02 Aug The Secret to Succeeding on Keto While Not Becoming a Social Hermit
You Don’t Have to Choose Between Having Fun and Having a Great Body.
People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing. Dale Carnegie
As a keto coach, I hear a lot of interesting objections to starting eating keto. One of the most common ones is an upcoming social event (party/wedding/holiday etc.). The person swears 100% commitment to keto to take care of health once and for all – but only AFTER some boozing and junk food eating at the event. Because it will be impossible to do keto while enjoying a social occasion.
There is nothing wrong with letting loose (although Ricky Gervais has a point). It only becomes an issue if you’re bullshitting yourself into missing your health goals, and those goals are your main priority!
So if you think you might be in need of a wakeup call, read on. I will ask you three questions to check if your postponement of the keto diet is valid or just procrastination. If your answers hint to bullshit, I will then offer three tips (plus one bonus tip) for how you can have fun at your event AND do keto.
Why a Social Event Is No Excuse to Postpone Starting Keto:
1. There will always be an upcoming social event.
Let’s say that your argument that you need to wait until after the social event is legit. Then I wonder what you will do for the next event? Surely, this will not be the last social gathering that you will ever attend?
It’s fine if you don’t want to do keto. But save yourself the agony of procrastination by being honest about your commitment!
2. Perfection doesn’t exist.
I think black-and-white thinking is more common than not among us who share food struggles. I know exactly how annoying it is to have something in the calendar which I know might derail me. Then I might as well screw up straight away now and have a food orgy until I can put the event behind me and start my new, PERFECTLY healthy life!
Unfortunately, that’s the kind of thinking that might keep us from ever starting healthy eating. Perfection doesn’t exist. I’m a keto coach and trust me that I’m not following keto 100% all of the time! (In fact, I ate some bread the other night at a restaurant. It was delicious but I needed two extra hours of sleep that night to process the toxins. A reminder that life is too short without keto.)
The important thing with healthy eating is that we start and do our best, and take it one day at a time.
3. Don’t you want to look and feel your best at the event?
Here are the typical results from eating keto: loss of excess weight, glowing skin, amazing energy. I’ve experienced this myself, and I witness it all of the time in my clients. What better way to prepare for making a grand entrance and have the time of your life at the party?
How to Be Social on Keto:
1. Explain why keto is important to you.
I’ve shared before how I can go mental when people push junk food on me without respecting me saying no. But let’s assume that most people don’t have evil master plans of making us fat by seducing us with sugar and carbs. That makes it our job to set the boundaries and make our intentions clear. Speaking up for yourself is not about being arrogant, but about protecting your health and wellbeing! (So make sure that, as a first step, it’s clear to you why you choose keto.)
I don’t recommend going into a long defence speech unless you have to. Hopefully, people will accept your “No, thank you” and couldn’t care less about why you don’t want to eat cake. But it can be good to have a line prepared if people persist with their offers. “I’m on a diet for health reasons” should be enough. (Which might set off gossip about what’s going on with you, but at least you’ll be the talk of the party.)
Don’t assume that people will understand your keto way of eating because you’ve been doing it for a long time! That’s why it can be good to explain before a social event. I realized this when I recently had a friend visiting me in Dubai. We used to be colleagues in London before I quit that job to pursue my keto coaching, so my friend has watched me transform from a binge eating sugar addict to keto lover. Still, for some reason, she brought me half a kilo of Swedish chocolate as a gift.
So before having a guest again, I will send an email politely saying “If you’re bringing anything sugary, I’d appreciate if you could please keep it out of sight for me since I’m off sugar and want to avoid temptations. Thank you!”
2. Eat yourself full before the event.
The fantastic thing about keto meals is that they keep you full for hours. Achieving ketosis (the metabolic state which is the goal of the ketogenic diet) turns off cravings, improves cognitive function and gives a fantastic energy boost. Eating a nice keto meal straight before the party will help you resist temptations. Preparation will be your secret weapon against event junk food!
3. Sprinkle Brain Octane on the food.
But maybe you don’t want to be the weirdo not eating at the event? (Especially if you’re going to a dinner.) Let’s look at what you can do to minimize the damage by non-keto foods if you choose to eat something.
Joining the event satiated, as per my previous tip, helps to make sure that you won’t go totally bananas on the food but can stick to smaller portions. There is one more thing you can do: sprinkle Brain Octane on the meal. Brain Octane is created from coconut oil and is medium-chain triglycerides, which easily convert into ketones. So this addition will help you stay in ketosis! Either bring some that you’ve poured into a small bottle or get the Brain Octane GoPacks. Easy to keep in your handbag or pocket.
BONUS Tip: Bring a keto gift to the host/ess.
Why not take the opportunity to convert your host/ess to keto? Skip the usual flowers and wine bottle and instead, give a gift with life-transforming potential! My favourites are: a keto cookbook, a bottle of excellent olive oil or some handmade keto chocolate truffles in a beautiful gift box. For the latter, you might get lucky and be treated to your own gift in which case, your social eating problem is solved.
To sum up: don’t make the mistake of thinking that your social life is over because you go keto. It’s the other way around: keto will help you look and feel your best so that you can enjoy your social life like never before! My client Varsha is an excellent example of what’s possible – read her inspiring story here.
And if someone cuts your conversation short at the party, remember: it’s probably NOT because of disinterest, but because they must run to the bathroom due to diarrhea from bad food. One more reason to stay on keto!