My boyfriend and I have been following this low carb lifestyle since August 2015. Along the way we have learned a lot of do’s and don’ts that have really work for us. Keep in mind we do “lazy keto”, which means we only worry about net carbs (total carbs – [fiber + sugar alcohols] = net carbs). Keto is a lifestyle and we refuse to enter everything we eat into an app for the rest of our lives.
• Buy a good scale (or a tape measure, if you prefer to track inches vs weight loss). You can also buy/use a certain “goal dress”/shirt/pair of pants you want to fit into. However you plan on tracking your progress and gauging your success, make sure you’re using the appropriate tools to do so. Some people say to not weigh yourself as sometimes the numbers on the scale don’t move (or they go up), but you could still be losing inches. We choose to go by the number on the scale, BUT, we don’t lose our minds if we plateau for a week or two. We understand there are so many contributing factors that go into your weight and eventually you will lose weight.
• Weigh in once a week, on the same day, roughly the same time (morning, right after waking up), and after going to the bathroom. This is when you are at your lightest point of the day and of the last week. You may be like me and want to weigh in all the time, whether just due to curiosity, or hoping that you see something amazing which will only inspire you more – and that’s totally fine. However, keep in mind that the only real way you can accurately track how much weight you lost that week, is to only count your weekly weigh-ins.
• Take “before”/progress pictures. We don’t see our own progress day to day; the changes are just not drastic enough. The best way to visually see how much weight you have lost is to compare to what you looked like many pounds ago. When I was 250 pounds I avoided cameras like my life depended on it, however looking back I wish I had taken more pictures (both clothed and less-clothed) to see the differences. Every so often I’ll come across an old picture or video of me and it’s just jaw dropping. Don’t let your insecurities now affect the joy and feeling of accomplishment you will feel when you look back at all your progress. Trust me.
• Keep sugar free candy/cookies/low carb sweet around, especially if you know you have a sweet tooth. A couple pieces of candy or a sugar free cookie is a lot better than losing control and buying a dozen donuts.
• Drink water/flavored water/diet soda. They are zero carbs and satisfy a lot of sweet cravings. The carbonation also makes you feel full.
• Take vitamins/magnesium/electrolytes. I drink a lot of water (2 – 3 of these a day with Crystal Light Lemonade + Crystal Light Strawberry (warning: caffeine!) for a yummy carb-free strawberry lemonade). However I noticed I was starting to get dizzy a lot. This lasted for a week or two, every day. It was really scary. So I did some research and came across some information tying this low carb lifestyle to low electrolytes, which makes you dizzy. You have a few options: I choose to take a magnesium supplement every morning (and I haven’t had any problems since), or you can buy low/no carb drinks like Propel and Mio which put electrolytes in them. However you get them – just get them. 🙂
• Keep in mind that keto is not magic. It’s often referred to as “low carb, high fat”, however there are still boundaries. Like anything, moderation is key. While bacon (and most meat) is a huge part of keto, and we can have a lot of it – if you were to have 50 pounds of bacon a day – you’ll most likely gain weight, and not feel super good while doing so. Yes, you’re eating low carb high fat – but c’mon.
• Live your life. We all have goals. Even if you are at your goal weight you probably have a goal to maintain or get toned, or bulk up – however you will pretty much always be on the path to some sort of body goal. So if your birthday, or anniversary, or wedding, or [insert some other awesome even that doesn’t happen too often and is usually celebrated with food and/or drinks] – DO IT. It’s not being weak, you’re not “giving up” – you’re not even cheating; you’re enjoying your life. If your anniversary is tonight and you and your husband/wife really want to go to that amazing restaurant and get your favorite dish – then go there. You have roughly 360ish other days to be good.
• Think that you have to sacrifice any of your favorite foods. I’ve rarely been unable to find a way to make a low carb version of our favorite foods. If you’re craving donuts right now, there are a lot of low carb ways to make them, and most will take items you already have in your house. If you’re craving pizza, ice cream, cheesecake, tacos – you can have it all. Just do a simple search for “Low carb pizza recipe” or “keto cheesecake” and hundreds of results will appear. As we learned from My Favorite Recipe Blogs, read the comments first, to make sure those who have attempted this before you have had good results before you spend the time and money to make it.
• Cheat. We have, many times over the past year and a half (mainly before I started cooking) and it’s never worth it. When you’re hungry and/or have a craving, it is pretty hard to deal with. But feeling that regret on top of the crappy physical feelings, and potentially undoing the hard work you’ve done for days is hard to deal with, too.
• If you do cheat, don’t feel bad. We of course want to try not to, but if you do – it is not the end of the world. Sometimes you don’t even gain weight when you cheat, and sometimes you may even lose. The human body is a marvel. But beating yourself up is not going to help you. The carbs have already been consumed. When this happens I say: 1. drink a lot of water, 2. watch your carbs the rest of the week, and 3. maybe write your future self a little note to describe how you’re feeling right now…and how you feel about past-you’s decision making.
• How to perfectly cook bacon. Yes, our opinions may differ on what the perfect bacon is, but for our perfect crispiness (in order):
1. Place bacon on cookie sheet
2: Place sheet in oven
3: set oven to 400 degrees F
4: Set timer for 30 minutes.
That’s right, no preheating or flipping. It just comes out perfectly.
• Save your bacon grease. It can be used in most savory recipes in place of butter and it adds so much flavor. Not only is it free (if you’re already buying/making bacon), it is actually better for you than butter. Just drain the bacon fat off the cookie sheet or pan into a container with a lid and store in the fridge.
1 tbsp = 14.925 grams of fat, 0 carbs, 0 protein
1 tsp = 4.975 grams of fat, 0 carbs, 0 protein