When People Don’t Support Your Low Carb Diet…


Brittany asks: “What do I tell people who don’t support my low carb diet?”

You will inevitably run across many people who don’t understand your low carb diet, or worse – are very UNsupportive. They may tell you that a low carb diet is bad for your heart, that you’ll end up with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, that you need carbs for energy (false!), or that “there is no way you can lose weight eating bacon!”

This might make you second-guess yourself or your decision to eat low carb. Or it may make you feel angry, frustrated or discouraged.

First, I recommend you do your research on how a low carb diet works, learn the health benefits of eating low carb, and educate yourself on how a low carb / ketogenic diet affects your cardiovascular health.

no low carb support

ARE You REALLY Eating Healthy?

Don’t Give Them A Reason To Protest!

If you’re catching a lot of slack from people you eat with, it might be time to analyze what’s on your plate. I have confessed countless times that when I first started eating low carb, I was a “junk food low carber”.

Back then I could eat a pound of bacon dipped in mayo for a snack (lol). I used a lot of store-bought shakes & bars, ate canned Vienna sausages and LOTS of sugar free candy, and basically anything “low carb” as long as I stayed within my 20 net carbs per day.

And you know what? I lost weight! I lost 8 pounds in the first 10 days even. I’m all for doing whatever it takes to transition into a low carb diet and ultimately a healthier lifestyle.

Of course over time I started making healthier swaps and now I’m eating better than I ever have in my life. But you’ll STILL get people questioning your food choices or your “diet” – if you bring it up, or give them reason to.

I was at a pub with friends recently and I ordered grilled chicken with steamed broccoli – and a side of avocado slices. Who can argue with THAT plate? Nobody.

Last night I took myself out to dinner before I went to the gym, and ordered a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (no croutons, please!) – and added Grilled Shrimp:

Again, who could argue with that plate? πŸ˜‰ If people are giving you a hard time about the food choices your making, you might reconsider those choices. While this is a high fat diet, you can make VERY healthy food choices to achieve a low carb / high fat ratio.

Don’t Discuss Your “Diet” With Others

It’s actually best not to discuss your diet with other people at all. You don’t need anyone’s permission or validation. You are eating healthy and losing weight for yourself. Just do it!

You cannot convince anyone that a low carb diet is healthy, no matter how much research you share with them. Most people are very set in their own way of thinking, and trying to convince them “they are wrong” is just asking for an argument.

It’s not worth the conflict with your friends, family, coworkers, etc. Period.

There are so many dogmatic “food religions” out there right now, too. It’s just like religion or politics – it’s better to avoid the topic altogether.

I never mention “low carb” or “keto” when ordering at restaurants either. I simply say “I eat diabetic” and only if that’s necessary. I can’t lie to save my life so I don’t say I AM diabetic, I simply say I EAT diabetic. EVERYONE understands that.

Just SHOW them. Proof talks.

Then… if anyone asks how you’re losing weight, you can say you’re “eating healthy” with a smile. πŸ˜€

WHY People Discourage You

Understanding “why” will help you to not take it so personally when someone makes a comment about your diet, or your food choices. And THAT is key. Do not take it personal. Because it’s not about YOU. It’s about THEM.

If it’s your spouse, they may be insecure about the idea of you becoming thinner or more attractive. Arguing with them will only make this worse. Instead, love and encourage them. Give them more attention. Prove to them that they are the reason you want to be healthier, and that they are your primary focus in life. Reassuring a spouse or significant other is a great way to show love to them. They may not realize they are insecure, or even be fully aware of their subconscious fears.

There will be other people in your life that want you to fail. Again, it has nothing to do with you. They may enjoy being thinner than you. Maybe not in a mean way, or even consciously. Or if they are overweight or out of shape, you succeeding (or even taking steps in the right direction) makes them feel like a failure for not pushing themselves, or improving themselves. They need you to be just like them – for self validation.

More often than not, it really isn’t about you.

And then there are “mean people” in your life. If possible, disassociate with them. Shed them along with the pounds. Or keep reading for some ideal ways to deal with “mean people” you can’t get away from…

Prepare Your Responses!

Step one: develop a thicker skin, and learn to bite your tongue and smile. πŸ˜‰

Consider the people and situations where you are catching slack or getting a hard time about your diet. First, are you the one bringing it up? Don’t! Simply order healthy food, or choose to eat healthy foods. You do not have to explain your choices.

If you are constantly getting nagged at the table by certain friends or family members, find something else to do with those people. Meet your best friend to go for a walk together instead of meeting for lunch, for example. Consider what small changes you can make to avoid negative situations.

If someone tries to push a donut on you (damn the donut pushers!!), say:

* Thank you, but sadly they make me feel sick. (truth!) I appreciate it though πŸ˜€ with a smile!

* No thanks, I’m watching my figure – but enjoy! πŸ˜€

* Ooh, they look delicious, but I’m stuffed at the moment.

Easy, right? Good!

Consider your usual scenarios and come up with your own prepared responses so that you’re never caught off guard. And PRACTICE THAT BEAUTIFUL SMILE!

If you bring up the word diet, or ACT like you’re disappointed about saying no, they are only going to push harder. “Aw c’mon, one won’t hurt you” etc, etc, etc. Say “No thanks, really” and smile and get busy with something else or change the subject – fast. Turn it around to something important to them like, “how’d your date go last night??” or “is your daughter feeling better?” etc.

Don’t mention the words “diet” or “keto” or “low carb” or “Atkins”. You’re inviting an argument if you do. If it comes up, simply say “I’m eating healthy now” – and make sure your plate reflects that statement! You don’t need validation or permission from ANYone to become your happiest, healthiest self.

Got a point to prove? Just smile, be happy, eat healthy and lose weight – and vow (silently) to “show them” just how many pounds you can lose and how awesome you can look. Let your body speak volumes over time. You won’t ever have to mention “your diet” or that you’ve lost weight – THEY will say it to YOU!

Using “Lack of Support” As An Excuse To Fail

When someone close to you gives you a hard time about getting healthy, or doesn’t support your way of eating, it can be very discouraging. I’ve heard several people say, “It makes me want to quit.” How sad is that?! πŸ™

Remember that it really isn’t about you. Consider how you can encourage that person, or how you can make sure they know you love them and they are important to you – keeping in mind their comments/feelings come from a negative source within them.

It’s human nature to focus on the negative – even if it’s small compared to the positive. We often use these itty bitty negatives (like a rude comment) in our lives to rationalize or to give ourselves excuses. That’s the norm…

We don’t want to BE normal though. We want to be in the top percent that achieve amazing results, and become our happiest healthiest selves!! Right?? Right!

Most of us have to fight old habits and old thought patterns – it’s a hurdle. Keep pushing yourself. Alone if you have to. You can always join us in the low carb group and make TONS of low carb friends who are friendly and supportive, though. We’re a FUN group!

DO NOT let someone else control your health, your weight, or your food choices. That belongs to you, and you alone. Instead of using lack of support as an excuse to give up, use it as fuel to PROVE THEM WRONG. πŸ˜‰

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler


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Netrition – The Internet’s Premier Nutrition Superstore!


About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
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27 Responses to When People Don’t Support Your Low Carb Diet…

  1. This is 100% correct. I do not even need to say more. Do what she says and smile beautifully!

  2. Eleanor Piltz says:

    Thank you for such a well written article. Very helpful in dealing with those in our life who do not understand why we choose to live life Lo Carb High Fat! I know it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Now at the point of tweaking my diet to be healthier so glad to find your website.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I’m glad you found us too, Eleanor!

      It’s definitely important to choose the healthiest low carb foods possible – healthy fats, healthy ratios of fat/protein, etc. I like to choose my carbs and calories carefully, considering the nutrition quality in every single one!

  3. Karen says:

    Like you I was the low carb junkie, but unlike you, I gained 10 pounds! So I need to get this tweeked a bit and get the 30 pounds plus the additional 10 off. Have been in ketosis since December 28. Don’t understand macros. Have read a lot but so confused.

  4. enelkay says:

    I’ve been eating low carb to low/moderate carb since 1997 — started at 206 lbs. and got down to 135 lbs., and brought my blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides from sky high down to low normal. But after my husband passed away I had to sell my home in Florida and move to an Independent Living Community in North Carolina to be near where my son lived. Unfortunately it’s very difficult to eat low carb in the dining room here. In the two years since I’ve been here I gained a little more than 20 lbs. and my blood work soared.

    It costs more than $4000 a month for my apartment, which includes meals, and I felt that I couldn’t afford to spend that and buy low carb foods for my meals as well. But I’m finding that I absolutely must buy things to fix for breakfast and lunch, and I can order a salad and either a chicken breast, a cheeseburger (no roll, of course!), or a salmon filet for dinner, and a low carb veggie if they have one on the menu.

    I have a small kitchenette and it’s hard to cook, but my breakfast is usually either three scrambled eggs or a shake made of whey protein powder and frozen berries. About once a week I have a small bowl of oatmeal. I buy beef, pork or chicken to cook in my slow-cooker with an assortment of frozen veggies, and I freeze the soups in single-serving packages, one of which is my usual lunch. After two months of that I’m down 15 lbs. and I feel infinitely better. And all of the people who sit at my table, and who thought I’d sort of lost my mind, are asking me about my low carb way of eating (I don’t call it a diet.)

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that the same people who are very verbal about thinking you’re nuts for eating low carb will do an abrupt about face when they see how it helps you. And if they don’t, the way you feel will make it very much worthwhile anyway!

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  6. Tim says:

    “I eat Diabetic,” I love your idea!

    It helped me so much to prepare mentally BEFORE people try convince me to eat “bad” food. I visualize saying “no” to others, picking something that fits into my eating plan (3 years paleo). Helped immensely!

    Great post, thank you!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you, Tim! πŸ˜€ I agree – it really does help to be prepared in advance. Being defensive or bringing it up just causes more stress than it’s worth. πŸ˜›

  7. Melissa says:

    Great article! I’m down 50 lbs in less than a year thanks to low carb (Atkins 2002 version). At first, my friends, family and coworkers thought I was crazy but now that I am down so many pounds, everyone wants to know more about life carb eating. It as hard at first because people really think that discouraging you from making the right choices for yourself is somehow helpful- go figure! I agree with you, nowadays it’s like politics or religion. It’s best not to talk about it without being prepared to defend your eating choices.

  8. Cate says:

    Thanks for this great article. I have a major problem with a person who is SO TIRED of seeing and hearing about new diets that he refuses to help and insists on eating out several times a week – and wanting pizza or beignets when traveling that I just give up – BUT NO MORE! What a help to have this article that I can read & re-read to enforce my conviction. Also thanks for the hint about drinks and food bars – KEEP IT NATURAL!

  9. Sara says:

    The issue I’m having is my husband. I do really well eating low carb during the week when he’s at work, but when he’s home, he’s scarfing down little debbie snacks, chips and other high carb stuff.
    I have told him again and again that i NEED to eat LC, but he will go out of his way to buy foods that he knows I love, but he won’t eat. For example, I have a weakness for salt and vinegar potato chips and peanut butter chocolate cookies. He will make sure to buy them.
    I can’t drive…..I can’t even go for a walk because I’m disabled and my driveway is too steep.
    I feel like I do well until the weekend. I cook for myself when he’s working and when he gets home I just tell him I already ate.
    The weekends is when he gets me. Because I feel so surrounded by the junk food.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Sara,

      Most men are very money conscious. What if you don’t eat them, and they go to waste – just stack up and go unused? What if you donate them to the food bank? Would that “fix” the situation? πŸ™‚

      Whatever his reason for doing that, HE isn’t the issue. The issue is temptation, and being torn between instant gratification… and your health.

      As for his “why” – maybe it’s an insecurity, which is usually the case. Reassure him, let him know you just want to be your healthiest happiest self – for him. πŸ™‚

  10. Beth says:

    Lynn-great post! I think it’s wise not to discuss one’s diet with anyone, regardless of what diet or eating habits you’re following. Unless the person you’re with is following the exact diet/plan you are, you will more than likely get flack from them. I’m trying to eat a more plant-based diet in 2016. I’m not going totally vegan, I just know I feel better when I eat less animal products. Now, if I announce this decision to family members and/or friends I’ll most likely hear from all the negative Nancy’s. Bottom line, how and what I eat is personal.

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  12. Adie says:

    Thank you for the article Lynn it has made me even more determined to see my plan through. I adore those three little words and I am stealing them because…” I am diabetic”

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I’m so glad, Adie! Empowerment and determination are KEY to making a big lifestyle change – and being diabetic gives you a very strong incentive to take control of your health. πŸ™‚ Here’s to healthier, happier & stronger! *cheers*

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  14. Sandy says:

    I am diabetic and I am struggling very,very,much! I keep going back and forth about LCHF ! I want to try and then I can not last anytime! I have been on a couple of support groups for diabetic/ LCHF and the American Diabetic Association says so much the other way of eating what ever is in your range of carbs that your diabetic educator set up for you( me) 10 yrs. ago and I was so scared I followed 45-50 carbs per meal,2 snacks a day each 15 gr no more and nothing after 9:30,based upon the time I got up in the morning! I did give up “real sugar” and stayed away from white flour,switched to whole wheat! Walked 30 min.a day at least 5 out of 7 days.Lost 45lbs!10yrs later ,hip replacement later( which I did well with)I am back to eating “real sugar” and now on metformin 2x a day 500 mg.per each pill! I just keep vacillating back and forth on what to do and feel like such a failure and knowing how dangerous this disease is!! We are leaving on a family vacation with our children and grandchildren the end of rhe week,so I certainly do not want to set myself up for failure by starting anything now.I want you to know reading this article has helped me to think more about all of this way of eating and I keep reading your posts and you seem to be so positive,more simple and not the make you feel horrible if you eat the “wrong ” food ,because it is not allowed!!So…..I intend to keep reading all of your post and,pray I will have the courage and where withall to do this if I can get my head wrapped around this concept and not be fearful about this way of eating!! Thank you so much for reading this!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Sandy πŸ™‚ I hope you had a great vacation!

      I want to encourage you NOT to diet, but rather to make positive healthy lifestyle changes – that will allow you to feel better, be healthier, and simply be more mindful and less fearful about food / eating / health / disease.

      That stress is bad for our health too! πŸ˜‰ I am saying both of those things from personal experience… and with love.

      A ketogenic low carb diet can be a VERY healthy way of eating. That depends on how you eat of course, and that includes not obsessing over dieting but rather switching to a healthy, active low carb lifestyle.

      I’m here for you. πŸ™‚ And no – you won’t get any judgments from me. I’m not perfect, and am perfectly happy being imperfect on my own healthy journey. πŸ˜‰ *cheers*

  15. Belinda says:

    What a fantastic post, literally just the advice I needed at this moment in time, thanks Lynn

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