The ketogenic diet is a wonderful tool for weight loss, but you do have to be intentional about it. What many people love about this diet is the fact that you don’t have to count calories, though you may want to if you’re trying to lose weight.
The key to successful weight loss with any diet is sticking to it as much as you can. You definitely don’t need to become obsessive about hitting your macros exactly each day, as long as you stay within the recommended range. But what else can you do to lose weight? Keep reading to find out.
- Clean Out Your Fridge and Pantry
If you’re going to commit to the keto diet, do it fully. Start by cleaning out your food and pantry of any high-carb and sugary foods that you might be tempted to eat later. Restock with keto-friendly options like full-fat dairy, meat, eggs, healthy fats, and low-carb fruits and veggies. Refer to our keto diet food list to see the best keto-friendly foods to stock your kitchen.
- Create Balanced Keto Meals
The foundation of the keto diet is the metabolic process known as ketosis – this is when your body burns fat instead of glucose for fuel. The only way to achieve ketosis is to lower your carb intake and increase your fat intake. Don’t be thrown off! Many fad diets restrict fat, so you may need to adjust your thinking if you’re going to succeed with keto. You also need to learn how to balance your meals properly. Fat should be the highlight with protein, dairy, and low-carb fruits and veggies for nutritional balance.
- Track Your Calories and Macros
If you’re staying within your macronutrient ratio on a regular basis, you shouldn’t have any trouble losing weight. If you’re not seeing the results you want, however, you may need to take a closer look. Calculate your BMR and your maintenance calorie level, then create a deficit to encourage weight loss – don’t cut more than 500 calories from your daily intake. From there, calculate your macronutrient ranges for 70% to 75% fat, 20% to 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. Once you have these values, you’ll need to keep track of what and how much you’re eating so you can stay within those limits.
- Give Meal Planning a Try
The easiest way to stick to any diet is to eliminate the temptation to go off your diet. If you don’t keep sugary and high-carb foods in the house, you won’t be able to eat them! Another thing you can do is plan your meals ahead of time, so you know that they’ll be balanced and that they’ll fit your macros. If you’re eating nutritious and satisfying meals, you’ll be less tempted to cheat. You may even want to prepare a double or triple batch of something, so you can eat the leftovers all week.
- Connect with Other Keto Dieters
Having a support system is important in life, regardless what diet you’re following. Connecting with others who are trying to lose weight using the keto diet can be a great tool to support your own success. You’ll have someone to bounce ideas and questions off of, plus you’ll have a network to draw from when it comes to recipes, exercise tips, and more. Simply having someone else who is going through the same thing as you can help you stick to it when times get tough.
- Be Smart When Eating Out
The ketogenic diet is not particularly difficult once you get used to it, but there are some challenges. You may have a more difficult time eating out at certain types of restaurants, and you may not always be able to find a keto-friendly snack when you need one. Being prepared with restaurant options and keeping your fridge stocked with keto snacks is a great way to stay on track. If you know you’re going out, for example, look up the restaurant menu and choose your meal ahead of time. If there aren’t any good keto options, eat before you go and bring a snack for later!
- Prepare for the Keto Flu
After you’ve been following the keto diet for a few days, you may experience what’s known as the keto flu – a collection of flu-like symptoms that result from making significant changes to your diet. If you prepare yourself ahead of time for these symptoms, you won’t be blindsided by them and tempted to give up. Try slowly increasing your fat intake while reducing your carb intake and drink plenty of water along the way. Replenish your electrolyte stores and do a little exercise each day to burn through stored glycogen, encouraging your body to enter ketosis as quickly as possible.
- Get Creative with Substitutes
Though following the keto diet means significantly reducing your intake of carbs, that doesn’t mean you have to completely give up things like pasta, pizza, and bread. All it means is that you have to find (or make) keto-friendly versions! Fathead dough is a great keto recipe that can be used for bread, pizza, and more – it is made with a combo of almond flour, shredded cheese, and egg. You can try using spiralized low-carb veggies (like zucchini) in place of pasta and there are plenty of recipes out there for making your own keto-friendly bread.
- Shake Things Up Once in a While
With any diet, it is easy to get stuck in a rut. When you start to get bored is when you’re most likely to give in to temptation and, if you start sneaking extra carbs, you might kick yourself out of ketosis and get stuck in a weight loss plateau. To keep yourself motivated, follow some keto blogs and give new recipes a try. Look for keto-friendly restaurants in your area or host a keto dinner party. Whatever you can do to keep yourself on the diet is worth doing!
Generally speaking, the ketogenic diet is an excellent tool for weight loss. Like any diet, however, your results depend on how well you stick to the diet. By following the 9 tips above, you can maximize your results with the keto diet and lose the weight. Good luck!