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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Why I Quit Keto

After posting about my exercise and diet routine last December, I thought it was time for an update, mostly to hold myself accountable. It's been about five months since I changed my approach towards health and fitness for the better, and I honestly could not be happier with the results. I have lost ALL the weight I had gained from consulting AND banking. I am eating as healthy as I can, exercising regularly and also taking time to relax and decompress after a stressful week. BUT I have made some adjustments to my routine that accommodate my lifestyle even better.

For those who did not read my aforementioned post, I fell victim to the "analyst 15" from both consulting and banking, and I reversed my situation with keto and nearly daily workouts. Although I know this is wrong, I initially started keto as a "quick fix" because I was desperately unhappy with my physique at the time. At first I thought doing keto long-term was doable until I eventually came across social and health repercussions of the diet.

What do I mean by social? People around you will feel uncomfortable when you go out to eat and you're the only one scraping off most of your food to stay keto. For instance, I went to a Korean bibimbap (rice bowl) restaurant with my friends and got a rice bowl with, well, no rice. In terms of health repercussions, I went through the "keto flu" about three times. I felt very energetic once my body fully adjusted to keto, but later on, I was running on a lower energy level than before (which makes sense, since my body was getting energy off of fat and not carbs), and this made it incredibly difficult to stay up late at work. My sleep got better but it became way too deep, which made it hard to get to the gym or work on time.

Another issue I had: I personally think that you will easily run out of delectable food options as a banker on keto. Sure, you could take out the rice and bread on your typical to-go lunch orders, but I got tired of it really quickly. I also found it a bit ridiculous that I couldn't even eat tofu because it is not "keto friendly." There are many keto-friendly recipes of popular dishes, but what investment banker has the time to cook all that?

Given the above reasons, I slowly started getting off keto. I didn't really have a "process" for this - I just started slowly increasing my carb intake. Although I am no longer on the keto diet, I still make a conscious effort to eat more vegetables, fruit and protein than carbs on any given day.

Regarding my workout, I just felt like the "go to the gym as many times as you can" mantra was frustrating and actually very dangerous. I noticed that I started to get upset with myself if I skipped the gym just for one day, and I felt like that was a huge red flag, given my history with eating disorders. Once I was satisfied with my weight loss, I worked out less aggressively. Around the same time, work started to get really busy, making it difficult to go to the gym, so I changed my "rule" to workout a minimum of three times a week. This gives me the flexibility to go when I can, especially during a hectic week.

Obviously, my routine is not perfect, but I am finding that it helps me make healthy choices and maintain my weight. What are some best practices that help you stick to a healthy routine?


Dresses (left to right): Sandro, Theory, Elie Tahari 
Shoes: Gianvito Rossi, Naturalizer | Purse: Celine

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