Welcome to part 2 of our Keto Approaches series, make sure you have read Part 1 – Overview before continuing on.
If you are just starting out with LCHF or keto this is the perfect place to start. The first step is to focus on eating low carb high fat foods such as fatty cuts of meat, leafy green vegetables, nuts, healthy fats such as butter and coconut oil, full fat cheeses and cream.
Our Keto Essentials Series will help you identify the best options. The next step is to avoid foods loaded with sugar and carbohydrates. Food labels and ingredient lists will become your new best friend. Look for products containing less than 5 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams and that don’t contain any added sugar in the ingredients list.
It can also help to prepare more of your own food, if possible, so you can ensure the quality of the ingredients and avoid any unnecessary added sugars. Meal prepping is a great habit to get into and it doesn’t need to be super involved. It can be as simple as making a big frittata with cheese and vegetables at the start of the week, to have on hand for breakfasts or lunches on the go.
We find that by having salad greens, cucumbers, boiled eggs, tinned tuna and mayo in the fridge we can quickly throw together a great lunch option to take to work in the morning. This not only saves money but also the temptation of braving the food court at lunch time!
It’s a really good idea to have a few staple meals that you can rely on being keto. When we started keto we had 1-2 meals that were the same each week. We knew we loved them and we knew how quick and easy they were to make. We would make a big batch of our chorizo chili every few weeks and freeze it.
The Zest Byron Bay Butter Chicken quickly became a weekly staple. We went through a stage of chicken wings and jalapeño poppers and bolognaise sauce with zucchini noodles was another favourite. These staples changed over time as we like variety to keep things fresh.
Meal plans can be a great way to help you get started. If you are someone who feels they need a little extra guidance and support we would recommend Leanne’s meal plans. At $8-$15USD a month they are affordable and we trust Leanne’s work. We haven’t personally used meal plans but feel these are great for people who prefer not to have to plan their weekly menu.
It is also a really good idea to work out what takeaway and eating out options you have in your local area. We have a local pub that does an amazing steak with béarnaise sauce.
Other great takeout options near us are a burger place that will do any burger in a lettuce wrap, a kebab shop that does a great kebab plate, a Mexican place that will do a burrito bowl (minus the beans and rice) and a few great cafes that will always allow us to tailor make our breakfasts.
Another great tip when eating out is to check the menu of a place before you go and work out the best keto option. You won’t always have control over the place you go with friends and family, but reviewing a menu beforehand allows you to make the decision about your best keto option.
We find making this decision prior to being in the situation takes away those impulses in the moment and also the stress of the unknown if you are going in blind.
We have found most restaurants and cafes we visit are open to swapping out the bread/rice/potato in a meal for a salad or green vegetable. Don’t be afraid to ask. I find it easier not to eat any unwanted carbs if they are not on my plate at all.
It’s much easier to resist the toast once by asking for no toast, than resisting it 200 times while it sits on my plate saying eat me! We always make sure we are extra friendly and polite with the wait staff and appreciative of their help, as it makes a big difference to our experience.
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Keto flu is something many people get when they start a ketogenic lifestyle. When you remove sugar and carbohydrates from your diet, your body misses them. After a few days you can start to feel the keto flu setting in. Symptoms may include nausea, headaches, sugar cravings, irritability, poor focus and dizziness. We are not the experts at explaining this and recommend you check out this article on keto flu for further information.
As you settle into this way of eating it is important to take note of your hunger signals and break the habit of eating at set meal times, regardless of hunger. Increasing the fat in our diets is very satiating and we certainly noticed a decrease in our hunger compared to being a carboholic.
If this is the case for you also don’t feel you have to eat every few hours if you are not hungry. Limit your snacking and stick to three meals a day.
Things to focus on with the Basic Approach:
- Removing the carbohydrates from your diet
- Increasing your fat intake
- Eating when hungry
- Familiarise yourself with nutrition labels and identifying added sugar in ingredient lists
- Identify the best eating out options in your local area
For many people following this basic approach to keto will help them meet their goals, both in relation to weight loss and health. If you are feeling great, are happy and meeting your personal goals then that is prefect! Stay right here.
If perhaps you are not meeting your goals, or you have a health condition you are trying to improve check out Part 3 – Experiment and Part 4 – Fine-tuning of our Keto Approaches series for further ideas.
- Keto Approaches Part 4 – Fine-tune
- Keto Approaches Part 3 – Experiment
- Keto Approaches Part 2 – LCHF
- Keto Approaches Part 1 – Overview
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