Falling off the wagon is easy. It’s getting back on it that’s tough.
If you’ve been a yo-yo dieter, or have stopped and started the ketogenic diet many times, then you might think that you’re pretty well-schooled in the subject.
The problem is, doing things from memory can create bad habits, and doing the same thing over and over loses its impact. Why? Because our bodies are clever – and know how to adapt.
Instead of doing the same old thing every time you want to make a go of ketogenic dieting, why not try a different approach?
Here we have a simple kick-starter plan for ketosis, if you (like so many of us inevitably do) have fallen off the wagon, or even if you’re completely new to the ketogenic diet.
Tell anyone you live with, your co-workers or anybody who might be likely to tempt you with chocolate bars or meals out at the local pizza parlour that you’re starting your diet – and are sticking to it.
If they roll their eyes, muttering ‘oh – not AGAIN!’, then all the better. This keeps you motivated and accountable. This time it’s for real.
A positive attitude is needed when you embark on any lifestyle change, big or small. You’ve heard the old saying ‘If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail’, right? This couldn’t be truer when you take the leap and decide to fully commit to the ketogenic diet.
Don’t Cheat Yourself
This isn’t the sort of diet where you can allow yourself to cheat. The solid science behind the ketogenic diet dictates that if you cheat (i.e. you eat too many carbs), you will effectively be ‘thrown-out’ of ketosis, and your body will not be able to burn fat for fuel.
If you fall out of ketosis then your weight loss will surely slow, or stop altogether, as you will be predominantly eating a high-fat (and therefore high calorie) diet. If you really fall off the wagon – you can actually end up putting on weight as opposed to losing it.
The best thing to do is ensure that you are adequately prepared to embark on this new way of eating (and living), both mentally and in terms of your circumstances.
Luckily, we’ve put together a few resources that can help to set you off on the right track, making your transition into a ‘keto’ way of living much easier.
Perform a Cupboard Cleanse
Serious plans require serious actions. You’ve committed – so it’s time to start getting tough with yourself.
Go through your fridge, your food cupboards, your pantry and the ever-offending biscuit barrel, and take out ANYTHING that might tempt you.
If you’re living with someone that isn’t going to be joining you on your ketogenic journey, then do your best to keep the most tempting foods separate from where you keep the keto-friendly stuff. That way you won’t be constantly faced with temptation whenever you go to prepare a keto-friendly meal.
Tip: If you feel guilty about throwing away perfectly useful food just because it doesn’t fit with your new program – then consider donating it to a friend, family member or food bank.
Next, it’s time to hit the grocery store and stock up on some keto-friendly foods!
Keto Diet Shopping List
As a general rule of thumb, when following a ketogenic diet, or any diet for that matter, fresh and clean is always best in terms of food.
Avoid processed foods and opt for fresh meats and vegetables wherever possible (although frozen produce is fine, provided there aren’t any starchy preservatives or seasonings – always check the label).
Take a look at the sample ketogenic diet shopping list, containing some of the basic food products you should be purchasing:
- Meat: chicken thigh, chicken breast, whole chicken, pork loin, pork belly, pork shoulder, bacon, ham, quality sausages with high pork content, lamb, ground meat (turkey, beef, pork, lamb), steak (sirloin, flank, rib eye, hanger, flat iron, chuck)
- Fish: tuna, salmon, cod, shrimp, pollock, tilapia, lobster, swordfish, crab
- Dairy: hard cheeses such as cheddar, waxy cheeses, cream cheese, heavy cream, eggs
- Fats: Nuts, nut butters (with no added sugar – should contain nuts only), coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter
- Vegetables: cabbage, green beans, broccoli, kale, spinach, swiss chard, celery, eggplant, Romaine lettuce, zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus
Please note that this is just a basic guideline for the types of foods you should be purchasing. If you want to eat something that isn’t on the above list, be sure to do some research around that food item to determine whether it is acceptable on a ketogenic diet.
Next, it’s time to plan your meals for the week. Luckily, we’ve taken the hard work out of it for you, and provided a sample one-week meal plan to kick-start ketosis:
1 Week Keto Diet Meal-Plan
|Breakfast||Bulletproof coffee||3 boiled eggs, bacon, grilled mushrooms||Keto-friendly breakfast tacos||Ham and egg cups with fried mushrooms||Low-carb breakfast biscuits||3 cheese omelette with scallions||Sausage, poached egg and bacon|
|Snack||2 rashers of bacon with cream cheese||Half an avocado with shrimps and mayo||Coffee with heavy cream||Handful of roasted peanuts||Turkey roll-ups with cream cheese||Keto-friendly fat bombs||15 Almonds, 1 boiled egg|
|Lunch||Chicken salad with peppers, onion and lettuce||Sirloin steak with roasted squash||Ham salad with sesame seeds and olive oil||Feta cheese, grilled asparagus and crispy bacon||Creamy low- carb roasted cauliflower and garlic soup||Tuna salad with boiled eggs and green beans||Steak salad with scallions and blue cheese|
|Snack||Turkey roll-ups with cream cheese||Salami with cheddar cheese||Peanut butter with celety sticks||Keto lemon drizzle cake||3 chicken thighs||Handful of mixed nuts||Low-carb protein shake|
|Dinner||Baked chicken thighs with roasted cauliflower||Baked salmon with low-carb rice||Steak salad with shrimp fried in butter & garlic||Chicken stir fry with peppers, onions, shredded carrot||Lamb chops with roasted mediterranean veg||Low-carb, keto burger with cloud bread bun||Baked cod with asparagus and butter|
|Snack||Half an avocado with shredded chicken||Low-carb protein shake||3 sticks of cheddar with mixed nuts||Almond butter with celery sticks||Keto-bacon brownies||Low-carb protein shake||3 chicken legs|
Special Store Cupboard Staples
We also suggest stocking up on a few store cupboard staples, to help you get your keto-cooking off on the right foot:
- Coconut flour or Almond Flour
- Keto-friendly breads and bagels (best left until you’ve entered ketosis, however)
- Walden Farms sugar-free syrups and salad dressings
- Keto-friendly protein bars (we love these Chocorite cake bars)
- Keto snacks – like Moon Cheese, beef jerky, pre-packed nuts and seeds
A few specialist condiments, treats and ingredients can go a long way in helping you to prepare tasty meals that you won’t get tired of!
Get Into Ketosis, Fast
Once you’ve planned your nutrition for the week, it’s time to get active.
One way to get into ketosis quickly and efficiently is by performing high intensity interval training (HIIT).
On the first day of your diet, perform a HIIT workout on a fasted stomach – ideally in the morning before breakfast. The reason you should do this is because HIIT is a very effective means of depleting stored glycogen, so that you enter ketosis more quickly.
As an added positive, performing a HIIT workout is fast and simple – and doesn’t even require any gym equipment (we’ve written a whole post about it, complete with a sample workout to get you started).
Don’t Fall off the Wagon
So there we have it. A simple, kickstarter plan to help you start your ketogenic diet off on the right foot. But this is just a guide – the hard work is up to you.
One thing to remember is that following a restrictive diet such as this can require a lot of planning and preparation. Check out some of the following posts to keep you both organised and motivated, helping to ensure that you don’t fall off the wagon once you start.
- Ketogenic Carb-cycling: The Ultimate Guide
- 5 Tips for Eating Low-carb on the Go
- Ketosis vs. Paleo vs. Atkins: Why Keto Rules