With school starting, maybe it’s time to crack down on your diet. No pressure here! I am completely supportive of bagels & ice cream. But if you have heard about the Keto Diet and are at all curious, I have an experience to share with you.
I Tried Keto for One Month
I have done about every restricted food plan imaginable: Paleo, Primal, Whole 30, Carb Cycling, counting calories, no restrictions at all and lastly, Keto! Each one of these was for me to focus on healthier eating. I enjoy eating healthy and cooking, but I also really love donuts…like a lot. Personally, I need more structure and a plan to be successful in my eating, so I like to try new eating plans.
What is Keto?
Keto is all about getting yourself in ketosis (a fat-burning state). To do this you have to restrict your carbs (usually less than 30g a day), completely eliminate sugar and increase your fat intake by A LOT (usually around 75% of your daily macros). When you get into ketosis, your body burns fat instead of carbs for energy. It doesn’t allow you to incorporate a “cheat meal” like most eating plans allow without hampering the progress you have made. Once you add carbs and sugar back into your body, your body switches to burn that instead of the fat in your body. So if you are eating high fat, no eating carbs, unless you want to pack on those pounds.
Why did I do it?
Before I had my daughter I never weighed myself and just knew when my clothes started to get tight I needed to buckle down. I’d eliminate baked goods for a week and lose weight. After baby, though, things are different; the weight wasn’t coming off as quick and I was obsessing over the scale. For about 2.5 years I struggled to lose that last 15 lbs of baby weight and it was taking a toll on how I felt about my body & health.
Between balancing kids, work, activities, working out and everything else Moms do, I couldn’t make anything work consistently. I decided for the month of April to eliminate my workout schedule and do strict keto… 30 days, no excuses, no cheating, no workouts.
How did it go?
It took a lot of planning and preparation to be successful. I have Pinterest boards with breakfast, snack and dinner ideas. I have a meal calendar for the week to plan lunches & dinners and then a mini whiteboard for planning upcoming days’ meals and sides.
It was nice to be able to not stress about how I was going to get my workout in and just focus on my eating habits.
I lost 8.6 pounds in the first 4 weeks. I decided to keep going strictly for about 2 more weeks and lost 11.2 pounds in total.
Keys for me:
1. Absolutely no cheating! Find recipes that are low carb that allow you to feel like you are eating something yummy. I still had my dessert every night; it was just different than before.
2. Water, water, water – I drank about 200 oz of water a day for the first 3 weeks. I was super thirsty to begin with as my body flushed itself, but when I would get hungry, I would have a big glass of water. Find a cup that makes it easy & fun to drink!
3. Do it with a partner. It was easy to do keto when my husband did it with me. It was simple to add a side to our main keto course for the kids.
I did have a few issues worth noting:
1. I skipped my period for about 4 weeks. That stressed me out! After being 2 weeks late, I did some research and found that your body can drop hormone levels significantly if you aren’t giving your body enough carbs (I was well under 30 g of carbs a day).
2. I struggled with fiber intake. Naturally, you are eating less food, and the food you are eating doesn’t have as much fiber. I started incorporating “net carbs”. This meant that I don’t count total carbs, but I subtracted the fiber from it to get “net”. If a food has 12 g of carbs and 8 g of fiber, that food only counts for 4 net carbs.
I’m still eating keto but do allow myself to come out of ketosis every couple of weeks.
I enjoyed the food choices and eliminating sugar from my diet so wanted to continue. Now I incorporate a few more fruits and veggies and don’t track my food. My weight has stayed the same but I’ve been losing body fat percentage, and I feel great!
Have you tried the Keto diet? Share your thoughts below!
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