For years and years we were taught that fat is the enemy. Sugars could be ignored but anything high in fat will make you fat. Research is now starting to show that that is not necessarily the case. Fat is no longer the enemy. Sugar is. Sugar has been found to be almost as addictive as heroin. ANY TYPE OF SUGAR. Even fruit and vegetable sugars. If you don’t believe that, try going completely sugar free for a week.
My favorite keto diet phrase that I always tell people who are curious or unfamiliar with what keto is:
“Don’t blame the butter for what the bread did.”
What is a Keto Diet?
Keto is short for ketosis diet or ketogenic diet. It is basically an extremely low carb diet, moderate protein, and higher fat way of eating. It was brought to the mainstream community in the 1920s by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic. It was extremely successful in treating epilepsy patients, but disappeared once people were given the opportunity to take antiseizure medication.
Eating a ketogenic diet is the process of putting your body into a metabolic state of ketosis by producing ketones in the liver to use as energy. Currently, eating high carbs, your body is using those carbs as its form of energy. It converts those carbs into glucose and insulin and uses that to keep you moving. Since glucose is the easiest converted molecule for energy your body will ALWAYS use that over any other energy source. Therefore storing any fat that you eat. Once you cut off the glucose to your body my drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake, it switches over to use your fat cells as energy and converting them into ketones.
Benefits of a Keto Diet
Some of the most widely known benefits of Keto are:
- Weight loss at a much faster rate than other diets.
- Blood Sugar regulation – Can be extremely helpful for Type 2 diabetics.
- Feeling fuller longer – Fat is very statiating as an energy source.
- Mental clarity – ketones are an excellent source of fuel for the brain.
- Cholesterol – shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup.
- Insulin Resistance – helps lower insulin ranges to healthy levels.
My Weightloss Journey
I used to be an athlete in school. Like the type that pretty much had some sort of exercise activity happening every day. Once I got to college and I was eating double whoppers and chicken fries, I gained the classic freshman 15, which on my gigantic 6’2″ frame was not that apparent. Being as tall as I am can sometimes be a curse because weight can creep up really quick without noticing it as much. My weight fluctuates 5 pounds throughout the day, but for somebody really short that can mean fitting into jeans or not.
I used to weigh a standard 180 until I was about halfway through college. Then I pretty much stuck around the 200 mark. Then I got married and had a baby and that baby weight just never went away. I was 235 at my highest and I had gestational diabetes while I was pregnant that I felt never really went away even after I had my daughter.
I really did want to lose the weight for myself and my family, but to be entirely honest, we pretty much get to go on a yearly trip to somewhere tropical and I did not want to look like the chub above. My husband is shorter and leaner than me and sometimes I can look like a giant next to him. The first trip I just watched my calories doing 21 day fix and was able to get down to around 195 before the trip, but then I gained it all back. I worked in a bigger city and fast food was well duh…fast.
Then I feel like the best thing happened to be ever. Our office closed and I was shipped home to work. Best. Thing. Ever. Not only do I get to wear pajamas every day, but I live in a small town with barely any fast food.
I was determined.
I started the keto diet after doing a low carb diet before my wedding and had great results with it. I am a self-proclaimed carnivore and thought there could be nothing better than a high fat lots of meat diet. After lots of research I decided to give keto a try in October of 2016. I tracked macros, tracked my food, and tracked my activity. I lost 40 pounds by January of 2017 and never felt deprived a single day. I then switched to a maintenance mode from February 2017 to August 2017. I am more proud of being able to maintain my weight loss for that long than I am of losing it. I am now trying to get another 10 pounds so I have started tracking again. As of January 2018, I am down about 60 pounds from my starting weight.
This has genuinely become just my way of life and way of eating. I don’t see myself ever really going back to eating half a bag of doritos in a sitting or getting Culvers chicken fingers with a concrete mixer ever again. I don’t feel deprived and this way of eating is just the normal for me.
What Do I Eat?
I get this question almost every single time that somebody asks me how I lost the weight. You basically want to limit your carbohydrate intake of refined, starchy and fruit type carbs. You want most carbs to come from veggies, dairy, or nuts. Obviously want extremely restrict intake of sugar like honey, syrups etc. Keto is also inherently a gluten free diet as well since flour has very high carbs.
I keep my calorie intake from 1200 to 1600 calories. Since I sit on my butt majority of the day, even 1600 calories can be a bit high for maintenance mode for me. I am currently back to around 1200 to 1400 to lose those last evil 10 pounds. They mock me.
Eggs are your best friend on this way of eating. They have almost perfect macros and you can change up how you eat them enough so they don’t get monotonous.
There are different levels of keto depending upon your goals and I suggest joining Facebook groups to learn the various styles. Some are for weightloss and others are for gains (building muscle). Depending on those, you will need to adjust your macros as such.
One thing that I think works well in my favor regarding this way of eating. I like routine. I don’t mind eating the same thing every day. Especially when that same thing is lots of bacon and eggs.
This is a standard work day meal plan for me:
Keto Diet Tips for Success
Here are some of my tips and tricks that I used in order to meet my goal and be able to maintain for over 6 months:
- Weigh and bag individual servings of nuts and seeds. These puppies carry so much delicious fat and protein but you can easily go over your calories for the day if you eat them mindlessly like I used. Weigh out each serving and put in plastic snack bags.
- GET YOUR ELECTROLYTES! Whether it is taking supplements like potassium and magnesium or drinking things like Powerade Zero, you need to be sure you are getting your electrolytes. This is what can make or break you.
- Keep it simple at first. It is easier to track if you tend to eat the same thing every day. That is not to say that you cannot try all the amazing recipes out there that are keto, but just be sure that the macros are already calculated so you don’t have to start stressing about trying to figure that out.
- Don’t try to find replacements for what you used to eat. This is low carb tortillas, sugar free candy, and low carb ice cream. I love all those items but when starting out, you want to create a change in your mindset of what you should be and could be eating.
Be sure to check out my other Keto product posts for other tips and tricks and feel free to contact me with any questions of if you need an accountabilibuddy!
If you are interested in starting the keto way of eating checkout this Keto Beginners Guide. It gives great information when starting out and has lots of meal and food ideas!
Here is a Keto weekly meal plan as well that is balanced and ready to go!
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