Whenever I’ve tried to diet in the past, I’ve always found the plans too difficult to stick to. I’m very much an all-or-nothing person, so if I messed up I felt ruined and what the hell was another order of french fries if I’d already destroyed my day?
So it’s been really surprising to me that I’ve found keto so easy to follow.
A large part of it, I think, is that it’s the way I’d like to intuitively eat. I love butter and cheese and rich decadent desserts. I like meals heavy on meat and light on vegetables It’s only that, when paired with starches and sugar, those things became terrible for me.
Still, like every lifestyle change, keto does take preparation and planning in order to be successful. Once you start, a ton of convenience foods become off-limits. And if you overindulge, more likely than not you WILL be kicked out of ketosis, and who knows how long it’ll take your body to become adapted to it again? This is another reason keto is great for all-or-nothing me – I don’t cheat because I know it’s all over if I do. That just means I have to be super prepared.
I work full-time, and I also work out 5x a week, and those two things eat up a large chunk of my time. I had to make keto fit my lifestyle, and here are some ways I’ve done that. I hope you can draw inspiration from them!
Keep keto-friendly snacks on hand for those times you can’t be assed to cook.
Today I ran in the door from yoga and had to be at work in 10 minutes (I work from home). I was ravenous and had no time to shower, much less prepare a meal. So I grabbed a handful of Emerald Cocoa Roasted Almonds and munched on those while chugging water for the first two hours of my shift. When I got my ten minute break, I threw together a wrap with one of Trader Joe’s Low Carb Whole Wheat Tortillas, sandwich pepperoni, and snack cheese. Super fatty and super filling, and it actually held me over until AFTER my shift was completed.
I always keep on hand: pepperoni, lunch meat, cheese, nuts, nut butters, fat bombs, and other desserty things. They’re easily accessible and high in fat to keep me satiated until I can take the time to cook.
Monitor your water intake by keeping a jug at your side.
I make sure I drink at least a gallon of water a day. My husband and I buy our drinking water by the gallon at the water refill machine at the supermarket. It costs us .37c a gallon and is triple-filtered and uv treated and all sorts of shit like that. We sit the gallons on our desk and drink them all day. Sometimes we’ll even drink two. If this solution weren’t so damn great for us, I’d probably get a giant water bottle and make sure I fill it up x amount of times daily.
Keep your meals simple. Perfect a number of them, and switch them up as the mood strikes.
I love getting creative in the kitchen, but I dislike spending a lot of time in there. We have several things we eat regularly and it takes me less than a half hour to prepare them. I ALWAYS prepare a protein and a vegetable for dinner, and I try to make sure they’re drenched in fat. Popular combinations here include bunless burgers with broccoli, steak and roasted vegetables, salmon patties with broccoli, pita pizzas, chicken quesadillas with refried beans, chimichangas, and so forth.
If we don’t have bulletproof tea and a fat bomb for breakfast, we almost always have eggs and bacon or my breakfast burritos.
It’s predictable, but I have enough things in rotation that we don’t get tired. Once in a blue moon I’ll get a wild hair up my ass and throw together a different dinner, but the tried and true are so easy and tasty that it’s usually just not worth it to me.
Also, if you track religiously on MyFitnessPal, you can save your meals and just drop them in whenever you eat them. It makes calorie and macro tracking a breeze.
Steamer veggie bags are your friend.
I don’t feel right if I don’t eat at least one green thing a day. I keep my freezer stocked with steamer veggie bags. I really like Green Giant’s broccoli florets and Birdseye’s garlic cauliflower and brussels sprouts. These things cook in less than 10 minutes to perfection. I’ll fry up a couple of burgers or salmon patties or chicken strips while they’re in the microwave. They generally run me $1.50 per bag, and to me the cost is worth the convenience.
Know your keto-friendly fast food joints. And pre-plan before eating out.
If I absolutely can’t eat at home or need to get something when I’m out on the town, I know exactly where I can go and what I can buy. For me, that often means a double meat no rice or beans burrito bowl from Chipotle, or a baconator without the bun and with a small cup of chili from Wendy’s. We just got a Popeye’s and I hear their blackened chicken strips are amazing – I’ll have to try them out soon.
My family goes out at least once a month for someone’s birthday, and we rotate in and out of about five different local restaurants. I’ve looked at their menus and nutritional info online and know what items I can eat there. It makes eating out way easier if you’ve done your research beforehand!
Keto is a lot easier to stick to if you don’t feel deprived. Eat something that makes you happy every day. I keep a bar of 70% Lindt Dark Chocolate in the drawer of my desk and I’ll have a square if I need chocolate. I often start or end my day with a bulletproof tea and a Peanut Butter Cup fat bomb. One of my friends in the r/xxketo forums and on MFP eats a Carb Smart icecream bar every night. Whatever works and helps you stay on plan!
And when all else fails, remember to just keep calm and keto on!