As I have mentioned in the previous chapter, if you don’t have the right mindset coming in, there’s a high chance you are going to fail with your keto diet.
To be fair, if you are mentally unprepared for your weight loss journey, you probably will fail with most other diets. Don’t think that this is limited to keto.
Your lack of mental preparation may mean that you may have certain emotional vulnerabilities which can translate to you getting off your keto diet sooner rather than later.
Thankfully, there are certain strategies that you can use if you have the right mindset.
Having the right “weight loss mindset” is essential. It is non-negotiable. There is no getting around it. This is why I suggest that before you go any further, review Chapter 5 thoroughly.
With that said, here are some key strategies that would help you transition to a keto diet and stick with it.
Transitioning to keto is actually easy. Seriously.
When you’re beginning any kind of diet, you would be pumped up. You would be excited about getting started because you know that it benefits a lot of people. You have seen the results other people got so you can’t wait to try it yourself.
Getting started is not the problem. Getting pumped up, getting excited, and getting ready are all awesome. The problem is sticking to it.
This is why you need the right mindset and the right meal plan strategies. Please focus on the following.
Focus on Fatty Food that Fits Your Taste
One of the most commonly recommended high-fat foods for people starting out on keto is avocado.
Well, it’s easy to see why avocado is a “usual suspect.” It is high in fiber and it’s loaded with fat. What’s not to love?
The problem is, if you don’t have a particular taste for avocado, it might seem like you are nibbling on a piece of wax. It takes some getting used to.
Most people usually mix avocado with something else. Either they turn it into guacamole and enjoy it with Mexican dishes, or they turn it into some sort of ice cream.
Now, you know that on a keto diet, you cannot enjoy regular ice cream. This snack is loaded with sugar and milk, which has lactose. So, you’re stuck with a plain avocado.
There is a workaround to this. Focus on fatty foods that already have the taste profile you already prefer. In other words, stick with what you know.
If you already prefer certain foods like pork rinds or other oily, salty snacks, then load up on them. This is no time to acquire new tastes.
Remember, as I have mentioned in Chapter 5, the secret to transitioning to keto and sticking with it successfully over a sustained period of time is displacement, not replacement.
When you are trying to discover a new taste or trying to readjust your taste buds to accommodate new tastes, you are replacing.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are displacing your old meal plan. No. You are replacing. Bad strategy.
Sooner or later, something will get knocked loose and you will go back to your old eating habits. The better approach is to focus on fatty food that already fits your taste.
The good news is, we already have these. A lot of people who are not on a keto diet think that these are guilty pleasures. They think that they only should eat these dishes or snacks from time to time.
Well, when you switch over to a keto diet, your wish is fulfilled: you can eat those items pretty much every day. Isn’t that good news?
Focus on fatty foods that already have the taste profile you desire.
Shoot to Feel Fuller for a Longer Period of Time
When you eat anything throughout the day, eat strategically. Say to yourself, “When I load up on this type of food, is it going to fill me up for a longer period of time?”
If you don’t know what I’m getting at, think about the times when you used to eat apples as snacks. Sure, apples are light snacks, they’re loaded with vitamins, but sooner rather than later, you’re going to get hungry again. This is due to the fact that apples have sugar.
Now, if you replace apples with chocolate bars or candy bars or cookies, the same thing applies, but on a worse scale. You find yourself snacking throughout the day because of your blood sugar’s roller coaster ride.
Once you switch over to a keto system, be strategic about what you eat. When you displace that apple with, let’s say, a teaspoon of cream cheese, you feel fuller longer because the oil in your system is processed by your body differently. Your body sends different hunger signals to your brain and vice versa when you’re eating fatty foods.
This is why it’s crucial that you be as strategic as possible in your snacks. Instead of just grabbing anything to snack on, eat macadamia nuts. Those things are loaded with oil and your body can definitely tell. You feel fuller for a longer period of time.
Eventually Cut Out All Soda
By “all,” I mean all.
A lot of people are thinking, “Well, I can go on a keto diet and cut out regular soda and hang on to diet drinks.” These are soft drinks that are advertised as zero calories.
Well, first of all, they are not zero calories. Under US labeling guidelines, they contain few enough calories that they can be passed on as “zero calorie drinks.” But they are not zero calories.
Also, recent studies have shown that people who drink diet colas actually have a shorter life expectancy. I know, it’s shocking. It definitely shocked me. In fact, I got so stunned I swore off all sodas across the board.
It doesn’t matter whether they are regular soda loaded with sugar, or high fructose corn syrup and other nasty junk, or they are the zero-calorie or low-calorie variety, I’m completely off them. And I suggest you do the same.
I understand that if you drink a lot of soda, it’s going to be very hard to go cold turkey. Believe me, I can empathize. It took me a few false starts myself to finally get off the soda train.
This is why it’s a good idea to follow one of the principles that I have laid out in Chapter 6: displace, do not replace.
In accordance with this piece of advice, eventually, cut out all soda. The key here is “eventually.” This means that you have to start today.
It doesn’t have to be bold. It doesn’t have to be dramatic. You’re not trying to impress anybody, you’re not trying to be a hero, but you have to start today and gradually cut down.
If you do it gradually, it’s actually much easier than you care to realize. But if you were to go cold turkey, that’s going to be a little bit of a problem because of the dynamics that I have described earlier in this book.
Your body will put up a fight. Your body is used to doing things a certain way. Your body has grown accustomed to certain patterns, and believe me, it’s going to push back.
Sooner or later, you will find yourself doing the same things as before. Before you know it, you will be eating the same stuff as before.
So, don’t do things that way. There’s no need for some sort of black and white change.
Again, you’re not trying to impress anybody. You’re not trying to put on a show. Instead, you want to adopt something that will stick.
Eventually Cut Out Grain-Based Snacks
Let me be completely honest with you. One of the biggest hassles with adopting a keto diet involves snacks.
A lot of the snacks available out there are grain-based. It doesn’t matter what you’re into. Maybe you’re into corn chips, corn flakes, puffed snacks, rice cakes, potato chips, the whole nine yards.
When you look at the common laundry list of snack items in the United States and elsewhere, they have one common denominator, for the most part. I am, of course, talking about grains.
It doesn’t matter whether that grain is rice or corn, or it involves a starchy vegetable like potato. They’re all loaded with starch. They’re all off limits to you if you switch to a keto diet.
This is why it’s a good idea to eventually cut down on grain-based snacks as you load up on fatty nuts like walnuts or macadamia.
Peanuts are off limits. Peanuts are not going to get you to where you want to go as far as your keto diet is concerned. Stick to high fat “bombs” like macadamia and walnuts.
This is a little bit tricky because, normally, macadamia nuts and walnuts are often packaged with chocolate or something sweet. You’re going to have to make the adjustment to these nuts in their pure form.
The good news is that you probably already have a taste for them if you have had macadamia and walnuts as part of some sort of mixed nuts package. Load up on these.
Slowly Cut Out Milk-Based Snacks
Milk is a very touchy subject for a lot of people. A lot of individuals switching over to keto can easily make do without soda. Many are able to make the transition to a grain-free snack system with very little resistance. The problem is, once they try to cut out milk and dairy-based products, that’s when they get a little antsy.
This is why I suggest that you slowly cut down. I’m not talking about eventually, I’m not talking about a fast withdrawal system, but just slowly cut out milk-based snacks and meal items.
It really all boils down to pacing yourself in line with your changing tastes. This is definitely not something that you can rush.
Keep the meal plan strategies above in mind. Make sure you try all of them. If you’re having a tough time with one, keep at it.
Again, there’s no need to be a hero. There’s no need to just take one giant leap. You’re not trying to prove anything to anybody.
What’s important here is that you’re able to stick to the changes that you have made. A little bit of incremental change can go a long way.
Some people adjust very quickly. Others need a little bit more time. Just figure out which one you are and just stick to the plan of action.
Eventually, your body will get used to it. Eventually, your taste buds will adjust.