There are a lot of folks out there who have just stepped into Keto waters and they are attempting to navigate their way to success. They will find it if they are persistent AND if they they become informed about the fundamentals and foundation of this way of life. What are the fundamentals and the foundation of Keto? High fat, low carbs and protein, watch your electrolytes and attempt to keep your stress level low by finding some time to meditate thus lowering those cortisol levels. Do these things and you will lose weight. Sounds pretty simple, as we have established already, but to ensure long term success there is another key element that must be included. Keeping in mind that keto is not a diet, but a change of lifestyle, you will be responsible for figuring out how to implement some life long changes. I just saw a cute little lady proudly post a picture of her dinner that she ordered from Cracker Barrel on one of my Keto groups. You could feel in her words that this was a major accomplishment for her, being new to this style of eating. She ordered the grilled chicken, some broccoli with cheese and green beans. You GO GIRL!! I was super proud of her! It is not easy to walk into a restaurant like Cracker Barrel that specializes in pancakes, biscuits and gravy, grits, deep fried everything, potatoes of all kinds, cakes, cobblers, corn bread…not to mention the store full of candies, chocolates and multiple other confections that you have to walk through as you leave. She had every reason to be proud of herself. I began to read through some of the comments under her picture and came across one that looked something like this, “That’s enough food for a family of 4, you should have left the cheese off the broccoli, and green beans are one of the higher carb choices. Make sure you check what they put on that chicken, too.” WHAT?!? Now, I do not use profanity, but that doesn’t mean that I’m never tempted to… and boy did I want to! I wanted to give this lady a piece of my mind. I opted not to say anything to the negative troll, but I did congratulate the author of the original post on her ability to make wise choices in the face of such great temptation. So, why did I tell you about this experience? It is a situation that explains the difference between someone who is learning how to adapt keto into her life forever and a person attempting to live in unrealistic perfection. I’m not saying that a perfectionist cannot be successful at keto, I’m quite sure that the opposite is true. The troll will probably be wildly successful….but she is the exception, not the rule. The rest of us lead lives where we are gonna have to eat out sometimes. We will have to unexpectedly grab lunch at a gas station or dinner on the run. We may find ourselves at our kid’s sporting event and have to eat from a concession stand. A friend may call unexpectedly and ask to meet you at a restaurant for some moral support. The list goes on and on…it’s called life. Along with these surprises there are still keto options for you….it cannot always be dry chicken and cauliflower rice. To adopt a permanent lifestyle change, teach yourself how to make good keto choices in real life situations and make your meals at home as nutrient packed as you can. It’s called balance…and it’s both empowering and sustainable. If a person believes that they can only be successful if they cook every meal at home and pack food every time they go out, they will not be able to sustain that for the long haul. It will become overwhelming and lead to giving up.
This story is also a good illustration of how to focus on what you CAN have while on Keto instead of what you CAN’T have. Make it a game! When you go into a restaurant, focus on the company you’re with. Order something Hot to drink like coffee or tea. Sip on that while you look at the menu to see what your options are. What kind of big salads do they have? Casual dining establishments usually have great salad choices…steak, chicken and cobb salads are yummy! Order it with Blue cheese dressing and add bacon if you can. Don’t forget to ask them to keep the croutons. Aside from that, any non breaded protein and low carb veggie combo will work perfectly. Search the menu for something new to try. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into looking at what you can’t have. If you have ever been on any other diet and tried to eat out, you will regain your appreciation for the choices that keto will allow. I remember trying to eat out while doing weight watchers….it was a nightmare. It seemed that any entree that I looked at would use all of my points for the day….ugh. Don’t even mention Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem…you would have had to bring it with you from home. The list could go on and on. With keto, not only is the food going to be delicious…it will be filling and enjoyable as well. Once you have been doing keto for a while and you are feeling so energetic and awesome, you are going to have those feelings driving you as well. When I began to feel so “in control” and energetic from the ketones flowing through my veins, I didn’t want to do anything to mess that up! Suddenly Biscuits and Gravy or Fried Chicken loses it’s appeal when you know its going to make you feel like a pile of poop…Lol. Plus, if you have begun to lose weight, you won’t want to mess that up, either.
All of this practice and training goes into your overall shift in thinking. So, the “key” for us to keep in mind is that this is not a short term fix and we must morph it into our already existing habits (minus the carb addiction). Humans are creatures of habit and that is difficult to change but we are more than able to tweak those habits and that is how long term change is made. This is a complete shift in thinking away from the typical “diet talk” of, “I can’t wait to finish this diet so I can eat normal again.” NO, NO, NO! Make keto your new normal! I did, and I will never go back to being a carb-loaded lunatic again.