For a diet to be effective, you have to make beneficial, sustainable lifestyle changes. This means that your diet should not prevent you from experiencing life; you should still be able to comfortably adapt to social situations, and be able to treat yourself as and when you choose! If your newly adopted lifestyle begins feeling like a chore, the chances are that you will not stick to it.
Although many consider the keto diet as a ‘fad diet’, it is intended to be a lifestyle shift, where the body can burn fat for energy instead of glucose. To stay in ketosis, and reap the benefits of a ketogenic diet, it’s best to adopt it long term.
Here are some of our practical tips to be mindful of on a daily basis, in order to create a sustainable keto lifestyle:
1. Define your WHY:
When adopting a keto lifestyle, you must establish a clear understanding as to why you want to change your eating habits. The reason can be anything - for example, ‘I want to lower my blood sugar levels so that I can reduce the risk of heart disease’. It is crucial to establish your WHY early on in your transition to the keto diet, as this will provide you with purpose. We recommend writing down your WHY, and placing it in a visible place, like your nightstand or fridge. Starting your day with a WHY is a significant motivating factor, and will help you stay on track for the rest of the day!
2. Incorporating exercise:
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, most governments around the world have suggested that we stay at home, maintaining a safe social distance. However, being isolated for weeks can take a toll on our physical and mental wellbeing.
Incorporating some form of exercise in your daily routine is a great way to relieve tension and stress and boost mental and physical energy. Activities such as low-intensity cardio, resistance training, or HIIT can be great choices in maintaining muscle mass. Exercising along with keto may help you burn more calories and enhance your overall performance.
The great thing about exercise is that you can adapt it to your lifestyle, whether you prefer working out in the morning, before work or in the evening - you can reap the benefits! We recommend using this video as a helpful guide on the best exercises on the keto diet.
3. Make your food environment keto-friendly:
Our willpower during the early stages of adopting a new lifestyle is usually high; however, we must acknowledge that remaining consistent can be difficult. If our food environment is filled with easily accessible, carb-rich foods, then our willpower can deplete, eventually perhaps leading you astray. This is why it is essential when transitioning to the keto diet that you make a point to clear out your kitchen cupboards. A complete kitchen purge will help reduce temptation.
If you happen to be the only one in your household that is committed to keto, this may be challenging but shouldn’t deter you. If possible, try and get your family on board and if that doesn’t work, find low carb alternatives to items such as bread, and desserts. We also suggest keeping junk food hidden where possible. Studies have shown that leaving unhealthy foods in highly visible places increases the likelihood of consumption.
4. Plan your meals:
Planning your meals feels like a daunting task, but it is a great way to ensure that you stay on track. Learning how to meal prep will not only save you time, but it also saves you money and reduces waste. It can also make a busy schedule easier, taking the stress out of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sunday afternoon as your meal prep day is a good idea - this gives you enough time to prepare your meals for the week and helps you to track your macros!
5. Think of it as a lifestyle, and not as a quick-fix:
For most, in order to stick to keto successfully, you’ll need to change your lifestyle. By training your brain into thinking long term, chances are you will see better results. To make keto work for your lifestyle, you need to ensure that it fits within your schedule, household, and goals. Define your purpose, plan meals, rid your kitchen of high carb foods, and ask your friends and family for support. Whenever you find yourself overwhelmed, these tactics will help you remain on track. Remember, adopting a keto diet does not mean following it to the T all the time; it means finding ways and adaptations to make the lifestyle work for you!