As an ardent lover of all types of carbohydrate-packed foods, I can say with almost 100% certainty that I could never commit to a keto diet.
Before I dare to delve even deeper into that train of thought, let me just say that I know plenty of people with diabetes who do follow a keto diet successfully. It’s what works for them. And that’s wonderful! Truly, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to find a nutrition plan that cooperates with diabetes, and that just because one plan works well for one individual does not mean that it will work the same for others. In a nutshell? You do you, and I support that.
Okay, now that I’ve got that out of the way – let’s get to the root of the matter.
It’s not just my utter adoration of carbs that would cause me to struggle on a keto diet. Absolutely not. In my years of relatively light research on the keto diet (which consists of many conversations I’ve had with strict followers of it, as well as my social media lurking on pages plugging keto), I’ve learned that just about all carbs can be replaced by a keto version: You just have to get creative and have keto-friendly ingredients in your kitchen cabinets. So I’d find solace in knowing that I could always bake low-carb muffins, bagels, pizzas, cakes, and the like as long as I had a good recipe and the proper ingredients on hand.
The real reason that I’d totally fail at a keto diet is that I have a hard time with self-control when it comes to 0 or minimal-carb treats. I actually go to town on them. Since I know that I don’t have to bolus for something with low or no carbohydrates, it’s like they become “free” foods to me, meaning that I can eat as much as I want without having to worry about the consequences…which may or may not impact my blood sugar, but which definitely could affect my waistline.
In other words, I have a difficult time remembering that just because something has 0 carbs, it doesn’t mean it has 0 calories.
During the short-lived (think 3 days at a time) keto phases of my life, I found myself eating more and more. Since I was deprived of carbs, I felt entitled to consume more keto foods than I actually needed. My blood sugar may have benefited overall, but it was not at all necessary to be mowing down on all the keto-friendly treats (think keto ice cream, keto cookies, keto bread) that are out there and available to me. I didn’t recognize it right away, but when I did, I realized it came down to my lack of ability to exercise restraint as well as acknowledge the difference between carbs and calories as both a person with diabetes and a person who aims to maintain a particular caloric intake.
So when it comes to keto, it’s a no-go because I finally understand how it impacts my relationship with carbs and calories. I’ll stick to what has generally worked best for me in my 25 years of diabetes, which is a classic: everything in moderation.