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Is a keto diet hard to maintain?

Is a keto diet hard to maintain?

Did you know it can take up to two weeks (or more) for your body to start burning fat instead of glucose after starting a low-carb diet?

Apparently, it all depends on how “keto-adapted” your body is.

Diet adherence hinges on many factors, notably these three:

Diet adherence hinges on many factors. In addition to “high internal motivation”, let’s mention the POSE factors:

  • Preferences. If you like the foods your diet allows more than the foods it disallows, you’ll find adherence easier. To speak in broader terms: the better a diet fits your lifestyle and food preferences, the more likely you are to stick to it.
  • Organization. If you prepare diet-appropriate meals and snacks in advance, you’ll find adherence easier. (Studies in which meals are provided by the researchers see greater diet adherence.) Relatedly, following any diet usually means spending a little more time planning your grocery shopping. Finally, if you intend to eat out, you’ll want to do some research to find restaurants with keto-friendly items on their menu.
  • Support. If your family is supportive (if only by not leaving in plain sight the foods your diet disallows — see below), you’ll find adherence easier. Your friends and colleagues might need to be supportive too (especially if you want to eat out — see above). Having access to a support system (dietician, dedicated online group ...)will also help.
  • Environment. If you live alone, consider removing all disallowed foods from your place. If you don’t live alone and the people you live with don’t share your diet, you should at least make sure that disallowed foods don’t lie in plain sight and aren’t easily accessible, so they won’t constantly tempt you. Another risk factor is your TV: anytime you watch it, you’re likely to be assaulted with commercials for high-carb foods.

You’ll notice we didn’t mention hunger. That’s because not all diets are hypocaloric, or need to be. Hypocaloric diets (diets that have you eat less than you burn) are useful only if you wish to lose weight. Many diets (Mediterranean, paleo, keto ...) are not intrinsically hypocaloric. Still, it is worth noting that people tend to be less hungry on a keto diet: in studies that didn’t limit food intake, people on a keto diet tended to naturally eat less (i.e.,fewer calories) than people on higher-carb diets.

But in the end, hypocaloric or not, are keto diets easier to adhere to than other diets?

You just need to flip the right switch.

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