Ahhhh, finally it’s Thursday. One day closer to the weekend. I don’t know about you but I am so ready for some couch & TV time this Sunday. Plus, I’m going to one of my favorite places, Trader Joes! Anyways, we will save that for a weekend roundup on Monday. So, many of you are probably wondering what is this keto diet I keep talking about. Well, I’m here to tell you a little bit about it and my experience so far with it. So, snuggle in on this cold day because it’s going to be a good read.
In a nutshell, the ketogenic diet (keto diet for short) is low-carb, moderate protein, and high fat. When trying to put your body in ketosis (a metabolic state charaterized by raised levels of ketones in the body tissues), this is the diet that works best. Once your body is in ketosis, it uses your fat storage to burn calories rather than carbohydrates. So, burning fat=fat loss=weight loss. Easy enough, right? Not exactly. You have to count your macronutrients while on the keto diet to ensure you are on your way to a state of ketosis. You will experience a lot of different moods and feelings while beginning keto. Due to the lack of carbs your body is probably used to, you will experience a drop in your energy level and your hunger level will go up. About 2-4 weeks in, your energy will go up and your cravings will subside. After 4 weeks, the afternoon slump many of us have everyday will be gone and hunger will naturally subside and you will find that you are full most of the time from the smallest meal.
For example, my personal macros are 20% carbs, 30% protein, and 50% fat (healthy fats!). This breaks down to roughly staying under 60g of carbs, 67g of fat, and 90g of protein. This is my personal choice. Many experts recommend you keep your carbs under 10% daily but lets be honest, there are carbs in like 80% of todays food. Even in the healthiest of foods, there are hidden carbs. So I am being realistic and bumped up my carbs to 20% and honestly, while eating keto approved foods, I am closer to the 10-15% carb mark. The last couple of days my carbs have been roughly 35-50g. It is hardest for me to hit my fat percentage because I am not one to sit down and eat a full meal most of the time; it’s way too filling. I am a snacker. Like today, I have 1/3 cup lightly salted peanuts, 1/4 lightly salted pumpkin seeds, and a Quest nutrition bar with 20g of protein and only 4g of net carbs! Better yet, they taste absolutely amazing for being a protein bar (try the S’mores– cinnamon graham cracker swirls. Yum!).
But beware, you can become deficient in some vitamins and minerals while on the keto diet. Many people following the diet buy ketone strips from the local pharmacy or Amazon to test their level of ketones in their body. I personally am not to worried about that, I am just reaping the benefits of weight loss, increased memory retention, and energizing rejuvination. Many also get blood tests done by their PCP to test cholesterol, vitamin and mineral levels, and electrolytes. Some have experienced lowered cholesteral levels while some have battled with high cholesteral in the beginning that eventually went down. Get a blood test done to keep everything in check and balanced. Being in a state of ketosis depletes your potassium levels. So be sure you are taking a multivitamin, or eating enough of the following potassium rich foods:
- Animal proteins (beef, pork, poultry, and seafood. Certified grass-fed and organic preferrably)
- Avacados (best healthy fat out there)
- Dried herbs (basil, dill, oregano, parsley, tarragon)
- Paprika & chili powder
If you need to supplement with potassium, you can take 99mg of potassium 2Xday.
So far the keto diet doesn’t sound like it’s for you? Let me tell you about some of the benefits of being keto-adapted, you might change your mind:
- Improved insulin sensitivity & recovery time between exercise sessions. A well formulated keto diet is an all-natural anti-inflammatory.
- Muscle preservation
- Controlled pH & respiratory function
- Improved memory & cognition
- No immune system damage & less free radical damage
Those are some great benefits that come with simply switching your diet to a more fat-adapted diet and less carbs. Even when you go out to eat, there are plenty of options. A burger bowl from Five guys, a steak protein bowl from Taco Bell, a bunless double cheeseburger from McDonalds, or steak and broccoli from your favorite steakhouse. Here is a photo of Five Guys burger bowl, doesn’t it look amazing?!
Also, check out this list of keto approved foods. See some things you like? It’ll be easy to convert yourself to a keto diet then.
Any questions? Might I recommend this book:
It’s a good read and gives you all the insight, tips, background, suggestions, and even food lists that you will need.
Alright, I hope this helps some of you. If you have any questions, ask me in the comments and I’ll answer you the best I possibly can! This is not just a diet, it’s a way of life. It is not something you do for 4 weeks then go back to eating junk, but you continue to do this and reap all the benefits. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. I will soon be getting a shipment of ketones in the mail, or Keto//OS. It is a powder you mix in with some water once in the morning and once in the afternoon and it helps put your body into a state of ketosis quicker. I’m so excited to try them out!
I’m off to go finish watching SOA because I’m on the last season and OMG, the drama! Tara is dead, Gemma is a bitch, and Jax is finally out of jail. Feel free to tell me your thoughts on season 7 without spoiling it for me!
Have a good rest of your day guys!