Tue, 23 August 2022 at 2:00 pm
- When I first tried keto, I lost 130 pounds quickly but found that the diet was unsustainable for me.
- Now, I’m counting macros to lose weight and rebuilding my relationship with different kinds of food.
- I want to eat meals that make me feel good about myself without attaching morality to certain foods.
Many people sing the praises of the keto diet, and I used to be one of them. I lost 130 pounds over 14 months while being able to stuff my face with bacon. Although the diet was restrictive, it felt sustainable — until it wasn’t.
I no longer follow the keto diet because I ultimately found it wasn’t suitable for me. For example, following it raised my cholesterol and gave me food fatigue. I also gained a lot of weight back since I stopped doing keto.
Instead, I’m now counting macros — adding up the total number of grams of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats I consume per meal. By counting macros, I’m focusing on getting enough protein to maintain muscle mass while eating in a caloric deficit.
It’s been a few months of following this method, and I already feel happier and less obsessed with my diet.
I’m trying to develop a truly healthy relationship with food
Though keto helped me shed weight quickly, I’m one of those people who didn’t find the diet helpful in every way.
Keto didn’t do me any favors when it came to healing my relationship with food and it furthered my disordered eating by assigning a certain level of morality to what I ate.
If I went out to dinner with my partner and had a few french fries, I had an overwhelming sense of guilt and felt I’d “failed” in some way.
This time around, I’m trying to find a true middle of the road and learn the meaning of moderation, which is easier said than done.
I’m focusing on how food makes me feel rather than how it makes me look
I’d be lying if I said I don’t want to lose the weight I regained after stepping away from keto, but it’s not my primary focus this time.
As I start my macros journey, I have an incredible level of fitness under my belt, which is much different from when I began my keto experience. I’m also approaching food as a vehicle for making me feel stronger and giving me more endurance for workouts.
This is a real mindset change, and I’m more drawn to foods that make me feel good instead of things I feel like I have to eat because they fit a certain diet.
I’m eating fewer processed and ‘keto-fied’ treats
Not everyone on keto falls into this trap, but some of us end up eating a lot of processed foods to make up for what’s missing in our diet.
For instance, when I was on keto, I ate sausage, bacon, and other processed meats on a daily basis. It wrecked my cholesterol levels. Because I couldn’t enjoy regular ice cream or cookies, I’d also load up on protein bars or other keto-friendly versions of treats that were typically high in calories and fat but not very nutritious.
Now that I’m counting macros, I make lean protein my priority and fill my plate with plant-based foods like sweet potatoes, beans, leafy greens, and squash. If I want a cookie, I eat a real one. I still occasionally eat sausage and bacon, too.
I’m learning to practice patience
When I followed the keto diet, it felt great to quickly shed weight but I also found out how unsustainable it was after I gained it back.
My method of counting macros will likely mean it’ll take much longer for me to lose a few pounds. But this time, I don’t want to lose quite as much and I want to do it right.
Above all, I’m treating counting macros as a lifestyle change, not a diet with a finish date and end goal.
Read the original article on Insider