In the event of a crisis or emergency, you might be wondering about keto in difficult times. Let’s go through the best approach to keeping your goals!
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Should I Stay Keto in Difficult Times?
This is the 64 million dollar question, right? As the moderator of many large Facebook Groups, I am seeing people absolutely fretting about staying keto right now.
At the time of writing this, March 23, 2020, we are being faced with absolute craziness at stores, the economy, health, etc.. And for the first time for many of us, we are being faced with the reality of not being able to buy everything we want at the grocery store or, gulp, Amazon even.
I don't want to focus on the specific issue at hand going on right now, but rather what our response is when it relates to keto.
Disclaimer: This article is for those who electively choose keto, not those that are doing keto due to medical necessity and this is no way should be used as medical or nutritional advice for anyone. These are simply my views.
So, what is the best answer? Should we stay keto in difficult times? Times when it is hard to get food at the store? When we may be lacking some income due to job losses?
The answer is not a simple one, but there is what I call common sense here.
Keto or Mac'N'Cheese?
You might roll your eyes at this, but this is a common example of what people weigh in their minds.
Alter Ego #1 I'm worried I can't stay keto because I couldn't find any meat at the grocery store today.
Alter Ego #2 Well, clearly I can't, so I'll just stop and start up when things clear up [heads to the pantry to make a box of mac'n'cheese]
Now, this might seem silly, but we all know it. That is how our brains work for the most part. And this is what happens. It is this all or nothing game (or excuse).
I'll also add here as well that this is very common when people stop keto after they've lost weight. Some people go the extreme opposite direction and then wonder why their results are slipping away before their eyes.
The Balanced "Gray" Area
So what do we do? You are faced with an extreme circumstance and are finding it difficult to be full keto for the time being. Now what?
First of all, give yourself grace. Keto is a FLUID lifestyle. If you haven't read about Intuitive Keto , I invite you to pause and do that now and then come back. You can find the article here: Intuitive Keto.
Keto for one is not keto for all. Keto changes daily. AND keto can flow with times of higher carbs when needed to.
It is NOT black and white and doesn't need to be. If you've been super strict, it is time to give a little grace for whatever difficult situation you find yourself in.
Eat Keto Best You Can
If you have keto foods, eat them. If you can make keto meals, make them.
If you can do 2 out of 3 meals per day keto, great have 2 keto meals and 1 non keto meal.
If you can do 1 keto meal and 2 non keto meals, great, no worries.
Here are my suggestion, though, given your carb intake may be here:
- Try to not overdo the fat. In times of higher carbs, you don't want to have high fat AND high carbs.
- Eggs are normally pretty commonplace. If you are able to have eggs, make 1 meal simply eggs with some bacon and veggies (frozen if needed).
- Just because you have a non keto meal, doesn't mean it needs to be mac'n'cheese. You can still have a reasonably healthy. higher carb meal.
My Personal Choices For Non Keto Foods
I practice cyclical keto so I'm a pro at higher carb days per week. I'm going to break this down into 2 categories: Best Case and Worst Case for what to choose for non keto foods.
The Best Case foods are what I choose for higher carb days for my regular cyclical keto routine.
The Worst Case foods are what I eat on occasion when I have to (like I will now a few times a week) but don't necessarily want to.
Below are the naturally gluten free foods that I choose from (in order) on my higher carb days. I usually stick to the first 3. These are the best choices, in my opinion, if you have easier access to them at the store vs other keto foods.
- Sweet Potatoes
- White Potatoes
- Higher carb nuts (cashews)
Below are what I may be faced with in this particular uncertain time, which shall remain nameless. If you are reading this in 2020, you know what I mean, if you are reading this after, you may still remember....
ANYWAY, things like the below items are what I have in my pantry to supplement.
- Gluten Free Bread
What does it look like? Well, a few times a week, I will most likely have some of the above as a supplement. So, some rice mixed in with my chicken or some beans in chili, etc...
Here's the thing to remember though. Just because I'm going to eat foods that knock me out of ketosis does NOT mean that I throw caution (and my goals) to the wind and just start scarfing down non keto foods.
Where people go wrong is that they feel if they are not in ketosis then there is no point. Let me be possibly the first to tell you that ketosis does not equate to weight loss. You can be out of ketosis and someone else can be in ketosis and you could lose more weight.
Or maybe your goals aren't weight loss and you still feel all is lost and then throw it all away.
Listen to this clearly - even just staying away from gluten and sugar, with higher carbs is STILL going to do amazing things for your body!
So I cringe when I hear people say that since they can't be in ketosis right now that its all pizza and mac'n'cheese. You can maintain a low (ish) carb lifestyle, even if it is not keto. And if you absolutely CAN'T, then give grace and do your best.
Just remember, as with anything, there are better higher carb choices than others.
Instead of eating under 20g of carbs per day, perhaps it means you try to stay under 80g per day or maybe 100g. This piece is totally individual.
The point is that you can see great benefits from low carb as well as keto. One non keto meal per day does not need to lead to ALL meals non keto filled with sugar and gluten.
And if all meals need to be non keto by necessity, continue to try to limit things like gluten and sugar and you'll still stay ahead of the curve!
Keto Foods to Bake to Have on Hand
There are a few keto staples that you can bake AND get most of the ingredients online to have on hand.
This covers sandwiches and snacks! Easy to make ahead and always keep on hand. You can also freeze them.
Keto Staples to Buy Online
Chocolate Chips (use code TRINAKRUG for 10% off)
Keto Bars (use code TRINAKRUG for 20% off)
If you can't stay keto due to circumstances beyond your control, try healthy low (ish) carb. It will be an easy transition back to keto and you can also maintain most of what you lost as well as your improved health without having to start over again.