Why having a healthy keto mindset matters?
Maybe you've noticed Keto/low carb diets have become pretty popular, and there is a good reason for that - Keto works.
It is absolutely true that you can get all of the weight loss and other benefits of a successful Keto lifestyle without starving.
So why isn't everyone following a healthy delicious high fat low carb diet?
Maybe you have a problem with the idea that eating fat can help you get skinny. Understandable, because the fat-is-good-for-you idea goes against everything about nutrition we've been taught since kindergarten.
Making this kind of change can be hard. Bad eating habits are hard to break and good habits are just as hard to start.
But you can do it. The first step is to get your mind in the act - develop a successful Keto mindset.
You deserve Keto success. With the right Keto mindset, the rest of the little stuff will be easier - like deciding what to have for lunch.
What is a Healthy Keto Mindset
Keto Mindset is More Than Just Low Carb Food. It's about your relationship to eating and all the stuff that affects that relationship.
You probably already know that a ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate high healthy fat diet, and it forces your body into ketosis - the metabolic state where your body ketones for energy instead of glucose.
Yup, that's great, and you probably know what your macros are, and you know how to determine the number of net carbs you consume on a daily basis. You've been tracking everything.
One thing's for certain there is no way you want to do that for the rest of your life, and that is where the Healthy Keto Mindset can really help you.
A Keto Mind set includes your eating habits.
How much you eat, what you eat, when you eat, how often you eat, and I would also include who you eat with.
Your Hunger Cues
There are stimuli that make you want to eat certain types of food. These are hunger cues, things like meal times, events, holidays.
You have to know watching football is going to involve snacks and thanksgiving is going to involve pumpkin pie.
Keto mindset & Comfort Food
Most people get hungry when they feel bad, and they want food to comfort them.
One explanation is evolution. Our ancestors needed to eat high-calorie, nutrient-rich foods in order to survive in a hostile world. And while we don't live in that world anymore, our bodies still crave those same sorts of foods.,
While our diets have changed dramatically due to the easy availability of food, one thing that hasn't changed is our love for comfort foods. These are the dishes that make us feel warm and fuzzy inside, and they usually have some sort of emotional connection for us.
Feelings versus Science
And last but not least, your mindset includes how you feel about health and nutrition.
Because of the way that our brain works, even when the science and data is overwhelming, if your feeling tell you something different you will almost always follow your feelings.
What that means is that no matter what the science says, if you can't let go of the idea that fat is bad for you you'll have a real hard time with Keto.
A Tale of Two Mindsets
The other day I met a person at the grocery store. A really nice, kind and intelligent person who I have known since the first grade.
She was enthusiastic when she asked me what I was "doing these days."
But when I told her that I am doing the Keto diet, she was suddenly concerned for my health.
She was sincere - she is that kind of person.
Ironic that she's one of the least healthy people I know.
Even though she doesn't smoke or drink and she is tall, she probably weighs in excess of 300 pounds. She mostly carries it around her belly.
It's clearly an effort for her to walk and she's complained for years of all of the aches and pains, stiff joints and sore muscles.
She blames it all on getting older.
Now here's irony, we're both the same age (mid 50's in case you're wondering).
I told her I had some of the same problems pre-Keto and fifty pounds ago. She insisted Keto is dangerous because you have to eat so much fat. That's how she's always thought.
A medical person (with the same mindset) verified her fear of the Keto diet.
My friend doesn't lack willpower or discipline, she's a good and decent person - like I said I have known her for over 40 years.
She's not lazy, and she doesn't overeat, but her mind and habits are keeping her stuck in her unhealthy lifestyle.
My friends problem is not that she lacks self control. It's that she cannot let go of the bad nutrition information that she (like all of us) were given for so long.
If Keto is giving you this difficulty you need to find a way past it.
It's just hard to imagine following a Keto lifestyle if you have tightly held misgivings about the safety of the Keto diet.
Here is what I would suggest ~ let go of everything and then see what science and data actually add up.
You can check out..."Is the Keto Diet Safe" if you have questions about the science of Ketosis as well.
I have done the research, and I can explain to you how and why Keto works.
There are many medical doctors and studies who explain that reducing insulin by reducing carbs allows your body to access fat for fuel.
On the other hand...a person with weight to lose can cut calories without cutting carbs, and end up burning muscle for fuel.
If you go by the actual science, Keto is much better.
If you don't want to take my word for it, the information is out there and you can Google it yourself.
This is a good point for me to tell you - especially if you are taking meds for HBP or diabetes - you should talk to your doctor.
But I also have to tell you that there a lots of doctors out there who don't love Keto, and if you get that response you might want to get a second opinion.
It's true that some conditions preclude some patients from doing Keto. Patients with kidney problems and a few other ailments fall into this category.
Find a person who was what you are, and is what you want to become.
Allow me to explain.
Imagine an over weight person - We'll call her Ashley - who wants to get thin and stay thin.
And just for fun lets say Ashley doesn't have eight hours a day to spend in the gym because she has a job and a family.
Jillian Michaels would be a bad example for Ashley follow.
Sure Jillian's diet/way of eating clearly works for Jillian - I mean really all it takes is one look at her to know this. She's quite fit - but her diet doesn't work for other people.
There are a number of reasons for this.
As an adult, Jillian has never been overweight. She has been a personal trainer, since before she was 20.
Jillian spends all of her time in the gym and she has done this for the last 25 years.
Does that sound like it will fit in Ashley's life?
Jillian Michaels tried her diet on other people in the NBC show The Biggest Looser, and some really over-weight people lost a lot of weight. Then most of them gained it all back and then some.
The reason for this is that while they were on the show eating Jillian's low-calorie-low-fat-high-carb diet six times a day, they were working out all day long. Sure they lost weight.
But as soon as they returned to their actual life, jobs and responsibilities most of them stopped Jillian's diet because it was not sustainable.
It was not what they wanted to eat, and most of them didn't have time work out everyday all day long.
So they gained the weight back.
Ever wonder why they don't have a Biggest Looser reunion show?
Al Roker would be a Better Example for Ashley...
(He's a news anchor in case you aren't sure who he is.)
Brandy didn't know who he was...she only knew the name click here and see a pic of him before and after the Keto Diet. I like him and this is my blog so I am using his example...
I understand that maybe some of you would rather look like Jillian Michaels than Al Roker, but hear me out.
You have to start where you are, so compare where you are right now to where Al Roker was before Keto.
Al was not a physical-trainer-gym-rat. By his own account, he didn't spend much time anywhere near a gym.
He was weather man who had struggled with his weight all his adult life.
If Ashley is honest with herself she would have to say that she is a lot more like Al Roker before Keto than Jillian Michaels ever.
So when Al says the Keto lifestyle works and is sustainable. Ashley should believe him because he has lost the weight and kept it off while continuing "his" actual life which is more like Ashley's.
Don't wait for things to calm down
Now is the only time there is. There is no time other than right now and there never will be.
Waiting for "things to calm down" is just a form of procrastination.
There will never really be a calm, and even if there is you don't want to waste it starting a new diet.
Believe me, I know about waiting for "things to calm down" and the procrastination and anxiety that goes with it.
This last year, we have had some hectic and emotionally trying times - we lost some loved ones, my Mom got seriously injured and nothing seemed to go smoothly.
A lot of stuff got put off and kicked down the road.
But when I take a good look at my life, I can see that there has never been a time that is truly chill.
Sure there are some times that are more and less hectic, but there is always going to be something whether good or not so great going on that takes up more energy than we think it will.
So don't wait. Do it now.
If you nail it the first day, awesome!
Whatever your life looks like right now, cut out as many carbs as you can.
And then do the same thing tomorrow and keep doing that. Eventually you will be in Ketosis and make it into a habit.
Don't plan on changing yourself too much
Change is hard and the bigger the change the harder it is.
There is no reason to change your life completely just to be Keto.
Ideally you will change as little as possible about the great person you already are to get yourself into a healthy Keto lifestyle.
Be realistic to keep Keto sustainable
If you eat out all the time, going Keto will not make you the stay-at-home-cooking-from-scratch sort.
It would be a much better choice to accept who you are and find the Keto stuff on the menu at your favorite restaurant.
Pre-Keto I spent Autumn Sundays watching football, drinking beer and eating chips & Salsa with my Dad.
I didn't change that because it would have been too disruptive to my well-being.
It has never been a problem that I am a football fan. In fact quite the contrary, being a football fan makes me happy.
The problem for a long time was that I was too fat, had high blood pressure and inflammation.
So I still watch football, it's just that now I do it with vodka soda and pork rinds instead of beer and chips.
Unfortunately, my Dad is not around anymore to watch with me. But I still watch football every Sunday and eat Keto snacks.
The idea here is to make it easy, change as little as possible.
I am sure your life has some things that make you happy - things that you don't want to give up.
Please keep as much as you can of the stuff that makes you feel good.
Just find substitutes for carbs - that's it.
What you're going for is not just weight loss, it is a healthier, happier you.
If you cut the things you like to do or any of the stuff that is already great about yourself in order to get thinner, it will defeat the purpose, and it won't be sustainable.
This is why people say Keto is "not sustainable" long term.
Habit & Routine are Central to the Keto Mindset
I will tell you a little secret, I haven't tracked a macro for myself in years.
But when I first started Keto I was crazy about every macro and every calorie until I made it a habit and established a routine. Counting calories is not my thing, but calories do still matter~
Now for my own Keto, I barely think about it at all. People call this lazy Keto (I prefer Efficient Keto).
I noticed my routine. There were things that I used to eat everyday.
My morning routine used to be dried dates, cashews and coffee with half & half.
Now being Keto, I still have a routine every morning. It's just that now it's just black coffee for "breakfast." (lucky for me I like black coffee)
If you can manage to switch up the routines in your life to match a Keto lifestyle, you will be most of the way there.
Don't Trust the Scale
One of the primary reasons people fail at Keto is too much time on the scale.
When it comes to the Keto mindset scales are confusing and frustrating. And it is easier to just stay off them.
There are going to be weight loss stalls and maybe weight gains - even when you're doing Keto perfectly.
I understand it sucks when you cut your calories and hit all your macros exactly and even get some exercise, and the number on the scale doesn't go down.
When you are first starting Keto there is enough to worry about, so just stay off the scale and notice how you start feeling better and fitting into your clothes.
Trust the Tape Measure, it's better for a Keto Mindset
It is human nature to want to see progress and Keto-wise the tape measure is the best way to see that progress.
Over the last few months, my weight has gone up a little and down a little.
But during that time, I have given away some of my fat-pants, and put another couple of holes in my belt.
In the time I have been on Keto, I have lost 9 niches off my waist.
The tape measure is better at showing your Keto progress than the scale.
Keto Mindset Takeaway
I am sure that you have enough struggles in your life - you should not be fighting against yourself.
If you can get the Keto diet lined up with your mind and personality and all of the great things that your life already is - or as you want it to be - you will be successful and you will be thinner healthier and happier.
Keto can help make your life easier healthier and more delicious.
Remember: you are doing Keto so you can live better.
You are not living so you can do Keto better.
Want to see how you can lose up to ten pounds next week? You can do it and it's not even painful. I have done it and so has my wife....
Thanks for sticking around to the end...
I know that this is a lot for a "blog" post.
But I want to help and there is some good stuff here. Drop me a comment if you have any questions.
And if you want to know more, check out this post on Ketoacidosis.
Live well friends!