Busting Myths - Part 2

blog keto and low carb success myths Jun 14, 2023

Busting Myths - Part 2

This is the second in a four-part blog series. June is the month of Busting Myths! I am covering both keto and low carb and trust you will find answers to some questions you didn't even know you had!

I am going to be busting myths in no particular order, but find them all important. It's so beneficial to have all the information in one place especially when you pick up bits and pieces of information on the internet or through social media.  Some have to do with just Keto, others just with Low Carb, and a lot of them have to do with both!

Here is your roadmap to Busting Myths - Part 2:

Myth #7: I have to eat all the fat on my meat.

Myth #8: I have to add cream sauces and butter to my meals

Myth #9: I am afraid I will upset my metabolism because I won't be hungry for all my meals.

Myth #10: I'm afraid I won't know anymore if I'm hungry.

Now let's get started with BUSTING MYTHS Part 2! 

Myth #7.  I have to eat all the fat on my meat.  

Well the easiest away around this if you can’t make yourself eat straight fat (not me, my friends: when people cut the fat off their steaks I ask for it on my plate!), you can eat fattier cuts of meat that are marbled, and if you are using ground beef, forget that love affair with “diet lean” which is usually 90% – 95% lean.

  • Enjoy salami, pepperoni, corned beef, pastrami. Enjoy bacon, duck, chicken (thighs and legs with skin on, please), and sausage. Buy the cheap cuts (usually fattier) and learn to slowly braise or use a slow cooker.
  • For Low Carb, the advice is a little different because you will not be so freely eating fat, as you are still eating a lot of carbohydrates, even though not even close to the amount you may have been eating in the past.
  • So, for Low Carb I would not keep the advice of eating all the fat on your steak, skin on the chicken, or large quantities of something like bacon or salami, but I would keep the advice to not fear fat.
  • Use olive oil on your salads, real butter where you eat butter, and cream – not fake creamers – in your coffee.
  • If you treat fat as an enjoyable and unrestricted condiment, rather than a whole portion of your plate, then you should be fine.

Myth #8.  Ancillary to the myth above is, I have to add cream sauces and butter to my vegetables.

Again, don’t fear the fat. The answer to both is no, but do you really not like butter and oils?

  • A lot of this is coming from the fat-free mindset that is so hard to shake.
  • When you need to add some fat but don’t want to go straight to butter or oil, try adding sour cream, make cream dressings with blue cheese, or add full fat cheese to your salads, such as feta and brie.
  • Again, with Low Carb, you are welcome to do this, but you might either want to cut back a bit on how much fat you would eat for Keto, or sub out some lower fat items, like low-to-no fat dairy. Just please do not eat the fake stuff!

Myth #9.  I’m afraid I will upset my metabolism because I hear I won’t be feeling I need to eat three – or even 2 – meals a day.    

As odd as this question might seem, this is a source of anxiety and worry for a lot of people, myself included at the beginning.

  • The natural progression of Keto is that you are less often hungry because your hunger hormone (ghrelin) and fullness hormone (leptin) begin to throw off their shackles of insulin resistance. I was absolutely a three-meal-a-day plus two-snack-a day eater with plenty of after-dinner eating as well.
  • The progression for me with Keto started with having breakfast and coffee, then lunch, then something on the way home during my long commute. When I got home, I wasn’t hungry, and I missed having dinner, especially on the evenings that my husband was off from work.
  • On those occasions I often ate when I wasn’t hungry and that just didn’t feel good. I thought to myself, if I want to eat dinner what is logical to cut out?
  • I cut out lunches, but I hated that because I had a lunch hour at work. In the nice weather I could go for a walk, but in the colder weather I stayed in my office and I just didn’t know what to do with myself for that hour, when I had always enjoyed shutting my door and having a leisurely lunch.
  • I finally cut out breakfast (I had been a huge breakfast eater) but didn’t want to forgo coffee. So now I have a couple of coffees with heavy cream in the morning, a light lunch and then enjoy a later dinner so that I am not looking to eat in the evening and also, I am not that hungry in the morning.
  • Another similar adjustment comes when you go out with friends to eat and you are just not hungry. I know it is difficult in a social situation to not eat, especially if everyone is out to dinner or lunch at a restaurant. I would never say to eat anyway, especially if you have been trying so hard to get your hunger cues where you can feel them. Have a cup of tea or coffee. If you are at about a 3 (on a scale of 1 – 10), it is okay to have something light. No one would question you if you just ordered a salad.
  • The other thing is to plan to be hungry at the meal. If it is lunch, maybe have an earlier dinner the night before and cut your coffee or other beverage consumption in the morning. If it is dinner, that one is easy – perhaps have a light breakfast that day and then skip lunch or have something light but filling, like a few slices of salami and cheese.
  • A lot of times this anxiety can come just from breaking your habits around food. If this is the situation, stop and breathe, and then ask yourself, “Am I hungry? What do I really need here?” I got very anxious at lunch, so in the nice weather I tried to get out for a walk, but eventually I adjusted my meals so that I was hungry at lunch.
  • I would want to eat in the evenings after dinner, and in the midst of breaking that habit I would get very anxious.
  • I stopped and asked myself what was really going on to cause that level of “head hunger”? Was I just unable to relax? What would help?  Was I rethinking things that happened during the day that might have upset me?
  • They are only thoughts, sit with them and let the anxiety wash over and pass. Is it purely habit, for instance watching TV and eating? Get up and brush your teeth and get ready for bed.
  • Once you get used to not reacting to mealtimes, social situations, habits and anxiety, this question is moot. It won’t even phase you that you are not eating the usual quantities and number of times.
  • When I am in a Low Carb cycle, I find that I usually am hungry for three meals because I am not using fat to the degree that I am with Keto, and eating more carbs which, in themselves, cause hunger.
  • However, when I am very tuned into my hunger scale, I find that I don’t have a need to overeat and I am not usually hungry for snacks between meals. When I do have carbohydrates such as fruit or a grain product, I have those with breakfast and lunch. If I have carbohydrates for dinner I do find that not only do I want to eat at night, but I am much hungrier in the morning. Having my carbohydrates early in the day seems to better regulate my insulin response, thus taking care of hunger.

Myth #10.  I am afraid I won’t know any more if I am hungry.  

If you have been strongly ruled by an external-locus-of-control way of eating (I will do a blog on this but for now, listen to Episode 24 of my podcast, Keto and Low Carb Success, for more on this), you may have no clue what hunger is.

  • This is because you relied on a clock or social situation to tell you it was time to eat. I do a lot of hunger-scale training with my clients, but in a nutshell here, let me say that if you absolutely have no clue what feeling hungry is, I suggest a short intermittent fast. If you must, have your coffee in the morning but go until dinner with nothing but water. Still not sure you are hungry? Wait until the morning to eat. Short intermittent fasts clear up a lot of the “How do I know if I’m hungry?” questions.
  • Another way to learn is to pay attention to how you feel after you eat. Please don’t eat until the “I can’t eat another bite” stage – take one serving of whatever you are eating and put the fork down. Sit quietly and really home in on how you are feeling. Do you feel sort of neutral (5) – that you could probably eat a bit more without being stuffed? Okay – hold on to the feeling. Next time you wonder if you are hungry, recall this feeling you have right now.
  • If you are out with people and you find yourself at a 5, which is neutral, it is okay to have something to eat, but keep it light, like a salad or appetizer plate. Some diet gurus will say that you should just sit there with a glass of water. Totally not necessary my friends. Go ahead and eat but make it a small quantity so that you won’t be going past a six. Truth be told, it’s a great time to just order that dessert you have been craving, and to heck with worrying about a meal.
  • If you are at home and not in a social situation, you may not hungry enough to have a meal if you are at a 5 or more. 
  • Please see the resource link below to find the workbook on Understanding and Using Your Hunger Scale.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, Busting Myths - Part 2, and I hope it will help you navigate your journey. Don't forget to subscribe to the mailing list (below) so that you don't miss the next one!

Now, let me remind you. If you’ve ever got a question you’d like to ask me or share a topic idea that you would like me to cover in a future blog, don’t be a stranger! I always look forward to hearing from readers like you. You are welcome to email me directly… [email protected].

All Free Resources

Learn more about this with my book and course:

Book Conquer Cravings with Keto 

Course Keto and Low Carb Success


Tips for Keeping a Food Journal - Part 1

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