A month ago I realized I had hit an unhealthy weight zone for the first time in my life. I’ve been playing on the border of my upper limit for a while, but was now 6.5 lbs over it. Super not good.
My husband always makes me feel beautiful, but I was not happy with myself and the projected path of my future health. It was frustrating. I was doing the same exercise I had done in the past (although not as much snowboarding last year), and I was always hungry, and while I averaged an 1,000-1,300 calories intake, I kept on gaining. How very depressing.
Then at our company meetup, I was listening to flash talks and learned about Keto. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that changes your body chemistry so that it burns fats rather than carbohydrates. After researching it some more, I decided to give it a try for the month of October then I would reassess.
My coworkers have a #keto channel in Slack, so I could ask questions such as “What’s the best way to start this?” (Make sure your cupboards are stocked with the right foods) and “What do I do when the family is in a restaurant with lots of fried foods and limited salad options?” (enjoy the meal and company – it won’t throw the diet off much). Then I re-started my account with http://www.myfitnesspal.com/, which has been great for tracking my nutrition intake and the encouraging notes from friends who see my achievements are very encouraging.
Finally, I signed up for the free version of Diet Doctor, which gave me recipe ideas. I was warned that the first week can be rough. As your body gets used to the new diet, you feel lethargic and cranky. It’s called the Keto Flu, and I did get it, but once you get through the week you start feeling great. The most surprising thing for me is that you don’t feel hungry.
It’s weird, because you are encouraged to eat lots of meat, cheese, butter and cream, yet studies show that the diet actually decreases LDL cholesterol (mine was high so this is good). The toughest part of the diet for me is that I’m completely satiated on 300-600 calories, which is not healthy. So I am consciously trying to increase my caloric intake. I also supplement with vitamins to make sure I’m getting all the basics necessary.
I dropped almost 10 lbs in October (lost 2.5 inches on my waist and .75 of an inch on my neck), and broke the diet three times in order to enjoy meals with family and friends (and sample a bit of Halloween candy). Now I’m back in my healthy zone, and it feels really good. I plan to eat all I want at my next WordCamp and on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days, and I will enjoy some eggnog, but otherwise I think I’ll stick with this for a good long time.
It’s simply not a hardship. I really enjoy the food and the way I feel (energized and alert). I plan to share some of my favorite recipes on this blog. The oddest thing is that I’m even enjoying the cooking! (Words I have never said before in my life.)
A whole new me…