My journey to weight loss has been long. Though I have not reached my goal, I am happy with the progress. I have to say that of everything I have done, the Ketogenic diet has been the one with the quickest and lasting results. Starting out I searched and searched and asked friends what and how it worked. It took me a while to find the answers I wanted in order to convince myself to start.
While I am no expert on Keto, I am an expert on my experience, and that is what I want to share in this post.
- What is it? How does it work? The idea is for your body to no longer use sugar as its main source of energy. Sugars are measured in the form of carbs. No bread is not sugar, but the carbohydrates in bread are processed in the body the same way. SO.. if you no longer are using carbs for energy, your body begins to use stored fat as energy. This is the diet I’ve been searching for!! I can use my own fat @ss to fuel my body. It isn’t always this easy. For your body to begin this process, it takes about 3 days of zero-low carbs to convert to Keto.
- How many carbs is “low carb”? Its really about percentage, but as a rule of thumb, I try to stay below 20 grams a carbs a day. Everything else is considered Fat and Protein. This leaves very little room for “cheating” or having a small sweet snack that will completely halt the process (for me).
- Where to start? I started with a food diary in the form of an app. I have used MyFitnessPal for general calorie tracking in the past, but with the upgrade to a premium account, you can track macronutrients (Carbs, Fat, and Protein as well as overall calories). Getting the percentage right in these areas are really your key to success. 5% carbs, 25% protein and 70% fat are my settings. Having a diet tracker keeps me from gorging on steak 24/7 or only eating eggs. You can keep within 5% carbs and still consume 3,000 calories which, unless you are running 26 miles that day, will not help you lose weight.
- What to eat? What is interesting about Keto, is you’re really not as hungry. I have found that when my body is in Ketosis, I don’t think about eating until around 2pm. I DO spend all morning sipping sugar-free coffee (2-3 cups) which wards off boredom hunger. I pre-make things to keep me from trying to “snack” on something I shouldn’t when I do get hungry. A typical snap shot looks like this:
In the morning, I drink 2-3 cups of sugar-free coffee. This is the extent of “sweet” that I get in a day. I have found that any more artificial sweetener than this stops my weight loss. Most of my daily carbs come from my sugar free coffee creamer. Until I am okay with not drinking coffee (which will be never) this will always cut into my allowable carbs for the day. A sacrifice I am willing to make.
Around lunch time, I have what I call “sausage snack”. If you want, I can send you a recipe but is essentially cream cheese and ground sausage. It is premade and all I do is scoop out a serving and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Super fast and easy. Lots of fat and some protein. Very little carbs.
If I get hungry before dinner, I can eat all the bacon I want (keeping within my calorie count for the day). OR I premake deviled eggs, because I don’t like plain hard-boiled eggs. They have a few carbs, but nothing crazy and they are easy to just grab and eat. Both great for fat and protein and zero carbs if eaten plain (not deviled).
For dinner, I cook for my husband and I. I make a meat a vegetable and a starch. If the veggie is lowish carbs, I might eat it with my meat. Hubs eats the starch. I DO NOT EAT THE STARCH! So for the sake of an example, I have celebrated a few things this week, so we had crab legs with butter and asparagus. I made perogies for the mister, which I did not eat.
At night, if I get hungry before bed, I will cook bacon, have a ½ serving of “sausage snack” or a deviled egg. These are MY go-to’s. Other people like other things, but this keeps me on track. If I have reached my calorie goal for the day, I will drink water. Always drink water, all day. Your body will even burn fat if you drink cold water, because of the energy require to metabolize water to body temperature.
All of that being said, since mid-September to beginning of December I have lost almost 20 lbs. I did not gain anything over Thanksgiving, but maintained my loss. Ten more pounds until I reach my first goal. I might take a break, or I’ll keep going for another ten pounds.
All of that is possible even without working out if you can keep within a healthy calorie intake. I like working out because I feel like I have more energy later on chasing kids, cleaning house, and all that jazz. AND I can eat more on days I work out, which is fun. Also, I once heard that squats help the rocking world go ‘round (get it?).
This diet is great for people that are not able to really workout due to time or an injury and really want to lose the weight. It is still A LOT OF WORK! Planning and tracking are crazy important to the success of a ketogenic diet. Luckily, for me, when I diet, I completely obsess over tracking and measuring and planning because I am a nerd like that.
I hope this was helpful. Feel free to ask questions, message me, etc. Also be sure to check with your doctor before making any huge lifestyle changes to make sure it is the healthiest choice. Have a great day!