Keto tips

Advice: Adapt Slow

I can’t imagine diving straight in. From three plus meals per day down to one. Instead, I transitioned into OMAD from a keto-like diet. Which made burning stored body fat and keep my blood sugar stable easier. I already ate in a six to eight-hour window. Even still, I had a hard time compressing all my calories into only one hour. I’ve heard stories of fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, nausea, and feeling bad. The common thread? Most of them jumped straight into eating one meal a day without preparation or knowledge. Now, when going for more than a day, I gradually build up to 23-hour fasting. I stop if it feels too uncomfortable.

Con: Fitness Performance Suffers

One qualm quickly became apparent. When to eat?

  • Before working out. Then finish—sometimes extremely strenuous—exercise with zero replenishment?
  • After working out. Perform each workout completely fasted, and then need to eat immediately afterward. I didn’t like either option. Both limited me considerably. They actually added rigidity to my schedule. Unrealistically, I could have eased up on my workouts. I quickly dismissed that option as lackluster. Gaining lean body mass is significantly more difficult on OMAD. High levels of AMPK keep the body catabolic, while also suppressing muscle-building mTOR. I usually went with eating after working out. Any approach can work in the short-term. On month two I noticed by fitness declining. Workouts became harder and I didn’t push as hard.

Blend Intermittent Fasting

My last keto lifestyle tip is to consider blending intermittent fasting with your keto diet. I’ve been doing a daily 14 -16 hour fast and low carb lifestyle for a year and I’ve experienced awesome results in weight loss and improved health. In the first three months, I lost 25 pounds without any exercise just by combining these lifestyles. My body became slender, leaner, and stronger than before. And it was not that hard!

  • If you want to learn more about intermittent fasting, you can find more articles here.

Plan Your Meals

When it comes to starting the keto diet (or any diet), all experts agree that you must have a meal plan. The biggest reason people have a hard time sticking with keto is that people don’t have enough interesting foods to turn to, and high-carb favorites win out over good nutrition. If you didn’t buy foods at the grocery store that fit the guidelines, there won’t be an easy option in the fridge when you really need it. You can get all your keto food list for beginners here, and also you can use my keto low carb menu for beginners! Planning what you’ll eat each day will save you both time and money. But it can be also difficult and time consuming to come up with a plan that fits your macros, offers enough variety, and tastes good too. That’s why I made a 7 day meal plan for beginners.  The plan helps you balance meal prep, includes super easy recipes, and how to reuse occasional leftovers to save time and money. You can simply find the plan by clicking here.

Keto Cheat Day Rules

There is no need to beat yourself up or feel guilty if you accidentally fall off the keto diet because it happens to everyone. It’s when you fall off for one day and that day turns into days or longer is where you’ll run into problems. Progress isn’t dictated by what you do once in a while, it’s dictated by what you do most of the time. One cheat meal in a while can definitely provide a nice psychological break! If you want to hear more details, you can read how to enjoy cheat days while on a diet here. Remember a keto diet is one of the most forgiving diets that you can try. Don’t give up your keto lifestyle!

Make Easy Keto Recipes

Keto recipes (or any recipes) should be easy and joyful especially for beginners! If you can make basic keto foods (like keto bread, keto rice) or transform your favorite food to a keto version, you will be able to stick to a keto lifestyle easily and for the long term. Here at Simply by Elle, my focus is to provide you with plenty of easy, simple, quick, tasty keto low carb recipes for beginners. Browse the full keto low carb recipe index here. (I specialized in making Korean food!)

Learn to Eat New Things

Eating your favorite foods or desserts may give you a sense of comfort but in reality those foods are probably keeping you from realizing your best potential and optimal health. Trying new foods can be exciting and help our tastes evolve. Taking a trip to the grocery store can also be exciting and finding new keto veggies or meats can be very satisfying.  Learning to eat new things is not only good for your physical health but also good for your mental health as well.

  • You can get a keto food list for beginners here, that includes more details and available in a handy printable format.

Choose A Keto Lifestyle

Keto is more of a lifestyle than a diet. You can actually follow the keto method not only for weight loss but also healthy living for the rest of your life. And there are different types of keto lifestyle, you can choose one and adapt it to your lifestyle as well.

  • Strict keto : Strictly monitor calories and macros. Eat only clean, whole food.
  • Lazy keto : Track only net carbs or eat keto food without tracking.
  • Dirty keto : Strictly monitor calories and macros. Eat anything as long as it fits your macro.
  • Low carb : Similar to lazy keto, but more lenient on carbs. Carb limit can be as high as 50g, or even up to 100g for some people who want more flexibility. I was able to lose 25 pounds in 3 months by just following a low carb keto lifestyle. I found this method to be the most sustainable and one that I was able to keep up. Even though I don’t always count macros or calories but try to be selective by picking only keto friendly foods and avoid any kind of processed foods. As you can see there are many different kinds of keto lifestyles you can choose from, the key is to pick the one best fits you!

Don’t Count Calories

Calorie counting should not be the primary focus while dieting on keto. Emerging research is showing that the archaic “calorie” as referenced in weight control is not as relative as once thought. Controlling your hormones, insulin and glucagon is much more relevant to weight control than focusing on calories. On a keto diet, keeping track of carbohydrate intake is more important than calorie counting. Limiting carbohydrate intake can deplete glucose/glycogen stores in the body. This phenomenon puts you in a state of ketosis which is the condition of optimum fat burning.

Stock Your Pantry

Don’t forget to stock your pantry with keto low carb staples, too! Pantry ingredients are mostly high in carbs, but you can enjoy the following foods.

  • Drinks : coffee and tea.
  • Herbs & spices : basil and cinnamon.
  • Condiments : keto mayonnaise, hot sauce, and mustard.
  • Nuts and seeds : almonds, macadamia and sunflower seeds.
  • Sweeteners : erythritol, monk fruit and stevia.
  • Flours : almond flour, coconut flour and flaxseed meal. Also when you choose your pantry ingredients, be sure to always check the labels behind the product. Read labels and check if the actual ingredients are keto friendly.
  • If you want to know more, you can get a full keto pantry shopping list here with more details on what you need.