It is never easy to begin a new diet or to change your life-style, and starting the LCHF diet will be no different. However, although I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination here are a few tips which helped me stay on the proverbial band wagon when I started over 3 months ago. Hopefully they may help you too!
- This is not a diet! Technically the word ‘diet’ fits into the way we speak about LCHF as it refers to the way and what we eat, however as a society we have come to think of the word ‘diet’ as being restrictive and associate it to weight loss. Although weight loss can be attributed initially by eating LCHF, however once you reach your natural weight you will plateau. Hence, LCHF is not a diet to solely lose weight, it is a life-style choice. We have chosen this way of eating because it allows us to lead healthier and fuller lives and this is a permanent change.
- Enthusiasm: I believe that this is half the battle! If you really feel enthusiastic or passionate about something you will have a greater chance of success. If you don’t feel enthusiastic about this diet – don’t start it. Instead do more research on the topic, read up more on the pros and cons until you feel that this is something for you, and something that you can do. Starting something with a half-arsed mentality very rarely leads to success! Which brings me to my next point:
- Research: Don’t blindly follow this diet – do your own research. This has really REALLY helped me stay on track. For those of you who have been following this blog for a while know that I am constantly researching and trying to find out more information on LCHF. By doing so I am educating myself and I am making informed decision of what I am putting in my body. A friend of mine asked me during brunch the other day, if it was hard for me to avoid the sweet breads that were going around the table. I told her initially yes (when I had first started LCHF), however the more I read up on the subject the more I realised how bad wheat and sugar was for the body, that now I had no problems avoiding it all together. What started out as a one-month experiment on LCHF has led me to change my mind-set all together, and now I can never imagine going back to how I ate before.
- Clean your cupboards: Before you even start on the LCHF diet, go through your kitchen and pantry and get rid of everything not LCHF friendly! Throw it away, give it away -I don’t care! Just make sure it is not in your home tempting you.
- Organisation is King!: In order to be successful with this diet, be organised. Plan what you are going to eat for every meal during the week, and plan good snack foods to have at home. This may seem rather pedantic, but if you plan ahead you minimise the likelihood of failing. I know the weeks where C and I did not plan ahead it was really difficult to put a good meal together and it was so tempting just to pop on some pasta to boil and throw together a sauce -which is what we did quite frequently in the past.
- Don’t be your own enemy: So, you messed up? You just couldn’t resist that slice of cake at the office – don’t’ beat yourself up about it. You haven’t failed! It is hard to change your life style or your mind set over night – if you have a few slip-up that is fine. But just keep in mind why you are doing this diet in the first place, what is it you want to achieve? Then at your next meal time make an extra effort to stick to it.
- Get an LCHF Buddy: What really helped me stick to LCHF in the beginning was that my husband had agreed to do it with me. This way we ate the same meals, we discussed the diet at length, talked about side-effects and how the diet was making us feel. When one of us was not feeling so motivated, the other was there to bolster them and make sure they stayed on track. We really encouraged each other to succeed
- Write it down!: Keep a food journal and write down everything you eat from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. This is a favourite technique of many diet plans – and there is a reason for that -it works! It forces you to be brutally honest with yourselves and it shows you where you need to improve. This is how I started this blog – I wrote down what I was eating everyday and it ensured that I did not cheat too often, as I had a public platform 🙂
- Don’t be dissuaded: You will most likely get a lot of negative reactions when you first decide to try this diet, but don’t let that get to you. Remember by doing the LCHF diet, you are turning everything the western world has taught about nutrition up side down, and for many people this is uncomfortable. Just do your research and understand why you are eating this way, and don’t let the nay-sayers get you down!
- Don’t be afraid of fat! The number one mistake I made in the beginning was that I was not eating enough saturated fat. I was still in the process of trying to change my mind set that fat was actually good for me, and although it made sense when I read about it – to suddenly go from a very ‘lean’ and ‘fat-free’ diet to one which advocates a substantial amount, that takes some brain training. However it is important you get the saturated fat in your diet – this is our fuel.
So there you have my top ten tips for LCHF beginners – all of the above helped me stay on track when I first started this diet and I hope that it may give you some guidance as well.
Oooh I just thought of an extra tip which really helped me – this is your bonus tip 🙂
Time Frame: Initially I gave myself a one month time frame to try the LCHF diet and see if it was for me. Knowing I had only to do this diet for one month, allowed me to really focus on the diet and put in all my effort to see if this was a diet for me. As it turned out it was, and I was quite taken with the diet and decided to continue, but I think by giving yourself a realistic time frame it is definitely a good way to kickstart your new LCHF life style 🙂