If you’ve ever made a change to your life, be it food related or not, you have most likely come across a friend or family member who wants to give you their two cents and won’t listen your keto tips. Sometimes this uncalled for ‘feedback’ can even come from strangers both in real life and online.
While the criticisms often come from a place of love and care, they can be uncalled for, hurtful and often downright wrong!
There are a few methods you can use to ensure you rise above the negative comments or judgements that may make you question your own steadfastness, depending on who it is and your relationship with them.
1. The Well Meaning Partner or Friend
This person really cares about you and your health and wellbeing. They may have seen you on a diet rollercoaster before, and possibly have seen you obsess over a certain miracle weight loss contraption or pill. They worry about you and your health, and think you are beautiful no matter what.
The best way to approach this person is explaining to them why you are doing keto. This is not just another weight loss fad, you are doing this to reclaim your health, fix your digestion issues and create a healthy lifestyle that can be maintained for the rest of your life. The weight-loss is just a bonus. You can assure them that you have done a lot of research and you are confident, based on the mounting scientific evidence, that this is the way our bodies were designed to eat.
2. The Nosy or Judgemental Colleague
This one can be a bit tricky – it might be a friend, but is quite often a colleague, as these people see more of your eating habits than anyone else! They might have seen your 3.30pm chocolate binge-fest every afternoon for the past few years, or know that you are the first one to dig into the office birthday cake.
When you are suddenly saying no to cake, chocolate, biscuits and the like, this undoubtedly raises a few eyebrows. What do you mean you aren’t eating carbs? What about fruit? Or quinoa? Pete Evans says quinoa is healthy you know!
These people are often the sufferers of tall poppy syndrome – when they see you losing weight quickly, being full of energy and not being tempted by chocolate, it can be a reflection on their own short comings.
I find the best way to deal with these people – especially if you are not particularly close – is to keep the details to a minimum. I have found saying things like “I am trying to get back to basics”, “My doctor suggested eliminating processed foods”, or even just shrugging it off can be enough to move these people on. If they want more information in a few months when they see the transformation you have been through, they will be much more receptive at this stage.
3. The Down Right Rude Stranger
While these people are few and far between, for some reason there are people out there who think it is their right to discuss someone’s eating habits and dictate what they are doing wrong.
This happened to me when I was a few months into keto, about 10kgs down and feeling on top of the world. In line at the supermarket with my usual supplies of vegetables, meat, butter, cream and cheese, I had a woman say “Careful young lady, you’ll get fat on all of that!“, pointing towards the butter and cream.
Well. I wasn’t about to stand there going on about all the joys of keto trying to convert this woman with her trolley of low fat yoghurt and processed muesli bars. It’s up to her when she is ready to do her own research. I simply replied that it is working for me so far, and I’ll continue to eat this way until it doesn’t.
In the majority of cases, anything that sounds like a negative comment is just misunderstanding, sometimes with a twinge of jealousy. I felt so silly when I first started keto to think of all the delicious meals I had given up over the years thinking fat makes you fat.
It takes time for some people to realise the benefits of a low carb, high fat diet – but give them time, only give them information if they ask for it, and believe in yourself.
Do you have other strategies you use to deal with negative people? Post in the comments below!