A low-carb diet, specifically the ketogenic diet, is known to reduce food cravings and burn fat more efficiently. Why is this the case? Because when switching to a high-fat diet instead of a carbohydrate diet, a body starts burning fat (or ketones) instead of glucose. What happens next is that a body starts burning fat, which in turn can lead to excellent weight loss results! When starting the ketogenic diet there will be some ups and downs, but that doesn’t mean one should give up. Below are some low carb tips that have helped us stick with and be successful on the keto diet, and we hope they’ll do the same for you!
Don’t be afraid of fat
When you first start a low carb diet, All Natural Diets says you can’t be scared of fat. Many people are so scared of fat because they’ve been conditioned to stay away from it. However, on the keto diet eating fat is a good thing, and you can also focus on the good fats instead of the bad fats (though, both will help you lose weight)! So use your best judgment based on what’s best for your body.
Many people are fat-phobic when it comes to food. And some people who go low-carb end up eating high protein diets without eating enough dietary fat. Here’s the problem with this: out of the three macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat), only fat does not cause a release of insulin from the pancreas.
Granted, protein sources release much less insulin than carbs. However, if your goal is getting leaner and managing blood sugar, you’ll want to eat plenty of natural fats such as avocado, walnuts, grass-fed butter, olive oil, coconut oil, flax seeds and chia seeds and other smart fats.
Fats give your belly the sense of fullness it needs. Eating enough fat will prevent you from binging after a meal. This is perhaps one of the most important low carb diet tips to remember.
You will feel full for several hours if you get eat enough fat at every meal. You’ll be able to go 5-6 hours in between meals, which will help reset your metabolism. You won’t even think about food if you eat enough dietary fat.
Revamp your meal plan
To follow through with your weight loss goals, Low Carb Yum recommending changing up your meal plan. Of course, when you first start keto that’s precisely what you’ll be doing!
The reason why you’re craving or always hungry is probably because you don’t space out your meals well. It’s best to have three meals and two snacks a day every three to four hours, especially if you’re active. It’s best to stick to a routine rather than snacking all day long without any plan, as you may end up taking in more calories than you should.
Time your carbohydrates and make sure that if exercising, you eat at least 500 calories of carbs per day before, during, or after your workouts. I also recommend that you workout but to avoid going too hard during the first few weeks of a low carb diet. I like focusing more on strength exercises as well, as this fares better in keeping me lean and muscular, even if it does burn less calories than cardio.
Make a list of favorite foods
Step Away From the Carbs recommends making a list of your favorite low carb foods. That way you’ll have a great reference to look at when you have no clue what to eat.
Blank list for you to add your favorite low carb food and recipes
Fill it out and tape it to a cupboard or fridge door. Add your new favorite recipes as you discover them, so you can revisit old favorites. I dug out my old list from 2008 and completed my own version! Seriously, when you look at this list of fantastic food we can eat – it doesn’t seem like such a hardship!
Eat according to hunger
In the past, you may have eaten whenever you’re hungry, but if you’re not hungry, it doesn’t make sense to eat. The beauty of the keto diet is that by eating fat, you’ll feel fuller longer. VeryWellFit discusses this more in depth below:
While the first week or two of a low-carb diet can be challenging, the food cravings you experience will eventually abate as your body adapts to the lower intake of carbs. By this stage, if you are eating the right amount of carbs, you will no longer have extreme cravings but will instead go through normal patterns of hunger and satiation.
It is then that you will need to eat according to your hunger, and not by rote.
Eating when you are not hungry only adds carbs that you may not need. On the other hand, ignoring your hunger will almost invariably lead you to overeat. As such, it is far better to let your hunger signals direct your eating rather than routine.
With that being said, do not eat three hours before bedtime when your body is less able to burn energy. The same applies to alcohol.
A Sweet Life recommends moving more because it helps your body and head feel better. Plus it enables you to feel better mentally too! So if you’re feeling discouraged because you just cheated on your diet don’t fret — moving is an excellent way to counteract the bad food choices.
My husband taught me that the best cure for a hangover is a 5k run. No, I am not kidding, it works. And it works for food hangovers too. You aren’t going to feel great when you get out there. In fact, you will probably feel a little like dog poo. Or a lot like dog poo. It won’t be your best athletic performance ever. It may even hurt a little at the beginning and you will wonder why the heck you are doing it. But afterwards, you will feel so much better and you will be that much further along to ridding your body of the junk you ate. It doesn’t have to be a run or anything super high intensity. But you do want to raise your heart rate a little and it helps to break a sweat. It helps your body digest a little better, it clears your head, and it helps your cells uptake the extra insulin and glucose that might be floating around in your blood stream. And, if I can be frank, it helps get your bowels moving too. Which we all know makes us feel better after a binge!
VeryWellFit adds to the thoughts above by arguing you can’t keep the momentum going for weight loss without working out. Don’t yo-yo on a diet; keep after it by regularly working out (whether you continue to lose weight without working out or not).
Whether you like it or not, you cannot sustain weight loss without exercise. While you can certainly shed the early pounds with diet alone, you will be unlikely to maintain the loss if you remain sedentary. This is why most people who diet either yo-yo or end up gaining all of the weight back.
If you just sit around, you will almost invariably hit a stall as your readjusted metabolism barely meets the demands of the foods you're consuming.
One way to combat this is with regular exercise, ideally with some strength training. Building lean muscle creates stores for energy which the body can fill during rest. Even if you're experiencing fatigue, exercise will trigger the release of hormones, such as endorphins, to enhance mood, mental acuity, and energy levels.
Look after macronutrients
Are you looking after your macronutrients? Not everyone keeps track of every little gram they eat, but if you have a broad overview as to how many carbs certain foods contain that’s an excellent place to start. As you progress in the diet, you’ll get the hang of what you can eat and what has too many carbs. Low Carb Yum discusses this more in depth:
Low-carb diets does NOT mean no carbs at all! Consume 20 grams of carbs a day, with 15 grams being from vegetables. Avoid going less than 18 grams or over 22 grams a day. Measure your food and ingredients. As much as possible, I prepare my own food and measure it accurately. While I do like quick and instant food like protein bars, I prefer getting my calories from nutritious dishes that help with both my hunger and overall health.
Focus on protein and don’t restrict fat. If you’re getting tired of the usual bullet coffee and bacon, you can try my bacon jerky or polish sausages, which are delicious and new recipes to spice up your taste buds! They make for great snacks, but don’t forget to pair it with vegetables and to take necessary supplements.
Drink lots of water
Let’s not forget the fantastic effects water can have, and according to A Sweet Life, if you feel like snacking drinking some water or even a sugar-free flavored beverage might be the trick (just be aware of artificial sweeteners that aren’t keto friendly such as sucralose and dextrose).
A bit cliche, perhaps, but I find this to be crucial in flushing out my system. Don’t go overboard and drink gallons upon gallons or you will dilute the critical salts your body requires. But simply sipping at a cool, clear liquid can make you feel a little more on track. If you’re sick of the taste of water, herbal teas (hot or cold, with or without sweetener) can help. And if you’re prone to boredom eating, as I am, sipping something with a little flavour can help ease the urge to stuff your mouth.
Need something a little more satisfying and comforting? Try sipping warm bone broth to fill you up without carbs. Also try adding a little turmeric to your bone broth for both flavour and the anti-inflammatory properties. All the carbs and sugars and such you’ve been eating can aggravate inflammation so anything you can do to mitigate it will make you feel a lot better.
Follow through with the keto diet like the Body Reboot book outlines, and advance in your weight loss goals. For a free copy of the Body Reboot book help us cover the cost of shipping, and we’ll send it your way. Visit this page and see if there are any copies left.
Sources: Low Carb Yum, A Sweet Life, Step Away From the Carbs, VeryWellFit, All Natural Ideas
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