I’m sure that this has happened to each of us: we take the brave steps to better ourselves with the LCHF or Keto WOE only to have family and friends criticise our choices and try to scare us back into “healthy eating”.
I know this is coming from a well-intentioned place, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Our loved ones are likely approaching this from a naïve position. They think that we are doing ourselves harm but they do not actually understand the science or the evidence behind this WOE. The general sentiment of friends and family members tends to be: “Isn’t this going to clog up your veins?”, “Isn’t this going to push your cholesterol up?”, “Isn’t this dangerous?”. I say no, no and no, but it’s easy to understand why they are saying this and their fears. We have lived the past 40 years with medical authorities telling us that fat is bad and that we should limit our fat intake. No wonder they are concerned.
The purpose of this blog isn’t to do a deep dive into the research and safety of high-fat/low-carb vs low-fat/high-carb. There are experts in this field who have shown remarkable health benefits. This blog is rather about how we handled this issue with our friends, family and even our GPs.
Before starting LCHF my wife and I had done tons of research. We’re both healthcare professionals and this all seemed counter intuitive. After reading as much as we could find, we had the “aha” moment and understood why this was going to work. It was now time for baselines. My GP thought I had gone mad. He ordered baseline blood tests and then ordered repeats for 3 months later. I think he was expecting my cholesterol to go up but to his surprise all my tests came back good.
Next started the anxious calls from relatives. This is where having good blood results really came in handy. It quelled the steady stream of concern [a bit] as we could show that we “had this under control”. Unfortunately, we have found that this reassurance is very short lived… just the other day my sister again started talking about doing “damage to your insides”. It is tiring.
The next barrage of question that we have all almost certainly experienced was “what can you eat? You can’t have anything…” I love Instagram and the Keto/LCHF Facebook groups for that. There are tens of thousands of pictures amazing and delicious meals that our Keto/LCHF community posts in ongoing support for one another. A few scroll throughs typically gets the following response “ooh, that looks nice… can you really have that?”… and of course, there’s always the bacon envy.
The last criticism is actually my favourite. My mother tells me this every time I see her. “You are getting so thin. You are going to get sick… etc etc”. My mum is very old school… she equates being overweight with abundance and therefore health. I’m 5”7 and weigh 85kg – I have a decent amount of muscle so forget what the BMI says. Before starting this WOE I was pushing out of a size 38 pants… I now wear a size 33 jeans. I can run without my knees hurting and I am full of energy.
I think the best way we can all quell criticism from those around us is to show them how awesome we have become, how we have made our lives better and how they should too.