I can blame it on willpower.
I can blame it on my weakness to commit to an eating plan or lifestyle longer than a few months.
Or I can be honest with myself and pinpoint the simple reason I quit keto – carbs.
I missed carbs.
I quit keto because I couldn’t and didn’t want to live without carbs.
Call it pathetic. Call it weak. Call it what you like, but after nearly six months of carefully moderating my diet and omitting out the very things that brought me so much joy, I had had enough.
I could not handle the restrictive nature of the keto diet. I could not handle not being able to have a bowl of warm oats on a chilly morning. I could not handle the thought of having to order an Americano when I really wanted a latte. I was tired of substituting almond meal and coconut flour into my favourite baked goods. I was bored with bacon, avo, eggs and cheese. Yes, really.
I’ll be honest with you – the keto diet was really tough for me. I’m one of those emotional eaters who seeks out comfort foods in times of stress. I’ve grown up drinking sweet, milky tea (British style), and it’s an integral part of my afternoon. Going keto meant forgoing this, and I cannot tell you how such a small thing shifted my mood.
The struggles of eating out
Eating out was a challenge. Since we cook at home often (probably 6 times a week), eating out was a treat. A cheat meal if you will. I’d look forward to having a pizza or a burger or something with an element of carbohydrates. The guilt that keto added to my life wasn’t making me happy. When I wanted something as simple as a bagel with lox, I’d guilt-trip myself into thinking that it was ‘bad’ or ‘unhealthy’, and those value judgements weren’t helping me.
***One positive was learning how delicious the In-N-Out cheeseburger was ‘animal style’ (sans bun)***
I learned that if my ‘lifestyle change’ made me feel like I needed ‘cheat days’, then that wasn’t a good sign. Having to make time to eat and enjoy the things I craved and missed wasn’t a healthy way of looking at food.
I also learned that if my moderation comes from a place of fear, then it is actually restriction. I was tired of fearing the big bad wolf (carbs), and restricting myself from a basic pleasure.
All-in-all, I lost a few kilos (maybe 2 or 3) and definitely had less bloating. I can thank keto for that. I was also drinking enough water for an army and peeing like a racehorse (thanks keto). I learned how to substitute keto-friendly ingredients in my cooking, and spent a fortune on butter and bacon. Those are probably the only positive takeaways from my time on that eating plan.
I’m happier. I feel free. I eat what I want and view all food from a healthier place. If I want it then I eat it. If it makes me feel good and is nutritionally-dense, all the better for me. I don’t feel the need to binge anymore (hello Friday night pizza and ramen binges).
I can cook any recipe I wish, without stressing about how to sub the ‘bad’ things for keto-friendly ingredients. I’ve been craving a rich and creamy risotto with butternut, but keto did not allow such temptations.
Post-keto, I’ve managed to perfect my risotto and am thoroughly enjoying the hours I spend in the kitchen.
Surely these are all positive changes. My weight has remained the same, but my mindset is in a happier place.
If keto is working for you, WONDERFUL! I support you and am thrilled that you can live a happy life devoid of carbs.
I simply cannot, will not and shall not.
Have you quit keto? How do you feel now?
Let me know your thoughts below.