Fat makes you fat and we at Konscious Keto have learned that a plant-based diet is the only genuine path to conscious living and wellness.
Gluten and dairy are at the root of all your digestive issues and may be to blame for side effects like excessive bloating and even weight gain.
Calorie restriction is the sole path to fat loss and healthy living.
Frankly, there's so much conflicting information regarding what's healthy that it's challenging to filter through the science, multitude of opinions, and personal experience to determine what works best for you.
It's no wonder that deciding upon the best approach to optimal health is a bit confusing.
With so much opposing information in the health & wellness space, even the fittest tastemakers among us may find themselves conflicted about which foods best promote vitality—it seems like the health marker shifts constantly with a given food deemed a darling one day and then demonized as unhealthy the next.
We get how all the contradictory information can cause frustration.
Before you abandon all self-control and pull up to the nearest drive-thru in utter defeat, continue reading because we will share a few practical and simple steps you can take to become a healthy eater, today.
Don’t Eat Processed Foods
Even if you're unlikely to embark on a nature-trail retreat to detox, removing processed foods from your diet is a simple step anyone can take toward living a healthier lifestyle.
Forget packaged microwave dinners and even large amounts of keto-compliant treats (e.g., cookies and bars, etc.), and focus on getting your nutrition from fresh, whole-food sources with a limited shelf life.
Venture out to your local farmer's market or take some time during the day to peruse the online, virtual aisles of web-based food delivery services that will bring you ingredients needed to stock your pantry, to prepare yourself for success.
Often being calorically dense but nutritionally void, processed foods tend also to include unwanted preservatives, fillers, and types of trans fat, which may contribute to long-term health consequences, including the degradation of ones' metabolic health, so steer clear.
Don’t Drink Diet Soda
Although sipping sodas' saccharine-free sibling is a convenient way to satisfy a sweet tooth, it is also known to cause other issues and is worth eliminating from your diet.
Diet sodas technically fit into a ketogenic diet because they are void of sugar and carbohydrates—both of which we want to reduce or eliminate on keto—but there is still another cause for concern with these carbonated beverages.
The sweet flavor of artificial sugar alternatives is deceptive. Despite adding a pleasant taste to food and drinks, virtually mimicking cane sugar, commonly-used sweeteners like aspartame, which converts to a three-part compound when consumed, is known to produce toxic effects in the body.
Aspartame is comprised of phenylalanine, aspartic acid, and methanol. Unfortunately, methanol is quite unstable and effortlessly transforms into 'free methanol' when exposed to high temperatures.
Free methanol may sound like a harmless substance but beware: once methanol converts to 'free methanol,' it turns into toxic formaldehyde—yes, like the stuff used to embalm corpses.
Furthermore, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen with the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier—making it particularly detrimental to the body due to its ability to impart toxic effects more profoundly.
With its components being what they are, it shouldn't come as a surprise that consuming aspartame is associated with some illnesses and disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, diabetes, and ADHD, among other maladies).
If you're fiending for a fizzy, flavored drink, consider an unsweetened seltzer or sugar-free tonic water that you can jazz up with a few drops of stevia, without spiking your blood sugar or compromising ketosis.
You may also want to try keto-friendly, sugar-free sodas like that made by Zevia to quench a craving for the bubbly pop, without fear of consuming artificial chemicals and added fillers.
Do Eat All of Your Meals
Suggesting excessive calorie restriction is a proverbial tainted pill prescribed by well-intentioned loved ones and medical professionals alike.
However, it's imperative to fuel your body with adequate amounts of high-quality calories, to look and feel your best.
While eating fewer carbs and sugar, as is advised on a ketogenic diet, naturally suppresses the appetite—that is when carbs are restricted low enough to trigger metabolic ketosis—it is still important to eat enough food.
There's no real need to overthink it, and everyone's caloric needs will vary based on a variety of settings and fluctuating factors like gender, weight, activity level, lifestyle demands, etc.
Use a free online calculator like that provided by MyFitnessPal to establish a caloric framework based on your health goals, and adjust your daily meal plan from there.
Before long, especially if following a low-carb, high-fat diet your body will return to its natural appetite level, and you'll find cravings a thing of the past.
Recommitting to live a healthy lifestyle requires a mindset change and with that, a shift toward eating more not less.
More important to note is to ensure you are eating the types of foods that contribute to, rather than detract from, our health and well-being.
Do Food Prep
A failure to plan can derail even the best intentions.
Maybe it has happened to you: you're psyched about eating healthy, perhaps it's even Monday, and you promised yourself you would stick to it in the throes of a full-fledged weekend of 'cheating,' then hunger strikes and your fridge and cupboards are barren—a recipe for dietary disaster.
Chips and other calorie-dense finger foods are so easy to overeat for a reason.
Of course, the taste is amazing, but seriously, we eat them because they're there and effortless to consume with one hand.
Given our busy schedules, we are all looking for food that's easy to digest while working to meet a looming deadline.
Consider making pre-portioned meals over the weekend, so you're prepared to follow your dietary program, no matter what challenges life sends your way throughout the week.
If you get bored quickly and the idea of pre-set meals for a week inspires feelings of panic, consider doing more of a 'freestyle meal prep,' where you make main dishes and sides ahead of time and then mix and match your pre-made foods as desired, on-the-fly, each day.
Here are four essential meal prep tips that will set you up for success.
1. Create a Menu Plan
Starting a new style of eating can feel overwhelming, with uncertainty often beginning around the shopping list and what to make for the week.
Luckily, there are many recipes available online to cater to any desired eating style. From YouTube to Pinterest, you can become a virtual food aficionado with a few hours of online study.
Select a handful of meals you enjoy and shop for the required ingredients to apply intention to your food shopping efforts. Keep your plan simple and easy to follow; the best eating plan is the one you can commit.
Also, feel free to try some of these tasty, fat-fueled, meal ideas that are perfect for anyone seeking to keep carbs low and nutrition high:
- Breakfast: Strawberry Ricotta Pancakes
- Lunch: Savory Keto Bowl
- Dinner: Ham & Gruyere Keto Casserole
- Dessert: Mini Keto Velvet Cheesecake
- Snack: Keto Apple Cider Donuts
2. Equip Yourself with Helpful Tools
Measuring cups and spoons, a quality non-stick skillet, and a good set of knives are all essential meal prep tools that will make your time in the kitchen efficient and painless.
The following are some great tools to have on hand to assist with meal prep:
- Rolling pin
- Casserole dishes and baking sheets
- Parchment paper
- Chopping board
- Vegetable peeler
3. Make Recipes with Common Ingredients
It's wise to keep it simple and make recipes that require overlapping ingredients to simplify your keto shopping list while creating variety in your meal plan.
Become your own sous chef or enlist some family members to help you in the kitchen with meal prep.
Chopping and mincing ingredients ahead of time will help to expedite the process when it's time to get cooking, and well worth the required effort.
Also, the ingredients you chop and prep will of course vary, based on your meal choices, but here are a few classic items to consider getting ready ahead of time to use in recipes as needed:
- Blend up some fresh dressings to use atop salads
- Chop staples like onions and garlic, and store them in air-tight containers in the fridge
- Roast, steam, and transform vegetables into faux mashed potatoes to have delicious and healthy side options ready
- Bake some low-carb, grain-free bread or make some sandwich wraps, so you're prepared to whip up a low-glycemic lunch in a flash
4. Store Food Properly
Make sure to refrigerate or freeze food as necessary to prolong the freshness of your diet.
Do Use Portion Control
Even the healthiest foods can lead to weight gain if eaten in excess. Food is at the center of culture and tradition in so many ways, but beyond all the ritual and significance we assign our food, at the end of the day it's just fuel.
Eating whole, organic foods when hungry, and listening to your body's natural hunger signals is an ideal approach to identify your true appetite so you can begin to eat according to your basic hunger levels and evolving energy demands.
Again, food is fuel, so your decided macronutrient intake is mainly dependent upon your goals.
However, if you desire to increase lean muscle mass, rather than release body fat, exercising portion control will mean ensuring not to skimp on the meal sizes to bulk up rather than cutting back on overall caloric intake.
Regardless of your overall caloric ceiling or macronutrient limits, be sure to comprise your plate of low-glycemic fruits and vegetables like dark leafy greens or rich-hued berries to round out your nutritional intake.
Also, eating the highest quality foods (e.g., fatty fish, grass-fed meats, cruciferous veggies like cauliflower and broccoli, et al.) while making an effort to minimize the consumption of refined carbs and sugars can lead to feeling fuller faster, and for longer—especially if eating a diet rich in lean protein and healthy fats.
A new health journey can mark the onset of many burgeoning and beneficial habits—one of the most promising transformations of all being a rehabilitation between yourself and your relationship with food.
The great news is, as you seek to eat food that makes you feel invigorated and vibrant, you will likely also relocate your natural levels of satiety and no longer overeat by default.
Find What Works for Your Metabolism
Everybody's dietary needs are different and subject to a variety of factors. Some enjoy the hardline of intermittent fasting and black-and-white guidelines related to times of feeding or fasting during the day. Others prefer a cyclical feeding schedule, eating every three-to-four hours.
No one style is absolute, and no eating plan is a one-size-fits-all deal; there are some assembly and customization required.
Determine the eating style and ideal nutritional intake targets needed to achieve your goals, based on your factors, and adjust your dietary program as you go and your energy needs will evolve.
Eating healthy doesn't have to be a chore. Consider implementing the simple tips shared above to help you get started on the road to becoming a healthy eater in no time!