Handling Criticism

In a perfect world, we would all have a circle of family and friends to support us in everything we do. They would do their best to understand, encourage and help us be successful. Some of them might even do what we’re doing right along with us in a show of empathy and solidarity. If you have people who support your efforts and who encourage you in living your keto lifestyle, that is truly a blessing!

When Family or Friends Don’t Understand Your Keto Lifestyle

Alas, we don’t live in a perfect world.

You may find that some of your family and friends just don’t understand what keto is all about or why you’re doing it. Some may even try to discourage you from eating this way, whether subtly (“Oh, go ahead – one little cookie won’t hurt!”) or more obviously by openly criticizing your choices.

You might hear statements like “But you don’t need to lose weight”, “It’s not healthy”, or “Why would you want to miss out on so many of the delicious foods you’ve had to give up?”

Great Reasons For Choosing Keto

If the people who are questioning your choices really seek to understand why you are making them, then there are certainly some great facts you can share about the benefits of keto eating.

Keto is not a “diet” per se, because it’s not something you just do temporarily; it’s a life-long way of healthy eating. It can improve your energy level, mental and physical performance. Done correctly it can:
~ optimize your weight
~ correct imbalances and deficiencies
~ improve your body’s ability to absorb and utilize nutrients
~ help you sleep better
~ relieve or eliminate some allergies
~ boost your immune system
~ rid your body of stored toxins
~ help in the treatment and prevention of numerous diseases (think obesity, type 2 diabetes, digestive disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, auto-immune diseases, inflammation, and even cancer).

Real Food vs. Processed Junk


When you adopt a healthy keto way of eating, you’re consuming real, nutritious, whole foods instead of processed, toxic, artificial junk. Choosing the right foods is probably the single most important thing you can do to optimize your health.

We don’t get fat and sick overnight; rather, it’s the cumulative effect of years of poor dietary and other lifestyle choices. By the time some of those illnesses finally make themselves known, they can be difficult or impossible to reverse.

By following the keto way of eating we give ourselves the best possible chance of minimizing or avoiding illness and disease.

Sacrifice or Saving Grace?

Giving up some of the foods you enjoy (spelled “c-a-r-b-s”) can be a little tough at any given moment. But giving up foods that are keeping us sick isn’t really a sacrifice at all when you think about what you stand to gain.

Remember the old saying “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”? When you look at the bigger picture, the momentary missing of a certain food doesn’t seem like such a big deal anymore.

Find Healthy Substitutes

There are keto-friendly substitutes for many of the high carb foods you used to enjoy. For example, cauliflower and daikon radish make great substitutes for potatoes or pasta. There are recipes for keto breads you can make yourself. Try substituting almond and coconut flours for regular flour or bread crumbs. Grated Parmesan cheese makes a great coating for foods as well. Substitute olive or coconut oil and real butter for harmful vegetable oils. You can read more about choosing healthy fats in this article.

All these foods are truly delicious in their own right, and they won’t cause problems like weight gain, illness and continued cravings and energy crashes that high-carb foods do.

Now, I can’t imagine how anyone could NOT be convinced of the amazing benefits of keto after hearing all this – it’s a pretty impressive list! But sometimes there’s still that one person …

Doubting Thomas

Despite your best efforts at touting the benefits of keto, there still may be someone who is just not convinced (or who refused to even listen to you in the first place).

Who knows why – maybe they’re jealous on some level. Maybe they’re still clinging to some misinformation they heard about keto that says it’s bad. Or they might be worried about how your choices might affect them. Whatever their reasons, they are just not the enthusiastic supporters you wish they would be.

Give Yourself Permission To Do It Anyway

It’s wonderful to feel like the people we care most about are on our team and cheering us on, but if they can’t (or won’t) be, please don’t let that be the reason you stop choosing keto. Remember that you are doing this for yourself. You don’t need anyone else’s permission or blessing. Your decisions about the way you choose to eat are not hurting anyone. Let people see that you are committed to following healthy keto no matter what, and that you will not be deterred by any negativity.

Sadly, there may still be someone in your life who will continue to criticize. They seem to be on a mission to get you to change your mind through arguing or belittling you. And the minute you argue back, it only seems to make things worse.

Retain Your Power By Avoiding The Game

In cases like this, I believe the best thing you can do is to simply not take the bait. Instead of trying to change their mind, try responding in a way that will stop their argument right in its tracks.

Non-Defensive Responses

I read an entire book years ago that talked about the use of non-defensive responses, particularly with difficult, abusive or critical people. Something it said really stuck with me, and that is that the minute you start to argue, cry, threaten, apologize, explain, justify or defend your actions and choices, or try to get them to change their mind, you’re handing your power over to them. You are giving them the power to withhold what you’re asking for (their support and approval).

Whatever their criticism may be, if you respond with non-defensive statements like “Thanks for sharing your opinion”, “I’m sorry you’re upset”, “It’s interesting that you see it that way”, “I’m sorry you don’t approve” or just plain “Hmmm, I see”, you’re dropping the ball. You’re refusing to get caught up in the game, and when you choose not to argue, it tends to take the wind out of the other person’s sails pretty quickly.

Focus On Your Goals


Let me just remind you one more time that you are doing this for YOU – nobody else! Stay your course, or get back “on the wagon” if you’ve fallen off. If you know in your heart that this is something you want to do to take good care of yourself, don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Do what you have to do to keep YOU as your first priority!

Keto on, friends, and make it an awesome day!

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