As a woman, you already know exactly how hard it can be to lose weight, stay in shape, and make the best of your diet. Are you ready to embark on your keto journey? I’ve got tips that will help you find success along the way.
Tip #1: Focus on Overall Health
Simply focusing on weight loss won’t work long-term. For some women, it will take longer for the scale to move than others. Some women may struggle, for example, to find the key that will help the weight slide off.
Instead of focusing on a number on the scale, keep your eye on the non-scale victories. Pay attention, for example, to the fact that your clothes are fitting better: on keto, you may notice that you’re able to build muscle while losing fat, which means the numbers on the scale might not shift, but your body’s composition will change drastically.
Other health markers to keep an eye on include improved labs, such as fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, lipids, and blood pressure; improved mood; better sleep at night and an easier time falling asleep; and better periods and hormone balance. Studies find that keto can help reduce negative feelings and beliefs 1 about yourself, making it easier to keep your focus on the more important things in life — not to mention that great positive attitude that will help you excel! Keto doesn’t just reduce hunger, though that alone can significantly improve your outlook when you’re dieting, it can also help improve brain function. 2
Do you need help shifting your view from focusing on weight loss to focusing on an overall healthy lifestyle? Check out my Fat Fueled Program. It will help you learn more about how effective a ketogenic diet can be, not just at helping you meet your diet goals, but at helping you achieve an overall healthier, happier life. Forget counting calories and obsessing over the scale. There are more victories out there than you have yet imagined — and my program is waiting to help you get there.
Tip #2: Have a Great Support System or Community
Support is essential any time you make a big lifestyle change, whether it’s a dietary change, a change in your movement habits, or some other healthy habit that you’d like to embrace in your life. Do you have friends and family in your life who are supportive of keto? Having someone to help make the change with you can be incredibly helpful. If you don’t have supportive friends and family members, you still don’t have to do it alone. You can always find support in my secret Facebook community, where you’ll gain access with a qualifying digital purchase. It’s well-known that having support is one of the keys to making responsible dietary decisions and sticking with your goals. Having a community will help you succeed 3 with keto in ways that nothing else can.
It’s normal to have questions, make mistakes, and wonder whether you’re really making progress. You’ll hit weight plateaus, need help achieving your goals, and, some days, wonder whether it’s worth it. It’s helpful to be part of a community where you can ask your questions, share your mistakes, and celebrate your victories together! That support system doesn’t have to be in person. In fact, working with an online group of peers can give you access to that help and support any time you need it, whether you’re struggling with a dietary decision or simply need advice about a new recipe.
Do you need daily keto inspiration to help keep you going? Check out my Whole Keto 21-Day Challenge. You’ll be astounded by how much easier it is to stick to your goals when you get a daily dose of inspiration to get you started.
Tip #3: Manage Stress Effectively
When you start a new diet, do you find yourself immediately stressing about it? Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be perfect to get incredible results from going keto. You don’t have to buy all the keto products, eat 20g of carbs or less per day, or stress out about every bite you eat. Instead, focus on doing what feels best for your body. The keto diet can actually help reduce stress and make you feel better on a daily basis.
Want to manage your stress more effectively — which can, in turn, make it easier for you to lose weight? Try some of these strategies.
Make a plan to prevent stress. Know what triggers stress in your life and reduce it as much as possible. For you, this may mean planning ahead or reducing the number of responsibilities you take on every day. It might mean letting go of things in your life that are no longer fulfilling, or it might mean asking for help when you need it most.
Add self-care to your priority list. Learn to listen to your body. Check in with yourself on a regular basis. Try journaling, even if you can only manage a few words a day, or engage in meditation. You’ll be surprised by the difference it makes!
Keep moving. Go for long walks, add in yoga or stretching, and try some breathing exercises. Movement isn’t just about burning calories. It can also help you celebrate exactly how far your body has come, reduce stress, and make you feel better about yourself. When you look at everything you’re able to accomplish, especially as you start to reach your weight loss goals, you’ll find that it’s easier to stay on track with your diet and exercise plan.
Stay mindful. Try meditation, if that works for you. Use apps like Headspace or Calm. Regular meditation can significantly improve your outlook, help you reach your goals, and reduce your overall stress levels.
Meal prep. Making nourishing meals for myself is one of my favorite self-care practices. It’s time that you’re investing completely in yourself, where you can focus on doing something that makes you feel nourished and loved. Not only that, meal prep reduces the stress in figuring out what you’re going to eat, since there’s always something there that you can grab that fits in with your new lifestyle.
Use daily mantras. Simple phrases can help focus your energy on the positive and keep your eyes on your goals. I include mantras and keto inspiration as part of the Whole Keto 21-Day Challenge.
Get organized! There are plenty of techniques that can help you organize your life, including life coaches, conferences by Steve Covey or Tony Robbins, and more. Having an organized plan can significantly reduce stress throughout your life, making it easier for you to focus on the things that matter most to you.
Have a plan for hard days. There are going to be days when you just want to throw in the towel. Everyone has them. The good news is, you don’t have to deal with them alone. You can go to Chipotle and still eat keto. You can visit Starbucks. You can even hit up Olive Garden. The key is having a plan in place that will help you meet your goals no matter where you are.
Pass on the guilt. For many women, the greatest source of stress when trying to stay on a keto diet is the inevitable mistake. Skip the guilt! It’s not the end of the world, and stressing over it isn’t going to take that meal back — nor will it help you in the long run. Instead, set your intentions back on eating keto and move on. One mistake isn’t going to derail all of your progress.
Limit exposure to stress where you can. Don’t over-exercise, under eat, or overbook yourself. You’re allowed to say no! This simple practice can transform your outlook on life and your ability to handle stress.
Don’t push to do all the “keto things.” A lot of people think that you have to push yourself to fast on keto, but fasting is something that should happen naturally if it’s meant to happen for your body. Instead, be patient with yourself, listen to your body, and get a good idea of what will work best for you.
Make a plan to resolve stress. The best way to resolve stress is to prevent it, but if it does crop up, revisit your stress prevention plan. Go back to your walks, yoga and stretching, and meal prepping. Prioritize sleep. Before you know it, that stress will start slipping away again.
Heal old trauma. Old traumas that haven’t been dealt with can create background stress. Background stress, in turn, can weigh you down — often without you even being aware of it. If you’ve been through a traumatic event in your life, it’s essential to work on healing as best as possible, when you feel safe to process. Several techniques have been proven helpful in assisting healing from past traumas:
- EMDR Therapy 4
- Emotional Freedom Technique 5
- Acupuncture, 6 which is helpful for balancing mind and body for those with depression, insomnia, and anxiety
- Yoga: 7 Yin or restorative yoga is ideal if you are in a contemplative and rebuilding phase
- Religious or spiritual practice: 7 As it turns out, the denomination is not necessarily important. Studies show, however, that those who have a spiritual practice tend to live healthier lives
Tip #4: Cut Out Dairy and Gluten
Many people simply can’t tolerate dairy or gluten. They can make becoming fat-adapted more difficult, and they can cause a range of other problems in the body. Food intolerances or sensitivities, especially those to things like dairy and gluten, can lead to inflammation and other autoimmune issues. Not only that, keto-friendly foods that contain gluten are often ultra-processed and filled with other not-so-great ingredients, including artificial flavors, preservatives, and unhealthy fats. Simply eliminating these key foods can help many people reach their dietary goals more effectively.
I often see dairy standing in the way of weight loss. Women who are otherwise doing everything right are unable to see the weight loss goals they were hoping to reach until the finally cut out dairy once and for all. If you know your body can tolerate dairy, go for it! Try to focus on quality: organic, grass-fed, and finished dairy products, for example. On the other hand, if you’re struggling to see results or seeing other signs of potential food intolerance, try removing dairy from your diet and see what happens.
Beware of sneaky ingredients! You may think that you’ve cut out gluten and dairy, only to discover that it’s still holding you back from reaching your goals. Gluten isn’t always called “wheat” or “gluten” in an ingredients list. There are several sneaky ways gluten can make it into your food, including:
- Artificial color and flavor
- Baking powder
- Citric acid
- Modified food starch
Trying to keep dairy out of your diet? Make sure you watch out for these key ingredients:
- Rennet casein
- Artificial butter flavor
Always watch out for these key ingredients and any ingredients that you don’t recognize in a list. Potential hazards could be hiding anywhere. When in doubt, plug it into Google to be sure. As you’re shaping your keto diet, keep your focus on quality food. Grass-fed beef, 8 for example, can help you reach your keto goals and keep your body running as smoothly as possible. Need some help figuring out what to eat on the keto diet? Check out this link to learn more.
If you’re looking for dairy- and gluten-free keto recipes, check out some of these great options:
- Breakfast: Keto Raspberry Breakfast Pudding Bowl
- Lunch: Keto Meat Subs
- Snacks: MCT Oil Guacamole, Low Carb Cashew Coconut Clusters
- Dinner: Salmon and Creamy Turmeric Veggies
- Dessert: Flaxseed Fudge Muffins
Tip #5: Mix in Carb-Ups and Cyclical Ketosis
There are several key signs that you’re in need of a carb-up:
- You’ve been practicing strict keto, with a low-carb, high-fat intake, for more than four weeks
- You’re a woman!
- Your hair is falling out on strict keto
- You’ve hit a weight plateau
- You’ve been having a hard time sleeping since you adopted a strict keto diet
- You enjoy going out for dinner with friends, and you’re struggling to find the right items on the menu
There are plenty of signs that you’re in need of a carb-up — some of them physical signs that your body is in need of carbs for fuel, others signs that you, emotionally, need to relax your tight grip on your diet a little. Want a full list of the signs that you may be due for a carb-up? Check out my Fat Fueled Program, which will help you better understand what your body needs and how to determine the difference between a natural craving or desire for a food that’s been on your can’t-have list for too long and what’s a sign that you genuinely need that boost. One of the most critical aspects of keto is knowing how to listen to your body. Sometimes, you do need a few carbs to help boost you over a plateau or improve your mood. Your physical functioning, mental functioning, and overall emotional wellness can all be linked to what you are and aren’t eating.
Carb-Up Options: Are you ready for a carb-up? There are several great options that can help you reach your increased carb goals without breaking your diet altogether. Consider these options:
- Sweet potato
- White potato
- Gluten-free pizza
- Warm, toasty, gluten-free bread
- A bowl of gluten-free pasta
- And plenty more great choices!
Whole foods, like starchy veggies or fruit, will probably make you feel better than an over-processed meal. If you know that you’re heading out to a social gathering where you’ll want to indulge in something extra carb-filled, like pizza or pasta; chips and dip; your favorite restaurant meal, it can be helpful to plan your carb-ups around them. This way, you’ll be able to get your carb boost all while enjoying your time with others and not feel like you’re missing out. Using carb-ups the right way will help you better stick with keto long-term.
How to carb up: It’s usually best to carb up in the evening. This way, it will help with sleep and prevent you from having to suffer through a blood sugar crash. In its simplest terms, replace most of the fat in your evening meal with carbs. If you’re trying to be extremely responsible with your diet and want to avoid negative mental or physical impacts the next day, make your carb up a whole food item that is still in keeping with your overall healthy lifestyle — but if you do choose a more processed carb (like gluten-free pizza), that’s okay, too! Do you need a visual representation? Check out A Complete Day of Eating “High-Fat” or “Keto” (With a Carb-Up) to learn more.
Figure out what works for you. You may have to experiment a little to discover what works best for you. Some people need more carbs, while others need just a touch. Some people do better carbing up with fruit, while others need those starchy carbs for the perfect energy boost. Do some experimenting and take note of how you feel. It’s the best way to get to know your body and its specific needs.
Following keto isn’t always easy, but you can be successful! With these five tips, you’ll increase your overall success and learn how to more effectively approach a ketogenic lifestyle.
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