If you’ve ever tried to learn a new thing it seems like you always run across a game-changer tip after you’ve figured out every hard way to do something, right? I feel that way about the Ketogenic Diet.
Every time I do something the hard way, I find a tip that would have made it so much easier! I decided to find as many Keto beginners tips and tricks as I could so YOU don’t have to do it the hard way like me.
These aren’t the regular tips you’ll find all over the internet. Some of them are in-your-face and might not make you feel warm and fuzzy. Some might make you feel downright uncomfortable and make you want to throw oranges at my head. Some of them you just have to hear.
Nearly every one of them – especially the head ones – are hurdles I’ve needed to get past – and some I’m still struggling with. You might too. Just think of it as tough love.
Most of these tips will be helpful in Week 1 and all will be helpful for the duration.
If you aren’t really sure what I’m talking about with Keto beginners tips, head over to my Keto Diet for Beginners to check it out.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may make a small commission at no cost to you. For my full disclosure go here.
Keto Beginners Tips and Tricks
Get your head in the game. If you do this half-way you won’t only not lose weight but you may also gain it. Actually, you PROBABLY will gain weight. Check out our Keto Diet for Beginners to understand why.
Evaluate your stress level first and your real reason for wanting to lose weight. You can do this diet perfectly and not lose weight if your stress levels are too high.
If you don’t get into ketosis, you aren’t following a Ketogenic Diet. So get into ketosis. Follow a plan. Don’t do Keto 3 days a week. Commit or don’t commit. Just two choices.
Track what you eat. Every single bite for the first few weeks. If you hide in the closet to eat a Mars bar and don’t write it down the only person you are hurting is yourself. This is about progress. You won’t be perfect right out of the gate so don’t lie to yourself. You’re better than that.
Ignore your macros for the first week. Yes, track what you eat but NO, don’t track the macros yet. Just eat – cut the carbs, increase the fat. Besides – stress. Eat, don’t worry.
I said ignore the macros – but DO count the net carbs. Just don’t worry about counting anything else in Week 1. Net carbs – total carbs minus fiber = net carbs.
Make sure you aren’t front-loading a steer into your gut. Moderate protein, not a whole hog. Make your protein portion about the size of your palm. This diet uses fat as the star, not the protein.
Weigh yourself weekly, measure weekly. Take pictures monthly. Just do it.
During Week 1 – don’t worry about your macros. Cut the carbs and up the fat. Eat. ESPECIALLY eat if you’re coming off a low-calorie plan. You’re probably starving.
Again, Week 1 – follow what I say about the Keto Flu here. It’s a thing. Supplement if you need to, just be prepared that it probably will happen.
Drink your water. Keto is a diuretic – that’s why you need to drink more water and replenish your electrolytes.
Monitor your blood glucose levels AFTER you get through the first week or so. You don’t need to be jabbing yourself and trying to figure out what the numbers mean just yet. Remember what I said about stress?
If you MUST test (MUST as in “I just have to know”, not MUST because you have a medical condition that requires it. If you have to test because you are under medical care talk to your health provider first.), just do so on Day 1 for a baseline.
Remember I said to track your food? If you do track and then hit a stall, you can go back and see what you were doing when you were losing and maybe what you were doing when you stopped. That’s a handy bit of information right there. Here’s a great guide on what you can – and shouldn’t – eat while on the keto diet.
Use a planner in conjunction with your food tracker. A Bullet Journal is awesome used this way because it can be very freeform. Writing your goals down actually increases the chance of achieving them!
Studies show that the people to take the time to write down their goals and read and refer to them often are the people who tend to have the most success at achieving those goals. So get your goals out of your head and onto paper – and keep them where you can see them daily.
Get a buddy. I can’t say this enough. Get a buddy who is also doing Keto and will be there to cheer you on and hold you accountable – not one who will go to DQ with you to drown your feelings in a blizzard.
Be prepared with a fiber supplement.
Keto Beginners Tips and Tricks for Women
Don’t sit on the couch. Get up and get moving, even if it’s just walking. You can burn off the stored glucose faster if you just move your body a little more. Can’t get out for a walk because of the rain, the kids, insert reason here: _______? Run the vacuum and dance. Run around with the kids. Just don’t sit on the couch and expect to be in ketosis fast.
Don’t start your day off with a sweet breakfast. Even with approved sweeteners, you can still get cravings for sweets for the rest of the day.
Know that, in the beginning, your sweet stuff just won’t taste as good with approved sweeteners as they do with sugar. It’s a fact. Your taste buds will change the longer you are separated from sugar.
This is one of the most important of the keto beginners tips – don’t give up on treats until you’ve been able to make the transition from being sugar addicted to becoming fat adapted.
Diet sodas are no better than regular sodas when you’re trying to kick the sugar monkey. They can trigger insulin spikes too. You can always get a Soda Stream and fizz some cold water, then add a few drops of flavored Stevia or make a nice Stevia-sweetened ginger ale.
Need to grab something at the drive through and want to stay on plan? These fast food sauces will help!
Get plenty of sleep. Don’t be a hero.
Keto Beginners Tips and Tricks for Meal Planning
If you are the grocery shopper in the family, don’t take one of the grocery lists you find on the internet to the store with you (not even mine). You don’t need everything on it and most of it will go bad. And go alone or with a friend who is also doing Keto. If you have issues with impulse buying – and who doesn’t – try curbside to save time and money.
Don’t go to the store without a plan. Start planning here.
Grab my meal planners from the Keto Cabinet, our free resource library. (Sign up for it here.) And then USE them.
Write your favorite meals (non-keto) on our meal planner (in the Keto Cabinet) and see how you can make small changes that won’t affect your routine much and may be acceptable for the whole family.
It’s okay to eat the same thing for breakfast and the same thing for lunch every day while you’re getting the hang of it – even if you’re not still in the first week. If meal planning causes you to stress, do what you can to not let it start. We’ve all seen all those nice weekly meal planners on the internet, right? The ones where they tell you what you’re eating for every meal?
I get stressed just looking at them. I don’t want to consult a chart every time I need to eat. I have no trouble eating a piece of quiche or a few eggs every day for breakfast – I’m just fueling my body.
A salad for lunch every day is super easy, especially if I have planned ahead and have my protein cooked and all I need to do is assemble it. That being said, if you like to do it that way, do it. I’ll do me and you do you, ok? It’s all good. I use these recipes to plan out my salads.
That being said, you don’t want to eat the same three meals every single day for weeks on end. You want to switch it up so your body doesn’t get used to the exact same thing every day and slow – or stop – your losses.
You can certainly switch back and forth between two different breakfasts and two lunches – just to mix it up while keeping it low stress. Here are my favorite easy recipes!
Cooking Keto for just you? Yep, most of the recipes you find are for 4 or more servings. The first time you make a dish, put a serving of it in the freezer. Take it out the next week or so and heat it up. If it reheats well, you may have a cost-cutting saver on your hands!
If you buy nuts for snacks, portion them out in snack bags as soon as you get home with them. I know if I’m faced with a portioned bag of nuts I’m less apt to over-indulge than when I’m faced with a whole can of nuts. Another tip: Get them from the bulk bins – they’ll be cheaper!
Keto Beginners Tips and Tricks for Cooking
Prepare ahead. Chop your veggies, cook hamburger in advance. Mix up omelet bags. Make egg and ham muffins for a grab and go breakfast Check out Keto meal prep here.
Make your lunches to pack all at once. Whether they are mason jar salads or rotisserie chicken with veggies, having them ready will reduce so much stress. Here a few great recipes that are CHEAP and will help you get started on lunches! This post has a few tasty lunch recipes for a little more variety.
Follow a meal plan. No, not a meal plan someone else made up – follow one YOU made. Run over to the Keto Cabinet and get my printables to help with that. (Yes, this tip is so important I wanted to mention it twice!)
Double up on TNT (Tried and True) dishes and freeze the excess in portions. You will be controlling portions but you’ll also be saving time in the long run – less cooking and less clean-up later! If you scored any of the meal on sale you just became a budget hero too! Here are some great cheap Keto meals that will help your budget!
If you have a light weekend and a little extra money in the food budget, consider getting some recipes together and having a freezer meal prep day. Even if you only get a week ahead, you’re still ahead.
Buddy up with a friend and do a day of freezer meal prep – you can each do 2 complete meals of 8 or 10 recipes and then swap meals so you have 16 – 20 meals ready.
If you have a friend who lives close, double up a meal at your own houses and swap one for one. No freezer involved! You can either assemble them to cook later or cook them when you make them.
Want to try a new recipe but don’t want to eat it for several days in a row? Contact your buddy and have them make something they’ve been wanting to try too! Make the recipe as written and split it. Provide your buddy with the recipe (again, as written) so you each try something new. If you have the original recipe you’ll know what you might want to substitute if you make it for yourself.
Do you like the Keto mug cakes and the Keto mug bread? Hate getting all the ingredients out every time? Get out sandwich bags (or whatever container you want) and make packets of all the dry ingredients. With a Sharpie, mark the baggie with the flavor, wet ingredients needed, and cook time.
It’s so much easier to get out the ingredients once and make a dozen or two packets at once. Word of warning: make sure you have made at least one of each flavor and like it before you make up a bunch of packets!
If you make a batch of Keto cookies or scones, take out your portion and freeze the rest in portions.
Keto Beginners Tips and Tricks to Get Into (or back into) Ketosis
Eat your food! Not eating enough is as bad as eating too much!
Eat your vegetables. Truly. They will help fill you up. Like spaghetti squash? Here are 5 ways to cook it plus 7 recipes!
Add high-quality fat to your food – like on top of those veggies. Heard about Fat Bombs? Your life will never be the same! These Avocado Butter recipes are awesome fat bombs too! Who
wants needs Avocado Toast? Keto style, of course!
Eat real food. And use simple and easy recipes to save time and stress, especially if you start to feel the Keto flu – be prepared so you don’t sabotage your success. As a matter of fact, go over and read this post on Side Effects of a Keto Diet from my friend Wendy at Lettuce Thrive so you know what to expect.
Cut those carbs way back. Get them from your veggies instead. And you’ll get lots of fiber! Plus, veggies with healthy fats on top are a great way to cut bad carbs while getting good fats into your system for ketosis. Truly, I can’t stress filling up on veggies enough. It’s one of the easiest of the Keto beginners tips and tricks and so very important. Eat ’em up!
Be prepared with electrolytes for when you start to feel the Keto flu. And extra water. You’ll feel amazing soon. Here’s a great recipe for a DIY Low Carb Electrolyte Drink!
Consider taking Exogeneous Ketones if you are recovering from a slip or experiencing keto flu. (<< use code APERFECT15 for 15% off!) They won’t get you into ketosis faster unless you are following a strict keto plan. They are not a shortcut to doing the work and following the plan but they may help you get through the keto flu quicker and help with getting you back into ketosis after a deviation. They are NOT a daily supplement in place of reducing your carbs and increasing your fat.
I don’t know if you were counting but that’s more than 48 Keto beginners tips and tricks!
I’ll add more when I run across some good ones.
If you have any Keto beginners tips and tricks, drop me a note!
YOU CAN DO THIS!!!
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