Just getting started but maybe too old/stubborn


#1

Hello all - what a wealth of information and experience this site has - thank you for that!
So I’ve decided to give it a shot. After 48 years of eating what I wanted, when I wanted, in volumes that would disgust a horse, I’m going to try to make a change. I come from a semi stereotypical Italian American environment. Tons of pasta, pizza, breads, and all the heaviest carb meals, all day, every day. I’m also a stress eater, and as the father of three teens, you can probably guess what those levels are like. But I’m done making excuses.

I’ve flipped the switch one week ago. None of my customary foods have been enjoyed. I am eating a lot of eggs, chicken and some veggies (cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts). I switched from soda (coke zero, mostly) to water (which I can’t stand) and so far, am down just over 5 lbs in my first week. Yesterday I even bought some of those ketone testing strips and am somewhere between the small and moderate readings (15-42) but closer to moderate for sure. Or maybe that’s just hopeful thinking, I can’t really be sure at this point!

Anyway, I’m babbling now but I do hope that visiting here regularly will help me stick to it. I’d fight a pack of rabid wolverines for a piece of toast or a plate of capellini but I’m going to go sear some salmon and have some hard boiled eggs instead.

When does this get easier? Hoping I’m not too old/set in my ways to do this. I’d love to get healthier and drop another 10-15 lbs (I’m down 30 so far on my journey).

Thanks for taking the time to read my drivel!


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

It gets easier when your attitude changes from what you had to give up to what you gain by the effort. You don’t say much about your health/current condition, but I have to presume based on what little you mention it’s not great or you wouldn’t be here. So I’d guess what you’re ‘giving up’ has been a slow-mo train wreck. What you will gain is better health and longevity and avoidance of the inevitable final outcome of that train wreck you’ve stepped away from. It will start getting easier as soon as you start noticing changes. They will be small at first because there’s a lot of damage to fix, but they will steadily accumulate. Every step along the way there are folks on this forum who have been there done that and gone past it to better. You can and will as well if you stick to it. Just remind yourself however often you need that good things are worth the effort. Best wishes and welcome to the forum.


#3

Another former carb loaded Italian here, it’s way easier than it seems. I’ll start by saying things like those coke zero’s can save you when it comes to you NEEDING to eat something, many will tell you stay away from them because of the fake sweeteners and SOME people have some issues with them, but many of us don’t. Making this more restrictive than it needs to be never ends well. Your next best friend, ground pork rinds. I’ll link what I use, think Chicken Parm, Chicken cordon blue, I’m not affraid of veggie carbs usually so we also do eggplant parm. chicken sandwiches etc. I’d say invest in an air fryer. BEST thing I ever got. I’ve got a Ninja Foodi which is a combo pressure cooker and air fryer. Used to deep fry but beef tallow gets real expensive, it’s messy and vegetable oil is just short of industrial waste so air fry it was.

Today’s chicken

The Chicken, bacon, cheddar, garlic mayo sandwich it became

I also do that with chicken parm, burgers etc. This does NOT have to be restrictive if you don’t want it to be. To be fair, even on low carb bread 2 of those slices is 12g net, so if you’re only giving yourself ~20g that’s half your day gone, BUT a meal like that can VERY easily replace what could have otherwise been on binge on a non keto friendly sandwich.


#4

I can sooo relate :smiley:

Don’t worry, people can change a lot if they really want a better woe, better health… I did. I am lucky, though, I like my food very much.

When it gets easier? It’s individual. Before my low-carb years keto was plain impossible for me (I tried and quit the first day, it felt bad). Afterwards it was easy enough from day 1 (there were some hardships and challenges, sure but they were more fun than annoying) - except when I got tempted and therefore quit for a while but health-consciousness and valuing other important things where keto can help, determination and some training to want the right things are powerful. I never was tempted in the first months, I had a goal (fat adaptation, first of all) and I got my reward. You make new, better habits… Habits are very strong for most of us I presume. In the beginning keto was novel, interesting, I love experimenting! And later I already had half-formed habits… I got new and new recipes, I modified them as my woe changed a lot even on keto… I often practiced my keto habits even off keto… So things got natural, normal, the usual… Eating in the way I did before (I mean my old low-carb) would be way harder now, I mean for longer term. I automatically come back to keto soon if I go off. I can’t not to, I feel the pull and my knowledge agrees.

Pasta and grains, that was simple. I cut sugar and grains and potatoes and dry legumes one day and these stopped being food in my eyes (except a few times a year, there were exceptions) and it lasted for 5 years but I had new habits then. Maybe it doesn’t help you but this is how it happened in my life. Going paleo and a month later low-carb was the easiest thing ever. The only addiction that didn’t go away immediately with the right diet is coffee. But I can live with that for a while more.

It’s important to have the style that suits you. Some keto style would be torture to me but I do my own style, they change, I always did that was realistic, enjoyable. If something didn’t work, I tried to change it for the better.
Keto isn’t very fixed, I liked that. You don’t need fixed macros, fixed percentages, there is no food group you must eat or what you must avoid (it’s tricky in some cases and not advisable but in the beginning I needed the freedom that I eat whatever I want and able to squeeze into my day)… I often see people using some super rigid, fixed keto style even if it doesn’t suit them. I never made my life harder like this but I am fine with breaking almost every “rules” people think we should follow. I just do keto, not some people’s fixed idea about it.

Good luck! :slight_smile:


#5

It looks fabulous!

My 45g keto bun has 2.4g net carbs so there are lower-carb keto breads (and I have carnivore flatbreads too… not like I would need bread normally but they are nice and maybe we have an oversalted stew again, they helped then) but your attitude is similar to mine. If I can afford spending my allowance for a small thing and it’s worth it for me and especially if I save myself from quitting keto or being super miserable (when many of us tend to quit keto), why not?
I can imagine spending 15g net carbs on fruits on some day in the future… But I never could do that while I ate vegetables and nuts. Now I can.
Sometimes such a luxury keep us on track…


#6

Curiosity, and not knocking your bread, but does it actually taste like bread?.. or are you very aware you’re eating a bread substitute? That was the big one for me that made me stop trying low carb breads for a while. This stuff would never be detected as a “tweaked” loaf of bread. It’s even with all the “normal” bread in the aisle. I tried for years to find a good bread replacement and never succeeded. Always ran into weird concoctions, breads made with egg that you have to buy frozen and keep refrigerated etc. Big one for me is I’m not at a 20g limit so eating 12g in a sandwich isn’t a big deal. But always looking for other options.


#7

I use a known recipe and others say it’s like normal bread. My opinion is vastly different.
I never ever will feel a keto bread similar to a normal bread but it’s the best recipe I ever tried for a low-carb bread (but I refuse to use some common ingredients, I can’t even try recipes using them). A very carby stuff can’t be emulated, carbs are extremely apparent, at least almost always and it’s very true for bread. Wheat flour alone can’t be substituted keeping the flavor, even other starchy flours taste very different. At least my senses are like this, I am aware we humans are very different. Ketoers often talk about weird things while I don’t believe in substitutions that are very similar to the original. Maybe a few exceptions exist but it’s very tricky even then. I love nice substitutes that are different from the original especially when I don’t even like the original :slight_smile: But I don’t want to feel I eat carby stuff. I don’t want most carby stuff… It’s a bit like vegans and faux meat (meat is another thing that can’t be emulated as only meat has a chance for a meat flavor. tasteless meat may be emulated but I don’t care about that)…
If I wanted the original feeling, I would eat the original. I don’t particularly like wheat bread, at least what I bake every week, that’s not my style. My bread should be eggy, not too much but noticeably! Eggs are great. Actually, simply eating eggs instead of bread sounds good and simple too… (Can I spread Marmite on boiled eggs? Probably…)

My keto bread has its uses but it’s not so tasty (unless I add lots of spice, that was great). I use it when I totally need something with a bread texture, when I want to spread tasty things on it.
It makes a great pizza-like stuff too, it’s extremely similar to my normal pizza-like stuff (I am very choosy about my pizza, only a few places in my country are good enough for me to call the stuff real pizza) but only if I make a thin crust. I totally love it with thick too but it’s very clearly keto bread dough then.

If I don’t need to spread anything on it, I don’t need bread. I either eat some proper food (eggs or meat or both) or (if the goal is eating gluten, once I had no other option to get satiated while keeping my carbs low) seitan. Much better than my keto bread. But it’s sometimes nice to eat bread with lard and my keto bread fulfills this role beautifully.

A somewhat carby keto bread is pointless to me. Of course, we are quite different and need a different approach and items, it’s fine this way. I am not one who wants bread. I only like one kind of sandwich and it’s way better without bread. I don’t need bread with my food since almost a decade.
If someone wants wheat bread, they either can be tricked or not. Maybe they accept a somewhat similar but clearly different substitute as the best possible solution…


(Jane) #8

It takes a while for the carb withdrawals and carb cravings to subside… but eventually they do. Just give it time.

My husband was mostly healthy and only needed to lose about 20 lbs and decided to do keto with me to support me and not have to fix separate meals.

He HATED it and missed his toast and bagels and whined and complained incessantly. At a restaurant when they would bring the basket of rolls he would scowl and grumble “we can’t have those” like he was being punished… I’m sure that’s just what it felt like to him.

I was ready to ask him to stop keto as it was worse than eating carbs in front of me. After about 6 weeks when his joints stopped hurting and the cravings went away he was all onboard and was never going back. Rolls were brought to the table and not given a second glance. May as well been the salt shaker as it had no pull on him now.

Good luck!


(Jeff S) #9

@JustADad
Re water: Get yourself a SodaStream and some lemons or lemon juice. Makes drinking lots of water easy.


(Give me bacon, or give me death.) #10

Carbohydrate has an addictive effect on some people, and sugar even more so. There are psychological techniques you can use, borrowed from the Twelve-Step programmes, such as as not swearing off for ever (that can lead to bingeing) but rather trying to postpone the next carb till tommorrow (you can have all you want tomorrow, just not today). I find that is generally sufficient. It also helps to have keto-friendly alternatives available, such as cheese, pepperoni, pork rinds, and the like, to snack on. The simplest way to think of this way of eating is that you want minimally-processed fresh, real foods, not processed grains, starches, or refined sugars.

It also helps mitigate the carb cravings if you are eating enough food to satisfy your hunger. Not only that, but there are “ketofied” recipes for most carb-laden foods. You might want to give some of them a try, to see if they work for you. (I find I am sensitive to the taste of eggs in keto “bread” recipies, even though I love eggs otherwise. Your mileage is guaranteed to vary.)

I don’t particularly enjoy the taste of still water, so I drink Seltzer or club soda. But my all-time favorite beverage is coffee (with tea a distant second), which I prefer black and unsweetened. But if you need flavour in your coffee or tea, consider heavy cream, and possibly an artificial sweetener. Opinions about the latter are divided in the keto world, but they can be a useful crutch. I prefer most things, even chocolate, unsweetened these days, but it took a while for my tastes to change.

You’re getting a lot of helpful information in this thread. Just keep calm and keto on, and you’ll be fine. And if you need to vent, or encounter a victory to share, well, that’s what we’re here for!


(Georgia) #11

Welcome aboard! And you’re never too old to make the switch to keto. As said previously, your mindset plays a good part in whether this will be a sustainable change for you.

There are plenty of “keto” versions of breads and pastas on the market. A lot more than when I did the original Atkins program back in 1972! Just do an internet search on “keto whatever” and I’m sure you’ll get plenty of ideas.


#12

Thank you all for the warm welcome, supportive words, and kind suggestions. Very much appreciate it!

I was able to drop the first 30 lbs before quarantine by dramatically changing my diet and actually started exercising for the first time in my adult life. So I know I am capable of change - and you guys are right - there are a lot of options out there, and with support like this, I simply won’t allow myself to fail.

Thank you again :slight_smile:


(Susan) #13

Welcome to the forum =). I wish you all the best in your Keto Journey.

Please make sure to post any questions that you may have. We have a lot of friendly, helpful group of people here that all want you to succeed =).


(Christy Dyson) #14

I always thought it takes about 3 week to make it a habit. (for me anyway) AFter three weeks of keto, I knew I would never turn back. I have a similiar history minus the teens. LOL Ahhh, I remember those keto stix. They do help boost conifidence in the beginning. Eventually, they dissapear, when you become fat adapted. Im about 16 months Keto, and never felt better. Its great not to be always wanting bad foods. Good luck in your Journey. There are tons of great folks here, that helped me in the beginning.


(Jane) #15

Not for everyone LOL. I can still turn a pee stick purple and I have been fat adapted for over 2 years now. But still good for newbies to know in case they get worried they are “doing something wrong” when they stop turning purple.


(Ken) #16

I still turn’em purple after nearly 20 years.


(Jane) #17

You WIN!!! :laughing:


(Diana ) #18

You are the perfect person to do this diet, and if you can stick to it, your results will be spectacular. Because of your lifestyle, it will be a hard start, but I want to encourage you.

I’ve been down this road before, let the carbs creep back in, regained weight and got less healthy. Got back on it almost five months ago. Weight loss is very slow for me, I’m over 60, female, and fairly sedentary. But that’s ok, because you should see the results of the bloodwork from my physical at about a month in. They were PERFECT! I also have been enjoying a marked lack of joint pain, something that had begun to seem normal.

Keep going, you’re doing great!


(Mike) #19

I used to crave ice cream.

Now I have to resist too much bacon !

You got this.