Do You Need Discipline to Eat Keto or Carnivore?

by Clara P. Triane, M.D. and Sol Ta Triane

       We’re all familiar with the idea of using discipline to stay on a torturous calorie-counting, portion-controlled diet. That is the discipline of a plant-based diet. 
       In keto or carnivore, however, the kind of discipline needed will be different. On a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet you can chow down hard. Indeed, chowing down hard may be a discipline in itself. We’ve been brainwashed to think we need to count calories and limit portion size. It often comes as a relief to learn that on a low carbohydrate/high fat diet, most people no longer need to do so. 
       Those on a high carbohydrate, low fat diet tend to eat frequent meals and snacks all day long. On a low carbohydrate/high fat diet most people feel great eating one, two or three meals per day, no snacks. It works because animal fat and protein are very satiating. Those on a high carbohydrate plant-based diet feel continual hunger. The human body is designed to consume plants only as emergency food. Many people are happily surprised to find out that on a low carbohydrate diet, they can eat as much fatty meat as they wish. 
       When grocery shopping it will take some discipline to stop buying all the high carbohydrate foods that you used to buy. On a ketogenic or carnivore diet most of the foods that you will purchase are on the edges of the grocery store, where the whole foods are displayed. Some people may need to discipline themselves to not wander up and down the processed food aisles.
       The longer you stay on a meat-based, low carb ketogenic diet, the more satisfied you become. It is a pleasurable life to be able to consume plenty of fatty meat until you feel full every day. That feeling of fullness stays because your satiation hormones are functioning properly. Both dietary and body fats are metabolized into ketone bodies, an excellent source of energy. Gone are the days of finishing a meal, feeling your energy crash and becoming hungry again shortly thereafter. As you become accustomed to eating nutrient dense animal products, your cravings for high carb, nutrient poor foods will likely diminish or even disappear. The cookies, crackers, cereals that seemed so inviting lose their appeal. 
       Some people are motivated by various health problems to follow a keto or carnivore diet for a period of time. When their health starts to improve, they may entertain the thought that it won’t hurt to eat just a little of the bread, rice, pasta or fruit that they used to consume on a regular basis. However, experts know that eating “just a little” of those items can have adverse metabolic effects that last for days. It is also easy to reignite addictions for those high carb foods. 
       Sun Tzu’s Art of War says, “Discipline means that regulations are strict and clear.” You know what you’re supposed to eat. Eat that. 
       The entire purpose of eating an ancestrally appropriate natural human diet is to optimize health and reverse chronic disease. The goal is not to improve your health so that you can go back to your bad habits that caused the trouble in the first place. A low carb ketogenic diet can be quite a boon for your health, but only if you do it for life, with a lifelong commitment.
       It will take discipline to stick to your guns when the media and your acquaintances and family members try to convince you to go back to a high carb, plant-based, sugary diet. And to make it worse, we are continually bombarded by junk food advertisements. Candy is kept at the checkout counters of most grocery stores, ever tempting.
       Remembering all the health problems you experienced before you started a low carb ketogenic or carnivore diet can be useful. Is it really worth losing the benefits for which you worked so hard?
       That being said, if for whatever reason you do get off track, exerting discipline can be helpful for getting right back on track. Just be totally honest with yourself and your dietary professional or doctor.
       It takes some open-mindedness, willingness and discipline to establish any new habit. Once established, however, a low carb ketogenic diet is quite easy to sustain, again, because of a corrected nutritional status and hormonal activity. Because you feel full you can spend less time cooking and eating and more time participating in other activities. Shopping for food becomes simpler. You no longer need to search for complex food flavors in an attempt to satisfy your palate. Your health improves in a plethora of ways, making any discipline needed to stay on a keto or carnivore diet well worth the effort. 

       Given all the forces that are against your eating a proper human diet, a low carb doctor is an invaluable asset to help you do keto right. If you are having difficulty adhering to a keto or carnivore diet and would like some professional help, request a consult with Dr. Clara P. Triane. 

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Clara P. Triane, M.D.

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