Let it go.
I will be honest, I get really frustrated when people “go Keto” yet still want to drag along all the diet dogma and apply it to Keto. Then they make posts about being confused, not getting results, not feeling well, etc.
Look, there is FREEDOM in being Ketogenic, but only if you allow it.
I dieted most of my life. I changed to Keto so I could stop dieting – and to lose weight and get healthy once and for all.
I first counted calories in Jr. High and then in 9th grade I lost 40 pounds counting calories- I ate about 600 a day and lost weight quickly. A bag of mini pretzels did me in one night and undid it all. That was the start of my weight loss roller coaster ride and dysfunctional relationship with food.
It saddens me when I see people on Keto forums stressing themselves out about macros – namely calories and fat- and thinking they need to count calories and still believing too much fat will make them fat or keep them from losing weight. Many people have convinced themselves they must do this. They will concede that others are successful without counting, but then they make the statement, “…but if I don’t count I don’t lose weight.”
My reaction is a strong desire to bang my head against a wall. Why do people do this to themselves? Dogma. That’s why.
We have been brainwashed hard and it is difficult to undo. I know because I was there. It took a lot of mental effort on my part and faith in the science of Keto to make that paradigm shift. Because all I ever knew was “calories in, calories out” and “eat less, move more” and “fat makes us fat.”
[pullquote]Dogma: a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.
It’s all so maddening.
I challenge you calorie counters and macro trackers to stop doing that for 30 days and FOCUS on getting your mind right and monitoring your behavior. If you focus on getting to know your body, listening to it and cooperating with it you will get results. You will naturally fall into the pattern of giving your body what it needs and once you get it down it will be done effortlessly and will be second nature to you.
Steps to making this life simple without tracking yourself to misery:
- Eat when hungry
- Be reasonable about portions
- Stick to real whole food
- Re-train your brain and how you think about food
This requires allowing yourself to go for quite awhile without food – a fast if you will – so that when you get hungry you can learn what that feeling actually is. Hunger is not feeling light headed, shaky or having a growling stomach. Those things are withdrawal or high blood sugar dropping to normal levels.
Don’t eat a stack of three bunless burgers with endless cheese and a whole pound of bacon. Don’t take down a whole low-carb cake. You know what I mean? Be reasonable, stop when you are satisfied, which should come before you feel “full.” It is my not-so-humble opinion that if you get to that “full” feeling that too much has been eaten. If your belly is popping out and you feel a need to rub it, you probably overate.
Stay away from processed or packaged keto junk food like bars, shakes, sugar free jello/pudding, candies etc. Don’t make low-carb desserts every night or even every week. Make them on holidays, birthdays or when you have company over for a meal. [NOTE FROM BRIAN: Or…you know, don’t make them at all.]
Think of food as fuel, not as comfort, reward, or entertainment. Food is not something to “treat” yourself. Food can heal you or hurt you. If carbs/sugar have a negative effect on you, it is okay to view them as dangerous or like you are allergic. Having this view can make all the difference in your discipline and choices.
Hear me out. I know there is science behind all this keto stuff, but what I am saying is there is no need to be rigid about tracking and counting everything if you get in tune with your body and its needs. I know I have said it a million times, but I will say it again: I have not counted calories or tracked macros. The only thing I have counted is carbs and I got to a point where I knew what my serving sizes were and how many carbs – because I typically eat the same stuff over and over. I am free from the bondage of food and its calories. Free is the way to be for me.
Now, I will concede that if you have a goal to be RIPPED with abs and go enter a bodybuilding competition or a bikini show, you might have to track stuff and BE ON A DIET and suck it up. But if you are just the average guy or gal who wants to lose body fat, get healthy, and get in better shape by engaging in lifting some heavy stuff or running or whatever, then you don’t need to be meticulous with macros.
Just eat, live and be free.