It’s fabulous to be at the cusp of our second month on keto! It’s such a feeling of achievement just to know we have stuck to our goals for this long, even if in context of the 28-week challenge, it’s been a short time.
Both Alex and I have had food-related obstacles that tripped us up a tad, but we are convinced if we take the blunders in our stride as tools for learning, we can ultimately craft a more stable, wholesome lifestyle built upon ketogenic principles.
|Alex’s Keto Records||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4|
|Weight in lbs||222||216.5||211||211|
|Waist in inches||41||40.5||40||40|
Weight loss so far: 11lbs
Family, Fun, and Failure: Alex 0, Carbs 1
How long does it really take to form a habit? It’s a question I’ve been chewing on all week. SO much, in fact, that I read one of the most talked-about books on habit-forming, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
I discovered fascinating things about how we as humans build behavior patterns, and how these rules apply to following a fat-loss plan. I’ll give you a quick low-down on the most useful and interesting things I learned below. But first! The reason behind all my brooding…
PASTRY. I’m not even going to go into details in case I trigger someone’s cravings, but goodness gracious, it was satisfying… for a few moments. After a few milky, sugary cups of tea and a few baked confections, I felt bloated, wired and, honestly, like a loser.
I knew that things like this happen in real life, family gatherings happen, and we can’t always be perfect, but I just felt like I have more self-control than that, you know?
Anyway, I didn’t end up losing any real weight, an awkward revelation to make to Chelsea although she faced her own diet demons this week.
Now, we turn to how I got out of this miserable state and into pro-active mode!
What Is A “Habit” And How Does It Work?
Duhigg explains that a bit can be broken up into 4 stages, what he calls the “habit loop”. I’m going to explain it briefly and use my own habit of snacking on sweet things as an illustrative example.
- The Cue Or Trigger
This is the kick-starter for a habit: something that happens around you that signals your brain to perform a certain routine. For me, a cue to nibble on sugary treats would definitely be others indulging around me. It feels a bit like I’m left out if I don’t plan my own snack beforehand.
The routine is what you need to do to get the “reward” at the end of the habit.
For my habit, it’s shopping for snack foods, preparing them and of course, the snacking itself.
The reward stage is the satisfaction you get from performing this routine to its final stage, where a release of dopamine induces relaxation and pleasure.
Dependencies often start when a person becomes too focused on achieving this reward over and over again.
Craving is a supplementary stage in the loop, but no less important to the model. Cravings happen when you have become accustomed to a certain habit for a while, to the point where the reward hormones are released before the routine has even started.
This causes a feeling of “needing” to do something, like, say, eating a bunch of pastries at a get-together because it’s just “what I do”.
So How Do We Break Bad Habits?
According to Duhigg, people who plan what they are going to do when a “pain point” occurs are more likely to follow through with the exercise they need to accomplish, i.e. resisting the urge to satisfy unwanted cravings for bad habits.
Writing down what I would do in future challenges like this helped me solidify the ideas in my mind, and keeping a food journal as of this week is another way I plan on manifesting my goals with the help of what I learned in this book.
|Chelsea’s Keto Records||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4|
|Weight in lbs||238||230||224||222.5|
|Waist in inches||43||42||42||41.5|
Weight loss so far: 15.5lbs
Macadamia Nut Butter: Friend or Delicious Foe
After waiting for weeks, my pride and joy has finally arrived… and swiftly departed. I’ve definitely been indulging my mindless-eating side, and I managed to turn something awesome into somewhat of a guilt-fest.
I am, of course, talking about my all-time favorite organic macadamia nut butter I’ve ever had.
Naturally, because the omega 3 to omega 6 ratios in macadamia nut oil are so well balanced, I really love seizing every opportunity I can to stock my pantry up with macadamia EVERYTHING.
Sadly, because these products are so costly, I hardly ever invest in their goodness. This weekend, all that changed. I got my hands on a 250g jar of pure macadamia nut butter at a farmers’ market.
The store was a few hours away from where I live, so it would only make sense to use my golden elixir bit by bit, savoring it over time…
Yeah, so that didn’t happen. I got home from the farmers market and, because I didn’t plan my meals and snacks properly, I launched straight into the jar with a spoon.
I think in total I polished off 1/3 of it in one sitting. The worst thing was, the next day, I was too busy cleaning the house to make decent meals, that I ended up snacking away the entire balance by the end of the day.
I think the worst part about it isn’t that I way overshot my fat intake goals, but rather that I disrespected my food. It sounds a little weird, but part of my ketogenic journey is building and sustaining a healthy relationship with food and my body.
Overdoing anything has the power to rob it of it’s magic, in my opinion. After my macadamia binge, my favorite food no longer felt like precious nectar of the fat-gods, but rather just another mindless snack. I feel like the lesson to learn is that, on keto, we have to appreciate every nutrient for the blessing it gives our body.
At the end of the day, getting hung up on guilt isn’t part of my mission. Guilt is a tool I will use to inform future choices, not a “punishment” for messing up.
I feel like I can really relate to Alex’s feelings about the last week, but I’m also really glad we have each other, and you guys, to help us work through challenges and break bad habits as a community.
I Want To Know If You Agree!
If you guys have ever ruined a food before, how did you handle it? Let me know in the comments if you agree with my theory or if you see it differently!
We’re always excited to learn new things, especially from our fellow keto-ers on Fooled By Fat. Let’s work together as a united fat-powered community to bust nutrition conspiracies and get real, life-tested information out there.
Duhigg, Charles. (2012) The power of habit: why we do what we do in life and business. New York: Random House.
de Souza, R., Schincaglia, R. M., Pimentel, G. D., & Mota, J. F. (2017). Nuts and Human Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 9(12), 1311. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748761/