It’s time for another FUN keto mini-challenge. 🙂 This week it’s all about “healthy swaps” because even small changes can make a BIG difference!
Healthy Swaps is about making healthier low carb food choices.
In the beginning, when you first start a keto diet, ALL you need to worry about is sticking to 20 net carbs max to get and stay in ketosis.
The more you track macros & read labels though, the more you become aware of exactly what you’re eating – and you’ll start making healthier food choices as a result.
It’s a natural progression, but one I think everyone should do in their own time and at their own pace, and NOT something you should be guilted or bullied into.
That said, a little friendly challenge is for FUN (not fault), and could be just the kickstart you need to see GREAT results – results you haven’t been seeing consistently lately, and results that get you MOTIVATED again! 🔥
When I first started eating low carb almost 9 years ago, I relied on ALL the bars and sugar free candy and “replacement foods” (low carb bread, low carb brownies, etc). That’s totally fine in my book. I always say: do whatever it takes to make the transition!
It worked for me, by the way. I lost 8 pounds my first 10 days, 23 pound within the first few months, and kicked off what has become a MUCH healthier lifestyle (with a lot more weight lost since then) – and it’s all very easy to maintain.
At this point in my keto journey I make it a point to eat mostly “real food” but I’m not perfect and I certainly don’t expect you to be!
I’ve discovered though that even small changes or simple swaps can make a BIG difference – and often break stubborn weight loss stalls, or accelerate your weight loss & improve your overall health (and energy levels!).
If you’re newer to eating keto, you’re likely relying on some “food crutches” to stay on track – which is fine in the beginning!
If you’re a lifer, or you’ve been eating keto long term, you may have found yourself slacking a little lately and eating (even low carb) foods you normally wouldn’t – like snacking more, or eating bars & baked keto goods more, etc.
The goal this week is to choose ONE thing (a food or ingredient) that has become a keto staple or a regular occurrence for you… and swap it for something healthier.
I’ll give you some practical ideas & examples for making “healthy swaps” to make this easy…
When: 5-Day Keto Mini Challenge
We are starting together as a group on Monday November 18th and working on this together through Friday November 22nd.
If you start late, that’s fine – as long as you challenge yourself on the points outlined below for 5 straight days.
If you received this note by email, you’re good to go. ✔️
If not, just sign up for the challenge at 90DayLowCarbChallenge.com and join our FUN Facebook Group there too if you haven’t already.
If you’re not on Facebook, that’s totally okay. You can follow along here, and get notified of updates by email.
Healthy Swaps Keto Mini-Challenge
If you haven’t done the Keto Restart Mini-Challenge start there first. If you did, CONTINUE that (or start it again) along with this week’s challenge.
The goal is to build on new habits as we go, making small positive changes that bring you great (and FAST!) results.
You’ll continue eating 20 net carbs max (or total carbs if that’s your choice) every day, you’ll continue tracking your meals & macros, you’ll continue working on a more positive weight loss mindset – and now we’re going to add on a simple layer of healthy swaps.
The “Healthy Swaps” Challenge Commitment
Now that you’re tracking your meals & macros daily, and working on better food & mindset awareness, surely certain things have stood out to you in the process.
Once you start tracking your meals and SEEING those ingredients & macronutrients on every label, you start learning A LOT about the foods that you eat. It’s very eye opening!
The more you become aware of what you’re putting into your body, the more you WANT healthier foods and less ingredients.
I want you to challenge yourself to make ONE healthy swap.
I’ll give you some ideas & examples to make it easier, but you may already KNOW which change you want to work on this week.
Maybe you’re already eating pretty darn clean and make super healthy food choices, but you’re eating “meals on repeat” and getting food bored. This challenge may just be a FUN way to swap out your usuals and try some NEW foods and meals this week!
We’re all different so I want YOU to make your choice for this week’s challenge.
You don’t have to share your swap or what you’re challenging yourself to change this week, unless you WANT TO for accountability – and to help give other people ideas.
The more people that DO share their pick for the swap, the better everyone will feel. Because we’re all doing the best we can, and we’re all tired of people STILL telling us “it’s not good enough.” 😏 Right?
Healthy Keto Food Swap Ideas
Below are some ideas in case you haven’t yet decided what swap or change you could make to improve your weight loss, energy levels, or overall health…
To give you a personal example, MY biggest “guilty pleasure” is my coffee creamer. It’s Coffee-Mate Sugar Free Hazelnut Powdered Creamer and it’s DELICIOUS – but it’s also FULL of ingredients. I’ve been looking for a “cleaner” replacement, but haven’t found anything yet that I love.
It’d be different if I didn’t drink A LOT of coffee, but I do – like pretty much all day. 😉 I’d love to just drink black coffee, or only real cream in my coffee, but I just don’t like it that way. I love my creamy sweet hazelnut coffee!
I’ve tried lots of things, but nothing comes close, and it’s something I ENJOY a lot, so just quitting coffee altogether makes me SAD lol… and my keto lifestyle is not about feeling restricted or punished, or ever feeling DEPRIVED.
I’ll be honest and say THAT one is too big for me to take on this week. 😜
Feeling deprived or like you’re in a state of self-punishment is a recipe for diet disaster.
These mini challenges are not meant to be hard. They’re about making small, positive EASY changes: taking baby steps toward better habits and a healthier lifestyle that is easily sustainable long term.
Pick something small and easy that you CAN DO and feel good about!
Here are some ideas.
And these are JUST ideas, not judgements. 😉
- Diet Soda & Flavored Drinks 🥤
I used to drink A LOT of diet soda. Instead of quitting cold turkey (ack, that’s hard!) I decided to start ONLY having a flavored drink or diet soda with meals. ONLY with meals. Any other time of day I drank water. I found it easiest to keep a water bottle with me, to replace the habit of having a bottle of anything else with me.
On that note, you don’t NEED to drink TONS of water. In fact, that can flush out your sodium & electrolytes and cause all kinds of unpleasant symptoms like: leg cramps, headaches, feeling dizzy or light headed, etc. Drink when you’re thirsty, period. Your urine should be pale yellow. Any darker and you want to drink more water, and lighter or clear – you should drink less. Simple!
- Using Bars & Shakes Frequently 🍫
Low carb bars and keto shakes are GREAT on the go or in a pinch when you need a quick meal replacement. I use both myself, and don’t see anything wrong with them.
Obviously you want to choose the healthiest products if you’re going to use those, with the highest quality ingredients. Avoid products with a whole paragraph of ingredients including things you don’t recognize, can’t pronounce, KNOW aren’t great, etc.
Avoid soy too, which is in a lot of products. Check your bars for chicory root fiber as an ingredient. If you’re experiencing bloating, digestive issues, feeling lethargic, etc – that ingredient is likely your culprit!
30 or 60 grams of pecan halves, boiled eggs, string cheese or babybel cheese rounds, ham & cheese rollups, macadamia nuts, a can of sardines (if you like those), a mug of chicken broth, etc. Those are just some ideas…
Consider easy “finger foods” you can have prepared to grab and eat on the go, or anytime you need a quick meal when you would normally just grab a shake or a bar.
- Between Meal Snacking 🥜
Unless you’re legitimately hungry between meals, you shouldn’t have a desire to snack when you’re in ketosis. Ask yourself: am I snacking out of habit or boredom, or am I actually hungry? If you ARE hungry between meals, are you eating enough food – and getting enough healthy fats in your meals?
Anytime you feel compelled to reach for that snack, do a quick body weight exercise FIRST. Stop and do 10 or 20 tricep dips or lunges. Both are quick & easy to do ANYWHERE – then you can decide if you still need to grab that snack, or not. 😉
- Alcohol 🍷 🍺
Maybe it’s two glasses of wine in the evening after dinner, drinks with coworkers after hours, or nights out on the weekends. If you enjoy your drinks, drink in moderation, and it’s not affecting your lifestyle or happiness or weight loss – then by all means: enjoy!
But if you DO think it MAY be slowing down your weight loss, or affecting your life in any other negative way, make a healthy swap this week!
Perhaps have one drink instead of two. Or make a healthy swap for something lower in sugar and carbs. If you love wine for example, check this one out.
- Dessert After Dinner 🍨
This can be a habit or a social tradition, but the fact is: most desserts (even keto desserts!) are practically a meal in themselves. If you regularly find yourself wanting dessert after dinner, what healthy swap could you make WITHOUT feeling deprived?
For me, I used the Sugar Free Werther’s Originals hard candy 🍬 because they are smooth and creamy (and super rich!) but just ONE hard candy lasted quite awhile, and totally satisfied my desire for a whole plate of dessert. 😉
- Try A New Low Carb Food! 🥑
Feeling FOOD BORED? Eating the same meals on repeat over and over? Try something new this week! Swap those eggs for breakfast out for low carb yogurt with a few blueberries for example.
For ideas, see this Low Carb Food List and browse through it for new healthy, whole food ideas to add to your keto meals this week!
That list will prove helpful for ANY swaps you’re doing. It’s the list I used myself to get started, and one I refer back to often.
* * * * *
Those are just IDEAS of course to get you thinking…
We all have our own habits, crutches, guilty pleasures & indulgences so we’ll each have a unique challenge this week – but with a common theme: make a healthy swap!
Choose something that bothers you most, or that you feel (or KNOW) is hindering your weight loss or your overall health, but choose something EASY to do to start.
You can always continue making healthy swaps long after this fun little mini-challenge!
Just make one simple swap for the next 5 days. That’s it!
What do you have to lose, right? A few pounds maybe, some bloating and/or inflammation, negative thoughts & feelings perhaps, but other than that: absolutely nothing.
It’s just 5 short days – a little experiment to see what may just happen, or what you might discover this week that you hadn’t realized or been aware of before. 🙂
Need Help Understanding Keto?
Handy Getting Started Links:
- Start Here: Keto Challenge Q&A
- LCHF Explained: Why You Need FAT
- Getting Started With Keto (Checklist)
- How To Set Up MyFitnessPal To Track Net Carbs (Free)
- Understanding Your Macronutrients: Use Ratios vs Grams!
- Healthy Fats & Super Foods
- Feel Yucky? Learn About Ketosis & Keto Flu
- Not Losing Weight? Check These 4 Points First
- Nutrient Database: Research Foods Without Labels
The challenge this week is to pay attention to WHAT you’re eating and WHY. How does that serve you? Is there a healthier option or alternative? Try it out!
What Can You Expect During This Mini-Challenge?
If you aren’t already in ketosis, you will be by the end of this mini challenge, combined with the Keto Reboot you’re starting – or continuing from last week.
You will feel IN CONTROL and on a mission, which feels GREAT.
You will no longer be a victim of habits and feelings and circumstances. You will be IN CHARGE of your own life, making VERY deliberate choices about your food and your health.
You’ll feel EMPOWERED and CONFIDENT, which makes motivation and self-discipline EASY. 🙂
You’ll learn something new about yourself.
Here’s to an amazing week together! ♥️
I cannot wait to hear what you choose to swap out or change/stop, if you choose to share… and most of all: what you MASTER by the end of this mini-challenge!
p.s. If you aren’t already a part of our Low Carb Challenge Facebook Group, you’ll find the link on this page: http://www.90DayLowCarbChallenge.com (but you don’t have to commit to 90 days for these FUN year-end mini challenges!) 😉
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