I’d like to consider myself to be a good person with a pretty good moral code. I don’t do others dirty, I try to keep feelings in mind when making decisions, and I always want the best for everyone in my life. But for some reason, I never seem to treat myself the same way.
I’ve been following the keto “diet” for 3 1/2 months and have yet to make it through a week without cheating. I’ve come SO CLOSE to being “pure” keto, but then end up spoiling it with a bunch of grapes. Or a Dairy Queen sundae. Or that stupid cupcake I didn’t even like! I’m not sure why I can’t treat myself like I treat others. I’m not sure why I choose to sabotage my goals, when I would NEVER do that to someone I love.
Weird how that works. Isn’t it? We can be so devoted to our loved ones but never actually give our minds and our bodies the true love and care it deserves. Sadly, this is why I’m here. And maybe, just maybe, this is why you’re here, too.
Unfortunately, this is the repair our minds need in order to be truly successful at not just keto, but every aspect of our personal lives. And while keto has a magical way of healing a lot of our ailments, this self sabotage-ness won’t just go away without mental effort.
So, I think our first step in the 12 step program to healing our carb-ridden sugar-laden selves is to realize the many reasons why cheating on keto is not a good idea.
Cravings instantly come back
When I eat only keto approved foods, I have complete control over my body. I’m not ruled by hunger pains and thoughts of Taco Bell every second. My body feels good, I’m fueled and am thinking clearly and concisely. The second I introduce a non keto food into my mouth, my cravings come back. Sometimes, they’re so bad that I feel like I’m back at day one. It’s exhausting! I love love LOVE how I feel when I am “pure keto.” And I hate hate HATE how I feel and think when I’m not.
It knocks you out of ketosis
The entire point of the ketogenic diet is to be in ketosis. This means that, when your body does not have enough glucose (aka sugar) for energy, it will burn stored fat instead. If you are in the beginning stages of your keto journey, “cheating” could set you back days or even restart your process completely. When you’re knocked out of ketosis, you are no longer burning fat and will be further away from your goals than you were before the sugary crap hit your mouth.
You’re going to feel sick
You know how you feel after you’ve eaten at a shady fast food joint? Like, the inside of your stomach wants nothing more than to dump out like a fresh bucket of toys in a daycare. Yeah, that can happen if you eat something high in carbs/sugar. You’ll feel bloated and yucky and have terrible indigestion. Sometimes, it can happen only a few minutes after you’ve eaten whatever carb-laden thing you chose. It’s bad. At times, it’s really bad.
You’ll feel sad
You are a powerhouse. If you’ve been following keto for any length of time, your body is now in repair and is actively working on being the machine that you’ve always deserved. When you “fall off” the keto wagon, you lose a bit of your empowerment. You lose a bit of your control. And it’s sad. It gets harder with every cheat meal and every sundae and every gape. It only gets easier and more satisfying every day you stick to the true keto way of life.
There are so many more reasons why cheating on keto is bad. That’s why it’s called “a way of life” and not a “diet.” I know all of these things and, as a fellow carb addict in a house FULL of carb addicts, I struggle with this very topic daily. So, as I sit here in my bed trying to think of the thousands of ways I could do better today, I’ve decided to pick just one. And I encourage you to do the same. Today, and tomorrow, and the next day, I’m going to treat myself like I treat others. I’m going to respect my body and this process and make it through one whole week without cheating. And then I’m going to make it another week.
I have big plans for my life. I’d like to think you do, too. And I know a few people who are counting on us to be happy AND healthy individuals for a very, very long time. So keto on, my friend. And don’t let that donut talk you into anything stupid. She’s a liar. And tastes like grease. (And not the good kind, either)