So you have decided to go Keto and need to get started. You are about to go to battle. A battle that will be fought on multiple fronts. You will be battling a myriad of forces trying to derail you from your newfound success in your ketogenic lifestyle, and yes, this is a lifestyle. At least, until you reach your target weight… then you will adopt a different lifestyle to maintain your target weight.
Remind yourself of this when you need to: this eating plan may seem extreme, but it is for a season… It is for a reason… You may find the first week or so a struggle, but as you embrace eating clean keto, you will see your reward ahead of you, and each little win will excite you, drive you, and compel you to WIN the race that you have set before yourself – your target weight – and it will be easier and easier to “resist the Dark Side” day after day.
Real example: yesterday was Labor Day. What do people do on Labor Day? Eat and later feel gloopy because of all that they ate. Because I’ve been “in the battle” for five weeks, it was easy, and actually pleasurable, to stick to the battle plan. More so, because I even HAD a plan! And as I’ve gleefully watched pound after pound drop off day after day, the pleasure of saying “no” or better yet, saying “enough” gets easier and easier day by day. Even if they do have cookies.
Under normal circumstances, a Labor Day BBQ would have involved snacking all morning while cooking, eating all that was cooked, sampling all the desserts, all while imbibing empty calories in the form of tasty adult beverages.
After five weeks of keto, not to be thwarted, here was my Labor Day Meal Diary as recorded in MyFitnessPal:
My greatest fear that day was that I might have overdid it on the wine and was going to bust my carb count. But what happened? When I stepped on the scale the next morning I was a full pound and half less than I was on Sunday! While everyone else was probably regretting looking at the scale the next morning, for me, Christmas came early! And as you can see from my Macros chart – my fat / protein / carb was a near bullseye on the 70/20/10 rule.
You can also see that for each meal, I had a main course (lasagna, cheesecake, burger) and supplemented it with a near-100% fat “shot” to keep me in point for my percentages (sour cream, pimento cheese, cheese ball).
Choose Your Weapons!
The Marines have a saying about their rifle in what they call The Rifleman’s Creed: “This is my rifle. There are many others like it. But this one is mine.” Similarly, you will take up your own creed: “This is my mealplan. There are many others like it, but this one is mine.”
As I mentioned in my previous article in this series, one of the benefits of the Keto mealplan is that it is a great timesaver. You can prepare your meals with many portions-per-recipe. For instance, my Best. Lasagna. Ever. recipe makes thirty (yes, thirty!) servings, Keto Cheesecake sixteen servings, Keto Pigs-in-a-Blanket make ten servings. To supplement meals or to have something to snack on, Cinnamon-butter fat bites, an ounce of Macadamia Nuts or cashews, or half of a Keto Tropical Smoothie.
One of the first steps to success is to answer the question “What am I going to eat for the next ‘x’ days?” and prep it to all you need to do is “grab-and-go” for every meal.
I love to cook, and if I could get paid to cook all day, like as a personal chef for a celebrity, that would be a dream job. However, I’m cooking for myself, and time is money, and in war, you have limited choices as to what is in your MRE. If I can have a few “Building Blocks” that I can put together for a meal every day, that’s great – wham, bam, eat my meal, and move on to the next task at hand. This is not to say that eating Keto is boring and you are going to get tired of your food… you just don’t want to be THINKING about your food.
Thinking requires energy. Energy requires willpower. There is only so much willpower in your daily “willpower storage tank” so the less you have to DO to mange your keto meal plan, the more willpower / energy / motivation you will have to stick to it. If you have to say “Ugh, time to prepare another meal” multiple times per day you are going to have less likelihood for success.
Every time my meal plan runs out, I can either create another batch or try a new batch of something. I can also combine different meals / supplements for variety. For instance, if you have lasagna, tuna salad, and cheesecake as three base meals, and then you have macadamias, olives w. feta, pimento cheese, and guacamole as your supplement, you have twelve combinations to choose from to compose a meal.
So your meal combinations are unlimited!
Of course, some meals you may like more than others. After you run out of cheesecake you can make another cheesecake or you can create another meal, such as the Keto Pigs in a Blanket, and now you will combine a serving of ‘lil pigs with your supplements. And the best part: you will only be “cooking” or preparing a meal or two once or twice each week, and not every day or multiple times per day!
Note that the main purpose in the supplements is to add to the fat value. By themselves, the above recipes of lasagna, cheesecake, and tuna salad to not have 80% fat. Macadamias and olives are nearly 100% fat so adding 1oz of a pure fat to a less than optimal ratio food gives you what you need to “boost” it into keto mode.
Beat Boredom: find foods you like to fix, and like to eat. Try something different. If spooning down a tablespoon of sour cream or two spoonfulls of pimento cheese doesn’t sound fun, just try it for a week and see if you don’t say to yourself after the pounds start dropping off, “Well, that ain’t that bad… especially if I can chase it down with a slice of cheesecake!”
Make it Fun and Easy: Create several base meals and choose several supplements to create a wide variety of full meals to choose from, especially when you are on the go. If you are going to have a long day on the road and you want to bring your meals with you, just grab 3 bases, three supplements, throw in a snack or two and put it in a cooler with a freezie-pack and get on with your day.
Because we many better things to think about than what it is we are going to eat. Go live life!
And enjoy this little video as you choose your weapons of mass consumption!