There are some things I will admit are not easy to do when adopting the Paleo Diet, a ketogenic diet, or doing a Whole30. They are:
- Food prep. This is a big one, and may be the biggest obstacle for most people I talk to. The concepts of eating low-carb/high-fat is easy enough, and while it’s something a lot of people don’t really want to do, it’s something they eventually recognize they have to do. However, to stay on the straight and narrow, it requires more work than the standard American diet. You can’t just go to any fast food restaurant and order Paleo or keto-friendly foods without some picking and choosing and possibly even modifying. So, food prep is a way of life. It can be as easy as using two or three slow cookers and an oven to prep to actively cooking three or four meals which can take all day. My wife does our food prep on Sundays; some days are fast and easy while others keep her (and I) on her/our feet all day. It just depends on how dandy we want our food to be, and whether the food requires a lot of steps or is as easy as smoking a rack of ribs.
- Purchasing foods and getting used to looking closely at labels. This is another obstacle to eating well: shopping and reading. It requires a certain vigilance to really find the forbidden ingredients in foods. Did you know they put soy in tuna fish? Or most sausages and even bacon have sugar in them? These foods can do without those ingredients, yet they’re placed there by food makers. Sherry and I read every label of every food item we purchase that has been even slightly processed like sausage or bacon. We try to stick with whole meats and vegetables, but there are times when some Italian sausage or a chorizo is what a recipe needs, so we have to find the best/healthiest version. Also, sticking with healthy, whole foods can seem to be more expensive, but when you consider that you actually eat less volume of good, whole foods, it ends up not only not being more expensive, but can actually save money in the long run.
- Whole30/Keto Flu. This is a big one for anyone who is going from the standard American diet to a low-carb diet. The symptoms can last from 1 day to 2 weeks depending on how much sugar a person used to consume in their diet. The symptoms can be reduced when adopting a ketogenic diet by taking exogenous ketones, but when going Paleo or doing a Whole30, the only way through it is to bear down, use as much motivation as possible, and eat a handful of nuts every now and then to get past the cravings. After a few days to a few weeks, it will improve, and the cravings will disappear.
- Changing your mindset and accepting that you don’t have to be suffering to get healthy and lose weight. This was difficult for me to get past. As I was losing 10-12 lbs/month without suffering, I thought I was doing something wrong. Even as I was succeeding, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I felt like I somehow should be doing more, eating foods that weren’t as tasty or that didn’t make me feel so full. I never counted calories yet I ate delicious foods, felt full after meals, and didn’t have cravings in between them. Because I was so conditioned to suffering for weight loss, I felt guilty the whole time. I took almost a year for that feeling to go away.
- Other people. Some offer advice when they don’t understand the low-carb/high-fat diet. When people see me eating a meal with meat, bacon, fats, and such, they tell me I should really watch what I’m eating or I’ll gain weight. They don’t understand that it’s that very food that has allowed me to lose over 150 lbs and regain a healthy life. They mean well, so I’m never hostile about it, but when I try to explain to them that I know what I’m doing, some persist. Some have gone so far as to tell me that I’m wrong, and that I’ll gain all the weight back and then some. A smaller percentage are jealous of my success, and have tried to either sabotage me or have decreased contact with me because of how my success makes them feel about their own failures. It’s okay; I know it’s them, and not me.
I’m sure there are other difficulties that people face, but these were my top 6. With all that said, however, I can’t say enough about the improvements in my life since adopting LC/HF. I’ve posted many times in the past about the ways in which my life has improved and changed, and I can’t ever let myself go back to being overweight, let alone obese.