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It’s been two weeks of no carbs. What an interesting ride. I am not going to lie, there are a lot of foods I do miss. First of all, bee r–Liquid bread as I have heard it called, and the second tacos! My first craving, popcorn. At the mall with my son and he wanted some of that gourmet popcorn stuff. Damn it smelled so good. I didn’t have any though.
I made hamburgers for the family. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the hamburger patty, cheese, etc. I missed that burger setting inside a soft bun with mayonnaise, etc. nom. I am still good though, I am not close to giving this up.
So what is it that I am not giving up on? It’s a ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children (1). Do I have epilepsy, no, but this is a life choice that I am making to be healthier and hopefully be able to maintain my weight better. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates (glucose). The body does this naturally by a process known as ketosis.
Ketosis is a state where the body gets it energy from ketones instead of glucose. Ketones are created from fats and glucose is provided by sugars and carbohydrates. There is a lot of information about a ketogenic diet, my main source is the keto sub reddit. I highly recommend you start with the FAQ.
So why did I chose this? There were two main reasons. The first is that I know someone who has been following the diet for six months and has done quite well on it. Not only has there been weight loss, but a great up-tick in available energy. The second is that my doctor had instructed me to cut out all bakery goods. I had slight high cholesterol and blood pressure and he mentioned that glucose created by the breads, etc. can increase cholesterol in the body. This information and all that I have read about a low carb, high fat diet prove to me that this is worth doing. Plus, since I am not a sweets person, eating meat, leafy vegetables, and fats are all the things I really enjoy eating. This is what has made this new way of eating so easy for me.
So, how are the results, well, flat. Though this is somewhat expected, especially since I lost a weekend on two weeks into this. It was a company outing and there was much whiskey involved. 🙂
Over the first week I lost 8 pounds (I suspect water weight) and a noticeable slimming in my face. I have stayed pretty stable at this weight the rest of the time. Even after that weekend, I returned to that weight the next day.
I started this with the thought of how I felt in one month. If things are going well I will continue, if not I will reanalyze things.
How have these last few weeks gone? Besides being a bit tired (which is more that a lack of sleep than anything else) this Keto Flu everyone talks about has not bothered me. I get the occasional headache, but that is about it. Perhaps my reading and keeping electrolytes up is keeping it away. Of course I am also worried I am doing it all wrong and not achieving Ketosis at all! Since Keto flies in the face of what doctors have told us to do since the 60’s there is always the worry, if you do this wrong you will mess yourself up. The science doesn’t lie, I will be fine.
I am not going to get into details now, but basically I have changed my diet to remove almost all carbohydrates. The plan is to consume 20g of carbs or less a day. Some will know this as Keto. I am trying to record my experience but have no idea how well I will keep up with posts.
September 25, 2015
My first day started out real easy, I ordered an omelet from the little place on the first floor. I had them put bacon, spinach and mushrooms in it. Besides them overcooking the eggs (so many places do), it was good. Well, I love eggs :).
By the time I got to lunch I could feel my sugar levels drop and I was getting a bit of a headache. I decided to head home for lunch. There was a good amount of chicken left over from the other night. I warmed it up with some coconut oil and giardiniera. I poured it over a pile of mixed dark greens. It was a good lunch. I can get used to this.
After lunch I was already getting a little foggy and I could feel a difference. The difference, obviously, is that I have consumed less than 10mg of carbohydrates today. And usually by this time I would be way over 100mg.
Reading Reddit I checked what was needed to keep the symptoms down. I went over to Meijer and picked up some supplies. Light salt for the sodium and potassium, magnesium supplement and some nuts and seeds to snack on. I can’t wait for dinner.
For dinner a 1/3 pound turkey burger w/ muenster cheese on a bed of spinach. I also added half an avocado and drizzled olive oil on the spinach. I have one question, How the hell do you measure a cup of spinach? I don’t get it. It is leaves and doesn’t really fit in a cup. I assume you are not to stuff it in the cup. It should probably be weighed though I don’t know what that weight should be. I am sure I ate more that the three cups I recorded, but I guesstimated this one.
I felt good after dinner and quite satisfied. A few hours later the headache returned lightly I wasn’t drinking much water and did feel thirsty and started drinking a lot again. Overall, a good first day.
So my macros ended up a little off today, but I don’t think they are too bad for first day. Most of the carbs came from all the spinach. What can I say, I love spinach (and broccoli!). Looking again I forgot to subtract fiber, so much better than I first thought.
- Carbohydrates: 17g (3 under)
- Protein: 102g (12 over)
- Fat 102g
- Calories 1416 (257 under)
I came in under calories, which is always good. I will work on the other numbers as I learn to portion out the food better. I am actually looking forward to tomorrow. 🙂
And yes you measure greens by weight, and the weight is on the bag. For example the spinach I eat is 85g per 1.5 cups.
September 26, 2015
Day two, and it is the weekend, Saturday. So far this is pretty darn easy, the foods I am able to eat I trues love to eat and haven’t been able to on current diets and instructions from my doctor based on my past eating habits.
I started the morning with another omelet, which I made myself. The omelet contained mushrooms, bacon and spinach. And this time the eggs were not over cooked. I went shopping today to get food for the week. I obviously picket up a bunch of meat and fish. In addition I needed some “regular” food for my sons. There is no way they are giving up carbs and I can have them ingest so much fat and eat the carbs, that would not be good for them.
When I got home I put the groceries away and cooked the pound of bacon I purchased from the deli. There were two pieces which didn’t fit on the tray (I bake bacon) which became my lunch. I cut up the two pieces of bacon and fried them. Added a tablespoon of olive oil and mushrooms. I took all of this and poured it over one and one-half cups of spinach. It was quite tasty. I still feel that the saturated fat of bacon is not good for you, regardless of what they say. I am sure this may change over time. Tough for now, it still doesn’t feel right, but it sure tastes good!
Yellow fin tuna for dinner. Damn I over cooked it again. :(. With a side of broccoli with butter (real butter!!). I know I need to add more fat to my meals, but it is going to take some time to get used to. Going over calories doesn’t seem to be as big of an issue from when I was eating carbohydrates. What I am having an issue with is protein as I blew that number again today. I need to cut back on the meats a bit and consume more fats.
- Carbohydrates: 18g (2 under)
- Protein: 117g (27 over)
- Fat 73g
- Calories 1541 (257 under)
I have read that consuming too much protein can knock you out of ketosis (or keep you from entering ketosis). Since I keep going over I worry that I am not doing myself a good service. The issue is that extra amino acids can be converted to glucose and that is exactly what we don’t want in our system. Glucose raises insulin levels and insulin will store the fat we have been consuming in fat stores while our bodies use the glucose for energy.
September 27, 2015
I will spare you the details from today. Basically it was a great day, if this new way of eating is for real, it is all for me. I can do this! I hit my macros well today. Low on calories, but honestly I can’t eat any more. The food is so satisfying it really is difficult.
- Carbohydrates: 11g (9 under)
- Protein: 96g (4 under)
- Fat 114g
- Calories 1445 (214 under)
There is no doubt, drink water, water, water and more water. Keeping my fluids and electrolytes up has kept me feeling pretty good. No real bad headaches or fogginess.
Tomorrow is Monday and my first workweek following this new regime. It will be interesting on how I will do. Adding a 10 hour day of work changes things and I am not one to eat out and haven’t really figured out how to do that. Eating out is just too expensive as well. If I get in a good breakfast I can probably make it to dinner time. It is pretty much what I did today only breaking down around 16:00 needing a snack. Next post about this will be on how my workweek(s) goes/go and more details on what I am doing.