Thursday, January 4, 2018

keto diet, in detail

A man without self control is like a city broken into and left without walls.   Proverbs 25:28

I have had a lot of people lately ask me to explain to them how the keto diet works, since I have had success with it.  While people do it different ways, I thought I would just explain how "I" did it.  I encourage you to research it yourself to find what will work for you and your lifestyle.  There is so much online, it will be very easy.

As I wrote in another blog post, I was becoming an overweight, achy, tired older mom.  I hurt so much, I didn't want to do anything, and that's not good when you have a houseful of young people becoming teenagers.  I was spending a lot of time at the chiropractor.  I was taking up to 6 ibuprofen a day, plus other pain relievers.  I thought it was something I would have to live with, just a fact of hitting my 60's.
Then I saw the picture of myself, from behind.

To say I was horrified is an understatement.  I googled my BMI, and found that for my small body (about 4 feet 10 inches, and small framed) the 124 pounds I weighed was over into obesity.  Not much, but over.  And the picture told me it was true.

I started off with Atkins, but googling things soon led me to keto.  I researched, and started.

Basically, here is what the keto diet entails: you eat 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fat.  Yes, it's hard to believe eating that much fat works, but it does.  Research will tell you the science behind it, I won't get into all that here.
The 5% carbs should come from nonstarchy vegetables.  No more bread, no more pasta, absolutely NO SUGAR.  No white rice.  The rice was hard for me, because I dearly love it.
Eat lots of full fat hamburger meat.  The skin on the chicken.  Pour cream into your coffee or tea, lots of it.  Put butter, real butter, not margarine, on everything.  Xylitol is a wonderful sweetner.  Be careful, though, too much will keep you running to the bathroom.  I mix it with stevia, and it works well.

When I began, I didn't worry about calories, because everything said I shouldn't have too.  I logged into myfitnesspal.  I went to goals, and then edit, and I put in the above: 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fat.  Every morning, I went online, and logged in everything I wanted to eat that day.  Then I fine tuned it.  If I had too many carbs, I adjusted.  Not enough fat?  I adjusted.
Many people tell me that's too much trouble, and they don't want to do that.  My thoughts are: how successful do you want to be?  It took less than maybe 5 minutes in the morning to do this.

In the beginning, the weight dropped off swiftly.  I knew from research that at first, it was going to be water weight, but hey, any drop on the scales was encouraging.  I lost a lot the first month, then it began to slow.  After two months, it slowed enough that I decided to trim the calories a bit.  I googled how many calories it would take to maintain my goal weight, which I decided would be 100 pounds.  Then I went back to myfitnesspal, goals, edit, and changed the calories to 1200.
The weight began to drop again, and after two more months, I was at my 100 pound goal weight.  The last came off slowly.  One thing I learned with keto, is that you can have what everyone calls a "whoosh," which is no weight loss for a while, then a sudden drop of several pounds over a day or so.

Here are a few things to watch for:
The first week is VERY hard.  Sugar cravings are strong, carb cravings are strong.  But after a week, two at the most, you will find that you don't really want them anymore.  In fact, you will have to make yourself eat, because you lose your appetite.  All the fat you are eating makes you very full.
You will need a LOT of water.  Remember, you are losing water weight, especially in the beginning.  At night, I would wake up, so dry mouthed and dry eyed, it almost hurt.  I began to keep a quart jar of water next to my bed, and took sips during the night.  That took care of that.
There is a thing called keto flu.  I never got it, but a lot of people do that first two weeks.  I am told licking salt will help.

Here are a couple of more things I learned:

Forget most of the "copycat" keto recipes.  You can't have bread.  I never found a copycat recipe that tasted like bread.  It might look like bread, and feel like bread, and maybe you can make a sandwich out of it, but anything made mostly out of eggs and almond flour tastes just like that, eggs and almond flour.  I couldn't fool myself into thinking it was bread.  It was yucky.  Maybe you will like it, I didn't.
I wasted a lot of money in the beginning, trying copycat recipes and keto recipes.  My dogs got most of it.  There are a few that are good, but not many.  Fathead pizza and chicken crust pizza are good.  I finally quit looking at keto recipes, and just ate real food.  Meat, by itself, or over salads.  Lots of cheese.  Eggs and bacon.  Just eat real food the way it's supposed to be eaten.  If you want a sandwich, crunchy Romaine leaves make amazing sandwiches.  Even my 11 year old daughter eats them that way sometimes now.  She says the crunch makes them so good.
I did learn that Trim Healthy Mama "S" recipes work pretty well on the keto diet.  Not the "E"'s though.  Many of them are already logged into myfitnesspal.  If they aren't, go to "recipes" and add in the one you want.  Then you can log it, and find out how many carbs it has.

Once the weight was off, I began to think I could maintain just by watching calories, and bring bread and sugar back into my diet.  So I reworked myfitnesspal, adding more carbs, but keeping the calories the same.  I actually dropped off two more pounds, which is where I have maintained, about 98 pounds, even over Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But the inflammation came back.  I began to ache again.  My headaches came back.  So, back on keto I went.

As my weight dropped off, I continued to wear my old clothes for a while.  One of my rewards was that when I got to 110 pounds, I would buy some new things.  So no one noticed the weight loss in the beginning.  But when I bought clothes that fit, people began to really notice, and they all thought I had lost it all suddenly, and they cautioned me and rebuked me.  They were sure I was sick, or that I was hurting myself.  But I knew how hard I had worked for weeks.  My long, loose dresses were hiding it.
I have had to buy a whole new wardrobe, as all my old things swamped me or fell off, nearly 30 pounds later.  Remember, 30 pounds on me is like much more on a taller, larger person.  I got rid of almost all of my old clothes, so the weight couldn't creep back up on me.

So, there you have it all, in a nutshell.  I highly encourage you to log into my fitnesspal.  I don't think I could have done this without it.  I encourage you to research, and learn what works for you.  And most of all, I encourage you NOT TO CHEAT.  Each time you do, you throw yourself out of ketosis, and basically you will be starting over.

If I left anything out, let me know, and I will add it to this post.

You can do it!!