Too good to be true

Fit woman

My son was disappointed and hung his head as he said, “Mom, I spent my whole $20.00.”

I tousled his hair and said, “I know you did, Honey, but you learned an important lesson. When something seems too good to be true, it typically is.”

A few weeks earlier Jonathan had spied a coveted toy for sale online. The price was reduced, and he eagerly grabbed his birthday money stash and handed me cash so that he could use my credit card to order online. When his package arrived, via a very slow boat from China, it was not what he expected. Not only was it not the brand advertised on the website, but the materials used to make the toy were plastic and basically inoperable. The empty box was as useful as the item itself.

We checked the website he ordered from to see if we had any recourse. When we read the fine print, it was clear. This was not the item he wanted. There was no way to recover his money. He needed to take this as a lesson learned and move on. We talked about what he could have done differently, and some of the red flags that were more obvious in hindsight. My son had rushed head first into buying the toy because it was something he desperately wanted and thought he could afford. The seller had taken advantage of the popularity of the toy to make money on something that wasn’t what it represented it self to be.

How often have we done that as adults? I’ve plunked down hundreds, make that thousands, of dollars on weight-loss schemes over my lifetime. A plan, pill, potion, supplement, super food — anything to make the fat melt away. Not only did I open my wallet time after time, but I opened my heart to hope. This time it will work! Right? I’d “invest in myself”, brighten my future and make things different. Whatever weight-loss scheme I was buying into never seemed to help me. The only thing I ever lost permanently was my money, and I began to lose my hope.

How keto is different

Then came keto in June 2013. Besides buying one book that changed my life, Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat, I never bought anything more than low-carb, high-fat food to make my new ketogenic lifestyle work. My plan was as simple as the bag of groceries I purchased each week. For the first time there was no, “Buy Now! Special price for the first 30 customers! Limited time offer! Buy this 30-day plan, and we will give YOU the secret to success!”

Thankfully, I discovered keto when it was not so popular. Maybe it was more isolating then and less well understood, but my beloved simple eating plan has become a rock star sensation. Keto or ketogenic diet was among the top 10 searched eating plan in 2017 and continues to soar in 2018. Along with that popularity, comes the marketing. Suddenly everyone has something to sell to “help” you keto. The outrageous supplement claims, exogenous ketones, special foods, oils, macro calculators, and ketone monitors have proliferated. Folks are even selling foods that they claim are ketogenic. Sadly, many of those products are not keto, not even low carb, and contain awful ingredients (e.g. sweeteners that raise blood glucose, high-carb flours, or even real sugar).

On social media and in real life, people tell me, “Oh, I ordered…”. I listen, praying that what they ordered is just real food. Unfortunately, marketers are taking advantage of the popularity of keto and trying to make money on things that aren’t what they represent themselves to be. Unless your doctor or a medical professional finds that you need to supplement a micronutrient, then you probably don’t.

On keto, if you’re eating real foods, you’re likely getting better vitamins and minerals than you ever did before. It’s when you were eating highly-processed foods such as chips, bagels, cereal, that you weren’t getting good nutrition. With regards to exogenous ketones, these really aren’t necessary for weight loss. Some might find them medically therapeutic for some conditions, but I would much rather use the ketones my body produces as I burn fat from my personal reserves.

As for “keto” foods… oh my. Most aren’t full of good ingredients, and I’d remind you that it’s the short cut of fast food and easy-to-make processed food products that got many of us into health trouble. When you make your own food, then you can be certain that it truly is low in carbohydrate and full of good fats. One of the reasons that this Diet Doctor website and my YouTube channel, Cooking Keto with Kristie exists is to help you learn what foods to eat as well as how to prepare them. For free.

When it comes to following a ketogenic way of eating, you can avoid disappointment by sticking to what we know works. 100% of every day you keep carbs low, fat high, and eat real food, and the results often feel too good to be true!

Kristie Sullivan

More with Kristie

Do you want to read more by Kristie Sullivan? Here are her three most popular posts:
  • The ultimate guide to low-carb or keto kitchen essentials
  • The ultimate low carb and keto cookie collection
  • Festive low carb and keto Christmas cookies

Kristie’s story

"I'll do this or I'm going to die trying"

Cooking keto with Kristie



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