50 Essential Keto Diet Tips You Need To Know For Success And 7 Day Keto Meal Plan For Beginners
The keto diet seems to be just about everywhere these days, and many people are looking to this way of eating to help them lose weight or improve their overall health. If you are interested in adopting a keto way of eating, then you may need a few tips to help you stay on track and make the most from your new lifestyle. This list of tips is meant to help you stay focused and see the results you are after when you adopt a ketogenic lifestyle.
Keto Diet In a Nutshell
Ketogenic eating is a way of sustaining yourself through food that is meant to put your body into a specific metabolic state, which is called ketosis. During this state, your body uses fat, rather than stored carbohydrates, as fuel for your activities. Because you are burning more fat in ketosis, you are more likely to lose weight while eating this way.
A diet that encourages ketosis is high in fat, limits the consumption of carbohydrates, and focuses on supporting this state for extended periods to burn more fat and rid your body of excess fat cells.
As with all momentous changes to the way you eat, if you are trying to change your diet to keto- friendly nutrition, then you are probably making significant changes to how you live. And significant changes are hard for the mind to process and maintain over extended periods. With the keto diet, being prepared is essential, and knowing how to handle your stress and deal with your emotions will also help you remain on your eating plan.
50 Keto Diet Tips
To help you achieve success with your keto diet, we have compiled these essential 50 keto diet tips to help you make the most of your low-carb lifestyle and enjoy the weight loss benefits of this eating plan.
1. Be prepared for the adaptation process.
It will take some time for your body to adjust to fewer sugars and carbs, and you may feel pretty crummy for a few days. Some people even call this the keto flu. Be prepared that it will happen, wait it out, drink lots of water, and push through until it is over. This is temporary bump in the road.
2. Remember that ketosis is more than just food.
If you want to maximize the fat-burning effects, you need to include exercise in your plan, supplement with electrolytes, and drink lots of water. Take your body weight and divide it in half, and that is how many ounces you should be drinking during the day, plus another eight ounces right before bed.
3. Eat high-quality food.
Because you are limiting your success of nutrients to a smaller swath of the available foods, it is more important than ever that you eat foods that are nutrient-dense. Avoid heavily processed foods and focus on healthy fats and sources of nutrients that come from whole foods whenever possible.
4. Beware of early rebellion.
When changing to a high-fat diet, you may notice weight gain or bloating at first. This is normal for some people, so do not freak out. It takes your body a little time to adjust. Be patient and stick with it.
5. Avoid “cheat” meals or foods.
Eating to promote ketosis means you must keep eating that way if you want your body to remain in ketosis. The second you eat your high-carb pasta or a big piece of birthday cake (to “reward” yourself for your successes thus far), you will leave ketosis and have to start over. That means dealing with the bloating, aches, and flu-like symptoms all over again. Do you want that?
6. Talk to your doctor about keto.
If you have a health problem, take medications, or are concerned about the keto diet’s effects on your health, you should talk with your doctor. This way of eating is not recommended for all people.
7. Clean up your kitchen.
When you move to a keto way of eating, it is important that your pantry and refrigerator have everything you need to help you adjust. Make sure you have plenty of sources of healthy fats, that you do not have any tempting treats stashed away, and that you know what meals and snacks you can reach for when you are busy and stressed. Start with a stocked and cleaned-out kitchen to help you remain successful.
8. Learn to meal prep.
When transitioning to a new way of eating, it is helpful to have a plan and be prepared. Prepping your meals in advance will prevent you from using many of the excuses we reach for to fall back on unhealthier choices. Chop and package your snacks and veggies, prepare your lunches for the week, and make up whatever main and side dishes you can ahead of time to keep you on track in the beginning.
9. Track your macronutrients.
When you first start eating to support ketosis, it is crucial to track your food to be sure you are getting enough fat and not too many carbs. Most keto experts say to shoot for 65-80 percent fat, 5-10 percent carbs, and 15-30 percent protein. Track every bite of food in a nutritional tracker, so you know you are meeting the right targets for you.
10. Have a plan for eating out.
When eating for ketosis, you can always reach for meat and low-carb vegetables, which are widely available at most restaurants. If you know you are eating out, look at the menu ahead of time and decide what you will have and what modifications you want to make. Be prepared, and you will be successful.
11. Take supplements as needed.
The keto diet is naturally low in some of the nutrients your body still needs, so you may need to supplement with specific vitamins and minerals to help you support your health. When choosing a tracker to watch your macros, select one that also tracks micros to help you see if you are getting enough nutrients, and take supplements where you are consistently lacking.
12. Exercise regularly.
As your body is adapting to a new metabolic state, your energy levels will fluctuate. You should be exercising regularly, and during the first few weeks, you may notice that your energy level is changing as your body adapts. Be kind and listen to these cues. Once you have adjusted, you will likely see more energy, which you should use to increase the intensity of your workouts.
13. Consume enough electrolytes.
When you switch to a low-carb diet, you lower your natural insulin levels, and your kidneys begin to excrete more sodium, which can reduce your natural stores of electrolytes. Aim to increase your intake of natural sodium from sources like sea salt in order to keep your electrolytes balanced.
14. Stay hydrated.
It is crucial that you drink lots of water in ketosis. In addition to drinking regular water, you can also drink keto coffee, tea, and broth throughout your day to give you the water and other vital micronutrients you need. You can also eat foods with high water content, like cucumber and celery, which have natural sodium as well. You’ll need to keep an eye on your sodium levels, because our body does not store sodium and you’ll lose a lot of sodium through your urine. Bone broth usually takes care of your sodium levels.
15. Try intermittent fasting.
Fasting is abstaining from food for an extended period and doing this regularly can help stabilize blood sugars and promote ketosis. Many people find that fasting for 12-18 hours per day helps them increase their weight loss and allows them to feel better. Start with a more substantial eating window, then gradually decrease it over time.
16. Avoid constipation.
Many people who switch to a keto diet experience constipation because they are lacking fiber in their diets. To avoid this, make sure you are eating fibrous vegetables each day, that you stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes balanced, and that you take a fiber supplement to keep your bowels moving.
17. Watch your protein intake.
Watch your protein intake. Many people eat too much protein on a keto diet, which can lead to a process in which your body converts excess protein into glucose, taking you out of ketosis. Everyone needs different levels of protein so you will need to pay attention to your body and adjust to your needs, especially if you exercise a lot.
18. Focus on non-starchy vegetables.
Getting your nutrients from dense sources like non-starchy vegetables is an excellent way to get the vitamins and minerals you need while also eating healthier sources of carbs. Good options in this category include kale, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. You can even eat lesser amounts of low-sugar fruits, like berries.
19. Watch your stress.
When you are in a constant state of stress, your body may struggle to stay in ketosis. Find healthy ways to manage your stress or try to eliminate sources of stress whenever possible.
20. Get plenty of sleep.
Set a regular bedtime and honor it. Make sure your sleeping environment is conducive to rest, including blocking out excess light and noise. Be sure to keep your room cool, as this promotes better sleep, too.
21. Ditch the diet drinks and sugar substitutes.
Something that has no calories still may not be healthy. The sugar substitutes in diet sodas and other diet beverages and foods can send signals to your body that mimic sugar, which can raise your blood glucose levels. Using sugar substitutes also increase your cravings for real sugar, so just avoid them altogether.
22. Use MCT oil.
Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil will help you keep a ketogenic state, so invest in a quality source of this fat and use it regularly in place of other oils. While some think coconut oil is a reliable source of MCTs, its concentration is lower than you might think (around 35 percent) compared to 100 percent in MCT oil.
23. Eat for a healthy gut microbiome.
If you want to stay in ketosis, it is imperative that your digestive system is working properly. Having healthy levels of digestive bacteria and microbes in your gut will improve your ability to digest fats properly and stay in a ketogenic state. Be sure to eat fermented foods that are high in probiotics while also staying away from processed foods that interfere with a healthy microbiome.
24. Weigh your food.
When you are first starting out, it is essential to train your body to recognize just exactly what healthy portions look like. Instead of eyeballing it or guessing, weigh your food before eating, so you learn what proper portions look like.
25. Watch for hidden carbs.
While some foods may seem keto-friendly, they may have carbohydrates that you are not considering. For example, dairy products are high in sugar, many friend foods are breaded, and condiments like ketchup, BBQ, and buffalo sauce are loaded with sugar. Read nutrition labels and information carefully.
26. Learn to look for net carbs.
Not all carbs are bad for you. In fact, you want to be getting enough fiber in your daily diet, which is why you need to calculate net carbs. To find this, take the total carbs in a food and subtract the fiber. This equals your net carbs.
27. Keep snacks handy.
When you are hungry, you can reach for unhealthy choices out of stress or necessity. Prepare keto-friendly snacks to have on hand throughout the week, so you never have an excuse to stay. Keep a drawer or basket in your refrigerator and pantry stocked at all times so you always have something you can eat in a pinch.
28. Follow a meal plan.
When you are first starting out, it can be daunting to completely change the way you eat. Start by adopting some ready-made meal plans that take the guesswork out of cooking. There are thousands of keto mail plans available online, including shopping lists. Do not make it harder than it needs to be. Pick on and start there.
29. Remember the goals.
A ketogenic diet is not for everyone. If you start eating this way and do not feel right or are not getting the results you want after a few weeks, change your plan, or talk with your doctor. If eating keto-friendly is not working for you, find what does.
30. Watch out of emotional eating.
If you find yourself reaching for food when you are not physically hungry, then you are eating to soothe emotions. Constant snacking can slow down your ketosis, so learn to identify your physical hunger signs and only eat when you feel these.
31. Learn to recognize the signs of ketosis.
Over time, you will be able to tell when you are in a ketogenic phase. You may notice symptoms like dry mouth, increased thirst, and more frequent urination. Some people even have keto breath, which smells a little fruity or like alcohol. You should also notice reduced hunger and, hopefully, increased energy levels, too.
32. Be realistic about your weight loss goals.
When your expectations are unrealistic, your hard work may feel even more difficult, or you may get discouraged, which can derail your progress. While some people see dramatic results, especially in the beginning, this is not typical. Expect to see small, ongoing loss rather than huge dips of the scale each week. Do not worry about how others are losing. Focus only on whether you feel good, are following the plan, and are consistently seeing small, incremental results.
33. Track your progress.
If you want to stay on the right path, you need data that says what you are doing is working. But it is also important not to expect to see changes in short amounts of time. Weigh yourself once a week and measure your waist circumference once were two or three weeks. These should be enough to tell you that things are going well.
34. Keep it simple.
Make sure that you are keeping your new way of eating healthy and sustainable for you. If you feel things are too restrictive, if your health deteriorates, or if you notice unexplained symptoms that bother you, don’t’ be afraid to lighten up your way of eating. Often, it is enough to just eat fewer carbs, more vegetables, and less processed food to see dramatic differences.
35. Boost your results with caffeine.
Coffee or tea can help to stimulate the production of ketones and enhance your results. Adding MCTs to your coffee or other caffeinated beverage can further suppress your appetite and give you more dramatic results.
36. Plan for the worst.
After you change your way of eating, there will be events and gatherings that present obstacles to your success. Having a plan for these will help you stay on track. This does not mean that you have to avoid all such temptations but that you know which food options your best bets are and that you either bring food you can enjoy or eat beforehand to avoid an emotional response to food.
37. Remove emotional triggers to eating.
Following a new eating plan takes focus and concentration, and one of the reasons so many people struggle with staying the course is that eating is emotional, and we allow our feelings to dictate what and when we eat, even when it goes against your determination to change. Finding and removing emotional triggers to overeating or snacking is crucial if you want to remain on plan.
38. Use smaller plates.
If you want to retrain your brain on portion sizes, especially when it comes to protein and carbs, serve your food on smaller plates. Using a smaller surface makes your food look bigger and more plentiful, which tricks your brain into thinking you are having more instead of less. You will feel more satisfied when you are done eating and consume fewer calories.
39. Know what to eat to satisfy a craving.
You will get cravings for certain favorite foods, so having a plan for how to handle these will be important to maintaining your success. Find a go-to treat that will help you satisfy your sweet tooth or give you your crunchy, salty fix, and keep it on hand. If you make a desert, only make one serving. If you decide to snack on something, make one serving and eat it off a plate or a bowl. Snacking over the sink or from the bag will always lead to overeating.
40. Be prepared when you travel.
Being away from home can lead to going off-plan easily if you are not prepared. Bring your own snacks or meals with you when you travel. Check to see if there are keto-friendly options at hotels or restaurants where you will be visiting. Being prepared is the simplest way to avoid mistakes.
41. If you go off plan, do so in moderation.
If you have an extraordinary occasion or want to indulge in a local delicacy because you will not get to experience it again soon, then go for it. Just be sure that you keep your off-plan eating in check, moderating your intake, then getting back on the plan soon after. If you eat a heavy carb meal, reduce your food intake for the next 24 hours to balance out your caloric load. If you know you plan to eat wedding cake one day, reduce your intake in other areas the day before.
42. Reduce your restaurant portions.
Eating out is always a tricky area when you are trying to watch your intake. To avoid problems, ask the wait staff to only bring you half your portion and to wrap the other half to go before it even gets to the table. This can prevent overeating.
43. Eat before you go.
If you will be at a party or function where you know it is unlikely that you will be able to stick to your eating plan, eat a healthy, keto- friendly meal before you go. Drink lots of water and keep sipping throughout the event to stay sated and remain full. If you worry that people will question why you are not eating, grab a plate with a few items that you know you do not like and carry it around with you. No one will even notice that you are not touching the food.
44. Do not worry about eating three meals every day.
When you switch to a ketogenic diet, you may notice that your appetite decreases. For some, this only lasts a few weeks, and for others, this continues long term. You will probably not feel like eating three times a day. That is okay. You do not need to eat that much to be healthy and to remain in ketosis.
45. Drizzle oil on your food.
Many people who try a ketogenic diet do not get enough fat, which makes the process go much slower and can even make you feel worse. It is important that you are getting the right kinds of fat, which come from healthy oils, not animal products and dairy. Adding a drizzle of oil to your food each time you eat can give you the high-quality fats your body needs and help with your adjustment to this way of eating.
46. Pay attention to how you feel.
After you have lived through the transition period, it is vital to listen to what your body is telling you about your energy needs. If you notice that you feel foggy, if you lack energy, or if you still feel crummy after the initial transition, you need to make adjustments. It is essential that you pay attention to your body’s cues.
47. Learn a few sauces and dishes you can always use.
After you have mastered the basics of eating keto-friendly, it is important to be able to sustain your efforts. Learn a few favorite recipes that you can make and adapt that will help you remain successful. Find a great sauce you like to add to vegetables or protein sources. Make some dishes that are easily adaptable depending on your available ingredients.
48. Do not worry about others; focus on yourself.
Remember that keto is not for everyone. If all your friends love it, but it makes you feel terrible, then it may not be for you. Do not let this way of eating harm your relationship with food or change your ability to think for yourself. Do what is best for you and your health.
49. Get support from others.
Making diet changes is hard, and it can be extremely helpful to get help from others who are also making this substantial change in their lives. There are plenty of online support communities and groups to go to for advice. If you want to try keto, ask some of your friends if they’re going to jump on board with you. Doing it with someone else can make the transition easier.
50. Cook for yourself.
Most of your calories should come from keto meals that you make for yourself. Do not rely on eating out, convenience foods, or other sources for your nutrition if you want to be successful and enjoy the many benefits of this way of eating.
7 Day Keto Meal Plan
Below is a simple keto meal plan perfect for beginners, the recipes suggested are easy to make without any complicated procedures. You may skip a meal, if you wish and if you’ve leftovers then replace the meals with them. At the end of the meal there are suggestions for more recipes, in case you want to replace. All recipes suggested are 100% keto. If you want more keto friendly recipes, like keto desserts, keto breads, keto slow cooker recipes then check out our keto cookbooks.
As long as you follow this plan, you shouldn’t worry about your macronutrient intake. It’s been designed with slow fat loss in mind which is the best way to lose weight (daily calories sit within the ranges of 1500-1700 kcal approx). If you suffer from any health conditions, make sure you consult any dietary changes with a health professional.
Breakfast: Keto Maple and Walnut Hemp Heart Porridge + Keto Coffee/Herbal Tea
Lunch: Bacon and Broccoli Salad
Dinner: Keto Curried Tofu with Spinach
Drink: Bone Broth
Total Daily Values: Total Calories: 1051kcal, Total Fat: 76g, Total Net-Carbs: 17g, Total Protein: 42g.
Breakfast: Keto Spinach and Cheese Egg Bites
Dinner: Low Carb Beef Chili
Drink: Bone Broth
Total Daily Values: Total Calories: 1119kcal, Total Fat: 71g, Total Net-Carbs: 16g, Total Protein: 82g.
Breakfast: Broccoli and cheddar Frittata
Lunch: Keto Creamy Chicken
Dinner: Salmon in Tomatoes with Broccoli
Drink: Bone Broth
Total Daily Values: Total Calories: 1630kcal, Total Fat: 125g, Total Net-Carbs: 32g, Total Protein: 93g.
Breakfast: Mexican Scramble
Dinner: Easy Keto Grilled Pork Ribs
Total Daily Values: Total Calories: 1760kcal, Total Fat: 138g, Total Net-Carbs: 9g, Total Protein: 113g.
Breakfast: Keto Breakfast Rice
Lunch: Keto Caprese Salad Platter
Drink: Bone Broth
Total Daily Values: Total Calories: 1002kcal, Total Fat: 63g, Total Net-Carbs: 16g, Total Protein: 86g.
Breakfast: Keto Curried Tofu Scramble
Dinner: Keto Butter Chicken
Total Daily Values: Total Calories: 1310kcal, Total Fat: 100g, Total Net-Carbs: 19g, Total Protein: 67g.
Breakfast: Keto Bacon and Broccoli Frittata
Dinner: Keto Mushroom Stroganoff
Total Daily Values: Total Calories: 859kcal, Total Fat: 64g, Total Net-Carbs: 13g, Total Protein: 52g.
Eating for ketosis requires a little more discipline than other ways of eating, so it is essential to be prepared, have options available when your stress levels are high, and to know the best choices when you are traveling or eating out.
If you want to adopt a keto diet, then these tips can help you stay on track and keep your body in the fat-burning state that you desire.