How to keto-vise everything
When I first got into the keto diet, finding a variety of keto-friendly food was a challenge. The general principle of keto is no carbs and sugar, just fats and vegetables. It's easy to remember, but it's not easy to pull off every single day, especially in Asia’s context where rice is king! (then again, carbs is an important food group in every single cuisine.)
My Keto first meal was a huge challenge!
I was at the hawker centre below my apartment thinking which dining place in Singapore would allow me to get keto-friendly food. Like most Singaporean, eating at a food court contributes to at least half of my daily meals. And most food stores serve food along with either rice or noodle(carbs intensive).
And then something pops up to my mind. I recall watching a reality show where a lady was eating just 2 dishes from the economic rice store without any rice just so she can lose weight! And it suddenly hit me, What if I could just remove the rice(and carbs) from all my meal. Would that work?
So I went up to the economic rice store and tried ordering food that way. As usual, the staff automatically reach out to serve a bowl of rice on my plate. I hastily told him I don't want any rice. I felt silly. Probably no one ever orders food this way.
Strangely enough, he said okay and as if nothing happened, he continued with my order.
At that point, I realise how much control we have over the food we eat.
You can ask to include or exclude any food item you want from your plate.
Just to make sure this is the case for all food places, I tried this exact same thing at a few other restaurants. True enough, no one gave me a weird look. In fact, every waiter and waitress seems to note down my order as if nothing is out of the ordinary.
I remember ordering a Natsumi burger (burger with lecture instead of buns) at Mos burger and I got a separate chicken piece instead of getting a set meal (which includes coke). It was $2 cheaper than the set meal and on top of that, I don’t have to break my diet! That was especially surprising for me because I used to have the thinking that healthy/specialised food would cause more.
At that moment I was proven wrong;
You eat healthily without wasting a lot of money on food!
The next day, I went to a steak house and I got a steak with 2 servings of vegetables instead of a side of chips or mashed potatoes. Aside from a friend commenting that he should be like me and eat more healthily, nothing was out of the norm.
It’s as if I had a newfound superpower; I get to grind at my diet almost everywhere! Best of all, I don't need to spend more on food just to keep to my diet
But wait, that’s not all!
Once in a while, my co-workers would pass around some snacks in the office.
Because I’m avoiding sugar on a daily basis, I would turn down their kind gesture. That’s when they realise that they found out or were reminded that I’m on a diet!
“You are on a diet? How come I didn’t notice! But you were eating with us almost every day!”
That’s when I realised that dieting had a negative connotation. When we think of someone being on a diet, a fussy person dictating what they can or cannot eat comes to mind. Someone that you probably don’t want to eat with during lunch or dinner because you have to consider their dietary restrictions!
But that wasn’t the case with me! I still eat out regularly with my co-workers and friends. It’s kind of like in the meme where people don’t notice that I’m “different”.
And that provided me with a lot of relief because the pressure of choosing where to eat every single meal is not on me. More importantly, the most irritating aspect of dieting is that people around you would be policing you on your food choices and that felt like a dream come true for anyone that is trying to eat healthily.
Of course, there were still times where I would suggest eating at other places that are more budget-friendly or accessible, etc. But it usually wouldn’t be because of my dietary constraints.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Leong Han wai