Now that I have been hanging out on this forum regularly for quite some time, I am detecting some trends.
Many new adherents post in frustration because they have started this way of eating and they are a week, a month, 3 months in and they are not seeing the dramatic results they had expected in a short amount of time.
Here’s some tough love, that you didn’t ask for - you might have to wait, you might have to become more patient. You are going to have to change your mindset with regard to anything being a quick fix. This way of eating is a lifestyle change and involves changing life long eating habits. You may have to adjust your tastes. This is not an easy fix. It will take some dedication and time to adjust. Yes, there are people that come on here who have lost 20 - 30 pounds their first month, but many of those people tend to be obese and are carrying a lot of water. It’s not possible for the body to process that amount of fat in such a short amount of time. If your body isn’t hanging on to that much water, you are not going to lose that much starting out but that doesn’t mean this isn’t worth pursuing.
I have been eating this way for close to a year now and have ‘only’ taken off 40 pounds. In some months, my loss has been less than a pound, in others I have taken off 7-10 so my average is something like 3.8/month. The weight loss is NOT linear. Prior to that I’d taken off 67 over a much longer period of time so this way of eating, despite feeling so ‘slow’ at times has been superior in several ways.
The reason it has been superior is because after the initial agony of getting over sugar, I have never felt so in control of my appetite and I haven’t had this kind of physical energy since my 20s (I’m in my early 50s) and I’ve never had the mental clarity that I have now. I have no fear about gaining this weight back. Before I’d work hard doing something, and it never got any easier, I felt hungry a lot, I’d lose like 30 pounds and then the loss would stop for several months then suddenly I’d start to gain back again. I couldn’t sustain long term what I was doing - which was trying to operate at a calorie deficit.
I see a lot of binary thinking in some of these posts. If someone falls off the wagon one meal, they throw in the towel and stop this way of eating for several days. A slip isn’t a catastrophe. Perfection is often the enemy of ‘good enough.’ If you have a single slip up, learn from it and try not to make the same mistake again. One thing I’ve learned, eat before going to potlucks or bring exactly what you can eat and only eat that. We are all human beings, we all make mistakes. Don’t feel guilty or shame yourself because that makes it harder for you to get back on the wagon.
A lot of this mental. It’s important to be introspective and to get to know yourself. If you are a stress eater, recognize that and substitute another habit when you start to feel stressed out. I drink unsweetened herbal tea now or I stretch and breathe. There are a lot of ‘comforting’ activities that don’t involve ingesting carbohydrates. Another thing I realized about me is that if I told myself I would NEVER eat certain foods again, I wouldn’t be able to stick with this. Consequently, every several months I allow myself to eat something that I don’t normally eat. But it’s one meal and it’s every 3 to 4 months so although I’ll see a temporary gain - which I am willing to take, it’s gone the next week and I’ve only set myself back about two weeks, which in the whole scheme of things is nothing. Now, if I did this every month, that would be a problem but every several months, I don’t habituate back to eating that way and I still show reasonable loss for the period of time.
Sometimes we have to accept that we are not going to get everything we want. There might not be a keto substitution. I used to love the taste of ‘sweet’ I had to get over that to be successful with this. Some of us cannot do artificial sweetener even if it’s ‘keto approved’ - I don’t know if it’s a Pavlovian thing where our body shoots up insulin expecting for sugar to hit the blood stream or it does something to liver that makes it difficult to process fat but some of us gain using it. It is possible to change your taste preferences. We switched from diet soda to sparkling water years ago. We don’t miss it anymore. We now find it refreshing. I used to love margaritas - I have replaced them with high quality sipping tequila with a lime wedge.
People have a hard time giving up the foods they love and I think it is because they are focusing on what they are giving up rather than what they are gaining. Instead of thinking, “Oh no, giving up my daily chai latte with pumpkin bread, I could never do that” better to think of what we are gaining - better health and overall well being in the long run. Change that mental habit, and this will be much easier to accomplish.
Yes, I know nobody asked me and this is long, but but I wish I’d known all of this years ago - it would have been so much nicer to learn all of this in my 30s rather than in my 50s so I am putting out there for anyone who might be struggling and getting ready to throw in the towel. After taking off almost 110 pounds total, it feels so good to shop in the regular section of the store, it feels so good to not turn to ice cream or cookies during times of emotional distress, it feels so good to have mental and physical energy all day. I went to an event the other night where I saw several old acquaintances that I haven’t seen in the past year or two and not going to lie, it felt great to see the looks on their faces and to hear “you look fabulous!” multiple times that evening. All those things have been worth every bit of hassle that I undertook to convert to this way of eating and they will be for you too! Stay the course!