So I started the Keto diet last week and stopped it after almost a week on it.
Now, I know some of you are thinking, “you didn’t give it a chance to work” and you’re right. However, that’s not why I decided to stop it so I hope that you continue to read and hear me out.
I also would like to clarify that I am not implying that this diet does not work, because it’s been proven to be effective for some people. However, after some things that happened during the time that I was on it, I realized that it was not for me.
For those of you who are unaware, the keto diet is promoted as a low-carb, high fat diet which encourages you to eat a high healthy fat diet and low carbs in order to maintain ketosis. Ketosis is something your body enters into it that is similar to starvation mode in the sense that instead of burning sugars and carbs, your body begins to burn fat. Many people on the diet lose a lot of weight fast because they’re losing water weight in addition to the fat that is now being burned due to the body seeking things to burn for fuel and energy.
It sounded like the perfect diet for me because I wanted to try something that encouraged me to eat. On this diet, you were encouraged to eat fatty foods like bacon, steak, cheese (oh, how I love cheese), heavy cream, and avocados. It basically sounded like almost everything I enjoyed eating except now I could actually eat more of it. Plus, I’ve been struggling with my weight a lot lately and wanted to try something that would jump start my weight loss and help me get back to a healthy, ideal weight.
I had keto flu for about a day, which was expected and quite difficult, honestly, but I remember thinking that if I could just get past this that I’d be smooth sailing.
However, it definitely wasn’t like what I expected and I realized quickly that perhaps this wasn’t the way that I should go in order to get down to a healthier weight. Today, I am going to share with you a few reasons why I quit the keto diet.Why I Quit the Keto Diet Click To Tweet
IT FELT VERY LIMITING
As I mentioned before, it also encourages you to eat fats as well. Initially this seemed like heaven to me until I realized how much fat I was allowed to eat. I had to micro-manage this as well to the point where I was eating under the amount of fats that I was supposed to eat each day and when I did manage to make the quota I felt like crap. I felt so weighed down by all of the beef, that it made me feel like throwing up even at the thought of eating more fats. While yes, the diet encourages you to eat vegetables, I felt so limited in what I could actually eat.
For example, vegetables like corn, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, or other root vegetables could not be eaten (even onions had to be used sparingly). If you did, it could knock you out of ketosis and you’d have to start all over again. You also weren’t allowed to have fruits because of the sugar in it. While yes, I could indulge in all of the bacon I wanted to, I realized quickly that I didn’t want to do that and I missed being able to enjoy balanced, well-portioned meals that included more veggies and parfaits with fruit.
IT WAS VERY EXPENSIVE
My husband was clear that he was not going to do keto with me. He’s not big on diets and wasn’t too keen about giving up his carbs. However, he was very supportive to me, even to the point of going out and grabbing the supplements I needed such as almond flour, almond milk, and approved veggies.
However, that added up and it was really expensive since most of the diet was meats, fats, and approved veggies. Not to mention, the diet specifically encourages grass-fed, organic meats which can be very pricey. It’d be a lot cheaper for me to go on a vegetarian or vegan diet than it would to eat a diet of mostly meats and fats.
I WAS VERY ANXIOUS ABOUT EATING:
Because I was spending so much time trying to track what I ate down to the carbs and sugars for every meal, whilst trying to stay within a certain caloric range, I didn’t enjoy eating anymore and was nervous to. Instead of looking forward to eating meals that were colorful and left me feeling satiated, I was worried that anything that I ate or didn’t would kick me out of ketosis.
“What if I didn’t track the amount of protein right that was in my shake?”
“What if the carrot I accidentally ate my brother and sister-in-law’s baby shower was too much and now I am out of ketosis?”
Eating out was even more anxiety-inducing. For example, my husband and I’s date night was last weekend and instead of enjoying what it had to offer, I was struggling figuring out what I could actually eat. I ended up ordering a taco and just eating the meat, because my options were far and few. While it was delicious, I found that it wasn’t filling.
I also began worrying about the idea of accidentally overeating in carbs and gaining everything back. I’ve heard a lot of accounts of people who began to gain weight as soon as they hopped off of the diet, despite trying to make efforts to eat healthier.
My anxiety towards food that grew this week led to my next reason for quitting.
I WASN’T EATING MUCH
What initially excited me about this diet was that I thought since I would be eating more of some of my favorite things, it wasn’t as restrictive.
However, what began to happen was that even in that week, I was OBSESSING over calories and carbs. When I say obsess, I mean I would have a lot of anxiety over food choices. The diet encourages you to track your macros, carbs, and calories in order to ensure that you remain in ketosis. For example, you couldn’t have over 20gs of carbs a day, you couldn’t have over a certain percentage of healthy fats and proteins.
I began tracking and obsessing over everything that I ate to the point where I wasn’t eating much at all. I’m sure when done right, the diet leaves you feeling satiated after a meal, but instead I felt like I didn’t want to eat because I didn’t want to risk going over the amount.
IT BROUGHT BACK SOME UNHEALTHY EATING HABITS FOR ME
As I mentioned above, I began to obsess about calories and this was something I did once before. I would count calories like nobody’s business. While keeping track of what you’re putting in your body is not a bad thing, I realized it was an unhealthy diet for me when that’s all I did for every meal. There was no room for a bite of a cookie because it meant that I would be immediately knocked out of ketosis. There was no room for a enjoying some healthy oats for breakfast because it wasn’t permitted. I began to over-analyze and obsess over everything that I was eating and by the week was done, I really had a negative view of food.
WELL, WHAT DID YOU LIKE ABOUT IT?
I want to clarify that I am not writing this to bash the diet. It works for some and there are plenty of people who have a lot of success on it. However, with my history of having a not-so-healthy relationship with food, it was more toxic than helpful.
I think one of the things I liked about it was it reminded me to be mindful about what I’m putting in my body. I liked that it encouraged you to journal your food and track what you’re eating during the day. I liked that it showed me that I should be mindful of the types of products I am ingesting because some of them are really unhealthy. I still plan to be mindful of the food I’m purchasing, but I am hoping to do it in a way that allows me to have more balanced meals, just in smaller servings.
Ultimately, I began to grow a very unhealthy view of food and that instead of viewing it as fuel to be enjoyed, I began to view meals as something to dread. I got anxious thinking about meal time because that meant I would have to think of something that was both filling, but fit within my macros and daily caloric intake.
One thing I also would like to say is don’t make the decision to not or to try the keto diet to be based on what I or someone else says. Ultimately, everyone’s body is different and so are their experiences, so what may be difficult or toxic for your body may not have the same effect on someone else. If you’re currently on the keto diet and feel amazing, do it! If you’re not on the diet, but feeling led to try it, go for it! It’s just that for me, given my past experiences with unhealthy eating patterns and calorie counting, it was not healthy for me to maintain.
I still a seeking things to help me develop a healthier lifestyle and a healthier view of food, but I will not be doing the keto diet any longer.
Has the keto diet worked for you? If so, what do you love about it? If not, what are you doing to develop healthier eating habits?