I was recently asked by someone whether they should start doing the ketogenic diet for weight loss.
I think that this is one question that people wonder about all the time but don’t know who they should ask or even know IF they should ask. I mean, the ketogenic diet has been hailed as an incredible and quick way to lose weight fast! So, why wouldn’t I do it?
As a holistic nutritionist and health practitioner my concern for people using the keto diet for weight loss is not whether it will give results…but whether it will give the person results + health + a long-term sustained healthy weight.
We all want to be a healthy weight, we all want to feel good about our bodies. But do we all understand that weight loss is more than just cutting calories, depriving ourselves of certain foods and sticking to a specific diet regimen? Do you understand that weight loss is actually about a healthy body, healthy eating patterns, healthy mindset and a healthy lifestyle?
Okay, wo what do I mean by that?
I mean that for any person to be at a healthy body weight is more about the lifestyle a person lives every day than doing a diet for quick weight loss. It’s about the mindset they have around the foods they choose to nourish their bodies. It’s about the patterns they commit to around eating. It’s about how they view their body – whether they see it as a gift to be cared for, something to be ‘beaten into submission,’ just a vehicle to get me from here to there (and only give it the cheapest gas), or possibly even the unfortunate results of their genetics.
Whatever your attitude towards your body, the way you think about health, food and fitness, and whatever lifestyle you choose to support (or not) your body, the less (or more) likely you are to be able to be able to follow a diet like the keto diet, the less (or more) likely you will be able to sustain a healthy weight and the more likely (or less) you will be happy with the results you get.
So, the next time you ask yourself whether you should do keto for weight loss, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my current diet like right now? If you regularly nourish your body with whole grains, fruits & vegetables, and healthy fats – you are more likely to understand and live out the discipline needed to sustain a healthy weight after you lose weight with keto.
- What is my attitude towards my body? Do you love your body? Do you seek to support your body’s health emotionally, mentally and physically? Do you take time to care for yourself when you are stressed? Do you think how the foods you put into your body help do the tasks you need to do every day or how they reduce stress and inflammation? If you have an unhealthy relationship with your body, maintaining weight loss after dieting will be very difficult.
- Do I have the discipline TODAY to maintain discipline while following the keto diet? This is a big question: if you don’t have discipline to put healthy things in your body on a daily basis, how do you expect to follow a strict diet for weeks or months?
- Do I live a healthy lifestyle to sustain whatever weight loss I get following the keto diet? (Think: do I exercise? Do I choose healthy, nourishing foods for my body every day?) If you don’t have healthy lifestyle and eating patterns now how are you going to be able to sustain a healthy weight after you end your diet?
Ask yourself these questions and you might be surprised to find that you aren’t in a place to jump on board a diet like keto. You may need to look at putting some healthy lifestyle and eating patterns into place before you do this! You may need to look at putting some healthy mindset goals in place around food, dieting, fitness and body image.