There is not a “One-Size-Fits-All” Diet. I know this to be the case because not only have I tried the gamut of weight loss plans, but I have seen people thrive on high carb low fat, while others swear by low carb high fat.
In this blog post, I will help you discover how to know when you are eating right for your body, how to identify signs that Keto isn’t working for you, and my personal conclusions on what longterm weightloss plan has gotten in the best shape of my life postpartum & have helped dozens of clients do the same.
Before we get started, I am in no way bashing the Keto diet. I actually find it hugely beneficial for some and I love that there is a resurge of fat not being something to be afraid of. Fat can be fuel and it doesn’t make you fat. It’s healthy to incorporate healthy fats for our brain function, hormone balance, and the overall health of our body. Take this post as a sample of myself and several clients who truly wanted to make Keto “fit,” but just didn’t have success.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOU’RE EATING RIGHT FOR YOU
The best “diet” (in my opinion) must have the flexibility to customize to suit each person’s individual needs. So how do you know when you’ve struck gold and found the plan that fits you, your lifestyle, your genetics, and your metabolism?
Here are a few signs I recommend looking for:
- You wake up with energy and in a good mood
- You feel more energetic after you eat – not lethargic and sleepy
- You lose weight easily
- You can pinpoint when your body is holding on water weight
- You are tuned in to your body’s needs
- Cravings are a thing of the past
- Your blood tests show you are healthy
- Your digestion is on point (2-3 eliminations/ day)
- Exercise doesn’t leave you exhausted
- You handle stress well
- You fall asleep easily and wake feeling well-rested
- Your body feels good and you have a strong sense of wellbeing
- You view your food as fuel you are grateful for
While these signs are a good guide for you to aim for, understand that there are cycles to life. Energy may not always be overflowing, emotions can sometimes trigger comfort food eating, and stress might creep in and consume you for a little while, either way, don’t beat yourself up. You are human, do the best you can do. Hold the food in your hand and ask your body if this food would serve it. If you feel a resounding “YES!”, then eat it!!
SIGNS THE KETO DIET ISN’T WORKING FOR YOU
When I first heard of Keto, I was ecstatic to try it. No one had heard of it and it was far from mainstream like it is today. I thought I had stumbled upon my very own secret weight loss plan. Being Vegan, I had to tweak the recommendations a bit but some of my go-tos were Coconut Fat Bombs, Avocados, and Tahini.
Here are a few things that happened to me (the 2 months I gave it my all) that signaled to me that the Keto Diet wasn’t my cup of tea. I also added in a few of my client’s experiences that were clear indicators that they should switch away from “strict” Keto.
Liver and Kidneys become taxed
When Ketone levels become too high, it can become toxic to your liver and kidneys
It goes against your natural instincts on what feels healthy
I believe in making a lifestyle choice. I enjoy carbs just as much as I enjoy fats and proteins. My natural inclination to grab an apple was “against keto rules.” I have seen many non-vegans eat a ton of bacon and cheeses throughout their day and “technically” that was Keto… That is not a sustainable or healthy way of eating.
Muscles look flatter (missing that pump)
Low Vibe/ Upset Mood
No matter how much you drink, you can feel satisfied.
Have a hard time eating that much fat
Eating fat feels hard and you have to choke it down.
IG side effects don’t go away
Constantly constipated, vomiting, nausea, “Keto Flu”
You’re an athlete, or your body runs better on glucose.
While there are some successful athletes who praise keto, numerous studies over the past few decades show carbohydrates are the primary macronutrient to sustain and improve physical performance. Put another way, carbs are most beneficial for many athletes. Of course, more carbs doesn’t mean nose-diving into glazed doughnuts. Instead, incorporate more nutrient-dense carbs like sweet potatoes and mixed berries.
For me, my workouts were suffering. As hard as I pushed, I still failed to hit PRs and my energy was fleeting. The second I began to incorporate my protein oats in the morning again, my energy was back.
I noticed this in my cycle. I went from being regular to going a month plus with no period.
MY SUGGESTIONS FOR LONGTERM HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS
Say goodbye to sugar.
While low glycemic fruit sugar is fine, understand you are getting fiber and tons of antioxidants that help you digest that sugar. Anything with added sugar, fruit juices, candies, bread/grains/pasta (that convert to sugar quickly) should be consumed infrequently. Studies show that sugar (and high fructose corn syrup) consumption is strongly associated with an increased risk of obesity, as well as conditions including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Don’t just assume because it says “gluten-free,” it isn’t packed with sugar. Don’t assume because it says “Vegan,” its healthy. It might have zero sugar but the first ingredient it sucralose. It might have zero sugar but the first ingredient it sucralose. Advertisements are smart. They love following trends like “non-GMO, Sugar-Free, Fat-Free, Keto”.. all these words they can slap on a label and know it will make you reach for it on the shelves.
Taking Probiotic supplements containing bacteria of the Lactobacillus subfamily have been shown to reduce fat mass. I love these ones because they have an encapsulation delivery system which means all those great probiotics aren’t broken down by the stomach.
While not diet related, lifting weights has transformed the composition of my body. Don’t buy into the “women who lift get bulky.” I am actually 10 lighter than my body pre-baby, way more toned, and feel tight & strong in my body. When my clients begin to lift, the see huge results in just a few weeks on there pre/postnatal fitness program.
Don’t do fad diets
The grapefruit diet, Atkins, Dukan, Lemon Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet, and soooo many more claim they are the key to help you lose weight. The thing is, while you might lose weight in the first 1-3 months, there is a plateau that happens. Your body simply adjusts to the new style of eating and stops losing weight. Even worse than not losing weight is muscle loss and metabolic slowdown, you don’t want this to happen. Don’t be looking for the quick fix. Look for the lifestyle you can sustain for a lifetime.
Eat more fiber
Keeps you fuller for longer and keeps you regular. “In addition to weight control, higher fiber diets can also help to prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Focus on foods high in fiber rather than relying on supplements.
Drink more water
Eat more colorful plants
Eat more protein + fats
Cooking your veggies and proteins in avocado oil shouldn’t be something to be afraid of. I do find that while I am not “strict keto,” I do love cooking my veggies in some oil. It makes me feel fuller for longer and more satiated after a meal. Protein boosts metabolism and reduces hunger. So make sure you are getting an adequate amount of protein with every meal.
Eat Real Food
No more processed junk. Shop about the outside of the grocery store. Eat foods that are living, not foods that were created in a factory. The more you can focus your meals around whole plant-based REAL food, the easier weight loss will be for you.
I hope you enjoyed these tips on how to know why keto might not have worked for you. If you have any comments or questions, I would love to hear them. Don’t forget to follow me or reach out on IG!!- plantingseedsmamma.
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