10 TOP TIPS FOR STAYING ON TRACK ON A LOW CARB/KETO DIET
A low-carb diet is a great way to lose weight and improve blood sugar levels, as well as boost health and wellbeing in many areas. But, like any kind of diet, the hard bit is sticking to it. Whether you’ve just started, or have been doing it for a while, it can still be challenging, especially if you are used to eating a lot of processed foods, grains, and sugary snacks. Well, the good news is - you’re not alone and here are some tried and tested tips to help you stay on track.
- PLAN YOUR MEALS AHEAD OF TIME.
It sounds so simple, but it does make a difference. In fact, it’s considered one of the best ways to stick to a low-carb diet. Planning your low carb meals in advance helps stop impulse eating and makes sure that every meal is a low-carb one with everything you need to make your meal ready to go. (see our blog on keto & low carb essentials for your shopping list)
- ALWAYS KEEP HEALTHY SNACKS ON HAND.
When you’re feeling a bit peckish, it’s good to have something healthy within reach so you don't start snacking on high-carb options. Some great substitutes are nuts, seeds, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs and of course our very own Go-low snacks designed to replace and be as tasty as their high carb counterparts so you don’t even feel you’re missing out. Especially great for snacking are the crackers and cookies which you can always have to hand and keep for at least a week.
- KNOW ABOUT NUTRITION LABELS
It’s important to be able to read the nutrition labels so that you can identify foods that are high in carbs. As well, of course, as spot foods that are low in total carbs and high in fibre, protein, and healthy fats. After a short time, you’ll know which are the low carb foods in the supermarket. Look out for any hidden sugars, they are sometimes in foods you don’t expect such as ham and sausages and come under a variety of guises such as dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose, galactose. Aim to avoid any of these ingredients.
- DON'T BE AFRAID OF HEALTHY FATS
Many people on low-carb diets, have the misconception that they should avoid eating fats. But healthy fats, like olive oil, fat on meats, avocado, and nuts, are important for keeping you feeling full and satisfied.
- STAY HYDRATED
Try and drink enough water. It can help keep you feeling full and prevent cravings for high-carb foods. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. This might seem like a lot, but it’s not all at once! Just spread it over the day.
- GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR COOKING.
Low-carb meals don't have to be boring. In fact, they can be culinary delights. There are many delicious, healthy low-carb recipes out there. In fact, we’re going to be doing a blog of some of our favourites soon, so watch this space. Until then, try experimenting with different spices, herbs, and cooking techniques to keep things interesting. And remember, we’re here to help with the likes of our low carb wraps, low carb pancakes and low carb cookies so you don’t have to miss out on all your favourites.
- GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
Regular good sleep is a must for anyone wanting to lose weight or improve their health in general. You should ideally be getting around 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- EXERCISE REGULARLY
You don’t need to join a gym. Any form of exertion above the norm even house work, walking, playing with the dog or the kids on the trampoline can help you lose weight, improve your mood, and boost your energy levels. Try and do at least 30 minutes every day if you can.
- DON'T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF
This point probably should in fact be No 1 on our list as the most important ie. mind set. At the end of the day we DO NOT have infinite will power. So we need to make things as easy as possible and enjoyable to stick to. But everyone, no matter who they are, has off days. The crux of it is how you respond to this, how you talk to yourself when this happens. Be kind to yourself, thoroughly enjoy whatever it is that’s not on your plan in the knowledge that you are going to get back on track as soon as possible and continue moving forward. And remember it’s about the bigger picture and the overall improvements you are making.
- GET SUPPORT
You don’t need to go it alone. A bit of support here and there can go a long way. It can be help to talk to a dietitian, or join a group for people on a low-carb diet either in person or online.
We hope our top 10 tips will make all the difference in helping you stay on track and achieving your health and wellbeing goals not matter how big or small. Just remember to always listen to your body and adjust what you eat accordingly. And if you find that you are consistently feeling tired, weak or have any other symptoms consult a healthcare professional. But also remember for the first week or so on keto/low carb you might not feel 100% (commonly called keto flu – see our blog post about it) as your body adjusts but once it does any symptoms should subside and you’ll start to feel great!