Today marks two full weeks that I have been doing the keto diet. That fact alone is pretty impressive. I never stick to diets for longer than a few days before I start cheating or taking shortcuts. But that’s what I really liked about the keto diet. The point of it is to stay in ketosis, where your body burns fat instead of carbs or sugar. I like that if you cheat or cut corners, it will knock you out of ketosis and then you have to start all over again. That kind of motivation to not go all the way to the beginning keeps me on course every day.
There are lots of different thoughts on keto. Some people swear by it, but others say it is drastic and unhealthy. I was a little skeptical at first myself. My dad had heart disease my whole life and I, unfortunately, inherited his high cholesterol. This means that the keto principle of high fat goes directly against every health norm that I have known my whole life!
You want me to each CHEESE?! You want me to eat STEAK?! You want me to add SALT?! You want me to use BUTTER?! You want me to add CREAM CHEESE?! Those things just blow my mind. So because of my cholesterol, I called my doctor before I started keto. She said that when done well, it can actually improve overall heart health, but it’s about making smart choices. For example, I stick to lean meats – like turkey and chicken. And while I started out basically eating cheese for three or four days straight, I have learned that there are other ways to get my fat intake in that are much healthier – like almond butter, coconut oil, and avocados.
What I’m Tracking
My basic system for the first two weeks has been tracking what I eat every day. I started a food journal where I list every food I eat and what the net carbs (carbs minus fiber) and sugar are. I keep my net carbs under 20 and my sugar under 50. Although, I have never met my sugar intake. It’s really hard to take in sugar without carbs!
In the first two weeks, just counting net carbs and sugar, I have lost 15 pounds, which is not uncommon on this diet. You drop weight fast at first because it’s water weight coming off. 15 pounds sounds impressive when I say it, but if you saw me, you may not even notice. I hardly notice and that is super depressing. My goal was to lose 40 pounds, but I was really hoping that I’d see some progress before I lost all of the 40 pounds! It just goes to show how much weight I had gained over the past two years. In two years, I have gained 30 pounds and 20 of those have been in the last year alone. So, it was time for me to take some control over my weight.
This week, I will start tracking more than just carbs and sugar. I’ll be tracking my macros (carbs, fat, protein – and I’m adding sugar). I’m hoping that this will help me with some of the extreme tiredness I have been having. I went through the keto flu between days 5 and 7 and that was horrible. But while I bounced back a little from the exhaustion, I am still not where I was before keto with my energy levels. I feel like I could lay down and fall into a deep sleep at any point in my day. It makes me feel heavy and sluggish. To combat this, I have tried adding more vegetables and some fruit to my meals, still staying under my total goals. I have strawberries, blueberries, tomato slices, cucumbers, broccoli, spinach, and other higher fiber, lower carb fruits and veggies. That has helped a little bit.
Another way that I boost my fat intake is through keto fat bombs. I discovered these last week and now I’m obsessed with them. My favorites by far are the peanut butter chocolate fat bombs (3 net carbs, 2 sugars). They taste just like Reese’s Cups. I made chocolate chip cheesecake fat bombs last week, too. They tasted pretty good, but if I want to splurge, I am not going to splurge on cheesecake. And at 5 net cards and 3 sugars, those feel like a splurge to me. Today I made keto chocolate muffins. They taste a little bit like brownies… sort of. But the texture of them is pretty crumbly and dry. I used almond flour and I’ve heard that coconut flour can make a difference, so maybe I’ll try those again with that. The muffins are also 5 net carbs and 3 sugars, so kind of a splurge and not one I am enjoying. I think I’ll stick to my peanut butter chocolate ones.
(For more recipes, this is my keto pinterest board…)
What I’m Eating
I have been chronicling my keto meals on my Instastories most days. Some people like hearing about it and getting meal ideas, but mostly it’s to hold my own self accountable. I thought I’d share what I’ve been eating here, too, in case anyone needs some ideas.
Tools That Help Me
I use an app to track my carbs and sugar, but the best thing that I do is keep my food journal. Even though my app tracks for me, I think it’s easier for me to have it in my food journal and the act of pausing and doing the math myself makes me more aware of what I’m eating. So, I highly suggest a food journal.
The app I use daily is My Fitness Pal. I use it mostly because that’s what I used on Weight Watchers a few years ago and so I knew how to use it already. It is a great place to look up nutritional information on food and I like that it even has restaurant foods there, too.
I also use the Keto App, but I haven’t paid for it, so it isn’t really useful because I can only track five foods at a time. What IS very helpful is that you can find your custom macros in their Settings menu. So, I completed that and got my personalized macro counts and now I track those in My Fitness Pal. #thriftyweightloss
Katie Does Keto
So, overall, I’m really loving keto. I’m seeing big effects, I really like all the food I am eating, and I am never hungry. It definitely isn’t for everyone, but it is working well for me right now.
How about you? Have you done keto? Got any good tips to share? Good recipes? Let me know in the comments!