Keto, or the Ketogenic diet, has taken the diet world by storm, thanks to some insane body transformations and inspiring weight loss stories.
Just search Instagram for #Ketoweightloss and you’ll find millions of posts showing off amazing before and after photos, plus Keto-friendly recipes to kickstart your body into the holy grail state of Ketosis. However, even the biggest Keto followers will admit that it can be a strict diet to incorporate into daily life, and it’s not necessarily right for everyone.
The best way to keep weight off for good is to find the habits that work for you instead of doing what everyone else is. But there’s been so much hype around Keto, it can be easy to forget that there are other effective ways to lose weight out there.
Whether you’ve tried Keto and struggled to stick with it, if it didn’t work for you, or if you just can’t bring yourself to give up carbs, then check out these other tried and tested methods for shifting weight that is just as effective as Keto.
Remember to always consult a health professional before starting any new diet.
- Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting simply involves abstaining from eating for specific time periods so your body starts burning fat stores for fuel. It’s a flexible way to manage your weight when done responsibly and can be simpler to fit into your lifestyle than conventional diets, as there are no complicated recipes to follow or fancy ingredients to buy. The time periods someone fasts for vary, from a few hours to days at a time. Not everyone should fast, so if you’re thinking of trying it, always get your general health checked out by a qualified health professional and tell them of your plans first.
- Calorie counting
Calorie counting is a time-tested way to lose weight and a strict 1000-calorie per day diet is said to be how British singer, Adele, recently slimmed down. Although you might not want to go to those extremes, keeping an eye on what you eat in terms of daily calories is a simple and effective way to avoid overindulging and manage your weight in the long run.
A lot of products will list their calorie counts on the packaging, for a lot of fresh food you will need to weigh out your portions, I have always used this compact scale
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- Weigh yourself regularly
Sometimes all you need to keep the pounds at bay is some extra accountability. Pick a time of day to weigh yourself and stick to it daily in order to get the most consistent measurements.
Bathroom BMI Weight Scale with Smartphone App
If you want to try an alternative low-carb diet to Keto, Paleo might work for you. The difference from Keto is that it focuses more on eliminating food groups, specifically grains, dairy products and processed foods. The idea is that primitive man would not have had access to these foods, so a diet rich in animal protein is a more ‘natural’ way of eating. It’s easier than Keto in some ways as you don’t have to add up the number of carbs you eat on a daily basis, however, some critics argue that cutting out entire food groups means you don’t get enough of a balanced diet.
- Keep a food journal
When you’re in the middle of a busy day, it’s super-easy to forget about the caramel macchiato you bought on your way to the office or the pack of M&Ms you ate while waiting in line at the DMV. It all adds up though, and this is where keeping a note of everything you eat and drink in a daily food journal comes in. It’s a simple habit and all you need is an electronic notes app or a pen and paper. As a reality check, the truth about what you consume might shock you, especially if you usually underestimate what you eat.
Clever Fox Food Journal – Daily Food Diary, Meal Planner to Track Calorie and Nutrient Intake, Stick to a Healthy Diet & Achieve Weight Loss Goals
- Join a weight-loss support program
If you’re the kind of person who could benefit from some supportive buddies on your weight loss journey, you don’t need to join WW and go to an in-person meet up (although that is an option). If you’re more comfortable online or don’t want to bump into someone you know, then check out apps like Noom or weight-loss Facebook groups. They offer motivational support and coaching to help you stick to your goals, making you even more likely to succeed.
- Try low GI foods
One of the most common complaints about diets is that they can leave you lacking in energy or downright hangry. If you struggle with this, then a low GI (or Glycemic index) food plan is worth a try. Glycemic Index is a numerical value assigned to every food and refers to the speed at which the energy in the food is broken down by your body. The lower the number, the more gradually energy is released. Low GI foods help keep your blood sugar stable by their slow energy release, which makes you less likely to feel hungry or break your diet by snacking. Examples of low GI foods are oats, nuts, most fruits and vegetables, and minimally-processed grains, such as wholemeal bread. High GI foods are broken down by your body lightening-fast and lead to a rush of energy, quickly followed by a crash.
- Cut out sugar
Sugar is everywhere and is said to have the same addictive effects as a drug. Although cutting it out might seem like a tall order, it will be more than worth it. By nixing the white stuff, you won’t just be breaking up with soda, candy, and cookies – the downfall of so many diets – but also many processed foods with low nutritional value like store-bought sauces. You might experience side effects such as withdrawal headaches for a day or two, but once you break free, focus on making whole foods and good quality ingredients the cornerstone of your new diet.
- Tackling emotional eating
How many times have we all used an indulgent food to make ourselves feel better? If you tend to overeat when feeling stressed or down, you are far from alone. Overcoming the real issues behind emotional eating, like self-esteem, stress or low confidence, and adopting healthier responses to trigger situations, could be the secret to losing excess weight effortlessly.
- Increase your water intake
Drinking water brings a host of health benefits and amongst them, is curbing your appetite. It’s said that if you drink a full glass of water before meals, you’ll feel fuller and eat less as a result. Many people also mistake dehydration for hunger, so next time you’re tempted to reach for a snack, try drinking water instead and see if that does the trick.
Water Tracker Bottle
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RELATED: 8 Amazing Ways Your Body Changes When You Drink More Water
- Try a weight loss challenge
Get together with friends or some work buddies and undertake a Biggest Loser-style weight loss challenge between you. Never underestimate the power of a bit of ‘healthy’ competition once the trash-talking get started.
- Try a website where it pays to lose weight
Sign up to a site like Diet Bet, where you and other dieters deposit money to place a ‘bet’ on losing a percentage of bodyweight in a set time period. The combined pot is split between everyone who meets their weight loss target at the end of the time period. If you fall short of the target, you get nothing; the pot is only split between those who succeed, which gives you an extra incentive. The organizers state that as long as you lose the weight specified, you’re guaranteed to make more money than you originally staked.
- Or one where you lose out if you don’t
StickK was developed by behavioural experts at Yale, so you know it’s backed by good science. It involves creating a ‘commitment contract’ where you specify your goal, say working out twice a week, losing 5lb, or giving up candy. You add a financial incentive as a stake in you succeeding, and specify what happens to the money if you don’t meet your goal. For instance, you could donate it to a cause you don’t support, or just give it to a friend. The idea is that ‘loss aversion’ in not wanting to lose the money, encourages you to meet your goal. (But unlike Diet Bet, you won’t get more cash than you put in if you succeed.) SticK makes you outline exactly what it will take to meet your goal in your commitment contract, so you know what you have to do to get there. It gives you accountability, tracking, and a roadmap to succeed.