Keto On A 9 To 5
Losing Weight Doesn't Have To Be a Full Time Job
Just sticking to keto can be enough!
The keto diet is all the rage right now. Just look what it did to Chris Pratt; it turned him into “Chris Pratt!” You may think that it’s more challenging to drop pounds when you don’t have a personal trainer, chef, the best workout equipment money can buy, and the promise of fame and fortune, but it’s actually not. The most challenging part of losing weight is how you manage your time and stress. Why? Because those factors will affect what you eat. Managing your time and stress can be a real big challenge, but not as big of a challenge as you think. To make it less daunting all you have to do is change your perspective and understand how weight loss actually works. (And don’t come at me telling me that Pratt did low-carb paleo and that that’s not the same as keto. Don’t do it. I see you trying to @ me on Twitter. Cut it out!)
Unless you’ve got an urgent deadline to lose weight, your best bet is to just be patient. The accelerated rate at which keto burns fat will take care of the rest. “But I have a wedding in four weeks!” Well, sorry, but you’re not going to lose 50 lbs in 4 weeks! Although, you could lose that much in a year just doing keto. Lifehacker says you need to burn 7,000 calories to lose a pound, not 3,500, and that’s okay. Be patient, and appreciate how good doing keto feels because it elevates your mood, gives you more energy, and improves your focus. Plus, no crashes like you’d experience if you consumed sugar! A year just looks a lot longer when it’s in front of you than behind you.
The fastest way to make your diet healthy is to eliminate processed foods and sneaky foods with added sugar. Your meals will contain less calories, they’ll be more filling, and you’ll be able to go longer between meals because drops in blood sugar won’t trigger feelings of hunger.
At first it’ll may be a challenge because you may have to come up with new recipes. And that can be hard. Just think of all those times you’ve been in a relationship or have been hanging out with friends or family and you just can’t figure out what to eat. “What do you want to eat?” “I don’t know, what do you want to eat?” “OMG THIS IS NETFLIX ALL OVER AGAIN JUST MAKE A DECISION!” “YOU MAKE THE DECISION! I JUST WANT TO PLEASE YOU BECAUSE I DON’T LIKE CONFLICT!” “WELL, WE’RE BOTH IN ALL CAPS NOW SO I GUESS YOUR PLAN DIDN’T WORK OUT!” “FINE. WE’LL HAVE STIR FRY.” See how easy that was? Stir fry.
Eating healthy is actually far less of a struggle when you eliminate everything that’s unhealthy first. And, luckily, there are plenty of creative and delicious keto recipes. You can even learn how to eat sweets on the keto diet! A cup of whole strawberries is only 47 calories and seven net carbs (the amount of carbs you actually consume, which is the total number of carbs minus any fiber or sugar alcohols). They say that variety is the spice of life, but variety is also a seven letter word. It’s more than manageable.
Do exercise you like.
The reason time management is an issue for keto is because you need time to make your meals. You don’t actually need time to exercise because you don’t actually need to exercise to lose weight. Sure, there are reasons why you should do cardio on the keto diet, but only one of those reasons is that it’ll help you lose weight faster. All the other reasons have to do with how cardio can be enjoyable, reverse the effects of aging, and help you deal with stress. So if you’re going to do cardio, then those are the real reasons why. Otherwise what are you going to do once you lose weight? Quit doing cardio? Then your weight will come back! And you don’t want that because yo-yo dieting is not good for you.
To quote Marie Kondo, ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If not, then change how you exercise. Do a team sport. Take up dancing. Go hiking or rock climbing. And if you want to go to the gym to build your strength, speed, and endurance, then investigate how to use your time more effectively. You don’t need to do cardio for 65 minutes and make use of body building techniques to benefit from working out.
Ask yourself why you eat.
Do you eat when you feel negative to escape those feelings? That’s a no-no! This is going to be tough to hear, but if eating is a form of escapism then you’re going to need to come to terms with what you’re trying to escape. If you work a stressful job where people yell at you all day and half bottle of wine and half a carton of ice cream at 8pm is the only way you feel good then, guess what, you’re going to need to stop doing that. “ICE CREAM AND WINE IS ALL I HAVE!” That’s tough. It really is. Same goes for eating a 16 oz steak for dinner. “I EARNED THAT STEAK!” You did earn that steak! But you don’t need to eat that big of a meal. “WITHOUT STEAK I HAVE NOTHING!” And that’s the problem with American culture and late stage capitalism: we have no value other than the labor that we produce, leaving us with little time for things that bring us joy. That’s a double edged sword.
On the one hand, Americans are very stressed out; on the other hand, Americans don’t have time to do things that reduce stress. And now both hands are covered in blood because that’s what it means to hold a double edged sword. I guess it’s not even a sword as much as it is just a very sharp thing, and you can’t really pass it off to anyone else because everyone’s hands are holding their own sharp thing. (BTW, all these bleeding hands are a great argument for universal health care.)
So, what can we do? Practice mindfulness and make room for stress in our own lives so that it takes less of a toll on us? Yes. Have you not been paying attention to the increasingly growing self-help movement going on in the US? That’s in response to all the stress! That is literally the advice all those books give. “BUT I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THE REALITY OF SUFFERING!” Well, fine, but at least make eating choices that don’t knock you out of ketosis or reduce your caloric deficit. Substitute clear liquor for wine, sugar-free chocolates for ice cream, and eat an 8 oz steak instead of a 16 oz one (drink some water and eat some salad; it’ll help you feel more full).
Late stage capitalism demands a constant flow of stress in order to drive people to retail therapy, but if you accept the reality of stress and do your best to dismantle it then doing keto while working a 9 to 5 will get easier. Even doing that 9 to 5 will get easier. Everything will get easier! That’s because the secret of doing keto while working a 9 to 5 is making choices you want to make. Choose keto friendly meals you want to eat, choose an exercise that brings you joy (if you want to exercise at all), and reduce the amount of stress in your life because stress inspires you to make poor eating choices. You can do it! And keto can help because you’ll have an elevated mood, improved mental clarity and focus, more energy, and less body fat. The journey to having the life you want starts with a single step, and if that step is keto the rest of the journey will be easier to make.