Steak and Lobster Keto Diet. Eat meat, butter & coconut oil and lose weight! Of course the Keto Diet works for you, you stopped eating crap!

It seems as though you cannot tune to any type of media, online or television, and not hear about the Keto Diet. If you’re anything like me, your Facebook feed is filled with people sharing their favorite ketogenic recipes and sharing their levels of success with this latest diet craze. To be fair, I experimented with the Keto Diet in 2013, long before anyone on MSNBC had heard of this diet. In fact, I had great success in losing weight and feeling great. I’m not writing this to bash the Keto Diet, but to offer a sort of third way to looking at the topic.

For those that aren’t familiar, the Keto Diet operates on the principles of high fat, low carb, moderate protein. For argument’s sake, we will say that the make-up of each of these types of energy (because that is what fat, carbs, and protein amount to in your body), is 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. There are a number of calculators that you can plug in your particular body composition and get the actual grams for each of these numbers, this being one of the most accurate. Basically what happens is that once you stop fueling your body with carbs, you will produce little energy molecules called ketones. Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. Yes, your fat. Thus, the success is weight loss with this diet. But, all good things must come to an end. You see, your body is super smart (even if you don’t think so). You’ll eventually hit a stall. Normally, the suggestion to bust through this stall is to pound some carbs. Where do most people get their carbs from? Yep, bad stuff. Not good vegetable carbs. Usually, pasta, ice cream, sugary stuff…you get the picture. So, while that stuff lingers in your body, it forgets that you’ve been running on ketones and switches to burn this less efficient molecules of energy.

A ketogenic way of eating has been shown to be helpful in many medical conditions, particularly those who suffer from seizures and some other neurological disorders. I’m no doctor, so I would not go so far as to recommend this diet, but it would be worth exploring if you find yourself with specific medical needs.

Here is my summary of why the keto diet works: 

  1.  Your body is super smart and switches from burning carbs to burning your fat stores. This can go for a long time if you’re carrying around a bunch of extra weight. But, eventually you’ll stop losing weight.
  2. You feel better because you’re not putting things like sugar and grains into your body. Both of these things cause systemic inflammation, from your joints to your brain.
  3. There is positive momentum, so you start feeling better and moving more.

Now, this isn’t really all inclusive and really not meant to bash the Keto Diet. But, as I thought about my own success and also the folks that I know who have some experience with Keto, these thoughts are where I landed. Essentially, we make a switch in the input for our energy, start feeling better, and then start moving more. I get it, it is hard to get off the couch when you are totally inflamed and feeling like doo-doo. I do. But here is the deal. Once you stop eating Keto and revert back to eating Doritos and Breyer’s Ice Cream, you will regain your weight. Once you stop moving and start watching more TV, you’ll gain weight. Once both of those things happen, you’ll likely be back where you started. I guess the good news is that you could just hammer down on Keto again.

But…What if you started just making some different choices today? What if you took a half hour walk everyday for a few weeks? What if you eliminated eating a half of loaf of bread with every meal? What if you simply skipped breakfast and condensed your eating window to between noon and 7pm?

I think that my train of thought here really started when I saw loads of people going to extraordinary lengths to follow yet another diet. It got me thinking about our mindset when it comes to systematic health. We want the quick fix that causes us the least discomfort. But, what if we realized that we will arrive at our next birthday (hopefully) either way? What if we took a long view of our health, not just for today and not just so I can finally fit into those jeans I’ve been holding onto for year? I know it isn’t easy. Nothing really is. Try eating sticks of butter and everything and trying to make some faux desserts for every meal. It’s not that easy. It is slightly more fun than simply saying no to crap, but you get the point.

Also, I thought about all the things that I’ve tried to lose weight and get healthy over the years. I’ve experienced great success on Keto. I’ve experienced success on Atkins. I’ve experienced success with Tony Horton’s P90X nutrition guide. I’ve experienced great success on a Paleo way of eating. I’ve experienced success eating a half of a chicken breast and half of a pouch of brown rice, coupled with cycling 35 miles a day. The fact of the matter is, success is not limited to one diet or way of eating. But, I do think that we are each unique and that we require certain inputs to be at our optimal health. Success starts with a change in what you are currently doing, most often. Incremental changes in your way of eating and moving more will pay huge dividends.

If you’re not where you want to be at health wise, there is hope. I’d encourage you to take a good inventory of how your body feels and what specific parts of your body aren’t well. From there, you can make a much better choice as to what are the best inputs for your body. As long as you are moving forward in your health goals and overall wellness, I’d venture to say that you’ll be successful.  If you need a listening ear, I’m always here.

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