New to Keto? It can seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be.
Although there is a lot to learn, you can take your Keto journey step-by-step and day-by-day and still find great success. Don’t let information overload keep you from taking action for your health.
To start the new year and your Keto journey off right, we’ve prepared this list of 31 Keto tips and hacks to help you succeed on Keto — one for each day in January. By the end of the month, you’ll know plenty about Keto and you’ll be making solid progress towards your health goals. Let’s go!
What Is Keto?
Keto is a low-carb, high-fat, and moderate protein eating style. It’s gained a lot of traction over the past several years, because so many people have found weight loss success on Keto.
By limiting your carb intake to about 5% of your daily calorie intake, you can enter a metabolic state called ketosis. This is when your body shifts from burning carbs for fuel to burning fat for fuel.[*]
The potential benefits of ketosis and a Keto diet are numerous:
- Weight loss: Keto diets may help you lose weight by making it easier for your body to burn stored fat.[*]
- Appetite control: With a higher protein and fat intake, many people find that they stay fuller on Keto.[*]
- Blood sugar regulation: Keto is also useful for keeping blood sugar levels steady because there are no high-carb meals to cause blood sugar spikes.[*]
- Insulin sensitivity: Finally, Keto may also help you become more sensitive to the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels as well as body fat storage.[*]
Ready to dive in yet?
31 Tips for Keto Beginners
Here are our top 31 Keto hacks for beginners. Focusing on one of these Keto diet tips each day will help you build up some serious momentum. By February, you’ll be confident in your knowledge of Keto, know how to track and accurately record your food, and may even have a decent streak under your belt. Let’s get started!
1. Download the Carb Manager App
Day 1: Download the Carb Manager app. The app isn’t just a food diary. It’s got a built-in community of Keto eaters who can help motivate you and keep you accountable, plus tons of recipes and articles to help you succeed at Keto. You can download the app for free for basic tracking or opt for a Premium subscription to get the most from the app's wide array of features.
2. Learn About Keto
Day 2: Read our Ultimate Guide to Keto to familiarize yourself with the basics of the Keto lifestyle, how it can benefit you, and how to get started.
3. Set Up Your Carb Manager Account
Day 3: If you haven’t already, set up your Carb Manager account using the Getting Started Wizard or by manually updating your goals. The app can calculate your macros for you, so all you’ll need to do is enter a few details. Check out our quickstart guide to get you up and running.
4. Clean Out Your Fridge and Pantry
Day 4: Now that you’ve done some reading on Keto, it’s time to purge all of the tempting sugar and carbs from your kitchen to make room for some Keto-friendly options.
5. Create Your First Keto Shopping List
Day 5: Create a Keto shopping list to get your pantry, fridge, and freezer stocked with low-carb, good-for-you foods. Use our Keto shopping list as a starting point, and cross out the things you already have or won’t use. To make things even easier, print and keep this handy Keto shopping list.
6. Go Shopping for Food
Day 6: Go grocery shopping for your new Keto lifestyle. Remember that Keto is pretty trendy right now, so you might see a lot of processed snacks and packaged foods that claim they’re “Keto-friendly.” These can still contain a significant amount of carbs, though. It’s important to check labels and try to stick to natural, whole-food ingredients.
7. Buy the Tools You’ll Need
Day 7: Some helpful kitchen tools for Keto, in our opinion, include a kitchen scale to weigh what you’re eating (for more precise food tracking), a milk frother (for blending beverages or just adding a bit of foam to your coffee), and parchment paper. You can use parchment paper for Keto baking projects to prevent things from sticking since you won’t be able to use regular flour.
8. Log a Meal in Carb Manager
Day 8: If you’re not already, now is a great time to start logging your meals! To be extra precise, be sure to weigh or measure your portions instead of estimating how much you eat.
9. Log Your Exercise in Carb Manager
Day 9: Logging your exercise can be really helpful too. You can enter exercise details manually, but if you have Carb Manager Premium, you can also link most fitness apps and devices so that your steps and activity will automatically be entered.
10. Log Your Water Intake
Day 10: You need more fluid on Keto, especially if you’re exercising, so it’s a good idea to track your water intake. You can set a water goal and track how much you’re drinking directly in Carb Manager.
11. Log Your Sleep
Day 11: If you’re trying to develop better sleep habits, you can also set a nightly goal and track your sleep directly in the Carb Manager app. Most adults need at least 7 hours per night.[*]
12. Build a Meal Plan
Day 12: Meal planning can make it easier to stick to Keto. Take a few minutes to plan out your meals for the next week. If you’re a Carb Manager Premium member, you can use our built-in meal planning tool to help you choose recipes and generate a custom shopping list.
13. Join a Carb Manager Challenge
Day 13: Carb Manager Challenges start every Monday and run for 4 straight weeks. These challenges are a fun way to compete against yourself and others to earn points and achievements for sticking to your health goals. You can join them from the Connect section of the app.
14. Explore the Carb Manager Knowledge Base and Articles
Day 14: The Knowledge Base is where you’ll find everything you need to know about using the app, and the article section is loaded with content on tons of different health and wellness topics. Want to know more about Keto and women’s health? Or plant-based Keto? Or which supplements are best to take? Head over to the Connect section of the app, and check out the articles.
15. Manage Your Electrolytes
Day 15: Electrolytes are minerals that help regulate your body’s fluid balance. On Keto, you’ll experience some shifts in fluid and electrolytes that may cause leg cramps or headaches early on. You can remedy these issues with electrolyte supplements. Read more about Keto and electrolytes here.
16. Measure Your Ketones
Day 16: Although it’s not a necessity, you can measure your ketone levels to see if you’re in fat-burning mode yet. We recommend the Keto Mojo device, which measures blood ketone levels — and is much more accurate than the urine tests you can buy online.
17. Browse the Recipe Database
Day 17: Carb Manager also has a huge assortment of recipes, especially for Premium members. The great thing about these recipes is that they are already in the app. All you have to do is add the recipe to your food log. Find a few that you’d like to try over the next week or so!
18. Cook a New Keto Recipe
Day 18: You found the recipes, now it’s time to cook one! Going Keto is a great way to improve your prowess in the kitchen because many people start cooking at home a lot more after getting started on Keto.
19. Add Recipes in Carb Manager
Day 19: If you like to create your own recipes, you can also easily add those into Carb Manager. Under “My Foods,” you’ll see the option to create a new recipe. Just add the number of servings and the correct amounts of all the ingredients you used, and Carb Manager will calculate the macros of your dish.
20. Track Your Macros Daily
Day 20: If you haven’t been tracking everything you eat, now’s a great time to start. You’ve had a couple of weeks to get used to Keto and what it involves. Try being really consistent about tracking your food for the next few days to see if you’re sticking to your macro goals.
21. Join a Group
Day 21: Under the Connect section of the app, you can find different groups based on age, location, career, hobbies, and more! Join one or two and see if you can start building your own community of support within Carb Manager.
22. Find an Accountability Partner
Day 22: An accountability partner can help you stay motivated and disciplined. Plus it’s always nice to have someone willing to support you through the struggles and victories of your health journey. Whether in-person or online, see if you can find an accountability partner who’s also embarking on a Keto lifestyle so you two can support one another.
23. Try a Keto Baking Project
Day 23: Keto baking is fun, but it’s quite a bit different from regular baking. If you’re ready to learn, find a recipe that sounds good and give it a shot! We recommend these tasty Low Carb Bagels.
24. Incorporate Exercise You Enjoy
Day 24: You may be fully in ketosis now, and might be feeling a bit more energetic. If that’s the case, why not start incorporating more exercise? It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous — even walking can offer huge mental and physical benefits.
25. Add New Foods to the Carb Manager Database
Day 25: Have you encountered a food that hasn’t made it into the Carb Manager database yet? It does happen occasionally. Still, you can add it yourself in the “My Foods” section, and even publish it to the entire Carb Manager community if you’d like to.
26. Learn How to Dine Out on Keto
Day 26: Sometimes, dining out or ordering takeout is unavoidable. That’s why you need to have a plan in advance. Read up on how to dine out on Keto and check out our favorite Keto-friendly restaurants.
27. Learn How to Manage Social Events on Keto
Day 27: Social events, like parties and holiday gatherings, are bound to happen while you’re on Keto. Fortunately, you can make it through these events and stick to Keto with a little bit of advance planning. This guide can help you make a plan for these events.
28. Keep Your Streak Going
Day 28: Carb Manager can keep up with how many days in a row you’ve met your carb goal. Are you on a streak yet? Keep it up, if so! If not, today’s a great day to start one.
29. Learn About Food Quality
Day 29: There’s more to Keto than cutting carbs. Clean Keto is an eating style that’s low in carbs, but also composed of clean, minimally processed ingredients — and it’s a great choice if you want to optimize your health. Read more about clean Keto and food quality here.
30. Consider Fasting
Day 30: If your appetite is decreasing on Keto, you may be ready to incorporate intermittent fasting. For many people, this is as simple as skipping breakfast. Read up on fasting, and see if incorporating some fasting might be right for you now or in the future.
31. Review Your Progress
Day 31: Finally, take some time to review your progress. Carb Manager offers a number of reports you can view to see how your month has been, what your strengths were, and where you may be struggling. Also, if you’re trying to lose weight, there’s nothing like seeing that line on your weight graph slowly and steadily work its way down!
31 days later, you may be feeling pretty good. You’ve learned tons about the Keto lifestyle, you know all the in and outs of the Carb Manager app, and you may have even had some novel experiences — like new cooking and baking projects, or trying a different type of exercise than you’re used to. 2023 is off to a fantastic start — let’s keep this momentum going into February and beyond!
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