Ketogenic Lifestyle
Planning for Keto and Low-Carb Dieting
January 6, 2020
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Planning for keto is the key to success!

When it comes to the Ketogenic diet, your success will lie in your planning. Making sure you have the proper foods on hand when you begin your diet will go a long way toward your ongoing healing and weight loss. There are plenty of resources online for keto and low-carb recipes that you can easily take advantage of. However, at first, while you’re getting the hang of things, it can be helpful to keep things super simple.

Planning your meals and snacks will be an important part of your life when you are on this diet. That advice really goes for any diet. When you eat whatever you like, you gain weight. Your current weight and health problems are a direct result of letting your eating habits go unchecked for so long.

As with all dietary changes, getting used to eating keto is going to take some time and adjustment. The standard American diet (SAD) relies heavily on manufactured foods full of carbohydrates and inflammatory ingredients, which are all restricted on keto. Many people grew up on carbohydrate heavy favorites like spaghetti and meatballs, lots of bread, and sugary desserts. It is going to take some effort and patience to get used to eating in an entirely new way. Even many foods that we’ve been historically taught to include in our diets for good health like whole grains and fruit are restricted on keto.

Keto Substitutes

There are a few different approaches you can take in adjusting your diet. You can find replacements for your favorite foods with “mock” carbohydrates by swapping out traditional ingredients for lower carbohydrate substitutes. For example, lasagna made with eggplant or zucchini instead of pasta is much more keto-friendly than the regular variety. Spaghetti squash noodles make a good substitute for spaghetti noodles. There are also many low-carb or carb-free replacements for bread, pasta, and just about anything else you’re craving.

This approach can get some folks into trouble since it doesn’t really focus on change. There’s a reason why you became unhealthy to begin with and it often goes much deeper than the food you eat. Addressing bad habits, emotional eating, and your relationship with food is critical to your long-term success. If you continue to eat junk food, keto-friendly junk food is still junk food, you may continue to have cravings and struggle with real and lasting change.

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Simplicity

The second approach is to find out how to make new recipes that center around meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and other low-carb foods. There are a wide variety of meats that are acceptable on keto. If you are used to just eating ground beef or chicken on a weekly basis, you’ll be surprised by the variety of meats that are out there. Try incorporating pork, lamb, and ham into your weekly routine. You can also experiment with game fowl like Cornish hen, quail, and pheasant. If you’ve never been a fan of fish, try a different variety. Some people who don’t like trout find they have a love of salmon or other fish. Don’t forget shellfish like mussels, clams, and shrimp. These foods are all acceptable and can add variety and nutrient density to your diet.

Quick & Easy Options

Make sure to have some easy to prepare foods on hand for snacks and quick meals. For example, thin sliced cucumbers, radishes and celery mixed with lemon mayonnaise make a great low-carb meal or dinner salad. Fried peppers, mushrooms, and garlic served on arugula with feta cheese is another good option.

Always keep a protein prepared in the fridge whether it’s meat prepared in advance, hardboiled eggs, or cheese. Keeping grab and go options available at all times will save you when you’re too tired or too hungry to make a meal. When planning for keto, this is critical!

Research & Experiment

Research and try out different low-carb recipes so you have a good base of knowledge of what to prepare for meals. The most important step you can take in losing weight is planning. Getting a good arsenal of easy to prepare meals will prevent you from hitting the drive-through or going to a restaurant and breaking your diet.

If you have delicious food to look forward to every day, you’ll be less bored with your diet. Even during the initial adaptation phase, being prepared will help you stay on track. At first glance, the vegetable and meat options may seem restrictive. But this is only in comparison to what you have been used to eating. With a little planning and creativity, you can find something interesting to eat every day. Planning for keto will keep you on track!

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About author

Heather Cooan

Heather is a marketing executive turned nutrition counselor, consultant, and educator. Heather is currently a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Nutrition Therapy Practitioner candidate and advocates for informed consent, bodily autonomy, and self-directed healthcare. She speaks and writes on nutrition and lifestyle interventions for improved health and wellness. Heather successfully avoided radiation and chemotherapy and healed her body of vulvar cancer utilizing a food-as-medicine approach combined with conventional interventions such as surgery. Heather has also put two autoimmune diseases into remission (Hashimotos and Lichen Sclerosus) and reversed estrogen dominance, insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, and fatty liver through diet and lifestyle change.

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