initially hoped? Do you focus on limiting carbs more? What about exercising? Should you intermittent fast? After digging through the research, It becomes clear that people lose weight on keto because of one thing — the fact that keto dieters tend to eat much fewer calories than they did before without noticing. It doesn’t matter how much you restrict your carbs and how many grams of fat you eat. The key to burning off your own fat is being in a calorie deficit. If you can find a diet that allows you to eat fewer calories than before without battling against cravings and hunger (like keto dieting does for most people), then you’ve found one of the most sustainable ways to lose weight. The best way to create a diet like this is by following these two principles:
Keto foods are foods and ingredients that are very low in carbs. What “very low in carbs” means exactly will depend on your daily carb limit. For example, we recommend keeping total carbs below 35g and net carbs below 25g (ideally, below 20g) so that you can reap the benefits of eating highly satiating foods and ketosis. (To figure out your net carb consumption, simply subtract total fiber intake from total carbs.) To have such a small amount of carbs, you must be vigilant about your food choices. You may find that many of your favorite foods will put you near your carbohydrate limit for the day with just one serving. Even healthier foods like fruits and vegetables are packed with sugar and carbs, but don’t get discouraged — there is plenty of delicious food you can eat on the ketogenic diet. For example, you can have a Bacon Breakfast Bagel for breakfast, a Thai BBQ Pork Salad for lunch, and a Keto BBQ Chicken Pizza for dinner. All of them are delicious and relatively low in carbs. Check out this list for some more ideas of what you should and should not eat on the ketogenic diet: Do Eat
One of the best ways to track what you are eating is by using a calorie tracking app and a scale. By using both, you will be much more accurate in knowing what you are consuming and have all the info you need to start losing weight consistently again. When it comes to tracking calories, I prefer to use MyFitnessPal (for general macro tracking) and Cronometer (for more specific macro and micronutrient tracking). If you’d like to get started with tracking your calories using these apps, check out our guide on the topic — It has everything you need to know so that you can set up MyFitnessPal and Cronometer for your specific macronutrient needs. To find out what your calorie and macronutrient needs are, plug your info into our keto calculator. It will tell you exactly how many calories and grams of fat, protein, and carbs you need to eat on a daily basis to get the results you want. Another way to increase the accuracy of your calorie tracking is by using a food scale. Most people measure the amount of food they eat by guesstimating – which typically causes you to eat more calories than you intend. There are certain things I look for when buying a scale, and most importantly include:
Our current food environment is nothing like what the human race initially evolved to handle. It is easier than ever before to gain weight, and our brains and bodies are not designed to handle our abundant food environment. We are incessantly bombarded with endless processed food options, food ads, and smells that trigger our desires. As a result, the oldest parts of our brain motivate us to hunt for that food, which we now have a 100% chance of getting — and we don’t have to exert much effort at all to get it. We will then act out our ancestral programming by eating the most calorie dense foods (i.e., pizza, french fries, cookies, cakes, etc.) and eating much more of those foods than what our body needs to energize itself until the next meal. This results in a vicious cycle of overeating and weight gain with the subconscious intention to prepare us for a famine — a famine that never comes. To prevent these desires from being triggered and make it easier for you to stick to your diet and lose weight, there are a couple of things you can do:
Luckily, most of these symptoms can be cleared up by drinking plenty of water, supplementing electrolytes (these are our favorite), and consuming mineral rich foods (and mineral supplements if necessary). For more specific recommendations on how to remedy these symptoms, read through our guide to the keto flu.