Keto, Carbs and Calories


More antics at the office. |Up until recently I've had a job that kept me very physically active. I walked all day long at work, often to the point of exhaustion. Now, due to some health issues, I have an office job (as I've mentioned almost weekly!). With a sedentary position comes a host of issues; sitting all day is a new thing for me and I'm not sure that I like it. I miss flitting around, always being on the go. I work in a hospital and I enjoyed seeing the various people I know and like on the different floors as I went about my day.

Several of the women I work with are trying to lose weight, which is frustrating for them because they, too, are sitting for most of the day. I've only been there for about two and a half months, but I've already heard several of them cycle through their various diets. Currently on the table is the keto diet. Now, I have to admit I've tried this – I was a vegetarian a the time, and I don't need to lose weight, but I was curious. I tend to do that – I get curious about a particular thing, a diet, or an exercise, and then I give it a whirl. I lasted about a week on keto. The carb cravings were overwhelming and after a couple of days, even the thought of more eggs, or cheese was enough to turn my stomach. I just could not do it.

I understand what it is to struggle with weight – I've been there. It's difficult, always thinking about it, and trying to be more healthy – feeling guilty every time you “cheat”. Diets are set up for failure – they're almost impossible to maintain over the long term and this time of year women are thinking about summer, and bathing suits, and shorts and how badly they want to drop a few pounds.

So I'm watching my coworker the other day snacking on pepperoni sticks and cheese and planning a keto dinner – she and another coworker are comparing food and results, and I get it, I really do. Ultimately though, it comes down to healthy eating. While there may be weight loss by limiting or completely cutting out carbs, there is, I believe, a price to pay for that. The body needs a balance of the macro nutrients: fats, carbs and protein. They, all three, are important and they all do their own jobs for the body. Most people on a western diet consume far more protein than their body needs as well as far more sugar (myself included).

I've done a lot of diets in my time, low fat, low carb, low calorie, liquid, intermittent fasting (I still do this periodically; I like giving my guts a break once in awhile), but in the end it really just comes down to a healthy, balanced diet with some exercise thrown in for good measure. It's just as easy to be an unhealthy vegan as it is to be an unhealthy vegetarian, or an unhealthy omnivore. There's garbage food everywhere! My particular downfall is chocolate – cannot get enough.

Along with a healthy diet though, there needs to be acceptance. Bodies vary greatly in size, bone structure, metabolism etc. You can't make yourself into something you're not, and one of the best things we can learn to do is to work with what we have, and to accept and love our body, even if we're fighting to lose those extra pounds, or to eat less sugar, or to exercise more. Instead of the keto, or the paleo, or the warrior or whatever diet is in vogue at the moment, I think we need to look at the whole picture – a balance of diet and exercise, as well as working on things like managing stress through meditation, or deep breathing or whatever works, and every so often telling ourselves that we're human and mistakes aren't the end of the world.



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