I have been talking to many others on the journey to a healthier life lately, and I am learning so much from so many. We all have different goals and expectations and are starting from different places. No two people are exactly the same. Some people want to lose a bunch of weight quickly, and others prefer a slow and steady approach. I have talked to people who have been living keto for 4 years, have lost between 50 and 100 pounds and are thrilled with their results. I think they deserve to be proud of themselves, they have accomplished something fantastic. Others lose 20 pounds in their first month or two and get upset when the results diminish or plateau. They wonder what they are doing wrong, or why their diet stopped working. I also see many ads that claim to have lost 100 pounds in three months. Usually followed by, I followed this plan and bought these products. I do think it might be possible for some people to lose 100 pounds in just three months, but doubt most ads are real stories from actual people.
Whatever path you think you follow for your own personal journey to become healthier is a step in the right direction if you ask me. I used to not think very highly of a group that was all about consumption of a product called keto chow. I am not a fan of buying some product and thinking it will do all the work for you. I am not aware of the ingredients of these products, or even the cost. People seem to enjoy swapping out one, two, or all of their meals daily for those shakes. They say they taste delicious, and they have lost weight and made improvements to their health. I would call that success. I am afraid that if I ate that, it would not have cured my addiction to sweets and sugar. I can’t really give you any statistics on the group, but their results seem like many other groups. Some lose fairly quickly, some slow and steady, and others seem to go on and off the diet. I do see that many have issues figuring which ingredients to mix with the product, but two main ones I see are milk and butter. Many people seem to have issues with dairy products, so you may want to do a bit of research if you think this could be your path. Just find a group online and ask some questions, this way you can learn from people actually using the product you are interested in. This goes for any type of product you may want to switch out for a meal. Seek information from those who use the product and maybe consult a professional about the product you are considering.
The goal is to become healthier, and any time you consume less calories than you spend it will equal weight loss when done over time. How fast or slow you want to do it is up to you and your body. A reduction in 500 – 1000 calories a day equals a pound of weight loss per week. You do, however, need to limit your carbs, grains, and sugars if you really want to improve your health. I can lose weight eating only ice cream as long as I have a daily caloric deficit, but my vitals aren’t going to be good. I also believe the source of your calories matter. If you really want to improve your health, the items you eat should provide your body with its nutritional needs. We are made from everything we consume throughout our lives and every bite will become cells in our body. What do you want to be made of?
If you genuinely want to thrive you need to focus on giving the body what it needs to function at optimum levels. To keep it simple, all the experts talk about eating the nutritional rainbow. Eat as many colors of those healthy foods as you can, each color represents different kinds of nutrients. You do not have to eat every color daily but try to get all of them incorporated in your diet. Different types of diets have their challenges, but to thrive in any of them you have to get all necessary nutrients to fuel your body. You may also want to consider adding a daily multivitamin and supplements to fill any nutrition gaps you may have.
Dr. Mark Hyman was talking about the challenges of being vegan, as he lived that lifestyle for more than 10 years. He said initially people typically thrive on the vegan diet but tend to become nutrient deficient over time. His advice was to focus on whole foods and non-starchy vegetables, stick to whole kernel grains, include healthy fats (avocados, EVO, nuts, and seeds), eat protein rich foods, add a pea, pumpkin, or hemp seed-based protein shake, add a branch chain amino acid supplement to build muscle, and add vitamin and mineral supplements (a multi-vitamin, vitamins B-12, D, omega 3, iodine, iron, and zinc) to help maintain optimal nutrient levels. He also stressed to avoid the “FrankenFoods”, like the impossible burger and things like it. No matter which path you choose, they all have their challenges. My advice to you is to educate yourself on the path you want to follow, and prepare yourself to thrive on whatever diet you choose.
You could eat only bacon and possibly be considered keto, but you probably won’t have much success or thrive with that approach.Since I have started my journey, I have learned much. I kind of eased into it just making better choices and eliminating sugar and most carbs. All good steps, but as I started to really git into the power of nutrition, I knew I had to do better. There are all these different foods, and each provide something for different for the many functions in our bodies. Once I started to incorporate more vitamins and minerals in my diet, I really began to feel great. I am in a better mood, have more energy, and feel younger. I think I feel a good 10 years younger than I am. The other benefit of education is I no longer have to worry about returning to my old habits. Why would I want to change my diet when I feel so fantastic now, and still enjoy everything I eat?
Sleep is SO IMPORTANT to our overall health. If we do not get the proper amount of sleep, it throws off all of the systems in our bodies and nothing functions at optimal levels. In a test case they deprived one group of individuals of their sleep, and let the others get their full 8 hours. The sleep deprived group took 14% longer to complete their tasks and made 20% more errors. Our sleep has as much to do with our overall health as our diet and exercise combined. I am still working to improve my sleep habits and sleeping area. I am avoiding screen and TV time before bed, wear blue light blocking glasses while on the computer, I have blacked out my room, and added ambient noise by way of a $20 box fan. I have been getting about two more hours of sleep each night lately. Still room for improvement but I’m working on it. I need to approach my sleep habits, just like I approached my dietary changes. It will take time but is equally important as the other changes I have made. If I truly want to thrive, I need to work on all areas of my life as they all contribute to my overall health.
Good luck on your journey and have a great day!