24 May How a “Moderate” Diet Is Making You Fat, and the “Extreme” Keto Diet Will Give You a Killer Body
If you want to slim down and your current diet isn’t doing it for you, you must change what you eat.
‘Everything in moderation’ leads to just moderate performance. Dave Asprey
My parents think that I’m in a cult. At least that’s what they accused me of when I visited them in Sweden last winter. They thought that my practice of lying in the snow in my bikini every morning followed by a cup of coffee mixed with butter was bizarre. I have no idea what they were talking about?! That’s a totally normal morning routine for me.
I do get it, though. Most Swedes prefer to warm up in big furry jackets over stripping down in minus degrees. But my cold exposure practice is not about being indecent in public. Instead, it’s one of the most important hacks that I’ve discovered on my journey from sick to healthy and happy. The same with my Bulletproof cup of coffee with butter.
My parents, though, are all about what we in Sweden call “lagom”. This word pretty much translates to “moderation.” I’m the opposite of lagom – when I do something, I go all in.
That’s one of the reasons why I love the keto diet, which I’ve been following for the last few years. It’s a clear protocol for what to eat (healthy fats, a bit of high-quality protein, and very few carbs), with the result of reaching target weight while having plenty of energy.
Despite keto’s amazing health benefits, that have been scientifically proven for a hundred years now, there is still resistance to this way of eating. I see a trend of encouragement to “chill out” about food and “eat whatever you feel like – you only live once!”.
I’ve read articles stating that following a diet equals having an eating disorder just because you’re restricting yourself. These article authors claim that if you have a healthy relationship with food, you should be able to eat everything!
The recommendation to eat in moderation also exists in the medical field. One of my best friends spent some time in a hospital for a program to recover from her eating disorder.
One of the recovery exercises was a “field trip” where the patients visited an ice cream shop and had to practice eating ice cream, in a way to overcome their fear of putting on weight from junk food. The idea was that eating ice cream was “normal” and a “healthy” thing to do.
This ice cream mission makes me think of the quote “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” So because most people in today’s world choose to eat sugar, it should be the “normal” to strive for to be considered healthy and sane?
What about the consequences of eating sugar: our current obesity and illness epidemic? But hey don’t worry, at least we can enjoy our normality in good (and fat) company!
I also see encouragements of eating a bit of everything in the fitness industry. I remember when I had just moved to London and hired a PT at my gym, to help me get ripped. (What a waste of time and money. I now just eat keto to not put on fat, and get a little toning naturally for free.)
Back then, I was still experimenting with different ways of eating. I was trying the method of having one day a week of eating everything I wanted and sticking to “healthy” eating the rest of the week.
So my Sunday became my Food Orgy Day, starting as soon as possible in the morning and continuing until I couldn’t stand another piece of sugar and carb. I pigged out on pizza, ice cream, chocolate, cookies and more… Woohoo, what a liberated woman I was!
My PT didn’t only approve of my binge day idea, but he encouraged it. “It’s great – it will get it out of your system!” he said.
The irony of my PT’s comment is that eating toxic food for a whole day is putting toxins into the system. It’s not like the body automatically forgets about the binge eating day just because I’ve decided that the following day should be a “health day.”
So on my Mondays, I had to deal with the junk food consequences: brain fog, energy crashes, diarrhea, and generally feeling like shit. (But maybe that was my punishment for choosing a PT more based on sexiness than credentials.)
My client Shirien is an excellent example of how letting go of common dieting advice can bring fantastic weight loss results. Here is her inspiring story:
I have tried several times to lose weight using a general keto diet, exercise and counting calories, but failed miserably each time. After following Alexia’s simple guidelines, I managed to lose 7 kgs in only two weeks. Alexia helped me not only to lose weight but also to start eating cleaner and remove toxins from my diet, of which I was unaware. I now feel lighter, calmer and much more positive – even my kids have noticed the change!
I used to have a mentor who always said: “There is no right or wrong, only consequences.” I respect that some people, like my parents who love “lagom”, choose to eat everything in moderation and it’s not an issue for them. (At least they think so. I don’t believe that their diet of sugar and carbs will bring them health in the long run. I may sound blunt, but I’m genuinely concerned.)
The option of choosing a more “extreme” diet, like keto, becomes relevant if your way of eating is not giving you the results that you want. If you’re struggling with your weight and it’s important for you to lose it, perhaps eating everything in moderation isn’t working for you?
Do You Need to Skip Moderation and Go Extreme?
1. Are you happy with your health and weight? If not, to get a different result requires a different action.
2. Do you struggle with food cravings, that can lead to overeating? If so, something from your “everything in moderation diet” might be triggering you.
3. What’s your greatest concern about going “extreme” with the keto diet? If you’re scared about giving up yummy desserts, just try some good keto dessert recipes.
I sometimes reminisce those carefree times when I dedicated half of my weekend to eating whatever I wanted, cheered on by a sexy PT. But then I remember that I no longer have to spend Mondays to recover from food coma and Tuesday to Saturday fighting sugar cravings. So for me, my extreme keto diet is definitely worth it.