Back to Basics
I’m not immune to straying away from the things that brought me so much success. It usually happens when I find new things to introduce to my diet or I start relying on too much of one
thing... like brie.
Brie is my arch-nemesis. I have virtually no self-control when I eat it: I can polish off half a wedge in one sitting. Unfortunately for me, it’s high in fat, calories, and sodium. It’s a trifecta - and not the good kind.
I didn’t realize it was causing problems until I looked down at the scale and saw a steady increase rather than my usual fluctuations. The good news is because of the routine of weighing myself EVERY morning (unless on vacation) I was able to see the trend and address it.
There are a few ways to make sure you're staying on track and to help you when you start to veer off the road too much.
Understand We are All Unique
There are many things that benefit us all, like eating organic, real food and drinking lots of water. Other things are more individualized, like coffee and carb intake.
Although coffee can be one of those things that keep us from breaking through weight loss stalls, that doesn't mean that everyone needs to give up their cup of organic coffee (and I do mean organic and cup).
But if you've hit a plateau and you’ve adjusted everything else, coffee may need to be on your “naughty” list. I know a few of you might be thinking about throwing in the towel at just the thought of giving up your beloved coffee but, remember, there are quite a few things that we need to look at before going to that dark place.
Use Your Tools
Just as ketone sticks are tools, so are things like scales and measuring tapes.
Sometimes the scale might not show a big loss for the week, but you notice that you, all of a sudden, have more room in your clothes. If you took measurements in the beginning, I suggest taking out that tape measure during those times. It serves as positive reinforcement and helps you to stay committed to the new lifestyle.
The ketone strips are great if you are adding in new things like flax crackers or wanting to have some sweet potato every now and then.
I always like to monitor weight and ketones when adding in new food so I can see exactly how much of something I can actually eat without it throwing me out of ketosis or causing weight gain.
In the case of my brie, it took a few months of eating it before it became a trend. When my weight continued to fluctuate up, I knew it was time to break off our relationship. My heart still hurts.
Plan Ahead for Success
I know, for me, it’s easy to get into a food rut and rely on grab-and-go things like cheese and nuts.
That's why it's important to prep a variety of things that are just as easy to eat for those times when I don’t have the time or energy to do much else. Having things like soup to throw into a mug, or hard boiled eggs to use in egg, tuna, or chicken salad means I have a few choices and I don’t have to think too hard.
If you plan your meals for the week ahead on a day when you have a few free hours, it will go a long way towards your success. If you know what you’re having for dinner at least 3 times during the week, you can plan your lunches accordingly.
Doing something as simple as frying up some ground beef with a few seasonings is stupid easy and you can use it in a variety of ways. You can put it on top of romaine lettuce, add guacamole or avocado and raw cheese and voila, you have a taco salad.
If you want to get a little fancier, you can make some plantain bread and add some homemade marinara (which is really easy to make), sauté mushrooms and top with cheese and fresh basil, and you’ve got pizza!
There are endless ways to eat it, just pick your favorite.
Keep It Balanced
Every month, I provide ISWTF members with a meal plan, shopping list and recipes - most of which are super easy and take very little prep. I include the specific recipes for a reason: I know they are easy, good, and keto-friendly.
But if you happen to be comfortable in the kitchen, by all means, experiment away! Just make sure the food is part of the ketogenic diet and you’ll be fine. If you’re in doubt, Google "ketogenic diet" and you’ll be able to pull up a fairly large list of acceptable food to choose from.
Remember the whole premise of the ketogenic diet is to keep a ratio of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs. I don’t think calorie counting is necessary if you’re eating a lot of veggies to keep you full but remember that nuts can have a lot of calories in them. So can cheese.
There is a fine line between eating the right amount of fat and having food that is calorie-ense.
Having nuts and cheese are great snacks once in a while but shouldn’t be a staple.
If you are eating a decent lunch and dinner, you shouldn’t have a need to snack much in between.
You’d be surprised at how easy it is to get fat in. If you have a salad with egg, some raw cheese, avocado and olive oil, you’ve got the perfect meal. Just make sure to have a few different types of veggies in the salad mix, go light on the tomato and heavier on spinach and romaine, and add some cucumbers.
A fantastic addition to this meal would be a cup of asparagus coconut cream soup. If you are in need of carbs, add a slice of plantain bread covered in grass-fed, raw butter and cinnamon.
This meal would help you get the right amount of calories as well as fats, proteins and veggies.
Get to Know Your Body
You know better than anybody what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s just a matter of paying attention to the cues and adjust the diet accordingly.
A food diary is great to keep you honest and accountable. It should include EVERYTHING. Every time something goes in your mouth, write it down. Water, kombucha (and be careful that you aren’t getting more than 4 grams of sugar per serving in a day from it), coffee, tea, etc., are all things to put in the diary.
It’s easy to have seemingly harmless things in our diet be the saboteurs.
The only way to know if it really is harmless, is to keep track and use your tools.
Most importantly, food should be fuel for your body. It is the most important part of your life and should be prioritized as such. Having a well-rounded diet will keep you from becoming deficient in any one thing.
If you want to continue to see improvements in your health and weight, you don’t have the luxury of being a picky eater.