It’s the diet everyone is talking about. Your friends have been talking about no diet other than Keto. And you have finally decided to give it a chance. But you’re wondering how the heck are you supposed to be giving up sugar entirely?
I know what you’re thinking because I was once in your shoes.
I used to put 4 teaspoons of sugar in the tea I drank in the evenings. And I drank 4 cups of tea in the evenings in winter. Do the math and realize what that actually meant. Then I came across Keto 6 years ago, and I was like WHAT? That is absolutely not a diet for me.
But then I learned what I’m going to pass on to you today.
Let’s start with the reasons that make us afraid of this diet and always want to run the other way whenever anyone brings it up. I’ve boiled them down to 9 reasons that made me want to give up before I started and that might be doing the same for you.
9 Reasons That Make Keto Hard
1- It’s Nothing Like What The Average Person Is Used To
In an era where almost everything on the market consists of cheap, addictive sugars, it was very hard for people to even think about accepting the idea of a diet like Keto. It’s just not what we were prepared for. When Keto first started to become popular, it felt like it would be very hard to commit to it because when we thought about it we figured, we can’t eat anything unless it’s homemade. Everything on the market, in fast-food places, and in restaurants. There’s nothing anywhere that can go with this diet. “YES!” You would have thought. “I can order a plate of cheese at a restaurant”.
And you would’ve been right to think all that in 2014. But guess what, it’s not 2014 anymore!
There’s plenty of choices to choose from when it comes to eating Keto outside your home. Which we’ll get into in the second half of this article.
2- The Keto Flu
This is a big reason that actually holds us off from Keto. It might be that you’re considering starting the diet, but you keep hearing about this Keto Flu, and you just keep getting discouraged. The other possibility is that you’ve recently started the diet and you’re experiencing the symptoms of Keto flu, which can make you actually give up on the diet entirely.
But if you would just battle through it for just a little while.
Your body has to take its time in switching gears between depending on glucose for energy vs. depending on Ketone bodies.
Keto flu is like that huge door behind which lies an incredible, heavenly village. If you would just be patient for a few days until you can pass through the door, the Keto village can easily make you forget all about the struggles you had at the entrance.
3- The Widespread of Misinformation Regarding Fats
Everyone has heard and has been fed the fat myths. “Fat makes you fat.” “Fat has cholesterol, which is bad for your health, so fat is bad for you too.” And they go on and on and on.
While some of that does have some merit to it, because as we know, some kinds of fat like trans fat and omega-6 should be avoided in a healthy diet, this doesn’t mean that any diet dependent on Fat is unhealthy.
Those gurus who always want to stir you away from Keto, forget to tell you one important part of the puzzle: There are some really healthy fats out there, that we not only can eat but rather should. Many micronutrients, like vitamins K, E, D, and A, require fat to be absorbed into our bodies.
4- Ignoring the Importance of Micronutrients
This is a big one. The way this can contribute to making Keto harder than it should be is that this can prolong the Keto flu, or ignite it again after you’ve presumably recovered from it.
Micronutrient deficiencies can present in different ways, depending on the vitamin or mineral you’re not getting enough of. These symptoms include fatigue, lightheadedness, sleepiness, pallor, hair loss, constipation, unusual food cravings, and many more.
The biggest mistake people make that leads to this is that they neglect vegetables, which we’ll dig deeper into next.
5- Neglecting Vegetables
This is a mistake I personally was guilty of making at the beginning of my Keto journey. That is until I realized that salads can actually be delicious. When I knew what I liked, I knew how to prepare salads that taste good for me. In many cases, this was adding a little more olive oil than usual, more broccoli, plus, adding cheese to almost every salad I prepare.
By doing these things, I was able to get enough of the micronutrients I knew I needed, add enough fat to my diet, which I was having trouble with at the beginning, and also have a great meal I can break my fast with because salads almost always have a low glycemic index.
6- Relying Too Much On Keto-Friendly Junk Foods
The idea of getting to treat yourself every now and then without getting kicked out of ketosis is something I love about Keto, and this was one of the things that made me adhere to the diet. On other diets, when you cheat, you hurt your results. Sometimes you get pulled a few steps backward because of it. This can even happen on Keto if you cheat with a high-carb day that can kick you out of ketosis. However, you don’t have to do that to treat yourself.
I bet you there are Keto-friendly recipes and products out there for any food you can think of.
Getting to eat every now and then what you miss about your old diet can be a great way to help you adhere more to Keto.
The downside of this is to overdo it and start getting most of your caloric intake from these, usually, not always, junk foods, that have very little health value to add to your diet.
This, too, can contribute to developing micronutrient deficiencies, because you’re neglecting whole, healthy foods, and relying instead on low-quality foods that might not hurt your weight loss results a lot, but can make Keto harder to sustain because the Keto flu symptoms can come back again.
7- Trusting “Keto-friendly” Products That Are Anything But Keto Friendly
You shouldn’t be fooled by cheap marketing strategies that companies use to get you to buy their products. They sometimes write “Keto-friendly” using a font bigger than the one used for the name of the product, just to make you grab the product and add it to your cart. Sometimes you come home, and it occurs to you to read the nutritional facts on the back, and you realize that eating one bite of the product will have you meet your carbs limit of the day.
The problem is when you don’t read the label even after buying it, and you eat those products regularly, thinking that they are Keto-friendly while in truth, they are killing your hard work and keeping you from getting any results.
8- Getting Addicted To One Keto-Friendly Food
I was once guilty of that by binge-eating cheese. I was just getting started on Keto, and I was learning about the foods that are and aren’t allowed on the diet. I came across cheese, and it was perfect: I love it, it’s high in fat, has some good amount of protein and has little to no carbs. “Perfect.” I thought. “Let’s eat nothing but cheese all day long then.”
My mistake there was neglecting the fact that while cheese has healthy fats and protein, along with some calcium and vitamin B12, it lacked a lot of the micronutrients I need on a daily basis.
There is no one food that has it all. At least not yet. So you can’t be binge-eating the same food the whole day, no matter how healthy it is. It’s just not gonna work.
9- Going Too Strict On Keto
If you’ve been around the Keto lane once or twice, you’ve probably heard terms like, “strict keto” and “lazy keto”, and I’m not about to judge you on whatever route you chose to go with on Keto, but what I personally believe is that going to the extreme in either sides is a bad call. Being too strict with your diet can lead to having a hard time committing to the diet in long run, especially if you’ve lead a relatively unhealthy life prior to keto.
Choose patterns of eating that can go with your lifestyle, opt for eating foods that are: healthy, keto-friendly AND that you enjoy eating. If you can’t find enough of those that meet the last criteria, be sure to treat yourself now and then with something that wouldn’t kick you out of the diet, but would help you commit more.
20 Smart Tips To Make Keto Easier
1- Keep Making Adjustments Until Keto Becomes A Healthy Copy of Your Old Diet
As much as I believe we must forget about a big portion of our old lifestyles and junk foods we used to consume, I also believe we should keep adjusting Keto until we make it look more like our lifestyles while keeping it healthy.
I don’t think one has to go against the other. We can accomplish both by moving into a new way of eating that is both healthy and delicious under the Keto umbrella.
2- Find The Sweet Spot Between Too Strict And Too Loose
This ties into the first tip. Too strict is too much. Too loose is too bad. We must find the balance. What I advise you to do, is take a hard look at what you like to eat and what is healthy and keto-friendly, and plan on eating according to the foods that apply to this criteria.
Sometimes you have to lean to one side of the equation more than the other, and that’s OK. But remember, your results are based on where in that equation your lifestyle is.
3- Exploring More Keto-Friendly Foods Until You Feel Like “I Don’t Need To Discover Anymore New Favorites Foods”
And I bet you won’t get there.
There is an endless variety of foods and products on the market that you can and should explore. Make sure you always read the label, whether it’s a product or a food that you haven’t tried before. You should always know what have gone inside these product, and how well they fit into your day.
4- If Vegetables Aren’t Fun For You, There Are Ways They Can Be
This depends hugely on your taste and what you like. Pairing vegetables with cheese has always been my favorite way to eat veggies.
That being said, there are other ways: you can add your favorite spices and herbs. You can prepare them along with a nutrition-rich dip. Mix them up with fruits and Greek yogurt. Prepare a delicious soup. Making them into a healthy shake. Grilling them on a barbecue day… I mean, the options are limitless.
5- Be Prepared For The Keto Flu
As it is one of the big hurdles on the way to the Keto diet, being prepared for it and taking proactive actions is key to avoid the flu or make it pass sooner. What you can do is add more fat at the beginning of your journey (make sure you’re getting it from healthy sources), get enough electrolytes, drink enough water, and not limit your caloric intake to an extreme, especially when you’re just getting started.
6- Read The Labels On The Back of New Products You Buy Carefully
Knowing exactly what you’re getting into your body plays a crucial role in the results you’ll see down the road. If you’re eating all of these hidden carbs in the products that are supposedly Keto-friendly, don’t be too shocked when you don’t feel you’re in Ketosis nor do you see the results you’re wishing to see.
7- If You Feel You Can’t Get Some Nutrients From Your Diet, Invest In Some Good Supplements
If you’ve been at MasterMinding Perfection before, you know that I always advocate for getting the nutrients your body needs from whole foods rather than opting for supplements here and there. However, if you find it hard to get a certain micro- or macronutrient from your diet, whether it’s because of a sensitivity to some foods or because of having a busy lifestyle, then it can be smart to get these missing nutrients from supplements.
8- Consult A Dietician\ Coach
If you don’t have the time to research the information you need to follow the diet, there are people who offer to do that for you. Either a dietician or a fitness coach can help you know your ways around keto and figure out the best actions to take and the best foods to eat so you can accomplish the best results.
9- Do Keto With A Friend
This can be pretty helpful, especially if you don’t have the budget to do the previous tip. Doing Keto together with a friend can help you share your knowledge and experience with your partner and get theirs, as well as helping you commit more to the diet since you will find it harder to give up than you would if you were doing the diet alone.
10- Make Sure Every Meal Consists of The Keto Ratios
This is something I had to learn through the school of hard knocks. At first, you would think that the 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbs are somewhat easy to follow. You would just eat food throughout the day, not paying a lot of attention, and then toward the end of the day, you calculate what you have eaten and then fill out the gaps that allow you to get the ratios right.
While that can help you get most of the results, it can make you have a hard time during the day if you mess up the ratios at the different meals throughout the day.
This means if you eat lean chicken breast at lunch, or consume all of your allowed carbs at breakfast, this can make you feel tired and hungry in a matter of an hour after the meal.
Now I’m not suggesting you obsess over the numbers, that’s the last thing I would want you to do. Just keep the basic rule of Keto at the back of your mind whenever you’re deciding on your next meal: A lot of fat, a good amount of protein, and a small portion of carbs.
11- Add Some Carbs / Remove Some Carbs
I’ve included both opposite tips because sometimes one makes the diet easier and sometimes the other does. If you’re at that point where you’re craving some carbs and it’s making you less able to commit to the diet because every now and then you explode and binge-eat carbs that make you lose your progress. Adding some carbs there in the form of Keto-friendly treats every now and then can be helpful in that case.
On the other side, if you’re into ketosis but feeling foggy and tired throughout the day, look into everything you’re consuming and search for the hidden carbs. These devils can hold you back without you enjoying them. And nobody wants that.
12- Try Out The Helpful Keto Apps
There are some really good apps out there tailor-made for Keto dieters. Carb manager, for example, is a neat app that lets you know all the numbers you need to know about the diet, plus offering you the nutrition facts of most foods you can think of, making it super easy for you to track your macros.
13- Always Store The Ingredients Of a Fast Keto Snack You Can Prepare In Minutes
This can be as simple as eggs and as complicated as healthy, keto-friendly pancakes. When you have this stuff around at home, you’re less likely to opt for the worse alternatives when you get hungry which can lead you to make some big mistakes.
Know these healthy snacks that you like and always have extra thereof at home/office.
14- Don’t Force Foods On Yourself That You Just Can’t Stand
There are these healthy, superfoods that you hear people talking about all the time, that you just don’t like. These are stuff like cauliflower. I’ve met a lot of keto dieters that just hated cauliflower. And I’ve always said, “Then just ignore it!”.
Yes. It’s that simple.
Now, I’m a big fan of trying new stuff out and always experimenting with new food. But if you have given something enough chances and it’s just not growing on you, move to the next thing. There are plenty of Keto-friendly foods out there that you can enjoy. You don’t have to make yourself miserable trying to like one of them.
15- Explore The Keto-Friendly Alternatives of The Food You Love
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, These alternatives are created to help you commit more to the diet, not to be your new diet.
Treat yourself to your favorite, Keto-friendly foods every now and then. There’s a Keto alternative for ANYTHING these days.
Just don’t go overboard. And try to focus more on healthy, whole foods that can give you the best results.
16- Plan Meals In Advance
Meal planning is crucial on Keto. This is especially true if you’re the only one at home doing keto. Then, you can make a big pot on the weekend that you can have for 5 lunches throughout the week.
17- Get Some Equipment That Makes The Cooking Processes Easier
There are many kitchen gadgets and tools that make life easier and save you both time and frustration. Life is getting easier each day and there is always new stuff you can invest in to save you time and get some burden off of your shoulders.
There has probably not been a better time to invest in an Instant Pot than right now as you’re doing Keto. I’m starting to think of instant pots as one of these miracles that happen to humans, like electricity, where it just becomes a moment of history: you start seeing life as before electricity vs. after electricity. Instant Pot is the 21st century equal to electricity!
Another thing I’m beginning to think of as a must is a multi-function hand blender that comes with a beaker, whisk, and chopper. This is guaranteed to make your life much easier, and save you some space in the kitchen since it’s 7 in 1. Braun has got an amazing product for a steal price.
18- Always Have “Cheese” In Your Fridge
I have intentionally put cheese between quotation marks because cheese is not the point. If you’ve read this article in its entirety, you know that I used to binge on cheese at the beginning of my Keto journey. Cheese is an incredible Keto-friendly food, that should be included in your diet (if you’re not vegan/lactose-intolerant). However, I should have inserted it moderately into my diet. That being said, now I know that it’s a very smart thing for me to always have cheese at home. It’s this healthy, Keto-friendly food that I love. So it should always be there so that I don’t get tempted by something not Keto-friendly when I’m hungry. Especially now that I know how much cheese is too much and how much is appropriate.
What I advise you to do is find your cheese. And always have some of it at home.
19- Know Your Ways Around Bulletproof Coffee
What makes bulletproof coffee a must-try is all the healthy fats we add to it and the variety of ways we can prepare it. What I also love about it is that it’s allowed while intermittent fasting and can be enjoyed even when you’re not supposed to be eating.
20- Add\Remove Intermittent Fasting
Both extremes can be helpful to make Keto easier for you. Let me explain. At the beginning of the journey, you might find it hard to do both. You’re going to be hungry throughout the day. So you might not want to do IF right off the gate, and instead, be having some fat-rich snacks between meals.
As you get over the Keto flu and start to feel good, you can add intermittent fasting into the mix. Keto & IF can maximize each other’s potentials and drive you to bigger and better results without you investing a lot of effort. Especially since it becomes a lot easier to fast for long periods of time once you’re Keto-adapted. So you just commit to doing both Keto and IF and watch the miracle happens.
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