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Woman Claims in Viral Post That the Keto Diet Ruined Her 17-Year Marriage — But How Can That Happen?
She lost weight on the Keto diet — and lost her husband, too. Experts explain.
The Keto diet is now widely considered controversial — the high-fat, low-carb eating plan works for some, including some highly vocal celebs, but many nutritionists say don’t bother because it doesn’t work and might even be harmful to health long-term. Well, never mind all that: One woman is claiming the fad diet completely ruined her relationship. She took to Reddit to explain.
“I'm wondering if anyone has experienced losing your marriage cause of weight loss?” user Bertiebugg wrote (in a now-deleted) Reddit post. “I never realized that by losing weight my husband of almost 17 years would tell me that he's no longer attracted to me.”
Wait, isn’t weight loss supposed to be a turn-on... ?
Bertiebugg explained she’s still “far from small” at her current weight of 250, but that before she started Keto, she tipped the scale at over 300 pounds. Her goal is to get to around 200 pounds. She explained that her trimmer tuchus and the loose skin from the weight loss is turning her husband off.
“He says that I've lost my butt (which I didn't have one in the first place), that my thighs are firmer on the outside and saggy on the inside (which is true but they always have been), and I've lost a good amount of my breasts,” she wrote. “I never pegged him for a person who would leave me because of my weight loss. I'm in total shock, as he doesn't have a perfect body. I don't know how he could say all of this to me if he ever really loved me for me.”
So what gives? Did they just have problems before — or can bodily changes really be the catalyst that destroys a marriage?
Dr. Elizabeth Lasky, Ph.D., LCSW, said let's face it, it isn’t the diet that ruins the marriage. "It’s the outcome from the life change that can change the dynamic between two people that ruins the marriage. If the marriage is built on a certain power dynamic and this power dynamic shifts, there can be a change in the relationship," she explained, adding, "In healthy relationships, partners want the other person to do well and feel well. That being said, people sometimes feel threatened when their partners surpass them or excels in certain areas."
Dr. Lasky says that weight loss is an interesting thing between partners because sometimes people "build relationships around being overweight, overeating, staying on the couch and watching TV, and making choices to help them be overweight."
"So, when someone from this type of relationship loses weight, the other person may feel threatened and interpret that action by feeling rejected, left behind, not good enough, and they may feel they have nothing to bond over anymore," she said. "It’s the same kind of thing with business, money, happiness, or fulfillment. If people are bonding over being miserable, then the relationship may fail if the misery is taken out... Work to build a relationship where you bond over love, building a future together, and helping each individual be as happy as they can be so that when they come together as a couple they are happy for each other and happy together."
As for whether the Keto diet affects mood, it does, confirmed nutritionist Dana James, author of The Archetype Diet.
"Diet can absolutely affect the mood. A clean diet (including Keto) can stabilize the mood but if someone is using starchy carbs to suppress their emotions they can also become moody as their stress-coping tool has been removed," she said. "It’s not the diet’s fault but rather that the person needs some additional tools, like breath work, meditation, and play, to deal with stress."
But if a marriage breaks down because of a diet, "the marriage had underlying issues before the diet was started," James added. "A supportive partner will be emotionally open and provide encouragement through the dieting partner's success and struggles."
She made another point: If the dieting partner becomes obsessed with their food rules and limits social engagements, "that can also cause issues in the relationship. The dieting partner can become scared of not following the plan 100 percent. This is not the diet’s fault but the belief that the diet will only be successful if followed exactly. No diet needs to be followed 100 percent to see results. If it does, then the diet doesn’t work. Social connection is far more important than a diet."