Whenever you make big lifestyle changes you will inevitably face oodles and oodles of questions. Friends, acquaintances, and loved ones are going to be curious about what you’re doing and why. That’s all perfectly natural.
It’s also inevitable that you will encounter naysayers. Everyone will suddenly have an opinion about what you are and are not putting into your mouth, so it’s helpful to know some techniques to push back on those who would be critical of your new lifestyle.
- Shut it down
- Yes, one bite DOES hurt
The first thing to know is that you are not at all obligated to explain or defend your new way of eating. So long as you’re not holding someone else down and force-feeding them bacon and butter, your Ketogenic lifestyle only really affects you, and thus is no one else’s business. You should feel perfectly free to politely (or impolitely, if warranted) tell anyone who is being negative about your choice to worry about him or herself.
If you’re inclined to actually defend your new lifestyle, you need to be able to educate others about it. That means you need to first educate yourself before you will be capable of engaging and educating others.
While it’s slowly gaining steam in the medical and weight loss communities, keto is still a very counter-cultural movement. You have to understand that for the last half century or more, we’ve all been indoctrinated with messages that make the Ketogenic lifestyle seem completely bonkers. If you’ve spent your life believing the PSAs about fat being the cause of all ills while a diet of whole grains, fiber, and carbohydrates are absolutely as essential as counting every single calorie and “moving more” (and most have), it’s going to be hard to swallow the complete paradigm shift that is nutritional Ketogenic eating because it contradicts a lifetime of professional dietary advice. Remember that and be kind.
If you’re on this website, you’ve already found an excellent resource, and it’s right at your fingertips. We’ve tried to make it very easy for you to find reliable information on this lifestyle, and have taken the time to put as much as we can in layman’s terms so it’s easy to understand. Read through the Start Here tab and the blog section. Peruse the scientific studies that Mr. Ketovangelist has been so kind as to make handy for you. Join the Ketogenic Success Facebook group so you can see first hand the dramatic changes keto is producing in others and share your own success story.
After you’ve exhausted our site, go to the bookstore or library and pick up a copy of one of the seven books you must read. Some are more technical explanations for the Ketogenic way of eating. Others are written in layman’s terms for easier digestion. Either way, you need to understand they whys behind the Ketogenic lifestyle and if you’re going to engage others you need to be able to explain it. These resources will help tremendously.
Don’t be afraid to recommend these resources to others either. You might even be inclined to give copies of one or more of the explanatory books away for Christmas or birthdays. Go for it!
Even those who are more inclined to cut you some slack on your new lifestyle changes may, at some point, encourage you to cheat.
“It’s just one bite.”
“Just this once won’t hurt.”
“But it’s Christmas!”
“You HAVE to have cake on your birthday!”
“Everyone deserves to treat themselves sometimes.”
No. No. No. No. No.
Cheating harms us. Do a quick Google search on carbohydrate addiction.
Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Ok, so I’m sure you saw the plethora of not only articles on the subject (including eye-popping stuff like “Cake is the New Crack“), but did you notice the websites for support groups? How about the “official” medical sites? Yes, even WebMD has an article on carbohydrate/sugar addiction and they take it seriously.
Carb addiction is a real thing, y’all. Yes, you will get people who roll their eyes at that statement, but it is a scientific fact that sugars- ie, carbs- stimulate the brain in a similar fashion as some opiates.
Pretty much everyone knows what happens when you take that bite. Just like an addict, you start rationalizing. There are reasons why it’s ok to take another bite. And then, well that meal is shot so you might as well just eat some fries with it. Then the day is down the toilet, so it won’t hurt to eat pizza for dinner. Before you know it, you’ve gone from a bite, to a meal, to a day, to a week, to months or even years eating junk again, and your carb addiction and cravings will have spiraled right back out of control.
So yes, even one bite WILL hurt you. That one bite of cake or cookie or sweet potato will re-stimulate your opiate receptors and you risk bingeing and psychological rationalization of the behavior thus leading to relapse.
The other important information to understand and pass on to naysayers about cheating is in relation to health. This excellent article by Dr. Davis over at The Wheat Belly Blog explains some physical facts about what happens inside the body when people cheat on the Wheat Belly plan. Because we eliminate a lot of the same foods, and largely follow a very similar lifestyle, these same physical reactions occur in our bodies when we fall off the keto wagon. The one tidbit that’s the most damning, in my opinion, is the stimulation of small LDL particle production (FYI, that’s the one that clogs arteries) that cheating brings on for one to two weeks (!!!) following that “one bite.” That’s enough for me to ditch the carbs forever, and hopefully once it’s explained any naysayers you encounter will back off.
Staying on plan is the best thing you can do for your mental and physical health. Period.
Since it looks like you’ve got some reading to do, I’ll leave you with this:
By choosing a Ketogenic lifestyle, you have chosen to do something good for yourself. You should feel good about this choice. Don’t let anyone rain on that.
Be awesome and Keto on, my people.