Ketogenic Diets & Conquering Your Fears
By Bella Hardy
Embarking on a Ketogenic diet (low carb, high fat and moderate protein) can be quite daunting at first, particularly when we are used to losing weight or approaching our health issues with the low-fat unhealthy diets we have undertaken in the past.
Change can be hard for anyone and getting out of your comfort zone often ends in giving up too soon or not even getting started in the first place.
Facing My Fears
One day, I was put in charge of a hospital ward at work and even though I know what I am doing in my regular role, it was challenging to think about how much more I would have to do, how much my knowledge base would be stretched and that I was now responsible for a large number of seriously unwell people.
As the senior nurse in charge (CN), I was also responsible for the actions of the other nursing staff and ultimately the lives of our patients. If things went wrong, then I would be held accountable for not only my actions but the actions of the nurses working under my charge.
The responsibility that hung on my shoulders briefly made me question my abilities and undermined my confidence.
Now I’m usually a very confident woman. I believe that action conquers fear and if you're worried about being able to pull something off (say public speaking for example), you pretend to be a confident public speaker, and once you get started, and you’ll be fine.
Believe that you already are what you desire to be and it will manifest.
The more often you challenge yourself, the easier it becomes to take on things that may once have seemed overwhelming.
There were a few anxious moments for me today, and some big decisions had to be made. I couldn’t run away; I had to deal. So I did.
I knew that I was leading a team, but I also knew that I could and should ask for help, and that’s precisely what I did.
I reached out to my co-workers and asked them to support me. I allocated tasks and asked individual people to lend me their expertise. I gathered a team around me and went to work.
I got through it. I was fine, and I conquered my fears.
You can apply the same logic as I did to start a new way of approaching your health issues, be it weight or a chronic medical condition like diabetes or an autoimmune disease.
KETOGENIC DIETS ARE DIFFERENT TO WHAT WE ARE USED TO
The idea of going into something called Ketosis and using fat as an energy source instead of sugar and carbs may be very foreign to many people. The words ketogenic and ketosis sounds like medical jargon to most.
I asked some of my nursing colleagues what they thought a ketogenic diet was.
Some of them knew of the ketogenic association with curing intractable epilepsy, and other more academic types knew about the ketogenic diet as being effective with neurological and mental health disorders.
Unfortunately, a few of them were under the misunderstanding that a Ketogenic diet and being in Dietary Ketosis was linked to a medical condition called ketoacidosis.
Here’s the difference between the two. The words sound quite similar, but they are opposites. Ketosis and ketoacidosis are both metabolic processes, which are involved with the breakdown of fats in your body. However...
- Ketosis or Benign Dietary Ketosis is a normal metabolic function when carb intake is lowered to 20 grams or less per day. This is what happens on a Ketogenic diet. You burn fats instead of sugars.
- Ketoacidosis is an abnormal and life-endangering medical condition, occurring in those with Type One iabetes or the few who are predisposed to the condition. Being Ketoacidotic means a highly elevated level of ketones in the blood; the blood is too acidic.
People with Type One Diabetes are unable to produce insulin. If you can’t produce insulin, you are unable to lower high levels of blood glucose. Without insulin, the glucose cannot be stored in the cells, and the sugar remains in the blood.
When there is too much sugar in the blood, the body will start to break down fats and muscle to make energy. If this happens fatty acids (ketones) are produced in excess, and metabolic acidosis occurs (ketoacidosis).
Benign Dietary Ketosis for weight loss is approx 1.8 to 3 mmol/L.
Ketoacidosis is approx 20 mmols/L.
For people who are not Type One Diabetic, you should not be concerned that you will go into Ketoacidosis.
Never in the all of the time that I have been in Ketosis or even when intermittent fasting has I ever gone above 5.5 mmol/L of ketones. I have also worked in the ED, and I have only ever treated people with type one diabetes for Ketoacidosis.
Being in Ketosis is not dangerous or unhealthy; it is a normal metabolic function.
When you are being challenged by a new idea or concept like Keto, be open to what changes it might bring. I have only ever experienced a positive outcome from being in Ketosis. I love the way I eat, it is not hard or restrictive, and I have a fantastic amount of mental clarity.
I urge anyone who wants to lose weight or lift depression to try a Keto Low-carb hig-fat diet straight away. The changes I have seen in my keto Cure Me are outstanding.
A word about moderation of protein intake...
Moderating your protein intake is important because when you eat more protein than your body requires, it will convert the calories to sugar and subsequently to fat. Excess sugars from protein can also be feeding yeast and bacterias, and you could end up with a Candida colonization. Minimizing protein to moderate levels also inhibits cancer growth.
Remember, if you are consuming too much of any one thing it’s never good.
I find that the ketogenic diet dampens down my hunger so much that I can only get in about 65 grams of protein per day. It is an acceptable level of moderate protein intake. If you're pretty active on a daily basis, you can even tolerate much more, including taking some low-carb protein products as shown here, as an example.
Fats like cream and butter as so delicious but there is only so much I can add to my meals anyway, so it’s easy for me not to go overboard with saturated fats. Even though they are so good for me.
The fats however still make up the majority of my calories and are the most critical component of restoring health to your body and brain.
Challenging the idea of security
We do a lot of things in our lives to feel more secure or stay in a place of security. Examples:
- Staying in a job you dislike
- Staying in a relationship that is unsatisfying or destructive
- Eating foods that make us feel better or more secure when we are experiencing high emotions
- Continuing to expect different results when repeating the same eating behaviors time and time again.
We must be courageous in the face of adversity and decide to be brave by challenging what has been holding you back.
- Fear is the enemy of success
- Change is good for you
- You are in charge of your life and decisions
Every time something positive in my life has occurred, it’s always been during times when I have conquered my fears and taken a leap of faith.
To be successful with weight loss and improving my health I needed to change my relationship with food. I had to overcome traditional ways of eating and thinking about how I would incorporate low carb eating into my everyday life forever.
Keto allowed me to do that.
To finish this post, I wanted to quote Anthony Robins as he is such a cool guy; I am very inspired by his wisdom. He mentioned:
- When the results start happening it has a compounding effect.
- Find something that you are more scared of than your fears (like being overweight, unhealthy and missing out on the life you want).
- Imagine you're eighty years old, and you didn’t do it - do you want to be obese, sick, old and unhappy?
- If you want it bad enough, you will give it a go.
So take charge of your health today, right now, not in a week, month or year. Start conquering your fears about making changes to your life.
Ask for help, talk to people like me for advice or encouragement, there are loads of us out there. Read, read and read some more.
You won't regret it.