A quick Google search for weight loss tips to shed those extra lockdown pounds and suddenly you’re down a rabbit hole of internet diets, eating nothing but cabbage soup for weeks on end and sucking on a cardboard box for a treat – we have all been there.
I was convinced there just had to be a better way, so I set about trying to sort the legit diet plans from the crazies and I hit a jackpot with the keto diet.
Keto is often punted as simply being a fast way to lose a lot of weight, but there is more to this diet than just that. We all know that the key to weight loss is that it has to be sustainable; if you can’t build new healthy habits for life then you’re probably going to relapse and end up crying on the sofa eating fistfuls of chocolate and wondering where it all went so catastrophically wrong.
After a whole lot of research and reading, I’ve separated the fact from the fiction and settled on these 10 keto tips for sustained weight loss:
- Low Carb Intake
The best way to sustain your weight loss is to avoid high-carb foods. Consume only keto-friendly foods and in order for a food to be classified as a keto food, it has to be very low in carbs. Aim for a net carb amount of less than 20g. You can easily work out your net carb amount by subtracting your total fiber intake from your total carb intake. The easiest way for me is to remember what I can’t eat, like potatoes, corn, cereal, and certain fruits like apples and bananas.
- Increase Low Carb Vegetable Consumption
Vegetables are so good for you, most of them anyway… For the keto diet to be effective in the long-term it is important that you keep a consistent amount of low-carb veggies in your diet. These veggies include things like kale, spinach, and broccoli – I know that might not sound particularly interesting at first but those are truly versatile vegetables and you can add them to soups and stews as well as in delicious side dishes.
- Smash The Avocados
There is no better, or tastier, way to consume heart-healthy and keto-friendly fats. If there happened to be Oscars for the food world then the avocado would win best supporting role by a landslide. If you’re one of those really odd people who don’t like avo (I’ve heard you exist but I’ve seen you…) then you simply have to try it with bacon. Bacon and avo belong together; they are a match made in keto heaven. You don’t have to literally smash them though, just figuratively.
- Avoid Sugar
The absence of sugar triggers your liver to start producing ketones; this is what triggers your body to go into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when your body will start to burn fat and burning fat is key in achieving sustained weight loss. You can order keto-friendly restaurant meals in good restaurants these days, so there really is no excuse not to stick to your keto diet. Sugar really isn’t ever your friend, this concept is common in most diets but especially in keto ones. You can use artificial sweeteners though, so not all is lost.
- Track Your Macros
I know this may seem like the dietician and personal trainer territory, but tracking your macros in the simplest of terms just means helping you understand where your calories are coming from and how they affect your body. Once you get into it, it does get easier and you’ll soon understand that not all calories are created equally. There are loads of dieting fads out there that can lead you astray with regards to calories and calorie tracking so focus on the well-documented parts and ignore the nonsense.
- Avoid Processed Foods
Be mindful of your current food environment. As humans we have become terrifyingly reliant on food for emotional support and not just for physical sustenance. Food is meant to be designed to nourish our bodies, not pad us with disease-causing fat cells. Processed foods are one of the worst things to put in your body, the bad far outweighs the good, so it is best to just avoid them altogether. Instead of looking for convenient processed foods, rather look for quick and healthy meals you can whip up in less than 30 minutes if you don’t have a keto-friendly restaurant nearby.
- Only Buy Keto Foods
The easiest way to stay on the keto diet is to learn to only ever buy keto foods. There are so many different keto foods available that you shouldn’t get bored. The main foods to avoid are potatoes, wheat, grains, sugar, and certain fruit and vegetables.
- Drink Light Beer
I realize I might be getting a lot of hate for this tip, but the fact of the matter is that beer is super high in carbs and that, by its very nature, is not keto-friendly. The good news is that you can still drink low-carb beer and stick to your keto diet at the same time. Beers that are low in calories and carbs deserve more love from us, and in many places in the world, they are getting the recognition they deserve. These so-called “new age beers” still taste great but they won’t knock you off your keto wagon.
- Plan Your Meals
Meal prep is a wonderful thing, it might seem like a ton of work at first but once you get into it things go faster and the prep gets easier. Planning and prepping your meals is also a great way to keep an eye on your portion control.
- Track Your Food Properly
It is so important to track everything you eat. Letting things slip by without measuring them first and adding them to your tracker, is a recipe for disaster. It is a sure-fire way to put all those pounds back on overtime – I don’t like to say it because it makes me sound 100 years old but a moment on the lips really can be a lifetime on the hips.