People always want to know how you got started. How they can get started. Um, I don’t know. What is going to make you want it? For me the answer was my health. When I went into diets looking for easy weight loss and quick results, I never stuck with it. I was in it for the wrong reasons. Once I decided this time was for my health, and I realized how much better I felt when eating keto, I didn’t even want to go back to what I was doing before.
I started out keto really slow. I started in January because, of course, “new year, new me.” I started by just eating keto on the weekdays. It was easy because I usually didn’t eat out on the weekdays, so I was making all of my meals from different keto or low carb recipes I had found on Pinterest or different blogs. Finding simple recipes that could easily make a lot of food was the key.
I feel like when people say “meal prepping” I think of some douchebag with giant biceps and tiny legs shoving the most bland piece of chicken you have EVER seen and some unsalted, UNBUTTERED vegetables into a gross plastic container (we use glass in this house). That is so unnecessary. If you want an easy way to start making yourself keto lunches and dinners for a week, invest in a crockpot. I have a crockpot that is meant for a family of 8 because I didn’t think to check the size when purchasing it. So, I would choose two recipes for the week. Sunday morning after getting the groceries I’d put the first one in the crockpot and then when it was done I would put in the second one to cook overnight. I’d just eyeball it into separate lunch containers (we measure nothing). And, usually by my Friday lunch I would be out and I’d treat myself to a Chop’t salad and then I’d eat whatever my heart desired all weekend with no ragrets.
Except I started to realize, I would feel so good all week and then I would be dealing with stomach aches, headaches and tiredness all weekend. I realized how much better I felt on keto and I started to not even care to eat any other way. I would be at a restaurant and look at the pizza or something on the menu and just think that’s not going to benefit me, it’s not going to make me feel good, and there are so many other options that will make me feel good. It sounds like such a simple thing to do, but I think for a lot of people it isn’t that simple. The relationship we created with food is more complicated.
So, I made the decision to try to eat keto all the time. I continued to meal prep my lunches and dinners for the week. And, I started to really look for restaurants around the city with menu items that I would eat.
There are 3 things I would recommend when starting keto:
- Don’t focus too much on eating “enough fats.” You have enough fat. (unless you don’t have a lot of fat and then eat your fats). What I mean is, if you want to lose your fat, don’t eat a lot of fat. You want your fat to be burned as energy, not the bacon’s fat. Think low carb. Keto is the new fad and people love to make it this confusing macro tracking game, but in reality when you’re starting out it’s really just low carb.
- Don’t think 20g of carbs is the magic number. I hate seeing that thrown around as the ultimatum of “Keto Karens” saying that’s what you have to stick to or you can’t be in their keto klub. I have read articles that say you can eat up to 50g of carbs in a day and remain in ketosis. It is based on your body, remember we are trying to feel better, not worse. Listen to your body.
- Don’t worry about macros. All you need to do is be mindful of what you are eating throughout the day. There’s no need to track every bite. Just know what’s going in. Keto has made me a lot more aware of what I am putting in my body because I now find joy in reading labels and understanding what I need to feel good. It’s easy to just look at your yogurt label and say okay 6g of carbs and then later look at the ingredients for your lunch and say ok around 7g of carbs and just know that makes 13g of carbs, go on with your day. You’re not even worrying about fats yet, and just don’t only eat protein (your stomach will hurt). The short answer to staying low carb is fuel most of your day with veggies. And, get creative with your veggies.
Use keto to explore more ways of preparing your favorite foods and to explore new foods. Don’t look at choosing your carbs wisely as a restriction, it’s just a modification.