Welcome back! I took the beautiful picture above at a lovely vineyard in northern Michigan. Such a beautiful scene and yet while I was visiting there, I knew that the fruit growing on those vines were not something I was going to be eating – but if we’re talking red wine, well – maybe a little (more on that below!).
We have to eat. Fact of life. Obviously, this is something we have to learn to manage day in and day out with our keto or low-carb lifestyle. I finally learned at almost 50 years old. I swear I’m not a slow learner, usually.
The TOP question I get is “how exactly do you say no all the time to carbage garbage?”
I try my very best to find a humble answer. One that is encouraging, motivating, and inspiring! This really is a hard question for me – because this lifestyle has come pretty easily for me.
Let’s face it – sugar is addictive. As I tell my friends that want to follow me and my keto lifestyle – SUGAR IS THE DEVIL. Here’s a recent article promoted on Diet Doctor: Why Ditching Sugar is Really Hard. After you check that out, there’s a few other resources on that page that you can explore. Go down that rabbit hole – it’s fascinating.
Whenever I say “sugar”, I am also referring to anything you eat that will break down into sugar (glucose) during digestion. I can’t tell you the number of times people have said to me “Oh, I don’t have trouble with sugar – my trouble is potato chips”. Potato chips = carbs = sugar. Or, “trouble with bread.” Bread = carbs = sugar. Bottom line: Sugar = table sugar + refined sugar + honey + all those other syrups from natural sources of sugar + wheat + grains + starches + starchy vegetables + legumes. Oh, I’m sure I am forgetting something, but my bottom line is this – I don’t eat: SUGAR, WHEAT, GRAINS, STARCHES, OR LEGUMES. I’m here to tell you, living this Keto lifestyle for 15 months now – I do not miss any of that. I know people don’t believe me when I say that – but it’s the honest truth.
If I could fulfill a wish for you, I would flip a switch for you to turn off any part of your brain and entire being to have a desire for sugars and carbs. If I could do that, I wouldn’t be spending my time on this keyboard – I’d be vacationing around the world on a daily basis with all my cash. Ha!
Anyhow, back to ” SUGAR IS THE DEVIL “. It whispers in your ear, just like the devil did in the Garden of Eden, that one little bite won’t hurt you. It whispers sweet nothings – and if no one is watching, it whispers “no one is watching”! It is addicting and it leads you astray and sabotages your efforts! We need to figure out a way to be stronger than these voices!
I never want to be fat again. NEVER. I found the secret to overcoming obesity and all the diseases that go along with it. I spent hours upon hours reading and watching lectures from the top experts in the low-carb world. So my very first suggestion is to learn and understand the science of your hormones and metabolism. You don’t have to be big into science to understand this. I’ve talked about this before and encourage you to explore the links on my Keto 101 page. I have resources there from some very smart doctors and scientists that are passionate about improving your health. A lot of their content is available free!
I’m going share a little tip that really helped me smack down these temptations. As I learned the science, it all made perfect sense to me what I had to do to gain better health. I KNOW it’s all about the hormones – and most specifically insulin. Did you know that insulin is your fat STORING hormone? I don’t want to store more fat! Yikes! I want to keep my insulin under control, so I began asking myself “what will this food do to my insulin response?” If the answer was “spike it”, then that food did not go in my mouth. Start asking yourself “what will this tempting food do to my insulin when it hits my stomach?”
My fact of life is that carbage garbage will spike my insulin, put my body into fat-storing mode, and make me metabolically sick. I never want to go back to being unhealthy. Is it fair? Ehh, maybe not – but I really don’t think of it is unfair. I prefer the positive in it all – I eat food that is satisfying and specifically to fuel my body. I haven’t had temptations in a very, very long time. I don’t cheat and that is something that I am very proud to share with you. When I am in a social situation surrounded by lots of non-Keto food – the food has no power over me. I can easily ignore it and focus on conversations with my friends and family. I don’t have to stop and ask myself any longer what the food will do to my insulin – it’s just all natural to me now. It really is quite freeing! But it did take me months to get to this point. It is all part of the journey! I hope this bit of advice will help you. Think of the science!
I will share about a little hiccup I had a few weeks ago, though. I had some red wine a few nights, which is a bit unusual for me. I might have a glass on a Friday night after a long week at work. I have a glass or two when I’m out with friends (which doesn’t happen enough!). I had these glasses of wine while I was AcornTV binging on “Doc Martin”. I had them in the evening, not with a meal. I was woken up both nights with horrible reflux! Ugh, so painful. I haven’t had reflux since I went Keto.
I very quickly recognized this as a problem and made a plan. In my mind I was telling myself “red wine is Keto, it’s okay – go ahead. It’s a treat. You had a long week at work – blah, blah, blah!”.
My action plan – I immediately implemented a very simple meal plan for 3 days. I ate my very basic keto foods. Specifically a lot of bacon! This really helped me step away from the wine and I’ve abstained since that time. I will probably have some wine on my upcoming vacation – I wonder what Irish red wine is like?!?
Do you consider red wine in the evening cheating or falling off the rails? I don’t know – but I do know for ME that it veered drastically from my hard and fast rule of not eating after dinner time. I try to be done eating by 6pm every night and then nothing else but water. Sometimes it’s a little later if it’s a social occasion. That’s not a biggie. But a glass of wine by itself later in the evening was a painful lesson – twice in one week (I guess I can be a slow learner – HA!).
Dr. Fung, in his book “The Obesity Code” advocates that there are times in life that you should allow yourself to join in the celebrations and indulge in a carb overload. Your birthday. A wedding. Christmas. Thanksgiving. Easter. Independence Day. Family Reunions. Church Potlucks…WOAHHHH, hit the brakes. This list is getting way out of hand!
I’m a huge fan of Dr. Fung and his work – and I struggle with reconciling this philosophy – for MYSELF. I did take this advice two months after I read his book (I was still learning!). It was my 50th birthday and we went to National Coney Island for Hot Fudge Cream Puffs. That was March 17, 2017. That was the last time I ate something that was not Keto. I had to laugh because the waitress brought me the smallest cream puff I had ever seen – and I did laugh out loud. She asked if there was a problem and I replied and said “no, no – this is perfect!” It was very small and not very satisfying. I don’t eat this carbage garbage anymore because it was not satisfying, it most likely kicked me out of ketosis, and if I absolutely need some type of dessert – I will make a Keto dessert. Or I will have a small square of 90% or higher dark chocolate. The internet is loaded with Keto dessert recipes (just watch the carb count and serving size). My Keto friend, Kristie Sullivan has a fabulous Cookbook and YouTube channel where she shares the most delicious Keto dessert recipes. Her second book will be available soon. See, we have options! If you are prone to “falling off the wagon” DO NOT GO THERE. I repeat! DO. NOT. GO. THERE! Many of you have told me time and time again that you have fallen off the wagon. I SEE you falling off the wagon. I personally think it’s so much easier to stick to the plan and not have to start again (and again…and again!).
A few more helpful tips you could implement (and I have done all of these with success!):
- Updated to add this (like how could I forget this?) – reach for bacon if something has to go in your mouth!
- Journal – seriously start your story!
- Find a Facebook group for support.
- Read articles from the Keto/Low-carb world.
- Clean a junk drawer or organize your linen closet.
- Ohhh and here’s my favorite one – PURGE your closet of the clothes that are too big for you. Now that is FUN and REWARDING.
- Now that your closet is empty – go shopping for new clothes.
I hope something I have shared will spark a little reason for you to keep focused and work to overcome those temptations. Set your goals and your hard and fast rules and get to burning fat my FBFs (fat-burning friends)!
I’d love to hear about what you do to overcome temptations! And stay tuned – I will explore this topic a little more in a post about staying true to your journey in social situations.
Choose YOU and Choose JOY!
edited 5/3/2018 to add BACON!
(Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional. I am writing about my personal experiences to encourage others to research a low-carb lifestyle. You should always work closely with a health care professional to manage your health. I work with three MDs to manage my health: functional medicine, cardiology, and sleep/pulmonology. They treat my metabolic dysfunctions along with monitoring my important blood markers routinely. Keto or LCHF may not be an appropriate way of eating for your metabolic health or other health needs. Please check with your personal health care professional before making any changes in your diet.)