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7 Tips for starting the Keto Diet

There are so many tips and tricks I could go on and on about how to make this diet, the most wonderful and sustainable health move you have ever made.

But, today, I've condensed it for you, so you are able to take it in in bite size chunks.

Here we go...

1. Have a strong "WHY"!

Now, I'm not talking about your usual: "I want to look good for swimsuit season." or "I have to go to this wedding coming up." I'm talking about deep rooted desire to be a healthier, fuller version of yourself.

One of my biggest "WHY"'s is: To be an example for my kids. They soak up everything. If they see their parents complaining about their circumstances and doing nothing to change the outcome, that is more than likely what they will model in their own lives.

Another big reason for me, is just wanting to stay healthy so that I am hopefully upbeat and energetic when I have grandchildren to entertain. My goal in life is to be that adventurous Grandma with endless energy!

Oh yeah, and there is the fact that, my hormones are balanced, my depression and anxiety are gone, I no longer have UTI's, (gross, I know) my skin is clear, my periods are normal, and I am showing up daily for My God Given Purpose feeling like the girl God made me to be! (Some of the many reasons why I will never go back.)

Whatever your "WHY", it's got to be important to you, because when the going gets tough, you will be reminding yourself of this "WHY" to help keep you motivated.

2. Get rid of the junk in your house!

I can't stress this enough! Out of sight, out of mind! You know yourself, and what foods trigger you. Get them out of your house, pronto! Get rid of the junk that is holding you back. Replace it with healthy items that will get you the results you want to achieve and fuel your body to show up daily in your God given purpose!

If you live in a non-keto household where you will be the only one embarking on this journey: just request the respect and encouragement of your family. If there are certain foods that will trip you up more than others in your house, kindly ask your family if they could indulge in these certain foods outside of your home, at least in the beginning to help you out. 9 times out of 10, they would totally be willing to do that for you. Especially if being there for them is one of your "WHY"s. (Insert winky face)

3. Keep it Simple!

Keep it simple! You most definitely do not have to go out and go broke buying the latest and greatest "Keto" products. In fact, most of these so-called "keto" items are full of junk ingredients that will not help heal your body, decrease inflammation, balance your hormones or do all the things that you are making this change for. EAT REAL FOOD.

A common breakfast for me is scrambled eggs with taco meat. (Don't knock it until you've tried it!) You can do this with or without cheese (Remember: dairy can stall weight loss, if this is your goal.) I make a big pan of this and eat the leftovers most of the week.

An easy supper idea is taking what you've been making and just modify it. I would still make spaghetti, but instead of noodles, I would use zoodles or a noodle replacement that I preferred. I bought an organic spaghetti sauce with no seed oils or sugars added, and if I wanted, I could make protein garlic bread to go with it. Same thing can be done with Chicken alfredo, lasagna, Chili, hamburgers, tacos, steak and so on. A few tweaks can make the meals you've loved as a family, the meals you still enjoy, but guilt free now.

Lunches: I usually eat leftovers from the suppers before.

It can be super easy to get overwhelmed when you are starting something new. Don't do that. Look to eat real foods and modify things so that you aren't reinventing the wheel. Start small and build from there.

4. Prioritize Protein!

This was one of the biggest game changers for me. I didn't start out prioritizing protein, and I still struggled a lot with cravings and overeating fats. Protein changed this for me.

I do not track my macros daily. It's just not something that I want to do all the time. However, I do think that knowing what macros you should be eating to hit your specific goals should be known and utilized to keep you on track. Sometimes, if I start seeing some weight creep up on me, or if I'm not feeling as energetic and optimal as I usually do, I will track my macros for a week or so, just to get back in the rhythm again. But, on a daily basis, I usually just keep track of protein. I know the amount of protein I need to eat each day, so that I am maintaining my lean muscle.

Once I started making sure I was getting enough protein in, I wasn't battling cravings nearly as much, and my body composition started changing for the better. (Muscle shapes are better than fats shapes on the body, people!)

Protein is not something that everyone in the keto community talks about, but it changed the keto game for me, big time. So, don't leave it out! If you need to figure out your macros, (especially how much protein you should be eating.) I can link an amazing calculator that I use for myself and my clients.

5. Prioritize Salt & Electrolytes!

Another game changer, folks! I was several years into my keto journey when I started reading more about getting enough salt and electrolytes in. I knew you were supposed to make sure you were hydrated, but just drinking water isn't enough.

When I started prioritizing the salt and electrolytes not only did I get a fresh burst of energy, but cravings went from a little to none, just like that! (I'm snapping my fingers here.)

If you are feeling fatigued, or getting headaches while eating clean keto, you need to look into your salt and electrolyte intake.

I usually tell clients to take a small dish and set it on their counter every morning. Put 2-1/2 tsp of a good quality salt in this dish. I love using Redmond Real Salt, but a good Celtic Sea Salt or Pink Himalayan salt will also work. (Not table salt) Use salt from this dish to season your food all day long. If there is any left at the end of the day, make yourself a glass of salt water with the rest. This will help make sure you are replenishing the salt your body is losing when it's getting rid of the fluids that you were retaining while eating a diet high in carbs. It also is replacing the sodium that your body normally gets from the super processed foods that you used to eat.

I also supplement with Magnesium Glycinate and occasionally potassium if I'm sweating alot. (Otherwise, you usually get the potassium you need in the foods you are eating.) But, if you would rather not do the guess work and buy multiple items, there are a couple great Electrolyte drink mixes that have plenty of the sodium and all the other good stuff in appropriate quantities. I drink (2) per day usually of either kind. (But everyone is different, you will have to see what works for you.) Here are 2 that I recommend!

6. Accountability!

Accountability is so important, if you want to be able to change your diet and sustain your new Keto lifestyle.

Warning: Rabbit trail alert!

Our Pastor always says that one of the first things that he tells people about himself, is that he is a Christian. Why? Because it keeps him accountable. When he tells people that he is a Christian, they will be watching to see how he handles stressful situations, listening to how he speaks to others and about others, and watching his actions and reactions in comparison to the norm. He knows that people are watching him, so he is encouraged to spend extra time in prayer and in the Bible to help keep himself in check. He is also more aware of his reactions and what comes out of his mouth.

When I first heard our Pastor say this, I smiled to myself. This is exactly what I have always done to stay accountable on the Keto diet. (Not tell people that I am a Christian but tell them I eat Keto.) (Note: I recommend telling people you are a Christian to help hold you accountable in that area of life as well.) When people know that I eat keto, they are always watching what I eat. If I eat something that looks good, someone will always ask, "Can you eat that on Keto?"

Maybe a little weird or uncomfortable to be under the microscope as far as what you eat all the time, but it works! It keeps me from cheating, because I know, someone will ask me about it, and then I'll be caught red handed! The terror of this keeps me on the straight and narrow. (You can laugh, I'm weird, and it's ok. Whatever works for you.)

Other ways to be accountable is to find a friend, relative or even a Facebook group where other people are trying to do the same thing. The encouragement and the shared struggles really help you stick to things, and not feel alone.

God is also a great accountability partner. He sees you and He knows your struggles. Praying for the strength to stick to something that you know will benefit you, your family and God's ultimate purpose in your life is definitely worth doing!

I have a list of favorite Bible verses that I look to, when I'm struggling. You can even write down and tape these verses in places in your house where you feel tempted, as a reminder that God has your back, and He will give you the strength to stick to this. (Like the fridge, the pantry door, etc...)

Here is a list of some of my favorite Bible verses for these times: Luke 12:23, 1 Corinthians 10:31, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Exodus 20:3, Matthew 6:25, Romans 8:37, Philippians 4:13, Ephesians 3:20, Mark 14:38, 2 Timothy 4:7, Hebrews 12:1, Romans 8:18 & I will write this last one out, because I love it:

Isaiah 41:13 "For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear, I will help you."

7. Give yourself Grace!

Old habits can be hard to break, and if you are like I was, you've been eating unhealthy for quite a while. When you make a change of this magnitude, expect to stumble a little, but make it a point to get right back on the wagon after you fall off.

The thought is not, to never make mistakes, it's to make a habit out of getting right back to it, after the mistake is made. Eventually it will not be worth it to cheat anymore, because you just don't feel good when you eat the old way.

You will get there. It's a process, but the process is totally worth it. In the meantime, give yourself grace!

Nikki <3 <3 <3

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