You want to stay motivated on your keto diet but there’s a slice of birthday cake in your kitchen and its begging for attention.
Everything has been going so well for you on keto: you’ve lost weight, gained energy and can fit into your favorite outfit.
At this stage of your diet you should be feeling great. Nothing on earth would make you fall off the wagon now right?
Unfortunately for most, the answer isn’t always that simple.
Even when we’re doing well, sometimes especially when we’re doing well, we want to spoil things.
It’s hard to believe that we’d want to tip that wagon over, and make sure we fall right off, but we do. Just when everything seems to be going well, we plot to sabotage all our successes.
Understanding why we do this, can help us to see things more clearly. It can help us to put the brakes on our self sabotaging behavior before it ruins our diet.
What is self sabotaging behavior? How Does Is Effect Our Motivation To Stay On Keto?
Self Sabotage is a behavior which we either directly or indirectly use to stop us from reaching our goals.
This kind of behavior can take place in any area of our life, but it is particularly common when it comes to staying with a diet.
This holds true, even when we are on a diet that has so far been super successful for us. Further, the very fact that our diet has been successful is likely to make us want to self sabotage even more.
So why would we want to do something that would ruin all our good diet intentions? Why is the pull to behave in such a negative way so strong?
So strong that all too often we give into this damaging behavior even when we want to stay motivated on our keto diet.
Self sabotage and diet.
Unfortunately for the dieter, turning to food is a common way in which we self sabotage.
Whatever the area involved, be it a relationship or our work, food is one of the favorite ways that we can ruin our plans.
Therefore, when the part of our lives that’s involved is our diet, it’s easy to see why we wreck this even more often than we damage other successes we may be having.
So what can we do to stop this?
Recognizing What We Say To Ourselves About Our Diet.
Low Self- Esteem:
When we have low self-esteem we tend to think we’re not worth anything good happening to us. This may or may not be something that we’re aware of.
If this is you, as each successful diet day passed, you would have felt more strongly that you aren’t worth it. You may have felt that you’re no good at achieving things.
These two thoughts are uncomfortable and unpleasant. If you’re not aware of them, you would simply have experienced this sort of negative thinking as feeling low or irritable.
Over time, you find it more uncomfortable to achieve your weight loss goals. Your mind secretly decides to get over the problems by having you fail now.
It reasons that it’s better to fail now, than feel the stress of being sure failure will come anyway sooner or later.
Why not just go into that kitchen and eat the cake; you always fail at what you do anyway. Why drag the pain out?
Besides which, you don’t deserve to succeed.
This sort of negative behavior has two benefits for us:
- We no longer have to fear failure, as we’ve given up.
- This giving up in itself helps us to feel that we’re back in control.
How to know if your thoughts are pushing you towards sabotaging your diet.
You’ll need to take a long honest look at yourself with this one and it’s not going to be easy.
This is especially true if you use damaging behavior in many areas of your life.
Firstly you’ll need to ask yourself some questions:
- Do I sabotage other areas where I could be successful?
- Am I more interested in feeling good right now, over holding out for a long term goal?
- Am I avoiding negative thoughts by giving in to them? (to get it over with)
- Am I spending too much time listening to my negative thoughts?
- Am I not putting my weight loss and health goals first before all else? (You should be)
If you can relate to more than two of these questions, you need to take the idea of self-sabotage seriously.
How Can You Overcome Self Sabotaging Thoughts About Your Diet?
The first thing you’ll need to do it go carefully over the questions above. You’ll need to ignore your feelings of discomfort, and recognize which thoughts are applicable to you.
Half the battle is to recognize what you’re saying to yourself before you sabotage your diet, not after you’ve eaten the cake.
Take each question separately, and ask yourself as many questions about it as you can.
For example, If you’re not putting your health and weight loss first in your life, why not? Why don’t you think that these goals should be your priority?
Are some of the questions mixed together? Is one of the reasons you fear losing weight because you feel you don’t deserve to? Are you afraid of failure?
List all the reasons why you deserve to be at your goal weight, and as healthy as you can be.
Imagine you have a friend who is about to ruin his/her diet with a slice of cake. What advice would you give your friend? Would you consider your friend had the right to be healthy and put them self first?
Remind yourself that if you do eat that cake, it will hit the spot for no more than a few minutes. Then you are going to be back to your negative thoughts.
Plus, now you’re going to convince yourself that you were right all along: you can’t stick to something, you’re not good enough.
Really put in the time with the questions, and try to dig as deep as you can. Nobody needs to see your work, so you can be as honest as you need to be.
When To Seek Help
We all feel frail and unworthy from time to time. Indeed, nobody likes that super confident person who never suffers a moment of self-doubt.
However, if you constantly feel worthless or not good enough, you may benefit from seeking some advice and help.
This could be a professional counselor or your best friend. What you need is someone to talk through with you all the reasons for why you don’t feel good enough.
You need to discover and own all your feelings of not being worth enough, and work out a strategy for overcoming these ideas.
If making yourself a priority is difficult for you, write the longest list you can of all the things you’ve achieved or overcome. These don’t have to be big things, just the small important things that we successfully do each day without thinking about it.
Following that you’ll need to work on a plan of things to do when the negative behavior hits. Whether its switching your thoughts to why you’re valuable, going on a walk or phoning a friend.
Have a list of activities at hand that can stop your sabotaging before it even starts.
Physical Reasons For Losing Motivation On Keto
So far we’ve considered only psychological reasons for going off our diet.
However, there are several physical reasons that will make this much more likely. It’s possible that you have a mix of both sorts of triggers.
These intense feelings of wanting something in particular can be very difficult to control.
Try to make things easier for yourself by never buying or storing foods in your house if you know they are not allowed.
The golden rule here is simple: If it’s in your cupboard you’re going to eat it sooner or later. Avoid having this temptation in your home.
Unfortunately some of us are sugar addicts, and the first few weeks on a keto diet can be tough. Try to have a good supply of healthy low carb snacks ready for when your craving hits.
Some people find it useful to go out of the house for a walk, or spend time with a friend. Have some strategies ready for when you need them.
Occasionally certain types of Gut Bacteria can make cravings worse. Read here if you think this might be an issue for you.
Make Sure That You Eat Enough
The keto diet is not calorie restricted. You should always finish your meal feeling that you have had enough to eat.
Under-eating is a surefire way of finding that you want to snack, or eat a high carb treat a few hours later.
Make sure your meals are big enough, and that they contain the recommended 70% fat.
Track Your Weight
Finally, try to track your weight as you go along. It’s probably best to do this only once or twice a week due to daily changes.
However, seeing your progress can really help you to stay on track. It helps you to see that things are going well for you, and it would be a shame to mess things up now.
Above all, don’t beat yourself up if you do give in to the occasional high carb food. We’ve all been there, and the trick it to try to work out what led up to the snack, and work out how to repeat the deed.
Then you put the whole even behind you and move on. A once in a while slip up isn’t going to wreck your entire diet.
See here for more information about how to deal with a cheat:
How to survive a keto cheat day
Always keep in mind that with a small amount of learning and planning, you’ll be able to keep yourself motivated on your keto diet. You’ll be on track and able to reach all your goals.