I have received notes from clients’ partners concerned with questions like “Is the Keto Diet Healthy?” and “how can I support my partner?“. These individuals are excited their partner is trying to make changes to their lifestyle and achieve their weight loss goals. They also may not know what it’s like to suffer through obesity and failed diet advice all their lives. These people want to know how they might support their partner and get answers to whether the keto diet is healthy.
I’m unsure if the Keto Diet is Healthy, How can I Support My Partner?
Hi Anthony, I need some advice on how to better support my partner’s keto journey. (S)He’s been very moody and easily irritated lately. I’m trying to be supportive, but it’s getting tough to handle how different he / she is behaving. Especially on days when I’m trying to handle my own stress from work, family, etc. Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated.– Example of a question I’ve received from client’s support network.
Your Support is Key in Transition to the Keto Lifestyle
First, it is inspiring that people’s partners are taking the initiative to reach out and help support their loved one’s journey back to health. Having a somebody important in their life to lean on at the toughest of times could be the difference between success and failure. Also, you are in a unique place as a person of trust to make things less painful during the transition phase than it may otherwise be he/she was going it alone.
You are critical in those initial weeks while your partner is transitioning their metabolism from sugar burning to fat burning. Once that happens, your partner’s mood, enthusiasm and energy levels will be at a place you likely have never even seen before (or haven’t seen for years). To get through this tough time, I recommend you give the process a chance to run its due course. Personally, I went through a few weeks of low energy until I finally felt that “eureka” moment of being in ketosis. Fat metabolism has unique benefits over carbohydrate metabolism, and the unbelievable benefits compound with time.
Try to understand that your partner is doing this not only for his/her health but more importantly for you, and to be there for the entire family.
So, is the Keto Diet Healthy?
Below are 5 Simple Ways you – a trusted partner – can answer this question for yourself. Ultimately, showing your support in their lifestyle choice will benefit you both in the long run. Let’s begin!
1. Educate Yourself on Keto & Metabolism
The number one thing you can do to support your partner is to become educated on metabolism, and what your partner has been going through being overweight. If you can be confident with the answer to whether the keto diet is healthy or not, you will be better equipped to support your partner when times are tough.
Check out my list of 5 paradigm-shifting reads and pick up a few of the books. Your partner will be blown away by seeing you reading about the topic they are passionate about changing.
Think about this for a moment. If your partner had a chronic disease, wouldn’t you want to know as much as possible about how it effects them? If there was a treatment plan he/she was about to undertake, wouldn’t you want to understand what to expect? The road to recovery from obesity, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance should be considered no different.
2. Show Your Support
Showing your support doesn’t mean you have to slave over a stove and make keto meals every night (though occasionally it wouldn’t hurt ). It doesn’t mean you need to wait on your partner hand and foot, or put your own needs totally on hold. What showing your support means is communication.
- Let them know how proud your are of the steps they are taking.
- Recognize low energy or off moods and respond with support
- Ask whether there’s anything you can do for them to help alleviate some stress.
3. Hold Your Partner Accountable
If you are lucky enough to never have struggled with weight, let me tell you: It is not pleasant being overweight and obese. Frustration, guilt, anger were the main emotions felt. Physically, your partner is feeling lethargic, with near-constant hunger no matter how much they feed themselves of standard diet fare.
When dieting hasn’t worked all their lives… they feel as though they are failures. Self-esteem takes a beating, and it’s a tough pill to swallow one’s pride and ask for help. Once they have made that decision to start that journey, it is imperative to not let that spark of hope extinguish.
In other words, their commitment to change is what you – as their support person – should see if they behave irritably. Try to learn & understand (see point 1 – educate yourself) these behaviours are transient. If possible, try to avoid eating his favorite carb-heavy foods around him. Try the new foods he prepares, and act interested in the new recipes he is trying out – even if some fall flat, offer ideas for improving it next time. If he/she believes you are in on this with him, it will help hold him accountable as well.
Practical Tips for Accountability
For example, here are some ways you can hold you partner accountable:
- Snap Progress Pictures. – they will never be this out of shape again and you can both be proud together at how far you’ve come in a few months time.
- Ask Educated Questions. – “Hey, would this be keto?” can be used to offer help, or if you know they are indulging in something higher in carbs, it could spark a conversation about why they might be ‘falling off the wagon’ making a poor choice
- Try Lowering Carbs Yourself. You don’t have to go keto, but showing an attempt at lowering carbs will go miles to boost their esteem with their partner making changes too.
4. Create a Favourable Food Environment
Something that was super helpful during my transition was removing my trigger foods from their prominent, easily accessible locations. For instance, replacing cereal boxes with keto-friendly prepared grab & go foods. I’d recommend reading Slim by Design for more on the methodology.
Listen to Stephan Guyenet on Peak Human, where he discusses how cravings can be controlled. Having a food environment clean of your partner’s trigger foods makes their choices easier, and less tainted by tempting non-keto options.
Remember that what is today considered a “normal” or “balanced” diet is detrimental to your partner’s success. In fact, most people demonstrate they cannot consume the standard American diet without developing metabolic disease. So, reframe what carbs mean in nutrition
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Feel free to reach out any time. Above all, your partner is committed to getting healthy. Remember this, and support it.
By making it to the end of this article, it’s clear that you are dedicated to helping your partner succeed. To sum up: show your support and be there for her/him as they work to regain their health. Until next time!