Rebecca Bennett-Formstone, or @beckasketodiary as she’s known to her 19,500 Instagram followers – is a true LivLife fan, and advocate of the ketogenic way of eating.
Many in the LivLife community may be familiar with “keto” but for those who aren’t, this low-carbohydrate way of eating causes the body to enter ketosis, a metabolic state which aids weight loss and muscle retention.*
Here, Becka shares her story, her motivations and challenges, as well as some tips she’s picked up along the way. Thank you so much and over to you, Becka…
I’m Rebecca, a 23 year old entrepreneur, based in the West Midlands and I LOVE the ketogenic way of eating!
Why did I start Keto?
I get asked the question, “Why did you start Keto?” a lot and my honest answer is simple… I was simply trying to shift a few quick lbs before my wedding. I started two months before the big day, not really knowing how far the journey would take me, or the benefits I would discover it brought. But now, almost two years in I could never think about falling back into my previous bad habits!
I first found out about Keto via Pinterest, while searching for new pins to add to my ‘Weight Loss Motivation’ board – probably whilst ordering a carbohydrate-heavy takeaway and adding three tablespoons of sugar to my tea *facepalm*. I had tried so many other diets before keto that just never seemed to work for me! Most likely because I had never tracked my food or done any proper research – I just ate foods that I ‘thought’ were healthy like bagels and fruit, both of which have a lot of hidden sugars. But I jumped straight into keto with both feet and cut out sugar and starches from my diet.
What are the biggest challenges?
Any Challenges? TONS! The first challenge I needed to face was the sluggish feeling that everyone gets when your body is withdrawing from carbs and sugar. Plus, I always seem to get a headache as an added bonus! But once it passes… MANNNNN do I have lots of energy to burn!
My next challenge was finding keto/low carb alternatives to carby foods.
Here are a few easy swaps that are easy to make and are just as good!
Mashed potatoes – mashed cauliflower
Bread – LivLife bread
Pasta – spiralized veg such as courgettes, squash or aubergine
You might get the added challenge of others around you warning you off the diet… but honestly if you do some proper research into Keto, you will find that there are quite a few nutritionists that recommend the ketogenic diet to support many health problems such as PCOS, IBS and Diabetes! Of course, everyone is individual so it is important to be absolutely sure it is right for you.*
How do I start the day?
Each start to the day is pretty similar… wake up, have a glass of water, schedule in at least 10 minutes of a workout/stretches, make myself a cup of coffee and plan my day ahead! For me, this gives me time to jump-start my positive mindset and sets me up for a good day. I have only adapted this routine within the last couple of months but it’s been so, so, soooo important to me to better my mornings. It really does get me into the right frame of mind to tackle the day.
My favourite Keto meals?
My Favourite KETO meals you ask? Here are a few – and you can find all of the recipes on my Instagram page.
- No Bean Keto Chili
- Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Red Pepper Soup (VE, V)
- Garlic Bread (using LivLife bead) (v)
- Stuffed Jacket Swede
- Edam ‘wraps’
- Loaded Hotdogs
There are honestly so many more too but these are meals I make the most often.
Do I plan meals?
Truthfully… I’m awful at planning meals for the week; I will have something planned for Thursday… Then come Thursday I do not want it! So, when I started out on keto, I needed to be prepared and the best plan of attack was simply to know which foods were keto and which I should stay clear from. I did my research and had a few meals in mind without having set days to eat them. The trick is to make sure you plan meals that you are actually looking forward to eating! Because the likelihood is if you plan salads 4/7 days… you’re going to feel like you are punishing yourself instead of saving yourself!
How do I deal with sugar cravings?
My cravings for sweet food have died down so much since I started keto. But once in a while they do come back, all guns blazing! When they hit, I always make sure I have some dark chocolate in, or some no added sugar chocolate – there are so many great brands to choose from.
Or, you can get creative! Bake yourself some keto cakes by swapping out flour and sugar for ground almonds and a keto friendly sweetener! Or get some LivLife bread and make some French toast… Or even keep it clean with 1/4 cup of berries with some Greek yoghurt and sugar free syrup! The list is endless.
Do I still eat takeaways and in restaurants?
YES YES AND YES! If you already follow me on Instagram then you’ll know I LOVE a takeaway!
But you can still stay low carb on a few options. My favourites are saag paneer from an Indian takeaway; simply spinach, Indian cheese, ghee and spices! Another great choice would be tandoori mixed grill (spiced meats). Most other saag / meat dishes are usually fine if they’re not breaded.
But, I recommend keeping the curries back to make your own at home – most call for sugar in them. But if in doubt you can always ring your usual place and ask if a dish contains sugar.
Another choice I love is mixed meat kebab with salad and mayo from a kebab house or Turkish restaurant!
And if I’m ever eating in a restaurant… Burger, no bun and swap out the fries for salad or veg.
Do you ever have a cheat day?
Firstly, let’s start by calling it a TREAT day instead of cheat! It sounds way more positive and gives the feeling of achievement rather than “ooo I’m being naughty might as well go all out!”
Work your way up to a treat once a month if you feel the need to have one. However, if you are doing fine, stay on track as best as you can. But my treats are never a whole day, Just the one meal as I find it helps me get right back on plan when it gets to the next meal.
How do I stay on track?
I am a firm believer that you need to have the right mindset when it comes to staying on track when it comes to switching up your diet. You need to feel a sense of enjoyment and not like you are restricting yourself. Because believe it or not…keto isn’t as restrictive as people think. Like I said earlier, it’s all about finding a low-carb alternative and making the swap! Get yourself EXCITED about getting healthy, get yourself some killer meal ideas and set yourself some clear and achievable goals!
I hope this post has been helpful to at least 1 person reading and if you have any questions for me, drop me a message on my Instagram page and I’ll do my best to answer!
*Please do your research and consult with your doctor or dietician before embarking on a journey similar to Becka’s.
You can find Becka on Instagram at instagram.com/beckasketodiary