How to Follow an Intuitive Keto Lifestyle
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If you’ve discovered you’re following more of a “fad” keto diet rather than an intuitive keto way-of-eating, don’t worry – you’re not alone! Read on for these five steps to help you transition from a fad-keto diet to an intuitive-keto lifestyle.
1. Determine your motivation to change.
Maybe it’s to lose weight. But why? Perhaps it’s to look better, but usually, there’s more to it when you dig a bit deeper. Do you want to live a longer, healthier life free of chronic disease, sickness, and pain? Maybe you desire to stick around long enough so you can care for your family, maintain independence as you age, and see your children, yourself, and even parents grow old.
Whatever the motivation, try to dig a bit deeper than the superficial “I want to lose weight!” to drive you forward through change, and help you in breaking those old sticky habits.
2. Back away from the scale.
If your focus is on numbers, then I’m sorry to break it to ya, but you’re back on the diet train called “fad-keto”. Go back to step one, and try to find a deeper motivation to change… why do you want to lose weight? Keep in mind, there’s no “quick-fix” or “shot-gun” approach to health and long-term weight loss. Success will require lifestyle adjustments, behavioral changes, and patience to form new healthy sustainable habits.
Try to step outside your tunnel-vision of weight loss and redirect your focus on optimizing health. From this point, as the body becomes healthier, the weight will begin to follow. If your happiness is dependent on a number, it’s time to ditch the scale and reassess your deeper motivation to change.
3. Track outcomes.
As you begin your journey to adopt intuitive-keto, keep track of all the positive health outcomes you notice along the way. Pay attention to the benefits you observe outside of your initial motivation to change.
For example, if you’re in it for weight loss, have you noticed any other positive changes beyond the number on the scale?
- Do you have more energy?
- Are you taking less medication?
- Are your clothes looser?
- Do you sleep better?
- Are you less hungry throughout the day?
- Are your annual doctor check-ups improving, etc.?
Try writing down ALL the benefits you notice along your journey (but remember, NO numbers allowed) and keep them somewhere you can see them daily, such as on a sticky-note posted to a mirror or wall. This will help you to recognize signs of a healing, healthier body and keep you motivated through challenging days.
4. Stay engaged.
Success comes from continual learning and practice, and motivation is achieved through engagement. Take time on a daily basis to educate yourself and learn why and how keto is helping so many people live a healthier life. There are several books, articles, keto YouTube channels, and podcasts full of information to keep you inspired.
Also, let’s not forget, Hip2Keto is here to keep you up to speed with new delicious recipes, practical meal ideas, tips & tricks, and a supportive community to keep you motivated. Staying engaged will keep you inspired! Remember, with knowledge comes success!
5. Practice mindful keto.
We live in a fast-paced world full of distractions, convenience, and a long list of “to-dos’” which, unfortunately, has led to a disconnection between our mind, body, and relationship with food. We call this mindless eating.
- Have you ever consumed a whole bag of chips or popcorn when watching a movie?
- Downed a pint of ice cream out of emotion?
- Been so ravenously hungry you’ve consumed your meal, and much more, in a matter of seconds?
Even on keto, many people often put convenience over mindfulness when it comes to food, which often results in over-consumption of processed foods, and an excess of empty calories leading to weight gain and poor health.
Mindful eating has shown to help with weight loss, and unhealthy eating behaviors such as emotional eating (eating in response to emotions), and external eating (eating in response to environment). In addition, mindful eating methods have shown to be an effective treatment option for certain eating disorders.
Steps to practice mindful eating.
- Eliminate distractions when eating. Turn off the television, phones, and tablets.
- Eat slowly. This will allow time for your brain to catch up to your stomach.
- Stop eating when you’re full.
- Consider taking 10 minutes before reaching for seconds or desserts. This will ensure your brain had time to catch up to your meal.
- Eat at a kitchen table or dining area only. Avoid eating on the couch or in bed.
- Take time to appreciate your food. Think to yourself how the food looks, smells, and tastes while eating.
- Before you eat, ask yourself, “Am I actually physically hungry?” and “Will this food nourish my body?”
Try mindful eating practices starting with one meal a day. Gradually over time, this will begin to feel like a natural, intuitive way of eating.
There are two versions of keto: “fad-keto”, and “intuitive-keto”. Your ability to find success with health and weight loss is dependent on the version you choose to follow. The transition from a fad-keto diet to an intuitive-keto lifestyle takes place through assessing a deeper motivation for change, observing benefits beyond the scale, staying engaged, and taking steps to practice mindful eating habits.
Remember, “diets” are short-term and unsustainable. Intuitive keto is a lifestyle and practice aimed in forming healthy habits for optimizing health span and longevity for long-term success.
Tara Finnerty RDN, CSP, CD — is a ketogenic specialist and fat-fueled enthusiast. Tara is a registered dietitian in Utah and owner of Sugar House Nutrition LLC. Her aim is to provide nutrition support for people wanting to reap the many health benefits of the ketogenic (keto) diet. Her expertise in the keto diet was initially working with children who have uncontrolled epilepsy. Tara supports nutrition diversity and works toward helping people find an individualized approach to make healthy eating sustainable.