on October 01, 2019
The ketogenic diet can be an effective tool for losing weight and treating various pathological conditions, from epilepsy to diabetes, but sticking to the diet’s strict macros can be a challenge. The recommended daily carb intake for someone not following a particular diet is anywhere from 225 to 325 grams of carbs per day.
Ketogenic dieters, on the other hand, should aim to consume fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day, so tricks for cutting back and sticking to your goals will be helpful along your ketogenic journey.
Here, we’ll share seven ketogenic diet hacks to make your keto experience more enjoyable, less difficult and possibly even more effective.
If the inside of your freezer hardly ever sees the light of day, it’s time to change that. Get comfortable with the idea of buying in bulk and freezing what you don’t need until you’re ready to use it. Not only will this cut down on your grocery bills and the amount of time you spend at the supermarket, but it’ll also help you avoid slip-ups because you’ll always have something to eat on hand.
Some of the best keto-friendly ingredients are things you can buy cheaply in large quantities. Buy family-sized bags of frozen berries to throw on salads and toss into shakes.
Stock up on cuts of chicken and beef, which keep for up to a year in the freezer. Broccoli, spinach, green beans, and cauliflower are all great low-carb, freezer-friendly veggie options.
To save even more money, get in the habit of paying attention to the sales at your local grocer. You can usually find them in a flyer or posted on a bulletin board right at the store entrance. If you see a killer deal on a freezable item, buy several and keep extra on hand in your freezer for later.
Think of the last time you cheated on your diet. What were the circumstances? Chances are a craving caught you in a moment of weakness--maybe you were feeling stressed or bummed out--and you turned to food to make yourself feel better.
In order to succeed at the keto diet, it’s important to focus not just on what you’re putting into your body, but how you’re treating yourself.
Food cravings tend to kick into high gear when we’re feeling stressed or anxious. Biology prompts us to seek out things that will ease our feelings of discomfort, and unfortunately, one of those things is carbs. Eating carbohydrates causes a release of the hormone serotonin, which has a soothing effect.
The good news is there are a lot of other, healthier activities can cause similar spikes in our feel-good hormones. Exercise, deep breathing and even eating keto-friendly foods like eggs and salmon can help increase the body’s levels of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins to calm your anxious mind. Turn to these things before reaching for carb-loaded cheat foods when you’re feeling stressed.
The easiest way to avoid diet-busting temptation? Eliminate it altogether. One of the best hacks for success on the keto diet is to clear your pantry of foods that are heavy on simple carbs, like white bread, pasta, and potato chips. Replace them with grab-and-go keto-friendly swaps (see the following hack for more on this).
If your friends are headed to a restaurant where you know you won’t be able to resist the loaded potato skins, suggest an alternate spot that won’t be quite as tempting or opt to meet them afterward for a different activity.
We’re not saying you should never treat yourself--in fact, experts say enjoying the occasional indulgence is a good way to stay on track in your diet. But the majority of the time, steering clear of opportunities to derail your diet is the best way to prevent it from happening.
One of the most thrilling parts of the ketogenic diet is discovering foods that taste like heavy carbs but that won’t ruin your state of ketosis. Getting a good handle on what these foods are and how to prepare them will help you stick to your diet goals.
The top slot goes to the almighty cauliflower. One cup of this versatile veggie contains just three grams of net carbs. It can be baked, roasted, sauteed, steamed or eaten raw. It takes on the flavor of whatever it’s cooked with, which makes it an excellent carb impersonator. You can use cauliflower to replace pizza dough, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and more.
Don’t forget to rely on healthy fats to replace carbs, too. Many new keto followers struggle with eating enough fat at first. A ketogenic dieter should aim to get between 70 and 80 percent of their daily calories from fat. Avocados, egg yolks, fatty fish and nuts are all good introductory fats that pair well with a variety of other foods.
Other great keto-friendly swaps are lettuce wraps for traditional wraps, zucchini noodles for spaghetti and pork rinds in place of potato chips.
We mentioned above the importance of the occasional indulgence in sticking to your diet. Does anything feel quite as indulgent as digging into a decadent dessert after a meal?
One great thing about the keto diet is that eating dessert is not only allowed, but encouraged. Eating dessert will help you reach your recommended daily intake of fat and help you feel less like you’re restricted from eating certain things.
Try this low carb chocolate mug cake from Delish for a decadent post-meal treat.
Place the butter in a microwave-safe mug and heat about 30 seconds or until melted. Add the remaining ingredients (except the whipped cream) and stir until combined. Cook in the microwave for about a minute or until the cake is set but still gooey in the center. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!
Almost anything is more fun with a friend around, and that includes the ketogenic diet. Hack number six is to get a friend or family member involved with your keto journey. Research has shown that when it comes to weight loss, people who have one or more accountability partners are more successful at losing the weight and keeping it off than those who go it alone.
In one study, researchers compared the results of a weight loss program where participants attended alone, with three friends or with family members. They found that those who attended with friends or family were significantly more likely to complete the program and to maintain their full weight loss than those who had attended alone.
This doesn’t mean your accountability buddy has to be on the same diet you’re following. They simply need to be someone you trust who will lend a listening ear and support you.
In another study, researchers tracked participants in an obesity intervention program. One of the components of the program involved getting friends or family members to sign a “social support contract” to be there for the person involved in the program.
The researchers found that participants who did not obtain these support contract signatures were more at risk for failing to complete the program than their counterparts with a support system.
So, enlist a friend or family member to sign a support contract of your own for a better chance of keto diet success.
The key to making a habit stick is to focus not solely on the habit in isolation, but its larger place in creating the life you want to live. Changing your diet isn’t a single sweeping action, but a series of small actions taken again and again until they become your default.
If you tell yourself, “I’m on a diet,” it can feel like you’re boxed in by a set of rules and restrictions. Instead, try to reframe your thinking to that of “I make nutritional choices that will help me achieve my health goals.” When you approach what you eat in this way, it feels much less like something you have to do and more like something you’re choosing to do for your own personal set of reasons.
Remind yourself regularly what those reasons are. Why are you following a ketogenic diet in the first place? Is it to lose weight? Reduce your risk for heart disease? Help you manage a chronic health condition? Whatever it may be, remind yourself that you’re making this choice for a reason and that there’s an upside to the trade-offs you’re choosing to make.
By viewing the ketogenic diet as a lifestyle change rather than just a diet, you’ll open yourself up to other positive lifestyle changes, as well. Feeling more focused, having more energy and generally feeling better are all positive side effects that ketogenic dieters report.
Your lifestyle is one piece of the keto puzzle. Having the right products to support your diet is another. Left Coast Performance has you covered with a wide selection of keto-friendly products including collagen, supplements, protein powder and more. All of our products are made from premium, clean label ingredients and none contain artificial flavors, artificial coloring or fillers. We always offer free shipping and a no-risk money back guarantee.