Keto does not have to be complicated. People make it complicated when they treat it like a diet, or, even worse, when they treat it like some kind of magical formula.
The truth is, though, you can choose the least complicated path for yourself. The path that will cause the least amount of stress. The path with the least amount of confusion is the best path to take, because it’s the easiest path to stay on when you’re faced with difficulties.
One of the most prominent things I see that can start to confuse you is the constant demand for you to track you macros. I see it everyday online, someone insisting that tracking your macros is the only way to find success.
But, honestly, if tracking your food isn’t your thing, don’t track it. You can still succeed.
Of course, it all depends on your goals, but for the sake of simplicity, if you are the average overweight or obese person who just wants to stop being overweight or obese, I am talking to you. If you have health issues that you want to reduce (e.g. Type-2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, PCOS, fibromyalgia, etc.), I am talking to you.
If your goals are single-digit body fat and super fast results that will get you ripped so you can go on stage for a bikini contest or physique competition, I am NOT talking to you. So move along and don’t worry about what I am about to say; you aren’t my audience.
So what does uncomplicated Keto look like?
- No hardcore/obsessive macro tracking
- Very low carb (20g or less a day)
- Moderate protein (keto is protein sparing you won’t lose muscle by eating moderate protein whether you exercise or not!)
- High percentage of dietary fat (lots of fat on your plate)
- Eating when hungry, not by a clock or out of habit
What does this look like and put in to practice? I’ve boiled it down to four basic steps:
- Wake up
- Eat when you are hungry
- Stop when you are satisfied
- Be happy
You may have to learn what true hunger is, and that’s okay; you have time to figure that out. If Keto is a new way of life for you, there is no hurry, you don’t need to race to a finish line or be a Keto superstar by doing it faster.
SIDENOTE: What is this obsession with wanting to do stuff fast? Let that go. You didn’t get fat or sick overnight. You aren’t going to fix it overnight. So stop having unrealistic expectations and then whining that this keto thing isn’t working for you because you didn’t lose 10 pounds in a couple of days.
Take some time to get to know your body. Chances are you are numb to what true hunger is because you have spent a good number of years thinking cravings were hunger and you developed a habit of eating often.
When you are in the process of learning real hunger, it is important that you be reasonable about your food, not only in making the best keto food choices, but in choosing REAL food over processed crap like sugar-free jello and sugar-free candy. In addition to choosing real food, be reasonable about portions. Don’t fill every inch of your plate and stack it high. Don’t put a whole stick of butter or even half in your coffee. Don’t eat a 20 oz steak in one sitting. Don’t eat 5 fat bombs in a row. Portion control matters because, when you’re new to keto, you need to overcome bad habits. Keep in mind, it’s hard to overeat (not overdrink) on keto, because the biochemical response to dietary fat is vastly different than the response to dietary carbs. But if you don’t change your behavior, you’re fighting an uphill battle.
Keep it simple. Eat real food. Put butter on your veggies. Cook your veggies in butter or coconut oil. Dip your meat bites in butter with a little garlic for taste. Eat the skin on the chicken and buy the fattier hamburger meat. Don’t attempt to “ketofy” every dessert known to man, that just makes things harder on you and keeps you craving.
When you eat real food, eat when you are hungry, and stop when you are satisfied, you might only eat twice a day. That then frees up all the time you used to spend cooking and eating, to do other things, like workout or read a book.
Stop making it more complicated than it really is.
If you still think keto is too complicated: Get a coach
Having someone to guide you through and hold you accountable for your choices is absolutely HUGE, when it comes to finding success with keto. The information can be confusing and the answers can be difficult. Getting a coach to help you will dramatically increase your chances of success and will shorten the amount of time needed to get there.