Keto, the trends I cannot agree with

I have been thinking of writing this post for a while. I know it will not be welcome by the IIFYM crowd, but to be honest I prefer to lose followers and keep my values and honesty, than to be hypocritical and get millions of followers.

My way of eating prioritizes real food. Period. My coaching advise also does. Period. 

I am not going to be hypocritical and state that I never consume store bought items. I do, occasionally, BUT I also read the label and choose the best label possible, as clean as possible and free of things like artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, etc). Living in Mozambique it is surely difficult to find organic products and grass fed meats, which makes me having to resort to products that are not ideal. That does not mean, however, that it is a freeway to eating processed foods. And that is the point of this post.

Lately I have been trying to follow more people from the keto community on Instagram, aiming to share experience and know more about what people do. Sadly, from the ones I follow, I unfollow more than 70% after a few days. Why? No, not because they did not follow me back (I despise the follow for follow, like for like way of running Instagram accounts), as no one is forced to like my feed, but simply because they are an endless procession of adverts for processed foods, conveniently labelled “sugar free”, “gluten free” and healthy. Most of those accounts proudly display a vast array of keto store bought items such as cakes, biscuits, breads, tortillas, syrups, soft drinks, sausages, sauces, and so on, and when you do a search and see the label, well, it is just the same chemical shit storm of the processed products that same people criticize so much, just because they are not keto (low fat, diet, light, etc). Where is the common sense? Where is the pursue of a long healthy life? What is the reasoning?

Lets see, I stopped eating low fat, diet, light, etc, because it was all a “scam” of the food industry that lead the world population to the obesity crisis it is today, right? Yes. I decided to turn to a lifestyle that prioritizes health, and that is based on real food. Yes? Yes. Keto is known especially for being a healthy diet that helps revert so many metabolic conditions and health diseases right? Right. So, why the hell should I start making keto be the same as I criticized so much? Isn’t it quite a oxymoron to do that? Why the hell would I choose to end up on the processed foods line, that I decided was wrong in the first place? Does it make sense?

Well it kinda does, if I was only looking at keto/LCHF as a quick fix to lose the weight I wanted, with no interest whatsoever on how I did lose that weight. When all that matters is my image on the mirror, and not my inner self, my health.

Are we making keto/lchf just a replacement for the low fat philosophy, just another source of income for the smart ones to build new lines on the food industry and profit from the naive? The same thing that we so much criticized? The same philosophy that took us to where we are now? Obesity epidemics, high rates of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, cardio vascular disease, diabetes, fatty liver, etc etc etc? So, what are we changing? Nothing? Did we really change our thinking for a better one? Did we?

Don’t fool yourselves, keto/lchf is not a miracle diet that will clean the world of the metabolic conditions, if we insist on staying on the processed foods road, and on doing the same we did so far. On keto/lchf you can yes get fat and stay sick, if you do it wrong. That is a fact.

When I stroll down the feeds of those people on Instagram it is so so common to see comments like “I lost all I wanted but lately I have been gaining”, I am at a stall for weeks and nothing I do works”, I am not losing anymore, what can I do?”, ” I am not seeing results, what is happening”. I promess you that in 99% of the cases those people are eating keto treats, processed sausages, keto tortillas, like there is no tomorrow. And with ingredients such as “maltodextrin, aspartame, sucralose, vital wheat gluten, wheat fibre, a list of ingredients that never ends, etc”. And most of them say: Oh yes I eat that, sooooo good, and come on, only 2 grams of carbs!!! It fits my macros totally!!!!

Ohh, yes, if fits your macros. If that fact was all that was needed to see progress and succeed. To be healthy, to achieve goals. Sadly (happily) it is not. No matter what people (and many of them have financial interests in what they advocate, because they get coupons, they get crates to try, they earn money through you, don’t have any illusions about that. When they post “I got this amazing deal for you! I paired with “….” to give you a 15% discount on the following products, go there now!!” they are most of the time not at all interested in you. They are interested in what they will earn THROUGH you. It is the same profit oriented mentality that we criticized so much on others. Trust me.

And so, I am quite sad to see what keto is being turned to. I sometimes feel like a dinosaur, the one that is against the tide, the exception. But hey, then I think that the ones against the tide are the ones that win, that make a difference, that change the world. And I think of the more than 50 300 people we help daily on our facebook group, that follows a clean eating, health oriented lifestyle. An then I think that, if I can help, at least ONE PERSON to follow keto/lchf the “right” and healthy way, I know I am happy and it makes me feel worth it. One person will influence another, and another, and another. And no matter what the IIFYM galore does, what they think, we can still make a difference, each time we succeed in changing mentalities, in bringing people to put their health as the first goal. As I always say “keto is about ageing gracefully and healthy, weight loss is a nice, welcome side effect”. And that is what will keep me fighting, swimming against the waves, walking against the wind, looking forward for a better world, better health, based on real food.

NOTE: I am not, by no means, demonizing, making the IIFYM crowd the devils. No, no and no. Each one is entitled to find what better works for them. But please, just don’t say that everything its fine and eating processed crap is healthy, because it is not. It is your decision, but take it informed. Read, research, study. And then, if you still think it is the road to drive through, then do 🙂 I will be on the other road, slower, safer (for me), cheaper.

17 comments

  1. eversoirish

    You are right on! Great message and reminder. I did the processed food keto style for awhile. Easy, convenient. And then I got cancer. Now, no processed foods touch my lips unless it’s an emergency. I love making my own foods (tortillas, etc.). I’m trying to balance plant and keto. Just a side note: I’m leaving for Paris/Rome soon. Easy to find good keto food there?

    Reply

    1. heelsandspices

      Thank you so much. I am also leaving for Italy Friday, including Rome. Check my other ig account life.with.di, on following there are some restaurants. Antipasto is my go everytime I want something simple

      Reply

  2. Motoguzzimomma - Christine

    You are absolutely right.

    I believe too many people want a ‘quick fix’ and aren’t prepared to put the effort to learn the facts about health and nutrition. This is why so many people’s weight yo-yos and they jump from one ‘fad’ to another. If folk read more and listened to what so many enlightened doctors, nutritionists, scientist and science-journalist are trying to tell us all, they might keep to real food and not constantly fall back on processed substitutes and IIFMM philosophy.

    We have a saying in English; ‘You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink’ 🙂

    Reply

    1. heelsandspices

      True Christine

      Reply

  3. Tina

    I fully support your reasoning! I am Keto.. well fell off due to life and have been back on track for 2 wks. I cook. Yes sometimes the need for convenience steps up but for the most part I cook and try to keep it fresh or real items. Many give me the excuse it’s hard and no variety so I cook and post to show.. no you just have to be involved and take initiative. I love your blog and thank you for sharing!!

    Reply

    1. heelsandspices

      Thank you so much Tina

      Reply

  4. sandikorshnak

    Preach it!! I am SO grateful to you and the other admins for running such a “tight ship”. You guys have taught me TONS that had led to 120 lbs lost as well as much better numbers on my blood work and vitals! THANK YOU!! ❤

    Reply

    1. heelsandspices

      So sweet of you Sandi thank you so much

      Reply

  5. Kerry Baker

    I agree with you 100%. Thank you for speaking your truth. Hard to always make your own food but it is my way to eat properly.Thank you for all you do.

    Reply

    1. heelsandspices

      Thank you very much Kerry

      Reply

  6. albertakat

    Agree with you 100%! When people ask what I’ve done to get healthy, I share my WOE- and tell them I stay away from ALL processed food. It’s not convenient, but it is amazing how my health has turned around in 10 months. I so appreciate your group, and the strict adherence to clean eating. Thank you for being an inspiration!

    Reply

    1. heelsandspices

      Thank you!!

      Reply

  7. Stephanie KL

    Yes, it had to be said. I find myself in a somewhat different situation. I’ve always had to watch my weight and I watched it go up and down. In the 90s, I joined Weight Watchers and lost 30 lbs. and kept it off. Then I found low carb then keto. I lost another 10 lbs. Earlier this year, I got a German Shepherd who is high spirited and loves to play and be outdoors. Taking him for 2-3 mile walks daily, I saw an additional 18 lbs. disappear and therein lies my dilemma. I’m having difficulty gaining the weight back to where I feel good and not tired. I still track my macros, making sure to meet my protein so not losing muscle mass. I’ve upped my carbs a little and get my fats in as well. I’m more maintaining than gaining but as long as I feel well, I’m good. I sleep a solid 8 hrs., getting to bed earlier than I used to and rising earlier as well because the 7 month GSD’s bladder can wait only so long. I know life will return to more normal as he ages and calms down somewhat. I’m working on my own health and that, too, will improve as normalcy sets in.

    Once again, thank you for setting it out there and being an inspiration to the thousands that you monitor.

    Reply

    1. heelsandspices

      Thank you Stephanie. Have you tried to calculate macros for weight gaining?

      Reply

  8. Stephanie KL

    Thank you, Dalila. I’m at the point where I need to recalculate.

    Reply

  9. Red

    I agree with all of this but got stuck on one part… is vital wheat gluten a bad ingredient? Gluten itself isn’t wheat and if you are celiac I get the concern…

    Reply

    1. heelsandspices

      I follow a clean eating keto as you could see from my post. Gluten is the problem not wheat. Not only celiacs are affected but many people as well, although the effects take years to show, as they start at cellular and villi level. So no, wheat gluten is not a good ingredient

      Reply

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