Starting a Keto diet can be really challenging for newbies as there are many foods and drinks you can no longer have. Finding substitutes can be tricky, so you often end up omitting ingredients from your usual meals. Read on to find nine tips and tricks to help you navigate your keto diet.
For those who are new to the keto world, we will give you a quick rundown on what it is. Keto is short for ‘ketogenic’ because the diet puts your body in a state of what is called ‘ketosis.’ Let us unpack that for you; essentially, ketosis is a state at which your body starts burning fat. That’s the main thing to know about it. To achieve this state, keto dieters’ food intakes will consist of high levels of fat and extremely low amounts of carbohydrates (carbs).
We’re here to guide you through with some tips and tricks to help make the transition to this diet as easy as possible.
You know those days where you’re so busy you can’t even stop to catch your breath? When you’re rushing from meeting to meeting, it can be hard to make time to prepare proper food. Don’t be caught short in a moment of weakness; hunger can strike any time, so start taking keto-friendly snacks with you wherever you go. Some great choices are nuts such as cashews and almonds as these are packed with healthy fats, protein and fibre.
Snacks are important, but even more important are your meals. You don’t want to be caught near a fast food outlet with no other option when hunger strikes. It’s imperative that you prepare meals ahead of time to take to work or have ready when you’re suddenly feeling ravenous. A great way to do this is to take some time on a Sunday to prepare a number of meals that you can eat across the next few days. You can even freeze some to eat later in the week or another time. Putting aside a little time in the week can mean huge benefits in your eating, so it’s totally worth it.
With a little preparation, you’ll never be caught munching down at your local takeaway.
Research Keto Diet Menus Ahead Of Time
Let’s be real; not all restaurants will have something you can eat on a keto diet. To make it easier for yourself when making plans to eat out with friends, why don’t you pick the restaurant? Then you can choose one where you know there are meals, you’ll be able to eat. If someone else suggests a place, most eateries have their menus online these days, so take a look and make sure there’s something you can order before you say yes. This makes it much easier than going to a restaurant with no options for you and being ‘that’ person who asks for multiple substitutions.
Some great options to look for on menus are ribs (without sauce), fish with vegetables, salads, or other meat and vegetable-based meals. Just watch out for things like croutons and dressings and remember that additional sauces are often loaded with carbs in the form of sugar.
Use Keto Diet Substitutes
Luckily, there are more and more healthy substitutes around today for our main staples. Instead of using wheat flour, the main keto-friendly options are almond flour and coconut flour. You can substitute 1 cup of wheat flour with around ¼ – ⅓ cup of coconut flour in your favourite recipes.
Cauliflower is a popular substitute for many things – it can be used in pizza bases, bread, cut up to make ‘rice.’ Just have a look online, and there are plenty of recipes for you to try out. Take advantage of this amazingly versatile vegetable and give it a go today.
Avocados Are Your Friend
Avocados are packed full of healthy monounsaturated fat, which is exactly what you need on the keto diet. They don’t contain sugar and have loads of nutrients and vitamins, which are great for you – including Vitamins A, K, D and E. On a keto diet it can be tough to achieve the recommended intake of nutrients and vitamins so add avocados into the mix to achieve optimal health.
Also, see our Keto Burn Xtreme review
How to eat them? Mash them up with some lemon juice and avocado for a simple, healthy guacamole. They are also a great addition to the salad, adding a unique textural element.
Eggs are the perfect food on the keto diet as they are low in carbs, high in protein, and pair well with your keto-friendly meat and vegetables.
Here are 2 ways with eggs to give you some ideas on how to add them into your meals:
- Breakfast muffin cups – whisk up eggs and add your favourite seasonings, vegetables, and proteins. Bake in the oven. These are great on the go snack, perfect for breakfast or any time of day.
- Crustless quiche – super simple, just whisk your eggs, add vegetables and protein, and you’re good to go! I like to add grated courgette and carrot, which is also perfect if you’re giving this food to little ones as they can’t pick out the vegetables!
Vegetables are a natural way to get many vitamins and nutrients needed in your life. Eating lots of vegetables will keep you full with fewer calories as well. Not all vegetables are able to be consumed on a keto diet, though as starchy root vegetables tend to be avoided. These generally have more carbs, whereas leafy greens and other vegetables are high in fibre and have a lower carb content. You can’t avoid carbs altogether as even healthier vegetables have them, but choosing the right vegetables is certainly a great way to limit your carb intake.
Some Great keto-Friendly Diet Options:
Bacon is a wonderful addition to the keto diet. The low amount of carbs present in keto can result in a lack of sodium for some people. Bacon is, of course, naturally high in sodium, so it can help with this deficiency.
Never underestimate the versatility of bacon. This keto-friendly fat and protein-rich food can be paired with many things. For example, bacon-wrapped fish is a delicious treat, or try wrapping it around asparagus or zucchini sticks.
Coconut oil contains a type of fat called medium-chain glycerides, which help you achieve ketosis. It can also keep you fuller for longer, so you’re less likely to be tempted with sugary snacks.
How do you use it? Simply replace your usual oils with coconut oil when you’re frying bacon, stir-frying vegetables, or anything else you’d usually use oil for.
Did you know that coconut oil is also great for your skin? So if you have a huge tub of it lying around, why not try it out! It has antibacterial properties and is moisturizing for hair and skin.
2 Ways to Use Coconut Oil in Your Beauty Regime:
- For a supernatural exfoliant, you can use up that sugar you have lying around but don’t use anymore by mixing with an even amount of coconut oil. Scrub and see the dead skin wash away.
- You can also use coconut oil as a hair mask, simply lather your hair in it and leave on for about an hour. Then wash out thoroughly and see curls bounce back, and your hair will feel soft and fresh.
Use A Keto Food Tracking App
The keto diet is, of course, made up of low carbs, high fat, and medium protein. But how do you know exactly how much of each you’re eating? By tracking your macros of course. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, we’ll explain. Macros are short for macronutrients and are a more in-depth way of tracking what you’re eating than simply calorie counting. Calories don’t tell you how much carbs, proteins, etc. that you’re eating. On the other hand, macros break down into grams of protein, carbs, and fats, so you know exactly what your intake of each is.
It’s pretty complicated to try to keep track of all this on your own; it’s a lot simpler to instead download a good food tracking app to help you out. MyFitnessPal is a really popular one for this. You simply enter the foods you’ve eaten, you can even scan the barcode, and the app will tell you all about the macros of that food.
We know that with starting any new diet, there can be a huge learning curve where you’re not sure what you can or can’t eat and trying to find out what to eat instead of your favourite foods. There are loads of resources out there to help like recipes and blogs; all you have to do is search. Hopefully, this article was a helpful step on your journey. Now that you’ve got a bit more knowledge about the keto diet, hopefully, this will help you manage this diet with ease.