This is a guest post written by Christina Garrett from Be Bold Stay Gold.
Hardcore Keto dieters are like Vegans and Cross fitters.. they’re going to tell you all about it the first opportunity they get.
I’m what you would call a connoisseur of diets having pretty much tried them all to varying degrees of success. I decided to go Keto in December when I wanted to follow something that was going to require the appropriate amount of restriction (believe me, if I were able to control myself most of the time, I would not be fat) but was also going to help me break my horrible carb addiction and help me *drum roll* lose weight of course. More specifically, lose fat.
The more I read about Keto, and I read a lot… like more than just a blog post on the internet, I discovered that there was so much more to this diet than weight loss alone. In fact, it boasts health and performance benefits for type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, PCOS, metabolic syndrome, blood pressure, cholesterol, mental focus and numerous autoimmune diseases. Don’t you feel better about giving up bread & wine already?
Which brings me to my point…. Bro, do you even Keto?
A ketogenic diet is a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet that turns your body into a fat-burning machine (Ketosis). Who doesn’t want to be a fat burning machine?
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which fat provides most of the fuel for the body. You reach this state by limiting your carb intake to 20g net carbs a day. That is not a lot of carbs. You are basically saying goodbye to bread, pasta, quinoa, potatoes, wine… and getting most of those carbs from veggies.
It took me a few days of eating LCHF (low carb, high fat) to get into Ketosis and I tested it in the most glamorous of ways… by peeing on a stick (Ketostix – available from your pharmacist)
The thing stopping most people from attempting this way of eating is the idea of increasing the amount of fat in their diet, not realizing that to burn fat you have to eat fat. (and fat is delicious!) You need FULL-fat everything, which makes this way of eating not only incredibly satisfying – leaving you full for hours, (dare I even say the whole day) but you get to lose weight and have amazing mental clarity.
Remember what it was like to have a thought and… look a shiny thing.
This is not the diet for everyone though. So I am giving you my 5 biggest takeaways from months of experience living in this state and Karen is making it super simple for you to try for yourself with a Ketogenic Diet plan.
– YOU MIGHT FEEL WORSE TO BEGIN WITH
You are only eating 20 grams (of net carbs) per day (mostly in the form of vegetables)
You’ll probably experience something that people refer to as “keto flu.” Basically, when your body is going through the transition into ketosis, you might feel flu-like symptoms. It’s normal, but it sucks. I felt like I was dying for a week. I kept peeing on a stick and hoping that it would read that I had more than just “trace” ketones in my system so I could justify how shit I felt. It did get better and all of a sudden. BAM. I felt great. I wasn’t hungry (ever) and I felt like I had more energy than ever before.
– YOU CAN’T CHEAT
There is no place for a cheat meal – so if you are looking for an 80/20 or occasional day of snacking on chips and beer – you cannot do it and be in Ketosis at the same time. On the plus side, everyone has a different tolerance to carbs and you might have to do some trial and error and see if you can eat more than the suggested 20g of carbs a day. I decided to put this to the test eating a bag of popcorn. NUGH NUUUEEERRRGH. Wrong choice. Benefit of that “trial and error” was ketosis was much quicker to get back into and I had no cravings for other carbs in the meantime.
– TAKE YOUR MEASUREMENTS
As with all diets, if you are looking to lose weight you might be sad if the scale doesn’t change initially, or when it does, it only drops a measly pound. You will notice your clothes fitting you differently – so it is worth getting your measurements before you begin. For the first 2 months, I did see a steady decline on the scale – but my inches were going down too. SCORE. Should also point out that I am doing 3 days of heavy lifting a week and conditioning in between!
– SUPPORT IS HUGE
The fact that you are reading this blog means you are somewhat interested or toying with the idea of changing your health for the better. Congratulations! You will probably have told someone near and dear about your desire to change and may have even encountered some negativity from them regarding those changes… To that, I say…people suck! However – Explaining Keto sucks even more! Sometimes people cannot grasp the idea of eating more fat to lose weight. Most people are conditioned to believe that fat is bad. Find people who will support you and not try and stuff a slice of toast down your throat.
– CHECK YOUR LABELS
This might be the most important point of all if you are trying to keep track of carbs. Carbs and sugar are hidden in everything. Check your vitamins, check your spice rack. They are hiding in the weirdest of places and they all add up.
Christine is a mother of two boys, a marketing genius (my marketing genius),Zumba instructor with Fit By Design and is training with a future goal of entering a strong woman competition.
Her first 100lb loss was over a few years and although the road has been full of ups and downs she has sought help with her emotional attachment to food and is now following a ketogenic-paleo based lifestyle.
She speaks openly and honestly about being a plus-sized woman: The challenges of emotional eating and how she faces this temptation and ultimately how she has conquered it! You can follow Christina’s journey at http://www.beboldstaygold.com