Why I Quit Keto
If you're following me on Instagram, you are already aware of my decision to transition out of the Ketogenic lifestyle and into a more generalized, "healthy" eating plan that would probably be best categorized as flexible dieting. This is not to say that keto is bad, I just knew from the beginning that it was not going to be something I could sustain long-term, and I was honestly too afraid of carbs to make the official switch to allowing them back into my diet.
First, let me list some things about Keto that has benefited me personally. These obviously do not apply to everyone, but these are some benefits that I found to this lifestyle:
- Weight Loss - This is probably why a large portion of people choose to try the keto diet. It helped me lose weight, and I can't deny that there's definitely something about carbohydrates that can have a huge impact on weight.
- Less Processed Foods - Seeing the carb counts on tons of foods made me realize fairly early on that I was going to have to prep the majority of my meals, which also meant creating dishes from scratch. I enjoy cooking, so it didn't bother me, and it kept me from picking up too many things in the center of the grocery store where most of the processed foods are.
- Math & Cooking Skills - As me before I started keto how many teaspoons in a cup and I couldn't give you the answer without looking it up. I perfected the art of weighing, measuring, and dividing food and really learned what a legitimate portion should look like. P.S - There are 48 teaspoons in a cup (3 TSP in a TBS; 16 TBS in a Cup; so 3x16=48).
Now you're probably wondering, well if there's so many benefits, then why did you quit? Well, without further ado, here's why I quit keto:
1. I Became Obsessed With Numbers - It's one thing to weigh and measure and divide foods, but it becomes an extreme when you find yourself meticulously shaving off slivers of food because it was ONE GRAM over the serving amount. Tracking macros became a huge obsession and I found myself distracted by the numbers rather than enjoying the food I worked so hard to prepare.
2. My Weight Loss Stalled - This goes in part with #1 because the number on the scale is another number I became obsessed with. Watching the weight fluctuate but never budging out of my plateau range of 3-5lbs stressed me out and I forgot how to be proud of the 70lbs I had lost before that and got so worried about losing a few more.
3. Fruit - I personally believe that a "diet" that encourages you to eat salami with cheese as a snack over a banana or peach has some faults. I love fruit, and don't think there's anything to be afraid of when eating them, but it gets to a point in keto where someone learns that a 30g Carb banana is a huge no-no but a 0g Carb serving of cheddar is A-OK and it could lead to the same kind of obsession that I found myself to have.
4. Nagging Thoughts - Sure, fat keeps you satiated. But I never went a meal without thinking about my next one. I was always planning my meals, recipes, and was avoiding going out to eat because I knew I was limited to eating meat & veggies when everyone else was going to dig into a pizza or burger (which I believe is fine in moderation)! I never. stopped. thinking. about. food.
5. Restriction Lead to Binges - I binged. A lot. Technically my "keto" lifestyle was more carb cycling, because I allowed myself one cheat meal a week in order to satisfy any cravings and just let myself live once in a while. Some weeks I could get right back on track, but other weeks I couldn't control myself and my cheat meal would lead to a 3-hour long snack fest of me "just tasting" things here and there until I felt sick and guilty about what I had done to myself. It was psychologically draining.
6. Keto Flu - I have a post titled 'How to Avoid the Keto Flu' so you wouldn't think this would be an issue for me, since I successfully avoided it for the entire first year of being keto. But something must have changed in my body this year (age, maybe?) and I couldn't get into the rhythm. I wouldn't say I showed many of the common symptoms of the Keto Flu, but something was happening and I knew I had to stop. I was sluggish, my workout recovery was completely absent, I was tired, physically exhausted, and I knew it was because of the lack of carbs because I cracked into one of those skinny straws of honey they sell at markets and within 5 minutes of eating it I was perky, alert, and my body felt SO MUCH BETTER. Thanks to just the four measly grams of sugar I just sucked into my body.
While there are some benefits to the keto lifestyle, I personally don't think it's right for me. And let me tell you, within 24 HOURS of deciding I was going to live a more flexible lifestyle, the stress of finding food to eat, the psychologically-draining thoughts and stress about numbers disappeared. I actually feel MUCH MORE confident now that I'm not constantly thinking about food and my weight; and I was able to indulge on my first free day without binging because I know that if I want more, I can just have a little in moderation whenever I want!
Tell me your thoughts - have you been able to sustain a ketogenic lifestyle with success? I want to hear about it! Share with me your struggles of keto and/or success living a low carb life!