Picture this: You’ve been keto for any amount of time now. You go to a restaurant with family and it’s a special occasion. You’re really excited to see your family and you’re also starved. The night opens with great conversation and your favorite cousin came to visit from out of town, so you’re trading inside jokes the whole night. And then the waiter comes.
What’ll you have?
You look back at the waiter and say,
I’ll have a steakhouse burger, no bun, side salad with no croutons and ranch, please.
And here come the eyeballs. They stare at you from all across the table. The waiter asks you to repeat your order, please, and then stumbles on the response. Everyone finishes their orders and when the waiter leaves, their attention lands on you. More specifically, your order.
Are you doing the keto?
Why don’t you eat the rolls they gave us?
Is that ranch really healthier than the croutons?
You’re going to have a heart attack.
Eye-roll. The judgy Aunt is here.
Anyways, this situation is one that I’ve found myself in over and over and over again since starting keto. People will ask all sorts of questions (even some super personal ones that no normal person would ask otherwise, like does your vagina stink because of keto?) but after learning a little bit about the diet and seeing your results, they all ask the same question:
Is the keto diet hard?
And I always tell them the same things. Continue reading this article to learn what I tell these people and why this question is just laughable.
You will have to do some research.
Do you already know what a keto diet is? If you don’t know, it’s a macro-based diet that helps your body adjust to using fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. That may sound like Greek to you, and if it does, then this section definitely applies to you, too.
When I started keto, I immediately had to research the following:
- What are net carbs?
- Why are some sugar alcohols different than others?
- Keto shopping lists
- Keto-friendly recipes
- What is the keto flu?
…and a whole bunch of other stuff, too! Seriously, keto is probably not a diet plan that you’ve been introduced to in your childhood, thanks to “health studies” which were paid for by “Big Food” (there are tons of documentaries on this topic – I recommend The Magic Pill on Netflix for more information about the food industry’s tampering with nutrition recommendations from government agencies).
The research involved when you want to start a new diet is going to be innately hard because you have no idea WTF you are doing. But that’s ok! Keep reading to see why.
Lucky for you, I compiled hundreds of hours of research into a keto-for-beginners style eBook! Check it out here and feel free to share the link to the page with anyone who wants to learn about keto.
You will make mistakes.
Any new diet will teach you new ways of eating and thinking about food. Let’s look at a great quote about mistakes:
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.Albert Einstein
Any new endeavor is going to require some sort of trial and error. Don’t stress out about it. If you’re thinking about going keto, I’m going to give you some advice here:
You will knock yourself out of ketosis on accident.
Don’t sweat it! And when you inevitably do ingest more carbs than planned and find yourself just wanting to get back into ketosis, you’ll need to just KCKO.
KCKO (phrase): Keep Calm and Carry On
This phrase means that when you’re stressed about keto for any reason, you should just CHILL TF OUT and do what you’ve always done!
Don’t mess with a good thing. If you’re already seeing results from the good choices you’ve been making, just continue making those good choices. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is a new day. What you do today is what counts.
Having the courage to jump right into something new, knowing you’ll be making mistakes, is hard. As an Enneagram Type 3, I’m a people pleaser. I like to do things that look good to others. Believe me, I don’t like to make mistakes and I sure as hell don’t like to share them when I do.
But I know that it’s important for everyone to be honest That transparency is what lets others know that we’re all human and that’s what keeps us grounded. Making mistakes is hard but it’s necessary for growth.
It probably goes against everything you’ve ever been told about macros.
One of the pillars of keto is a larger percentage of caloric fat intake than protein and carbs combined. You’ve probably always been told that this was bad.
(psst… keto says otherwise)
I won’t get into the science of why fat is good/bad in this post, but I make this point because it’s important to note that you’re going to have to change your mindset on fat to adopt a keto diet. The keto diet says, “fat, I love you, and I hope we can get closer than we’ve ever been before.”
If you’ve avoided oils, cheese, lard, and pork rinds your whole life, your mind will be blown when those exact foods are the ones to help you achieve weight loss/health goals with keto.
If you straight up don’t like fat, this will also be a big adjustment. But you don’t have to have greasy food to consume fats. Other foods that are high in fat include plant-based options, like pecans, almonds, and avocados, to name a few.
The switch in mindset from the low-fat-high-carb plan to a low-carb-high-fat plan will take some time to learn. It is a change you have to make in your brain. It’s a form of muscle memory, which therefore makes it hard.
But here’s the real kicker.
Keto is ultimately no harder than any other macro-based diet. All diets require research. All diets that have eating protocols different from what you know will cause you to make mistakes. And all diets will introduce some new theory about macro nutrients to you.
Let’s think about this.
When the HCG diet was popular, all of these headings applied to it. (Note: I do not recommend the HCG diet, which is an extreme calorie restriction diet.)
When the South Beach diet came to fruition, all of these headings applied to it.
Hell, if you think about diets from different cultures, they all claim to be the safest for you to consume based on the knowledge that has circulated in that area for centuries.
So is keto hard?
But keto is no different than any other diet, which also requires researching, making mistakes, and adopting new food mindsets.
AND you can do hard things.
What do you guys think about this? Have you already started keto, and is it hard? Or is there something holding you back from taking the plunge?