Managing Depression with Keto

Hey fellow Keto-ers! I’ve been a little quiet lately as of late on the blog. With the end of my summer semester and working weekends it’s been pretty hectic with the schedule. I did need to break away from tracking and alternate day fasting because I was feeling super stressed and overwhelmed balancing a lot of elements of life. I feel happier but I still keep carrying around the “I need to lose the 20 lbs” thoughts. I have been listening to some great podcasts and reading articles about depression, body image, and self love.

I can not recommend Leanne Vogel’s (episode #50 on itunes) “Self Love & Body Image” enough. She interviewed Joelle Anderson, a mindfulness coach, about these topics and it was pretty perspective changing. They also chatted about body hatred, connecting to your body, and how to overcome self-sabotage. I know personally I’ll be listening it over again and checking out the resources they discussed.

My biggest takeaways from the show where when they were discussing the real reason why people want to lose weight in the first place. If there’s problems before, it doesn’t mean that losing weight will make them magically disappear. Some examples they listed were wanting to feel more confident to talk to people or being more vibrant. The bottom line is that you can be and feel those things at any weight. Anderson recommended that you start a self-discovery of those underlying wants and start figuring out how you can experience those qualities today. So it got me thinking…yeah cute clothes and a specific jean size might be nice but what is the real reason why I want this? I want to feel comfortable in my body and I want to think I’m beautiful when I see pictures. These are it! I’ll be working on them and now that this type of process takes a while to discover our emotions, feelings, sensations, and underlying motivators.

The other takeaway was how important it is to have a relationship with yourself. We spend more time with ourselves than anyone in our lives so having this self-love connection is so important! I am so guilty of not enjoying my time by myself and watching the clock until I can be with my fiance. It’s not easy working on these things but it’s an absolute necessity if I am ever going to learn about how to manage depression and have a great relationship with myself. Luckily, I don’t wake up in the morning and absolutely hate everything about me like I did before. I’ve learned to accept the process and forgive myself. It’s not always perfect, and I know being alone and comparing myself against other people seem to be my recent body image struggles, but I’m working on it. AND that’s more important. Even though I haven’t been “perfect” on keto, and don’t have a huge weight loss, knowing that keto makes me happier and healthier are the things that keep me on it.

Recently, I’ve also been trying a new tactic with my counselor to process events called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR). It’s an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been shown to be very effective with the treatment of trauma. Everyone experiences trauma differently in their life and handles it differently. You hold a sensor (“tappers”) in each hand and it pulses with a small vibration back and forth. This is done to stimulate the different sides of your brain and desensitize a specific event while the counselor walks you through it. It creates new pathways in your brain to rebrand those events that you perceived as traumatic. To begin, you start with the image of the event (eyes closed) and try to put yourself back into it thinking of specific imagery, smells, and feelings. It reopens wounds and every time you think of it, the counselor asks you to just let your mind go and see what thoughts come into your head. There’s short breaks and then you go right back into it and observe again what thoughts come into your head. It worked for me, even though it was not easy. The main goal is to bring down the event of trauma from a 10 to a 1. Emotions definitely surfaced and it was not pleasant but I don’t feel strongly about the event anymore. I was even able to rediscover some things that I had suppressed.  I’m proud of myself for showing up to these sessions even though I’d rather just keep ignoring my depression and flake off like I’ve done so many times in the past. I see the progress and I’m not going to stop until I learn how to manage this.

I also recommend checking out this article about the science behind keto and how it can help with depression on keto. One more reason to love this way of eating!

Your Brain on Ketones


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