Brittany asks: “What do I tell people who don’t support my low carb diet?”
You will inevitably run across many people who don’t understand your low carb diet, or worse – are very UNsupportive. They may tell you that a low carb diet is bad for your heart, that you’ll end up with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, that you need carbs for energy (false!), or that “there is no way you can lose weight eating bacon!”
This might make you second-guess yourself or your decision to eat low carb. Or it may make you feel angry, frustrated or discouraged.
First, I recommend you do your research on how a low carb diet works, learn the health benefits of eating low carb, and educate yourself on how a low carb / ketogenic diet affects your cardiovascular health.
ARE You REALLY Eating Healthy?
Don’t Give Them A Reason To Protest!
If you’re catching a lot of slack from people you eat with, it might be time to analyze what’s on your plate. I have confessed countless times that when I first started eating low carb, I was a “junk food low carber”.
Back then I could eat a pound of bacon dipped in mayo for a snack (lol). I used a lot of store-bought shakes & bars, ate canned Vienna sausages and LOTS of sugar free candy, and basically anything “low carb” as long as I stayed within my 20 net carbs per day.
And you know what? I lost weight! I lost 8 pounds in the first 10 days even. I’m all for doing whatever it takes to transition into a low carb diet and ultimately a healthier lifestyle.
Of course over time I started making healthier swaps and now I’m eating better than I ever have in my life. But you’ll STILL get people questioning your food choices or your “diet” – if you bring it up, or give them reason to.
I was at a pub with friends recently and I ordered grilled chicken with steamed broccoli – and a side of avocado slices. Who can argue with THAT plate? Nobody.
Last night I took myself out to dinner before I went to the gym, and ordered a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (no croutons, please!) – and added Grilled Shrimp:
Again, who could argue with that plate? 😉 If people are giving you a hard time about the food choices your making, you might reconsider those choices. While this is a high fat diet, you can make VERY healthy food choices to achieve a low carb / high fat ratio.
Don’t Discuss Your “Diet” With Others
It’s actually best not to discuss your diet with other people at all. You don’t need anyone’s permission or validation. You are eating healthy and losing weight for yourself. Just do it!
You cannot convince anyone that a low carb diet is healthy, no matter how much research you share with them. Most people are very set in their own way of thinking, and trying to convince them “they are wrong” is just asking for an argument.
It’s not worth the conflict with your friends, family, coworkers, etc. Period.
There are so many dogmatic “food religions” out there right now, too. It’s just like religion or politics – it’s better to avoid the topic altogether.
I never mention “low carb” or “keto” when ordering at restaurants either. I simply say “I eat diabetic” and only if that’s necessary. I can’t lie to save my life so I don’t say I AM diabetic, I simply say I EAT diabetic. EVERYONE understands that.
Just SHOW them. Proof talks.
Then… if anyone asks how you’re losing weight, you can say you’re “eating healthy” with a smile. 😀
WHY People Discourage You
Understanding “why” will help you to not take it so personally when someone makes a comment about your diet, or your food choices. And THAT is key. Do not take it personal. Because it’s not about YOU. It’s about THEM.
If it’s your spouse, they may be insecure about the idea of you becoming thinner or more attractive. Arguing with them will only make this worse. Instead, love and encourage them. Give them more attention. Prove to them that they are the reason you want to be healthier, and that they are your primary focus in life. Reassuring a spouse or significant other is a great way to show love to them. They may not realize they are insecure, or even be fully aware of their subconscious fears.
There will be other people in your life that want you to fail. Again, it has nothing to do with you. They may enjoy being thinner than you. Maybe not in a mean way, or even consciously. Or if they are overweight or out of shape, you succeeding (or even taking steps in the right direction) makes them feel like a failure for not pushing themselves, or improving themselves. They need you to be just like them – for self validation.
More often than not, it really isn’t about you.
And then there are “mean people” in your life. If possible, disassociate with them. Shed them along with the pounds. Or keep reading for some ideal ways to deal with “mean people” you can’t get away from…
Prepare Your Responses!
Step one: develop a thicker skin, and learn to bite your tongue and smile. 😉
Consider the people and situations where you are catching slack or getting a hard time about your diet. First, are you the one bringing it up? Don’t! Simply order healthy food, or choose to eat healthy foods. You do not have to explain your choices.
If you are constantly getting nagged at the table by certain friends or family members, find something else to do with those people. Meet your best friend to go for a walk together instead of meeting for lunch, for example. Consider what small changes you can make to avoid negative situations.
If someone tries to push a donut on you (damn the donut pushers!!), say:
* Thank you, but sadly they make me feel sick. (truth!) I appreciate it though 😀 with a smile!
* No thanks, I’m watching my figure – but enjoy! 😀
* Ooh, they look delicious, but I’m stuffed at the moment.
Easy, right? Good!
Consider your usual scenarios and come up with your own prepared responses so that you’re never caught off guard. And PRACTICE THAT BEAUTIFUL SMILE!
If you bring up the word diet, or ACT like you’re disappointed about saying no, they are only going to push harder. “Aw c’mon, one won’t hurt you” etc, etc, etc. Say “No thanks, really” and smile and get busy with something else or change the subject – fast. Turn it around to something important to them like, “how’d your date go last night??” or “is your daughter feeling better?” etc.
Don’t mention the words “diet” or “keto” or “low carb” or “Atkins”. You’re inviting an argument if you do. If it comes up, simply say “I’m eating healthy now” – and make sure your plate reflects that statement! You don’t need validation or permission from ANYone to become your happiest, healthiest self.
Got a point to prove? Just smile, be happy, eat healthy and lose weight – and vow (silently) to “show them” just how many pounds you can lose and how awesome you can look. Let your body speak volumes over time. You won’t ever have to mention “your diet” or that you’ve lost weight – THEY will say it to YOU!
Using “Lack of Support” As An Excuse To Fail
When someone close to you gives you a hard time about getting healthy, or doesn’t support your way of eating, it can be very discouraging. I’ve heard several people say, “It makes me want to quit.” How sad is that?! 🙁
Remember that it really isn’t about you. Consider how you can encourage that person, or how you can make sure they know you love them and they are important to you – keeping in mind their comments/feelings come from a negative source within them.
It’s human nature to focus on the negative – even if it’s small compared to the positive. We often use these itty bitty negatives (like a rude comment) in our lives to rationalize or to give ourselves excuses. That’s the norm…
We don’t want to BE normal though. We want to be in the top percent that achieve amazing results, and become our happiest healthiest selves!! Right?? Right!
Most of us have to fight old habits and old thought patterns – it’s a hurdle. Keep pushing yourself. Alone if you have to. You can always join us in the low carb group and make TONS of low carb friends who are friendly and supportive, though. We’re a FUN group!
DO NOT let someone else control your health, your weight, or your food choices. That belongs to you, and you alone. Instead of using lack of support as an excuse to give up, use it as fuel to PROVE THEM WRONG. 😉
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