Understanding the Keto Craze
You’ve likely heard the buzz about the ketogenic diet, renowned for its potential to reshape bodies and minds. Perhaps you’ve pondered its benefits, such as:
- Weight Loss: Keto enthusiasts often report significant fat shedding, attributing it to the diet’s ability to switch the body’s primary fuel source from carbohydrates to fats.
- Enhanced Brain Function: Many claim heightened mental clarity and focus, thanks to the diet’s reduction of sugar spikes.
- Gut Health Improvement: A reduction in carb intake can lead to less bloating and better digestion.
My Keto Journey in Thailand
As someone living in Thailand, adopting a keto lifestyle presents unique challenges. The Thai cuisine, aromatic and flavorsome, is also a landmine of hidden sugars and carbs:
- Ubiquitous Rice: Rice is to Thai cuisine what air is to breathing. It’s everywhere, from street food to gourmet dishes.
- Sugary Additions: Thai dishes often contain hidden sugars, even in seemingly savory options.
- Carb-Heavy Menus: Navigating menus can feel like dodging carb bullets.
Conquering Keto Challenges
I’ve learned to adapt with straightforward solutions:
- Rice Restraint: I now either skip the rice or ask for dishes without it.
- Sugar Surveillance: Asking for ‘no sugar’ needs specificity. I ensure it’s understood as excluding both added and inherent sugars.
- Personal Preparation: Taking control of my meals means less guesswork and more keto-friendly outcomes.
However, the journey isn’t just about avoidance. It’s about embracing a new palette of foods:
- Plants: I focus on low-carb vegetables and fruits like avocados and olives.
- Proteins: Quality matters, so I opt for grass-fed meats and small, wild fish.
- Fats: My diet includes healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil and grass-fed butter.
My keto journey began as an experiment. Tired of the usual and curious about keto’s potential benefits, I embarked on this dietary shift. It’s more than just a quest for weight loss; it’s about seeking a holistic enhancement of life, from gut health to mental clarity.
Where to keto?
Thankfully there are a lot of keto options here in Thailand:
- Shabu / Korean / Japanese Buffet. You can go to any number of restaurants where you serve yourself buffet-style, bring the food back to your table and cook it yourself (on a grill or in a hot pot). I prefer the hot pot as a much healthier option because you’re not damaging the food, introducing carcinogens, or inhaling smoke.
- Salad Concept. This is a great option in Chiang Mai where I can grab a form and create my own custom salad by simply checking the boxes.
- Healthy Junk. This is another place with some healthy options where you can customize your order.
- Noodles. This is typical fare for Thais in the morning and midday. But noodles are carbs! True. BUT: You can order without the noodles and simply have yourself a bowl of beef soup.
Here’s a Google Map of keto places in Chiang Mai created a few years back (so some places are a bit outdated).
Engage and Share!
What’s your keto story? Have you found unique challenges or delightful surprises in your dietary journey? Whether it’s a tale of transformation or a struggle for adaptation, your experiences are valuable. Share your thoughts and let’s navigate the complex yet rewarding path of keto living together.
Remember, while the journey is personal, the discoveries and challenges are often universal. Let’s learn, adapt, and thrive together in the world of keto.