Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs: How Not to Lose Your Mind on Keto
When it comes to diets, the steps we need to take to ensure their success seem pretty simple: do your research, get rid of all the things that aren’t optimal, include the ones that are, and pray to some higher deity you don’t go off the rails before your scale shows you whatever you want to see. No one seems to give too much thought to a very evasive, but crucial side of succeeding at dieting: the mental aspect of it.
As with pretty much anything in life, the mentality we have going into things often determines their outcome. You’ve probably heard the saying “when you become the master of your mind, you become the master of everything”. This is especially true when we talk about introducing any changes to our lifestyle.
How many times have you told yourself “I will start next Monday”, or “New Year, new me”? What is so magical about Mondays or January 1st that makes us believe that postponed tasks will get easier? We simply hope that these days give us extra motivation and mental energy to be better versions of ourselves. Well, what about not only having this “superpower” on Mondays, but actually being able to channel it whenever you need to? If you think this is impossible, think again.
Let’s be honest for a moment: no matter how much you enjoy something, there are moments when you’re just not feeling it. I love music but I don’t want to listen to it 24 hours a day, everyday. This is completely normal - we’re humans, not robots (or are we?), we’re not programmed to be doing the same thing non-stop. We want variety, we want to have a choice, we want something new and fresh because it fills us with excitement. But it’s hard to argue with the fact that, at the same time, we are highly rational creatures that excel at adapting. Now, how do we unlock this wonderful quality that helped us get through, literally, millions of years? It’s quite simple, actually: you just have to be very real about your expectations.
Listen, I can sit here and give you a million ways in which Keto may make you feel better… and it will(I think ‘may’ is better, we can’t guarantee everyone will have the same results) actually be true! I could also tell you that sticking to it long-term is going to be rainbows and butterflies, and super peachy all the time. But I am not going to, because when Keep to Keto first launched, we made it our number one priority to be 100% honest about everything. So, Scout’s Honor.
Unrealistic expectations, or what I like to call them - pink sunglasses, are the reason behind most of our failures in life. The logic here is quite simple: if you aren’t expecting it, you can’t prepare for it. So, how about we just see life for what it really is and stop sugarcoating or pretending that things will always be super easy? Imagine how much free time we’d have.
The honest truth is that some days will be good, some days will be great and some days will be challenging. However, one of the best things about life is that nothing is permanent and challenges are no exceptions to the rule. As long as you’re expecting to have some days that may require more effort, you can’t be caught off guard, since you know for a fact that it will get easier. We don’t succeed at things because there aren’t ever any bumps in the road, we succeed because we keep going. The key here is to see every challenge as an opportunity for personal growth and development: after all, calm seas never made a good sailor, and isn’t this the whole point of any diet - becoming better versions of ourselves?
Sticking to Keto doesn’t mean only giving up carbs - your perfectionism has to go with them. By default, perfectionism is a great quality, but trying to be perfect all the time can tend to become overwhelming. Messing up doesn’t mean that you’ve failed, so learn to see your mistakes for what they are - just mistakes. It’s irrational and impractical to think that one can do everything perfectly for every minute of their lives. No one expects you to be a superhuman and you shouldn’t have that expectation from yourself either. Make mistakes, in fact, make many, just don’t let it distract you from the main goal...
Which actually leads me to my next point: perseverance. Imagine the following scenario: I only have 30 free minutes per day when I can go for a walk. I can choose to either get up and get going, or just wave it off and say that 30 minutes won’t make any difference, so why even try. True, 30 minutes won’t make much of a difference, but the thing is that we’re not talking about 30 minutes, we are talking about 3.5 hours per week, 14 hours per month, 168 (!) hours per year. Sometimes it’s enough to do the bare minimum for it to snowball into this massive thing that has seemingly appeared out of nowhere. And to go back a step: say I wasn’t perfect, missed some days and didn’t take that walk. In fact, let’s say I’ve missed half of them! It’s still 84 hours more than zero, which is what I’d get if I just said “why even bother”.
All in all, me and you can sit here and count carbs, make perfect Keto recipes, meal plans and braid each other’s hair all day long, but essentially none of this will actually matter unless we have the tools we need to stick to it. Be realistic, ditch perfectionism and keep going forward.
Oh, and don’t forget: this is a journey, so relax a little and enjoy the ride.