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Free Heal Nourish Grow January 2020 Keto Challenge

Improving health and losing weight are usually high on the list of new year's goals. Many of us make these types of resolutions each year, but big changes are difficult.  Making a lot of changes all at once is even harder! Picking one big goal for the new year is very reasonable and accepting this challenge to try keto to improve your health for the month of January is a great one. That's why I decided to offer you this free keto challenge for 2020. Best of all, you can do this challenge however you like with strict keto, lazy keto or clean keto.

Over my years of working in both my corporate jobs and as a yoga instructor/wellness coach, as well as taking on my own ultimate wellness journey, I’ve found that small changes over time is the key to success. Smaller goals can be building blocks to larger goals and eventually lead to substantial changes!

This keto challenge will have you making changes progressively over the month that will eventually get you into ketosis. Go here to read more about the benefits of ketones as fuel for your brain. Go here to read The Complete Beginner's Guide to the Ketogenic Diet

If you're ready to start keto in January, or if you're already doing keto but would like an additional challenge and some new goals, this is the program for you. The January 2020 Keto Challenge is over, but please sign up here if you'd like to know when we do future challenges!

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Creating New, Healthy Habits

You know all of that “it takes 21 days to form new habit” stuff? Well, there is no research to back that up. It's just a number that's been thrown around for so long that people believe it. Thirty days may not be enough either. Research shows it actually takes anywhere from 18 to 264 days to create a new habit 1 and depends on a lot of factors.

That’s where the Heal Nourish Grow January 2020 free keto challenge comes in. We want to help you create healthier habits in 2020 by making small changes that can add up to big results. Over 30 days you’ll be led through changes in your daily routine, all leading to healthier eating behaviors.  You’ll learn new ways of approaching nutrition and goal setting.Cheryl McColgan in the Kitchen

If you’d like to know more about my background and ability to successfully lead you through these new habits, please check out my about page here and feel free to contact me with any questions.

In short, my degree and graduate training is in psychology, I’ve practiced yoga for 25 years and have taught for over 8 years. I’ve lead several yoga groups through transformative programs and in my corporate life have mentored and coached numerous people. I've practiced the ketogenic lifestyle for the last three years (as of January!) and was low carb a year prior to keto. I'm totally immersed in the lifestyle and have taken a lot of time and energy learning about the science and benefits of nutritional ketosis.

FREE Keto Challenge Commitment

All I ask for this free program is that you are committed to your health for the month of January. Be willing to experiment with breaking your addiction to sugar. We are going to ease into this so that you move into ketosis gradually and with intention.

There are no products to buy. The only thing that's absolutely required is a good electrolyte supplement. Most things you find in the regular grocery store being promoted as electrolyte supplements have very little electrolytes and contains sugar, or almost even worse, bad alternative sweeteners. You can find some of my favorite electrolyte supplements here.

Basically you'll be reducing your carbs over the month of January, but you’ll get more details as to how, how much and more support once you sign up.

While this program doesn’t focus specifically on weight loss, you may find that you lose weight. You'll also get the tools to lose weight after the challenge if that is one of your goals. You may also find you sleep better, are more focused and overall feel better. Or not. It certainly depends on your level of commitment, but those are things this program is designed to address.

Are you ready to take the Heal Nourish Grow January 2020 Free Keto Challenge? Register here.

Clean Keto vs Strict Keto vs Lazy Keto on the Keto Challenge

Free Keto ChallengeHave you ever wondered about the differences between strict keto, clean keto and lazy keto? The truth is, there are as many definitions to these terms as there are people that talk about this topic!

For the purposes of this keto challenge, there won't be a distinction between keto methods.  I'll talk about it at some point during the program.

If you're new to keto you'll simply be reducing your carbs by whatever means necessary. However, if you are stuck in a plateau or have been following a ketogenic or low carb way of eating for a while, there may be some good reasons to try the strict keto challenge this January as part of this group.

Over time and when in keto weight maintenance, people tend to practice lazy keto more. Not tracking macros, carb creep, perhaps indulging in keto sweets and substitute sweeteners a bit more can all take a toll over time causing stalls or even weight gain.

That's why it's a good idea to do a period of clean keto every once in a while. It recalibrates your body on keto and gets you back to eating more whole foods. As part of this challenge, you will have the ability to do keto in a way that works for you. It's important to start from where you are right now and make small changes so you can ensure you'll be successful.

Strict Keto vs Lazy Keto

The same things that can be really helpful when you're transitioning to a low carb lifestyle can be a detriment later on. Things like replacement sweeteners, dairy and keto-friendly products that help you adjust to your new way of eating, can later be used to overindulge.

Keto-friendly sugar substitutes, sweet treats and fat bombs are so yummy that they're easy to overeat. Plus some replacement sweeteners have the same effect on your body as sugar.

Clean Keto and Sweeteners

While you're doing the keto challenge, you may find that alternative sweeteners are a lifesaver. They allow you to replace table sugar and fructose that spike your insulin with keto friendly sweetness.  It's well accepted that using alternative “safe” sweeteners may still cause sugar cravings in some people.

We'll have a bigger discussion of sweeteners at a later date, but for now, know that stevia, monk fruit and maybe erythritol are the only ones that are very “safe.” If you were doing strict keto, you would cut out all sweeteners. Occasional indulgences with other calorie free sweeteners might be ok, but not optimal. Many of these sweeteners cause insulin to go just as high as “real” sugar. Especially stay away from maltitol and maltodextrin.Free Keto Challenge

Other Things That Affect Weight Loss You May Want to Consider For the Keto Challenge

While appetite generally regulates when following the keto diet, it's still possible to eat beyond your daily energy requirements. Even if you stay in ketosis and only eat “keto” food, it's absolutely possible to gain weight. It's useful to enter your information into our keto calculator to get a good idea about your macros.

Weight gains or stalls could be from overeating or for some of the same reasons we gain weight on any type of diet. Typical culprits are too much stress, lack of sleep and eating beyond satiety. Problems with any of these can cause a hormonal cascade that contributes to weight gain or stalls.

If you're having trouble with sleep and stress, be sure to check out our articles Six Tips for Better Sleep and Abhyanga: A Easy and Effective Self Care Practice-Based in Ayurveda. For eating to satiety, mindful eating may be helpful.

Regardless of whether you subscribe to calories in calories out or hormonal theory of weight gain and loss, most would agree that you will gain weight if you eat more than your energy requirements on a regular basis. For this free keto challenge though, you'll be tracking some of your food so that should help.

Pro Tip: Don't be afraid to be boring with your food. Nothing helps with eating the proper amount more than eating the same things over and over again. This is actually one of the biggest dieting tips that is the same no matter what way of eating you choose.

It's difficult to overeat clean keto whole foods. Usually, it's the keto substitutions, sweeteners and treats that tend to contribute to excess eating.