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.