Losing weight is hard sometimes, but it isn’t the hardest part of any diet. Did I say sometimes? It’s always hard. Keeping it off is the hardest part. The problem is that folks get so focused on the losing part that they forget what comes after that. They measure success by what they’ve lost, not by what they’ve gained – which is so much more important! Since we all want Keto Success – How to Have It and How to Keep It needs to be our main objective.
We’ve gathered our very best posts about Keto – the Ketogenic diet – to help you with Keto success, whether you are in the losing phase (and so excited to see the weight coming off!) to reaching your goal (Yay!!! You DID It!) or keeping it off – where the real work begins.
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 Success – How to Have It and How to Keep It
The first thing – the VERY first thing – you need to do before you ever look at one single Keto recipe is to determine your reason for losing the weight. Is for your health, to fit in a certain outfit, or look better for an event? Truly examine your reasons. I say this is the first thing you need to do because when the going gets tough or you get bored the reason you began the journey has to be big enough to overcome your temporary brain fart.
Your mindset is going to be your biggest motivator – or your companion in misery. You can read the mechanics fo the diet but to have keto success you need to have your head in the game.
If you’ve dieted before – who am I kidding? The LAST time you dieted, do you remember your reason for starting and the place you stumbled and stopped? Think about why you stopped. Did you get bored with the food? Did you get lazy and stopped doing the meal prep? Did you attend an event and fall off the wagon, then roll down the hill, then fall in the River of Denial and go over the Falls of Doom and land on the Rocks of Despair?
Knowing where your speed bumps help you to avoid them. Don’t – and I repeat DON’T – go into this without a plan. Your Keto success depends on it.
The Basics of Keto Diet for Beginners
Water – Try to drink at least a half an ounce of water for every pound you weigh – so a 200 lb person needs 100 ounces of water daily.
- As a human, you are made up of mostly water so you need to keep replenishing to keep your bodily functions working.
- It helps keep your balance of body fluids. (Did you know talking uses water?)
- You need it for kidney function, body temperature regulation, and circulation just to name a few.
- If you’re thirsty and reach for water instead of soda it can aid in weight loss.
- It helps prevent muscle fatigue.
- Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled.
- You need it for your bowels to work properly. Because constipation is a thing on many low carb diets.
Macros – Use a Keto macro Calculator to get your percentages – 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbs – as well as a recommended amount of calories for your height, weight, gender, and activity level. As time goes on you’ll adjust those percentages. You really need to keep the carbs restricted but try to be within 5 grams or so of your fat and protein.
Sleep – 7-9 hours a night is optimal. Lack of sleep is linked to the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. If you chronically are sleep-deprived you can develop high blood pressure, heart problems, and other serious health issues.
Electrolytes – If you need something quick, drink some salt water or pickle juice. If you want something a little more tasty, try my Low Carb DIY Electrolyte Drink.
Plan your meals – Planning your meals will not only keep you on track with your eating but it will save you money, time, and stress. Check out my post on planning at Part 1 – Planning for Keto on a Budget. The whole Keto on a Budget series is helpful, even if you are not on a budget. It’s a step by step guide to being prepared.
Equip Your Kitchen for Keto Success
You don’t need every dish, pan, or bowl on the planet to be able to have Keto success so throw that excuse right out the window. You probably have all you need already.
Pretty much essential:
Tips to Incorporate More Fat Into Your Diet – if it’s Needed
The Keto diet is a low carb/high fat/moderate protein diet. Most of us are used to the Atkins low carb model which is higher in protein than Keto. Without going into too much detail to bore you into a Snickers bar, too much protein can derail you as much as too many carbs.
On the other hand, since restricting carbs will get you into ketosis be careful how much fat you are adding to your meals. If you’re trying to lose fat you’ll be stalling your efforts by adding more fat than what is needed for satiety. This diet is not about gnawing on a stick of butter. Once you get closer to your goal you may need to add more fat but cross that bridge when you come to it. Don’t fear fat but do treat it with a healthy respect.
The point is to enjoy your food but please do not abuse calories. Calories really do matter. If you find yourself stalling, examine the amount of fat you are adding to your meals. A half-cup of dressing isn’t necessary on a salad that contains a fatty meat and nuts.
Your Keto success does not depend on eating a ton of food on a daily basis. You still have limits and goals.
Speaking of nuts, they are very calorie dense. So easy to overeat them! If you are like me – and have zero willpower around a cashew – don’t buy them. If you CAN be trusted around a nut, just limit them.
Add olives or avocado – especially to your first meal of the day. An easy way to control the amount of fat – and your brain needs it!
Do You Need Nutritional Supplements for Keto Success?
I may have mentioned this before but you’re going to be drinking a lot of water. Stands to reason you’ll be in the bathroom a lot too. Unless you’re a camel, in which case I’m deeply impressed. Camels can read? Who knew?
Anyway, you’ll be flushing a lot of minerals out of your system too, so you’ll need to be staying replenished. You’ve probably heard of the Keto flu, right? Shaky, headache, maybe dizzy. Those are also some of the same symptoms of dehydration which is also linked to mineral depletion. Plain water just can’t keep up sometimes. I have a great post called Low Carb DIY Electrolyte Drink so you can make a drink at home and control everything in it. Try it!
I know it sounds counterintuitive but having the Keto Flu is a great sign that your body is depleting its glycogen stores and ketosis is right around the corner. That being said, the symptoms don’t HAVE to be severe. Try these supplements to avoid or lessen the severity of the Keto Flu:
- Electrolyte Powder
- Pink Salt
- Magnesium powder
- Mineral Water Drops
- Or a combo of magnesium and potassium: Keto Vitals.
Tips for Keto Success
Read labels. Spices sometimes contain carbs and many contain sugar.
The scales don’t tell the whole story. Take your measurements regularly.
Don’t weigh yourself daily. It puts undue stress on your mindset because your body will fluctuate from day to day – especially if you are a woman.
Track everything – your food, your macros, your sleep, your water, your exercise – all of it. Later, when you have a stall – and you will – you can refer back to your notes to see what you were doing when you were losing well to see what’s changed. I know it sounds a bit OCD but we’re after Keto success, right? Otherwise, what’s the point of doing it at all? I use My Fitness Pal as a tracker – I can adjust the macros in it to suit my plan.
Going back to the basics from time to time can jumpstart your losses again.
Weigh and Measure your food. You could be eating twice as much food without realizing it. I always weigh my meat raw; others weigh it cooked. The best rule of thumb here is to always weigh it the same way, either always weigh raw or always weigh cooked if you can. You can choose it cooked or raw in your tracker but stay consistent because it really does matter. Again, I use My Fitness Pal as a tracker. It’s helpful to keep a food diary and record everything.
Eat real food. You don’t need all the extras at first.
Plan your meals for a week at a time. Enter their numbers in your food tracker to be sure you’re balanced and you know if anything needs to be balanced.
Start freezer cooking.
Have a list of “pantry meals” – not so much FROM the pantry, just the concept. It’s a list of quick easy meals that you usually have all the ingredients for.
Don’t worry too much about macros the first couple of weeks. Work on low carb eating and getting rid of all white flour and sugars – no bread or pasta. You’ll have time to work on your macros. Besides, this has a learning curve. Nobody does it perfectly right out of the gate and we are all individuals. We’ll all respond differently. Go ahead and get rid of your bad carbs first – and your head will be clearer.
Healthful Pursuit – LeAnne Vogel has a great site with so much information about using carb ups to aid in your weight loss. She has several different methods for Keto that can make your Keto diet work much better! She has The Keto Beginning and Fat Fueled – both very in-depth programs – or get them as a bundle to save some money. Weekly meal plans too!
Keto Meal Planning Made Simple – a great little VERY inexpensive e-book that gives you 27 Theme Nights to make meal planning easier and more fun.
For cookbooks, see my Top 10 best Ketogenic Diet Cookbooks That Make Keto Easy.
Here are some great posts to get you started:
Keto on a Budget:
All My Keto Recipes
Eating out – Fast Food: