Testing Out a Ketogenic Diet
So, I have finally hit the point in mid-life where I can’t eat whatever I want anymore. I mean, I COULD eat whatever I want, but my body has decided to hold onto every. last. calorie. ever. Which puts a damper on things, gastronomically speaking.
Back around October, I noticed that my work clothes were getting a little snug. And then the chin was a little gushy. And then the belly jiggled when I walked. And then the work clothes were more than snug and I started to feel like a little sausage. Not cool, body!
Over the next 3 or 4 months, I started tracking my calories, eating better, and ACTUALLY exercising (C25K). The weight was stubborn. The scale didn’t move. I cut more calories, got stricter with the veggies and fruit, added more water. Still nothing. Cut MORE calories, ate only whole foods, watched portions, used a food scale. I’m talking under 900 calories a day. And guess what? No change.
At this point, I was upset. It seemed like there was nothing I could do! I felt like I was depriving myself every day, but I had nothing to show for it. Scientifically and mathematically, I didn’t understand how in the world I could NOT be losing weight. I couldn’t realistically cut any more calories. I had to be missing something.
Around March, I stumbled across something called the Keto diet. Very simply, it’s a high-fat, moderate protein, very low-carb way of eating. The success stories were amazing! Not only were people losing weight long-term, there were many other benefits. Reversing type 2 diabetes, reversing high blood pressure, body pains gone, enhanced mental clarity, greatly increased energy, skin problems disappearing, the list went on and on.
The underlying principle is that by practically eliminating carbs from your diet, your body switches it’s fuel source from glycogen (sugar) to ketones (fat). This sounded like a BIG step to take, and kind of scary to be honest. Would this screw me up? Was there any going back if I didn’t like it? I did a ton of research, and determined that there wasn’t any risk – if I didn’t like it, I could go back to my old way of eating with no side effects. Already, I wasn’t eating a lot of bread or sugar. It was primarily grains (like oatmeal) and fruit (Agh!!!) that I would give up, but I could increase the fats I was eating (butter, heavy cream, cream cheese, etc.)
I started at the end of March, and it’s been a real learning process. Wow, there are hidden carbs in almost everything you buy other than unprocessed meat! But I have consistently lost weight, I haven’t been hungry, and I have really been enjoying the foods I do get to eat now. I track all of my food in an app on my phone. A typical dinner for me now looks like this:
A juicy, delicious barbecued chicken breast and grilled asparagus. And I eat like this almost every meal – it seems too good to be true! Due to the anti-inflammatory nature of this “diet” I feel better than I have in years. My body doesn’t hurt, I’m happier and more optimistic, I get twice as much done every day, and naps are pretty much a thing of the past.
Best of all, it’s all gluten-free, so the hubs and I eat the same stuff. He still eats carbs, but the amount he eats now is way less than before. If you’re interested in learning more, please let me know. I hope to share more Keto goodies with you soon!