by Ben Dearman, KDR Fitness

I am on a very restrictive diet right now called The Ketogenic Diet. It requires me to eat at least 70% of my overall calories from fat.

It’s really boring, as my food choices basically come down to:

  1. Butter
  2. EVOO
  3. Coconut oil
  4. Avocados
  5. Nuts
  6. Meat in limited quantities – limited for someone who’s used to eating 200 grams of protein per day! Also, too much meat at one time with out a bunch of veggies/fiber brings me out of ketosis.
  7. And…that about sums it up.
  8. Fish, same issue as meat, but more fat generally in fish. So, I can eat more of it theoretically.
  9. Dairy…kind of. Gotta be careful with the dairy because of the protein mostly. Too much protein brings me out of ketosis.

I can eat as much veggies as I like…but…who cares about that. I am like most people and I don’t really care if I eat veggies.

As you can see, it’s pretty restrictive.

This makes going out for a nice romantic dinner, as you can imagine, restrictive.

It’s pretty much one of two options:

  1. Burger, no fries, no ketchup with a big ass salad.
  2. Fish with salad.
  3. Big ass salad with lots of EVOO and avocado…with some meat on it.

That’s about it. Where am I going with this? Well, Jamie and I went out for Valentine’s Day. The idea was that we were going to go to Worthy Kitchen for a nice meal, stop at the Woodstock Market for dinner and then go see Dead Pool at the Hanover Theatre.

Worthy Kitchen – I know the menu and knew what I was going to get, burger with fried chicken, no bun. I was only going to eat half of the meal and eat the other half later.

Well, every place we went to was PACKED! Worthy Kitchen, Longtrail Brewery, Ramunto’s (maybe some fatty soup?). We finally settled on a quick meal at Murphy’s before we went to the movies – which we walked out of because it was too packed!

I found myself saying – I CAN’T have that (insert food item). It got me thinking…of course I CAN have it!

Can’t = a physical obstacle preventing you from doing something. I CAN’T dead lift 600 lbs. I CAN’T speak mandarin. I CAN’T drive my car across the country without filling it with gas.

CAN’T is such a harsh word! It’s like HATE. And yet…what’s the first thing we say when we are on an eating plan and we see a food that is not on our “approved” list?


Can’t makes you feel restricted and it makes the people you’re with confused (why can’t you have that?). After the first few times of saying can’t, I switched it to don’t.

I don’t want that soup.

I don’t want that burger.

Don’t = a willing decision to NOT choose something. I DON’T want that. I DON’T want to go there.

That sounded better. “Nah, I don’t want that.” But, then it got me thinking on WON’T. Don’t sounded better, but it wasn’t really true. I DID want that soup! I DID want those French Fries! I figured out quickly that DON’T, while better then CAN’T, still made it feel as though I was restricting myself.

So…from now on, I am going to use WON’T.

Won’t = will not. I will not have that piece of cake. I will not have a food item that is not on my approved list. Won’t is a conscious decision initiated BEFORE you enter into a situation that will test your will power.

Now what I found out…saying I WON’T have popcorn before we went into the movie theater (that we ended up walking out of) made it much easier to just walk right by the concession stand!

Take home point – if presented with something you probably shouldn’t have because it’s not on your approved list, say “DON’T”.

Before you go some place that will have food items that are not on your approved list, say “WON’T”.

And stop using CAN’T!