When it comes to diets as strict and intense as keto, there are many ways to fall behind on progress or accidentally break the rules, like unintentionally consuming sneaky carbs or buying supplements that kick you out of ketosis.
If you’re like most people, you might find yourself asking, “Why are there so many keto success stories if it’s so difficult to maintain a state of ketosis?”
The answer is simple: The people who succeed do so by using the right tools. It’s no wonder that a carpenter can build a nice, hardwood table if she’s using the right tools. The same goes for dieting.
Here are five common types of tools that keto dieters use to help them maintain keto.
It can be difficult to achieve and maintain keto. Luckily for you, there are supplements designed with this in mind.
Exogenous ketones typically come in a powdered form just like any standard protein powder. However, they are designed to increase the body’s ability to enter a state of ketosis as well as make it easier to stay there, giving keto dieters some much-needed wiggle room.
Other supplements include protein powders to improve muscle growth and MCT oils to increase the amount of healthy fats that your body has at its disposal. MCT oils function to allow the body to break down additional healthy fats without relying on unhealthy fats.
There are countless other supplements on the markets, but prudent dieters must be sure to do their research before buying anything, as the supplement market is one of the most nefarious routes for profiteers to dupe weight-loss hopefuls out of their money.
Carbs are everywhere! Even low-carb meals typically contain at least several carbs. Throughout the day, an uninformed dieter might accidentally consume too many low-carb meals, resulting in the body’s failing to reach ketosis or be kicked out of ketosis.
Since the state of ketosis relies on the body burning fat instead of carbohydrates to create energy, it should come as no surprise to hear that certain recipes with enough carbs can not only take you out of a state of ketosis but prevent you from achieving it in the first place.
So, how do you know what meals to make, which foods to eat, or how to prepare them in order to maintain keto?
Hours and hours of research, sifting through nutritional information, and comparing products from different producers…
Just go online and find any of the recipes written out by the countless bloggers who have already done all of this research for you.
In this modern day and age, all it takes is a Google search with the right keywords.
Of course, sometimes a recipe simply isn’t enough.
Sometimes, you don’t have the time to cook every day, or you don’t have the wherewithal to sift through countless recipes each night.
If this sounds like you, meal-prepping will definitely help. Meal-prepping is essentially planning out your week’s meals, cooking them all at once ahead of time, and packaging them away in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
For most people, this is an entirely new aspect of life. The vast majority of people cook when they can and eat out when they don’t have time to cook, but eating out while on a diet is typically inadvisable.
There are countless meal-prepping guides out there for keto dieters, each one focused on maintaining—or even refining—a state of ketosis.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to keep track of every macronutrient, every amino acid, every carb, every fat, and on and on and on.
The stress of forgetting if you tracked your last meal is enough to make you want to give up dieting and go back to eating whatever you want. That is, to give up on achieving your dream body and state of health.
On the other hand, there are apps designed specifically with this need in mind. My Fitness Pal is one such app that allows you to scan the barcode on any edible product and allow it to auto-populate all of the nutritional information into your “diary.”
This helps you know with absolute certainty if you’re eating few enough carbs and high enough healthy fats in order to achieve and maintain a state of ketosis.
And if this app doesn’t work for you, take the old App Store adage to heart: There’s an app for everything. You just have to find the one that works best for you.
One of the most often overlooked tools for any diet is solidarity.
Science has shown that smokers more likely to quit if their friends quit with them. The same goes for dieting!
If your friends are all on the keto diet, then what will you be eating when you go over? Keto food! What kind of restaurants will you go to? Keto-friendly! The list goes on and on.
But what if your friends don’t enjoy the low-carb, healthy-eating lifestyle that you’ve adopted? How can you quit carbs when everybody around you keeps eating them?
The answer is simple: Find a support group.
There are countless pages on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites and platforms that revolve around like-minded people sharing advice and ideas on how to maintain their diets.
So, if you find your commitment to keto wavering, or if you’re having trouble reaching ketosis, find a support group, ask for help, and maybe make a few friends in the process!
Everybody who has tried keto knows that one of the most challenging dietary experiences is achieving ketosis and maintaining it.
Many people try, but only the people who are the most dedicated and determined to earn their dream bodies ever succeed.
But that’s not to say that it’s impossible!
If you use the right tools; such as supplements, online recipes, meal prepping guides, fitness apps, and support groups; then you too could become one of these dedicated few, one of these keto success stories!
Katherine (Tori) Lutz is a graduate of Florida State University and current student at Columbia University. Her professional experience surrounds a great deal of freelance work in the areas of writing, editing, marketing, and social media strategy. She is currently living in Brooklyn, New York, and is an aspiring journalist.