Many people see dieting as a punishment. They think of all the delicious foods they can’t have and how restrictive their eating will become. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. With the keto diet, you can still enjoy delicious food while losing weight and feeling great.
I have tried a lot of restrictive diets. It is so hard to stick to a diet, no matter how impressive the results are, when you are missing the foods you love! I found keto to work for me because I literally ate cheesecake for 2 months! (my story here).
The keto diet seems crazy restrictive at first glance, you have to stay away from most carbs, most fruits, some vegetables, and all grains, all starch, and all sugar.
One of the big lies that are thrown around in order to give the keto diet a bad name, is that it is not sustainable. That you will go crazy only eating the handful of keto-friendly foods. And if a diet is unsustainable, it isn’t good.
However, there are still a lot of delicious foods you can eat on the keto diet, and better yet, every single food you love, some other keto dieter has figured out how to make it with only keto-friendly ingredients. It’s crazy!
I mean, how would you feel, if you could eat hearty, delicious, satisfying food, not be hungry ever, and still lose weight? This is seriously possible on keto!
Absolutely every single dessert can be turned into a sugar-free, grain-free masterpiece. There are entire websites and cookbooks devoted to keto desserts, so you will never have to feel deprived while dieting ever again.
And what about savory foods, you might ask? Don’t worry, there’s a keto-friendly way to make every single one of your favorite comfort foods. You’d be surprised to find out that the things that give those foods you love their wonderful flavor, are all naturally keto (I’m looking at you bacon).
The one big thing you might miss is grains. Nothing keto quite hits your palate like yeasty gluten-full dough: cooked, baked, fried, boiled etc.
I once told my sister that I didn’t miss eating hamburgers. I would just ask for a hamburger without the bun, and she said “yeah, but that is my favorite part!”
Once you can start to appreciate the real, full flavors that are available out there, you realize that grains are just filler. . . practically tasteless. . . not actually providing value to the meal. The only thing it really does, is send signals to your brain that you want to eat more. Now that I stay away from grains normally, I can truly see what grains do to my mind and body – It makes me overeat and feel unsatisfied. Why would I want to keep doing that?
So please, let me give you my top 7 tips on how to enjoy your food on keto, and help this be a beneficial long-term relationship.
1. New food is good food
The cool thing about keto is that it actually offers you an opportunity to stretch and widen your food experiences. I used to always get hamburgers and fries. . . gourmet hamburgers yes, but that was always it. . . when I went to any restaurant – Applebee’s, Chilis, Wingers, Longhorn Steakhouse. . . Everywhere.
Then when I gave up grains, I tried baby back ribs for the first time. And I was hooked! Or the way more flavorful specialty salads that are provided in restaurants usually blow the boring hamburger out of the water.
Thank goodness for this experience that forced me to try new flavors.
2. Try out your whole spice rack
There are many benefits to using spices when cooking delicious keto meals. Spices add flavor and depth to dishes, which can make them more exciting. They can also help you create new versions of familiar favorites. For example, if you’re missing Italian food on the keto diet, you can use oregano, basil, and garlic to create a delicious chicken Parmesan dish. Or if you’re missing Mexican food, you can use cumin, chili powder, and paprika to make a flavorful taco filling.
In addition to adding flavor, spices have health benefits as well. Turmeric, for example, is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Cinnamon has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels. And ginger is an effective nausea reliever. So not only do spices make food more enjoyable, they’re also good for you!
When it comes to incorporating spice into your keto diet, there are endless possibilities. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Add curry powder to scrambled eggs or roasted cauliflower rice for an Indian-inspired dish.
- Sprinkle smoked paprika on grilled meats or roasted vegetables for a smoky flavor.
- Mix cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder together and use it as a dry rub for chicken or fish.
- Add fresh ginger to stir-fries or smoothies for a zesty flavor.
- Make a homemade spice blend by mixing together your favorite herbs and spices. Then use it to season meats, vegetables, or eggs any way you like.
Eating healthy on keto doesn’t have to be boring! By adding spices to your keto diet, you can enjoy delicious food while still staying within your healthy eating goals. So don’t be afraid to experiment with new flavors and combinations. Your taste buds will thank you!
3. Make one change at a time
Dieting can be tough, there’s no doubt about it. But it doesn’t have to be a punishment. In fact, with the right attitude, dieting can be a really positive experience. First of all, it’s important to remember that dieting is not about depriving yourself of everything you enjoy. Instead, it’s about making small, manageable changes that will lead to sustainable weight loss.
When I first looked at delicious keto recipes, I had never cooked with half of the ingredients, and it really overwhelmed me. What was erythritol, and where do I even get coconut flour?
I would suggest finding one new keto staple to add to your cupboard at a time, and learn to use it, then add another. You can also check out my online keto must-haves to start the diet right.
When you eat healthier foods, your body will thank you with more energy and fewer cravings. And as you start to lose weight, you’ll feel better about yourself and have more confidence to stick with your new healthy habits. So instead of seeing dieting as a drag, view it as an opportunity to finally reach your weight loss goals and improve your health. You might just be surprised at how good you feel in the process.
4. Basic substitutes to try
Losing weight doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite foods. In fact, with a little creativity, you can enjoy all your favorites while sticking to your weight loss goals.
And the sooner you have a low carb alternative to the carb basics, the better. For example, instead of using pasta noodles, you can use zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice. You can also find keto friendly substitutes for bread, such as 90 second bread, cloud bread or lettuce wraps. And there are endless possibilities for delicious keto friendly desserts, like Rebel Ice Cream, fat bombs and avocado mousse. By getting to know the keto substitutes early on, you can stick to your diet and still enjoy every meal.
5. Bump up your flavors when it comes to your protein
One of our new favorites in my family is tin-foil wrapped, air-fried chicken. It’s been fun because we literally bring out all of our random spices, sprinkle unknown combinations together, and the chicken turns out unique and delicious each time (recipe).
You might have one way that you always season chicken, but in reality when it comes to seasoning chicken, there are endless possibilities! Finely ground black pepper is a classic choice that pairs well with almost any other flavor, while crushed red pepper flakes add a touch of heat. For a more exotic flavor, try curry powder or garam masala.
If you’re looking for something sweet, cinnamon or paprika can do the trick. And of course, salt is always an important ingredient in any seasoning blend. No matter what flavors you choose, be sure to taste your seasoning mixture before cooking to ensure that it’s to your liking. With a little experimentation, you’ll soon find the perfect blend of seasonings for your next chicken dish.
6. Pick your favorite sugars to use on the keto diet
When it comes to the keto diet, there are a lot of different approaches that you can take. Some people choose to give up all sweets and treats, while others allow themselves alternative sugar dessert daily. If you’re in the latter camp, then you’ll want to make sure that you’re using the right sugar replacement for your occasional low carb treat.
Stevia is a great option because it’s low in calories and carbs, and it doesn’t cause the spike in blood sugar that regular sugar does. Just be sure to use it in moderation – a little goes a long way when it comes to sweetening power. With Stevia, you can have your cake and eat it too – just be mindful of proper portions and enjoy your treat guilt-free.
I said stevia as an example, seriously though, I’d use Xylitol, erythritol, and monk fruit way more often than stevia, and they are also perfectly fine to use on keto. Try them all, to find out what you like best.
7. Know Your Salty Snack Options
Many people find that they crave crunchy, salty snacks when they are trying to diet. While it is important to limit your intake of unhealthy junk food full of bad fats and carbs. There are some healthy alternatives that can help satisfy your cravings. Cucumbers, green peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers, and broccoli are all crunchy foods that can be tossed in olive oil and salt, then thrown into the air fryer or roasted in the oven. It’s salty and satisfying! The vegetable sticks will provide you with essential nutrients and fiber. So next time you are feeling the need for a crunchy snack, reach for a healthy veggie stick instead of a bag of chips. Get the best veggie air fryer tips here!
So to sum up my thoughts on enjoying the food on the keto diet:
- So many people view dieting as some sort of cosmic punishment for not having the perfect body, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
- You can enjoy delicious keto food and still lose weight by finding new foods and flavors that you love.
- Spices are a great way to make even the blandest of keto foods a little exciting.
- Fish and chicken are popular diet foods because they are lean meats, but adding a little blackening seasoning is a great way to put a little punch in your meal that will make it taste great without packing on the calories of breaded chicken.
- There are all kinds of seasonings that will work well in this instance – many great seasonings for chicken also make great additions to salads or lettuce wraps.
- You can even enjoy the occasional low carb treat when dieting as long as you do so with the right sugar replacement – just learn about proper portions and moderate indulgence.
- Cucumbers, green, red, and yellow peppers, broccoli, and carrot sticks all have a nice little crunch to them that when combined with some healthy salt and oils, it can cure the crave beast for starchy chips that often rears its head when dieting