If you’re having trouble staying on a low carb diet, I’d like to share with you what has worked for me for 5 years. I was on the ketogenic diet for 1 year and then transitioned to a low carb diet and have been on it for 4 years now. There is no doubt you will need more discipline on keto. During this time I have done a total of 2 carb refeeds. The first time was before I went skiing and the second was at christmas. Both times I overestimated the taste of sugary foods and with that came disappointment and a lack of satiation.

Steps to take today:

  1. Mindset
  2. Increase quality of current food
  3. Increase fat
  4. Understand yourself
  5. Your favourite high carb food as low carb food

Mindset

Increase things you like and don’t create a feeling of deprivation.

Change ‘I can’t have this’ to ‘I’m going to have this’. Yes, I’m including low carb ‘junk food’. There are a lot of great products out there and new ones are always coming out. It’s a bit harder for us here in Australia because international shipping can skyrocket. I use sites like iHerb and eBay to keep prices & postage low.

I went into ketosis slowly because that’s how my body liked it. No intense workouts, intermittent fasting or 80% fat at the outset. The intermittent fasting came months later as a natural by-product. I slowly changed my macros. What’s important is how your body is doing along the way. Always listen to it. I still wanted that sweet treat every night for the first couple of months so I used Quest bars. One day the cravings stopped. Try different foods and see what works for you. It will help with those deeply ingrained habits.

Increase the quality of your current food

If you have cravings your body is asking for something.

First, identify whether or not your cravings are emotionally charged. Are you eating to feel better? You need to recognise when this is happening. Think of all the things that make you feel good, pick one and do it instead. For me it’s a bath. Easier said then done? For sure, but if you must eat something… it’s time to break out the low carb junk food. Halo top icecream is one of my favourite cheats (careful for those in ketosis).

Second, examine the quality of what you’re currently eating. I’ve heard someone joke that organic food is actually just ‘normal food’ and I’m inclined to agree with them. Modern farming practices deplete the topsoil and glyphosate is sprayed on some crops before harvest. It might be worthwhile increasing your intake of nutrients through organic food and supplements. A common craving is chocolate which can signal low magnesium levels.

If you’ve never had organic produce before I encourage you to try it! It has inherently rich and wholesome flavour. Growing your own food is even better and it works out cheaper if you set it up right. If you live in a small apartment or have no land, a fun read is Grow or Die – and it will inspire you to get started.

Organic certified meat and dairy. If you are concerned about the price, view it as a long-term investment in one of your most important assets – your health. Finding a butcher with organic certified meat can be a game changer. Ask him for the cheaper cuts and bulk deals. If he has free range meat, chances are he will have free range eggs and organs too (even if you can’t see them out front). It’s especially important the organs are from certified organic animals. Over time he will get to know you anyway and may offer you deals even when you don’t ask.

Benefits of consuming organic certified animal products include:

  • healthy, happy animals that are encouraged to exhibit the behaviours nature intended
  • steps taken by the farmer to ensure a low stress environment before humane killing
  • no synthetic hormones or antibiotics
  • support Aussie farmers who voluntarily choose to be certified organic

Increase fat

If you’re hungry you’re doing it wrong.

Add coconut oil to drinks. If you don’t like the taste of coconut (like me) I recommend Melrose Liquid Coconut Oil. You can get it from Coles too. Add a side salad at every meal using use olive oil as a dressing.

Understand yourself

Accept your weaknesses and plan accordingly.

This part is up to you. There are some free online tests that can give you insight into your personality. The benefits of introspection are far-reaching and will spread to all areas of your life. Tell close friends and family your diet goals – this creates accountability and a support system.

Your favourite high carb food as a low carb food

Perfect it & make it a staple.

I love pizza so I changed a low carb pizza recipe to suit my taste and I eat it weekly now. It’s as simple as googling your favourite high carb meal and adding ‘low carb recipe’ at the end. There are so many creative people out there in the same situation as you. Some recipes work, some don’t – just try them out or make it yourself!

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