Are there some people who are just not cut out for this?

(Lauren) #1

Hi Everyone! This is my first post on here, and I’m really hoping I’m not going to come across as a whiner who is making excuses. :slight_smile:

Do you think there are some personalities or bodies who are just NOT cut out for keto? Over the last 15 years I have occasionally set out to go low carb (because I think it’s a healthy way of life due to my extreme love of sugar and carbs), but I CANNOT stick to it. The longest I have EVER gone is one week. Anyone should be able to stick to something longer than a week! I have stuck to “healthy eating” long-term in the past, but once a food group that I love (carbs/sugar or dairy when I tried paleo) is removed, I just cannot seem to get it to stick.

After my last baby who is now 14 months old, I have about 30 lbs I want to lose, and I’m really struggling to find something that will work for me. I’m tired, fat, and unhealthy. I have even “tried” to go keto twice in the last year, but again, I can’t stick to it.

I see a few major problems with keto for me:

  1. I don’t like meat all that much. A hunk of meat is not appealing to me unless it’s on a bun or mixed in with pasta. So I can force myself to eat a piece of steak, but I don’t actually like it all that much and will not enjoy it.

  2. I LOVE sugar. Like, LOVE it so much. And I’m an emotional eater who eats sugar when I am tired, stressed, bored, or to relax. I eat way more sugar and carbs than any healthy person should, which is WHY I think I should do keto. Keto doesn’t solve my love affair with carbs quickly enough. :slight_smile:

  3. I don’t plan meals as much as I should, so a lot of times it comes to lunch and I saw “There’s nothing that sounds good. I can’t do this diet.” and then I give up.

  4. I work in a small office and pretty much don’t get up from my desk, so my one “outing” every day is my adventure to get takeout. I’ve only been here for 2 months, so this particular excuse for why I’m fat is relatively new.

Do I have ANY chance of succeeding if I try this again? I feel so miserable, unhealthy, and tired, that I need to do something about it. Just not sure if keto is for me, even if I want it to be.


(John) #2

I don’t have all your answers, just some observations:

  1. I am not a big steak fan either, or beef in general. I like chicken, turkey, and LOVE fish. Pork is OK. I do eat beef occasionally. I like ground beef (hamburger) pretty well. You can still mix in meats with carbs. Broccoli, cauliflower (riced or mashed), spiralized zucchini noodles. Lots of options in casseroles, stews, other dishes. Look up recipes online.

  2. Ok - you have an actual addiction here. That’s going to be the thing you have to deal with. And your emotional eating. You have to find a way to beat this, if you want to be healthy.

  3. Yeah, I have a hard time with this too. I keep some emergency rations around. Also, after about week 4, I was able to suppress my need to eat so that I could easily skip meals if there wasn’t something around. Also, I have learned how to manage eating out.

  4. I sit most of the day too. When you go out on your lunch break, you can still find ways to avoid carbs.

You say you feel miserable, unhealthy, and tired and yet you don’t yet feel motivated enough to do something about it? Specifically, you are going to have to address item 2 in your list.

I just totally quit sugar and all sweet-tasting things. Took some willpower, but I got through it. First two weeks require the most dedication. It was around the end of week 4 when I discovered I had developed a super-power: I was in total conscious control of my hunger sensations. If you can get that far, when your body has finally submitted to your will (or you have trained yourself that skipping a meal won’t kill you), then it becomes much easier.

But you may not have what it takes, I don’t know. Sounds like you have the desire to change, but not the solid commitment to change. You have to find some reason, some WHY, that is powerful enough to push you through the hard early days.

(Lauren) #3

Thanks for your reply! No, you’re totally right that I need to do something. That motivation that I used to have internally that helped me to eat relatively healthy, exercise 5 days a week, run half marathons, etc is not there these days. I haven’t taken good care of myself since the year I got pregnant with my youngest (almost 2 years now). I need to dig that motivation out from within (somehow) and then bite the bullet and try and get through a couple of tough weeks with sugar cravings.

(Clara Teixeira) #4

Yes there is a chance. You can even eat vegetarian and be keto. I missed noodles too and zoodles only go so far. I eat kelp noodles. Very low carb and full of good minerals for you. Make salads and deviled eggs for easy lunches. Creamy chicken salads in a lettuce wrap are a favorite of mine. You don’t need to eat steaks if you simply don’t like them. Try broiled fish or stuffed chicken breasts instead.

(John) #5

OK - you just described your perfect “WHY”. You have a toddler, who should grow up having a mother. That means you need to keep yourself healthy so you can have a long and active life.

I get the whole loss of motivation thing. I used to be fairly fit, even downright athletic in my 20s-30s. Let it slack off in my 40s and just gave up in my 50s. I had some losses of important people in my life (but you know what, so does everyone) and a few setbacks in other areas. I used to try to keep up with exercising and eating right often enough to at least keep within a reasonable range but I got tired of the fight and gave up.

And then the more you slide, the harder it is to do anything even when you do get those brief flickers of motivation, because you keep building a bigger and bigger mountain (metaphorically speaking) and so it looks even more overwhelming.

3 months ago something in me snapped. I think it had been building, but the trigger was a business trip where I had to walk and stand a lot for about a week, that just nearly killed me, plus air-travel is not fun at all if you are taller than 5’8" and weigh more than 200. I’m 6’1" which isn’t going to change, but was about 325 pounds at the time. Not to mention those full-length mirrors that fill up a whole wall in hotel bathrooms. They don’t lie to you like that small, polite mirror above the sink in the bathroom at home.

A week after I got back from that trip, I stumbled across a reference to the ketogenic diet and started reading the actual solid science behind it.

So while my motivation was high, I dove in, started doing it, while still researching and reading (which helped strengthen my resolve).

I felt pretty crappy the first two weeks, but I kind of expected that, having done Atkins in the late 90s and knew what that felt like. But I did lose some weight those first couple of weeks, which hadn’t happened in a while - I had been on a steady upwards trend for years - just stopping the increase was a plus. But actually losing some inches and pounds? Wow.

I had the typical 5-8 pounds drop in the first two weeks (water weight), stalled in week 3 (typical for everyone), actually gained a couple of pounds back early in week 4, then the miracle occurred - I no longer felt compelled to eat. I could choose to eat, or not eat, and I no longer craved any particular food. I could make choices solely based on what was a healthy choice. And from then on I have been more or less consistently losing, with expected stalls and surges along the way.

So it’s been 3 months now, and I am down 2 pants sizes, about 5 inches on my waist, and about 40 pounds on the scale. It is working.

I have not once cheated with anything containing sugar. I also cut out all artificial sweeteners, to avoid keeping that taste for sweet things alive. The sweetest thing I ever eat is strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, and then only occasionally and in moderate portion sizes.

The only reason I go into all of this, is to show that someone with very similar challenges (lack of motivation, sugar addiction, sedentary job, not a meat lover) can do this. If I can do it, YOU can do it.

There is an old joke about how many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb. The answer is: One, but the light bulb has to really WANT to change.

Do you really WANT to change?

(Lauren) #6

This was a very inspiring story! I can feel the motivation bubbling up from within, just from reading this story :wink:

My husband will probably roll his eyes at my declaration that I’m going to do this AGAIN (he’s heard it plenty of times), but I need to do this. And having a community for support will probably help even more. It’s not even just about my weight, it’s about my health.

(Lauren) #7

Thank you for these suggestions! You are right, I’m sure I can find plenty of foods out there if I just put some effort in to it.

(Monique ) #8

Hi Lauren,

I definitely second everything John mentioned! I used to be a carb addict as well. About 4 years ago I went to see naturopath about a medical condition that my drs could not resolve. She recommended I try paleo (primal version) for 3 months to see if it helped. I honestly felt I couldn’t do it but I decided that I’d at least try it for the three months…if it worked it would be a miracle. Well it did work! At that point I had to keep going. Of course through I the years I fell off the wagon on and off. After having my 3rd child last year I was having trouble losing weight so I started keto in July.

Maybe if you promise yourself you’ll just give it 4 weeks and then decide. It took me a good couple of weeks to get over that initial keto flu. If at week 4 you still hate it fine then you can quit knowing you at least gave it a good start. Of course it will take more than 4 week to really get in the swing but it will get you past the tiredness and carb cravings so you can clearly assess the situation.

Feel free to PM me. It helps to have someone to vent to about the struggle initially and the forum can seem a little intimidating at times.

(Edith) #9

Have some keto snacks laying around so that when you feel the urge to cheat, you can eat a keto snack. Macadamia nuts are great. Make yourself some fat bombs that you can just pull out of the frig, have a bullet proof coffee, eat some cheese, keep some hard boiled eggs on hand. Don’t worry about the calories when getting started. Just get used to eating mostly fat until your body adjusts to the new way of eating. You really will find your desire for sweets will subside.

You can do this!!!

(Lauren) #10

Monique, your post is very inspiring! I really appreciate the support. I really feel like I can do this and thank you for making me feel welcome.

I may PM you a bit later once I get ready to start (I am thinking of starting on Sunday). I want a plan in place so that I am less likely to give up.

(John) #11

You don’t absolutely HAVE to change to a ketogenic diet. But I really do suggest finding a way to break that sugar addiction.

Your 60-year-old overweight self with type-2 diabetes would like to send you a letter back in time, telling you to change your relationship with sugar now, so that she vanishes into an alternate time-line, and instead your lean, healthy, active 60-year-old future self can send you a letter of thanks for your decision now.

(Monique ) #12

Planning is good. Definitely get yourself prepared with fatty snacks in the beginning like Edith said, that’s what helped me stick it out. It’s really important to not feel deprived until you get through the rough patch so have all of your yummy fatty delights on hand. Good luck and I’m around when you need support. Do not hesitate to reach out, or at least read this forum. The forum has saved me.

(Cindy Ward) #13

Lauren, I’m pretty addicted to sugar, too. Just use my screen name and see how many times I mention sweet tea. I love to bake brownies, cookies of any sort, I have my “go to” baked goods at the grocery store that were my emotional buddies. But most of all, my glass of sweet tea kept me company ALL day long. I still want it, but I no longer crave it or think about it, worry about it, etc. I figure, in time, I’ll even stop wanting it.

For me, the two things I HAD to do to stick to this was 1) find something as a treat to myself (to replace my beloved sugar) that I normally wouldn’t eat in my “healthy” CICO mindset, and 2) stay OFF the scale for long periods of time. Otherwise, it’s too easy to tell myself it’s not working or not working fast enough, etc. I simply had to commit to this for a certain period of time (until March 1st) and then I’ll re-evaluate that commitment at that time. So I didn’t say good-bye to sweets forever…for now, it’s just 3 months. :wink:

As for the treat…I really like bacon. It’s always been a forbidden indulgence because, you know, low calorie, low fat diets. So I gave myself permission to eat as much bacon as I wanted and it helped. Each time I was craving tea, I’d get a 1/2 slice of bacon to munch. Now, bacon is “meh”…I still like it, but it got me through the rough spots so I’m eating much less of it. So find something YOU like that you wouldn’t normally eat due to the fat, like avocados, full fat dressings, cheese…just something to replace those sugars in the first couple of weeks.

(Laurie) #14
  1. How about chicken, fish, eggs, and cheese? Or meat in/on top of a green salad? I enjoy shirataki (konjac) noodles with meat sauce–but you do need to learn how to prepare the shirataki noodles. If you like chili, try making it with ground beef and black soybeans, which are very low in carbs. Personally I don’t bother with cooking much any more, but there is a wide variety of keto recipes on this site and elsewhere, which might help to make protein foods more appealing to you. Once you hit on a few things that you like, you can just eat those. Nobody says you have to eat steak or try every recipe.
  1. I understand! It does take some discipline and determination. At least you lasted a week on keto. On any other diet I’ve lasted a max of 2 hours, because I just couldn’t control myself. And I think many of us do give in to sugar temptations from time to time–especially at first. It does get easier. See if you can make it to a month, then 2 months? And come here for support.

  2. You do need to plan. Stock up on easy and tasty things. Cook some things in bulk and put the extras in the fridge or freezer. As for snacks, I can’t be bothered preparing anything; I find that 1 ounce of almonds (24 almonds) or pecans, or 1 ounce of cream cheese, hits the spot!

  3. Could you go for a walk around the block, or check out something interesting in the neighborhood? Make a little challenge for yourself, such as going up and down the stairs once today, twice tomorrow, etc. (warm up first), or walking past 20 utility poles.

It isn’t always easy, but for me at least, low carb is the only thing I can do. I can certainly understand that you might not be “ready” at this point in your life, but I believe you can do it. You haven’t mentioned any actual health reasons or reactions that would suggest that you shouldn’t do this. Good luck!

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #15

Have you tried Miracle Noodles? If not, do!

(Lauren) #16

Thank you EVERYONE who has replied! I am going into this with renewed enthusiasm (although, to be fair to myself, I’ve felt this way before starting Keto before). This time I will be more prepared, more patient, and spend time in this group for support. Updates to come, probably on my first or second day.

(Lauren) #17

Thank you Laurie! It really helps to hear it from other people who have been in a similar position and still succeeded at keto.

As for #4, it is winter here (highs in teens some days) so it’s not impossible to walk outside, just not pleasant. But I’m sure that once I got my blood pumping, I’d remember how good it feels to get up and move. I used to run in subzero temps, so I can walk just 30 minutes!

(Clara Teixeira) #18

I have and like them in small amounts. They are higher carb than kelp noodles.

(Lauren) #19

I love this. I feel like I can so relate to this, so I feel like I can do it. My greatest weakness is ice cream. I do like bacon a lot, and cheese. So some sort of cheesy bacony goodness would be a perfect meal for me on this plan.

(Cindy Ward) #20

Well, there you go. :slight_smile: Take a nice piece of cheese, wrap it in a slice of bacon, and tell ice cream to take a hike. Now, once you get past the difficult first days, you’ll want to moderate how much cheese you eat, but at least initially, do what helps.