I was turned on to the keto diet by a short fling, whom I noticed was having weight loss results. When I started noticing my own results, my interest was sustained long past the fling itself.
If you had told me that one day I would find an effective diet where pork rinds and heavy whipping cream were my BFFs, well, you know… I still have trouble believing it.
So, what exactly is the ketogenic diet?
Basically, it is a high fat (>100g per day), medium protein (about 60 to 75g per day), low carb diet (<15-20 g per day). Totally counterintuitive, right? (based on a 1500 calorie diet)
To get started, you deprive yourself of sugar, carbs, and starches.
All carbs, starches, and sugars are processed in your body as sugar. And our bodies are used to using sugar for fuel. When you deprive your body of sugar (and get past the carb withdrawals) your body is forced to convert to burning fat for energy. This is called being in ketosis. You can even buy strips to test your urine, that will tell you whether or not you’re in ketosis!
While your body is converting from burning sugar to burning fat, you will go through “carb withdrawals” or “keto flu,” which can be rather uncomfortable. But once you get through it the results are awesome.
There are definitely times in the journey where you will plateau. That is when it is helpful to try some intermittent fasting or reset your metabolism by briefly reintroducing carbs. Sometimes the scale lies and you only think you’ve plateaued. This is why it is helpful to measure yourself (arms, legs, waist, neck). Often the scale’s number doesn’t go down, but your measurements do! (I recommend buying myotape for measuring yourself)
It is also important to keep track of your “macros” while you are on keto. I recommend using MyFitnessPal to document what you’re eating, so you can make sure that you aren’t going over on your carbs. Remember, there are hidden carbs in a lot of food. Also, you want to watch your protein, because if you eat too much, your body will process it like sugar, which will then kick you out of ketosis.
Once I got in to ketosis I completely stopped craving sugar and carbs (which was the first time in my life I could say that), and I had tons of energy and an improvement in mood.
Not to mention it really simplified my life because I didn’t have to think too hard about what I was going to eat. I lost weight, and I physically felt better. I also started getting compliments on my complexion, people told me I was “glowing.”
Also, the more infatuated I become with this lifestyle, the more I am learning about the keto diet’s ability to prevent (or maybe even reverse) diabetes, certain kinds of cancer, and other chronic physical health conditions, especially in combination with intermittent fasting. If you’re interested in intermittent fasting, check out Dr. Jason Fung.
Even though it simplified my grocery shopping and meal choices, there are tons of fun and delicious keto recipes to try. My favorite is keto lasagna (made with zucchini instead of noodles) and low carb high fat pound cake (the sugar substitute I use is Pyure, which you can find at Walmart or Amazon. Whatever amount of sugar the recipe calls for, you just use half Pyure instead).
If you want a nice treat from Starbucks, order an iced Americano with heavy whipping cream and a couple pumps of sugar free vanilla!
I’m definitely not an expert, but I do think this diet is beneficial, especially for those who have a lot of weight to lose. It seems that what’s wrong with our health and our diets is all the sugar and carbs we are eating. It’ll be interesting to see, as more people exclude or minimize those aspects of their diet, if there will be an improvement in our general well-being. A lot of people are turning their lives around with keto, and there are plenty of keto forums on Facebook you can join and get constant support on this journey, as well as feel inspired daily by other people’s astounding results.
If you’re interested in giving keto a shot, in addition to joining Facebook forums, you can check out this keto start guide, which also includes tips on make it through the dreaded “keto flu”: https://www.tasteaholics.com/the-complete-keto-diet-guide-for-beginners/
Thanks for reading!
Ketone Test Strips