So, you’re ready to adapt to a ketogenic diet to lose weight and improve your health. You’ve come to the right place! Making any big lifestyle or diet changes can be challenging, especially at first. There are a lot of new routines to learn and old habits to unlearn. But we’ve seen, over and over again, with the people in the Ruled.Me community that, over time, keto becomes a new normal, and the dramatic results are so worth it. One of the main questions we get from people new to keto is, understandably, “What can I eat?” A great place to start is with our “Keto Food List” video to learn the basics. Once you’ve got the general idea, use this video as your “cheat sheet” for tips, best practices, alternatives for common high-carb ingredients, and how to replicate familiar recipes while sticking to a low-carb diet. Consider it our list of keto life hacks. First things first: Whenever possible, cook your own food. It’s really the only way to make sure that each ingredient has been cleared as keto-friendly. You won’t be stuck just eating salads. There are so many delicious recipes to learn! Think: bacon-wrapped chicken bombs, sweet and sour meatballs, baked brie with keto crust and so much more. Though some restaurants are adding keto dishes to their menus, there’s no way to truly be sure of what’s going into your food there. Plus, the risk of temptation increases when you’re in a restaurant that serves all kinds of sugary, high-carb foods. Sometimes, of course, you’re going to go out to eat. It’s just part of modern life, and it’s a great way to socialize with friends, family and co-workers. Before you find yourself at a restaurant, consult out video titled “Fast Food/Quick Eats.” This will help prep you for your meal out. Second, track your foods to make sure you’re not eating hidden carbs. One of the main culprits of stalling or preventing ketosis is sugars hidden in common cooking ingredients, like sauces, condiments and processed foods. In general, try to avoid “low-carb” foods and processed foods, as they often have net carbs that aren’t counted on the package’s nutritional information. Keeping a mental list isn’t going to cut it. Instead use a handwritten list, the notes app on your phone or one of the keto tracking apps available for smartphones. Now, let’s look at each meal to see which items you’re used to eating that can be replaced with keto-friendly, low-carb items. At breakfast, ditch the flavored yogurt for coconut yogurt or full-fat Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or sour cream. Replace granola with chia pudding, flax granola, salted caramel pork rind cereal or toasted nuts. Instead of oatmeal made from rolled oats, try keto berry coconut or cinnamon roll oatmeal. And while you might think your days of pancakes and waffles for brunch are over, you can find recipes on Ruled.Me for all types of keto breakfasts, including low carb blueberry ricotta pancakes, savory sage and cheddar coconut flour waffles and more! For lunch and dinner, crisp lettuce makes a great substitute for a roll on sandwiches (especially burgers), or in place of a tortilla in a burrito. In place of traditional pizza dough, try mozzarella pizza dough, buffalo chicken crust pizza or a keto white pizza frittata. Swap wheat pasta for veggie noodles, like zucchini noodles in keto pesto chicken pasta, and toss those carb-loaded canned soups with tasty homemade roasted red pepper soup or keto hot chili. Classic sides like rice and mashed potatoes get a keto makeover with the help of cauliflower! You’ll find recipes for all of these dishes on Ruled.Me. There are keto versions of cookies, muffins, cakes, ice cream, chips and crackers. One way to stay committed to keto, especially in the beginning, is to remember that you don’t have to say goodbye to the foods you used to eat. You just have to approach them differently, sometimes learning to make them yourself. Not only will you say goodbye to all those carbs, but to all of the preservatives and unnecessary additions that come in processed packaged foods. When it comes to beverages, drink lots and lots of water. This is essential to your health. Replace juice with keto smoothies or unsweetened iced tea. If you like sweetened coffee, use Stevia instead of sugar, and try ketoproof coffee if you love rich espresso drinks. On special occasions, if you enjoy alcohol, drink low-carb beer, dry wine or liquor instead of sugary cocktails. Once you get the hang of it, you won’t even miss the foods you used to crave. It might sound impossible, but with some time and dedication, it will happen! Remember to use Ruled.Me as a resource to help you through every step of your journey.