I’m sure you’ve heard it… “the new -in- diet”, “the secret to weight loss”, “the fat will just MELT off of you”. Diets are all the rage until it comes down to the nitty gritty of making it your lifestyle. That’s just it, keto is a lifestyle, it’s not a diet.
More times often than not we portray diets as quick fixes, which then takes us down a path of incompletion and frustration. So how do we change the misconception? How do we naturally make it our lifestyle? Keto is not an easy “diet” to maintain. Through this article I’ll be sharing some personal experiences of my -so far- four-month journey with keto, while of course sharing some facts about what this diet is all about.
Let’s break down the keto diet… the goal of this diet is to cut down your carb intake to a maximum of 5% of your daily general food intake. A drastic cut considering we eat, on average 50-60% of carbs in our daily diets, as in glucose is our main source of nutrition. When you cut down your carb intake to this extent your body starts finding different sources for fuel.
This is when the body changes its metabolic state and goes into ketosis. The idea is to shift your body to burn off fats, so essentially, you’re eating fats to burn fat, of course while still eating in a deficiency. Roughly 70-80% of your diet should be heathy fats to make keto effective, fats like coconut oils, avocados and almonds.
But here’s the problem, carbs are in everything! Before I started this diet, I had no clue just how much they play into our everyday eating habits. Be prepared to study nutritional labels continuously! Carbs are everywhere, I found myself cutting out tortillas, rice, beans, bread, pasta, noodles, crackers, potatoes, pretty much any typical snack food or base to a meal you could imagine.
A nightmare for a foodie! The first month wasn’t pretty, I was living off of deli meat and string cheese, definitely not doing the diet justice. Then I started integrating more whole foods, focusing on vegetables and the specific seasonings that can take them to whole new levels. It took a lot of resilience changing my lifestyle to leave carbs behind. The first couple months were not easy.
I was angry I couldn’t go out to some of the restaurants my friends loved, I felt ashamed when I had to order something so incredibly specific just for a diet. Late at night when I wanted a snack I couldn’t reach for a handful of chips or a pint of ice cream. I was reaching for that over eaten string cheese.
The thing is though, it works. It works for me, it works for others, but only if you make it a lifestyle. Carbs play such a vital role in the average diet, that it becomes such a drastic change when you completely cut them down to that 5%. Like so many things though, you don’t see change unless you’re consistent. That’s what makes any diet effective, is the consistency.
“…consistency is key, determination is a necessity and open-mindedness to find flavor in foods you don’t often eat is mandatory.”
Keto is not an easy diet to do, especially if you love food. I found that to be the hardest part, my love of food was the biggest risk factor in falling off the keto diet mindset. When you can’t eat so many of the foods that bring joy and happiness you find yourself making more room for cheat days or little carb snacks because you’ve “been good” recently. You can’t give up on it though! In the end consistency is key, determination is a necessity and open-mindedness to find flavor in foods you don’t often eat is mandatory. Do the research, adopt it as a lifestyle and you will see results, and enjoy the foodie exploration of keto!