I am starting to see real success with this WOE (way of eating). I am super excited about it. But there’s one thing I do know more than anything else. If you are overweight and can’t seem to keep weight off if you do lose it and you see significant success from this WOE, you have to make a lifetime commitment. It is not something you do to shed a few pounds and go back to the way you ate before. Every single pound you lose will come back. Absolutely 100% guaranteed to come back. Because if this works, you have a carb problem. And here’s why it makes me bristle when I hear people say they want to “try my new diet.”
First. It’s not a diet.
I truly dislike that word and all the baggage it carries. LCHF/Keto is a way of eating that works for me. It is the only way of eating that will ever work for me. I’m 53 years old. I’ve tried them all. This one works. I’m also happy, satisfied and do not feel even remotely deprived of anything (unlike every single “diet” I have ever tried). And I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this will ONLY work if I stick to it for the rest of my life. I don’t get to go back to throwing some pasta in the water after a long day at work or indulging in bread and cakes and cookies. I don’t. I know that. I accept that. But more importantly, I know that if I do, all my hard work will vanish. In the blink of an eye. I’m committed. I know this is something I have to do until the day I die.
However, I also know that this WOE is great. My meals are big, bold and flavorful. I don’t count anything (other than occasionally monitor macros). I eat real food until I’m satisfied and have learned to truly recognize when I am satisfied. I eat A LOT less than I did in my carbaholic days. I can eat out just about anywhere because I can always find something on the menu. I can eat bacon and butter and fat again. The problem with all other “diets” is the elimination of fat = bland, yucky food and, worse, increased carbs to make that bland, yucky food taste better. All those carbs just feed cravings and carb addiction and have FAR worse health implications than the now completely disproven theory that saturated fat causes heart disease.
Second. A diet is temporary.
Diets are temporary. Most of them anyway. Most of the diets are calorie-restricted and not good for your long-term health. And most diets are not designed to be sustained for a lifetime. Some are though (like Weight Watchers and 21-Day Fix1 if you ditch the processed foods they try to sell you). But none of those worked for me because all those diets are super high in carbs and relied on calorie-restriction. I simply cannot eat carbs. At all. Sure, I eat carbs, and I eat mostly healthy carbs and I have the occasional “cheat,” (FYI, Hazelnutty ice cream at New City Microcreamery is AMAZING! I had a kiddie cup this weekend.), but I know, after a lot of trial and error, how carbs affect my body and I accept this. I’m not dieting. I’m eating in a particular way. At it’s core, this is what I do:
- No sugar, bread, pasta, cakes, or cookies
- Virtually nothing processed (real food)
- Intermittent fasting
- I regularly fast 16 hours – eating only in an 8-hour window from noon-8pm
- I occasionally do 24-hour fasts (I try at least once a week)
- Eat when I’m hungry and don’t when I’m not. I don’t have set meal times. And at traditionally set meal times, in the beginning, I had to check in with myself, “Am I really hungry now?” And, more importantly, had to be honest with myself.
- I don’t count calories. At. all. I occasionally track macros, but only for a few weeks and only when I need to make an adjustment.
This is not a diet in my mind. It’s how I eat. A diet is temporary. A way of eating (WOE) is permanent.
Third. I’m passionate about this.
Yes. I’m passionate about this and I will extol the virtues of low-carb/high-fat/Keto to anyone who chooses to listen. And you can choose to join me on this amazing journey or ignore me (just like anything else in this world). You may find it doesn’t work for you and that’s cool. But if it does work for you, and you go back to your old ways of eating, you cannot claim LCHF/Keto “didn’t work.” You can’t have it both ways. Because it absolutely works – but only as a lifetime commitment.
Sometimes my passion comes off as jerkiness. If you feel that’s the case, maybe I’m hitting a nerve? I don’t know. I’m not intentionally trying to be a jerk, but I am strident and will continue to be. I started this journey very tentatively and slowly. I started by making small changes. However, once I delved into the science of it and witnessed the transformation of my health and well-being, I made that commitment to myself. April 20, 2017, is the date my new life began. There’s no turning back (unless I plan to see all this weight come back).
Are you ready to commit? At least for a trial period?
Here are my simple steps.
- Be ready for this. It’s a big deal. You really have to be ready. You can’t commit until your heart, mind, and soul are in it. If you’re not there yet, then come back later. Make good choices in the meantime, but don’t go to the next step until you are truly ready.
- Be ready to read. I started with The Obesity Code with Dr. Jason Fung. There are other great books. Here’s a list of books to start with. Read a lot. Learn all you can about how food and nutrition work — especially how food and nutrition work in YOUR body. We are all different. It is absolutely essential to this journey.
- Find a support group or website or whatever that will help guide you that supports your results and science. I rely heavily on Dr. Fung’s blog and DietDoctor.com. There are others. You will find them as you start researching.
- Track or don’t track. It’s up to you. I chose to weigh myself daily and track my percent body fat. I bought a scale that syncs with an app on my phone. I also got a handheld body fat monitor. I track my weight daily and measurements every few weeks because I like to know how certain foods and choices affect my long-term weight.
- Be ready to feel fantastic! You will start noticing significant life changes after a few weeks. Beyond the scale! I have more energy, sleep better and am seeing FAR better health indicators than ever before. Note, I said ever before.
- In a month or so, take stock. What are you seeing? If you feel it’s not working for you, have you been truly committed? Because even one cheat can throw you off for weeks. I went to a party early on and thought I did ok, but I had lots of stuff I shouldn’t have. It took me a full two weeks to get back to where I was the day before that party. Which leads to the last step.
- No cheating! Eventually, you will be able to add stuff back into your life, but never the white stuff – sugar, flour, pasta, etc. I’m talking things like carrots and beets. I look forward to having carrots and beets again. And you will be able to have occasional treats. But not during this early phase.
Just buckle down and do it. You can do it! I know I never in a million years thought I could, but I have. No, I’m not there yet, but I know I will be. Go back and look at some of my whiny blog posts. I waffled on the surgery decision for months. I chuckle at that now. But it took time to get here. It didn’t happen overnight.
And let me know if you want help or support. I have a Facebook group. I can add you or we can meet or chat online. I’m happy to help. I want to pay it forward. I want to share my passion.
If it doesn’t work for you – then keep looking. My research road has stopped here because this works for me. I now treat carbs like any other highly addictive substance. I cannot have it or I will fall off the wagon. It is a wagon. It is an addiction (for me). I see that now. And I’ve come out on the other side.
I am absolutely confident within a year I will be at my most healthy weight. I know that. And if I’m not, it means I have succumbed to the addiction and if that happens I will be truly sad.
1I realize some people will argue with me about 21-day fix being “low-carb.” My issue with 21-day fix is the complexity of it. LCHF/Keto is MUCH easier to manage in my opinion. No measuring. No counting. Just real food. And the shakes have WAY too many carbs. I try to stay under 20g of carbs a day. One shake has 17g of carbs!!!!