Did you know that two out of every five people that attempt to lose weight, or change the way they eat, will give up in the first 7 days … and only 1 of those 5 will still be going strong at the end of 30 days? Wow … does that resonate with you like it does with me! I can’t count the number of times I started, and failed, when it comes to changing my diet and losing weight. But, I finally achieved success!
I think I know why I failed on all my previous attempts … and I’m pretty sure I know why I’m succeeding now too. I want to share 5 tips for how to be successful on a keto diet that will lead you to the success you want, whatever that may be. (For me, success is weight loss, overall health, and feeling great.) These tips truthfully got me to where I am so far, and help me to keep moving forward.
If you want to be successful with a keto/low carb way of life, these tips should help you find your mojo and keep it rolling to get where ever it is you want to go!
The Road To Success Starts Here
I created these strategies without even realizing how key they would become to my success … and when I say success, I mean over 150 lbs. of weight loss (so far)!
If you follow these tips, they can help you create the groundwork to successfully change the way you eat. I think they can also help bring about the change required to tackle anything else in your life that you may find challenging or difficult.
I listed my tips in the order that I think they work best. Let’s check them out.
Tip 1 – Create Your Desire
Desire is where it all starts. This is the foundation to your success.
What do you really, really, want from a Keto/LC lifestyle? What are your dreams?
Do you want to lose weight?
Do you want to take back control of your hunger?
Do you want to be healthier?
Do you want to live longer?
Do you want to sleep better?
Do you want to think clearer?
Do you want to get off prescription medications?
Do you want to reverse type 2 diabetes?
Do you want to decrease your chance of Alzhiemers in old age?
These are all valid desires … and all of them are possible with a keto/low carb lifestyle.
It’s critical to find, and always remember, your “whys”!
You have to find a “why” that has value for you. A “why” that means more to you than the food you’re going to be craving … and the cravings will come!
Having “whys” that are truly meaningful to you, will give you a solid reason to stay on the path that leads you to success.
Tip 2 – Prepare For Your Journey
Get prepared! This is going to be a tricky journey at the start. Approach your preparation as if you’re packing a bag for a trip … only you don’t know exactly where you’re going, so you don’t know what you need. Try to figure out what you might need, and what you’re sure you’ll need. I have a few recommendations for ways to prepare.
I suggest you begin your preparation with some education. Check out YouTube. I learned a lot about low carb from watching presentations by medical doctors and long time Keto/LC veterans on YouTube. (Search out Low Carb Down Under on YouTube for some great presentations from Keto Conventions … and yes, that’s really a thing!)
I learned how, and why, this way of eating contributes to health and weight loss. I also learned what to expect and how to deal with it. You may go through a period of not feeling real good, known as the keto flu, will you know what to do if it happens to you?
Education will help you to know what to do instead of just giving up. I find this type of education really fascinating, and you might too. It never occurred to me how little I really knew about how my body works, and how much my food choices affect my overall health, energy, mood, and well being.
Prepare with some planning. After your education, you can plan better. Education should give you an idea of what to pack/plan for this trip. You will go through periods of cravings. You may not think your addicted to any foods, but when you stop eating them strange things will happen. How will you deal with it? Plan ahead by packing some knowledge!
My last preparation suggestion is to stock up on the great foods that you’ll be eating and get rid of the high carb foods if you can. My house is a mixture of sugar burners and fat burners, so that tempting junk food is still around my house, but that doesn’t mean I have to eat it … and I don’t!
Willpower has nothing to do with it either, I just apply one, or all, of the tips I’m writing about now. I’m prepared!
Tip 3 – Upgrade Your Awareness
Awareness is the ability to directly know, perceive, feel, or be cognizant of events, thoughts, emotions, or behaviors.
Use this tip to become aware of where you are, especially in regards to foods.
How do you think about food? Become aware of what you eat, when you eat, why you eat, and the foods you choose to eat.
Become aware of your eating patterns.
Are you making eating choices based on hunger, or because it just sounds or tastes good?
If you sit down to watch TV, do you automatically want to eat?
Do you eat to celebrate?
Do you eat because you’re happy, sad, tired, bored, etc., etc.
Become aware of your relationship with food and eating. This will help you with the changes and challenges of a LC/Keto lifestyle.
I think a lot my success with this lifestyle was brought about by completely changing my relationship with food. I’m now able to look at food as fuel. I still enjoy food, but my experience with this way of eating has taught me that when I eat the proper foods, foods that actually fuel my body and brain, I feel fantastic … and it’s still delicious and enjoyable!
Tip 4 – Establish Your Mindset
Here is where tips 1, 2, and 3, come together to form a powerful tool to help you stay on the path to Keto/LC success … Mindset!
I define mindset as the sum total development, and evolution, of your desires, preparation, and awareness.
Mindset is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it will get! But, you have to create it … because it’s yours and yours alone. It’s up to you.
Your mindset will help you to overcome the obstacles between you and success on this journey.
I believe thoughts are the biggest obstacles to success when following a Keto/LC lifestyle. The way that you choose to act on those thoughts is going to be based on your mindset. You have the ability to own your mind!
Think about your life up to this point … every action you’ve ever taken started with a thought. We can’t always control our thoughts, but we can control our actions, or reactions, to a thought … and if you’re controlling your response to your thoughts, you’re owning your mind.
Tip 5 – The Art Of Discipline
I know, I know. The word discipline conjures up images of being a kid, being denied the things you wanted, or the things you wanted to do, and then getting in trouble when you did what you were told not to do … and of course, we needed that discipline.
Did you think that growing up meant you didn’t have to deal with being disciplined anymore? I did, but boy was I wrong. It just meant my parents wouldn’t be the ones dishing out the discipline.
I really had no idea that I needed to discipline myself! (It turns out that adulting isn’t as fun as I thought it would be.)
If you have kids, you know how hard it can be to dole out discipline. But you also know you’re doing it to teach your kids lessons they need to learn, or to protect them from harm they’re not aware of. Ultimately, you’re doing it because you love them and it’s for their own good.
Self discipline is no different, except that you’re parenting yourself. Self-discipline is about creating new habits of thought, of action, and of speech toward improving yourself to reach your goals.
It takes discipline to say no to yourself when you need to, and to keep going when you’re doing something hard … especially when every fiber of your being may be urging you to give up, give in, or take the easy path instead.
Discipline isn’t easy or fun, but it’s one of the most important skills we can develop for ourselves. Why, you may ask?
Well, without discipline, we will usually end up doing what we want to do, whatever is familiar to us, and/or whatever makes us feel good.
Doing only what I wanted to do is how I became the 385lb sick, sad, depressed schlub that I used to be.
To practice self-discipline is to move through our days with a sure sense that we’ll get where we are going because we are keeping ourselves on point.
Self-discipline is an act of self love … and it’s paramount to successfully reach any goal.
Pull Those Tools Out Of Your Toolbox!
Well, those are the strategies that really helped me, and I want to give them to you. These tips will give you an arsenal of tools to use against whatever threatens to derail you on your path to success. The real key is to remember that you now have them in your toolbox ,and to pull them out when you need them!
Following is an example of how I apply these tips, especially mindset, to an all too common situation for me … and maybe you too!
(This particular situation is actually happening every Sunday when I’m watching football.)
Let’s say I’m relaxing, watching a little TV, and a commercial comes on. There happens to be one running regularly that really speaks directly to me.
The commercial is for Pepsi Zero, but … they show that Pepsi paired up with a hot, steamy, cheesy, delicious looking Pepperoni pizza!
If you haven’t read any of my previous articles, you need to know that pizza and I had an ongoing love affair for decades. Oh how I loved her!
I always enjoyed a tall, cold Pepsi One with my pizza too. The image of a pepperoni pizza with a cold Pepsi Zero is very significant to my brain.
Well, as I watch this commercial it does exactly what it has been designed to do, it triggers a thought in my mind.
The thoughts will play out like something like this:
Mmmmm … man, I love pepperoni pizza and ice cold Pepsi … that would taste really good right now … maybe I should order a pizza. It’s just one pizza. How much could one pizza hurt? I’m doing really good with the weight loss. I deserve to celebrate!
But, if I stop, open my toolbox, and filter those thoughts through these tips before I take action, it looks something like this;
(Desire) Will eating that pizza help me achieve my long term goal to weigh 225 lbs. and feel good about myself? NO!
(Preparation) Did I know there will be times when I want to eat a pizza? YES!
What do I know will happen if I eat that pizza?
Well, it will raise my glucose, spike my insulin, and switch off my body’s ability to release energy that has been stored as body fat, and it will take me several hours, if not days, to get back to that fat burning state!
I won’t have as much energy as I normally do while my body processes all those carbs for energy instead of ketones.
I might gain a couple of pounds that I’ll just have to lose again, slowing my progress.
It will make me feel like crap because I gave into a thought that I didn’t intentionally create.
It might make me want to eat more crappy food, which could lead me off the rails on a wild junk food binge for days. Yikes!!!
(Awareness) Do I know where the thought came from? YES!
I have an addiction to some foods, like pizza, and that commercial triggered my addiction, which created a thought in my mind that the addiction wanted me to act on, and if I did, there would have been a dopamine release in my brain as a reward. That dopamine would have given me a few minutes of pleasure to reinforce the action/addiction loop, so I would be more likely to act on that thought again in the future! (Click here for my article about Food Addiciton)
(Discipline) If I add this all up, this is not a thought I intentionally created or that I want to act on. What’s the pay off? A few minutes of pleasure in my mouth and my brain?
The cost is far greater than the reward my friends. As they say in business, this is a negative ROI (Return On Investment). No thank-you pizza! You are not worthy (but I still love you!).
Bonus Tips …
Don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself of anything. If you took tip 1 to heart, you’ve got some strong, valid reasons “why” you want to do this. Focus on the whys! Instead of saying “I can’t eat that” change your dialog to “I choose not to eat that”, or “I don’t eat that”. Once you start feeling great and dropping the weight, you’ll be glad you chose not to eat that stuff.
Do find a mentor or some other source of knowledge/support. There are plenty of low carb/keto groups on Facebook and Reddit. Mimic what others are doing, it might work for you too.
Do seek out knowledge about physiology and nutrition. If you have a smart phone, you have virtually all the knowledge in the world right in the palm of your hand. Learn about your body and how it responds to food. It’s pretty fascinating stuff!
Do track your progress. Take some photos before you start and along the way. Nothing shows you how far you’ve gone like looking back at where you came from. Be proud of every little victory along the way … even if you only lost half a pound, or stayed the same weight, it’s better than gaining weight! Right?!?!
Don’t be too hard on yourself. At some point you may fall and give in to temptation. It’s not a requirement, but it does happen, and I get that. I fell a few times myself, and it hurt. You just pick yourself up and get back on track. Try to learn from it and move on.
How many times you fall doesn’t matter, what really counts is how many times you get back up!
Finally, here’s a great tip that I recently learned called The 5 Second Rule … and no, it’s not the one about dropping food on the ground.
It’s a method to interrupt your thoughts and steer them toward your desires, aka your anchor thoughts.
When you find yourself thinking about something you don’t want to think about, or about to act upon a thought you don’t want to act upon, simply count backwards from five … 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and then think of what you really desire, your “anchor” thought, your “why”. The better the mental picture of what you desire, the better this works. (and this really does work … for anything!)
Here is a link to a video of the creator, Mel Robbins, explaining the science behind why this actually works.
If you follow these tips I have no doubt that you will be successful! They have truly helped me achieve my Keto/LC and weight loss success.
All you have to do to put these tips to work for you, is to think a little bit differently than you may have thought in the past.
It’s been my experience that weight loss is 90% mental … hell, maybe even more like 95%!
The bulk of this battle will take place between your ears.
You know, I’ve been there, and I know how hard, and frustrating, trying to stay on point can be.
But it is possible … and you CAN do it! Success will grow from your desire, your “whys”.
You have to be aware and pay attention to your inner dialog.
You have to be prepared so that you can take action when anything threatens your success.
You have to have a mindset that strives for success no matter what … and you have to develop some discipline to make it happen.
Do you have any tips that helped you stay true to a keto diet or achieve weight loss success?
Did any of my tips help you?
Please leave a note in the comments so we can help others with their struggle …. and thank-you!
If this helps just one person, I’ve fulfilled my mission.
I hope that person was you!
If I can help in any way, or you have any questions, please leave me a comment.