Have you slacked on your New Year's resolution to drink more water, or have you become lax with monitoring your carbohydrate macronutrients as we journey further into the new year?
No worries, many of us have found ourselves revisiting our goals for 2021 and may have experienced the harsh reality of reconciling our wish list with our current situation.
The good news is there's still time to steer your self-improvement plan back on track well before it's time to ring in 2022.
Plus, cleaning up your meal plan and reconsidering your goals, along with your approach to keto, is a great way to re-energize your wellness efforts if you're experiencing a plateau or a lull in your journey.
Fortunately, you can place your dietary program back on track with a few simple steps and tweaks—keep it simple and remember the basics because they're effective.
You're Bigger than Stress Eating
2020 may have made the Freshman-15 look like child's play. Emotional eating has gotten the best of many during the pandemic, and that may have resulted in unwanted excess weight.
Ensure you're eating enough healthy fat to achieve satiety and help combat pesky cravings that can consume more calories than planned, leading to a surplus and possible weight gain or weight-loss stalls.
There are some steps to take to combat stress eating and manage stress to mitigate the effects of impulse eating. Here are some handy suggestions:
- Remove temptation: Out of sight, out of mind is an excellent approach to dieting. OK, eliminating triggering foods from your pantry may not cause you to forget about them altogether. But removing the convenience of having easy access will make it less likely that you'll binge on your beloved high-carb fare.
- Maintain a regular meal schedule: Times of uncertainty can make everything appear unsure. Sticking to as consistent an eating schedule as possible can help create a healthy daily routine.
Showcase your inner chef: The pandemic has birthed new home bakers and home-born chefs nationwide. We're all at home a bit more now, possibly with more time to experiment in the kitchen and try new recipes.
Cooking is a fantastic way to get your family in the kitchen to bond over baking or a functional creative outlet that you get to enjoy with those you love!
- Stay hydrated: Believe it or not, thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Stop and sip on some H2O or savory and herbaceous bone broth before reaching for food to see which case.
- Remain active: Exercise has proven to elevate mood, as is touted by those who chase experiences like the coveted "runner's high." However, there is no need to restrict your activity to high-impact activities. A brisk walk several times a week for at least 30 minutes can elevate the heart rate enough to boost cardiovascular health and mood.
Stay engaged: Boredom can lead to finding your hand at the bottom of a bag of chips in a flash. And sometimes we graze and snack simply because we feel disengaged.
Get involved in hobbies and other activities that bring you joy and create a sense of accomplishment that can offer an instant morale boost.
- Stay present: Dwelling on the past or speculating about the future can lead to a lot of unnecessary regret or worry. We honestly only have the present moment, and remaining in it can alleviate pining over many unnecessary matters we cannot control.
- Eat nutritious and fibrous foods: Nutrient deficiencies can lead to many issues, including energy imbalances and brain fog. Focus on eating nutrient-dense foods filled with fiber to aid in feeling fuller longer.
- Monitor alcohol intake: Adult libations can take the edge off or compliment a delicious dinner, but overdoing it can lead to fatigue and other health issues—even potentially leading to overeating due to loosening inhibitions.
- Get your rest: Sleep plays a significant role in managing the body's ability to function properly and allows it time to rebuild and repair tissue to support healthy growth.
Check-in with yourself: We often check on our friends' and other loved ones' well-being, but it's common for many to neglect to do the same for themselves.
Make it a practice to do mental health checks with yourself to gauge how you're feeling, whether you require rest or if you may need to address an emotional challenge that may make equilibrium difficult.
- Prepare emergency snack packs: Cravings hit; it's inevitable. But we don't have to leave ourselves defenseless. Pre-packaged snack packs that you can grab at will to prevent straying and eating higher-carb foods when on the go.
Eat foods that fight stress: Some foods are inflammatory and can cause health issues, but there are also foods we can eat to help manage stress and keep the body balanced. Here are a few keto-friendly stress busters to keep close:
- Pistachios: These colorful pods are delicious plain or blended into a creamy butter. Plus, the pistachio reduces vascular stress thanks to its healthy fat and fiber content and antioxidants.
- Seeds: Sure, they're delicious. But seeds, like pumpkin and sunflower, are rich in magnesium, tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in serotonin and melatonin production, both of which affect sleep and mood.
- Avocado: This rich and creamy fruit is prevalent in many keto dishes because it adds richness to the simplest meals and helps with satiety. But in addition to its culinary benefits, avocado is also abundant in essential phytochemicals like carotenoids and phenolics, which offer antioxidant benefits that combat inflammatory and oxidative stress.
- Dark Leafy Greens: These nutrient-rich veggies are the perfect base for a well-balanced salad or a quick stir-fry, and they offer vital stress-reducing nutrients and minerals such as B-vitamins, which help regulate energy, balance mood, and enhance brain function.
- Add herbal teas to your regimen: Chamomile is a favorite tea of many at bedtime because of its relaxing effects known to support restful sleep. Also, consider trying mint, yerba mate, and other varieties to identify your favorites.
- Stock up on dark chocolate: Deep cocoa offers more than a tart bite in dishes; it's packed with antioxidants! Try our delicious chocolate-covered strawberry recipe for an easy and delightful healthy treat with a hearty helping of both!
- Please keep it simple: Return to keto basics and keep it simple when seeking to reset the body and achieve fat adaptation. No need to complicate the process as you recommit to your health; a reset is a time to extend some grace and compassion to yourself. Do our best to keep things hassle-free and trust the process.
Small Steps Create Big Results
- Seize the day: You know how easy it is to say you'll restart or begin a diet on Monday or tomorrow, but we can do better. Recommit to turn your meal plan around at your next sitting and continue to take steps to clean up your diet after that.
- Water is your friend: We consume calories from food and drink throughout the day, and both contribute to your daily caloric intake. Opt for water as your beverage of choice as often as possible. And stick to sugar-free options when exploring other drink options to avoid unwittingly sipping on calories throughout the day to the point of macronutrient excess.
- Eliminate boozy beverages: Cocktails spice up any fete or brunch, but alcohol provides calories and sugar and eases inhibitions, likely leading to overeating or making sub-par food choices.
- Snack on high-fiber whole foods: There are many keto-friendly packaged snacks to enjoy, and they have their place in a well-rounded keto diet. However, it's wise to return to low-glycemic fruits and veggies as the basis for munchies throughout the week as they're low in calories, filled with nutrition, and help you stretch your macro budget while feeling fuller faster and for longer.
Plan your meals: Preparing meals is an excellent way to control portions and remain on plan throughout the week with minimal hassle at mealtime.
Plus, making meals at home helps manage your food budget to stretch your dollar considerably farther.
- Load up on dark leafy greens: Spinach, arugula, kale, and collard greens are excellent in salads or cooked down and stewed with other healthy and savory ingredients to create a delicious stew.
- Weigh and track macros: Splurging may have adjusted your body's hunger sensors. Weigh and track your food for a week or two during your restart to tighten the reins and recalibrate your body's appetite.
- Get moving! There are many ways to exert energy and burn calories, and everything counts! All energy output, or lack thereof, works toward creating either a caloric deficit or surplus in the body, which directly affects weight regulation.
- Be kind to yourself: Falling off of the dietary wagon isn't a moral issue; as humans, and we all err. Don't beat yourself up if you stray from your dietary protocol; commit to pivot and try to avoid feelings of guilt as everyone messes up sometimes, and that's OK.
Rediscover your "why": Everyone has a driving motivation when seeking to lose weight or improve health, but it's easy to lose sight of that driving force along the lengthy journey of transformation.
It may help to create a colorful dream or goal board to rekindle your inspiration and motivation to endure for the long haul.
- Don't deprive yourself: You may feel compelled to hyper-restrict calories or carbs when conducting a keto reset, but resist. Revisit your macronutrients initially calculated to achieve your decided goals and start there—no need to do anything drastic.
Find a like-minded community or accountability buddy: Staying accountable to others with similar goals is a fantastic way to keep yourself honest at times where temptation tries to lure you astray.
Team up with a friend, relative, or co-worker and check in weekly to keep each other focused and encouraged. Plus, we’d love to swap tips and victories with you on our Facebook community page—join us!
Mix up your routine: A dietary reset is a great time to make tweaks to your regimen and set yourself up for success. Try some new keto recipes, like our Impossibly Keto BBQ Chicken or a freezer-friendly dish like Keto Taco Casserole, to add variety to your meal plan.
Also, consider incorporating new exercises into your current routine to jumpstart your results! There are loads of online streaming services to tap into for daily workouts to help you achieve your goals without ever getting bored.
- Increase H2O consumption: It's generally essential to increase water intake on keto since the body releases fluid, minerals, and vitamins in more significant amounts when in ketosis and running on fat and ketones for fuel. Plus, staying hydrated prevents your body from confusing thirst with hunger—an experience that's quite common.
- Consider intermittent fasting: There are many health and weight-loss benefits related to eating in time-restricted windows. Fasting is beneficial when hoping to regain momentum on a ketogenic diet. Eating in limited time windows helps curb the appetite by ushering in fat-adaptation rapidly when done in conjunction with eating a low-carb, high-fat diet.
Reward yourself (with something other than food): Like non-scale victories, non-food rewards for successes earned are a fantastic way to remain inspired to remain committed to your meal plan.
Go ahead and snag that goal-weight outfit you've been eyeing, or treat yourself to an experience or other item that brings you joy.
Take it one meal at a time: Trying to create a master plan for every meal you'll eat for the next month is likely impractical for many.
Just take it one dish at a time. Even if you meal prep, which we advise, try to limit the focus to the next meal instead of feeling overwhelmed by attempting to plan too far into the future in detail.
Keep an eye on mental health: High chronic stress levels can result in disorders from anxiety and depression to physical ailments tied to hormone imbalances and certain cancers' development.
It's advisable to look into the well-being of loved ones, and you should add yourself to the list. Check-in with your mood, energy levels, and whether you're managing stress well or need additional tools and support to help keep things balanced.
Get to the root of the matter: Generalized stress is a possibility, but sometimes you can pinpoint stress sources to eliminate to give your mental state a boost.
Reach out to a trusted friend or a professional advisor if feelings of uncontrollable stress or mood fluctuations persist for more than two weeks.
Keep things in perspective: A ketogenic diet is a marathon rather than a sprint; it's a lifestyle instead of a fad or flash-in-the-pan gimmick.
Everyone slips up here and there, and it's essential to be realistic about how you live your ketogenic lifestyle to make it work long-term. We would assert that it's even healthy to allow a little margin for error.
If you find yourself off-track, extend yourself some grace, return to the keto game plan, and don't dwell on the slight setback.
Explore New Recipes
The idea of cleaning up ones' diet sounds arduous and not very fun. However, exploring new keto recipes is a simple and exciting way to keep the adventure exciting and diverse.
Plus, we share loads of easy and kid-friendly meals to try on our site. We promise you'll make these meals with ease no matter your experience level in the kitchen. Follow our recipes and enjoy!
There are many keto recipes worth mentioning, but we figured we'd narrow the list to share our favorite clean keto meal picks with you:
- Strawberry cheesecake for breakfast? Yes, please, and thank you. Our premium keto shake blend and fresh or frozen berries make for a tasty treat to start the day on a euphoric and light note.
- Chocolate and Peanut Butter Shake: Few things combine better than chocolate and peanut butter; they're the perfect pairing.
Use some almond or coconut milk as a base, a scoop of our Konscious Keto chocolate shake, and add a helping of nut butter to create a dreamy breakfast shake to fuel your morning.
- Kickin' Keto Chicken Salad: Prepping salad greens and other fixings can set you up for success throughout the week, enabling you to toss together a healthy meal, like this team favorite, fast on-demand.
- Bang Bang Keto Style Shrimp: Who doesn't love fish and chips, or in this case, fried shrimp and chips? Our keto-friendly fried battered shrimp recipe pairs perfectly with various keto fries options as a savory and satisfying comfort-food platter that's great any day of the week.
- So Kimchi Salad: Eating fermented foods is an excellent way to boost the gut microbiome to support digestive health. Plus, this easy and nutritious keto kimchi recipe is a fabulous compliment to so many light yet satisfying keto dishes!
- Grilled Rib-eye Steak with Gorgonzola Butter: Fat and protein pairings always make for a delicious and satisfying meal option on a low-carb, high-fat diet and this dish delivers on both abundantly!
- Warm Me Up Slow Cooker Chili: Chili is a great dish to make ahead and enjoy throughout the week or throughout the year if you freeze or can it and put it up for later.
- Finger Lickin' Crispy Keto Chicken Tenders: Revamping your keto meal plan need not be drab when there are so many terrific low-carb recipes to enjoy. Plus, we've never met kids that didn't delight in a tender, and crispy chicken strip dunked in a delicious sauce.
Keto Fat Bombs for Weight Loss: Fat is no longer our foe—never was, really. Healthy fat is our body's preferred form of fuel and a tool to help the body achieve rapid fat adaptation, which facilitates effortless weight loss while you get to enjoy fabulous meals you'll love!
Sample some of our craving-crushing fat bomb recipe to enjoy a range of treats that you won't believe they are sugar-free!
- Dippin' Keto Strawberries: Getting healthy can be a treat for the senses, and this item speaks to that point. Couple tart and sweet berries with a coating of antioxidant-rich chocolate, and you're golden.
Strength in Numbers
Embarking on a weight-loss journey with a partner, team, or within a like-minded community is an excellent way to remain accountable.
Sneaking extra snacks and playing loosely with your carbohydrate macros may feel less appealing when you know others are checking on how you're doing and whether you're staying committed.
Partner up with a health-minded co-worker, even virtually. Or link up with someone in your household to tackle the battle of the bulge as a united front.
Plus, witnessing others' inspiring transformation following the same lifestyle is a powerful source of inspiration to keep you focused on days when old habits come calling.
Journal to Track Progress
Seeing a drastic drop on the scale very soon after recommitting to eating a ketogenic diet is a fantastic morale boost to help you readjust to living in a fat-adapted state.
However, there will come seasons of slower changes on the scale. So, documenting successes apart from the scale goes a long way, especially if you have a significant amount of weight to lose.
Plus, logging your food-mood can help to determine which items agree with you and also allow you to identify which maybe not so much.
Plus, reviewing your journey can help you remain focused on your goal.
Furthermore, you can decorate your journal with inspirational photos or items you're working toward to keep them top of mind.
Additional Hacks to Revamp Your Keto Diet
- Limit your carb consumption: You may have gone a tad off the rails with the carbs lately, hence the need for the reset. However, returning to a net carb ceiling between 20-25g is advisable to quickly elevate your body's ketone levels.
- Incorporate coconut oil and MCT oil into your diet: Cold-pressed coconut oil provides a delightful flavor to foods, and MCT oil is the perfect addition to your morning keto coffee—for a natural boost of energy without the unwanted crash.
Increase your physical activity: You may have heard that it's possible to lose weight on keto with or without exercise, and that's true. But the benefits of increasing physical activity in your weekly routine extend far beyond weight loss.
Regular physical activity contributes to heart health, helps regulate hormones, and helps with mood, as well as aiding in fat loss.
- Boost healthy fat intake: We know the guilt of straying from your diet can trigger a knee-jerk reaction to restrict calories or certain macronutrients drastically. But eating enough healthy fat during a reset is essential to ensure satiety while aiding in natural appetite suppression. So, don't skimp on your macros.
Try a Beef and Butter, egg, or a fat fast: Approaching keto using timed eating windows can quickly recalibrate the appetite.
Fortunately, several keto fasts target jumpstarting fat adaptation, and we've covered our top picks below:
Maintain adequate protein intake: A ketogenic diet generally calls for moderate protein intake, and it's vital to consume it as advised.
Healthy fat is the cornerstone of any keto diet, but protein is essential for muscle tissue development and repair—super important to overall health.
- Test ketone levels and adjust your diet as needed. It's possible to identify glucose spikes based on energy or mood fluctuations. Still, it's necessary to test your ketone levels post-meal to determine precisely how foods or beverages impact your system.
We all fall short at one time or another; the important thing is to get back on track quickly and learn from the setback.
A binge is inconvenient, but it may show up to inform us that we're out of balance in our lives in one area or another and could use some grace and a hearty helping of self-care.
A setback can act as an opportunity to rethink our approach to keto and make subtle or significant changes to customize the plan to suit our needs and preferences.
Think of your keto reset as a chance to give the diet a go again but armed with more knowledge of your needs and areas where you may need more support to make it work well for you.
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