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Keto Tip: 5 Reasons You Need To Drink More Water on a Ketogenic Diet!

Keto Tip: 5 Reasons You Need To Drink More Water on a Ketogenic Diet!

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It’s often been said that most problems you run in to on a ketogenic diet can be solved by doing one of three things; drink more water, eat more salt, or eat more fat.  Over the years as I’ve done this, I’ve found this adage to be fairly accurate as most of the “tweaks” I’ve done to get over a plateau or speed up my weight loss has been some variation of these 3 things.

Probably the most powerful part of that truth is to drink more water.  I’ve seen over and over again how upping my water intake leads to faster weight loss and a healthier overall feeling as I continue on this little weight loss journey of mine.

Here are 5 reasons you should be drinking more water on a Ketogenic Diet

Replaces Lost Water

This is something I just didn’t know when I started cutting out the carbs and wasn’t prepared to deal with in those early days.   Your body stores glycogen in water in your muscles.  As your body burns through that stored glycogen and you don’t replace it because you aren’t eating carbs, your body’s water stores get depleted as well.  This is why you tend to lose up to 10 lbs in the first week on keto and also what causes the “keto flu” or the miserable feeling that happens just before you switch over to being fat adapted.  That feeling is caused by mild dehydration and can be shorten tremendously just by drinking more water.  Like I said, that would have been awesome to know in those early days.

Suppresses Appetite and Curbs Cravings

This is another one of those things that I really wish I had known early on but every time you have a hunger pang or a sugar craving, just drink some water and they go away fairly quickly.  In fact, even though I’m almost 2 years into this journey of mine, it is still the ever present glass of water on my computer desk that keeps me on the dietary straight and narrow more than anything else.  It took a while but I eventually trained myself to drink water first when I’m hungry before reaching for a snack.

Puts Less Stress on the Kidneys

Your kidneys do yeoman’s work to filter all the junk out of your blood so make their life easier by drinking more water.  Think of the water as a lubricant that keeps your kidneys working smoothly.

Improves “Keto Breath”

Sometimes as you slip into ketosis, the breath ketone acetate can cause bad breath.  More water helps reduce the effect of acetate on your breath and keeps your breath minty fresh.

You Metabolize Fat Faster

I’m going to be honest here and say I don’t really understand the science behind this.  Everything I’ve read throws this out as fact and never bothers to explain exactly why drinking more water would help your body break down and use fatty acids more efficiently.  All I can tell you is that when my weight loss slows down, the culprit is almost always the fact that I haven’t had enough water.  Once I bump up my water intake, the weight comes off again.

So drinking water is great for your health but how about some tricks to help you drink more water.  We got that too!

Keep Water Close

It’s a lot easier to drink water if the water is always around.  Keep a water glass near you and full at all times. You will be surprised at how quickly you will power through a gallon or more a day just by always having it around.

Flavor Your Water

Stay away from anything with sugar obviously but try cutting a few lemons or limes and putting it in the water and see if it tastes good to you.  About a month ago I started drinking water with a little Raw Apple Cider Vinegar in it because there is some evidence that it speeds up weight loss and found I liked the taste.

Salt Your Water

A little salt in your water will make it taste better and help your body retain more of it.  Just a pinch is all you will need.

I hope these tips help you drink more water and lose weight faster!

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10 Tips For Eating Keto When You Are Eating Out!

10 Tips For Eating Keto When You Are Eating Out!

10 Tips For Eating Keto When You Are Eating Out!

There is probably nothing trickier than eating out on a Ketogenic diet.  Ok, there are probably lots of things trickier but nothing I have to deal with in my day to day life.  Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to try to navigate these difficult waters.

Don’t let them put that bread/chip basket on the table – There is nothing in the world more tempting to me than a big basket of chips and salsa, I can tear through multiple baskets of chips in one meal.  The only way I could get past that was to just stop letting the waiters bring it to the table.  If you are sitting with other people that want to eat it, just ask them to push it over closer to them.  Your health isn’t worth a little cheating.

Get your eggs whole – This one was VERY shocking to me when I found out.  My brother used to be a cook at Denny’s and he told me that in order to make their scrambled eggs and omelettes fluffier, they add pancake batter to them.  No wonder I stopped losing weight after I would eat breakfast out!  Turns out this is common practice with most big chains like Denny’s, IHOP and Waffle House.  You can do handle this one of 2 ways, either request they don’t do that or just order whole fried eggs.  I would also request the eggs be cooked in butter or bacon grease because I’m not sure if they use any kind of seed oils to cook with.

Always order vegetables for the side – Restaurants would prefer you get one of their carb filled options as a side because it’s cheaper.  Be sure to replace the rice or beans with some sauteed or steamed veggies, then ask for extra butter.

Check the online menu – If you will Google the restaurant you are about to eat at, they will usually have an online menu with dietary information and possibly even ingredients.  Then just look through that until you find something with no added sugars or grain fillers

Call ahead to ask about anything you are unsure about – If you still aren’t sure, call ahead and ask a few questions.  As long as you don’t time your call with a super busy time for them, they are usually eager to help.

Stick with the “big piece of meat” dishes on the menu – I tend to stay away from the fancier dishes and just order the dish that consists mainly of a big piece of meat.  I’m usually going with the steak or a chicken breast or a pork chop.  A restaurant around here does a chicken breast covered in Mozzarella cheese with green chiles sauteed and poured over it and it is amazing or if I’m at a Mexican restaurant the steak fajitas are usually a safe bet.  I try to stay away from anything with a sauce (like pot roast or enchiladas) or some crazy seasoning blend that’s difficult to see if it contains sugar.

Remind yourself that one meal isn’t worth undoing your progress – This was had for me at first.  I really liked to cheat when I ate out and then it would take me a week to undo the damage to my weight loss.  No chips and salsa are worth all that.

Order Oil and Vinegar for your dressing – Ordering a salad?  Try to get olive oil and vinegar as a dressing. (not a vinaigrette) Most other dressings use seed oils as a base or contain sugars.  No bueno.  If you can’t do that, my emergency salad dressing is a few squeezed lemon wedges and salt.

Order extra meat, cheese and bacon – Sometimes the thought gets into your head that if you aren’t eating the bread then there is no way you will not be hungry before your next meal.  While one of the strengths of a ketogenic diet is you don’t really get hungry too often, I know that the psychology of having less food on your plate can be difficult to deal with, especially in the beginning.  Just order extra meat and cheese.  When I’m at a burger place, I get the biggest burger I can order with multiple meat patties, bacon, cheese, avocados if I can get it and plenty of veggies.  It tastes awesome and I’m not hungry afterwards.

Don’t be afraid to order individual ingredients – Sometimes you just have to order weird to stay on your diet.  I met me son at Taco Bell once and had to basically construct a taco salad out of individual ingredients.  I ordered a double helping of beef with veggies and sour cream.  Not bad and kept me in ketosis.

I hope you enjoyed these 10 tips for staying in ketosis when you are eating out.  Please feel free to follow me on Instagram or join us in the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge Facebook group!

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Keto Tips: Cheat Days Hurt!

Keto Tips: Cheat Days Hurt!

As dedicated as I am to losing weight with a ketogenic diet, I have to admit that from time to time I succumb to temptation and eat something I shouldn’t.  I usually rationalize it by saying it by telling myself that I have been doing great for a long time now and that a cheat day isn’t a bad thing.  And then I step on the scale the next morning and am brutally reminded of one horrible truth, Cheat Days Hurt.

Just to give some hard numbers of what cheat days can do to you, let’s take a look at what happened to me last week.  On Sunday July 31st, Dian and I were invited to a special screening of Bad Moms at Studio Movie Grill and a meal and drink were included.  I’m a frugal (read: cheap) guy so I of course partook in the free food which was a hamburger and french fries.  Total carbfest.

That morning I clocked in at 248.8 lbs and was feeling good because I was finally south of 250.  Monday morning I was back up to 251.0, 2.2 lbs from one meal!  The worst part was that it took me over a week to get my weight back down below the 248.8 I started at.  That’s an entire week+ of weight loss efforts totally undone by one cheat meal and I didn’t even have a dessert!  And I’m not even talking about the fact that all those grains I ate caused inflammation and made my knees hurt for the first time in forever.  I was so angry!  It wasn’t worth it at all.

You have to keep in mind that if you are obese, the chances that you are very insulin resistant are very high.  Like pretty much 100%.  That means that every carb you eat will have a much greater effect on you than someone who isn’t as insulin resistant.  It’s just one of those horrible truths you have to come to grips with, Cheat Days Hurt.

Here are a few things you can do when the temptation strikes.

Drink Water

You will be surprised how often the urge to eat something carby is really just thirst in disguise.  Take a few sips and see if the urge goes away.

Drink something with a Sweetener

There are times when I just want something sweet on my tongue so I drink something with a sweetener.  This can be tea with a little Sweet n Low and lemon (my go-to) or a diet soft drink or something else you prefer.  I know a lot of people really enjoy Kombucha but I wasn’t too impressed by it when I had it.

Just Wait

Sometimes you just have to wait it out.  When the urge strikes, give yourself 5 minutes before you do something about it.  You may find that the urge goes away.  This has become an important trick for me when I have to stay up late and want a little late night snack.

Have Keto-Friendly Snacks available

Maybe a slice of cheese, pork rinds, olives or some deli meat.  Just replace that urge for a carb with something that won’t cause a huge insulin spike.

Hope this was helpful!

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5 Tips for Eating Keto on a Budget!

5 Tips for Eating Keto On A Budget

Keto can be a bit pricey but I am definitely a frugal guy so I am always looking for ways to cut the fat from my food budget to get more fat in my food.  Once I made the commitment to fix my weight issues and other health problems I was highly motivated to figure out exactly how to eat for as cheaply as possible.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

Use Coupons

Believe it or not, there are tons of coupons out for real and keto-friendly food all the time.  In fact I update a list of these coupons once a week here.  There are also several smartphone apps that will give you discounts on groceries, especially meat and produce.

Don’t be Afraid of the Cheap Meat

The nice thing about keto is because the whole world is deathly afraid of fat, the high fat meats are generally cheaper than the leaner cuts.  Steer clear of those boneless skinless chicken breasts and buy those thighs with the skin still on.  Or better yet, buy a whole chicken, you can make several meals out of it including a very nice broth and it’s cheaper per pound.

Shop in the Mornings

Most grocery stores will put the previous day’s meat on clearance in the mornings, that’s when you will often find steaks and pork chops for 20-40% off.  This varies a bit from store to store but if you will ask the butcher when at your store when that happens, they will usually let you know.  Here are some other frugal tricks you can use for meat.

Order Produce Direct From Farmers

Once every 2 weeks, I get a big basket of produce from Bountiful Baskets.  Not only is this cheap but I get a much wider variety of fruits and veggies than I get at Walmart.  There are probably several different CSAs to choose from in your area.

Start a Garden

I am amazed at how much my tiny little garden produces considering the original plants I planted were less than $2 each.  At the very least, you can start a little herb garden on a window sill and have fresh herbs every day.  Right now I swear I have basil coming out of my ears and can’t give it away fast enough.

Buy a Dehydrator

I would never have guessed how helpful a dehydrator would be until I had one.  Your store put more meat on sale than you can eat and you don’t have room in the freezer?  Dehydrate it and make jerky!  You garden pumps out more herbs than you could ever possibly consume?  Dehydrate it and store it for the winter!  It’s such an awesome tool.  Here’s the one I use and I’m pretty happy with it.

Cook for Yourself

Doing your own cooking is the #1 way to save money.  Not only can you control what goes into your food but you aren’t paying someone else to cook it.  Here’s some great recipes you can try.

Hope you found these tips helpful!  If you did, sign up for my daily email and get my 28 Day Meal Plan and join our 28 Day Sugar Free Challenge Facebook group to be a part of a community of people who are losing weight and getting healthy.

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Keto Tip: Eating Too Much Protein Can Be The Same as Eating Too Many Carbs

Keto Tip: Eating Too Much Protein Can Be The Same as Eating Too Many Carbs

Today’s keto tip is one that took me a little while to understand in my own weight loss journey.  In the beginning I pretty much thought of food as either one of two things, either I could eat it or I couldn’t.  I didn’t really understand that I could eat too much of a “good” thing and it would cause problems for my weight loss.  At first I had to realize that eating a bunch of nuts, nut butters, and dairy was slowing my down but then I learned that eating too much protein would do the same thing.

What is Gluconeogenesis?

Gluconeogenesis is a metabolic process where the body makes glucose from something other than a carbohydrate, typically excess protein, which will knock you out of dietary ketosis.  There is no hard and fast amount of protein that I can tell you to stay under to avoid gluconeogenesis because each person has a different tolerance level.  I know that for me personally, I got in to trouble if I had more than about 10 oz of meat in the evening and really had to be careful to increase the total amount of fat I ate during the day to be sure I didn’t hit my limit.

How to Avoid Gluconeogenesis

We tend to think of a ketogenic diet as a High Fat, Low Carb diet but you really need to add “Moderate Protein” in the middle of that list.  There are a few little tricks I had to learn to keep my protein levels at the right level.

#1 Track Your Food and Weight – It was so helpful for me to track what I ate and how my weight responded the next day.  This was the the most important thing I did to discover both my protein tolerance and what foods affected my bodies in different ways.

#2 Test Your Ketones – I wish I could afford this Ketonix breath ketone analyzer because it seems like a much easier way to do it but these ketone strips work as well.  It’s nice to be able to see immediately how what you ate affected your ketone level.

#3 Eat High Fat Meat – Don’t be scared of protein but if you are choosing a cut of meat, eat the one with the highest fat content.  So rather than have that boneless skinless chicken breast, eat the leg or thigh with the skin still on.  Get the steak or pork chop with the big strip of fat or the most marbling.  Choose sardines, salmon, Chilean Sea Bass, or anchovies over catfish, cod, or flounder.  Wrap your meat in bacon and slather it in butter.  Just consistently try to eat as much fat with your protein as possible.

Eating a ketogenic diet has absolutely been a god-send for me as I was totally incapable of losing weight until I found it.  It has taken a little tinkering to figure out the ins and outs but it has resulted in a consistent weight loss of over 150 lbs so far and I know it will work for you!

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