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    How to Stick to Your Keto Diet: 5 Practical Tips for a Keto Lifestyle

    Embarking on any change can be nerve-wracking and can lead us to doubts and uncertainties, but with a healthy mindset and a few practicalities you can rest assured that your transition to a sustainable and long term keto lifestyle is just a few steps away.

    It is natural to feel overwhelmed at the start of this process and to question your decision, but once you get into good habits and rhythms, and feel the physical and mental benefits, you won’t look back.

    Remember, change takes time, with studies suggesting it takes 90 days for a new habit or lifestyle to feel natural and authentic.

    Soon choosing keto snacks over carbs will feel as natural as brushing your teeth…

    1. Know Your ‘Why?’

    First and foremost, establishing your key reason(s) for undertaking a keto diet will keep you on track in the longer term.

    By returning to your initial motivation, again and again, you can shut out that voice telling you to cave in at the first sight of a biscuit.

    Perhaps you had a personal weight loss goal which triggered your initial interest in keto, but after discovering the incredible health benefits you became hooked for good.

    If you require some instant inspiration, research suggests a keto diet may support metabolic health, brain health, and amazingly, even reduce or eliminate the need for medication in patients with epilepsy.

    2. Make Life Easy

    It is all very well and good having lofty ambitions about a keto lifestyle, but if your cupboards are filled with sweet things, it would take an iron will to resist.

    Research shows that when it comes to making food choices, we are hugely influenced by our immediate environment, therefore if we can make low carb options readily available, we greatly increase our chances of adherence.

    Making a clear shopping list to help you gently transition into this new way of life makes navigating the supermarket less daunting.

    Similarly, a little food prep goes a long way when it comes to keto- luckily there are some super quick recipes you can assemble in minutes for those ‘grab and go’ snack options.

    Remember, it does not have to be complicated, a few olives with sliced cheese makes a delicious med style keto snack.

    Once you have a mental map of some of these go-to snack options you can rest assured that a keto compliant option is just a moment away…

    3. Get Inspired!

    Don’t get stuck in a repetitive mealtime rut leaving you running for the carbs!

    Successful and sustainable lifestyle changes require enjoyment along the way.

    Helpfully there are so many great resources for finding the keto recipe of your dreams that you don’t have to stick with the same meal five times a week.

    Reconnect to your inner foodie and find appropriate substitutes for the things you love.

    Some common substitutes which help to ‘spark joy’ include almond flour banana bread and keto lettuce wraps.

    Also if you love eating out and fear this may be a forbidden pleasure on a keto diet, it may help to check menus with your newly informed mindset, to see if there are suitable options. Many places are much more ‘diet diverse’ nowadays and will offer appropriate choices for most dietary needs.

    You can always order a couple of sides or ask for a main without the potatoes.

    Experiment, but most importantly, enjoy food- it’s a great part of life- the social glue that brings us together- and definitely not something you need to miss out on just because you are keto…

    4. Get Others On Board

    We are social animals, and therefore it can be hard to undergo such a substantial change when everyone around you carries on like before.

    It can make you feel alienated and more likely to cave into peer pressure.

    Instead, try to explain to your loved ones that this is an important change for you and you would really appreciate their support.

    Perhaps you can tempt them with some delicious recipes- or agree that if you have people round for snacks they will be keto style!

    This will spark curiosity and show your friends and family that it is not a fad but a new way of life- which they are much more likely to support.

    You never know it might turn them keto in the process too!

    If you find those closest to you are a little less than enlightened with all things dietary, another option is to connect to like-minded individuals on one of the many groups and forums on keto topics.

    Here you can swap recipes, share struggles and successes and feel understood.

    5. Carry On As ‘Normal’

    It might be easy to think that now you are following a keto diet, you will have to forgo a lot of the activities you previously did and enjoyed.

    For example, if you loved to travel, the fear of airplane food and navigating language barriers in exotic climates may have you sticking closer to home.

    But with some forward planning, there is no need to put your plans on hold.

    Bringing keto compliant snacks (more than you think you’ll actually need!) like nuts and tins of fish, will make you confident in your ability to explore.

    Of course, with the help of google translate you are also likely to find some keto-friendly options abroad too!

    This same principle applies to family events or social gatherings, instead of turning up empty-handed and worried about the food arrangements, bringing your own sharable keto snacks will ensure you have something to eat at the very least.

    As this keto compliance is a long-term affair, making sure your life carries on as undisturbed as possible is essential for its success and your general happiness!

    Remember, you have chosen this route to improve your physical and mental wellbeing, which will enable you to live better for longer.

    Keep this in mind when faced with obstacles along the way, and just know that you have the skills to overcome these challenges now.

    It is brave to undertake a big change that will inevitably involve some degree of sacrifice but, you now know that you can incorporate these changes in a sustainable and simple way, without missing out on life’s little pleasures.

    Enjoy the journey…

    References

    1. Jabr F. How to Form a Habit. Sci Am Mind. 2011. doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0111-7c
    2. Kossoff EH. More fat and fewer seizures: Dietary therapies for epilepsy. Lancet Neurol. 2004. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(04)00807-5
    3. Seyfried TN, Sanderson TM, El-Abbadi MM, McGowan R, Mukherjee P. Role of glucose and ketone bodies in the metabolic control of experimental brain cancer. Br J Cancer. 2003. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6601269
    4. Westman EC, Mavropoulos J, Yancy WS, Volek JS. A review of low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2003. doi:10.1007/s11883-003-0038-6
    5. Masino SA, Rho JM. Mechanisms of ketogenic diet action. Epilepsia. 2010. doi:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2010.02871.x
    6. Morland KB, Evenson KR. Obesity prevalence and the local food environment. Heal Place. 2009. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2008.09.004

    Julia Ebbens
    Julia Ebbenshttp://stretcheatgrow.com/
    Julia Ebbens is a Registered Nutritionist and is now adding to her knowledge by completing an MSc in Nutritional Medicine. She has a strong interest in the relationship between gut health, mental health and immunity. She has worked with cancer patients via the national Maggies Centres and now works as a freelance Nutritionist and content writer for a variety of health and wellbeing companies.

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