KETO: NEW EVIDENCE COMPARED TO OLD WAYS OF THINKING
The keto lifestyle is a difficult adjustment for those who’ve never tried anything like it. Therefore, a support system is vital to your success on the ketogenic diet, that’s just how it is. Unfortunately, many of the hundreds of keto stories we hear at niKETO start with how shocked new ketoers are at the ways their family and friends treat them when they let it be known that they are trying a new way of living to help themselves lose weight, combat type 2 diabetes, or just eat for more energy.
Human behavior is funny, some things we hear once and immediately believe and latch onto. Other new ideas we hear and choose to ignore, we actively avoid evidence contrary to our opinions on a subject. Even when a new idea presents a better way of doing something positive for ourselves, at times, we will refuse to believe it for whatever reason. We are strange creatures. But these cognitive biases are why it’s often times difficult for our friends and families, the people we trust the most and depend on the most, to accept our new lifestyle choice when we begin keto.
Keto flies in the face of every nutritional lesson we been taught since grade school. A majority of us grew up hearing about how bad fat is and how fat makes you fat. Now we know that fats come in many forms and that cutting them completely is horrible for your body. But some persist in believing that eating fat is the casue of an unhealthy America. This is a bias called anchoring where the first piece of information someone leans becomes their ardent belief and the basis to which all other evidence must be compared.
But the first piece of information we are fed is very often not the best info. Nutritional guidelines in the U.S. have undergone major changes over the years. In the 1940s people were taught the Basic 7 food group chart. In the mid 50s America switched to the 4 food groups. In the early 90s we moved to the food pyramid, which changed again in 2005 when it became the MyPyramid system. Six short years later we’ve officially moved to the MyPlate nutritional guide. You know what else used to be prescribed as part of a healthy diet? Cigarettes. That’s right, even into the 1970s a hefty dose of cigarette smoking was considered by DOCTORS to add to your healthy way of living. So what’s the point of all this? A simple message that something we’ve been told in the past shouldn’t be the concrete foundation of our beliefs when it comes to diet. Now that you know this bias exists, you can try to understand where your family and friends are coming form when they think you’re crazy for jumping on the keto diet to make your life better. They simply don’t get it… yet.
KETO SUPPORT: FAMILY AND FRIENDS
For those of us who have to deal with nay-saying friends and family, the keto journey can be more daunting. Family functions and friends’ barbecues where carbs are abundant can be hard and tempting on their own, but when you stick to keto and the people you trust most start waiving bread and potatoes in your face because they think your new choices are funny, it can be downright infuriating.
Instead of getting mad and going on the defensive, try to recognize their biases and see why they are dismissive and jokey. Often times it’s because they don’t understand. Cut them a little slack, they haven’t done the research you’ve done that has lead you to keto. If they want to know more about keto explain the basics to them the way you wanted the basics explained to you when you first looked into the diet. Be open to sharing without being preachy. If you make them feel like they are wrong or stupid for not also doing it then you are going to have a much tougher time in the long run.
Much of the social pressure pushing back against ketoers comes from people who’ve never heard about severely limiting carbs and are stuck in their old ways. This often times translates to the people you care about -and who care about you- fighting you on your decision because they are concerned for you. Fear of the unknown is a major factor here, and fear most times leads to negative assumptions. Your uniformed circle of loved-ones is concerned that you may be eating yourself to death. Simply explain to them that you’ve done your research –that you’d be happy to share- and that you know keto is going to help you reach your health goals.
One great way to show your friends and family how great keto can be is to have them experience it. niKETO is opening a 100% keto restaurant in the Los Angeles area, the first of its kind, started by passionate ketoers who want everyone to be able to experience how delicious, affordable, and fun keto can be. Bring your family and group of friends to niKETO and let them taste for themselves just how good keto really is. A fun evening dining in a beautiful place while eating delectable keto food is a great way to prove to your detractors that keto isn’t a fad diet, it’s a lifestyle based on health and wellness.
From here you just go about your keto lifestyle and collect the compliments when you have:
Smooth, glowing skin
A ton more energy
Mentally broken the hold unhealthy foods have had on you for years
Suddenly, your family and friends see how well your new lifestyle is working, their criticism disappears, and their curiosity in keto grows.
The first 2 months were the hardest. My fiancée and I started keto after the holidays and after gaining 20 pounds each in the last year. We come from the Midwest where eating is an event and turning down Nana’s stuffing is a sin. Both our families and most of our friends thought we were crazy and that we’d been trapped by a fad diet. They made fun and asked the silliest questions about keto just to get a rise from us. But we ignored them and kept going with it, and by June we had lost the 20 pounds we set out to lose and an additional 10 and 15 pounds each. Now my fiancé’s parents have both started keto and all of my soon to be bridesmaids are doing the keto diet.
-Anonymous Ketoer’s tale of woe turned success story
CREATE YOUR KETO SUPPORT NETWORK, DON’T WAIT FOR IT TO COME AROUND
This tale of keto loneliness and ostracization is, sadly, not all that uncommon for new ketoers. Luckily, keto has been around for a while and enough people have found success on it that there is a stable of educated ketoers out there who are walking examples of the keto-lifestyle benefits. Most ketoers are more than happy to share their journey, their victories, their setbacks, their recipes, and their tales of struggle with acceptance. Reach out to the keto community and forge relationships with the ketoers who’ve been there. There are forums online where you can chat anonymously with learned ketoers. You can meet up on meetup.com with groups dedicated to keto and low carb living. Read the blogs and join the facebook and Instagram pages for keto. Even if you’re too shy to talk to people, exposing yourself to a constant stream of keto success stories will inspire you to keep it up.
And of course, you’re always welcome to contact us here at eatniketo.com using our contact email -firstname.lastname@example.org- with any questions you may have. Like us on facebook and join our community of supportive ketoers who will have your back.